Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Honoring the Spirit of the Fire

  • By: Cheryl Roth ~ http://nhfaithfusion.com/2015/10/native-american/
Earlier this week I was invited to a Native American fire circle. I really didn’t know what to expect but I said yes right away. As a matter of fact I didn’t even completely read the description my friend sent me, I trusted her, and the first four words sounded good to me:

“ To honor all life, all Veterans and warriors, all people, and all those who are traveling to the next realm. Sit by the fire and share in the stories told by the Native American Elders and by the storytellers. Come and hear stories told to share the values that sustain a culture.”

Hidden Beauty and Virtue

As I drove through the countryside just west of Manchester toward my friends house I marvelled at the life that is hidden in these woods. Sometimes I feel like living in New Hampshire is like being part of some secret society. There is so much heritage, so many people and lifestyles, such beautiful scenery, but you will never see it from the highway or in the movies or magazines. It is hard to describe, you just have to come and drive through the hills and valleys. It’s like nowhere else on earth.
This drive was a perfect set-up for the evenings event. I met my friend and we drove another 10 minutes to her friends house, Noodin, a storyteller and educator of Native American traditions. It was a very casual gathering of about 12 to 15 people in his backyard, sitting around a fire. It reminded me of the many years of family camping I did while growing up.
Noodin began by telling us that it takes a very long time to get a good understanding of Native American spirit teachings. He said that to really understand you have to learn the language, because Native Americans think differently and express themselves differently than white people. He said that words and expressions can have many layers of meaning so they are not easily translated. He also said that Native Americans teach and learn by “doing”. The spiritual, ethical and moral awareness comes through participating in the traditions and way of life.

Survival of the Human Spirit

Many things that Noodin said were like echos of things I have heard before. There were similarities to the Shamanistic beliefs of eastern cultures, as well as Buddhism and Taoism. Even the ‘Creation Story’ had similar traits to the Judeo-Christian creation story. It amazes me how there is this timeless worldwide connection to a belief in the invisible human nature and the spirit world. Noodin also mentioned that Native Americans do not put down other beliefs and traditions – but they would also like to preserve their own.

“To Native American Aboriginal People there is no one way to honor the creator and the creation. The Elder will often say, “all of Spirit understanding is true.”

It’s not easy to preserve spirit traditions and teachings because life offers so many external distractions. Add to that the historical problem of one culture forcefully dominating another and I would have to say it’s miraculous that spiritual values and traditions survive at all.
All religions struggle with this problem, and all religions have changed over time. Unfortunately much of Native American traditions have been lost due to the brutal treatment of the white culture. But Noodin is a white man who is a living example of restoration in process. He was once an insurance agent, the product of an Episcopal upbringing, a typical white American business man – until he felt called to walk a different path.

The value of teaching, sharing, giving

For a few relaxing hours we sat around a campfire and listened. I felt like I was being bathed in truth and goodness. Noodin invited others to speak several times, but most of us just wanted to listen, to absorb whatever we could glean from his teaching, realizing that there was so much that we still didn’t understand.
Everything that was being taught had to do with living for the sake of others, the interconnectedness of all life, and allowing spirit to lead the way. I was reminded of how important our spiritual life is, and that we have to work at understanding our spiritual nature and keeping the internal in the subject position. I felt so grateful that this man was offering his time to share his heart and wisdom with us.
The current American culture is so focused on material wealth, physical beauty, having more, doing more, being more all the time. In very subtle subconscious ways we are all affected by it in one way or another. But one day those things will all go away and the only thing left will be your spiritual heart and mind. Is your spirit beautiful, loving, caring, giving and sharing?

“To be centered is to stand alone together” Noodin

James B. Beard aka Noodin is the author of "White Mocs on the Red Road ~ Walking Spirit in a Native Way". Uniquely presented to aid people in gaining insight to the mysteries of the Elder teachings of the Traditional Native American.
You can own this book electronically (click) >>> EbookIbookNook BookKindle Fire

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Stories are powerful for cultural enrichment ~ Have a listen.

Hannah Thomas hosts Heartrising Radio in England. The program listed here is the first story in the series she produced in the year 2012. This was also my first radio interview and I am grateful to Hannah for this.
I invite you to listen. Since 2012 I have done many interviews but this is my favorite interview. Please join in and listen as we present Hannah Thomas interviewing James Beard aka Noodin:


James Beard is the author of "White Mocs on the Red Road ~ Walking Sprit in a Native Way". Uniquely presented to aid people in gaining insight to the mysteries of the Elder teachings of the Traditional Native American.
“To be centered is to stand alone together” Noodin
James B. Beard aka Noodin is the author of "White Mocs on the Red Road ~ Walking Spirit in a Native Way". Uniquely presented to aid people in gaining insight to the mysteries of the Elder teachings of the Traditional Native American.
You can own this book electronically (click) >>> EbookIbookNook BookKindle Fire

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Preparation for Spring Ceremony at Noodins Place



ziigwan ozhitaw zagaaswe'iwe danakamigad

Spring Preparations for ceremonies in this place

Greetings to our circle community and all who have an interest,

The land has been rested and cleansed and now is the time for renewal. Much needs to be done to make the area ready for the people. Input is needed from the circle as to times best suited for ceremony, gatherings and lodges. The lodge and grounds need to be put in order.
Through April I am committing my Saturdays and Sundays to making the land ready. Anyone who would like to join with me is invited. My plan is to work on projects to prepare the area from 9:00am to 4:00pm. At the end of the work time I hope to have a fire and circle to give thanks for the people, the land and the work done. The experience will be rewarding and much can be learned of the teachings by doing this work.
Gatherings in the teaching lodge: it has been an interesting winter indeed. As always the winter storms played part in the offering of circle gatherings and ongoing projects. Our circle has a strong core group and the wintry ways of New England did not deter from having some gatherings. Our teaching lodge worked well providing warmth and comfort for circles. We have learned that there is a wonderful healing in having winter circle in our lodge and by the fire. It is a special time and experience.
Moccasin Making Native Fabric: Fabric work continued into December with the making of moccasins, dream catchers and pouches. Having an inside area allows us to continue these projects regardless of weather and darkness of night.
In May 2017 we are looking forward to resuming the fabric work continuing to make many leather goods and moccasins, drums, shakers, flutes, dream-catchers and various beading projects.
Many travels: Lester, Brenda and Michael made several trips to Standing Rock with supplies to support the people with wood stoves, clothing and other items. Stephanie traveled to Egypt to connect with the roots of civilization. Noodin traveled to Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio to visit with anishinabeg ceremony. Jetta attended Unity Dance and is planning a trip to ceremony out west in May. Other members of the circle have been active in speaking for the land, water and air by voicing concerns at various protest gatherings around New England. Cindy Lou and Auntie Crow traveled to Standing Rock in support of DAPL.
Many of the people have endured hardship and growth as well as the bountiful gifts of life during this past year. Our prayers for one another, all life around us and those that are in need have been many through our asema.
So much to do and so little time to do it. Things that need to be done in preparation for ceremony.
Rebuild sweat lodge: Gather saplings and build new frame. Clean area - Raking and mowing, rebuild central fire pit. Repair and improve teaching lodge - set irrigation border around lodge for better drainage. Clean and position lodge covers. Clean tiipii - Set irrigation for better drain off. Repair lawn areas - fill all dug holes and re-seed areas that are bare. Set gardens for three sister garden and tobacco garden - Turn ground and lay out for planting. Set up camper and cooking areas - Open camper, clean and set up cooking appliances. Gathering supplies - Mostly firewood and grand fathers.
“To be centered is to stand alone together” Noodin
James B. Beard aka Noodin is the author of "White Mocs on the Red Road ~ Walking Spirit in a Native Way". Uniquely presented to aid people in gaining insight to the mysteries of the Elder teachings of the Traditional Native American.
You can own this book electronically (click) >>> EbookIbookNook BookKindle Fire

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Original Fireside Chat

For as long as man has gathered nothing has surpassed the calmness of sitting by the fire and sharing thoughts with one another. Our ancestors from every place on earth have done this since time immortal. The fire itself seems to offer peace and tranquility as it reaches out to warm us and connect us with a sense of oneness. 
At our home we have a fire almost weekly and anytime that someone requests to sit by the fire. We have an outside fire to sit out in the open day or night. There is a fire inside a lodge for shelter during the winter months or when it rains. We invite anyone who desires to join us by the fire.
When we gather we sit in a circle around the fire. We all are equal in the creation. Native people use the circle to teach that we are all equal and should be right size with one another. A feather will be passed around. Each person will have the opportunity to speak when handed the feather. You can say whatever you feel called to say and no one may speak other than the one holding the feather. When you have finished saying what you have to share then you pass the feather to the next person.
Each person speaks in turn as the feather travels around the circle. The people share their hardships and concerns and gratitude’s. All of the people in the circle respect the feather and no one speaks out of turn. One can feel the sense of healing in the circle. Tensions disappear and a feeling of oneness and relaxation begins to change time and space into a continuum transcending beyond our daily lives.
“To be centered is to stand alone together” Noodin
James B. Beard aka Noodin is the author of "White Mocs on the Red Road ~ Walking Spirit in a Native Way". Uniquely presented to aid people in gaining insight to the mysteries of the Elder teachings of the Traditional Native American.
You can own this book electronically (click) >>> EbookIbookNook BookKindle Fire