I really wish I could have sat down with Grandfather Commanda, but I didn’t find the Anishinbek Bimaadziwin until after he passed. What I have, is some of the teachings, that he passed onto others, who have passed on to me. Its taken me over a year, of trial and error, but I finally innerstand this concept of Love that he spoke of. Of course it takes a life time to learn all the concepts of Love, love for Creator, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the 4 elements of, all the creatures of Creation, your wife, your children, grandchildren etc…
I want to touch on this teaching, because well there is too many people running around with this unbalanced concept of Love. Love has been so bastardized, co-opted, and corrupted, there isn’t a recognizable concept of it out there in colonial society. At least not what the propaganda machine is pumping out on the media waves.
There was a stagnation in my development, and growth this past little while that I couldn’t move beyond, until I learned some of these teachings. What I was told by my one of my Elder/teacher/helper was that I was holding onto too many things from the past. Too much anger, hate, resentment towards people that have done me wrong.
This Elder told me, “You have to let go of those things.”
I asked him “How do I do this?”
“With Love” he said.
“But I don’t understand how to do this.”
“Yes you do, you’re Anishinabek, we have a different concept of love, then what is taught out there. When someone is projecting hate on you, or is saying and doing things that make you feel bad. Don’t react back in that same negative way. Those are the people that need the most love. They are hurt and or are broken inside. If that was your relative, would you try to hurt someone that was already hurting? When those people are throwing hate on you, do not respond with it. Respond back with kindness and love. When you do this, they will have no idea how to respond to it. And nothing will drive them crazier. Try it and do it. Your life will change.”
I walked away from that session more confused than ever. How the heck was I supposed to do this? I heard of this concept, and I’ve always attributed this concept to pacifism. Anyone that has ever had to tussle with me, knows that I am definitely not a pacifist. But then I thought deeper and heavier about my own life, and my own struggle then, and now. I thought about how every time someone came at me with violence, or oppression, negative words etc, i rose to the challenge and fought back tit for tat. And I think about all the jail time, institution time that I have done. All those years in a compartmentalized box of internal and external oppression. I thought about all the wasted time, energy and effort that I’ve spent on retaliating.
Recently I was in Ottawa, and it brought back some memories that I will cherish forever. One of these memories, was being invited to an Elders Gathering on the Sundance Grounds in Richmond. I had met the Late Grandmother Louise Wawatie (and two of her brothers there) I met some other amazing and gifted people. At this gathering, there was much talk about the the Late Grandfather Commanda. All these people missed him so much and so deeply, there was great sadness, but there was a huge amount of respect being paid to this man. Grandmother Louise scooped me up under her wing, and assigned me the duty of her own personal helper, and so I got to to be a student. And as a good student I listened. And I listened well…this was after all Grandmother Louise. She told me some inside info on Grandfather Commanda, and told me about his vision for peace, and love. She told me, that many warriors would come to see him, and he would not want to talk about anything unless it had to do with love or peace. (His peace gatherings drew thousands of people from all over the world annually). I was amazed at this concept, and I was confused by it all at the same time. Getting back to my recent visit with the Elder, and my visit to Ottawa, brought back all this work that I have been instructed to do.
I have been thinking, meditating and praying for the guidance and the ability to be able to do what has been requested of me. Lately there has been some nasty things being said about me, behind my back, and over the facebook and such. This was my test you see, to see how I would respond. I won’t lie to you, its hard to resist lashing out. I had to shut off the facebook, and take a walk out on the pier (Victoria BC). Get connected with the water (the feminine energy) and give it away. I thought about these people, and in my mind I actually visualized giving them a hug, and taking care of them. I saw that they were in a place of hurt and pain, and that I the best way I can be of service was to do as I have been instructed, and to respond with love.
As a result, some very powerful, and some very beautiful things have happened. I won’t post them on facebook, but maybe you’ve felt them. Maybe you’ve seen and heard them. (Those who are deeply and or intimately connected to me, might have a better innerstanding at what i’m saying.)
Anishinabek Bimaadziwin. The Good People living the good way of life.
I’ve got an innerstanding of this concept of love. Everything that I’ve ever known about this was and has only been a colonial and peripheral understanding. I see it so much more deeply. Within this concept of Love, there is kindness, compassion, empathy, sympathy, generosity and acceptance. I am re-learning all of this. I have help, many of your right here on this facebook thing are my greatest helpers, and I am grateful for that. But the true gift, is out there…connecting to the natural rhythms of the universe.
Creator created us out of love. Creator gifted us with instructions on how to live on our Sacred Mother Earth. We were gifted with Prophets, Grandmothers and Grandfathers to help guide us along the way.
All this hatred, lateral violence, jealousy that our people direct at our own people….that is not our way. Where are these instructions in the Bimaadziiwin? Show them to me.
We live in a time of prophecy, and that time of great change is among us. The opportunity to forgive, to heal, and to rebuild has never been greater. There is a very specific reason for this… a great shift, and change is coming for us. If you can see and read the warnings, you know what I am talking about.
******Many of my warrior comrades/brothers/allies are probably going to say “Oh my God, he’s gone all pacifist on us.” Well I’ll tell you something to dispel that notion right now. Firstly I belong to the Bear Society. That Society is sworn to protect the people, and the medicines. In order to be trusted with the responsibility, I have to be be guided, and principled in the foundational concept of love. It is my love for the people and the bimaadziwin way of life, that i will defend it with my life. (Every see a bear get aggressive when protecting her cubs? I walk with those Grandmothers and Grandfathers.) I am also Windigokaan (Those who dream of thunder). Ever see the thunderbeings rip roofs of houses, and send trees crashing to the ground? Those are my employers, those are also the ones I walk with. All this hatred being strewn around at my feet and at my door, i don’t have time to delve into that drama. I know who I am accountable to, and I know who’s got my back.