[from newsletter 2]
The first time I attended a Pipe Ceremony, I had an experience of community and spiritual connection that I knew right away felt missing in my daily, self-occupied life. It is an experience so removed from our daily life; we are given permission, even encouraged to speak from our hearts, to lift the burden of the unspoken out into a circle of others who hold the space and listen from their hearts about whatever comes up. There is no dogma, there is no judgment. My friend Fred likes to say, "Spirit is running this show." This man, Fred Wahpepah, who holds and guides this circle has sat in countless ceremonies. I see in him a patient, humble and loving human being. He is willing to spend his time Iistening to the trials and tribulations of the ones who come to be in ceremony with him.
In fact, he has dedicated his life's work to this very task. He is an elder, and I have the utmost respect for him. As I said, he is human. He has his own trials to deal with and that is why the circle works. The Sacred Pipe, representing the life of the people, carries our prayers up to the Creator. As the Sacred Pipe passes in the circle, we are reminded that we are related to all of creation. And what a great reminder to know that we are not in it all alone.
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