Water to Drink and a Place to Walk: Harnessing the Wisdom of Gandhi and the Native American Peacekee

In this 6-part class, we explore the courageous life and work of Mohandas K. Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, and other modern day peacekeepers to open up my readers’ minds and hearts to the teachings of 20th and 21st century Native American peacekeepers.  All of these powerful visionaries are asking us to have the courage and wisdom to create a nonviolent future. They stand shoulder-to-shoulder with many of the most well-known peacekeepers of the 20th and 21st century, including Mohandas K. Gandhi, “the Great Soul” who freed India from colonialist oppression without the use of violence and who taught the world about “soul force” as the source of power to stand nonviolently in the face of oppression.

Who are the Native American peacekeepers?  They are men and women who stepped up to bring messages to the world of peace and healing.  They brought ancient practices for forging compassion and wisdom from their people.  They did this despite intense and sometimes violent opposition from some Native Americans. Through their books, and if they are still living, their workshops, they continue to offer teachings of forgiveness, love and transformation to whites despite centuries of genocide and ongoing oppression of their peoples.  Their names are: the Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo (Voices of Our Ancestor:  Cherokee Teachings from the Wisdom Fire, 1987, Shambhala), Ed McGAA Eagle Man (Native Wisdom: Perceptions of the Natural Way, 1995), Sun Bear (The Path of Power, 1983, Bear Tribe Publishing), Fools Crow (Thomas E. Mails, Fools Crow: Widsom and Power, 1991, Council Oak Books), Brooke Medicine Eagle (Buffalo Woman Comes Singing: The Spirit Song of a Rainbow Medicine Woman, 1991, Ballantine Books.), and Ronald Williston Rainbow Eagle (A Walk in the Woods: Native American Spirituality, 2003, Rainbow Light and Company), among others.  These contemporary, late 20th and early 21st century Native American peacekeepers carry on the legacy of spiritual leaders and teachers from the 19th century, Black Elk (John G. Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life and Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, 1961, University of Nebraska Press), Sitting Bull, Chief Seattle, and Chief Joseph whose words still ring out: “I will fight no more forever.” Their spirit of forgiveness and messages of peace and healing mirror the words of the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thich Nhat Hanh, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and others.

In this class, we will read and discuss their work in light of Gandhi’s message of nonviolence and will learn meditations and community rituals adapted from Native American spirituality for developing what Gandhi calls “soul force.” A free lecture is also offered.

FREE LECTURE DATE:  Tuesday, February 1, 7-10 p.m.

CLASSES:  Tuesdays, March 1, 15, 29, April 12, 26, May 10, 7- 10 p.m.

LOCATION:  Tea & Sympathy House, 6654 Plank Road, Batesville, VA

COST for CLASSES:  $160 if paid by 2 days prior to first class; $180 if paid on the day of the first class.

Click here to register.

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