Once while on pilgrimage to Mount Rainier, with a Medicine man from the Huichol Nation, I was faced with several ideas about how life works with different teachers. Teachers are not always people, but can be any source by which we learn something important about ourselves.
As we were walking up the long trail, the thinning oxygen was challenging and required a focus on our purpose in order to continue. I began to feel exhausted and sat on one of the large rocks. While sitting, an elderly man with one wooden leg passed me by with a fast trot. My ego could not allow this confrontation to my youth to succeed, so I pulled myself up and joined my group again. We finally reached our destination near the top of the mountain.
The area was surrounded in beauty, with many trees, an open blue sky, cool breeze and a placid lake. The ceremony was sacred, educational, beneficial and renewing for those of us there and for those we met on our final descent, which involved for a few of us sliding through mud. We completed our journey through the Temescal (sacred lodge) elemental fire, with an appreciation for life, prayers and our abilities through this journey of surrender.
The purpose of ceremony is the opportunity to surrender to aspects of ourselves, often hidden, but revealed through our innate teacher, our awareness.
While on the mountain, we sat and witnessed the lake, its translucent blue color, its non movement, and the great quiet. At one point someone threw a pebble into its center. From the point of the pebble. rings of circles spread out in all directions around the pebble. The ripples just seem to keep going for it seemed a very long while, while we just observed them quietly, respectfully.
In retrospect I wonder, if the pebble represented our state of mind, be it pure or impure, frazzled or calm, what would the rings generate as they spread out? I wonder, if the pebble represented anger, and the rings diluted its intensity, would we find peaceful calm in the last ring? I wonder, if the pebble represented ignorance, would the rings also spread that same ignorance?
I also wonder what happens when the ripples touch the solid shore which depends on clear water for its sustenance? Today our water is polluted. But what is the source of the pollution? It is not the fault of the water, for sure. Could the source be a damaged pebble? Could the source be the one who threw the pebble? What would be the source of the damage? How could the damaged pebble be invited to improve?
The lake is supported by the earth, which got its beginnings from volcanic fires, and the cooling wind. Is it not these four elements that are walking around with two legs today? I wonder, what would happen if these elementals recognized their potential and learned to respect each pebble?
Maybe we should consult with our Original Ancestor, who authored many sacred books on the subject. I wonder? What do you think? Do you agree?