Friday, March 4, 2016

Chickadee as My Totem Animal

When i was writing my book, Following the Nez Perce Trail, i collected a few dozen first-person Native American accounts of their traditional lives. Pretty Shield, Medicine Woman of the Crows reported that her mother's totem animal was the chickadee who was always nearby while her mother was tanning buffalo hides--the chickadee nipping in and grabbing bits of meat and fat.

I'd like to take the chickadee as my totem animal, my avatar of friendliness and generosity.

One method of practicing loving-kindness meditation is to visualize an embodiment of the goodness we aspire to. That could be the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, the Buddha, Jesus, any of the saints, or, for me, a chickadee.

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