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We are all related

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When googling for some further information on t’ai chi master Cheng Man Ch’ing, I happened upon an intriguing blog entitled Native American Taoist. The site’s blogmaster is Thunderhands, who answered a blog comment about his Cheng Man Ch’ing posting with the closing phrase "Mitakuye Oyasin".

This being the first time hearing the phrase, I researched further to learn that it is Lakota for "all my relations" and, by extension, "we are all related." I e-mailed Thunderhands my thanks for his blog and for his railroad illustrations; trains and elevators are my son’s favorite machines. He replied to my inquiry about the phrase: "Mitakuye Oyasin is Lakota and it means all my relations, including all living things. Winged creatures, two legged’s, four legged’s, crawling, reptiles. etc. Of course yes we are all related, we are all one, but live in a delusion that we stop at our skin." That would throw out the window my being able to make an exception for the way I approach and talk about cops, prosecutors, and probation agents.

Interestingly, a person named Atuuschaaw maintains a blog entitled with the same phrase, Mitakuye Oyasin. Learning about Mitakuye Oyasin reminded me of Baba-Kundi Ma’at-Shambhala, an inspirational man I met last year at the Whole Foods parking lot. As it turns out, two months ago, he started a blog entitled Essence Blogeshere, which frequently amplifies on Mitakuye Oyasin, without saying the phrase.

Mitakuye Oyasin.

Jon Katz.