"A lot of the spiritual work people do is just putting whipped cream on top of a bowl of garbage. You've got to clean up the garbage first before you add the whipped cream.”
- Zalman Schacter-Shalomi
Day 93 - Saturday, September 23, 1995 - I flew from my home in New Hampshire to Memphis, Tenneseee on the banks above the Mississippi River. There I found the walk encamped behind a brick house in a crowded backyard. Jacki Hayward Gauger and Rita Sebastian were among the first to offer a welcome.
"This our third month anniversary on the road,” Rita said. “In a marriage, they say that the first few months are always the hardest as people are adjusting to one another. So we have been through that.
|The Pyramid Arena along the Mississipppi River in Memphis, expresses the classical pyramid form that has been so memorably realized by the original stone pyramids along the Nile River in Egypt.
"What is beginning to happen," Rita said, "something that I am really happy about, and it goes along with the vision that William (Commanda) and I shared the first evening at First Encounter Beach, is that we are seeing the Red Heart leading this walk. Instead of each person speaking about her or his own agenda, everyone is speaking about the same thing when the talking stick gets passed around the circle.
“There is an old Zen Haiku that makes this point. It goes something like, 'Let us get closer to the fire so we may see what it is that we are saying to each other, and that what we are saying to each other is the same. If you say it one way, and I say it another way, how will we ever know that we are talking about the same thing.'
"The healing that is happening within the circle is people internalizing the original instructions and the teachings that come down to us from Native elders about humility, love, sharing, caring, respect, and so forth.
"For us to give these messages about prophecy," Rita said, "we need to walk our talk—and to be a living example of all these teachings. People see who we are. They can see if we are hypocrites, just saying words. They see who we are and how we live, and that is how the healing happens. It is by being with the people that we learn, and that they learn."
Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden
Read Day 94 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire