The Monster Story: An Indian Perspective On Trust

There is a saying that goes, “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.” Is there wisdom in this? Perhaps! While a person might speak with complete honesty, it doesn’t mean that he speaks the truth. It is pretty widely accepted that the eye can be fooled into accepting something as true when it isn’t. So if it is hard to trust the senses that we so commonly rely on, how difficult is it to trust the senses that perceive the “unseen” – the things that are of the spiritual realm, those abstract ideas and concepts?

Trust is a difficult thing for many people and there are many emotions that work against it such as fear, anger, doubt, jealousy and hatred. Not only are these capable of eroding trust, they are capable of swallowing up and devouring people.

For the Spirit Dancer, trust is a necessity. He dances with others around a fire, blindfolded. He trusts in his knowledge of the dance. He trusts in the other dancers. They never fall into the fire or collide with each other, but it is those emotions that work against trust and that can devour us that move us off track and remind of a story…

* The Monster Story *

In a village of the people, a time had come upon the land that was very difficult. People were going to the river for water never to return. It was said they were being swallowed by monsters who lived at the river.

It was in this time that a young man went to his grandparents’ lodge and found his grandmother crying. The young man asked, “Why are you crying, grandmother?”

Drying her eyes, she looked up at her grandson and replied, “The people need water because they are dying without it, but no one can go to the river because of the monsters.”

Indeed the young man knew that many of his relatives had gone to the river never to return. He said to his grandmother, “But if no one goes to the river, we will not have water and we will all surely die.”

“Yes,” the grandmother said, ‘that is our problem.”

The young man left wondering what to do. He knew that people were going to the river and never returning, yet he knew death would certainly take them if they did nothing. He decided it was better to die trying than to do nothing.

The next day he went back to his grandparents’ lodge and told them of his decision to go to the the river. He said, “The people are dying and they must have water. I must at least try to go to the river.”

His grandmother took a pouch from her side and handed it to her grandson saying, “In this pouch is a flint and steel, and at least you will have fire.”

His grandfather took the knife from his belt and handed it to his grandson,. He said, “Maybe this will serve you in your journey.”

The young man secured the gifts in his own belt. Thanking his grandparents, he took his buckets and made his way to the river. When he arrived, fear set in his throat like a lump but he saw no sign of the any monsters. He looked up one side and then the next but there were no monsters to be seen.

Quickly he grabbed his buckets and went to the river bank.He bent down to dip the buckets in the water. Feeling like he was being watched, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He was very afraid. He just wanted to draw the water and get out of there, but as he went to put the bucket in the water he saw in the reflection of the river a monster with his huge open mouth. And then it was upon him.

He was swallowed up and in the dark belly of a monster. In his fear and anguish, he began to cry. He knew his grandparents would be hurt and worse, he knew others would die because they had no water. As he cried he heard other voices and a stirring in the dark. He yelled out, “Aho, who is there?” Voices started calling back to him, but he couldn’t see. Then he remembered the pouch on his belt and the flint and steel. He began to gather dry things from around him and he struck the flint and steel. Soon he had a fire going and in the light he could see the faces of his relatives and all of the people who had been swallowed by the monster. They all greeted the young man and told him how they had come to be swallowed by the monster.

The young man asked them, “How do we get out of here?” They said, “We can’t get out – it is useless to try.”

At first, the young man was afraid but then he remembered the knife that his grandfather had given him. He said, “Wait, I know what to do.” Then he ran to the side of the monster and thrust the knife in. The monster heaved and the young man pulled hard on the knife, cutting a deep gash in the side of the monster that allowed all of the people to escape. They filled all of their buckets up with water and returned to their village.

**** It is for the person who is trying to find his way in this life, and for all of the things that would “swallow” him up along the way that inspired the “Spirit Dancer”.

At first glance this picture might seem dark because of the emphasis on the monsters, but know that these unseen spirits are capable of devouring the unwary. This picture is really about the “light”. It is the light that exposes and shows us the truth. It is the light that chases the darkness and it is in this light that the Spirit Dancer so confidently makes his way, unafraid of the “dark” and the unseen things.

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Panic Kills: An Indian Perspective

In the old days when Indians hunted buffalo on the plains, the Indians would play on the fears of the buffalo by donning wolf hides and creeping up on the herds. When the buffalo spotted the �wolves�, they would take off running. At that point there would be Indians on horseback to drive the buffalo over a cliff to their death and the waiting Indian women who would quickly begin to butcher them.

It wasn’t the Indians who killed the buffalo, it was the fear-inspired panic and their mindless reaction that caused them to run off the cliff. A reaction is an action without thought – and – panic is a reaction to fear.

This is an appropriate topic for the times in which we currently live with the recession and economic crisis because the buffalo are afraid and are beginning to panic! In life, there is ebb and flow. The pendulum that swings to the left must, of its own volition, swing to the right. The balance must be kept and so it is. It is not a question of if the pendulum will swing right, it is not even a question of when it will swing. The question is: What will your response be to it?
Will you become fearful and surrender to the panic, allowing yourself to be driven off the cliff – or do you allow a cooler head to prevail?

I’m not saying that there aren’t real effects resulting from the Wall Street blunders, banking fiascos and auto industry fall-out. I know several people who have lost their jobs in this economic downturn and the effects are very real. I am merely suggesting that you beware and be aware of the panic that can exacerbate your situation, whatever it is.

How you perceive your current position is a critical factor in the final outcome. I know this about life’s events� Sometimes Spirit moves us or causes us to move in ways that cause us to grow and prevent our lives from stagnating. The one result of change is always growth. Regardless of whether it is perceived as positive or negative change, there is always growth.

While it may be difficult to perceive losing a job as a �gift�, it may be easier if you know that when one door closes, another will open. The trick is not to panic after the closing of the one door.

I want to share a story with you that I’ve shared with friends who have been affected by the economy. It is called �The Otter and the Sacred Mountains�.

Once there was an Otter who, like most otters, spent his time Playing with other Otters in the Great River. All of his young life he had heard stories of the Sacred Mountains but unlike other Otters he was intrigued by these tales enough to go to his Grandfather and say, “Grandfather, I have heard all of my life about the Sacred Mountains and I would like to go there.”

His Grandfather smiled sadly and said, “I’m Afraid that won’t happen because the Sacred Mountains are at the head of the Great River. There are dangerous Rapids that run between an impassable Gorge.”

“Has anyone ever tried before?” the Young Otter asked.

“Oh yes�, his Grandfather replied, “but they were either turned back by the Rapids or they were never Seen again. It is better that you forget about this.”

But the Young Otter could not Forget. He thought about those who had never Returned and wondered if it wasn’t because they had actually made it to the Sacred Mountains. He knew the only way to know for sure was to make the Journey himself. The Next Day, the Young Otter set off on his Journey Up the Great River. He swam for a long time and after a while he lost track of how long he had been swimming.

At last he came to the foot of the Rapids. Even before he could See them, he could Hear their awesome Roar. When he Saw the Rapids he became Afraid. How could anyone survive such Power? Surely he would be pummeled by this Water and Drown. But the Young Otter was Determined to See these Sacred Mountains and on he went. He swam hard against the fast flowing Water. Every now and then he could feel a Rock beneath him, but they were very slippery and he was never sure if he could Trust them.

The Rapids seemed to become more Difficult, almost like a Waterfall at times. He could feel the Water overcoming his tired body and the next thing he knew he was being swept down the River. The Rocks battered his body and he thought he was going to die. Suddenly he heard a Voice. It was yelling at him, “Grab the Driftwood!”

As the Otter tumbled in the water, he caught Glimpses of a Raccoon running along the bank of the Great River, and then he Saw the Driftwood. He clutched the wood and finally made his way to the bank. He pulled himself out of the Water – wet, exhausted and shaken by the whole experience. As he lay there getting himself together, a Coyote came by. The Coyote looked at the Otter, all wet and battered and asked, “What happened to you?”

“I was going to the Sacred Mountains but I was not strong enough to swim the Rapids�, said the Otter.

“The Sacred Mountains�, the Coyote exclaimed, “Why didn’t you say so? I know a Short Cut to the Sacred Mountains. It’s just a good thing you found me when you did …”

The Coyote continued to talk as he Led the Young Otter through the Rocks. He walked as fast as he talked and it wasn’t long before the Otter lost sight of him. He followed where he thought the Coyote had gone, but he couldn’t see him and it was getting dark. Soon the Young Otter couldn’t even Hear the Coyote and, feeling lost, alone and afraid, he hurried along as fast as he could.

The Otter came around a corner and ran straight into a huge Spider Web! He struggled against it but he could not get free. He yelled for the Coyote to come help him but the Coyote was gone.

After a time, the Young Otter Remembered the Knife on his belt that his Grandfather had given him. He used it to cut himself free from the Web but still he felt lost and alone. He didn’t know which Way to go and it was really Dark. He went in the Direction he thought the Coyote had gone but he couldn’t See a thing. Suddenly the ground seemed to give out beneath his feet and the Otter knew he had fallen in a Hole.

He was totally lost and alone and now he was in a Hole with no way out. Maybe this is what had happened to the other Otters who, like him, had gone in Search of the Sacred Mountains. He thought that now no one would ever hear him and he would die alone in this Hole. He began to cry. After a time, a voice called out in the Darkness… “Little Brother, why are you crying?”

The Young Otter said, “Because I am lost and alone and I have fallen into a hole.”

“Why don’t you pray and ask the Creator to help you?” the Voice asked.

The Otter replied, “Because it is no use. The Great Spirit has turned his back on me.”

“Turn around, Little Brother�, the voice said.

The Otter did as he was instructed and as soon as he did, he saw a Fire and standing in the Center of this Fire was the Great Spirit. He could also see his People� and the Raccoon and Coyote, too! The Great Spirit said, “It is you who has turned your back on me, not me who has turned his back on you. I always remain in the Center, and look… there are the Sacred Mountains.”

The Otter Looked, and in the Light of the Fire he could See the Sacred Mountains. The Great Spirit told the Otter, “For anyone who makes the Journey to the Sacred Mountains, they must do it by themselves and in their own way… but no one has to do it alone. When you get lost, turn around. I am there.”

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Live Better And Enjoy Life More Through Chakra Healing

The human body consists of 88,000 chakras, also referred to as continuously spinning or active energy points that act as portals to receive, interact and transmit life forces between an individual and his surroundings. Chakra is Hindu for spinning wheel. Of the body’s 88,000 energy points, seven are regarded to have major importance in the overall function of our being.

Located along the spine, the seven key chakras are the root, navel, solar plexus, heart, throat, brow, and crown. These energy axes (chakra) in our body continuously receive and give out energies from their interaction with our environment such as other people, plants, trees, animals and other elements. They are credited with having a direct effect on our physical, emotional and spiritual character.

Chakras are defined in various ways but there is one common thread among all of the definitions and explanations whether from the Chinese medicine point of view, the Hindu’s mystical understanding of an individual’s internal and external experience or modern psychology’s explanation of human our consciousness and thought processes.

The chakras’ unceasing interaction with our body and the environment even during our sleep gives them a direct influence over our physical structure and appearance including our bodily processes, health and our emotions. A glitch of any one of the major chakras is an indicator that something is wrong with our physical/emotional health which may directly or indirectly be noticeable.

The reason for this is because each of the seven major chakras is linked to a corresponding endocrine gland in our body. Any imbalance in the function of a chakra affects our physical and emotional processes and manifests a disturbance in the usual pattern of activity or behavior through the endocrine gland linked to it.

Taking Proper Care of our Chakras From the preceding point of view- promoted by the ancient Hindus and Chinese traditional medicine practitioners alike, we can conclude that a good number of our illnesses are in one way or another related to a malfunctioning chakra. Although physical symptoms may be absent or minimal at the very least, they are signs that something is wrong with us- physically, spiritually or emotionally.

Forgotten or repressed emotional baggage due to traumatic experiences in the past is one of the major causes of chakra imbalance. Since most people have a habit of burying bad memories in their subconscious, we are unaware that these buried emotional toxins have an effect on our bodies at the cellular level. It is therefore necessary to come to terms with our emotional baggage and resolve them in order to maintain the proper balance of our chakra and heal our physical self in the process.

Advantages of Chakra Healing What most people are not aware of is that we have the resources to control and manipulate our energy points to our advantage. By knowing how to influence and manipulate the functions of our major chakras we can then control how they function so that we can achieve the benefits of balance and harmony, not only within us but with our surroundings as well.

There are a number of ways through which we can directly influence the functions of our body’s major chakras. From simple techniques such as aromatherapy, breathing exercises, physical fitness, or with the use of crystals and gemstones we can achieve balance and harmony.

Other methodologies of chakra healing are meditation (keeping the mind focused on an object of thought or awareness for a certain period of time), guided visualization (done with the aid of audio tapes or CDs to promote natural healing and relaxation techniques to reduce stress, promote relaxation and harness the power of the mind).

Despite the fact that we can see or touch our energy points, aside from the above there are other ways that we can keep them healthy in order for them to better support our body.

The human body has to be healthy and fed properly in order for us to have balanced chakras. There are foods that help maintain the balance of each of the seven primary chakras.

Our root chakra thrives on root-type vegetables and protein-rich foods. Sweet fruits, nuts directly affect our navel chakra while our solar plexus chakra is enhanced by a healthy diet of breads, dairy product and cereals.

Our energy points that affect the heart and throat are sustained when we eat green, leafy vegetables, drink plenty of liquid, green tea and fruit juices.

By eating blueberries, grapes and drinking wine or grape juice, we help nourish our brow/third eye chakra which is responsible for making our third eye senses sharper and more attuned to our psychical abilities.

Our crown chakra, the center of our spiritual and emotional center needs detoxification through fasting and/or ritual inhalation of incense and herbs.

These everyday methods, which admittedly are vey simple since they are an extension of what we already perform daily are some of the basic ways we can heal our energy points so that we can reap the benefits of possessing a healthy functioning chakra for a more productive and healthier life.

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