Thursday, May 12, 2011

A practice of joy and dedication

Artist: Albert Bierstadt

I find myself gravitating toward Huston Smith this morning. He is the great scholar of world religions who is a practicing Methodist himself. Here's something he said that has appealed to me over the years:
The Winnebago medicine man Reuben Snake was my pre-eminent teacher from the Native Americans. I recall one of the things he taught me. He told me, 'Huston, our tepees are pointed east, and when we stepped out of them in the morning we would throw up our arms and shout Aho! when we saw the sun. Huston, you should do that, too.' And I do. At my first glimpse of the sun I raise my arms and shout 'Aho!' I did it this morning. The first time I see the sun it infuses me with this inspiration, just like the sunlight brings vegetation and the beauty and all life.
I'm very fortunate, really, in that my little house faces east so that when I open my front door first thing in the morning, I often see the sunrise. I have intuitively been doing this practice! Encountering the above quotation again inspires me to include the "Aho!" greeting as part of the ritual.


  1. Reuben Snake! Funny guy. "Your humble serpent," he'd say, shaking your hand...


  2. I do love the sun but it's as much as I can do to get up early and do the school run on time and get to work. Watching the sun rise is an ambition.


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