Practical Spiritual Book on Indigenous Cultures & Spiritualism
February 23, 2017 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations for good practical books and resources on spirituality from indigenous cultures such as Native Americans or Australian Aborigines? Something not academic, but also not light and fluffy - something "useful". Most likely something focusing on one specific culture rather than an overview. I am open to poetry and things if its well done.
posted by Mr. Papagiorgio to Religion & Philosophy (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The most amazing, beautiful book about Native American spirituality that I know of is --

Black Elk Speaks
Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux
John G. Neihardt - Author (pub. 1932)

There are many different editions and it has been reprinted many times. It shouldn't be difficult to find a copy. The most famous passage from the book is --

“And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell
and I understood more than I saw;
for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit,
and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.”

(FWIW - The Oglala/Lakota Sioux are the tribes fighting the Dakota pipeline. #NoDAPL. AND, that passage describes when Black Elk stood at the top of a sacred mountain, which until this year was called Harney Peak, and is now officially named Black Elk Peak.)
posted by pjsky at 3:39 PM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Aboriginal Australia:
Bill Neidjie: Story about Feeling (book) and any other Bill Neidjie texts you can find via google.

Cooperative Centre for Aboriginal Health: Aboriginal Spirituality: Aboriginal Philosophy - The Basis of Aboriginal
Social and Emotional Wellbeing

There's plenty more. It is just a matter of determining which are written by Aboriginal people themselves, and which are outsider perspectives.
posted by Thella at 6:47 PM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

From my understanding, the simplest way to understand Aboriginal spirituality is to deeply internalise the concept that we are the land, the land is us, and country (the land one is responsible for) is everything; it is family.
posted by Thella at 7:01 PM on February 24, 2017

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