Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Native American Vision Quest

Though this kind of thing has taken place for thousands of years throughout the North and South American Continents by people wishing visions to guide their lives, the following was the one I did specific to the Native American Teacher that I was studying with at the time in 1983. I was then about 35 years of age so I was very healthy and sound in both mind and spirit so I felt that I had a lot to gain from this experience. If someone was going to attempt this it is very important to think about their mental and physical and spiritual health at the time they are going to do this. Knowing what the weather is going to be like where you intend to do this is also important because if it is too hot or is going to snow and you aren't prepared for that could cost you your life. So that is something to think about beforehand because during, since you won't be eating or drinking ANYTHING for 96 hours. So, since you obviously will be in a very different or alternate way of looking at things at that time (at the end of this) you want good weather for this type of event and you likely want to be so remote that no one will bother you except birds and animals if possible. For me, I chose a bear wallow next to the TRinity River in Northern California near where a Medicine Man and his family lived that I was studying with at the time.

So, I walked upstream for about 4 miles to the Bear Wallow I had chosen. I only brought a sleeping bag and a ground cloth and warm clothes and shorts so I was ready for any weather but I brought no food or water of any kind with me.

The first two days I found to be extremely difficult in a psychological way as I was supposed to be praying only and meditating on my surroundings so I brought no reading material of any kind, nor radio nor anything else. But that wasn't my problem. The problem I was having was that my mind kept screaming to me, "You're going to die! You can't do this! This is crazy!" And stuff like this. So I had to be very disciplined to carry this through. The most difficult part of this for me, though was at night and when at one point it rained one night so I climbed under a fallen Cedar tree about 6 to 7 feet through and used it as a watershed to keep dry with my sleeping bag and ground cloth.

The other thing that was hard was that because this was a bear wallow I would imagine (hallucinate because of no water or food) that one or more bears were coming into the wallow at night. This I found particularly difficult to deal with.

On the night of the second day of no water or food my very intense visions began (like all native Americans I had spoken with who had been doing this in their families for thousands of years told me about). So, on one level I was amazed and surprised and on another level I was grateful to be a part of discovering more about what it was to be human.

The best way that I can put this is that we are much much more than most people think as humans. We have abilities and senses that are mostly untapped in modern civilization. But those abilities are still their waiting for us should we want to tap into them and use them to survive or to help our families survive one day. I think this experience more than any other convinced me in my life just how strong and resilient (both potentially and actual) all humans potentially are.

So, as my extremely profound visions occurred in my life I found myself mostly overwhelmed by these visions in every way. They took me to profound places that I'm not really sure it would be useful in the spoken word to try to even explain. Many of these awarenesses cannot be talked about at all usefully. They have to be experienced firsthand. Just like making and having a baby with someone or driving a car or flying a plane or getting on your own motorcycle and riding it cannot really be explained. It has to be experienced. There is just no other way to understand.

So, After these four days of no water or food I found myself to be more FEARLESS in a real way than ever before in my life. On one level if I ever had no food or water I would know I might survive even without water for 4 days. On another level my visions both enlightened me and scared the living hell out of me simultaneously. So, I found myself to be a profoundly different person than I had thought myself to be before this experience. I'm still processing now here in 2011 all the changes this experience put me through.

For one thing I was trying to choose my path forward in life at that time and one of my visions was of becoming a literal "Dragon of Compassion" , a really beautiful and powerful dragon about 50 feet tall that breathed out fire on everyone(on thousands of people). But the fire didn't burn them to a crisp. It enlightened them instead and they smiled as they understood the truth about life and themselves. So, to my way of thinking my writing now is one of the ways I share the FIRE of enlightenment with others. It does not burn them it only makes them smile and makes them Free and this is only a good thing for both them and all they hold near and dear and all who come to know them or pass by them.

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