It was the morning after Titia and Servaas’ wedding and I was flying home from Smithers, BC to Vancouver later that afternoon. The newlyweds were at the hotel (with two cars), helping other guests get to the airport for their respective flights. Titia said, “Dave, you have to spend some time with Roy. Here are my car keys. Go visit him, and when you have to leave for your flight, just park my car in the airport parking lot and go.” Servaas drew me a detailed map to Roy’s home.
I’ve been a fan of Roy Henry Vickers artwork for years, (which I share at the start of the second podcast below), but I must admit that I didn’t know what an incredible teacher, healer, visionary and leader he was. Those attributes are chosen very specifically as you will soon see, or rather hear.
I asked permission to record some of our conversations and just recently I broke the conversation up into three podcasts that I’m sharing below. If you are in the Vancouver area this weekend, you can meet Roy at a free public art show and book launch on Saturday, which includes a storytelling session.
Here are each of the 3 podcasts, with descriptions of each of them. I hope you take the time to learn from Roy. I’ve listened to these talks several times and each time I get something more out of the conversation.
As an educator, I wonder what we do to foster the ‘four directions’ in each of our students? What do we do to connect students to their emotions, and the gifts that these emotions give us? What do we do to give students a spiritual grounding? (I use spirituality independently from religion). And finally, how can we embed storytelling more meaningfully into our classrooms? Listen to the podcasts and I think these questions will be very relevant!
Roy Henry Vickers Part 1 – Four Directions of the Sweat Lodge
Description: Artist, Elder, Teacher, Healer, Visionary and Leader, Roy Henry Vickers sits down with me in his beautiful home and shares the Four Directions of the Sweat Lodge. The influence of teachers in his life is a key theme in this talk. Each of these directions are present in those that influence our lives in meaningful ways and they are within us… We can learn a lot by identifying with each direction.
The four directions of the sweat lodge:
East – The way of the Teacher. (A child open to learning.)
South – The way of the Healer. (Mother Earth, “The woman who I am”, femininity.)
West – The way of the Visionary. (Voice of Man – Where and how you should be.)
North – The way of the Leader. (The elder, the warrior – Strength, Truth & Beauty.)
Roy Henry Vickers Part 2 – The Seven Emotions and Their Gifts
Description: Roy Henry Vickers shares the 7 emotions and the gifts that each one of them can give to us. Each gift is there for us, if we are living a life in which we are seeking the gifts… not being perfect, but doing the best we can on a continuous learning journey.
The 7 Emotions and Their Gifts:
The gift of FEAR is WISDOM. (You can not intellectually acquire wisdom.)
The gift of LONELINESS is REACHING OUT.
The gift of ANGER is STRENGTH.
The gift of GUILT is MAKING AMENDS.
The gift of SHAME is SPIRITUALITY. (There is a God, and I’m not perfect.)
The gift of PAIN is HEALING.
The gift of JOY is HEALING.
Roy Henry Vickers Part 3 – Spiritual Rudder and Storytelling
Description: Roy shares how being spiritually fulfilled can fill the void that transforms abstinence to sobriety. Having a spiritual rudder permits you to accept yourself, and allows you to live with integrity. Then we move on to storytelling and Roy shares stories from Chief Dan George and his 2 and a half year old son. We finish by talking about teaching with spirit and emotion.
Avatar, the movie.
Andrea Vickers, (helps Roy share Wakas’ story).
Thanks to Roy for inviting me into his home, sharing his time and wisdom with me, and allowing me to share these recordings with you. It truly was an honour and a privilege to spend this time with such a kind and wonderful teacher, and now friend.