At our Workshops with my teachers, we often get new people coming in who know nothing about us, but something in them feels called. My teachers are very generous and welcoming to newcomers. Everyone at the workshop gets what they need and more. But sometimes what we need may not be what we think, or want or even like.
There were many times I was called on my imbalances, illusions and ego related actions. In our traditions, we expect people to hear what we are showing them and look at it, find humility and integrity to go inside and do the work. When someone new comes in, they often see the initiations as criticism. It is natural for the human ego to be defensive. That is our first reaction. The ego is built to defend and survive at all costs.
The key phrase is "at all costs". Even when we know we are wrong, being disrespectful, selfish, small minded, competitive, linear in our thinking, etc... we still feel the impulse to defend our point of view. The trick is to get over yourself. Think circular, collective.
When a Master, Teacher or Wheelkeeper brings consciousness and you came to them to learn, it only makes sense to listen to what they are telling you. Or else why are you there? Is it to show off your wisdom and knowledge? To have some thrills? To experience the phenomena that comes with Shamanism?
Many people will come and many will go, few will stay and do the work. It is not an easy path, I have said that before. A spiritual path is about seeking Wholeness, Enlightenment or Divinity. We need to go beyond what we know, beyond our perceived limitations and beyond our ego issues, needs and desires. It is fine to have needs and ego, but to be balanced and disciplined in them. Ego after all, is the Moons, our Inner children, who too often are running the show. When in our Moons, we can be irrational, emotional, selfish, and linear in our thinking. And immature.
When people come to our circles or workshops with expectations or ego, they don't stay. That is fine with us. We are not looking to convert anyone. But we do ask that you be respectful of the territory you are in, that you come to learn from us, not to teach, preach, judge or condemn.
If it is not for you, that is using discernment. But too often discernment becomes judgement, which can be hurtful and is based on ignorance.
Our people have been persecuted, murdered, judged, condemned, shamed, mistreated in every way possible for the past 500 years. And we are still here, but not in the same way as you may think. Is anyone the same as their Ancestors were 500 years ago? We do not walk around with headdresses or buckskin clothes. We do not all talk the old languages, we do not all have brown skin. But if you take time to look beyond the surface and see the Heart and Spirit of a person, you will see them more clearly.
It takes time to learn new/old ways. Our ways are ancient. They come from decades of tradition. And it is not just about the smudging, drumming, prayers and rituals. It is about the values, ethics, morals, beliefs and practices of Indigenous ways. These ways are not understood by most. Even many of our own people have forgotten the old ways.
All this to say, when you judge someone without taking time to get to know them, without understanding them over time, you lose out on learning and living an entire new reality. You stay in your own perspective and do not see what others are saying or doing. We often like to stay in our comfort zones, we are programmed to be polite, politically correct and superficial.
It gets tiresome don't you think? What is wrong with being direct, honest and even blunt at times if it is to help someone learn, heal and grow?
Knowing what is your path or not your path is using discernment. But when discernment becomes judgement, blame and condemnation, it is laying a burden on others, one they do not deserve. Better to just walk away accepting that you don't get who they are.
Judgements often come from fear of the unknown, competition and jealousy. It can keep us from moving forward and it creates enemies where there are none. We are all guilty of judging others, its just a matter of looking in the mirror at what we see and knowing it is ourseleves looking back.
Walking a sacred path is about being open to what the Universe is showing you about yourself.