Sacred HoopBeing in the Denver, Colorado area for the past nine months has allowed me to visit various Native America n homes. Visiting one such home today, the patriarch retold a recent passing of a good friend. And being a Buddhist, I found that Native Americans view this earthly plain as a world of learning experiences. Creator places everyone here for only a moment. Each of us comes with many gifts. Thus, these gifts are meant to be shared.

Often they pray to the four directions:

  • East is where the sun rises. The eastern spirit of sun or fire brings warmth and light. It is the place of beginnings. Its light brings wisdom. It is the power of knowledge.
  • South is the sun at its highest point. It is the direction from where warm winds blow. South is the spirit of earth, the power of life. It represents peace and renewal.
  • West is the spirit of water. It is the direction from which darkness comes. It is the power of change, the place of dreams, introspection and the unknown. The west signifies purity and strength.
  • North is the spirit of wind. The cold wind blows from the north. It is the power of wisdom. Here we take time to reflect on what we began in the east, in the morning, in our youth.

Praying to the four directions is a beautiful is symbolic to the Sacred Hoop and is one’s ability to be embodied by all four points. As we journey around the sacred hoop of life, at the point of the four directions, we learn lessons. Some journey at a rapid rate, others slower, knowing they don’t wish to hasten our time here before we journey on to the other world.

Many Native Americans believe we pass over into the spirit world, where we are met by ancestors who passed before us. This world is a world of love and beauty, not to be feared.

In my own experiences, I have heard many who’ve had a near-death experience state it was a difficult choice to make, whether to remain in the spirit world or to journey back to this earthly plain. Some chose to return; others wished to remain in the spiritual state of being.

Regardless, Native Americans, believe our spirits live on. Our outer shells deteriorate, but our spirits choose this life while we are here on our journey.  In truth, as a living Buddhist, as a living Christian, I cannot fathom a better view of life itself.

We are all artists. Share your gifts. Share your life. Life different than I. Live better, love better. Please paint the brushstrokes of love on every person you meet.