Black Elk Speaks: Vision of Unity

“… I saw more than I can tell
and I understood more than I saw;
for I was seeing in a sacred manner
the shapes of all things in the spirit,
and the shape of all shapes
as they must live together like one being.
And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people
Was one of many hoops
that made one circle,
wide as daylight and as starlight,
and in the center grew one mighty
flowering tree
to shelter all the children
of one mother and one father.
And I saw it was holy.”

~ excerpt from Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux as told through John G. Neihardt. This collaborative autobiography has become a Native American historical and spiritual classic for the visions of Black Elk (1863 – 1950) of the Lakota people. From boyhood to his initiation as a Medicine man, the life of Black Elk unfolds as war breaks out between the settlers and the Native Americans and gives perspective on the Battle of Little Bighorn and the Battle at Wounded Knee. Even as his way of life disappears with the decimation of the Buffalo, his visions tell of the unity of all.

     

“It is the story of all life and is good to tell, and of us two-leggeds sharing in it with the four-leggeds and the wings of the air and all green things; for these are children of one mother and their father is one Spirit.”
~ Black Elk


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Dr. Joel Ying, MD

Physician, Educator, Storyteller. He hosts this website for "Living the Present Moment" as a conscious journey of Body, Mind & Spirit. Holistic and integrative, his practice includes Tai Chi and Yoga, Craniosacral Therapy, Healing From the Core, Meditation. Always exploring his edges, he shares them in the blog, newsletter, courses, and online study group.

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