Left out of the gathering | AspenTimes.com

Left out of the gathering

Dear Editor:

Congratulation and deep thanks to Carolyn Sackariason for your insightful front-page article on the GPIW spiritual gathering this past weekend at the Aspen Institute (“Spiritual gathering hopes to discover a collective voice,” Nov. 9). As one of the conference participants and local organizers, I am grateful for your contribution toward making the wonderful work that went on in Aspen this past weekend more widely known. It was indeed a ground-breaking event.

I did want to mention, however, that included among the ranks of spiritual dignitaries ” but somehow missed in your write-up ” were more than a half dozen Native American elders who gathered from all across the United States to contribute their wisdom and their prayers. Without their deep and grounding energy we might all have floated off into the ether!

My heartfelt gratitude to Kenneth Frost of the Ute Nation, Laine Thom of the Shoshone Nation, Randie Lynn Thunderwind of the Blackfeet Nation, and to grandmothers Mona Polacca of the Hopi-Havasupai-Tewa, Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance, and Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance of the Oglala Lakota. For many of us in attendance, the grandmothers’ prayers on Friday night for our new President-elect and for the healing of our nation were the heart-wrenching climax of our entire time together.

The outstanding contributions of these elders must be acknowledged in order to fully convey what this gathering was all about.

The Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault

director, Aspen Wisdom School


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