Aho Mitakuye Oyasin... All my relations. I honor you in this circle of life with me today. I am grateful for this opportunity to acknowledge you in this prayer... To the Creator, for the ultimate gift of life, I thank you. To the mineral nation that has built and maintained my bones and all foundations of life experience, I thank you. To the plant nation that sustains my organs and body and gives me healing herbs for sickness, I thank you. To the animal nation that feeds me from your own flesh and offers your loyal companionship in this walk of life, I thank you. To the human nation that shares my path as a soul upon the sacred wheel of Earthly life, I thank you. To the Spirit nation that guides me invisibly through the ups and downs of life and for carrying the torch of light through the Ages. I thank you. To the Four Winds of Change and Growth, I thank you. You are all my relations, my relatives, without whom I would not live. We are in the circle of life together, co-existing, co-dependent, co-creating our destiny. One, not more important than the other. One nation evolving from the other and yet each dependent upon the one above and the one below. All of us a part of the Great Mystery. Thank you for this Life.
Aho Mitakuye Oyasin is a simple yet profound statement. It comes from the Lakota Nation and means all my relations. It is spoken during prayer and ceremony to invite and acknowledge all relatives to the moment. To most of us today, relative means a blood relation or another human in the family lineage. We have not been taught that an entity, other than human, could be a relative. Understanding this simple statement and contemplating it, could change your outlook on life forever. If you love and honor your relatives, you would be loving and honoring most of what is on this earth, if you lived by this meaning of “relative." What a different world we would be living in! Sit with this statement, see the Truth in it. Everything is related because it all emanates from one source and has purpose. Truth can be found in Native philosophy, Buddhism, Christianity, Judism, Islam, all belief systems, because they are all related. I have studied Buddhism and found Christ. I have studied Native philosophy and found Buddha. I have studied Mother Nature and found self. Truth does not owe homage to humans. Humans owe homage to Truth. Aho!
When we dare to face the cruel social and ecological realities we have been accustomed to, courage is born and powers within us are liberated to reimagine and even, perhaps one day, rebuild a world. —Joanna Macy, “Entering the Bardo”