Medicine Wheel ~ East ~ Rising Sun ~ Clarity of Mind ~ Breath of Life
Medicine Wheel ~ East
~ Part 3 of 3 ~
~ Rising Sun ~ Clarity of Mind ~
~ Breath of Life ~
A Sacred offering of our learnings with Love
by Vince and Rebecca
~ We publish this a after the cycle of the Eastern Direction, as we have embraced the need for Balance, Rest, and Retreat shortly after our first Draft was written closer to the time of Spring Equinox. For us, this is a humble journey of documenting and sharing some of what we have come to understand about the Magic and Cycles of the Seasons, knowing that these will be there for all of us to expound upon and share our deepened life learning in future year cycles. We can also use the Medicine Wheel and Seasonal Cycles as a way to understand where we are at and what we need in the Medicine Wheel Cycles of our own Lives. ~
Medicine Wheel Direction of the East
Color ~ Yellow ~ The Element of the East is Air ~ Breath of Life ~ Rising Sun ~ New Beginnings ~ Spring ~ Birth ~ Dawn of Consciousness ~ Clarity of Mind ~ Illumination ~ The Golden Door ~ Planting Seeds ~ New Life ~ Awareness ~ Awakening ~ Eagle ~ Eagle Vision ~ Winds of Change ~ Winged Ones ~ Freedom ~ Balance
In the Medicine Wheel teachings of the East, we honor, give thanks and praise to Grandfather Sun who brings the light and freshness of a new day ~ With each sunrise, a new dawn Awakens, an offering of a new creation as the Gentle Brilliance of New Moments are born, the Golden Rays of the Sun’s Radiant Light touch our hearts and minds with the Grace of Love and splendor of infinite possibility.
We breath the freshness of the morning Air and receive our Creator’s holy Breath of Life as though it was our first breath, filling our whole being with Aliveness and Wonder.
As our ancestors have done in all parts of the world for thousands of years, we greet the rising Sun, offer prayers, and receive. Standing upon our beloved Earth Mother with open arms, we breath and stretch into the Sun’s golden radiant warmth, revealing our open hearts, beating with Awe and Gratitude for this Wondrous gift of life, as every cell of All the world receives the regenerative mystery of Grandfather Sun who awakens the whole world into being, bringing newness in every moment. Without the Sun, we would not have life.
It is with this reality of the Great Eastern Rising Sun that we can see with clarity the basic goodness in life. “The way of the Great Eastern Rising Sun is based on seeing that there is a natural source of brilliance and radiance in this world…” (Chogyam Trungpa) This understanding of Basic Goodness and the illuminating practice of meditation, learning to come to presence and stillness are teachings that come from the East where the philosophies of Buddhism originate and, (according to some first Nations creation stories) the Yellow Two Leggeds were born.
There are ancient teachings of the Great Eastern Rising Sun that arose out of Tibet even before the dawn of Buddhism and Chogyam Trungpa shares his deep awareness of both traditions in his highly cherished book, SHAMBHALA The Sacred Path of the Warrior, where he speaks of how gentleness and tenderness open us to the experience of Clarity of Mind. He writes, “When you are fully gentle without arrogance and aggression, you see the brilliance of the universe. You develop a true perception of the universe…”
Trungpa expresses that the way to develop this kind of Wakefulness, True Perception, and Presence is by synchronizing the body and mind through the practice of meditation, sitting with upright posture, between heaven and Earth, focusing on our breath, and allowing any thoughts to pass without judgement or attachment, always coming back to the posture and the breath. He Says that, “When mind and body are properly synchronized, then you have clear perception and you have a sense of being without doubt, being without the tremors and the shaking and the shortsightedness of anxiety, which make your behavior totally inaccurate.”
In our experience of this, Clarity comes from a certain kind of Balance, related to body mind and heart. Without Heart, without Empathy, Compassion, and feeling the Mind is lost. We may find ourselves continuously cycling through habitual thoughts or to-do lists. On the other hand, if we immerse in feelings without the Balance of the Mind we can also find ourselves lost in emotional overwhelm or reactiveness. In both of these polarities we humans tend to be out of sync with our bodies. The mind can help us understand our feelings and make new choices about ourselves, our perception of the world, and actions we take that will lead us to peace, presence, and connectedness. Awakened Heart brings Clarity to the Mind.
“Through the practice of sitting still and following your breath as it goes out and dissolves, you are connecting with your heart.” (Chogyam Trungpa) ~ He says:
“if you search for Awakened Heart, if you put your hand through your rib cage and feel for it, there is nothing there but tenderness. You feel sore and soft, and if you open your eyes to the rest of the world, you feel tremendous sadness. This kind of sadness doesn’t come from being mistreated… …Rather, this experience of sadness is unconditioned. It occurs because your heart is completely exposed. There is no skin or tissue covering it; it is pure raw meat. Even if a tiny mosquito lands on it, you feel so touched. Your experience is raw and tender and so personal… …For the Warrior, the experience of sad and tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness… …We are not talking about the street – fighter level of fearlessness. Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others.”
The qualities of Heart and feelings are mainly represented in the Western quadrant of the Medicine Wheel with Water and, as (we have been exploring) the Mind is represented in the East. As we learn from the teachings of Shambhala and Buddhism, we see that Clear perception and the Illumination of the Mind is in symbiotic relationship with Awakened Heart.
This understanding can give us some insight on how the Wisdom of the Medicine Wheel works on a practical level. The Medicine Wheel guides us in Balance. When we feel the need for Clarity of Mind, we can stand in the East where the Mind is represented and look across the Medicine Wheel to the West where the Heart is represented and see that it is the Heart we need, in order to create the Balance and Clarity of Mind we are seeking.
In some Indigenous traditions, we are taught that we can experience illumination through the Golden Door in the East.
On these ancient sacred pathways, we can learn to journey in spirit with the drum to receive the vision and messages we need and, return home to embody the wisdom we gained. This ancient sacred way can lead us to the Golden Door yet, as with the sitting practice of meditation, it is good to receive guidance and training in these ways from someone with integrity and experience.
Jamie Sams speaks about the Golden Door in her book called: Sacred Path Cards; “In our Seneca tradition the East is also home to the Golden Door. This door leads to all other imagination and awareness. To pass through the Golden Door is to see beyond the mundane and to touch Father Sky. Riding on the Eagle’s back, beyond the mundane to true freedom of true knowing often occurs when one journeys through the Golden Door. On the other side of the Golden door, there is no limitation, no hesitation and no fear. Fear cannot exist in the presence of the golden love of Grandfather Sun. Truth abides with us when we challenge our limitations and move through any set of negative thoughts into the expansiveness of lofty ideals, allowing ourselves to see the Golden Light of Understanding.”
With this Golden Light of understanding ~ Awakened Heart to the interconnectedness of all Life ~ Love shows us the way. From here we can ask: “What would love have me do?” and “What is in the highest good of all my relations?” As we bask in this warm Golden radiance, we hear Love speak to us through Great Spirit. By approaching the Golden Door with inner stillness and loving intention, we have faith to know that the messages we receive are congruent with our highest good.
We are so grateful to share some of our learnings from these great teachers, as they have been foundational to our well-being for many years and continue to guide, inspire, and transform our lives.
From experience, we know that connecting with gratitude to these ancient messages of the East will bring Many Blessings!
Rebecca and Vince