The Dakota 38 Ride of Forgiveness

Jim Miller and family.

Jim Miller and family.

It was the day after Christmas when America’s most beloved President, Abraham Lincoln, ordered 38 Dakota men to be hanged in Mankato, Minnesota.  The largest mass execution in US history could have been much worse, as originally 300 Dakotas were found guilty after the Sioux Uprising in 1862.  European settlers demanded that all 300 be put to death and a Minnesota Senator accurately warned the president that hanging less than the convicted 300 would result in lost votes.  But President Lincoln pardoned 262 people, replying to the Senator, “I could not hang men for votes.”

The conflict broke out amongst a famine that was induced by delayed treaty payments attributed to the Civil War and corrupt officials.  Malicious acts were traded by both sides.  The Dakota rose up in a desperate attempt at self preservation during a time when bounties were offered for the scalps of Native people.  Such a dark stain in history could not be lifted in 1 or 2 generations, nor could it be forgotten.  It took 7 generations before cross cultural reconciliation could begin for the fallen Dakota 38.

I sat in a room of the Iolani Palace grounds in Oahu, waiting for the film screening to begin.  Jim Miller, a Dakota/Lakota Vietnam Veteran, and his Lakota wife Alberta Iron Cloud Miller, spoke briefly before the showing of their documentary “The Dakota 38”.  Jim Miller had received a vision during a ceremony which began with the spirit of his deceased mother visiting him and ended with instructions to make a horseback ride from South Dakota to Mankato, MN.

dakota 38 mist

Fifty people stood in a circle in the screening room as a Lakota elder made his prayer.  The room seemed to fill with a thick mist, as several ancestors connected to the Millers crowded into the room.  A movie screening had become impromptu spiritual contact.

The film was captured by a young film crew of Dakotas and an Italian guy from Long Island, NY who had followed Miller’s epic week long journey.  I watched the movie screen as Miller, carrying a staff of Eagle Feathers, lead the group of people through a blizzard, while relying on the kindness of white strangers who truly seemed to get what was happening.  The Dakota group was given food, shelter, and free auto mechanic work for their trailer.  As Jim put it, “We will be the first to ask for forgiveness,” making it clear that he made the journey to fulfill his heart felt mission and not to demand reparation from European Americans.  The sheer humility of Miller brought the audience to tears.  I had half expected an angry historic protest, filled with racial tensions.  Instead, Natives and whites were hugging each other with forgiveness. The descendants of the Dakota, including relatives of the executed, were honoring their kin, but also creating space for new hope and healing.

Dakota 38 eagle staff

The overhead lights of the screening room remained off for several minutes after the movie ended.  Many sat and cried at the beauty of simple acts which held such historic heft.  When the lights came on, I stood next to the Millers with my hand drum. After publically acknowledging their ancestors that followed them to Hawaii, I shared an old honor song that was taught to me by one of the Porcupine Singers of Alberta Iron Cloud Miller’s home reservation of Pine Ridge.  As I sang, it felt as if the vocables passed through the bodies of the Millers and into the spirits of the kin watching over them.

Before the night was over, the elder who shared the opening prayer came up to me and sang a ancient Dakota song.  It was the same song that one of the original 38 sang at the gallows through a burlap sack on his head and a noose around his neck.  The translation of the song:  Great Spirit, Great Mystery.  The things which are thine, are powerful and numerous.  The elder explained that the singer sung to all his kin after asking them not to grieve, for the Dakota 38 had already made things right with their Creator before their passing.

 

Dakota 38 snow

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Replenish Your Mana, Hawaii

Join me to Reclaim Your Vitality in Maui, May 15th-18th

Lemuria Maui Retreat, May 15th-18th

Lemuria Maui Retreat, May 15th-18th

It was a cold, brisk morning in Astoria, Queens.  I left my NYC apartment 20 minutes late, wearing my long black wool coat to stay warm in the 20 degree weather. The coat made me look like a Rabbi. I hustled to the subway stop, trying to make up time.  My commute to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was 45 minutes on a good day.

As I huffed up the subway stairs to the elevated train platform, I spilled my hot coffee on my black leather gloves.  It burned, then it felt good just before the icy wind chilled my wet hand.  When I finally plopped down in the subway car, I was grateful to get a seat.

I looked at my reflection in the shiny steel of the subway car and noticed deep grooves beneath my eyes.  My face was pale and I looked depleted.  Luckily, everyone else in the subway car looked the same way, so I blended.  My chapped lips eagerly sipped the hot coffee, revealing my caffeine addiction.  Getting up in the morning had become impossible without my a hot cup of joe.

The advertisements in the subway car showed photos of far off white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters.  Even in the summertime, the beaches of Long Island did not look that pretty.  It made me  yearn to be in the warm sun and to feel flower scented breezes touch my face.  I had no clue that I was catching a glimpse of my future travels.

Seven years later, I came to Oahu for my birthday to visit a good friend Kimo.  He was a Native Hawaiian lei maker with a bubbly laugh.  At the airport, Kimo placed a puakenikeni lei around my neck. The remarkably scented flowers were grown in his yard in Kaneohe. When he took me to Kailua Beach, I felt a rush of mana, that vital life force of Hawaii, filling every cell of my body.  The ocean water cleansed me, wiping away the dirty subway cars and the bad attitudes of people stuck in traffic.  My body was like a race car engine that had been driven so hard that exhaust steamed from my pores when the waves hit me.  The surge of mana from the land, water, and flowers replenished my body and lifted my spirits.

I did not know that life could feel this good.  It showed me how I had forgotten how to receive life’s bounty. Growing up in the New York City area, I had not experienced this intense rejuvenation that made the insides of my bones tingle with joy.  Every tropical flower reminded me of the abundance of life.  Each time I breathed, I was renewed.

After my birthday experience, I learned how to rejuvenate myself.  The visit had such a powerful impact on me that I moved to Hawaii!  Since my move, I had become a trusted guide for weary travelers who want to experience the miraculous revitalization that I received in Hawaii.  I welcome people with leis.  I guide newcomers to the beautiful, high energy places which refuel their tired bones.  I help them remember how generous life can really be.

lemuria_templeguard-sideview

Hawaii has taught me to generously share what I have discovered, as I will do at my workshop  Reclaiming Your Vitality in Maui on May 15th-18th at Lemuria Maui.  My workshop will give you a chance to revitalize using the 4 elements of Hawaii: earth, ocean, wind, and the fire of passionate empathy.  Participate in an ocean cleansing ceremony to cleanse your heart and mind of toxic feelings.  Refresh your ability to connect with other people in a safe environment. Explore Hawaii Teachings around healing, forgiveness, and celebration.  Value yourself, by giving yourself the gift of this luscious sanctuary.

Register for the Maui Retreat Here:  Essence of Life Retreats

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A Bloodline Healing Session with George Kamana Hunter (5 min. Video)

After a great interview with Dr. Christian O’Neil MD, I perform a hands on healing session using my Bloodline Healing method. The room felt electric, like static that gave me chills. It was a heartfelt and tearful moment that ended on a fulfilling note.

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Happy New Year

G. Kamana Hunter

G. Kamana Hunter

 

As I sat in front of my desk at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I stared out the window at the cold gray sky in Manhattan.  I had been working as a Research Associate in the Integrative Medicine Department with plans to go to medical school.  But being there was not longer bringing me a sense of purpose.  The energy of helping cancer patients had faded. Coincidentally, my second apprenticeship in Intuitive Healing was coming to an end.  I had come to the fork in the road. Do I become a Doctor or a Healer?

Though I still admired doctors, I knew that my intuitive gifts and creative needs were not a good fit for the medical field.  I had made my decision.  I would become a Healer.

It has been ten years since I first started my private practice as a Healer in Manhattan. Starting my own practice was a passionate risk that took me on an adventure to many new places. I feel fortunate to have a following in NY, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hawaii and abroad. It is because of the support of clients like you that I have been able to make my dream job become a reality.  My private practice birthed the Bluestone Institute for Healing Arts which trained other Healers in Intuitive Healing.  It was also my test kitchen for developing the Bloodline Healing method for trans-generational healing.  Working with clients one-on-one even inspired my debut memoir:  “The Invisible Burden: A Memoir of Generational Healing”, which will be on Amazon this April.  It has been a fruitful decade.
I reflect fondly on the many curious and wonderful faces that have walked through my door. Thank you to all my clients for trusting me to be your guide to a brighter and fuller expression of our shared humanity.

My new policies and updated rates are now on my website http://gkhunter.com/sessions-policies/ . I will also be posting a calendar of upcoming workshops on my website shortly.

I foresee this next year being one of major milestones and positive changes. Like a horse, it will move fast and true.  May your fruitful projects bring you new found fulfillment. As we celebrate this New Year, I thank you for being a part of my journey.

Aloha.

G. K. Hunter

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Brandeis Ancestor Retreat

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The rainstorms from the previous day had transformed the climate at the Brandeis-Barin Campus in Simi Valley. The 90 degree heat had become a cool 66 degrees. The air was filled with a scent of early autumn. It made me crave a pumpkin spice coffee.

At American Jewish University’s retreat center, we were holding a 4 day Bloodline Healing workshop. People from various backgrounds had come to speak with their ancestors about the historic burdens that they inherited from their families. They were bravely experiencing a new form of Generational Healing that gave them a chance to be free of these burdens.

Dina Bernat-Kunin and Aviva Bernat, two of my Assistant Facilitators, were showing me around the property before dinner time. They had grown up with this camp. In fact, they were the second generation of the Bernat family to call Brandeis-Bardin a spiritual home. It was at their encouragement that we had our four day retreat at this Jewish stronghold established on ancient Chumash land.

hills brandeis

Those beautiful hills make me feel that I am in the middle of the Haray Yerushalayim ( the Jerusalem hills),” Dina said. “I get that feeling of ‘I am home’.” The gold shine of sunset highlighted the peaks of the hills.

Dina and Aviva are sisters. Their mother, Gladys (Goldberg) Bernat, attended the Brandeis Camp Institute program with Shlomo Bardin as a young adult in the early 1950′s. “I remember Ima (mom) reflecting fondly on the extraordinary Jewish music, dance, and the arts, that was the signature aspect of this amazing Jewish cultural preserve,” Dina shared.

Dina and Aviva Brandeis

The way that Brandeis-Bardin serves as a preserve of Jewish culture reminds me of Native American reservations,” I said. “This is my first time on a Jewish Reservation.” We all laughed. For many visitors, this land was the closest thing to Israel in America.

We passed by a living, hollowed out tree that had stones pouring out of its belly. It was very symbolic of the work that was happening in the workshop. Many participants were unburdening heavy grief, shame, and the pain that their families still carried from World War II. The workshop was a rare opportunity for them to connect with the greater emotional body of their family. It was an approach that allowed participants to cleanse the unfinished story of the previous generations using part catharsis and part multicultural ceremony.

burden tree brandeis

The piano in the workshop space had become our Ancestors’ Table. This was the place where we asked participants to speak to their deceased kin. It was covered with a colorful table cloth from Hawaii. Candles were set on wooden building blocks. Black and white photos of participants’ deceased kin covered the rest of the Ancestors’ Table. One by one, people shared their tears, their screams, their longings, and their celebrations.

The Brandeis workshop was a potent reminder that we are still healing from World War II. Time alone was not healing these wounds. In fact, the unexpressed emotions were being passed onto the children and grandchildren who weren’t even alive during the war. That’s why Bloodline Healing was so important. Cleansing the festering historic hurts gave these courageous individuals the chance to release their chronic anxiety and heaviness that had become normal to their families. But normal was not always healthy.

The fresh air and beauty of the land at Brandeis-Bardin was a welcomed reminder of the joy of life. I smiled at the site of nearby horses feeding. Earlier, I had given those horses my apple. One mare had split the apple with its big teeth and shared half the apple with another mare.

As the workshop came to a close, Dina captured that feeling of awe that our facilitators shared when doing the work. “I was struck by the visible, physical changes in our participants. One person’s gait looked more steady, another one had lost that panicked look in their eyes…I even observed that another participant’s breathing had changed.” Shy people were claiming their voice and authority. Anxious skeptics had found their hearts. By the end of the workshop, participants were sharing how they felt lighter, elated, and even astounded by what they had discovered about themselves.

L to R: Aviva Shira Bernat, George Kamana Hunter, Dina Bernat-Kunin, Anna Molitor, (back) Jessica Gelson

L to R: Aviva Shira Bernat, George Kamana Hunter, Dina Bernat-Kunin, Anna Molitor, (back) Jessica Gelson

I left Brandeis knowing that Bloodline Healing had found a spiritual home. Our team looked forward to the next workshop at these sacred hills.

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