THE GIVEAWAY CEREMONY
The Giveaway ceremony is a very important part of the Native North American tradition and spirituality. It has been practiced for thousands of years in the Native North American communities. It is a complete ceremony by itself, but it is an essential and fundamental part of the culture and all the ceremonies.
In the traditional Native North American vision, life is an unconditional gift and all things in life are gifts. Our spirit is a part of the Great Spirit and as a gift comes to manifest on Earth with a limited, life creating force. Our body and all other beings bodies around us, comes from the Mother Earth, as unconditional gifts. We are made out of Air, Earth, Water, Fire.
The first gift we receive in life is our parents love, giving us the possibility to have a body and to create a life experience through the human form. We are born naked and fragile, unable to survive without the protection and loving care of them. We need to be fed and protected by them to be able to live and to grow.
Since the very beginning of our life we are receiving and depending on the material and non-material gifts, offered to us from the Creative Force, from our environment and from the others. These unconditional offerings are constantly flowing to us, feeding us and becoming living parts of us. When they enter in our consciousness and body, in our sacred space, we connect and attach to them. Also we attach to them and make them part of us by projecting and extending our self on them unconsciously and consciously through strong feelings. We feel that they belong to us and we belong to them, at the same time in the material and the non-material dimensions.
We depend mainly on material things; minerals, plants and animals to exist and to survive physically, and on healthy and harmonious relationships to be balanced emotionally, mentally and spiritually. These beings around us are the transmitters of life force and formers of our life and our identity. Unconditionally feeding and guiding us from the beginning until the end of our life, they are our parents, grandparents and ancestors. They are our origins, they have been here before us and they are living parts of us. This is why we call them and relate to them as Grandfathers and Grandmothers, as All Our Relations.
In the traditional Native North American vision, to be able to keep balanced and harmonious the expansion of the self and to avoid unhealthy, possessive attachment to material things and to human relations, we learn to recognize, to listen and to follow our true needs, learn to achieve self-autonomy, practice selflessness, respect, self-sacrifice and detachment. We are taught since early childhood through example and stories, to be aware that as human beings we come here to share our gifts and we have to respect and honor the sacred space, the gifts and uniqueness of all other beings. We learn to be aware that we are not owners, but only caretakers of the Earth and all the temporary gifts we receive in life. We learn how to be responsible to take care of ourselves, others, Mother Earth and her beings. We learn to be aware that our individual and common future depends directly on our deeds, thoughts, words, feelings and behaviors. We learn to be humble and grateful for life, for our gifts and belongings, because they can go for ever in any moment. We learn to be aware that we have to let go everything we have received or related to us in this life and give it back to its Source, when our time is done on Earth. We learn to accept and to surrender to death and change.
Respecting, listening, caring and honoring are the foundations to relate to the self and to other beings in the traditional Native American way of life. Offering is the first and essential step to present our petition when we wish to use anything from Creation. It is to honor the Source of the abundance we already have in life and to maintain the abundance in our life and in the life of the others. It is to respect and give value to the Source where everything comes from and to the other beings providing us what we need.
Not invading the sacred space, not taking anything without permission or destroying or abusing any part of Creation and the belongings of the others, is the way to honor the Source in all, the other beings and the self. Relating with respect and care, kindness and appreciation to the self, to other beings, to objects or parts of Creation, is to live by the essential spiritual values reflected in Creation. It is a way to live and walk through life in trust, with an open heart and spirit. It is a way to share life with others through the heart; to walk in Beauty.
Gifts are offerings and the most wonderful gifts in life are unconditional, they come from the heart. Creation and life works in that Sacred Way. In life we offer, we share, we exchange our gifts and creations with others and in that process we have to let go a part of our self and if we do it with the heart, we open ourselves to receive from the heart.
When something is gone from our life or when we let go of something, our relationship with the part gone changes. It becomes a memory and it depends on us how we see, how we relate, how we remember and how we feel about what is gone. We are all different and unique, and it depends on our individual and communal vision how we value things, how we relate to ourselves, to others and to Creation. When we see the part gone from our life, as a temporary gift from Creation or an offering we made to be able to more appreciate life, we can open our self to release and to receive again. We can find more balance and discover and truly appreciate the teachings and gifts hidden in the releasing process.
Life gives and takes away things and relations from us and in this way death is always present in every moment in our life. The beginning contains the ending and the ending contains a new beginning. In this way turns the Medicine Wheel of life and surprises us each moment with new gifts and new losses. When we let go of or lose something in life, an opening and an empty space manifests and a change initiates. When we consciously let go of a part that is burdening us in life, there is liberation with the opportunity of a deeper connection to the inner self and a new and higher state of balance can be found.
When we lose somebody or something we love, it is a traumatic event and a great challenge, but also a great opportunity to surrender to life and to accept with humility that we can’t control life. It is an opportunity to learn more about and to see with more clarity our self and the essence of life and to forgive our self and others.
In the Giveaway ceremony, the person or the family that lost a loved one, let go of their useful or loved belongings to other people in the community. It is a sacrifice to help to detach from the material world and to open to heal spiritually the wounds opened by the loss and reestablish balance. It is to help them to surrender to change and to empower change in their life. It is an act of courage that comes from trusting the abundance of life. The Giveaway Ceremony is to empower the self in a sacred way when change occurs, through sharing and detachment, to create liberation and to open again in life to the joy of receiving. Instead of keeping bitterness, resentment, regret, resistance, blame or guilt that may be related to the loss.
The giveaway is part of all Native North American Ceremonies in the form of offerings. It serves to open a spiritual doorway and to connect to the source of the sacred creative power inside of us and in the Universe. We receive innumerable gifts in our life and when we offer something back with love to the Source of all, to the Mother Earth or to people we honor and appreciate, a sacred balance can be created and healing can manifest. When we voluntarily sacrifice attachment, possessiveness, selfishness or greed, we do a giveaway and make our life more sacred.
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