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Author Topic: Hávamál Meditations  (Read 2556 times)

Froði Ingsson

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Hávamál Meditations
« on: July 23, 2016, 03:39:05 am »
Blessings,

This is the beginning of a series of meditations I’m doing on the Hávamál. Each post will have my own meditative translation of the verse with some thoughts on what it means to me, as well as some stories of my life that expound upon it. Each post will end with a practice I’ve found helpful in embodying Óðinn’s Wisdom.

While I’m doing this for my own growth and empowerment, I hope these words I share benefit you in some way.

The six Hávamál translations I’m meditating with:
Be Blessed,
Frodi Ingsson


I
[/B]

Be aware,
be watchful,
for you never know when or from where trouble will come.


Externally this teaching is about being aware of our surroundings and being watchful for trouble – especially when entering a public space.

Back in the days we had to watch out least someone killed us, as Hollander points out with Einar’s death in the Heimskringla, Ch. 45: (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/598/598-h/598-h.htm#link2H_4_0584).

While this still happens in certain environments today, for most of us it’s a social caution we need to look out for. Some modern examples are:

Entering predatory bars or situations
Avoiding bullies at school or work
Watching out for abusive relationships
Not getting backstabbed by business partners

While these people might not kill us, they can do a lot of damage. In some cases even push others towards suicide, addiction, prison, or some other horrible thing.

While I do not personally feel this teaching is instructing us to distrust the world and everyone in it, I do believe it’s reminding us to be cautious when entering an unknown or hostile situation/environment.


My Stories

One story in my life related to this teaching happened in Isle Vista, California. Early in the night I had been accosted by some gangsters looking for trouble. I had been behind my friends hollering and having fun like always when three wannabe gangsters surrounded me and started to get in my face: “you got a problem,” they kept saying.

Being a little scrapper, I took aim at the biggest kid and broke his nose before running away.

After jumping a few fences and hiding in someone’s backyard for thirty minutes I figured it was safe to come out. I ended up at a party where these punks and some of their friends were hanging out. They knocked me down and started kicking the shit out of me. I was able to push pass them and run away again.

The lesson learned: pay attention to my surroundings.

A second story that helps draw out this verse’s teaching happen in Arizona. I got picked up by some hippies going to the National Rainbow Gathering. We followed the directions to the middle of the woods, but no one was there. This sometimes happens: we get the wrong directions in life. It wasn’t a big deal. The next morning we could start again and hook up with some other kids with the right directions.

Only, one of the other people in the van started to freak out and get angry. He stormed down one of the trails looking for the gathering even though we told him it wasn’t here.

Deep down inside I knew something was off with this guy, but instead of listening to the alarm going off in my head, I laid down and went to sleep.

I don’t know how long it was, but the next thing I know I’m being kicked awake. This lunatic is kicking and yelling at me, screaming at me that I was going to kill him or something like that. I jumped out of my sleeping bag naked and ran into the woods afraid for my life.

The lesson learned: listen to my intuition.

While most of the Hávamál’s teachings focus on the external environment, there is also something to be said about paying attention to our inner environment. For there are many thoughts and emotions that can and often do trip us up. And many times, as my second story above points out, our intuition is telling us something we should really pay attention to.  


Practice

One area this teaching applies to is coming into a room and feeling out the atmosphere. Is it welcoming, hostile, volatile, peaceful, et cetera?

Pay attention when you come into a common space. Take a moment to look around. See what’s going on. Who’s there? What are people doing? Is there laughter or uncomfortable silence? Do you feel tense or at ease? Take a moment to feel out the situation. You never know, it could save your life.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 12:19:36 pm by Morag »

Froði Ingsson

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Re: Hávamál Meditations
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2016, 02:38:49 am »
Quote from: Froði Ingsson;194331
Blessings,

These are my meditations on the Hávamál. Each post will have my own meditative translation of the verse with some thoughts on what it means to me, as well as some stories of my life that expound upon it. Each post will end with a lesson I've learned and a practice I’ve found helpful in embodying Óðinn’s Wisdom.


Be Blessed,
Frodi Ingsson

 
VII
[/B]

Listen
Watch
Learn


Have you ever had the experience of walking into a conversation and making a fool of yourself? I have. In fact, I’ve done it with Óðinn’s teachings as well: I read a verse and my mind fills up with all my “wiseness.”

While wisdom and understanding come to mind often, sometimes I’m just filling in space to hide the fact that I’m not always as wise as I think I am.

It’s when I slow down and listen,
when I stop and watch;
that’s when I’m most receptive to learning.


Story

During my traveling days I lived on a Lakota farm for a few months. I wasn’t there to learn farming or their ways, I was there to heal. And so, I did what they told me to do and minded my own business.

My days were filled with hikes in the woods, running with the buffalo, and soaring with eagle as he flew overhead. It was the perfect place to heal and grow strong.

At one point a WWOOFA kid came around asking a bunch of questions and not paying attention to what they were teaching him. After a few days they energetically sent him away. It was at that point I realized how much I was learning. And so I started to pay attention. I did not ask questions, I just listened to their stories and watched how they interacted with the world around them: physically and spiritually.

Not long after that Four Eagles started teaching me their ways. I can honestly say I would have missed a great opportunity if I’d been like that WWOOFA kid.

Lesson Learned: Learning comes in many guises. When we hold to one way of learning we miss out on all the knowledge and wisdom that’s available to us. Also, cultures are different. A person coming to a Native with a bunch of analytical questions will tend to see the Native as being rude or ignorant, when in truth, it’s the westernized mentality, entitlement, and disrespect that’s narrow minded and ignorant.


Practice

Intentionally spend a day listening and watching people. If you find yourself in conversation, don’t worry about having a response, just listen to what they’re saying, watch their body language, and make an effort to learn something.

If you can, be silent for a day. I’ve done this a few times in my life – one time for a week. You might be amazed at how the world changes, how others treat you, how you start to notice subtle things around you. I know I was.

Froði Ingsson

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Re: Hávamál Meditations
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2018, 04:25:58 am »
This thread is for a series of meditations I’m doing on the Hávamál.

It's been awhile. I hope all is well with everyone. I've come back to my study of the Hávamál. Here are the two videos I've done so far this year.

This first one is what the Hávamál has to say about friendship: what it is, how we form them, and how we retain them:

This second video challenges the belief that the Hávamál is the Tao of the North:

Froði Ingsson

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Re: Hávamál Meditations
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 03:20:22 am »
This thread is for a series of meditations I’m doing on the Hávamál.

This week I've been studying what Óðinn has to say about wealth. The main stanzas I've focused on are: 10, 40, 58-59, 69-70, 75, 78-79.

Some main themes I've seen are hoarding vs enjoying and using, action and acquisition, happiness, fickleness, and money's tendency towards increasing arrogance rather than wisdom.

What does the Hávamál say to you about money?

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