I closed my eyes, focusing on both my breath and Celinda’s breath, and grounded myself in the moment. I repeated in my mind over and over “Let me be a hollow bone” continuously and let myself linger in that phrase and its meaning for me. It was hard not to wander to times where I haven’t been a hollow bone, where my ego had taken over, making me a person I do not see as my true self. As I let go of my ego, let of these thoughts of inadequacy and guilt, my inner chant began to change especially as the pipe started going around, and each time I heard Celinda’s word’s exhaled. The chant changed from let me be a hollow bone to let us be hollow bones and thought of us as a group first and then expanded to all people, my family, America. I think the focus on children led me to want to focus my prayer on society and how our actions can affect the children and our future. I wished for community and I wished to be apart of that community centered on love and goodness. As I entered into this state, I lost all concepts of time and space and with each breath I felt my mind expand. I felt the center of my forehead expand and contract with each deliberate inhale and exhale. Through this space, in my mind’s eye, lingered a purple circle of light that expanded and contracted as well through my breath. I have never had such a physical feeling of my own mind and was fully immersed in the process. My focus was broken when Melissa sweetly uttered “here” as she handed me the pipe. I was grateful to have such a lovely energy break me from my time in silence. My experience with the pipe the first time was anxious, as I had had my eyes closed almost since Celinda had started the ceremony. I had missed everyone else turn with the pipe, and was entirely nervous I was going to do something wrong. I felt a beautiful energy from the pipe; I felt its age, its grace, its history but was almost glad when I passed it, slightly uncomfortable with its emotional weight. Throughout the whole ceremony I felt that nervous feeling “am I supposed to be here??” I was happy when the pipe came around the second time because I was able to see all of you pray as you exhaled.
Looking back on this experience, I know that I had a much easier time connecting in both space and energy here at Shove with all you than at Pine Ridge (not to make any sort of hierarchy of personal spiritual moments, because I have no intentions of doing so). I anxiously wrote the above as soon I returned home, afraid to lose the experience to faulty memory. I was a bit self-conscious to share, (I’m only posting this now, around a month later) perhaps because my experience was so individual and contained in my own mind. I realize now, because of my comfort with all of you, that this was an experience that came from your energies as well as my own and I want to thank all of you for sharing your minds and your space with me for the past block. When I first came into the class, I recognized most everyone from passing days at CC, but you were almost all strangers to me. I wasn’t sure how it was going to change my experience from those that had close companions to share the trip of this class with. Although I haven’t gotten to truly know any of you, which is no easy feat especially within a time span of three and a half weeks, I clearly feel the progress we have made as a group and look forward to furthering my relationships with all of you beautiful people.