Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is it spirit, or what?

The Sweet Medicine SunDance Path is one in which we don't separate spirit from body, or from emotions, or from our sexuality.  It is all part of our desire for and path to growth.

In the first year of the Red Lodge Longhouse, we look at our 5 aspects, and what we call "proper choreography."  In other words, what do we do with our physical body?  Do we determine with it - e.g., the strongest person gets to be the boss?  Or do we give with it - e.g., taking care of everyone else's needs while our own go neglected?  What do we do with our emotions?  Do we determine with them - e.g., the person who screams the loudest or cries the longest wins?

How we coordinate our spirit with our bodies, our emotions, our thoughts, our sexuality, is an important part of spiritual growth as we speak of it on this path.

Some traditions, in some periods of time, have a perception of the body as evil :
"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."  The King James Bible,  Romans 8:13

That is not the case in the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path.  We ask, what have we come into human form to learn?  What is our spirit, our soul, demanding in this lifetime?  And so every part of us contributes to our spiritual growth.

How does your spiritual tradition work?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Again, Ceremony: the Gateway Process

I just have to say that the SMSD gateway process is, for me, a continually surprisingly effective path of self-growth.

You know how, when climbing up a mountain, you stop at various turnings and look down, and are struck by how far you've climbed?  That's what the gateway process is like for me.  I know I'm climbing, but only realize how far when I stop for a moment to look back.  And, looking back, I can also see how the path has been constructed in such a way that it is possible - rather than impossible - for me to climb.

I'm grateful.  That's all.