The Free Cherokees New Phoenix
The Four Winds Clan
The Four Winds Clan is Grandfather Sings-Alone's original clan, founded in Massachusettes. When the Spirits told Grandfather Sings-Alone it was time to transition out of the lodge to teach outside of the Four Winds Clan in 2008, his daughter Chief Atsila (aka, Pheta-Win), was given sole responsibility of the sweat lodge community and being the Clan's Wincasa Wakan/Holy Person. Since that time, Grandfather Sings-Alone has founded the Red Path Zen Sangha (under Zen Garland), a community that studies the teachings of Zen and the Red Road. Granfather Sings-Alone and Pricilla Cognan, Chief Atsila's original teachers, continue to support and consult with Chief Atsila when needed.
The Clan Today
Today, the Four Winds Clan is an active spirtitual community consiting of people from all walks of life. Based in the traditions and teachings of the Lakhota Oyate, the teachings continue to remain strong under the guidance of Chief Atsila.
The Four Winds Clan tries to participate in the Inipi ceremony each month, and has on going teachings through the Clan member's Website. Members come from all over the east coast.
Teaching of the Feast
When we come together as a community, it is a very special and unique event where we learn how to be human beings. We open ourselves to pray in the Inipi (sweatlodge) and have a sacred way to connect with Creator, Tunkasila Wakan-Tanka, which creates a bond within the community that makes this connection to each other different than other forms of teachings.
I will now share one of the teachings about ceremony that I was gifted with from
We celebrate the fact that when we come out of the Inipi, we get to stand up as two-leggeds and are brought back into balance with All Our Relations. We are given the gift of being cleansed and put back into balance by ceremony, and having the Grandfathers and Grandmothers connected to us. From the Inipi, we go celebrate our connection as a community by having a feast. There is really no better way to say "We Care, We are connected" than by intentionally nurturing each others by gifting them with food.
The feast and celebration is a way of drawing people into ceremony well before we're on the land and getting ready to partake in the Inipi. Each person has to think about what they will make, and who will be there. That to me, is the ultimate beginning of each Inipi ceremony: having to think of others before myself and to nurture in the best ways I can.
We all get rushed and have to grab something on the fly sometimes, and once in a while thats okay. That being said, easy and quick means no forethought. Having to prepare ahead of time and make a dish for the community draws us into the ceremony, nurtures our fellow lodgers and gives us each another opportunity to integrate the Lakhota Oyate teachings of community into our lives.
Grandfather Sings-Alone and Priscilla Cogan
More information on Grandfather Sings-Alone can be found on http://www.twocanoespress.com and also at http://www.redpathzen.org . Grandfather Sings-Alone provides teachings in Zen called Red Path Zen. He has a new book, "Stalking Nirvana: The Native American (Red Path) Zen Way", which provides his teachings in Zen format.
Priscilla Cognan has published a number of books of Native American interest. Her first novel, which has been printed in 10 languages all around the world, is full of authentic teachings and has inspired thousands of people. It is titled "Winona's Web" and it is the first of a triology of teachings. The other two books are "Compass of the Heart" and Crack of Dusk; Crook of Dawn". We wholeheartedly recommend them.