Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Walk your Talk.

DEB showed me a link of a web page and blog where 80% of the writings were actually copied from my stuff. At first it hurt. I couldn’t understand why someone would want to profit off of someone else’s words and journey. On the other hand, KT said: “It’s a huge compliment and it shows that these people see abundance and beauty through what you’re offering.” She seemed to say that despite their deception I still managed to stay true to my objectives and my vision.

I realize that it always boils down to how you reason things out in the end. Isn’t that the medicine or the wisdom of the 11th Moon of our Sacred Circle? I could look at this situation as a compliment or I could be angry, upset, sad, discouraged or thrown completely in doubt. All perspectives share a dimension of this particular story and all are valid within their own right. What I often see in people is that they dive into an emotion and they personalize it. It becomes them rather than just being a perspective. I always try to remind myself that a perception is simply a piece of the whole reality and not the reality itself.

When I read through CF’s web page I was a bit caught aback by the fact that these people charged money for the teachings and 15$ for chats. I’m not against exchange as many of you know. I even believe it’s necessary to put a price so to speak on what we need in our lives. “Without exchange” I’ve often said “there’s no real manifestation.” Yet, there is a difference between profiting on the teachings and giving people the potential to create within their own personal wheels. Again it’s a question of perspective and nuances in perspective. If anything this particular ordeal has been a teaching on the Medicine Wheel.

Since 1996 when we first had the call to come to internet and unconditionally and freely share teachings on Indigenous Dreaming and the way of the Sacred Circle – we trusted the dreaming. JA and I both wanted to find others who were journeying as Dreamers and who were questing for community, guidance and most of all change. JA and I put a lot of emphasis on the fact that we were students of the dreaming. If at some point we were called to teach we would never forget our role as initiates…We met lots of people along the way who didn’t share our vision and lots of others who did…

This is the way life is!
There is shadow and there’s light.
Finding the balance between both isn’t easy.

Ironically what disturbed me the most out of this whole incident was how these people state in their opening page that “whatever is shared or written on their site becomes the propriety of the web page.” There was a time when people didn’t allow themselves to be taken in photography because they feared loosing their soul. One of the greatest issues in traditional teachings right now is “should we share outside our own community and should we do anything in writing because we come from an oral tradition?” I have to admit that statements such as these as well as this kind of thievery makes me second guess myself a bit…
Lots of people believe that because of the emancipation of First Nation people it is impossible to find authentic traditional teachers anymore. Some will go as far as to state that First Nation people no longer have access to the old traditions and to the old religion. I’ve unfortunately met people who abuse of these perceptions and even profit from them but at the same time, I’ve met people who continue walking the Red road and who continue to believe that Spirit leads the way.

“How can anyone own the territory of someone else?” I wonder. Our First Nation ancestors have been telling us for centuries that the Earth does not belong to us. We are its guardians. I tend to believe the same applies of the teachings. And yet, along the way, the teachings do get tangled up in our stories. There are parts of us in tradition and parts of tradition in us. Does this attempt to tell us that in the end – even us humans are a detail in the grand scheme of Creation and individualism is yet one more illusion that we need to shed to understand it all?

When GP and I came up with contemporary words to describes the Moons of the Wheel to allow modern people to adopt this tool to help them with today’s issues and life challenges, we did hope that we would find our work spoken by many people. The Medicine Wheel is a self-originated ceremony and it is meant to inspire us. It’s meant to awaken in us endless possibilities. The way I see it if “we don’t empower ourselves with our personal potential and we don’t empower others by stimulating their personal potential then it is not sacredness.” I was taught to always honour the stories of others.

• Ask permission to share their stories.
• State their names.
• Give gratitude to the fact that they shared their stories and the teachings within them with you.
• Don’t own what is not yours to own.

Integrity is a big word and it’s one that isn’t easy to cultivate in daily living. I’ve decided to look at this whole incident from different perspectives. There’s what I accept; what I learn; what I heal; what I change; what I can’t condone; what I wish for; and where it leads me… I’m devoted and committed to this path. I plan to continue doing what I’ve been called to do. Yet, I’ll be honest I’m worried about what I should and should not share. Is this avenue the best tool for what I’ve been called to do? Is this the way “we” should do it – to find others of a common mind, body and spirit?

Countless ancestral stories all over our Planet show that persecution, robbery, and the profit and exploitation of others have destroyed too many of mankind’s treasures. It looks like these stories repeat and that we have yet to move out of them… Should we explore them together so we can find a way towards healing? Or should we hide? What does it mean to be a Guardian of the Earth, of the Teachings, of the Dead, of the New Born, of the Names and Laws etc….? Do we continue to explore this and many other teachings of the Wheel and journey together here on internet?

Finally, I did send an e-mail to the creators of CF’s web page and blog in hope to discuss the matter with them but they refused to respond.


Michelle said...

"Should we explore them together so we can find a way towards healing? Or should we hide? What does it mean to be a Guardian of the Earth, of the Teachings, of the Dead, of the New Born, of the Names and Laws etc….? Do we continue to explore this and many other teachings of the Wheel and journey together here on internet?"

This part of the post spoke to me because it made me feel and hear that the path is never easy or that being a guardian has its tests and challenges. The internet has been a wonderful tool to connect people but it also has some detrimental effects in many different situations. Part of me thinks protect what needs protecting...if that means not sharing things in such an open all to view way than so be it. Or do we continue as is and become more diligent in who we allow into those sacred circles? There is universal lessons for all of us from this post I know there were many times that I didnt reason things out this post helped me see a different side. It also brought up for me about sharing and knowing that things that are Sacred like the teachings you have given are protected and will in the end ensure they are kept that way. Colonization didnt destroy the teachings and yes it took years to awaken this maybe this was a test to show us all our dedication to teachers who do hold what they give in a sacred way and to treat it as such. How do we do this? I think by protecting who and what we bring to this path.

Anonymous said...

So, did this guy steal from you too?

Wheelkeeper said...

I find this whole stealing business to be really pathetic! If people take what's not theirs, and abuse it, profit from it, then they don't understand anything about the teachings. I believe it will backfire on them in the end. I believe that Spirit will protect what it theirs. We are just the Messengers. Those who look to be in power, using the medicine of others, will soon find it becomes toxic.

Meanwhile, unfortunately, they seem to get away with it. There is so much deception in this world. How do we know Truth in the midst of so many lies? By taking Truth and exploiting and distorting it, they diffuse the teachings, just like Jesus' message was distorted. But in the end, those who seek, and know Truth will find the right Teachers.

Don't stop trusting, don't stop sharing your wisdom Lisa... some words will fall on bad soil or shallow surfaces and not take root, but those of us who thirst for truth are grateful to drink it in and allow it to go deep into our bodies, hearts and minds. In the end, for those who don't integrate the teachings into their lives, the seed of truth will wither and die.

I do feel for those who are honestly seeking Truth, but they will come to see through the deception eventually... and eventually they will find their way home, to us or to some other authentic teachers.

Love, MaryRose

Ally said...

I've given this situation some thought these past few days, and I have to agree that theft and abuse will take its toll on those who have done this. There is an arrogance at play here, and I know too well what happens when a person comes to the Ego gateway and isn't ready to pass it. The lessons can be sharp and painful, but they are needed, and hopefully, eventually, appreciated for the healing and growth they bring.


Wapeyit Malsom said...


www.astromark --- looks like a First Nation Medicine Wheel. It's very similar to SunBear's approach to the Wheel.

NO - this Wheel is definitely not related to "ours".
Why were you asking the question?

There are many different kinds of Medicine Wheels. Don't forget that the Medicine Wheel is a self-originated ceremony -- so it can vary from people to people.


louise said...

En lisant cette histoire ça me ramène a moi et comment j'étais avant.

Je me souviens que plus jeune, je faisais confiance a tout le monde. Je donnais toujours le bénéfice du doute et comme Thomas je devais mettre le doight dans les trous pour croire que j'avais été dupé et manipulé.
Je pense que je voulais croire que tout le monde avait un fond d'honnêteté.

Mais je ne sais pas si ça m'aurait apporté plus ou protégé plus si me m'étais méfié de tout le monde.

Je regarde Claudine aller elle fait toujours confiance au gens. Elle garde toujours cette naiveté d'enfant. Elle est aimé et apprécié grace a ce trait de caractère.

Oui ça lui arrive d'être blesée et de se faire duper et manipuler mais elle reste toujours la même et en quelque part j'admire ce quelle est et qui elle est.

Heart of Gold (Pyrax) said...

"What I often see in people is that they dive into an emotion and they personalize it. It becomes them rather than just being a perspective. I always try to remind myself that a perception is simply a piece of the whole reality and not the reality itself."

I saw myself in that phrase ... You made me remember that I must see the emotions that comes up in me as a perspective only, not becoming what they are ;) Thank you Okwaho :)

As for the whole site-stealing knowledge thing ... I strongly believe that whatever the intentions are behind that person's mind, it will backfire on them, as said by Wheelkeeper ... I share the same thought on that matter :)

For me, if I may share, I learned in life that people WILL find the right way for them. For example, I was very desperate lately (last couple of years) ... I was so lost ... I didn't know where to turn to. I uncounsciously sent a message to the universe, wanting for someone to find me ... to heal my soul, my very being. And then ... Sarah was presented to me.

I've been blessed and I feel grateful for SO many things that are opening up for me :)

For me, the way I was brought to your community confirms that I WAS ready for it, I just needed someone to take my hand and bring me into it ;)

Now, since we are talking about the internet (which is a VERY open-source for information) ... well, I would simply encourage you to keep more personnal things to more "private" areas of web, if you know what I mean ? (like places that people won't have access to easily, like without a membership) ;)

If anything, then I think it's important to keep crucial information protected. As for those members who are part of the other website that seemed to copy most of your work ... well, from my perspective, if they are ready at some point, they might end up switching from that website to your true teachings (which isn't about exploiting others) :D

I don't know how to explain this, but I always felt this in my life ... the universe has a strange, yet very beautiful way to manifest things in the lives of everybody. I wouldn't worry so much about all this. Be happy of what happened here, I believe there is a good reason for this ;)

True love,

- Heart of Gold :)

FLR said...

Hi Lisa,

If you hadnt come online with the teachings and created the community I may never have found you. And you know where I was when I finally did find you!
Its scary to think..

I went on the blog and I read what they wrote. And I reacted at first, it really upset me, I felt like it was a personal attack and an attack on our community.
This was followed by a feeling of sickness and disgust.
I cannot believe how people who claim to be Shamanic can for starters speak about anyone in the way that they did.
They must feel threatened.
It really is very sad.
Some people obviously never change.
I feel myself that I have been naive to think that people change with time.
Its sad to see such darkness.

I agree with the others.
I would love you to continue sharing and teaching here. I understand now, more than ever, the need to be selective in whats being shared so publicly.

Thank you so much for creating this blog and giving so much to us.

Wapeyit Malsom said...

Thank you to "my" busy bees out there who have been working on this issue and who promised to inform me on any new details... I was informed that in Aug. my complaints of plagerism were finally confirmed through one of CF's blog entries.

For those who are still interested, invested and worried about this particular topic -- I suggest you go read on dragonflyclouds.blogspot.com the title "The Response to RTB" in Aug. 2010.

It looks like one of CF's authors has confirmed the use of my blog. In "her" latest expedition for new teachings or stories to "borrow," she obviously fell on my blog entry "Walk your Talk" and apparently didn't LIKE IT... LOL

You'll see my words in print verbatim (without permission) again through her blog...

The author of this blog gets nasty and predictably attacks my reputation all through her response blog entry.

"If she wasn't reading or "borrowing" your writing" PR said "then, I guess she wouldn't be replying to your posting??!!! It's not as if you sent her to her..."

On another matter, I don't think attacking the journey or growth development of any student is respectful in any way. From my point of view a healer, a Shaman, a Medicine Man or Medicine Woman, a Sorcerer, Sorceress, a Priest or Priestess etc.....should not judge the growth process or journey of people who seek their guidance.

It's obvious this author doesn't plan to humbly take responsibility for copying off of me. I certainly don't pretend to take ownership of the Senecca language or traditions -- quite the opposite. I basically take ownership of my own ideas and the insights that I have received through dreams and my own journey. I think it is awful that this woman is taking "my ideas" and making them pass for Senecca spiritual teachings.

If any of you out there are LOOKING for Senecca teachings in particular I really recommend that you connect with the WOLF CLAN. Get in touch with Jammie Sams and other initiates of Twylah Nitsch (who passed away several years ago and has written a few great books on this topic).

I hope and suggest to all of you out there who are truly interested in Shamanism or Traditional Teachings -- to TAKE THE TIME and ask questions about the origin of the knowledge that is shared with you and do a bit of research on it.

People who have nothing to hide will tell you exactly who were their teachers; where they got the teachings; and won't be afraid to refer you to others who teach in the same field. The idea is certainly not to get worshippers but to grow on this path -- together. Because the Medicine Wheel is a self-originated ceremony -- you'll most definitely get bits and pieces of your insights mixed with those of others.

I don't know about you but the way you present yourself, the choices you make, how you speak about the teachings, your path etc.... speaks for itself. I don't do defensive mode but I do -- do WARRIOR mode which in my world means "accepting the burden of truth."

As for this whole thing about "Dark Shaman" versus.... I guess "Light Shaman"??? I can truthfully say "I have never heard of SHAMAN ever being spoken of in this way." I plan to look into it just in case it's something more to learn on the topic. I'll keep you posted on what I find.

It looks like in the end as always the ANCESTORS manifest exactly what we need in the form that we need it.

WOLIKON (thank you)
By the way - wolikon is NOT Senecca.
It is Malisseet.


WampumBlueRaven said...

I was following the your blogs Lisa but I had no idea how bad this situation was - I red I few things off the blog site and I felt sick.

I have to say I agree with what was stating above, but most importantly just leave it be- they are going through whatever they are going through- and it is best to leave it be - and put your energies in your teaching and sharing your stories with no compromise due to fear of it getting stolen or altered. People know the difference and power can not be stolen as Mary Rose so stated- but the burden of the truth can be hard to bare and hurtful.