Retreat & Travel
Throughout the three Circles of Vision Study, we conduct research using the critical distinctions that indigenous scientists rely upon (please see list below). Students will attend residencies in Oakland and Maui as well as travel to the land/country of their ancestors to do further research into the language, dreams, star knowledge, relationship with nature and the sacred sites of their tribal people. This research offers a unique opportunity for students to encounter their ancestors and their whole self with the support of mind, body and spirit.
Just like western science, indigenous science relies upon direct observation; there are tests to insure validity and data are used for forecasting and generating predictions. Individuals are trained in various forecasting and generating predictions. Individuals are trained in various specializations, for example: herbalism, weather observations, mental health and time keeping. Unlike western science, the data from indigenous science are not used to control the forces of nature, instead, the data tell us ways and means of accommodating nature. Other critical distinctions include the following:
1. The indigenous scientist is an integral part of the research process and there is a defined process for insuring this integrity.
2. All of nature is considered to be intelligent and alive, thus an active research partner.
3. The purpose of indigenous science is to maintain balance.
4. Compared to western time/space notions, indigenous science collapses time and space with the result that our fields of inquiry and participation extend into and overlap with past and present.
5. Indigenous science is concerned with relationships, we try to understand and complete our relationships with all living things.
6. Indigenous science is holistic, drawing on all the senses including the spiritual and psychic.
7. The end point of an indigenous scientific process is a known and recognized place. This point of balance, referred to by my own tribe as the Great Peace, is both peaceful and electrifyingly alive. In the joy of exact balance, creativity occurs, which is why we can think of our way of knowing as a life science.
8. When we reach the moment/place of balance we do not believe that we have transcended -- we say that we are normal! Always we remain embodied in the natural world.
9. Humor is a critical ingredient of all truth seeking, even in the most powerful rituals. This is true because humor balances gravity