But the sacred is not only an internal thing between your soul and an unseen deity.  It is also your body and the world around you.  Prayer is not just thoughts in your head or words whispered in quiet corners.  It is the actions of your hands, the choices of your heart, and the places you walk every day, all created by Spirit and of Spirit. Your body is not a car for your brain to ride around in.  And it’s not some animal you have to tame that gets out of control.  Your Spirit, brain, emotions, and body can be seen as separate entities, but really they are all you and each is an equal part.  Your body and how it functions isn’t any less than your mind. What it does is just as prayerful as prayers said in your head. Spirit is not only somewhere in some imagined out there and inside you hidden from yourself, but in everything around you. Yep, everything.  I’m not saying you need to live trap spiders in your bathroom or feed the ants in your kitchen, but I am saying that everything partakes of the numinous in every moment of every day.  So cleaning your kitchen is an act of communion with the all and gardening really does get us closer to a state of grace and champagne really can ‘life your spirits’ and talking to your electronic devices makes more sense than you ever dreamed.

And not everyone has forgotten that.  Unlike the West, some cultures retain a sense of the physical union with Spirit.  Most indigenous cultures see no separation between what is divine and what is physical and have created a way of living their lives which incorporates and celebrates this. In North America the First Peoples or Native American, Inuit and Métis strive to revive their cultural practices and to reconnect with the land. Public Pow Wows are a good way to experience this first hand.  Pow Wows were developed by the First Peoples in modern times as a reaction to relocation and allow Natives of any tribe to gather in one place and experience community.  One way in which this is done is through dance.  Each element of the dance is a prayer in all its components, emotional, spiritual, and physical.  Every item of regalia a dancer wears is symbolic and hand crafted with prayerful intention and consecration. Wearing it is an act of union with the all and a statement of “I Am”.  The dancer takes responsibility for living up to the role of a dancer and keeping the regalia in a sacred manner.  Other members prepare the dance arena, consecrating it to sacred space for the entirety of the pow wow.  No one may enter or leave it without recognizing it as such and comporting themselves in a prayerful manner.  The drummers hold the drum as sacred, as the voices of their ancestors and of their Mother the Earth.  The drummers and the dancers act interconnectedly for without each other they are incomplete.  The drummers sing songs, brought to them by Spirit and practiced for months to achieve perfection.  Dancers enter the arena and become the prayers they hold in their hearts, dance to the drums’ voice, each movement honoring the seven generations past, the seven generations to come, and all living things in their connection to the all.  We have come from Spirit, we are of Spirit, and to Spirit we shall return.  I Am.