October 13, 2010
"The Importance of Unity at Hopi by 2012"
My name is Kymberlee Ruff, MFT. Cherokee by ethnicity, I was adopted into the family of Grandfather Martin Gashweseoma of Hopi tribe. I have been asked to share the message of compassion from the Hopi/Tibetan Prophecy.
I have been taught by the Elders that the Hopi considered themselves: "The Center of the Universe". What happens at Hopi is a microcosm for what will happen to the rest of the planet and beyond. It is therefore extremely important that there be Unity and Integrity at Hopi. Especially now in our changing world.
I was taught that the conflict at Hopi goes back many years, including the split at Old Oraibi in 1906. Recently some Hopi Elders came to me and said that the conflict resulting from the Return of the Ancestors gathering has increased that rift. I believe with all my heart that by writing this posting, much healing can be created with the intention of Unity.
mural of "Center of the Universe" by Fred Kabotie
Last year I was asked to bring Grandfather Martin to this "Return of the Ancestors" gathering by the organization who hosted this event. I had just been to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Santa Barbara, California the night before.
We flew to Flagstaff, Arizona that night and picked up Grandfather Martin and brought him to the Eagle and the Condor gathering. After only a few hours we left the event that same day and didn't actually participate in the rest of the two week event.
I had a wonderful time and thought the event was an enormous success. It was not until this year that I began talking with people all over North America and I learned that many others who attended the event were very upset by some of what happened.
I recently was told that there was a whole back story to what happened as a result of this event. I was told that this gathering may have fulfilled certain Prophecies but the WAY it went down, ended up creating huge conflicts at Hopi. Unity is so important and I am hoping that by writing this posting, it may open up both sides to be willing to talk and heal.
I have been practicing Tibetan Buddhism for many years now I have been taught that there are many ways to accumulate karma. One way is to be informed of how your actions may have hurt someone else and not do anything to heal it. Now that people have come to me, I have a responsibility to also report this "other" side of the story.
My intention is to give both sides respect and consideration. I believe with that providing empathy and compassion is the way to heal all wounds.
Some people have told me to just "Forget about the past and move on". The thing is, I was told that the feelings are NOT in the past and in fact with the "Return of the Ancestors" movie coming out, old wounds are being opened once again.
This summer I was asked to travel to Hopi to APPLY the message of compassion not just talk about it or write about it. I was invited to meet with a Hopi Elder from the "other side" that did not want the gathering to occur. This Elder is from the Traditional Elders and not from the Tribal government.
As a result of Vows I have taken with the Tibetans, I am OBLIGATED to share what I was told.
I met with this Hopi elder to ask what happened and what could I do to help. My son and I met with him and presented him with a Tibetan Khata (scarf) to show respect. We also brought him a Tibetan Prayer Wheel that has the sacred mantra OM MANI PADME HUM inscribed and sends the prayers out to the universe when spun.
The Elder that I met with when I visited Hopi informed me that they believed that the Eagle and the Condor ceremony was supposed to transpire at a different time. Everything in Hopi is about tradition and timing.
I was told that certain Hopi Elders were not consulted about the gathering happening on April 25, 2009, until AFTER the Internet ads went up. I was told that "many Traditional Hopi did not want this event to happen. They were not asked or consulted regarding this event. After months of the world being told that the event was being hosted by Traditional Leaders and asking for money, these Traditionalists still were not informed or asked to participate. As one of the most sacred aspects of Hopi life being the Prophecies, the Prophecy keepers of Hopi were unaware they were apparently the hosts of this event."
I was saddened when I heard this. I was grateful to have the opportunity to hear about how disrespected these Elders felt.
-- So many people come to Hopi with these great ideas about "how things should be done" without consulting with all the correct Elders. Hopi life is complex and not being of the highest levels of this tradition it is clear we are not qualified to make judgments or demands of these Traditional people. Their society being as complex as it is makes it difficult to understand who does have the right to give authorization for any such events.
A year after the event, I was told that the event did not get certain permission or authorization from the different clans and Tribal members. The Traditional Hopi who are committed to their traditions are left to try and repair the physical, spiritual and emotional damage left by this kind of situation after they leave.
Apparently, the conflict became so contentious that these traditional Leaders asked the Hopi Tribal Council to help them protect their land, ceremonies and way of life from these people. The Tribal Government then created a law that anyone participating on Hopi Land could be arrested. At that point the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the FBI became involved! It sounds like what I had thought was a wonderful joyful event was turned out to be a disaster for others.
As a messenger of the Tibetan ways, I would like very much to apologize for any hurt I may have caused. I believe that we can learn from our mistakes and create a better future.
I am hoping that writing about this can help to create resolution and unity. The Tibetans speak of non-duality: where there is no "this side vs. that side".
No: "my side vs. your side". No: "good guys vs. bad guys". Just "us".
I am grateful for the meeting with the Hopi Elder who shared what else happened at the Gathering. I am hoping and praying that revealing what also happened at the gathering can begin to facilitate healing that is still needed. The message in Tibetan is about COMPASSION.
When I returned home last month, I began receiving many dreams that asked me to write about what happened with the intention of trying to create Unity and Forgiveness between the various "sides" that are not in unity with each other. One dream told me to mention what the Dalai Lama says about negotiating with China: "Opening Dialogue is the best hope for change." I have also studied with Dr. Marshall Rosenberg who founded the Center for Non-Violent Communication. For 40 years Dr. Rosenberg has been teaching the same message:
"Empathy is the cure for all conflict."
I believe that both sides have an important perspective and that they should both be heard.
In 30 years of being a psychotherapist, I have learned that conflicts can be devastating. The wonderful thing is that "disruptions" can also provide opportunities for enormous healing. This is what I am hoping and praying for. There is so much at stake. If the system all falls apart at Hopi, it could open the way to having casinos, etc. The Hopi are the only tribe that have not sold their land for gambling. They are also the only tribe that has never made treaties with the United States.
According to the Covenant made to Maussau the Creator, it is extremely important to protect Hopi and all that it stands for.
I have every belief that this can occur.
OM MANI PADME HUM
May All Beings Benefit,