NATIVE EARTH WISDOM
Once we know the importance of personal power and expansiveness, and are practicing this, we need to also balance this with sensitivity. These two essential qualities of being, power and sensitivity, need to come into balance, like the balance of the in breath with the out breath. This is one of the major principles of the Native teachings. There is no such thing as perfect balance in the world or in anyone, but all life can come ever closer to perfect balance.
It is often difficult to balance our personal expressive power with our power of sensitivity [to others or to other lives of nature]. If we pay attention to both, and give importance to both, then both can develop cooperatively. But it is important that our power of integrity and expressiveness is strong, before further development of sensitivity. For if we are weak in our integrity of self, then we may be sensitively vulnerable to any little force along the way.
Know that it is very possible to have a strong sense of personal power, while also being sensitive to the feelings and needs of others. We can have our own self-integrity and at the same time be loving to others. We can share our love and creative potentials in the world, and also be sensitive and receptive to the love and creativity of others. We can be open and sensitive to the feelings of other beings, and nurture them with love, while also protecting and nurturing our own sacred space. Know that this reciprocal balance is very possible. We can be sensitive to the feelings of others, and learn from others, but we don’t need to be hurt by the feelings and opinions of others, because our own feelings and our own understanding and our own choices are our own responsibility.
So let us develop our inherent power to be free creative beings, but also develop and nurture our natural sensitivity and responsibility in caring for others and the greater whole of life. This balance of personal power and creativity with sensitive caring and responsibility to the greater whole, is fundamentally important in the Good Earth Walk.
Personal power and responsible sensitivity are each important virtues, and they both need to be balanced and integrated in the human being. Without his or her own personal power, the human being becomes merely a conditioned robot within the mass consciousness of society, or merely a reactive mechanism to the scattered energies of circumstances. And without sensitive responsibility the human being becomes an isolated ego-power, absorbed in his or her own self-greed and false superiority, which becomes destructive to the overall circle of life.
Authoritarianism arises when the egotism of a self-righteous elite takes over and imposes its selfish will on others. But in the Native tradition, freedom is always respected, though protection of the whole community must always come first. Diversity is thus respected, and the community is nurtured by all these unique gifts and talents. A potential perfection of harmony and abundance is possible on Earth when all these gifts are respected and allowed into expression. But such expression should not merely serve one’s selfish ends, but should be expressions of giving to the whole community of relations. Thus the purpose and motivation for self-expression should be in service to the whole, as well as enjoyment. True self-expression, which is in harmony with the whole, comes from the inner will of the soul.
Our first kind of sensitivity needs to be with the Earth Mother, and then with the Sky Spirits, and of course with the Great Universal Spirit as it is known in the heart. Thus, you need to develop sensitivity with the great Life below, and bring in that vital loving energy. And you need sensitivity of the mind to higher vision and guidance from Father Sky and the Spirits of Guidance. And thirdly, you need sensitivity in your own heart to the harmonizing and balancing energy of Great Spirit. Then, in combination with all this, you need sensitivity to other people and natural relations around you.
If we close ourself off to the world, then we miss a great deal. We then close ourself off to the love and beauty and gifts of our relations. We then close ourself off to our relatedness and our wholeness as reflected in the world of people and things. This closing off is where the idea of protection can become fanatical and almost paranoid. It is true that you should protect yourself from unhealthy environments and negative energies. But we should not fear opening ourself to feelings and energies coming from other beings. For with sensitivity to the feelings and thoughts of others, our own being is enriched, and we are more able to give what is needed. Remember that everything and everyone is at least somewhat unique, and thus their needs are unique, so we must develop sensitivity in order to give what is needed.
Besides the need for sensitivity in order to best respond to the lives around us, we also need sensitivity in order to receive energies and impressions which add to our self-wholeness and our understanding of creation. We need to open our senses, our minds and our feelings to what is around, especially the natural world, because through our sensitivity and receptivity, we are able to receive special energies and impressions which feed our spiritual understanding and growth.
The practice is to turn inside out, and open oneself receptively, to the trees, the flowers, the mountains, the lakes, the sun and the sky. Let yourself be receptive to each living being and to the great Spirits of creation. Receive. Just receive. But receive consciously, and with gratefulness. When we consciously receive from nature, with gratefulness, a special love energy is returned reciprocally back to nature.
Many people already give love to the Earth, and to the relations and spirits of Earth. It is good to share love from the heart, and send love out to all of life. But let us not forget to receive. For many people, giving is much easier than receiving. They find it easy to give their love feelings, their hugs, their advice, and to give offerings to Earth Spirits. But some people become so involved with what they are giving, that they forget to also gratefully receive from what nature is giving. Receptivity can actually be a greater challenge for some people, more than giving, especially for those who tend to be doers and givers. Receiving means you have to open up, you have to allow love in, you have to listen, let someone share love with you. You have to open your own sensitivity and receive whatever is given.
So open yourself up to receive, and feel what this is like. You may be afraid to open up, maybe because you might be hurt or you might be taken away by the energies and feelings received. People who fearfully hold on to their self-control and are always protecting their integrity and pride, are those who find difficulty in opening up and just receiving from the circle surrounding them. Let yourself feel energies and impressions from things and people. Otherwise you are closing off and hiding in your own cave.
Open up. Be receptive. Be sensitive. Allow energies and feelings to enter your space. This adds to self-wholeness. It helps connect the circle of relations. It helps strengthen the interrelatedness and the trust within the circle of life. We need to turn inside out from our own shell, from our isolatedness, and open up, without fear, in receptivity to the world, to the whole world of relations and to the spirits of Nature. This is known as the great Trust. Of course we need to trust ourself as well, but we also need to trust the world, and we can begin by trusting the love and energies of Nature.
So after developing your own sense of personal power and your aura of expansiveness, you can now open up, be sensitive and receive from the world. This is balancing expansiveness with sensitivity. So once you feel and know your own integrity of being, your own sacred space, you can begin to allow in the other energies of life. You can still be cautious, by being sensitive at a distance, but you have to be at least somewhat willing to open up and receive. And if it feels good and beautiful, then let this energy right into your being and let it touch your sacred space. Let it flow in and touch you and move you. That is a great step in life, which brings you into a relatedness and a feeling of wholeness and unity.
Being sensitive also involves being respectful to the sacred space of other beings. We have no right to enter or try to manipulate a sacred space without permission. This relates to sacred places and to people as well. We need to protect our own sacred space and our deepest feelings from unwanted intrusions, and the basic ways of protection have already been mentioned. And we also need to respect the sacred space of others, including the animals, the trees and other relations. Here we need sensitivity.
We should always sense and feel whether or not a particular relation or sacred place is open to receiving us. Go where you are received and enjoyed, and stay clear when you are not. This is the practice of respect. This means that you should not just rush forward to where you want to go, without being sensitive to if you are really welcome. You must first ask, or at least sense if there is receptivity and a welcome in the place you want to be in.
You can practice this kind of sensitivity in Nature, by simply feeling where you are received or welcomed, or to where you are drawn to by the energy outside you. This involves being receptive and sensitive to welcoming energies, and is not the usual attitude of merely going just where you want to go. Of course, many times we have our own need to go in some direction, or we have a need to take food or things from the environment. In these circumstances one should acknowledge the intention or the need, but also ask and be sensitive to where the need is welcomed. This is balancing our own power or intention with a sensitivity to the relations around us.
Being sensitive to that which is outside you is the first step toward further growth and wholeness. By the power of your self-integrity, you could probably remain just as you are, but without sensitivity to other energies and relations, this could turn into self-conceit and stubbornness, and it would hold you back from further learning.
If we observe the world, we find that many people have very outgoing auras and energies, with little sensitivity, while others have weaker auras but are very sensitive. Some people are very pushy, whether they realize it or not. Others are too vulnerable to the forces of their environment, and so they are pushed around a lot, whether they realize it or not. Without sensitivity, personal power can be harmful, and without personal power, the sensitive person may be open to harm and does have the power to help others.
In our teachings about personal power and expansiveness, we understood our self-power as a power for giving and love to our surrounding space, rather than a pushiness of our isolated self-desires. Spiritual personal power is different from ego power. The ego tries to accumulate more and more possessions, because it believes that a larger bag of possessions creates more fulfillment, which is a false belief. True fulfillment comes from a way of experiencing life, and not from acquired possessions. Fulfillment comes from sharing and interrelatedness.
But the ego tries to accumulate from others and make others serve its own self-interests. The ego also tries to accumulate self-importance from other people, or it seeks to be worshiped by other people. This is just another form of possessiveness, and it usually stems from a lack of feeling loved.
The Good Road is a balance of personal power with respect for all other relations of life. Yet, respect for the Greater Circle of life should always come before our personal wants.
There is a practice you can do, after you have built the expressive, outgoing aura of energy, love and consciousness. Remember that this was built from breathing in energy from the Earth and breathing out into the surrounding space. You can practice this breathing-out from one of the three major centers, from the power center at the belly, from the heart center, or from the head center, or even from all three.
Once established and maintained, you can now allow yourself to be sensitive to the energies, feelings, and thoughts from the surrounding space. But instead of just allowing these energies right into your sensitive body, or into your innermost sacred space, you allow the outer boundaries of your aura to be sensitive. It is like feeling and sensing at a distance. Those energies meet your extended aura, and not your body or your sacred space of inner peace and self-truth.
You still feel and sense the energies coming from outside you, but you remain invulnerable. Then, if the energies are felt to be good and loving, you can choose to allow them in closer to you, and possibly into your body, or heart, or into your own thought. This is the key which preserves self-integrity and choice, while developing sensitivity to the environment, and it gives you the choice as to what shall be allowed into your inner sacred space. So you receive impressions and energies at a distance, and then you can gradually allow the good to come closer and finally into you, if you so choose.
Another way to develop sensitivity to energies is by using the hands to feel energies, and then the energies stop at your hands, or just beyond your hands. The point is to be sensitive without necessarily being vulnerable, though if you want to allow energies or feelings into your inner being you can by consciously and decidedly allowing them in. We can actually become sensitive to things and energies at a great distance, by extending our attention and senses outward. You can practice this by focusing attention on a tree, a place, or a person, which is some distance from you. Extend the consciousness and the senses out to this, then feel it at a distance, or you might just know what is at a distance beyond the normal senses.
Next try a different way, which is to allow the impression and the energies to come to you. This is then received by the sensitive aura around you. Basically, these are two ways of sensitivity. One is to reach outward with the mind and senses, then feel this at a distance. The other way is to allow this impression, this form or spirit or energy, to come to you and meet your sensitive aura. In both ways, the sensitive aura is effected by the impression. But remember that it is your sensitive aura which makes contact, or receives the impression, while your inner core of self-feeling and self-integrity need not be affected. If the energies feel negative, then you can repel them at a distance, or just let them dissipate at the boundary edge of your aura.
If your self-aura is weak, then any impressions and energies from outside will easily come into your sacred vulnerable space. But if your aura of integrity and sensitivity is strong, then this will catch and filter those energies, and you will have the choice as to how much you want them to effect your inner being. Thus, the degree of your sensitivity, and how close you allow energies to you, will be by the power of your own choice. You learn to check everything out at a distance, and if good or beautiful, then you allow this closer into your sacred space at the most sensitive core of your being.