The question arises as to what knowledge should be shared and what should not.

When I lived on the reservation I came to regard the Buffalo as an obviously sacred animal, and yet I also knew that no matter how deeply I felt about the Buffalo, I would never have the same relationship to the Buffalo that my Lakota relatives have because my grandfather, great grandfather, great great grandfather, etc. did not hunt the Buffalo, did not nourish themselves with the meat of the buffalo, did not make their clothing nor their homes from the hides of the Buffalo, and did not owe their very existence to that very sacred animal. My respect for the Buffalo may be deeply religious / philosophical, but for my Lakota relatives, that relationship goes beyond religious / philosophical to the visceral and I know I can never have that visceral connection even if I can imagine it, vicariously feel it and deeply respect it.

My Lakota relatives pray while holding a Canupa or Sacred Pipe but their connection to this sacred object is part of their Lakota culture and the stone from which they are made is becoming increasingly scarce. Neither Moses nor Jesus nor Buddha prayed with a Canupa, nor is it necessary to have or hold a Canupa in order to become that Hollow Bone. It's not about what you hold in your hand, it's about what you hold in your heart. If you are a non-native and think that you have to have a Canupa in order to become a Hollow Bone, then you have really misunderstood the nature of that Sacred Transformation. Keep reading and you may find some help and understanding.

I will share the teachings about this transformation that were shared with me because these teachings are universal and apply to every human being on the planet. Wakan Tanka (God, the Holy Spirit, the Creator of the Universe, the Great Mystery) is the Creator of the Entire universe and all of existence, not just the creator of the Lakota and their lands. Dawson No Horse, a Yuipi Medicine Man who was also an Episcopal Minister and built the Wakpanani Lake Episcopal Church used to tell us, "There is only one God and we all pray to the same God." (Yuipi Medicine Men get tied up in a Holy Shawl or Blanket as part of their medicine ceremony.)

Years ago there was a German doctor who visited the Reservation. He was an exceedingly humble man and I invited him to come to one of Dawson No Horses' Yuipi ceremonies. He told Dawson that in addition to being a medical doctor, he also had a small bag of sacred stones that he would use to heal people and he wondered if it would be OK to bring those sacred stones into Dawson's Yuipi ceremony. Dawson not only said yes, but he also suggested that the sack of stones could be hung from the West flag of Dawson's altar. After the ceremony, Dawson told us that the Spirit told him that the stones were speaking German. Dawson said that the German Doctor was also a Medicine Man to whom the sacred stones spoke.


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