Optimism explained and a Funny Email Address – From Dakota

2nd quarter of the too cold, too soon moon

Rumor has it that some of our blog readers have expressed dissatisfaction with the suspiciously upbeat reports of our experience here. I hear that the entries have been romantic and poetic, omitting the obvious sufferings that our lives must contain.

This is an understandable perception coming from the world that we do… The world of black and white, good and bad… but here we live in a different world.

We are told that the mindset of the Ojibwa is embodied so fully in their language that becoming fluent in the language will shift one into an entirely different view of the world.

I have witnessed many struggles here, but I can honestly say that amongst the adults, I don’t know of one difficulty that did not evolve into a welcome teacher. Truly, the members of this clan are that committed to creating healthy culture. Likely, the riffles don’t become blog entries until after their gift is recognized.

Also, being immersed in nature, the experience goes far beyond the limitations of the English language. This life is poetry. We simply write down as we can.

I am reminded of two songs I have heard the Seekers compose. This by Alexandros, this green season, was 2 revision of another song: Humbly and with gratitude


Hungry we walk here, hungry we sing here

Hungry we walk this ground

Hungry, and in bad mood

Hungry and in bad mood we walk this ground.

…And Rose’s composition of this morning as she prepared to start a bow drill fire in the cold with an unfamiliar Kit:

“Threshold, threshold, threshold

I don’t have to do this,

I just want to have it done”


…On a further contemplation I have uncovered a pocket of unresolved angst. This is with the Seekers who have left the program. So far, we have lost 15 due to inability to work through these challenges. Fortunately or unfortunately, they bring these teachers with them to surface and guide them another sun.

Balance (at) teachingdrum (dot) org

“I need more time with the elders,” I complain “ or time in the wild, alone.”.
They are one and the same, I am reminded.

Here I sit with the elders: trees, wind, stars… The ancestors of all life. Here, the relentless ego chatter stops; resting, reflecting, listening. What I see in this mirror is not physical form, nor the actions, reactions and interactions of fledgling humans (humans practicing/remembering to be God). This reflection of the elders is deep – the center of the center – the heart of the heart. They sing the song of circle consciousness; the wordless voice of the world.

The Buddhist tenant “life is suffering” needs modification (or likely, it has already been modified from its original intention). Life is changing, and adjusting to that change. “Suffering” is the result of resisting adjustment. If we live with open hearts/minds, we experience: thought, shooting out from center – creation – imbalance – and immediately, life attempts to restore balance.

Simple natural science I learned in grade school – the principle of homeostasis.

Balance (at) teachingdrum (dot) org

Long I wondered about this…funny email for a school/business. I don’t wonder about it anymore. The intention that moves this school is as far as one gets from “business.” It is an egoless immersion in restoring natural balance.

In the world where I come from, much is exerted into preventing adjustment (creating suffering) – light to prevent darkness, shade to prevent light, heat to prevent cold, cold to prevent heat, walls built to keep out dust, weather, trespassers, and to define and contain what is “ours.”

Here in this life without walls we learn balance. Mosquito comes; we adjust; come to balance. Reaction/insult comes; we adjust; come to balance. Food comes in different flavors, textures, quantities; we adjust, come to balance. This is what the elders have called to me to hear this dawn. I am grateful to receive it and happy to pass it on. May it continue to move, serve and restore balance in us all.



2 thoughts on “Optimism explained and a Funny Email Address – From Dakota

  1. Dakota,
    I am blown away by all you are expressing;learning from the inside. Your journey
    this year has been so unbelievably rich and you have such an articulate way of putting words onto the wordless. Such a welcome post to hear your timeless wisdom.
    Being in this culture here,through you i am seeing the topsy turvey nature of what is promoted here as ‘living’ and ‘living well’. No wonder we have craziness and feel crazy!
    Thank you for doing what you are doing!
    I am sending you, Ishi, Canto and Zander a big hug, holding you all in my thoughts
    as I travel to Sun Valley Idaho on an airplane tomorrow with my mother, her partner Lon, and my daughter Dana. Your and my world meet in Love.

  2. Dear Dakota and Terra,
    I am so happy to find you both on this blog thread today – living two miracles at once: the miracle of the experience you are having in the wilderness Dakota and the miracle that I can sit here and read it and connect with you both and now write back.

    I love what you are writing and experiencing and sharing. My understanding of the Buddha’s “life is suffering” is exactly as you are writing. The suffering is the mind interpretation and evaluation, nothing to do with what is actually happening. I think it is followed by “nirvana and samsara are one”.

    I am so happy for you following your heart into the wilderness. My heart is warm and open and loving feeling into this, seeing you and the boys discovering so much there. Please give them all a big hug from Grandma PatPat. A long letter is on my list everyday. For today, this short letter will have to do, but more will be coming soon.

    Love, love, love – and balance!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *