MENDING THE HOOP OF THE PEOPLE
The Rainbow Hoop
The Lakota Medicine Man and healer Black Elk lived through the shattering of the spine of his people. Describing the desperate spiritual bereftness he saw around him, he said, “The Rainbow Hoop of the People has been broken.” The Rainbow Hoop refers to people living harmoniously just as the colors of the rainbow lie side by side. The People he speaks of include the other inhabitants of the earth, including the animals.
My Vision – An extract from my book Fierce Medicine:
One day I was sitting with my pipe by the Columbia River, looking down at the water rushing over the round river rocks. My head throbbed from a migraine. I was fasting from food and water, which is traditional. I worried about stressing my body so much that I would bring on an epileptic fit. Maybe I was just too toxic for the Sacred Ones to bother with. Heyoka had always prayed so respectfully, but in my state of mind, all I could manage was, “Sacred Ones, what the fuck am I doing here?”
You know how the air feels different when there’s a rainbow or lightning or the aurora borealis? Suddenly I could feel the opening of gates. I got quiet and stopped my growly energy long enough to feel the shift. My hair was standing on end. I scanned the rocks for predators. Rattlesnakes? Lynx? Cougar? Bear? Then up, over the river, I saw a vision. It was me, a gigantic me, standing, arms outstretched, hair down. My feet were planted in the earth, rainbows were radiating from my hands and feet, criss-crossing around the planet and back through my legs and through and around my body. I was surrounded by the sun and moon and stars…
… In that moment I felt the wall of ice around my heart breaking. My heart surged, even though it was brittle and I feared it couldn’t stretch without shattering. I allowed myself to truly feel my deepest desire—to be able to do something good in the world, whatever that was…
… Now I felt there was something mysterious, something magnificent, inside me. What I was seeing was an invitation from the Sacred Ones to accept and move into doing my part in healing the world.”
It took me years and a lot of experimenting to clarify the meaning of that vision. Reading about Black Elk’s life’s work helped me to articulate my own—I call it Mending the Rainbow Hoop of the People.
I created Forrest Yoga to do my part in Mending the Hoop of the People. This is my life’s calling, my Spirit Pledge.
I have chosen Forrest Yoga Guardians from around the world who have pledged to maintain and add to the integrity and evolution of Forrest Yoga now and after I am dead. They have pledged to protect the legacy of the Forrest Yoga and keep the fires lit. Together with our expanding tribe of Forrest Yoga teachers, they have joined me in my Spirit pledge, to help Mend (Heal) the Hoop of the People. This pledge includes teaching people to use the tools of Forrest Yoga to heal themselves physically and emotionally.