2.8 A meditation on the teaching of Black Elk
Materials required: a listing of the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. To access this listing, click here. To avoid printing all five available languages, select only the language you need.
- Prepare yourself
Prepare yourself for meditation by any means that you find to be effective. You may want to consider Appendix 4: Tips for preparing for meditation and reflection.
- The Golden Rule
In a slow and reflective fashion, read the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. Take as much time as you need with these writings.
- Prepare yourself
- Black Elk’s teaching“All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One.”Spend some time reflecting on these words of Black Elk (1863-1950). An Oglala Sioux (Lakota), Black Elk was a visionary and shamanic healer in the Native American tradition. Many of his teachings and visions are captured in Black Elk Speaks, a book of his teachings which offers an eloquent and profound vision of the unity of all creation.Spend as much time as you need reflecting on these words of Black Elk.
- Interacting wisdom statements
You have had some time to reflect on both Black Elk’s statement and the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. How do these two interact for you? To aid your reflection, consider one or more of the following questions:
- Do these words of Black Elk give added meaning to the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule? If so, how do they add meaning? Conversely, do the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule give added meaning to Black Elk’s words? Explain.
- Which of the 13 statements of the Golden Rule relate most directly to Black Elk’s teaching? Explain.
- Are there ways in which the words of Black Elk do not relate to the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule? Explain.
- In your own words
In your own words, re-write this statement by Black Elk, incorporating any new insights that you have garnered from your reflection thus far.
- Going deeper
Read the written reflections you have made throughout this meditation thus far. To deepen your reflection, consider one or more of the following questions:
- What was it like for me to do this meditation exercise?
- At what points during this period of reflection was I moved? Inspired? Challenged?
- What questions or issues have been raised for me?
- What new insights have I gained in this process?
- What did I learn about myself?
- As a result of this meditation, what aspects of my life might I consider changing?
- As a result of this meditation, I feel moved to……
- What did I learn about the Golden Rule? About the world we live in?
- Record your thoughts
In your journal, record any thoughts, reflections or insights garnered in Step #6 and in the entire process.
- A group experience
For instructions on how to adapt this meditation for a group experience, see Appendix 3: Application to a group experience.