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Returning to the Lakota Way: Old Values to…

Returning to the Lakota Way: Old Values to Save a Modern World

by Joseph M. Marshall III

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RETURNING TO THE LAKOTA WAY is a philosophical book, and in each of 8 chapters, plus an epilogue, Joseph Marshall III gives us a story. For 8 of those stories Joseph adds his own thoughts, easing our way through the twisting tales so that we can understand the many layered nuances.

[For the epilogue we are left to consider the wise words at the very end. Words which, in a way, sum of what all of the wealth of ideas we've been gathering.]

Chapter 1, for example, is on the value of Silence. The story is about Walks Alone and Grey Grass. The tale meanders and wanders in a less than straight path, but in the end I was left with an appreciation of the power of silence and the role it played for the story's original audience.

The author however didn't abandon me at that point with my cursory conclusions, but instead he expanded upon the theme so that I had more to consider. Referring to his own childhood he explained how real people used silence, and shared silence. How silence and gentleness can hide true strength. How silence can help us still ourselves, and how it allows introspection. These notions are present in other religions and philosophies, of course, but Mr. Marshall has a way of communicating them which is, I think, quite unique.

There are other aspects of the study of Silence that this chapter includes, but I hope you get the idea from what I written that there are layers of possible understanding in this book.

RETURNING TO THE LAKOTA WAY is not a book I would suggest anyone anticipate reading from beginning to end without stopping. In my opinion a race like that would leave the reader missing most of the best points. The approach I took was to read two chapters a week. I'd read the story and analysis and then go back to it for a couple days-- before moving on to the next story and lesson.

Enjoy. ( )
  PamFamilyLibrary | Jan 13, 2014 |
ARC provided by NetGalley

Joseph Marshall is one of my favorite writers around, as he is a marvelous storyteller that captures your imagination and attention from the very first page and this book is no exception. I was first introduced to Marshall's writing in his book "The Lakota Way." I did mission work growing up on the Lakota-Souix reservations in South Dakota and became enthralled with their history, their beliefs, and their views on the world and "The Lakota Way" helped me recapture some of that feeling and it's a book that I try to reread once a year. So when I saw that Marshall wrote "Returning to the Lakota Way" I was thrilled to get a chance to read a copy of the book. I love Marshall's way of using traditional tales to help us understand the world around us and our place within it. The Lakota understood the importance of values that we often seem to forget today and these tales that Marshall tells us help remind us of things like tolerance, silence, and selflessness.

This is one of those books that I'll come back to often. And one that I'll recommend to others trying to find something spiritual, without being overly religious affiliated. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it. ( )
  zzshupinga | Dec 7, 2013 |
One of the things I love most about Native American literature is the complete relevance the stories have to life today. James Marshall recognizes this and expertly weaves his own insight into stories that have been passed down in the oral tradition from his grandparents. Many of the stories contain information about Crazy Horse, one of the most famous of the Lakota, and quite a few of them talk about the origin of familiar creatures and traditions, such as the buffalo and the sun dance. Returning to the Lakota Way is not only a collection of these stories, but also a challenge to its readers to think long and hard about the morals of the stories and the impact it would have on our lives and communities if we just applied them to our own lives.

Read the rest of this review at The Lost Entwife on Nov. 21, 2013. ( )
  TheLostEntwife | Nov 19, 2013 |
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Book description
The wisdom of history enhancing the state of the current world. Hunting adventures of the raven and the wolf, the importance of tolerance, lessons of the grasshopper impart the wisdom of patience; and experiences of a young man Walks Alone teach us about silence and turning within. Speaks to universal qualities, faith and selflessness.
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Returning to the Lakota Way immerses us once again in the world of the Lakota Sioux through the beautiful storytelling and deep insight of Joseph Marshall's writing. Relaying traditional tales that have been passed down over generations, Marshall takes us on an inspiring journey that will help us better understand the world around us and our place in it. The teaching stories found in each chapter provide lessons that open our eyes to universal qualities and practices passed down over many generations. From the hunting adventures of the raven and the wolf, we discover the importance of tolerance; the actions of the grasshopper highlight the value of patience; and the experiences of a young man named Walks Alone show us the benefit of silence and turning within. Speaking to these and other traits, such as faith and selflessness, Marshall helps us see our own lives more clearly using time-honored tales interspersed with stories from his own life growing up on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota. In his work, we find a clear example of how the wisdom of the past has relevance and meaning in the world of today.… (more)

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