Spiritual Autobiography – Ages 59-64 (Part Seven)

July 1, 2008

On the second day of my vision quest, in mid afternoon, without thinking, I found myself outside the square that had been prepared for me – though I had made no conscious decision to leave the square.  I was naked, with a blanket around my shoulders.

I went to a place where a few trees grew by a small stream. I drank no water. I found a hawk feather. I tried to do the chakra exercises but was too exhausted to raise any energy.

I went back to my quest site and dressed, intending to walk back to the Center. Just then a man from the center came for me.

My first words to him were, “I’ve had a defeat.”

His first words to me were, “No, you’ve had a victory.

I was taken back to the lodge. In a sweat lodge I told what had happened. Standing Elk said it was not wrong that I left the square because it was not under my control. 

When I returned to New York, I found that holding the prayer flags connected me with the feelings I had felt at the start of the quest—connected me to Spirit. For several years I kept a set of prayer flags, consecrating them on the altar of a sweat lodge, using them daily in prayer, and burning them in the fire of the sweat lodge where I then consecrate new flags. I still have a set of prayer flags, but as my connection to Spirit has grown stronger, I find I don’t need to use them as I once did.

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