[Paukwa! Pakawa! Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo….]    OUR BIRTHRIGHT AS A CONTRACT WITH THE UNIVERSE

If we view reality from de angle that we come to Earth to fulfill a particular purpose, birth can then be looked at as a contract between dis world en de dunia of the wahenga or other dimensions. This contract is agreed to in different ways. For some parents it is a conscious choice; for others, it is unconscious, but for the incoming soul the choice is always a

conscious one. In all cases the choice to be born is welcomed by all wahenga, spirits, and community. And in this sense we are all part of one large, interwoven community, ever growing, in this dunia en in worlds beyond.

We must remember that our position in respect to dis contract determines de quality of life our spirits will live in our

bodies. After our spirits are in human form, the difficulties of keeping de contract unaltered are always present.

Some people understand these difficulties as important landmarks are able to use them as maisha/life lessons, allowing the difficulties to remind them where to turn when they experience them. Many don’t realize, however, that de circumstances we experience in our lives are things we chose – we could even say “programmed” – prior to being born. And, because of dis state of ignorance or rejection of de idea that we actually plan our course, we often miss de lessons contained in de difficult experiences, en we continue to live in the dark.

If we believe that our greatest wounds are actually our greatest zawadi/gifts, we can embrace de idea that the hardships we experience in our families of origin are no accidents. Whether we are born to loving wazazi/parents, or abusive wazazi, born by natural childbirth or by Cesarean, born into or without a community, born with disabilities, or found in a trash yard, we all have unique zawadis to bring to dis dunia.

Our wounds are not only our landmarks, but our lessons – tools from which we must learn to draw our strength and wisdom. For example, if you find yourself irritated by the lack of true community, chances are that part of the reason you chose to be born in your environment is to bring an awareness to others that community is needed for our spirit and our watoto(children)’s spirit to blossom.

Ofcourse, we would like to assume that we did not have any part in such a contract so that we can blame others (such as our wazazi) or circumstances (such as a lack of time or affection) for our difficulties. Lakini ukweli ni, truth is,we signed up for de obstacles we experience, en when we reject dis ukweli, we spend most of our time feeling stuck and frustrated.

Our spiritual growth becomes stagnant, and our zawadis are not delivered to the world in a way that liberates us. As this way of life continues, our lack of spiritual growth and gif giving can turn into a toxin, a sickness that can destroy our lives.

When people do not fulfill their life purposes, they have to come back and try again, bringing different lessons to help them on their journeys. The question then becomes, How can we move forward in this life and do wot we are here to do? My sense is that we start to take responsibility for signing the contract, and then find, or create, the appropriate community in which we can then deliver our zawadis en be receptive to other people’s gifts as well.

The understanding Dagara people have of pregnancy, birth, and the purpose of incoming souls to Earth makes them take pregnancy and de birthing process very seriously. In fact, they make sure they prepare themselves for the incoming soul in a way that allows for a healthy and welcomed arrival. This overstanding is at de root of preconception, pregnancy, na afterbirth rituals…..

Hadithi-telling as a Ritual

There is a mythical and a ritual dimension to all hadithi/stories. Many rituals have been kept alive through hadithi. The simple fact of telling hadithi takes us into a ritual where we commune with de divine. In my kijiji, there is a prayer made at the beginning of each hadithi session to open de gates to de divine. Storytelling is a communal event (particularly in dis world wide web).

In my kijiji, there are days when the elders tell hadithi, en other days, de watoto tell hadithi. Sometimes watoto start the hadithi en de elders finish it or vice versa. By telling hadithi in this way, everybody is heard.

This is valuable because when a hadithi is told, you can tell wot is happening in the maisha of de person telling it, and it points out wot kind of ritual is needed for that person. And telling a hadithi to a group, family, or community can bring everyone together

Ndotos as a Ritual

Dreaming is one of the places where we dive into rituals without resistance. We can use our ndoto to do healing rituals for ourselves or other people. Again, you need to use and focus your intention, to ask for guidance and answers with an initial prayer before going to sleep, and be willing to receive the information you are seeking.

Often, ndotos send us valuable messages without our asking. Pay attention to your dreams – they just might be trying to tell you which ritual took place and which one is yet to happen, or simply tell you things you need to keep your eyes on.

There is no question that we all, at times, don’t remember our ndoto. This happens when we are agitated, frustrated, ungrounded, defensive, resistant to the work being done in our ndotos, or when we do not find value in dreaming.

If you awaken abruptly before things can be solved in your ndotos, you can carry the nervousness or anger from the dream into your waking hours. Try to wake up slowly and roll back to the side you were dreaming on. Lay down a few minutes and think about your ndoto. Keep a ndoto journal by your bed and write in it as soon as you wake up. You will be surprised by how much you remember and how much work you did during your sleep.

Be creative, and always remember that rituals are serious and should be taken earnestly. Most people practice some form of ritual in their lives without thinking about it. When you celebrate a life-strong, graduation, or marriage, you can turn them into meaningful rituals by bringing spirit, intention, and purpose to them. Think about the joy you receive when participating in a friend’s or family member’s birthday, graduation, or wedding. You can experience the same sense of joy, healing, and connectedness by incorporating rituals into your daily life…..

read mo from the source “Welcoming Spirit Home – Ancient African Teachings To Celebrate Children And Community” by Sobonfu Some.

Asante mama.

Welcome to the circle. Let’s proceed to clear a space for spirit to enter and take a moment to feel our soul connections.

Close your eyes and notice your breathing.

Allow your breath to carry you deeper and deeper into yourself, far, far back in time.

Into a time when….your ancestors met in circles.

Perhaps you can hear the drums, feel the warmth of fiya on your face, feel the bonds of kinship and belonging…….

Each and every one of us had ancestors who sat around a fiya together, drumming, singing, dancing, telling stories, praying…….in those circles people spoke from the heart, they found solutions to their problems, they laughed and they played, celebrated and grieved together.

The memory of this time is in your body, in your bones, in your belly. It is your deep connecshun to the circle. It is your heritage.

The time has come to remember the circle and bring this way of gathering back into our consciousness, into our lives, and into community……


We enter the wisdom circle with a commitment to explore our basic inquiry: How can we continue to survive, dream, hope and carry on in this time of transformation?

How can we release rigid patterns of thinking and broaden our perspective? Let’s set aside philosophical debate and listen to each other with an open heart.

Let’s begin by asking provocative questions, questions that push us to reconsider the values and assumptions upon which we base our lives…..

 

Asking the Right Questions

We often use this inquiry to begin the rounds of a wisdom circle as a way of introducing people to each other. Each person revealssomething personal about themselves. We’ve heard an amazing range of answers to that seemingly simple question….

[i,S.I.S note: in dis global web of the world of a circle, my names are Molisa Nyakale, a pseudonym. code for a vision quest of different worlds.]

Questioning something as basic as our names gives us a glimpse of the ways a wisdom circle encourages us to shake up old thinking patterns…….the kinds of questions that best serve us are those that inspire self-reflection and allow us to draw from our direct experiences. Such questions sometimes spark revelations that surprise the speaker. Sometimes, they uncover old wounds, and tears come with the answers…..

The most memorable wisdom circles are those in which you come away with greater self-acceptance and self respect because the group process helped you to know yourself betta.

Do you feel more empowered, have a clearer vision of your life and how you fit into the larger picture, a better sense of what your unique medicine is, after you have attended a wisdom circle?

Did you have the opportunity to reaffirm what you truly value? Did you experience some relief when you revealed your struggle in the company of kindred spirits? Did you grow in your capacity to listen from the heart? Each of these questions suggests an experience that is possible in circle….

Yes, a wisdom circle is a place for self-discovery, for nurturing ourselves. And yes, a wisdom circle encourages us to engage the world. It is a place to build compassionate community and forge a new strategy for living in a world that works for everyone……

People who have taken the time to “work on themselves” have frequently compiled an impressive list of workshops, books, retreats and vision quests. These folks might be called “inner focused.” They believe that the most compassionate and meaningful thing you can do for others is to work on yourself.

Others have spent their time doing volunteer work, organising political and social activities, restoring the environment, and raising children. These are the folks we might call “outer focused,” and they believe the most compassionate and meaningful thing you can do is to try to improve the world.

Some of us have done a little -or a lot- of both……When we are anchored by an inner reality, a vision, and values we have come to know as our spiritual home, we can “move mountains”.

In a wisdom circle, cross-fertilization occurs between “inner” and “outer”: between our own inner guidance and wisdom, and the experience of others…..we are guided by a reconciling question that informs our lives: “Is it viable to the self and workable in the world?”

(…..) The wisdom circle can be the “heartspace” that helps institutions function productively in a more humane way. It has the potential to heal separations in many settings.

We feel a bonding with the people in our circles and then find ourselves taking that increased potential for relationship out into the world. The deep, warm, strong connections in circle become the standard for our relationships everywhere. Rather than the circle being an exceptional situation, it is a natural meeting ground.

The circle is a dojo- a practice arena-for an opening of the heart. We invite you to join us and explore this process for yourself in the company of kindred spirits…….

Ase, Ase…….

[revised excerpts from] Wisdom Circles: A Guide to Self Discovery and Community Building in Small Groups

Charles Garfield, Cindy Spring, Sedonia Cahill;

The Peace of the Mango Tree

http://www.bmf.org/children/mango-tree.html

My love you, my grandchildren. Come over and sit by the mango tree. I have a question I want to ask it.

“O beautiful mango tree who gives us such refreshing shade, do you have peace? If you do, could you teach us how to have peace? You seem so cool and tranquil. What makes you this way? Can you tell us?”

Children, come closer and listen carefully to the mango tree’s answer.

“I am a member of the tree family, and you are human beings. I do not know if you can understand our peace. Even though God has given you judgment, subtle wisdom, analytic wisdom, and divine luminous wisdom, you also have qualities that cause you to take our fruits, cut us down, and destroy us.

“If you want to attain peace, do not cut down a tree, whether it is useful to you or not. And don’t cut down a man, whether he does good deeds or bad. If, because of your pride or selfishness, you think about taking revenge or deceiving and ruining another person, or of making another man suffer in any way, that will destroy your peace. It is your own state of mind that will destroy your peace. But if you can avoid bad thoughts, then you can be happy and peaceful. This is my advice to you.

“Look at me. Here I stand at the crossroads. Many people come this way. As soon as I start to blossom, they throw stones at me to make my flowers fall. They climb and swing on my branches, but I don’t mind. Even when they hit me and shake me and take my fruits, I am happy. Some people and some animals and birds like my fruits while they are still unripe. Others like them after they have ripened. When they bite into my mangoes and taste them, they become happy and peaceful, and that gives me peace. The peace they find by eating my fruits and satisfying their hunger gives me peace. When I am happy in this way, I can be so cooling and provide shade for others, and that adds to their peace and happiness. When they feel peaceful, I am peaceful. That is my secret. That is what makes me grow, bear fruit, and give cooling shade.

“If you human beings want happiness, you should be like this. No matter what happens in the world, even if you are beaten or attacked by your enemies, you should be very patient and show them compassion and love. If you help your enemies, then the peace they gain will be your peace. This is my advice to you.

” My grandchildren, did you listen carefully to what the mango tree said? Did you understand? Trees have so many good qualities, even though they were created with only three levels of consciousness. They have only feeling, awareness and intellect, but God created you with four higher levels of consciousness as well. God gave you exalted wisdom. If you would use that wisdom to attain at least the state of the mango tree, you would find peace and tranquility.

My grandchildren, as you journey through life, use your wisdom in this way. Do not waste your intelligence seeking revenge against others, because while you are chasing after someone else, your own work will be ruined. When you commit yourself to such devious work, you stray from your own path. The distance which separates you from God will become greater and greater, and you will suffer so much.

It happens this way in the world. Anyone who focuses on hurting others abandons his own path. He neglects his prayers and worship and forgets his good qualities. Because of this, he loses his peace and tranquility, and his life is subjected to sorrow and suffering. But the one who turns to God and focuses upon his own qualities, his own work, and his own path will have an exalted and serene life.

We came to this world by the command of our Father, and while we are here we must live by His commandments and establish our connection to Him. We must complete our duties in a way that fulfills those commandments, and then we must return to Him. That is our work. If we can do that, we will have peace in this world, in the next world, and in the world of the souls.

My grandchildren, think deeply about this. Do your own work and your own duty. Even when you are attacked by others, if you are good to them, it will bring peace to you. My love you. Be like the mango tree.

– M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

ase…..