Lakota Indian Buddhism?

Found post on Facebook sounding eerily Buddhist in essence.

“In the Lakota/Sioux tradition, a person who is grieving is considered most waken, most holy.

There’s a sense that when someone is struck by the sudden lightning of loss, he or she stands on the threshold of the spirit world. The prayers of those who grieve are considered especially strong, and it is proper to ask them for their help.
You might recall what it’s like to be with someone who has grieved deeply. The person has no layer of protection, nothing left to defend. The mystery is looking out through that person’s eyes. For the time being, he or she has accepted the reality of loss and has stopped clinging to the past or grasping at the future. In the groundless openness of sorrow, there is a wholeness of presence and a deep natural wisdom.”


In psychology an idea exists that the person’s defences are laid bare when they are depressed and therefore more amenable to therapeutic help. When someone is suffering their agendas are lessened and there’s some honesty in the suffering. The ego strength which feeds craving and aversion is weakened. However it is not utilised this way in the Dhamma as the Buddha suggests overcoming suffering before practicing the foundation of mindfulness, and there is a lot of joy and bliss in the practice.

Ego defences are overcome through faith in Buddhism and repetitive experience of teachings being seen to be truthful. This opens up conceited minds for further exploration! A faith based on truths that are limited to special circumstances (eg: church environment) will leave people defensive and clinging forming a cult like situation. Buddhist truths are universal…

‘Suffering is to be fully realised’ to complete the practice around the First noble truth. The value of this is that it allows the full stopping of ignorance leading to craving through insight. This is how the second noble truth is practiced in terms of abandoning the cause(s) of suffering. Stopping craving, aversion and delusion leads to stopping suffering/aggregates/sense bases and the experiential insight into the third noble truth of Nibbana. The fourth noble truth is what practices had to be done for this to be achieved.

In the teachings it is said that some people approach the Dhamma with a questioning mind or a fault finding attitude! This more convoluted that a natural curiosity or simply asking questions. Some ask questions as a defence mechanism against changes they might have to make if they were to accept the teaching. Others ask it as a means of getting attention from a beloved teacher or to show how smart they are. They will not benefit fully from the Dhamma IMO.


Thanks, Rosie! I am always curious about Native American culture. My own grandson is Navajo and his grandmother has taught me much. As you say, the grieving do know more. They know the first Noble Truth, the truth of suffering.


Wow, thank you for the clarification in the way you redirected me back to the basics, and made a distinction between modern psychology and Buddhist wisdom. And I must say that while my spirit has been layed low by a past experience of extreme suffering and sense of depersonalization, I have never benefited from that state of being, at least in a conscious way. In fact I think it made me more self centered and vulnerable to assault from external sources.

And though I am not sure why you said this or how it resonates in this discussion, I must also admit that I have have sounded pseudo-precocious in an effort to impress a teacher. Not proud of that. And I pledge to keep my questions and posts as relevant and respectfulness as possible, and trust that I will stand a correction if I get outa line. :smiley:

I appreciate your wisdom!


Indeed the genocide of the Native American people is our dark, dirty little secret which continues without societal remorse to the degree it deserves. Much more attention is given to the Holocaust victims than the Native American debacle.

Yet my comparison only points to the universal nature of suffering, and the need to find relief for us all. Thanks!


I’ve found that there is a recognition among people who have experienced deep suffering. Something that completely by-passes the ego and personality constructs, and goes straight to understanding and compassion.