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Standring column: Chaos: Wisdom from within

Suzette Martinez Standring
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St. James Plaindealer

Columns share an author’s personal perspective.

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In chaos, find wisdom from within. I met the White Buffalo Calf Woman and she was very reassuring. A zoom meditation took me and others on an inner journey to hear what she had to say. I am stressed and discouraged from the daily negativity of politics and I find solace where I can.

To the unfamiliar, meditation is an expressway to the subconscious where advice from the heart is possible. A relaxed mind bypasses the critical conscious mind to enter a place of serene awareness and answers. Historically, The White Buffalo Calf Woman is a prophet central to the Lakota (Sioux) religion. Visualizing her is a way to find my own inner aspect of her: wise, knowing and assured.

It is completely the opposite of how I feel these days.

So we closed our eyes and a drumbeat began. We were asked to imagine a giant tree with a door. Enter and descend a flight of stairs and she would appear. Then for 15 minutes, there would be no more talk, just the drumbeat and our imaginations would take over.

The rhythmic drumming was like my own heartbeat leading the way.

Suddenly I was inside a tent somewhere on the plains and I stood before a Native American shaman. From behind him stepped the White Buffalo Calf Woman, her eyes pale and penetrating.

So I reacted the way I do when facing supernatural power in a sacred, peaceful place.

I jabber.

“I’m so upset!” and I complained about high level bullying and corruption. Facts continually expose lies and deception, yet still the national divide deepens.

After uncorking my angst, I asked, “Am I right?”

Her serene answer, “You are being reactive.”

I wrung my hands. “So I should do nothing?”

She smiled patiently. “Measure your words only by what is reassuring and comforting. Use words to heal.”

“But how?” I wailed, “I feel so small and our national hurt is overwhelming.”

She advised, “Become the tree.”

I was reminded of the oak, 100 feet tall, which I first entered in my mind to find her. Following her suggestion, I then inhabited the length and girth of the mighty tree, with a sudden view from up high. The vista was expansive, as I took in purple mountains, endless blue skies, golden plains. The metaphor was I am central to nature with a larger, transcendent view. The message was problems will pass and be overcome. The present is temporary. Take the long view of healing and be active in it.

Albert Camus wrote, “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger - something better, pushing right back.”

Then serenity filled me, and suddenly, the drumbeat stopped, and the meditation leader called for our return.

Email Suzette Martinez Standring at suzmar@comcast.net.