Medicine Wheel Studies Exercise 1 – To begin working with the Medicine Wheel as a method of meditation and self-study, we will want to gather our stones. To do this we will need a bag to keep them in. We call such a container a Medicine Bag. In a Medicine Bag we place items that help bring our mind into a quiet, contemplative place. To this bag we add a lighter, a small candle, a small box, a fragrant burning material like cedar, and any other item we feel needs to be part of our travel-sized altar. We also keep 36 pebbles in this bag to take out and arrange at any time.
Today’s home-play assignment is to find your 36 stones. You might have access to a beach or a river or a trail that offers little stones. You may have access to a gardening store where you can buy a lovely bag full of colorful stones for not much money. You may have 36 stones lying around your house, waiting for you to gather them all up.
Medicine Wheel Studies Exercise 1 : Find a special drawstring bag that pleases you or any sort of pouch you like that is about the size of your hand. Gather 36 stones today and put them in a special bag along with a lighter, a candle, a piece of incense, and a small empty container like a box, to represent the holding of water. (You don’t have to fill the box with water, only recognize the object as the space-holder for the water element in your traveling altar.)
If you are a crafty person, you may want to make your own medicine bag. But finding one online or at a store is also a perfectly fun way to begin your Medicine studies. To become a medicine person, let’s begin by locating our medicine bag. Let’s fill that bag with 36 small stones along with items representing the other three elements, Fire, Air, and Water. Think of this gathering time as a sacred initiation into the temple of the Healing Arts that always resides in your heart. Think of today’s activity as a welcoming home process.
The heart of this exercise lies within your ability to observe how you feel while gathering your supplies. Are you excited? In a hurry? Frustrated? How do you put all the items together? What feels right? What brings calm? This process may not happen all in one day. It may be a longer ceremony of gathering. Enjoy putting your Medicine Bag into good order and let it take the time it takes. It is actually an ongoing conversation. Does your Medicine Bag need smaller bags to hold little items separately? What feels right? Arranging this small space is a tangible way to begin arranging your mind. Organize a Medicine Bag as a way to organize your thoughts and feelings. This gathering process is a meditation and an invitation to visit with the quieter, younger aspects of your inner being. Play and let it be simple.
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