Cuyahoga River

Cuyahoga River
Cuyahoga River in the Valley

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wisdom of the First Peoples

While working on my current manuscript, I've been thinking about what I believe in. Eastern religions, secular philosophy, yogic traditions, and Mother Nature influence me almost as much as Christian theology. Years ago, on a mission trip, we helped a Dakota tribe build a Methodist church building, and their drum circle performance moved me with its heartbeat sounds. What was most interesting to me was how they embraced Christianity while also practicing tribal rituals. I've struggled with whether it's okay to skip Sunday morning church service to participate in a transforming yoga class or a meditative walk in a park. Why do I have to exclude one to do the other, and why does this daughter of a Methodist minister feel guilty about missing church?

Two films at the Cleveland International Film Festival showed us how the modern world threatens ancient peoples, but also demonstrated how important it is to be true to self. One film, Beauty, an Argentinean film, spoke about how they believed God was in everything until the Church came in and told them there is only one God who is up in heaven. The Mayan peoples of Guatemala and Mexico who were highlighted in Heart of Earth, Heart of Sky have six senses, the sixth one being heart, but their belief system is threatened by the evangelical churches that are setting up camp throughout their villages. The films focused on Western Culture is destroying their way of life by building factories and churches. What if we all just followed our heart, God within, more?

1 comment:

Sharron said...

I find I do my best 'writing' during the sermon. I've given up feeling guilt. I'm figuring it's God helping me be sub-creative. *g*