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Teachings from the Tree of Life, part 3: "The Purpose of Life"

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

Mamoominike-giizis (Ricing Moon) (August 2, 2023)


 

Native woodland art painting Gaagaagi Omiigiwewin ("Raven's Gift")
Gaagaagi Omiigiwewin ("Raven's Gift"), painting by Zhaawano Giizhik

 

Boozhoo, aaniin indinawemaaganag, gidinimikoon: Hello relatives, I greet you in a good way!

I am Zhaawano Giizhik. Welcome to part 3 of my blog series, titled "Teachings from the Tree of Life." Today I share with you two Teachings based on the ancient Anishinaabe spiritual/philosophical principle of mino-bimaadiziwin, which countless generations of ancestors handed down to us from the time they still lived in the old homeland along the Atlantic coast. Mino-bimaadiziwin is a concept central to the culture and belief system of the Anishinaabeg Peoples. It basically means: "Living a good and upright life." The stories feature a painting by myself and - by way of tribute to my dear old friend who has joined his ancestors - three images of beautiful canvases done by the late Moses Amik.


The stories, the first being an Anishinaabe aadizokaan (traditional narrative) and the second a story my ex-partner, Ojibwe artist Simone McLeod, shared with me in 2017, convey valuable lessons that Aandeg (the Crow) and Gaagaagi (the Raven) teach us. Like all Tree of Life Teachings, the healing message that lies hidden in these narratives is in itself easy to understand - that is, if we choose to open up to it. The hard part, as always, is to follow it...


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