Rose Petal Jam

Getting Back to the Basics

In this modern world of instant gratification, immediate messages, fast food, faster internet, etc., I find myself taking a step back. It seems to me that we try to find ways of cheating for a brighter bright, a whiter white, an oxy clean, a new chemical to treat wrinkles, depression, weight loss, impotence, lack of good digestion… …the list goes on for what seems an eternity. We want a quick fix. We want “more time”.

More time for what?

To pursue our spiritual endeavors? Are instant mashed potatoes really going to help me have the time to be a better person? Or, taking the time to work the land in prayer, feel the earth, dig the hole, plant the potato, nurture the plant, watch it grow patiently, give thanks as you harvest and clean, cook, serve, and feel the kupuri (life-force) and love from the gods as you take in the potato is going to serve me better? Knowing that the process was a shamanic experience and being aware of it, is a choice I have made.

People ask me why do I make my own laundry soap and bread from scratch and cook everything from scratch? Well, the answer is for the journey.

Last year I made rose petal jam. The easy recipe I found called for harvesting the rose petals and placing them in the food processor to grind them down in about three seconds. Another recipe was in a traditional style that called for rolling the rose petals between your hand to crush each one and release it’s flavor. I chose the longer version, which took about an hour. That hour was wonderful! There was something very meditative about it and I could feel the love and had time to give thanks for each rose petal as I worked. This is my therapy.

Sunrise Shamanic Practice

Shamanism by 6:30am

I have been studying Huichol Indian Shamanism with Brant Secunda for 25 years and each year has given me a deeper understanding about how to infuse my daily life with shamanism.

As I wake before dawn each day I think of my dreams and tell them to Grandfather Fire. Speaking with the fire settles my spirit, and sets my intentions for the coming day, reminding me to keep connected to kauyumari (the deer spirit), my heart, to stay connected to the gods, my family, my community and to remember that my daily work is for the wellbeing of the earth and all her creatures.

As I leave my house and drive to San Jose, I often see the rising sun. Again an opportunity to connect with the beauty of life, the power of tauwarika (the spirit of the rising sun), to breath in the sacred colors and honor the energy of a new day. It is a chance to begin anew, to find myself in the circle of life, and to start the day filled with the wonder of the sacred colors of life. Throughout the day I call on the fire and the sunrise; the memory of the images fill me with life force, peace and calmness.

Outside of my classroom there is a beautiful vegetable garden. As I look at the plants, I give thanks for the beauty, the earth, the water, the sun, Takutsi Nakewei (Grandmother Growth). I am grateful for the fantastic miracle that the vegetables grow deep in the city, that they grow as a flower, that they create the air that we breathe, that when I look into their centers I see a green blossom expanding out with vibrant life force.

It is now nearly 6:30 am and I am remembering, feeling, experiencing shamanism all around me. Brant has always taught us that the life force is always there to experience, to see, feel, hear and know. We just have to become aware, to open our hearts to the nierica of life. To let our spirit float through the passageway into the miracle of creation, into the heart of life, into the blessing and the energy that reminds us that we are one with all. This is how shamanism touches me each day.