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Morning Coffee Thought: Reflections on the Medicine Wheel

Not all nations are given the same teachings. Not all nations use the same concepts of sacred items. That doesn’t mean that they are wrong. We have to understand that these things we use, are only “tools”. I heard an a story one time where this Elder lost a bundle that was 500 years old to a fire. The person who shared this story with me, said that they thought this would have devastated this Elder. On the contrary, this Elder said, “Those items served their purpose. They helped many people attain the things that they needed to achieve. Those items had finished their jobs. Nothing lasts forever. We use these tools in a manner to achieve enlightenment. When one reaches a certain stage of enlightenment, one understands, that you don’t really need those things, you only need look inside yourself and understand that all those teachings are already inside you.”

I share this story, because it helps me “innerstand” things more clearly. It helps me help others too. Many people from many different nations have stated that they wish they had what we Indians have. That we are fortunate to have elders and teachings to show us the way. This is true to some extent. We all need Elders, and they should be treated as National Treasures. But good Elders will only open a door for you, and you will have to walk the path and learn the things you need to learn. When other people come to me seeking or asking for help, I try to do so that is within my ability. I direct people to people that I think can help, or I just try to open a door for someone that they might not have known was there.

Anishinabek use the Teaching of the Medicine Wheel. Not all nations use this concept, but its the tool that I use to help innerstand, and help others innerstand as well. There are 4 parts to the Medicine Wheel. Each direction has many different meanings and teachings. Many different nations will have the colors in different places, will have different medicines and animals in different places. One concept that I see that remains the same in the Medicine Wheel is the use of Spirit, Emotions, Mental, and Physical.

Colonizer society, only focus’s on two concepts, in most cases one. They focus on the mental, and only most recently the physical. This concept of emotion, and spirituality is mostly an alien thing to them. The enlightened ones will innerstand.

If you are lost, and feeling lost, sad, destitute, or sick look at the four concepts of Emotion, Mental, Spiritual and Physical. Study each concept carefully. How are you keeping each one in balance? Too much of one will offset the other. Go through a daily check, and make sure each one is being fed equally.

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