Monday, November 27, 2017

Striving to be a Living Wopida -- or Filled with Thanksgiving



The following is an edited and excerpted piece written by Chief Phil Lane Jr.,  a member of the Ihanktonwan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations and an internationally recognized leader in human and community development, .and by Daughter Shannon Lane:

Wopida is a Dakota word, with profound, infinite, eternal meaning and transforming spiritual force. It is sometimes called a Giveaway Ceremony or a Potlatch. Wopida also reflects honoring our Sacred Relationship with all Life of Mother Earth. Lala Vine Sr. said, “All Life is a Gift of our Great Spirit, for which we should always give Thanksgiving!"

... When we strive to make our lives — every thought, word and action, a living Wopida — we are blessed by a great spiritual gift. Whenever the inmost chambers of our heart and soul are filled with Thanksgiving and gratitude, our lives also naturally become filled with compassion, love, understanding, forgiveness, joy, happiness, and oneness.

With our lives centered in Thanksgiving, there is no room left for the experience of fear, hate, prejudice, revenge, jealousy, loneliness, and disunity. Nothing remains that separate us and our Oneness with our Beloved Creator, our Human Family, and all Life, seen and unseen.

This spiritual understanding of Wopida requires each of us to live with honor, compassion, love, respect, and harmony with all life, including ourselves! This spiritual wisdom and understanding recognize that the Hurt of One is the Hurt of All, and the Honor of One is the Honor of All!

We are all Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth, the Beloved Children of one Father and one Mother. Each one of us a Sovereignty — Ancient, Imperishable, and Everlasting. For all of these blessings and many more, may we be infinitely and eternally thankful!

Wopida Tanka to All!

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