Travels in Lakota country

First of all thank you to the creator for this divine life we all share. A big Wopila to my Lakota friends and family for their hospitality and generosity. I had the honor and pleasure of attending one of the many Sundances in the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. In respect of the culture, I will not be posting any pictures or writings of my experiences at the Sundance. The Lakota people have a deep oral tradition and I will honor that by sharing my stories with you in person.

Many of you are probably wondering why I spend my vacation time hanging out on the rez... There is no simple answer to this, but here is my attempt...

In my exploration of medicines modern and ancient, I have become convinced that many of the solutions for today's problems lay embedded in the past. These solutions exist in the cultural diversity that humans have developed over our 100,000+ years of existence. Unfortunately this vast diversity is being rapidly replaced with modern consumer driven capitalism and all the gifts and problems that come with it.

Unfortunately many of the cultures carrying this technology are dying out as their languages, medicines and belief systems are no longer being spoken, practiced, or taught. Many might say "so what, humans no longer need those out dated ways". Ah but we do, for these cultures have developed ways to live in harmony with the Earth in a manner that is sustainable. Our culture is at a cross road, no matter what belief system you participate in, it is hard to ignore that the Earth has changed rapidly in a short amount of time.

For those relying on the notion that technology and human ingenuity will save us, it likely will not. Our technology requires vast resources from all over the planet (ironically I am typing this on an iPhone while flying on an airplane), and it is a flaw in our belief system that the resources on the planet are for human use only. Developing new technologies to continue our way of life while ignoring that our fates are all interwoven: plant, animal, and human will only speed our destruction. It is no coincidence that cancer rates are increasing as our culture behaves like a cancerous cell: growing out of control and utilizing all the resources on its path. Then we treat our cancer with more things that cause cancer.

Dying cultures contain many of the solutions needed for life and humans to thrive on the planet. We must rapidly preserve and protect them. We must dialog with these people. We must right the wrongs of the past (there are many... That could take a while...) in order to secure a future. We can start by sharing music, dance, and food together to foster trust and understanding.

We cannot wait for an election, we cannot wait for leaders, we must all begin to act on the information we have been given for some time now. What changes in life has your heart been calling out to you?

Life is beautiful, let's preserve and protect it not sell it and consume it. Every action sends a ripple through existence shaping the future. Every action has a thought behind it.. What are yours? Every thought that we choose to bring into existence by action has a belief behind it. Does your belief system enhance life or destroy it?

This blog has been heavily influenced by many writers and many of my experiences traveling. For more information check out Thom Hartmann's "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight". For more information on the history of the Lakota read "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse". A good read on the end of indigenous life in North America see Dee Brown's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee". See also Wade Davis's TED talk on preserving the ethnosphere (what?).

Please join me in becoming part of the solutions needed for life to thrive on the planet.