Ojibway Song

by Ojibway (Anonymous)

English version by Ivan M. Granger

     I go about pitying myself.

Yet all the while
     I am carried by winds
     across the sky.

-- from This Dance of Bliss: Ecstatic Poetry from Around the World, Edited by Ivan M. Granger

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Usually, all it takes is a shift in perspective.

We frequently feel hurt or angry or sad or just trapped. The common response, especially in our task-oriented modern era, is to decide what we are going to do about it. We try to take charge. We act, we do, we fix. And, yes, that approach can be useful in many circumstances.

But we need to make sure we don't ‘do' as a way to avoid feeling. Frequently we have an impulse toward action because, otherwise, we will have to feel, and what we actually feel may not be pleasant or contained. But if we don't feel fully, some part of ourselves has been shut down, separated from the whole, and our field of perception has narrowed.

That's the other reason not to rush to action. ‘Doing' can become a way to reinforce our limited ideas about reality. Action is like a ritual, it makes everything feel more real, more imprinted in the mind. This can be a good thing or it can be a trap. It depends on whether or not we are seeing clearly.

In any situation, the first thing to do is to not do anything. Instead, we should first allow our perspective to shift. We must see what we see. This is the most potent act possible. Seemingly doing nothing, all of reality changes. The willingness to step aside from our own internal dramas allows us to recognize and utilize the great currents already flowing soundlessly through our lives. Then, in harmony with that underlying momentum, should we choose to act, our actions have a power and purpose, bringing extraordinary results.

We soar, we dance, we are carried by winds across the sky.

Recommended Books: Ojibway (Anonymous)

The Essential Mystics: Selections from the World's Great Wisdom Traditions The Path of the Rainbow: An Anthology of Songs and Chants From the Indians of North America

Ojibway Song