From the editor.
I think most of us feel a sense of lack in our lives, whether we admit to the feeling or not. We're confused; somewhere along the line we were told that if we could just get (the promotion at work, the early retirement, the new car, the right spouse), then we would live happy and fulfilled for the rest of our days, and this feeling of incompleteness would disappear forever. Many Americans live and die by this pervading cultural belief, wishing on their deathbeds that they could warn their loved ones that that fulfillment never actually arrives. They're left wondering how they missed out, how they let their lives flow on, carrying them through daily tasks with no deep joy of fulfillment to make it all really worthwhile.
Often, modern Americans who have the gift of spending time in a traditional culture for a while experience an eye-opening. Unless the culture is feeling the uncomfortable side-effects of modernization, the people of the traditional community are often filled with a quiet, constant joy and satisfaction with their lives, no matter what their situation, the feeling that many of us moderns only dream of having. This is the magic of living tradition. Somewhere back there, whether a generation ago or hundreds of years ago, every one of us has ancestors that lived steeped in living tradition. By living tradition, I mean a way of life that allowed each of the members of their community to connect deeply to the divine world within which they lived, that same world that we live in now. This connection has been made throughout the world by myriad cultures in different ways. However, by perceiving these traditions not with the mind but with the heart, the different and beautiful roads taken all seem to lead to the same place, this same connection to the world around us and deepening into the divine. Each of us is blessed with ancestors who have arranged important and meaningful ways of reaching this deep joy in life and living in it all the time. For many of us, centuries have gone by since our families lived in this connected way. Fortunately for us, these ways are still open to us if we, in rum, open ourselves to the teachings of the elders of cultures that still have elders, cultures that are still living their traditions, or can remember what living them was like.
This issue of our magazine is steeped in the gifts of living traditions. In the spirit of thanksgiving, we are grateful to Ted Williams for the shining gift of his ancestral prayer; to MariJo Moore for her insight into sacred places and, with Vine Deloria, a new value placed on the old truths; to Richard Cleveland for his work with reconnection; to Reyna Casco for sharing her Hispanic traditions; to Cine' Evans for looking to her elders for her ancestral medicine; to Doug Eiliott for his stories keeping the magic of the mountain people alive; to James Whittle for writing from and about the heart; to Pat Kilpatrick for bringing the magic of Thai traditions to this land; to Michael Clark for bringing two ancient eastern traditions together; to Sue Roalman for sharing plant wisdom; and to Cathy Holt for helping people connect with each other better.
In the Georgia edition, thanks to Kathy Kacena for sharing the ancient Asian movement traditions; to Irina. Bukshteyn for providing healthy options for cancer prevention; and to Anna Dodd for exploring options for healing from the inside out. In the Carolina edition, thank you to Steve Coward for bringing clarity to our healing choices and, to Charlie Jackson for his great work reminding us to value and uphold our farming traditions. Also, a big thanks to the wonderful staff of New Life Journal, each and every one. Three times three times three big time thank yous to all of you, and to the readers who help this magazine grow and improve. And, most importantly, to the magic all around us that offers joy to everyone, we send our thanks.
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|Publication:||New Life Journal|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2003|
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