Spiritual Autobiography – Ages 59-64 (Part Six)

June 16, 2008

My vision quest started with a special sweat lodge – only one round. After prayers were said, those not questing left the lodge. Clothes were passed into us along with blankets. We dressed and wrapped ourselves in the blankets. We were told to speak to no one except the shamans, but most of the community came with us to the spots that had been prepared.

It was dark by the time everyone left. I felt exhilarated. I had been given a corncob pipe and four prayer flags. I couldn’t find the pipe. Later I would write, “I had lost the pipe but had not lost Spirit.” I had prayed, “Let me feel what you would have me feel,” and as I held my prayer flags, my feeling was one of ecstasy. I had prayers in my heart for all humanity, and especially for the community that was praying for me and the others who were now fasting on the mountain. I thought, this is great, I’m going to have two days of ecstasy here on the mountain.

This was not to be, but the ecstasy did last as long as I stayed awake that night, and it was still with me when I awoke before dawn then it began to ebb.

At dawn, I stripped but kept my blanket over my shoulders as I walked – making each walk around the space a prayer for some person or area where there was a need.

The heat and thirst got to me, I had asked, “Let me feel what you would have me feel,” and the lesson of my feelings now was compassion for those who suffer.

I’ll describe the second day of my quest in my next posting – around July first.

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