I hope you are doing well, and enjoying a plethora of peace, happiness, and balance.
I do not usually forward the type of information in this newsletter to my clients, but I felt that these three articles are important and/or of value to many. In this newsletter you will find: 1) A Sioux Prayer Request from Chief Arvol Looking Horse; 2) The closing of the Bodhi Tree; and 3) A thought provoking and insightful story. Feel free to forward this email…
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or inquiries.
Take good care,
From : Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe
Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer. We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations, eventually all will be affect from the oil disaster in the Gulf.
The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we cannot afford to continue to make.
I asked, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.
I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth. As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc’i Maka).
We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.
As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.
So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children’s future and well-being, and the generations to come.
Onipikte (that we shall live),
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipel
By Gendy Alimurung, Tuesday, Jan. 12 2010 @ 4:02PM
Bad news for Buddhists and others seeking enlightenment: the Bodhi Tree Bookstore is closing. Owners Phil Thompson and Stan Madson informed their staff last Wednesday that the cozy Melrose Avenue shop, a nationally renowned and much beloved spiritual center, will be shutting its doors in a year’s time.
After some eight months of discussion, Thompson and Madson decided to sell the property to a local business owner who leases space to several other nearby retailers. The Bodhi Tree opened in 1970. Land values in the area have risen dramatically since then. Meanwhile, the business of selling print books has been on a steady decline. For years, real estate agents had been circling the Bodhi Tree like vultures. In the end, selling the property became a much more profitable option than continuing to sell books.
Thompson and Madson started the bookstore when they were in their 30’s. They are now both in their early 70’s. They were aerospace engineers who left a life of science for one of contemplation and meditation.
“Twenty years ago we felt like it was an expanding situation,” says Madson. “We were concerned the store was getting too big. We had a staff of 100. Publishing was expanding. Spirituality was expanding. But what changed was that the market became widely dispersed.”
Books on Wicca and Astrology and Native American shamanism used to be tough to find. But now every Borders and Barnes & Noble carries a significant selection of religious, spiritual and New Age literature. And what can’t be bought at a bricks and mortar shop can undoubtedly be found online at Amazon. For cheap.
For the Bodhi Tree, the question of how much to grow became one of how long to hold on. Thompson and Madson built most of the wood shelves and fixtures in the store themselves. The floors creak. The walls are permeated with the smell of incense. Two chubby bookstore cats roam the aisles and pause to be petted by customers who call each kitty by name.
Thompson likes to think that the place has helped people who were lost, who were trying to discover who they really are, whether that be through Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. They both worry about what will happen to the community once the store is gone. Where will people go for spiritual solace?
“Perhaps a wealthy philosopher entrepreneur will come in to buy the store and keep it going,” says Thompson. “A sort of philosopher king. Or queen.”
In the absence of a deus ex machina, however, the Bodhi Tree’s fate seems sealed. “We thought we had more time,” says Madson.
X: A Fabulous Child’s Story
(edited and paraphrased by Linda Thurston)
Once upon a time, a baby named X was born. This baby was named X so that nobody could tell whether it was a boy or a girl.
Long before Baby X was born, all the smartest scientist in the world worked out the details of the Official Instruction Manual for Baby X’s parents and, most important of all, to find the right set of parents to bring up Baby X.
These parents had to be selected very carefully. But, finally, the scientists found the Joneses, who really wanted to raise an X more than any other kind of baby—no matter how much trouble it would be. Ms. and Mr. Jones had to promise they would take equal turns caring for X, and feeding it, and singing it lullabies.
The day the Joneses brought their baby home, lots of friends and relatives came over to see it. So the first thing they asked was what kind of a baby X was. When the Joneses smiled and said, “It’s an X!” nobody knew what to say. They couldn’t say, “Look at her cute little dimples!” And they couldn’t say, “Look at his husky little biceps!” They didn’t know how to play with the baby or what to say to it.
Ms. And Mr. Jones had to be Xtra careful about how they played with little X. They knew that if they
kept bouncing it up in the air and saying how strong and active it was, they’d be treating it more like a boy than an X. But if all they did was cuddle it and kiss it and tell it how sweet and dainty it was, they’d be treating it more like a girl than an X. The Official Instruction Manual said “plenty of bouncing and plenty of cuddling, both. X ought to be strong and sweet and active.
On his first shopping trip, Mr. Jones told the store clerk, “I need some clothes and toys for my new baby.” The clerk smiled and said, “Well, now, is it a boy or a girl?” “It’s an X,” Mr. Jones said, smiling back. But the clerk couldn’t help. Everything in the store was in sections marked “Boys” or “Girls.” There were “Boys’ Pajamas” and “Girls’ Underwear” and “Boys’ Fire Engines” and “Girls’ Tea Sets.” Mr. Jones remembered that the Official Instruction Manual said “Buy plenty of everything!”
So they bought plenty of fluffy pink pajamas in the Girls’ Department and Spiderman underwear in the Boys’ Department. And they bought all kinds of toys. Tractors and trucks and a girl doll that talked in three languages and said, “I am the Pres-i-dent of Gen-er-al Mo-tors.”
The Manual said, “Never make Baby X feel embarrassed or ashamed about what it wants to play with. And if X gets dirty climbing rocks, never say Nice little Xes don’t get dirty climbing rocks. Likewise”, it said, “if X falls down and cries, never say ‘Brave little Xes don’t cry.’ Because of course, nice little Xes do get dirty, and brave little Xes do cry.”
Then it was time for X to start school. The Joneses were really worried about this, because school was even more full of rules for boys and girls, and there were no rules for Xes. The teacher would tell boys to form one line, and girls to form another line. There would be boys’ games and girls’ games, and boys’ secrets and girls’ secrets. The school library would have a list of recommended books for girls, and a different list of recommended books for boys. There would even be a bathroom marked BOYS and another one marked GIRLS. Pretty soon boys and girls would hardly talk to each other. What would happen to poor little X?
The scientists had to make sure that X’s mother had taught X how to throw and catch a ball properly, and that X’s father had seen sure to teach X what to serve at a doll’s tea party. Finally, X was ready. The Joneses helped X button on a nice new pair of red-and-white checked overalls, and sharpened six pencils for X’s nice new pencilbox, and its nice new bookbag.
The Joneses had asked X’s teacher if the class could line up alphabetically, instead of forming separate lines for boys and girls. And they had asked if X could use the principal’s bathroom, because it wasn’t marked anything except BATHROOM. X’s teacher promised to take care of all those problems. But nobody could help X with the biggest problem of all— Other Children.
They couldn’t tell what X was by its clothes or haircut. And it was very hard to tell by the games X liked to play. Either X played ball very well for a girl or played house very well for a boy.
Some of the children tried to find out by asking X tricky questions. Like it’s favorite book, which was Lassie. When X said that its favorite toy was a doll, everyone decided that X must be a girl. But then X said that the doll was really a robot, and that X had computerized it, and that it was programmed to bake fudge brownies and then clean up the kitchen. After X told them that, the other children gave up guessing what X was. All they knew was they’d sure like to see X’s doll.
There was a seven-letter-word spelling bee in class that day. And a seven-lap boys’ relay race in the gym. And a seven-layer-cake baking contest in the girls’ kitchen corner. X won the spelling bee. X also won the relay race. And X almost won the baking contest, except it forgot to light the oven.
The Other Children noticed something else, too. X seemed to have fun being good at boys’ skills and girls’ skills. “Maybe X is having twice as much fun as we are!”, they said.
From then on, some really funny things began to happen. Susie, who sat next to X in class, suddenly refused to wear pink dresses to school anymore. She insisted on wearing read-and-white checked overalls—just like X’s. Overalls, she told her parents, were much better for climbing monkey bars.
Susie’s parents were horrified by her behavior. But the worst came when the twins, Joe and Peggy, decided to share everything with each other. Peggy used Joe’s hockey skates, and his microscope, and took half his newspaper route. Joe used Peggy’s needlepoint kit, and her cookbooks, and took two of her three baby-sitting jobs.
Their parents weren’t one bit pleased with Peggy’s wonderful biology experiments, or with Joe’s terrific needlepoint pillows. In fact, they were furious. It’s all that little X’s fault, they agreed. Just because X doesn’t know what it is, or what it’s supposed to be, it wants to get everybody else mixed up, too!
But the other children wanted to have twice the fun like X. So they were mixed up and happy and free, and refused to go back to the way they’d been before X.
Finally, the parents decided to call an emergency meeting of the school’s Parents’ Association, to discuss “The X Problem.” They demanded immediate action. The Joneses, they said, should be forced to tell whether X was a boy or a girl. And then X should be forced to behave like whichever it was.
The principal was very upset. Disruptive influence? Mixed-up misfit? But X was an Xcellent student. All the teachers said it was a delight to have X in their class. X was a very good student. X had won first prize in the talent show, and second prize in the art show, and honorable mention in the science fair, and six athletic events on field day.
Nevertheless, insisted the Parents’ Association, X was the Biggest Problem Child they had ever seen!
So the principal reluctantly notified X’s parents that numerous complaints about X’s behavior had come to the school’s attention. And that an Xamination by the school psychologist was requested. Then the school would decide what to do about X.
All through the examination, you could hear the psychologist’s low voice, asking hundreds of questions, and X’s higher voice, answering hundreds of answers. At last, the door opened.
Wiping his eyes and clearing his throat, the psychologist began: “In my opinion,” he said, “in my opinion, young X here is just about the least mixed-up child I’ve ever Xamined!”
The Parents’ Committee was angry and bewildered. Didn’t X have an identity problem? Wasn’t X mixed up at all? Wasn’t X any kind of misfit? How could it not be, when it didn’t even know to act like either a boy or a girl?
The psychologist whispered to X’s parents. “If I ever have an X of my own,” he whispered, “I sure hope you’ll lend me your instruction manual.”
Later that day, all X’s friends put on their red-and-white checked overalls and went over to see X. They found X in the back yard, playing with a very tiny baby that none of then had ever seen before. The baby was wearing very tiny red-and-white checked overalls.
“How do you like our new baby?” X asked the Other Children proudly.
“It’s got cute dimples,” said Jim.
“It’s got husky biceps, too,” said Susie.
“What kind of baby is it?” asked Joe and Peggy.
“Can’t you tell?” said X with a big, grin. “It’s a Y!”