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Updated: Mar 31, 2023

In the mornings when we wake up, we greet each other. The morning isn’t complete until everyone in the group is greeted- during pilgrimage- this was over 60 people at one point! In this greeting, sometimes people will ask ‘how are you?’ and ‘how did you sleep?’ ‘How is your patience?’ ‘How is your effort?’ You have started a new day and by greeting others you set the tone for how your day will continue, a reminder to keep your patience up, your effort up.

In some traditions when someone is greeted, people can be seen prostrating, kneeling, or bowing down before another. This is not about whether someone is bigger than you or you are lower than them. This is about respecting and honoring that person and all that is with them and came before them in the unseen as well. There is an order to things in the culture- and fitting into this order allows the community to function harmoniously within the society, and with Nature as well.

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I can't help thinking that the respect that is given and received in the community as a way of life, goes along way to why Indigenous people amount to some 6% of the worlds population, but live and take care of the places that are home to 80% of the biodiversity of the world.

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