From Dakota Sacred Circle to Mother Africa


Dear Friends & Relatives:

In March of 1983 I had a life changing experience in an Inipi (sweatlodge) ceremony at the homestead of Dakota spiritual leader Amos Owen.  Nothing has been the same since as I got a big dose of Ancestor Energy that came to me in that womb-like Sacred Circle sitting on the ground, I experienced something I would call a rebirth.  Nothing has been like it was before since that ceremony.  Now it seems like I am in for another life changing experience as I am leaving Turtle Island (North America) for three months in Ethiopia to visit sacred and historical sites with family there. 

I have wanted to visit Mother Africa ever since I got out of college.  As Charlie Parker and Miles Davis played a month before my birth in 1945, Now is the Time and now thanks to my sister Elsa Hiwet, it’s happening!

I am letting go of “here” for a while to make space for something else in my life that I feel has been a long time coming.  This is about the next chapter of life, another stage of development on a path of lifelong learning.  The classroom is the road.  Teachers are the people.  I am still growing, still becoming.  I am imagining doing my work in the world in a way that is more overtly spiritual and aggressively committed to community building.   I am feeling pulled into a more turbulent present and future where my spiritual work in the world requires that I be more grounded, more compassionate and informed by a sense of courage I am growing into day by day, breath by breath.

I am giving up my employment with Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota and will be unemployed for at least three months while I am gone.  

I will be leaving on December 14 for Addis Ababa and returning on about March 15.   Right before I return I will be doing a ten-day Vipassana Retreat right outside of Addis.  This will be a good way to process and digest all I hear, see, intuit, taste and touch wandering through Ethiopia. 


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Reporting for this article supported in part by Bush Foundation.