Sunday, July 22, 2012

Spirit of the Tetons

Hey y'all, finally catching up on the blog. I've been on the road away from internet for the last few weeks. Probably more of this back-blogging to come when I finally make it to the Far East.

Sunset over the Tetons at the Ceremony
Anyway, the World Peace and Prayer Day ceremonies were so unbelievably profound. I left with that rare feeling of homesickness when one of those truly special moments in life comes to an end. It's an annual event started by Chief Arvol Looking Horse 17 years ago, done in the Native American tradition of Sacred Fire Ceremony, and focused partially on the spirit of the buffalo with the Buffalo Field Campaign taking an active role.

I volunteered helping the event happen in many ways, including serving as one of three overnight fire guardians. The three of us built a special bond with each other and with the Fire.

This ceremony was not advertised in any special way, so it was amazing hearing people's stories about how they were called to be here. I only heard about it through the BFC, and when I left to hitchhike to the location, the directions were still not posted to the event website. My journey finding the location was a quest in itself.

People were welcome from every spiritual background imaginable to pool energy together in an attempt to apologize and pray on the behalf of humanity for peace with each other and for peace with Mother Earth. Speeches were made by spiritual leaders from around the globe concerning spirituality and concerning the buffalo. The power and experiences of these efforts are ineffable. Each individual I met there was so special. The relationships built in the span of only 1-4 days seem impossible.

This event has done so much for my daily life and for the future of my own spiritual path. It changed the way I look at the world in a way that can't be understood by someone who wasn't there.

From the Tetons, a dear friend I met at the ceremony gave me a ride up to the BFC headquarters in West Yellowstone. She taught me a Native song honoring the buffalo on the way, and we sang it for a big bull we found right by the road on the Horse Butte Peninsula. We sang the song, and before the first line of the first of four traditional repetitions of the song was completed, the bull stood up from where it was bedded down, and faced us acknowledging that it was being honored using body language I'd never before seen. Then, just before we finished, it slowly moved away to the west.