Terry Tillman’s back! He’s a member of the Transformational Leadership Council and an amazing inspiration to many. That’s why I’m pretty excited to share the article below with you.
Remember those scenes in Avatar, when the people of Pandora would look each other in the eye and say, “I see you“? Well, once you read this article, you’ll realize that these three little words take on a much deeper meaning and is part of an amazing tradition and greeting that you can use today to feel more connected.
Read on. This greeting is spectacular and reminds us that we are all connected.
Connecting To The Soul
By Terry Tilman
After reading a piece I wrote about “Pandora and Nave—Are They Real?” Vishen asked me to write something about a particular part of the movie Avatar that most people probably thought insignificant and that he and I knew wasn’t.
Ok, here’s a little something.
This is A (good) solution. Not THE (only) solution. Solution to what? Read on…
About 20 years ago I was on a safari in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda). As we traveled through the villages and Serengeti savanna I noticed a recurring event. When one of the indigenous people would approach another, they would pause, face each other, look directly in each others eyes for 5 -15 seconds, say something and then continue on their way. This would happen in populated villages and in very remote areas where there may be only one human every 20 square miles.
After a couple weeks of noticing this I asked one of our guides from the Samburu tribe what the natives were doing. He said they were greeting each other. “How are they doing that? What are they saying?” I asked.
“One of them says, ‘I see you.’ Connecting through the eyes, the other replies, ’I am here.’”
This struck me. I’ve traveled to and worked in 94 countries so far and have seen many different customary greetings—hand shakes, bowing, kissing on cheeks one, two or three times, hugging, touching foreheads… but none quite like this. I have a file I call “Fancy Stuff” for things that tickle my fancy, and that illustrate or demonstrate a truth or useful principle. This goes in that file.
For those of you who saw the movie Avatar, you saw a something similar, but not as complete. The Nave on the planet Pandora greeted by saying, “I see you.” Because I’ve made the Samburu greeting into an exercise I sometimes use in my seminars, I received hundreds of emails from former participants calling attention to the similar greeting in Avatar. Vishen recognized that as I gave him the exercise for one of his staff meetings.
Why is this significant? Why would it matter? Why would so many notice?
Well, here’s my take–If you’ve done any work in the personal growth, self-development, transformational education or spiritual study fields then you’ve heard about the importance of being present and being here now. Books are written about that. Courses and seminars are conducted around this. One way we can recognize truth is that it endures. The counsel to live in the present moment has endured through millennia. It passes along a truth about how to have a good life.
Great advice. But, how to do that? There are many techniques and practices taught. I have many I use and present in my seminars and talks. Some take years of constant practice and eternal vigilance. Some can work quickly and repeatedly. This simple Samburu greeting is one of the latter. It is a simple method for coming present and connecting at a heart level. We can do it anytime, anywhere with anyone. All that’s required it to pause, look, choose. And then let it go and move on. There will be another opportunity to apply that simple formula.
This will take us much deeper and farther than the superficial “Hi, how are you? I’m fine” greeting in many cultures.
The eyes are the windows to the soul. When we connect with the soul, who we truly are, all things positive are present—joy, acceptance, compassion, understanding, cooperation, loving, peace of mind, humor, ease, simplicity and more. That is the nature of the soul. And isn’t this what we truly want, a positive experience in life?
The soul is always in the eternal now. The present. Connecting with the soul in this Samburu and Nave way is guaranteed to bring us present. And thus, guarantees a good moment. Add these moments together more frequently, and for longer periods and we have more of what we want.
My Samburu guide told me something else that I didn’t get at first. He said that in their language the greeting also meant something like, “Until you see me I do not exist. When you see me, you bring me into existence.” This speaks toward our deep connectedness and that we are in fact All One.
In our seminars we have experiences of that connection to the level that our “all-oneness” becomes a real experience and knowing, beyond just a nice mental theory and concept. From that understanding naturally flows peace, cooperation, respect, honoring, hosting, giving and serving. For when I know that truth I wouldn’t harm another because that would only be harming myself. My altruism is selfish. And my selfishness can be altruistic (Another way we can recognize Truth is that it is paradoxical).
Many want to understand something, or get clear, before they take action. The universe isn’t designed that way. Understanding follows experience. It does not precede it. The only way you can get that this is all true is to do it.
When I consider greeting another in ways similar to the Samburu and Nave I’m aware that I have a protected part that resists and doesn’t feel safe if I let down some of my guard and protection. I’m concerned about what they might think of me. And if I let that resistance stop me I’m stopping myself from getting the very things I say I want. So, what have I got to lose? I already don’t have the thing I say I want. As the Nike ads say, “Just do it!”
That’s an answer to many of the questions you’ve been asking in your personal private moments. True? Comment below.
If you’d like to have your own experience of this, and much more, the next thing I’m doing for the general public is my annual Idaho Wilderness Experience.