The Wind Is My Mother: The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman

The Wind Is My Mother: The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman


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With eloquent simplicity, Native American medicine man Bear Heart demonstrates how traditional tribal wisdom can help us maintain spiritual and physical health in today's world.

“As a child I was taught, ‘Chebon, the way to attain the beauty in life is through harmony. Be in harmony with all things, but most important, be in harmony with yourself first. A lot will go on in your life, some good, some bad—people may argue and some will try to take control of your life—but that one word, harmony, will neutralize any problems and help your life to become beautiful.’”—from The Wind is My Mother

“A compelling and important work…Bear Heart is a gifted storyteller—readers of all backgrounds will be inspired by his lessons of how to apply traditional Native American wisdom to maintain balance in today’s world…Bear Heart’s is a truthful, honest voice which has let us into his world, and our world is better for it.”Body, Mind, Spirit

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425161609
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/01/1998
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 106,636
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.74(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Marcellus “Bear Heart” Williams [1918-2008], born in Okemah, Oklahoma, was a full-blood spiritual leader of the Muskogee-Creek Nation trained in the traditional ways of his tribe. Highly regarded as a healer and counselor, he was also a respected leader of the Native American Church, Sun Danced with both the Northern and Southern Cheyenne people, and was an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church. He was asked to be one of the spiritual counselors for the fireman and their families after the Oklahoma City tragedy and put down prayers with the Fire Department at Ground Zero in November, 2001. Bear Heart helped thousands of people over the course of his life and his book, “The Wind Is My Mother,” continues his life work of sharing wisdom and inspiration. For more information, visit

Molly Larkin is a writer whose in-depth tutelage and spiritual practice under Native American elders have given her unique access to Native American perspectives and teachings. Molly lives in Los Angeles, California.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Molly Larkin

Book I: Initiation
1. To Walk in Beauty
2. A Well-rounded Education
3. You Don't Ask to Be a Medicine Man
4. Wrapped Around a Tree

Book II: The Cure Lies Within You
5. Whose Power Is It?
6. Doctoring
7. Another Kind of Healing
8. Walking in Balance
9. Coping with Suffering

Book III: Learning How to Live
10. The Power of Love
11. Talking with the Earth
12. A Different Kind of Church
13. The Peyote Way
14. The Sacred Pipe
15. Becoming a Vessel - The Vision Quest
16. We All Have Something to Offer


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The Wind Is My Mother: The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
raynee6275 More than 1 year ago
This was, in my opinion, all of the self help books I have ever read rolled up in one--Bear Heart has the best insight into peoples' really important places!! He is the Master of all he went through and gives people a reason to look farther into themselves--he gives you the hope that there IS something there!!! He was a great man and a credit to all people. It has become one of the daily inspirational books for me--I read The Wind is My Mother and Bible verses before I even try to navigate this world. I will keep a copy with me the rest of my life--Thank You, Bear Heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bear Heart speaks with words that the human heart can understand. He does not flog us with a demand that we worship in any special way, only that we accept ourselves, our world, and all of creation as living and worthwhile. I could have avoided taking all those drugs for depression if I had known how to live in harmony with my environment. This is what he teaches as he gives us the guidelines. 'The Wind is My Mother' is full of hope for all nationalities and people of all faiths. I keep this book at hand for all the times I feel empty and hopeless because I can always find something to lift me up and make my heart thankful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been enjoying this book immensely. The author is a Creek (Muskogee) healer and he presents his life experience, native and college education to everyday life. He presents his and his people views on many things: healing, religion, race relations, history, spirituality and more. Each chapter seems to discuss a truth that strikes home with me. I repeatedly find myself in tears of joy and/or sadness while reading this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great. It's like sitting at the feet of one of the elders and hearing a tale while at the same time learning some important life lessons. It's very heartfelt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a most fascinating book. I couldn't put it down. Even when I finished it! I have read it three times and still counting. This is a 'handbook' for Life!!!
phoenixcomet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having read many books on spirituality, this one is my all time favorite. Straight talking and full of wisdom, this is a delightful read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book of all time! I've read it at least three times over the years, and read parts of it all the time. Bear Heart is a person i would have loved to have known. It is the story of his amazing life and how he was chosen to become a shaman by 2 older shaman who he learned from over many years. He makes you want to live a better life. I've always loved the earth and all the creatures we share it with more than most of the people I had known most of my life and after reading this book, it makes me feel I was right to feel this way. Also what this book taught me is to be more patient and understanding of people, which many times i wasn't. I was brought up as a christian, but always felt simething was missing and tried many different religions and eventually just did my own thing but l always believed in a higher power. The Native American church is what i was looking for! This book helped me know that nature can be my church and that the Great Spirit is there amoung his creation. He is also in your heart and anywhere you need him! But Bear Heart's book isn't a call for conversion, he teaches how to live a good life so that when you look back on you're life you won't feel ashamed. I've recommended this book to many of my friends and they have loved it as much as I do!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read. This book opens you to new views of life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book and I plan to use it along with scripture for a Bible Study.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it was interesting reading about shamanism from a Native American Shaman. Bear Heart shares a lot of wisdom and sayings of his people and of his own experiences. Some parts of the book seem to drag out, but overall it is worth a read if you are interested in Native American ways, particularly shamanism.