Learning from the Navajo Healer


What I loved about the story of the Navajo healer speaking to the tree was his modesty. Notice that he didn’t claim that the tree could understand his words. He didn’t claim that the tree could understand anything. All he said was that he was making the effort to be grateful and appreciative to a form of life that most people find utterly inaccessible to the human experience.

When we take from the world and keep on taking – without expressing our gratefulness and appreciation, we impoverish ourselves. As the Navajo healer said, if only people (he said white people) did that, the world would be transformed. He was speaking from the heart.

But I also want to attend to his modesty. He didn’t make any claims to any special ability on his part or that of the tree. He was just quietly doing what he believed to be loving and respectful. He was, as the Navajo people often say, “speaking in beauty.”

This is all we can do. We don’t need to be wise. We don’t need to be eloquent. We don’t need to be special. We don’t need to be enlightened. We don’t need unique understanding.

What we need is the realization of connection. When we are contracted from this realization, everyone suffers. When this connection is realized and actualized in our individual lives, everyone and the world rejoices.

This is the change that is needed. Let’s start now expressing our gratefulness and appreciation openly and quietly – in our own way.


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