Our Ancestors believed that the spiritual realm and the natural realm coexist together and that we are a part of both worlds. The ancient ones looked to the East for illumination and clarity, the place of first light where Eagle lives. The wise ones observed the ways of Nature to gain understanding and courage in their daily lives. Our Elders built a gentle bridge for us to connect to the spiritual realm by teaching us to acknowledge our Creator in all that we do and to recognize all of creation as sacred.
To help us put this wisdom into practice today we can learn from the ways of the great leaders before us. Legendary Chiefs of the past demonstrated finely-tuned spiritual intelligence as they guided our People through the most turbulent time of our history. Visionary leaders gathered strength and guidance straight from the Creator through sacred prayer rituals and vision quests. Spiritual guidance and trust were integrated with human decisions and capabilities in physical battle and endurance as our brave Chiefs fought to protect the sacred and traditional ways of living in harmony with nature and man.
As we seek spiritual guidance and an inner sense of security in our lives today we can consider the great Native American Chiefs of the past as our spiritual role models. The traditional Native way of life became impossible to maintain in the face of changes that were horrific to man and nature. It has been said that the Great Spirit saw our People’s struggle and provided us with a handful of leaders with wisdom, bravery, and strength. It was the vision and actions of these leaders that resulted in the survival of our race as we were destined for extermination.
The attributes and characteristics of our Chiefs at that time had to be near super-hero status. Our Chiefs were relied upon to negotiate treaties, and when those failed, to help the People withstand the inevitable armed forces that were sent to eliminate them. Our Chiefs had special powers, beyond wisdom and bravery, usually associated with a Spirit Helper that gave assistance, often through visions. Our Chiefs were strategic war leaders and powerful Medicine Men because they believed that spiritual needs were considered as vital to life as physical needs.
One quick way to think like a great Chief of the past is to lead yourself to still waters and quiet your mind. This act in itself is a spiritual practice. It takes effort to quiet the mind. Sit safely and quietly for just a few minutes and release all thoughts. Ask the help of the Great Spirit to regain your energies, breathe deeply. Remember, our past leaders knew that a connection to the Divine and to the realm of Spirit was a necessity in life, for provision, protection, and guidance. This first step towards stillness, illumination and clarity is in the spirit of the East. Take flight like Eagle and soar.
“When you are in doubt, be still, and wait; when doubt no longer exist for you, then go forward with courage.” - Ponca Chief White Eagle