"Central to White Buffalo Woman's message, to all native spirituality, is the understanding that the Great Spirit lives in all things, enlivens all forms, and gives energy to all things in all realms of creation—including Earthly life.
"...Ancient teachings call us to turn primary attention to the Sacred Web of Life, of which we are a part and with which we are so obviously enmeshed. This quality of attention—paying attention to the whole—is called among my people 'holiness.'"
- Brooke Medicine Eagle
Day 37 - Saturday, July 29, 1995 – While the walk is heading onto Skyline Drive, I've vacated the coordinator’s office in my New Hampshire home. Almost a year ago I committed to teaching at a conference in Northfield, Minnesota. As far as the walk is concerned, for the next week I am out of the loop.
Today while at the conference I heard the Tibetan Gyuto Monks perform in the campus chapel. Their overtone harmonics are entrancing, like nothing I’ve ever heard before.
Just before the monks' concert began, a stunningly bright Sunbow appeared outside high over the chapel. The Whirling Rainbow marked the sky for over an hour. All stood and watched, including the Gyuto monks. I asked Geshe Tensing Sherab if the Tibetans had any teachings on this sky sign. He told me the Whirling Rainbow is in fact mentioned specifically in Tibetan traditions, and that it is considered to be highly auspicious.
Northfield Sunbow. Author photo, 1995.
For our walk the Sunbow symbolizes not so much the spiritual attainment that any individual might aspire to, as it symbolizes our appreciation that each tribe on Earth is represented by a color in the circular rainbow, each unique yet linked to every other tribe, all having the capacity to find a way to live with one another. When all the tribes come together in respect they are stronger, more vital, more beautiful than in isolation.
E-mail Subject: Testing the Internet
This is Gaston LaVoie. I am learning how to use the Internet in this session with our new portable Macintosh computer. I hope we will be able to talk to all of you on a regular basis, daily, if possible. A running history of our experiences will be made available.
Last night we got to bed at 3 AM. I did not get much sleep but today is a day of rest and we will be moving to a new location. We are getting ready to climb up and to walk on Skyline Drive. We have received some new shoes and socks and the hospitality is still getting better. I can't believe what's happening to us as we discover America.
- Gaston LaVoie, Sunbow 5 Walker
Only the willingly blind can fail to recognize the ill health of our Earth as manifest in her fouled waters, air, and soil, in her weakened forests, and through the ominously widening hole in her protective canopy of ozone. While we must correct these conditions through direct action such as reducing pollution, planting trees, and consuming resources more wisely, we also need to act on a spiritual level. We walkers are convinced that pilgrimage is a principal means through which human beings can take effective spiritual action to heal the Earth.
Sacred sites—which are distributed all over the body of Earth—have powerful geomagnetic fields: the veil between the earthly and spiritual realms is thin in such spaces. But this is not something one can learn from theory, one can learn only by going to the holy places and getting in touch safely with the forces which live and weave there—by intelligently engaging the energies.
Tourists see what they have come to see, or what a guide may show them. To the extent that they are open and ready, however, pilgrims may apprehend, and perhaps comprehend, what is revealed. Our Sunbow walk—from one sacred site to another across the great, wide expanse of North America—is engaging and linking one sacred site after another from north to south, from east to west. In this manner we intend to be of service to all our relatives who share life upon the Earth.
Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden
Read Day 38 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire