I would really like to share this with you guys because this was an incredibly empowering morning in my life. This particularly morning, about two years ago, I was as high as the stars, in that I was close to Creator, but I had my feet firmly planted on the earth. Now, how did that happen? How did this woman, who for what seemed like forever, flew off the planet at the slightest whiff of Creator’s Breath, actually manage to reach such heights whilst remaining grounded? The answer is in prayer; how I prayed that morning. When I prayed I normally prayed to Creator – Source. Sometimes I prayed ‘Dear God – sometimes ‘Oh Great Spirit’. To me I was praying to Creator. And that had always been good for me because my faith was strong and it had grown with each prayer I prayed. I was blessed with hope, with love, with abundance. My life was good and my prayers had been good; yet throughout it all Black Elk continued to say to me “Eliza, pray! Prayer is always the way”.
“But had I not been praying? What was missing?” I asked. And you know, Black Elk never gave me a direct answer to that question because that is what he did – why would he have given me the answers if I didn’t understand them. I could do what he guided me to do, pray the way he told me to pray; but if I didn’t understand – if I didn’t reach the answer through my own learning, then what was gained? – nothing, because awareness is the key. I could spout off the ‘Our Father’ from my Christian upbringing, and I did do for years upon years – but did I really understand what I was saying? Did I really understand when the priest would say ‘we ask this through Christ our Lord”. No, I don’t think I ever really understood those words then. But those very words, that I heard thousands of times in my earlier life, were now the basis of my depth of understanding that morning. I had known for some time that when Black Elk prayed he touched the Earth. The Earth is his Sacred Mother. He often did that when he prayed with me and for me – in the days when I would meet him at ‘The Green’ in the spirit world. He was teaching me through his actions. On Earth the priest was teaching me ‘we ask this through Christ’ and in the spirit world Black Elk was teaching me to touch Mother Earth.
Now, I believe that all things are made through co-creation with Creator. Creator is the first and only One, and all things are of that One – the planets, the stars, the waters, the green, the animals and birds, and the people. We are children of Creator, created by Him/Her – we are creation – we are Christ. I believe that Jesus was teaching us that all things are Christ. I believe that the word Christ means anointed by the Holy Spirit, of the Holy Spirit – therefore since all creation is of the Holy Spirit, then all creation is Christ. So, I can conclude from this that trees are also Christ. And now, I will get to the point of my story –
That day I went for my early morning walk as usual. I normally walked into the forest and greeted my friends, the trees; and then I came home and I prayed. That particular day Black Elk said “Eliza, when you go to the trees this morning why don’t you pray there?”
The sun was shining and I felt happy. I often woke up feeling happy but that morning it was a different kind of happy – deeper, more peaceful rather than yippee I’m happy. I had had a wonderful weekend. So I was feeling happy, and I said ‘ok, let’s pray among the trees’.
There was a feeling of anticipation around me as I walked up the hill to the forest. My spirit guides were happy too, excited and all tingly as they hurried me up the hill. I stepped in among the trees and walked a little until I was surrounded by them. Touching one I leaned against it to get my breath back (the hill was steep). After a while I looked up into the branches of the trees and I said aloud –
“Spirit of the Forest. I came here today to pray. It was my intention to pray here to my God. Now that I am here I see my friends, the trees. These are Your children and each one of them has their own spirit, their own voice. I came here today to pray to my Father, Great Spirit. I ask if I may stand here in a great circle with You and Your holy children and share in a ceremony of prayer through You.”
The Forest replied that I was permitted to pray through Her/Him and so I began. I looked around me and I could see with my spirit eye that all the trees were happy to stand with me. I felt happier still. And so I began to pray. I reached my right hand up to the sky and I prayed aloud –
“O Grandfather/Grandmother Spirit, You who are the first and the only One, I come to this place today to pray. I stand here with my friends, the trees. We are Your children. I am Eliza, hear my voice and the voices of these Your children as we pray to You through Your Holy Forest. Each one of these beings I am grateful for. For years I have come here to this place and each one of these holy children has welcomed me each time. Over the years they gave to me of their strength, their humility, their wisdom and their generosity of spirit. I am honoured to stand in their midst and send my voice through their One spirit. We ask for health and for help for all our relations as we walk the good red road closer to You. We ask for tenacity and strength for all our relations as we face the difficult path. I only ask Father that you bring me closer to You with each breath I take.”
Then I touched the Earth and I prayed –
“Mother Earth, my Mother, thank You for Your love, for Your abundance, for the life that is mine. All things come from You, and all things shall go back to You. Thank You for my friends, the trees. Thank You for my family and my life which is good.”
Then I stood up again, and holding my right hand up to the North, I felt the power there – the power of the great cleansing spirit and the wisdom of Creator, and I said:
“O Great and Holy Spirit, my Father, I ask that You bring me closer to You, for it is only with Your powers that I walk the Red Road to the day of quiet when I shall be One with You.”
I held my right hand up to the East and I felt the power there – the power of understanding, of light and renewal, and I asked to be blessed with that power. Then I turned to the South. I felt the power there – the power of life and of growth. I acknowledged my ancestors who have gone before me and who returned to their Mother Earth. I asked for the power of life to come to me and fill me with gratitude for my ancestors who taught me so much and for the trees who loved me all of my life. Then I turned to the West and I felt the power there. It was the power of my body, of the earthly path. I asked for the power of the West to help me destroy my darkness and bring it into rebirth into Light. I then touched the Earth once again acknowledging that I send my thoughts through Her. I reached my right hand to Grandfather Spirit acknowledging that He is the One True Source and that all these powers are of Him.
Then with my hand on my heart I walked out of the forest, taking with me the beauty and the wisdom of how I had prayed. On the way down the hill to my home, I understood that for the very first time I had realized the true meaning of the priest’s words – ‘We ask this through Christ our Lord’; and I understood Black Elk’s actions when I was a child and he touched the Earth to pray. As I walked, for a brief moment I remembered how I felt all those years when Black Elk would say to me “Eliza, pray! Prayer is always the way”. In that brief moment it was as if no time had passed at all, yet all was transformed.
Eliza White Buffalo and Black Elks’ books can be found in the Inspirational Storytellers Book Store