What Feeds You?

Today, I invited my students to consider in class - what fed their bodies, their minds, and their souls. I also asked them to think of the things they fed, that perhaps they might not want to feed. Then, I suggested that they consider the practice as a way to feed themselves...

At a time like this one - when we are in the dead of winter, but also in the midst of hard, economic times - it is good to take time to feed and nourish our spirits, so that we in turn - can feed others...

This weekend, as I readied all my information for filing my taxes, I came across various inspirations things that I had saved at one time or another. I wanted to share this piece, because so many parts spoke to me - and fed me. I sense it will speak to many of you as well...

NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN TRADITIONAL CODE OF ETHIBS
Inter-Tribal Times, October 1994

1. Each morning upon rising, and each evening before sleeping, give thanks for the life within you and for all life, for the good things the Creator has given you and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day. Consider your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek for the courage and strength to be a better person. Seek for the things that will benefit others (everyone).

2. Respect. Respect means "To feel or show honor or esteem for someone or something to consider the well being of, or to treat someone or something with deference or courtesy." Showing respect is a basic law of life.

a. Treat every person with respect at all times.
b. Special respect should be given to Elders, Parents, Teachers, and Community Leaders.
c. No person should be put down by you. Avoid hurting other hearts as you would a deadly poison.
d. Touch nothing that belongs to others - especially sacred objects - without permission.
e. Respect the privacy of every person, and never intrude on a person's private moment or space.
f. Never walk between people that are conversing.
g. Never interrupt people who are conversing.
h. Speak in a soft voice, especially in the presence of Elders or those to whom respect is due.
i. Do not speak unless invited to at gatherings where Elders are present.
j. Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not.
k. Treat the earth as your mother. Show deep respect for all of the earth's aspects.
l. Show deep respect for the beliefs and religion of others.
m. Listen with courtesy to what others say. Listen with your heart.
n. Respect the wisdom of the people in council.

3. Once a council has decided something in unity, respect it, and don't talk against it.
4. Be truthful at all times, and under all conditions.
5. Always treat your guests with honor and consideration.
6. The hurt of one is the hurt of all, the honor of one is the honor of all.
7. Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart.
8. All races and tribes are like the different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful and children of the Creator.
9. To serve others, be of some use to family, community, and nation.
10. Observe moderation and balance in all things.
11. Know those things that lead to your well-being and those that lead to your destruction.
12. Listen to and follow the guidance given to your heart. And expect guidance to come in many forms, such as in prayers, dreams, and in moments of solitude, and wisdom received.

By putting these wonderful dictates into practice, we will truly lead a balanced and whole life where we feed ourselves and those around us - growing in time, into a magnificent garden of wonderous and diverse souls - each one of us - a unique manifestation of the Divine shining our own unique light and beauty!

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