New Indigenous Millennium Meditation by Kylee Carter
Around the world, over 200 million people meditate, and the techniques vary according to location. The two things most tied to meditation in Native American culture are spirituality and music, both aspects of which have spanned countless generations. Calming music or sounds are paramount in multiple relaxation processes, meditation being no exception. However, it is only an aid to begin the process. There are refined meditation techniques within the Native American culture that follow the application of music.
The Natural World
Native Americans hold nature - animals and trees - to a high degree. They worship and revere them, viewing them as sacred instructors on how to gain some semblance of divinity. In Native American culture, animals are the guides through meditation. Nature itself acts as a beacon for Native American spirituality. The Earth is the holy land, the provider to all life present on its surface. Through meditation, practitioners hope that they’ll transcend the physical world, much how others attempt the same via astral projection.
Outside of the ways of meditation, ways to better one’s life can be found in the following edicts. “Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.” The other instructions set forth not only detail how to treat nature, but also how to handle one’s connection to the people around them. “Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us. They are part of your worldly family.” Transcending the material world may be a goal of the Native American culture, but it is not the only one. Community and stability are two things they wish to maintain.
Native American Meditation Practices
Before meditation begins, a common process to execute is called smudging. To purify the space beforehand, Native Americans spread smoke around the area using sage, fanning it around with an eagle’s feather. It also has the additional effect of cleansing the auras of those set to engage in mediation.
Totem meditation is a spiritual practice where wisdom is sought via the animals represented on the totems. Each of the animals represents a different core value or strength. The symbols provide spiritual messages, and one of the greatest symbols lies with The White Buffalo (representative of abundance and manifestation).
While the previous two have more direct communal and spiritual benefits, the next two practices revolve around the musical side to enlightenment. The use of drumming and the Native American flute are used to trigger different awakenings within an individual’s spirit. Drumming is imperative in helping the body to balance itself alongside the mind, thereby increasing one’s intuition and their perception. On the other hand, the flute calms the soul, greatly beneficial for maintaining one’s emotional health. However, should there be a lack of those instruments around, playlists to assist in meditation do exist online.
The use of these practices and techniques are facets of the Native American culture to be treasured and respected. Through prayer, through sage, or through music, meditation is an excellent mental conditioning tool, and has benefits beyond measure.