My Cherokee Heritage

July 19, 2020

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Here’s something you might not know about me: my Grandfather had a great great grandmother who was Cherokee. He was embarrassed by that, as people used to be, and he didn’t know a lot about her, so he didn’t ever speak of her that I knew of. Still, you could definitely see in my Grandfather’s face, that he had Native American heritage.

My father was proud of his great great great grandmother and so am I, although I don’t know anything about her. Like many people with Native American ancestors, we don’t know the story, it was kept hidden from us.

In 1997 I became acquainted with a wonderful Native American spiritual teacher through my attending services at the Agape International Spiritual Center. Her name is Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo and I’ve claimed her as my teacher since 2006. Venerable Dhyani is Chief of the Ywahoo lineage and part of the AniYunWiwa Tsalagi tribe which is also Cherokee.

Until 1978, it was against the laws of the United States for my Native American brothers and sisters to practice their religion. Did you know that? These Native American sacred teachings are profoundly mystical – there’s so much in them that it sometimes blows my mind. They are so layered and rich. They reverberate throughout my awareness opening me to new understandings that enrich my life and heal my heart. I feel so blessed to have been led to these great teachers.

Here is a quote from a recent class with Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo:

“Wisdom beings time and space, what does it mean? You have a heart awareness of your star nature, your luminous nature, and you also have the experience of the cloak woven of thought, word, and dreams that has become your life. Your life is a wonderful rainbow torus ring, so to speak, and around it are worlds arising, worlds quieting. Most importantly through the resonance of the heart, we see how we are connected and contributing to the appearances that arise.

The wise beings, whether we call them Adawees, or angelic beings, represent a quality of mind awareness that flows through each of us. There are times when the energy of exploration has been, say, cut off when people have fear and/or are distracted by the belief in ‘other’. Then there is the shadow that appears.

What is the shadow? The shadow is not recognizing all that we are. Also, it is the energy that chooses to be manifested, yet it is held in abeyance because it has not been transformed into its natural luminous state.

What is the transformation? The transformation, in a simple way begins with appreciation and acknowledgment of that seed of natural awareness within. That what we aspire to, the wisdom beings that we look towards, are also aspects of our own minds.”

From her We Are Not Alone: Exploring Our Interdependent & Multi-dimensional Nature Wisdom class

I have found that there’s no disagreement between the Native American wisdom and what I have learned from A Course in Miracles. Truth teachings may be articulated differently, but the truth is the truth. To be healthy and happy we must be compassionate, forgiving, and grateful.

I find I am blessed when I am honoring and valuing the elders.

I feel connected to the ancestors and the beauty of all that is, including Mother Earth, when I am listening to the elders.

In recent summers it’s been my privilege to be able to serve the elders at these gatherings and to help with their caretaking. I will miss that this summer, but I’m so grateful we can be together online!

I’ve come to appreciate the beauty and mystical nature of the Native American Elders teachings.

Traveling to Vermont, and the Sunray Peace Village, almost every summer since 2006, I’ve been able to attend many of the Native American Elder Gatherings and to receive the wisdom of many indigenous elders from many tribes.

I’ve also been able to participate in healing ceremonies, coming of age ceremonies, Native American dances and spiritual practices that have been refreshing, nourishing and uplifting to me.

Because of the Covid-19 virus this year, for the first time the annual Native American Elder Gathering is being held online on Zoom. This is a wonderful opportunity for those who have wished to be able to attend these gatherings but didn’t have the ability to travel to participate.

I feel compelled to tell you about it in case you are interested in sharing this experience with me. You can join online for the two days of teachings – next Friday and Saturday – for as little as $11.

If this calls to you, please join me and others from around the world – click here for more info:

TODAY, you can join me and my friends, Jesse Brune-Horan, Roger Mock, and more friends on zoom. Jesse is a dear friend who is often hilarious as well as very poignant! And Jennifer’s music is so uplifting and healing. We’ll have a spiritual celebration together with message and music – we call it Sundays With Spirit. Please invite your family! If you can’t join us, you can catch the replay! Because we’re going to be live on video, you’ll have to register to get the detail. All are welcome, there’s no charge, but you do have to register unless you’ve already registered in the past.

When you register, you’ll also get easy access to past services with Lisa Natoli, Jon Mundy, David Hoffmeister, Maureen Muldoon, Corinne Zupko, Maria Felipe, Frances Xu and more. If you’ve already registered for a previous Sunday – you don’t need to register again, you’ll get a reminder with the details automatically.

I look forward to our gathering TODAY. It means so much that we can join together and love on each other.

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