Seven Sacred Teachings; Respect – Post 3

Continuing our exploration of First Nations’ Seven Sacred Teachings, we add respect to wisdom and love:

“Respect: To honour all of the creation is to have respect. Symbolized by the buffalo, no animal was more important to the existence of Indigenous families than this animal, and its gift provided shelter, clothing and utensils for daily living. Native people believed themselves to be true caretakers of the great herds, and developed a sustainable relationship with the buffalo resulting in a relationship that was a true expression of respect.”

Being able to respect and honour our self while also respecting the other is one of the healthiest positions we can achieve when in relationship. “I am important and so are you” allows us to recognize our own needs while considering the feelings of our loved ones. Respect towards our environment and the natural world holds us accountable to reducing our carbon footprint and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. At times, it becomes about respecting another, even when we might not agree with their opinion or choice.

In any case, we best access respect through attention and regard, reaching a level of esteem we can hold in reserve.

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Seven Sacred Teachings; Love – Post 2

Continuing our exploration of the Seven Sacred Teachings of First Nations we look to their second core value as a way to acknowledge the importance of human conduct and how that relates to our well-being:

Love: To know love is to know peace. Symbolized by the eagle, the Eagle was chosen by the Great Spirit to represent the belief that to feel true love is to know the Creator. Therefore, it is expected that one’s first love is to be the Great Spirit. The Eagle can reach the highest out of all the creatures in bringing pure vision to the seeker.”

Love in this sense is unconditional. It is the knowledge that love, when secure, is perhaps the most healing and tender gift we can give to ourselves, to our loved ones and to what surrounds us. It is the love we experience in our vulnerabilities, in the gentleness of nature and in human moments touched with peace and benevolence. When feeling fully secure in love, we know peace.

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Seven Sacred Teachings; Wisdom – Post 1

In the First Nations community, they teach the Seven Sacred Teachings. Also known as the Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers, they incorporate  core values that they deem to be imperative to human conduct. Let’s explore each one in terms of not only how they are viewed traditionally, but how we can apply each one to ourselves in a holistic and therapeutic sense.

Wisdom: To cherish knowledge is to know wisdom. Symbolized traditionally by the beaver, it is the example of the beaver using his sharp teeth for cutting trees and branches to build his dams that expresses this teaching. If he did not use his teeth, the teeth would continue to grow until they became useless, ultimately making it impossible for him to sustain himself. The same can be said for human beings. One’s spirit will grow weak if it is not fulfilling its use.”

The value of wisdom is about intent to grow. When we set out to continue learning this can come in many forms; sometimes it is book knowledge in terms of academia, other times it is to expand our knowledge of world events, politics, or how to fill out our income taxes. Sometimes it is about learning a new skill or coping strategy in terms of our emotional health. We may desire to continue to learn about ourselves by making self-reflection or spirituality a part of our goal for well-being; we may decide that getting the knack of something is important such as learning how to actively listen to our loved ones or learning how to say no effectively.

In any case, understanding that to cherish knowledge is to heighten its value, bringing the core value of wisdom ever closer.

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Photo credit: http://Photo by Abigail Lynn on Unsplash

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