Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Art of Loving Yourself

The Art of Loving Yourself

I understand that my love for myself is the greatest possession I will ever have.
Love for my self comes into being only when I accept and experience my feelings as they are, at this very moment, both pleasant and unpleasant. As I welcome my painful self, it heals. Loving myself provides the power for transformation.

The Acceptance of Feelings
The acceptance of joy seems natural, but may not be clear why we should accept anger or fear. Negative feelings like these are exactly what we want to avoid. We normally think of negative feelings as preventing or interfering with happiness.
We all have some concept of ourselves as we would like to be – without certain faults, limitations, or emotional “problems”. We fight these conditions, expecting to be happier if we could only get rid of the negative aspects of ourselves, but the truth is that by not accepting, we perpetuate negativity instead of releasing it. Accepting is a difficult concept to grasp, because we have been trained to resist and fight what we don’t like.
We create pain through resistance and non-acceptance. To go beyond pain, and to enjoy wholeness, we must learn to integrate those parts of life we find painful and would like to avoid. Once integrated, they are no longer painful, instead, they add new dimensions to our existence. Life becomes richer, resulting in real, not pseudo, spiritual and material prosperity consciousness. The creative is allowed to manifest. Happiness becomes unconditional. We become artists of life, and realize that what we were resisting was really inside ourselves, not in the outside world. 

When I accept my self and my feelings as they are, I become whole. I am no longer split-fighting or condemning part of myself.
The power of self-acceptance and self-love builds within me. I acquire the ability to heal myself and the conditions of my life.
I awaken the power for transformation.
Accepting means opening to your feelings…

Acceptance doesn’t mean automatic approval of any event, whether an inner feeling or the interaction with another person or happening in the outside world. It means rather that we are open to the experience of the event. We may retain our intellectual discrimination, preferring that something be different from the way it is now manifesting; however, we do not allow our preference interfere with the experience. This is possible because experience takes place on a feeling level, not an intellectual level. As we open ourselves to the full experience of something on the feeling level, we accept it.
Feelings are our connection to life; without them we are hollow, stale, and cut off from true fulfillment. Self-blocking occurs on the feeling level. The feeling level is where we are most unconscious

Working on yourself is not constantly thinking about yourself…

Or your motives, or being thoughtfully introspective, or trying to control yourself and do better, or trying to be something you are not. Using the mind in this manner is self-defeating. We need to learn to sense “what is” through the feeling center, rather than project “what I expect” through the thinking center.

Experiences take place in the moment…

Being in the moment is a mystical perspective. Witness consciousness is activated, and we function on a new and higher plane that results in a sense of well-being and euphoria as well as calling into play transpersonal powers that have been blocked by the personal ego. By accepting we go beyond. We reach the spiritual through the mundane. We discover the spiritual in the mundane.
It is essential to learn how to open up on the feeling level: Processing consists of four steps, each step corresponding to a function of our individuality. The steps are taking to achieve integration of any event. The event can be an inner feeling or emotion, or a happening in the external world.

The Steps of Integrative Processing

1- Awareness                         Intellectual: Knowing
2- Acceptance                                    Mental: Thinking
3- Direct Experience             Body: Feeling

4- Transformation                Spiritual: Transcending

Empathic Listening

Communication Discussion Group


Listening is the pivotal skill we need to develop if we want to create a world of peace, health and love around and within us.
Real listening involves an attitude of total involvement with the person talking to us; entering the private perceptual world of the other and becoming thoroughly at home in it. It requires being sensitive, moment by moment, to the changing felt meaning which flow in this other person, to the fear or rage or tenderness or confusion or whatever that he or she is experiencing. It means temporarily living in the other’s life, moving about in it delicately without making judgments, living aside all our prejudices, views, and preconceptions, when at the same time being in touch with how this other’s story and emotions are impacting in our body-mind. In this way we listen out and within, constantly attending to the other person’s words, emotions, body language, incongruences, and mental constructions, and we check constantly how this is impacting us by being aware of our feelings, body sensations, strong emotions and mental chatter.


Empathy is the quality used as we listen to other’s story as if “we are in their shoe”. Empathic listening centers on the kind of attending, observing, and listening- the kind of “being with”- needed to develop an understanding of people and their worlds.  Such empathic listening is selfless because we must put aside our own concerns to be fully with others.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

JUMPING MOUSE The Role of the Raccoon , the Guide

As soon as the raccoon completes his task of guiding Jeremy to the River, he leaves quietly, unnoticed. He will return to the edge of Mouse Village and await the next person who needs a guide to the River.
Raccoons are midwives who assist in the birth of consciousness. Although the role of the midwife is critical, the focus is the birth, not the midwife. Once the birth process is complete, the midwife is often forgotten. As soon as the raccoon safely delivers Jeremy to the River, he appropriately averted Jeremy’s attention away from himself and his role as a guide and directed attention, instead, toward the next phase in the mouse’s journey. The raccoon’s timing was impeccable. He knew when his task with Jeremy was complete. He sensed when to introduce Jeremy to the frog and when to slip away unobtrusively.
All animals, including raccoons, represent the instinctual self. Meeting with the raccoon was also an indication that the little mouse was coming face-to face with his own instinctual self and was beginning to trust inner impulses.
Raccoons have no need for control, no need for adulation, and no attachment to outcome.
No limit is placed on the number of Raccoons we can have in our journey. And our Raccoons need not only be people. Raccoons can be turning-point experiences that can appear in any number of forms. A book, for example, can appear at a critical juncture and serve as a guide to the next stage of our journey. But no matter how many Raccoons we may have, the experience with our first Raccoon is always a cherished memory.


Pause a moment and reflect on a significant Raccoon in your life. Who was that person and /or experience waiting on your path once you left Mouse Village?

In what way did that Raccoon guide you into the next phase of your journey?

 Write you reflections down and then can share them with us in our next session.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Jumping Mouse- The River of Life

An interesting point in our story is that the mouse went to a river. If Jeremy had gone to a mountain instead of a river, her would have began to climb, for mice can maneuver in earth. But mice can't manage in water. His mouse self was rendered helpless before something he was unable to manipulate and master. He could only surrender to the song of the river and listen to its voices, which together make up the music of life.
When we live in Mouse Village, our identity is determined by who and what others tell us we are. Once we look in the river, we no longer need to depend exclusively on the opinion of others for self-knowledge. The River of Life gives us a more profound way of knowing ourselves. The River, which is life, is a mirror. The people, the situations, the symbols in our life merely reflect inner aspects of self. The mirrors in our outer world reveal messages we would otherwise not be able to hear.
When we look in the River of Life, we begin to see our inner selves. We begin to take responsibility for our underlying issues which determine why we attract certain people and particular situations in our lives. In time, we can detect our weaknesses, the aspects of self we are most afraid of, reflected in life around us. We see our greatest strengths mirrored and face those fears as well. What would happen if we claimed all our power? What would happen if we allowed ourselves to be all that we are? What would happen if we did not undermine or sabotage ourselves?
When we listen attentively to the many voices of the River, as did Jeremy, in time we may discover the oneness in it all and realise that the voices in the River belong to each other. We no longer distinguish the merry voice from the weeping voice, or the childish voice from the manly voice, or the lament of those who yearn from the laughter of the wise. All the voices are interwoven and interlocked, entwined in a thousand ways. All of them together are the world.
We enter that transcendent state of oneness, described so poetically by Herman Hesse in Siddhartha:

"When he listened to this river... to this song of a thousand voices, when he did not listen to the sorrow or laughter, when he did not bind his soul to any one particular voice and absorb it in himself, but heard them all, the whole, the unity; then the great song of a thousand voices consisted  of one word: Om- perfection."

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Saying goodbye to Other Mice

When we stand ready to cross the threshold and leave Mouse Village, we review the people and experiences in our lives. We place the people and events in our lives with a new perspective by beginning to understand their significance. We relinquish judgment and become gentle with ourselves and with others.
If you have ever examined the underside of a homemade quilt, you are struck by what seems to be a hodge-podge of knots, hanging threads, and raw edges. How could anything beautiful be made from such randomness and confusion? But when you turn the quilt over, you see a beautiful, intricate, delicate pattern. Each piece is an integral part of the whole design. Each piece is placed deliberately in relationship to the other pieces. Placing people and events in your life is rather like turning a quilt over to the right side. You begin to see how each part of your life is an integral part of a far grander design.
Once we place the people and events in our lives, we are no longer restricted by our history; we are empowered, instead, by a deeper understanding and a sense of honor about our past.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Hearing the Call- Jumping Mouse activity

The sound that Jeremy heard comes from the Unknown. It is the voice of Spirit, the Inner Voice. It communicates to us in a number of ways: a hunch, a feeling that persists, a revealing dream, an inner knowing, a chance meeting which has particular relevance, or a sensing that defies the rational process.
Life is always calling us, even though we may not always hear that call. Sometimes the call from our inner world is confirmed with an experience in the outer world; those moments of exquisite synchronicity! Something is calling us from within to be recognise as the voice of liberation from the false self, the ego, the "I", made up of the thoughts and reactions that we have allowed to rule our lives.
The sacred call is transformative. When such a call occurs and we hear it-  really hear it- our shift to higher consciousness is assured. The one that receives the message recognises a new sense of reality, and follows, as if by intuition, in a way that may elude verbal explanation.

                                                                     Medicine Shield (activity)
Draw a large circle on a piece of paper or on a cloth. Make eight equal-size segments. You will be asked to draw, paint, or sew a symbol for each segment of the story. In so doing, you create your own unique Medicine Shield, a symbolic representation of sacred images that depict your journey and serve to empower you.
In the first segment of the circle, draw a symbol that represent your life in Mouse Village.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Undoing Suffering

The Truth of Suffering, the Truth of the cause of Suffering and the Truth that there is aWay Out: The Middle Way

The root of mental pain is craving for sensual pleasure, for existence or for non-existence; or simply wishing that things were different from what they actually are. Craving is fuelled by reaction to pleasure and pain and driven by the illusion of "me" and "mine", which in turn are due to misunderstanding the true nature of reality.
It is possible for all mental suffering to completely cease. This is the attainment of enlightenment. Enlightenment is the purification of the heart from any traces of attraction, aversion or delusion. It is the complete letting go of the illusion of a  independent self or soul.
These truths are realistic in that they face up to life's imperfections and optimistic in that  they offer a practical solution: enlightenment, or at least peace of mind, in this very life.
Because all things are in a constant state of change, they are inherently unable to provide lasting happiness or reliable satisfaction. Grasping and clinging to any aspect of experience leads to friction, stress or disappointment when those things, people or situation fade and disappear.
As long as this pain is seen as something unnatural or abnormal that is to be feared, avoided or rejected, it will be impossible to uproot its causes and live a truly happy life. However, to the degree that the subtle and all pervasive nature of the first noble truth is recognised, one can accept and be free from suffering.
This is why the reflection on suffering is emphasised as the key to ultimate liberation, and those who have realised enlightenment are inspiring examples of profound happiness, loving kindness and compassion.
For a lay person this may be very difficult because of the constant involvement with the world. However, following this Path helps to be more peaceful, more focused and more aware of what is really important. It helps to jump out from the box of conditioned patterns and make decisions based in more conscious and healthy choices.
To achieve enlightenment or a more conscious way of life we need to undergo a gradual training, a way of life which the Buddha called the Middle Way, or the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Middle Way

The path to happiness is called the Middle Way because it avoids the two extremes of self-indulgence and self-torment. The Middle Way consists of cultivating virtue, serenity and wisdom and is further elaborated as the Noble Eightfold Path. Cultivating

1- The perfection of understanding: views that are in accord with the natural truths of reality.

2- The perfection of intention: Being motivated by loving-kindness, compassion and renunciation.

3- The perfection of speech: words that are honest, harmonious, gentle and meaningful.

4- The perfection of behaviour: actions that manifest non-violence, sexual responsibility, and not stealing from others.

5- The perfection of work: earning a living or sustaining ones's life in a way that does not harm or exploit others or oneself.

6- The perfection of effort: cultivating and maintaining wholesome states of mind while overcoming unwholesome states and keeping them at bay.

7- The perfection of conscious awareness: being fully mindful or one's body, feelings, mind and phenomena.

8- The perfection of meditative concentration: deep unification, peace and purity of mind.

When all eight factors of this path are brought to maturity, one is able to penetrate the true nature of existence with insight and experience perfected wisdom and unshakable liberation.

Effort, Awareness and Concentration

Meditation refers to the mental activity of sustaining clear awareness on one thing: an object, a perception, a concept, a process or a sensation for the purpose of peace and understanding. For example, one could pay attention to the process of breathing, a physical sensation, and external object, the emotion of loving-kindness, the mental repetition of a meaningful word or the perception of impermanence.
As mindful awareness becomes increasingly continuous, the dispersed and distracted energy of the mind becomes clearer and more focused. The act of sustaining awareness calms and soothes both the body and the mind, while the focusing of attention energises and brightens the heart.
The deeper the meditation  becomes, the more still, peaceful and quiet one feels. This cleansed and purified awareness, developed through dedicated training, yields extraordinary clarity of mind. One begins to see things as they truly are, beyond the limitations of conditioned perceptions and habitual thought patterns. As one sees clearly, wisdom is born, and thus serenity and insight form an inseparable pair that is gradually cultivated until the realisation of full enlightenment, is you wish so.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Experiencial Guide- Jumping Mouse- Mouse Village

The Mousetrap called "Consensus Reality"

Even without childhood trauma, how easy it is to allow ourselves to be governed by outer authority- the rules, beliefs, and opinions of others- without giving them our careful consideration. We accept what sociologists call "consensus reality", the reality agreed upon by most people as the way things "should" be.
If that consensus reality is one based on deep family, cultural, and spiritual values, we are likely to have an intrinsic sense of self and the confidence and courage to trust ourselves. If, on the other hand, that consensus reality is lacking in values, we may survive by dovetailing inconspicuously with the status quo. We obey the shoulds and ought-tos and have-tos which, in many cases, are blindly alluded to not so much because of their value, but because they exist. A grey dullness pervades. It becomes easier to blend in, to go along with what is, to be mediocre. We weigh and measure our responses, and in the process we become numb to our authentic selves, to genuine feelings and original thoughts. We internalise our consensus reality. Inside us, there may be a demanding, inner patriarch that keeps us stuck in Mouse Village just as effectively as any external pressure could ever do. We judge and criticise ourselves. We lavish guilt on ourselves because of our shortcomings. And we fall prey to limitations of family systems and generational patterns which we unconsciously perpetuate. We may feel obliged to live out our parent's unlived lives, or we may feel trapped in roles assigned to us in our family of origin.


Journal the following questions and  share in a group next week.

1- What activities keep you "hurrying and scurrying" in your Mouse Village?
2- which of these activities could you eliminate?
3- What family "rules" still govern yo but no longer serve? Identify separately Mother "rules" and father 'rules". Name one or two rules for each parent.
4- What "rules" by society, community, church, or organisations govern you but no longer serve?
Choose one or two.
When I am in Mouse Village I...............................
Describe yourself. Be honest and be amused.

Jumping Mouse - the story

Once there was a mouse named Jeremy who, like all the other mice, lived in a little village hidden away in the woods. He was always busy, doing the things that mice do, running and jumping, looking and searching, hurrying and scurrying, to and fro. It seemed he was always in motion. In fact, he hardly ever stood still. And, like the other mice, he couldn't see very far. Nor was he able to see very clear. For mice, as you may have noticed, usually have their whiskers in the ground.
One day Jeremy began to hear a new strange sound, one he had not heard before. It was a roar coming from somewhere out in the distance. Now, Jeremy was used to the sounds of the forest. He knew the different sounds of the two- legged and the four legged and the winged and the hoofed. But this was unlike anything he had known.
Sometimes, he would stop everything and lift his head to the direction of the roar. He would strain to see what may be there, and he would wiggle his whiskers hoping to sense something in the air. What could it be, he wondered?
Jeremy scurried up to a fellow mouse and asked him, "Brother Mouse, do you hear a sound, a roaring in your ears?"
The other mouse didn't even bother to lift this whiskers our of the ground. He was too busy. "No, no, I don't hear anything. And besides, I don't have time to talk." And off he went before Jeremy had a chance to say anything more.
Not to be easily discouraged, Jeremy decided to ask another mouse the same question. Maybe this mouse had heard the sound.
The second mouse looked at him in a most peculiar way. "Sound? What sound?" And before Jeremy could stop him long enough to describe what he had heard, the second mouse scampered off, disappearing behind the pines.
When none of the other mice knew anything about the sound, Jeremy decided that the best thing he could do would be to forget about the whole thing and get busy. He knew how to be a busy little mouse. And so he started hurrying and scurrying to and fro once more.
But no matter how busy he was, he would still hear the sound. He tried to pretend that it had disappeared. But even when he tried not to hear it, he knew it was still there!
Jeremy became more and more curious about the sound. So one day, he decided to go off by himself and investigate. It was easy to scurry off from the other mice. They were too busy to notice he had gone anyway.
When he was off by himself, the sound was stronger and much clearer. Now he could sit quietly and listen hard.
Jeremy stood on the edge of Mouse Village and looked back at the only life he had ever known. He sat listening to the sound for a long time. But he knew he could no longer be content to just listen. It was time to discover more about this sound. He turned to face another direction. He looked out into the darkness of the vast unknown and boldly left Mouse Village.
Jeremy was listening hard to the sound in the distance, when suddenly he heard someone say, "Hello Little Brother." Jeremy was so startled he almost ran away. "Hello," again said the voice. It sounded friendly enough.
"Who are you?" asked the timid little mouse.
"It is I, Brother Raccoon. You are all by yourself, Little Brother," said the raccoon. "What are you doing here all alone?"
Jeremy was embarrassed. He didn't want to have to talk to anybody about the sound. Especially not after what happened in Mouse Village."
"A roaring in your ears? You mean the River," said the raccoon, without any hesitation. "Come, walk with me. I will take you there."
"Once I find out about this River, I can go back to my work and my life in Mouse Village," thought Jeremy. "Why, I will even ask Raccoon to return with me. If the mice in the village don't believe me, they will surely believe a raccoon."
Little Mouse walked close behind the raccoon, so as to be sure not to lose his way. His heart was pounding. He had never known such excitement. They wound their way through a cathedral forest of tall evergreens. There was an intoxicating smell of pine and cedar. As they drew closer to the River, the sound became louder. The air became cooler, and there was a fine mist. There was a sense that something important was about to happen. Suddenly, they came to the River!
The mighty River! It was so huge that Little Mouse could no see across it. And it roared, loudly, rushing swiftly on its course, coming from some other place, going to the great unknown.
"It is powerful!" the little mouse said, fumbling for words.
"Yes, the river is a great thing," answered the raccoon, "but here, let me introduce you to a friend."
In a smaller, shallower place was a lily pad, bright and green. Sitting upon it was a frog, almost as green as the pad it sat on. The frog's white belly stood out clearly.
"Hello, Little Brother," said frog. "Welcome to the river."
"I must leave you now," cut in Raccoon, "but do not fear, Little Brother, for frog will care for you now."
"Who are you?" Jeremy asked.
"Why, I am a frog.""
"A frog?" questioned Jeremy. He had never seen a frog before. "how is it possible to be  so far out in the mighty river?"
"That is very easy," said the little frog. "I can go both on land and on water. And I can live both above the water and below in the water. I am the Keeper of the Water."
Jeremy was astonished! He tried to think of words. He had never met the Keeper of the Water. But no words came.
Without hesitation, the frog said, "Little Mouse, would you like some Medicine Power?"
"Medicine Power? Do you mean for me? Yes, of course. What do I do?" asked the eager little mouse.
"It is not that hard. All you need to do is crouch down real low and jump up as high as you can."
"That's all?" asked Jeremy.
"Yes. Crouch down as low as you can and jump up as high as you can! That will give you your medicine!"
Little Mouse did exactly what the frog told him to do. He crouched down as low as he could and jumped as high as he could. And when he did, his eyes saw something even more powerful than the mighty River. He saw the Sacred Mountain.
How long Jeremy gazed at the Sacred Mountain, we can't be really sure. For such moments exist in a space somewhere beyond time. But suddenly, everything changed. Instead of landing on familiar ground, the little mouse splashed down in water. And mice, as you know, can't swim very well. Jeremy was terrified. He flailed his legs about, trying to keep head above water, choking and sputtering, struggling for his very life. He was frightened nearly to death. Finally, he managed to make his way to the river bank.
"You tricked me... you tricked me!" Little Mouse yelled at the frog.
Undisturbed by Jeremy's creaming, the frog said calmly, "Wait. No harm came to you. You saw the Sacred Mountain, didn't you? Let go of your anger and fear. It can blind you. What matters is what happened. What did you see?"
The little mouse, still shivering from the fear of landing in the water, could hardly speak. He stammered, "The...the Sacred Mountain!"
"You are no longer just a little mouse. You have a new name. You are Jumping Mouse."
"Oh, thank you," said a startled Jumping Mouse. "Thank you, thank you."
Jumping Mouse stood up and shook off the water. And he shook off the anger and fear. He thought instead about the beauty of the Sacred Mountain.
With great excitement, Jumping Mouse set off for Mouse Village. Everyone would be so pleased to see him. Why, there might even be a celebration in his honour!
When Jumping Mouse arrived, he was still wet. But it hadn't rained in Mouse Village and everyone else was dry! There was great discussion as to why Jumping Mouse was wet.  Could it be that he had been swallowed by some horrible beast and then spit again? That would mean there was something horrible wrong with this mouse. Fear took hold; who knew what could happen once you left Mouse Village? No one wanted to spend time with Jumping Mouse. His stories about the River and the Sacred Mountain fell on deaf ears.
            Even though no one in Mouse Village believed Jumping Mouse, in time it didn't matter. He never forgot his vision of the Sacred Mountain. Jumping Mouse stayed in Mouse Village, but of course now life was different. But then, he was different.
Jumping Mouse settled quietly into life in Mouse Village. For a while, that is. But there came a day when he knew he must leave. The memory of the Sacred Mountain was no one he could forget. He knew that somehow he must find his way there.
Once again, Jumping Mouse went to the edge of Mouse Village and looked out onto the prairie. This time, there was no raccoon waiting. There was no path, even. He knew that now he must find his own way. He looked up in the sky for eagles. It was full of many brown spots, each one an eagle. At any moment, they could swoop down from the sky. Even though his heart was pounding with fear, Jumping Mouse was determined to go to the Sacred Mountain. And so, gathering all his courage, he ran just as fast as he could onto the prairie.
Jumping Mouse ran until he came to a mound of sage. He was sage now, out of view of those brown spots in the sky. He was resting and trying to catch his breath when he saw a kind old mouse, a country gentleman. This patch of sage, which was home for the old mouse, was a haven indeed. There were plentiful seeds, varieties which he had never seen, and material for making nests. So many things for a mouse to be busy with.
"Hello," said the kindly old mouse. "Welcome to my home."
Jumping Mouse was amazed. He had never seen such a place. Or such a mouse! "What a wonderful place you have. You have everything here. And you are even safe from the eagles. I have never seen such a place like this before."
"Yes," smiled the kindly old mouse, "it is sage here. And from here, you can see all the beings of the prairie. Why, there are buffalo and rabbit and coyote and fox and..."
Jumping Mouse listened in amazement as the old mouse named every animal of the prairie. Why, he knew all their names by heart!
"Sir, what about the river and the mountains? Can you also see them?"
"Well, little friend, you can certainly see the river. I know of the river. But as to the mountain, I am afraid that doesn't exist. It is just a myth, a story that people enjoy telling. Young man, take my advice and forget about the mountain. Everything you could want is here. You can stay with me for as long as you like. And besides, this is the best place to be."
For a moment, Jumping Mouse questioned his decision to go to the Sacred Mountain. He was tempted to stay put and make a life here with Country Mouse. It was such a comfortable place. And certainly it was far greater than the life he had known in Mouse Village.
Jumping Mouse listened carefully to the words of Country Mouse, especially what he had to say about the Sacred Mountain.
"How can you say that the Great Mountain is only a myth?" challenged Jumping Mouse. "Once I saw the Sacred Mountain, and it is not something one can ever forget."
Jumping Mouse had his answer. He knew he must go. He thanked Country Mouse for making him feel so welcome and for sharing his home. "I cannot stay longer. I must go now, to seek the Mountain."
"You are a foolish mouse, indeed, if you leave here. The prairie is a dangerous place, especially for a little mouse! Why, just look up in the sky." The old mouse pointed dramatically to the sky. "See up there? Those spots are eagles, just waiting for a little mouse. They can see for miles. And they will catch you!"
Even though Jumping Mouse listened as Country Mouse gave his fearful warnings, and even though in the sky there were still those brown spots... Jumping Mouse knew he must make his way to the Sacred Mountain. He stood still for a moment, took a deep breath, gathered his strength, and once again ran with all his might across the prairie.
It was hard for Jumping Mouse to leave the comfortable life with Country Mouse. Out on the prairie was much to be afraid of. As Jumping Mouse gathered all his courage and ran as hard as he could, he could feel the brown spots flying high overhead. Would those brown spots really swoop down and catch him, just as Country Mouse had said? He shivered at the thought. He was truly in the unknown now.
All of the sudden, he ran into a stand of chokecherries. It was a wonderful place to explore. Why, there were things to gather, delicious seeds to eat, and many grasses for making nests. Jumping Mouse was busy investigating his new terrain when he saw an enormous, dark, furry thing lying motionless in the grass. He decided to climb up on it. There was a large mound to explore. There were even horns to climb on. That would be fun, thought Jumping Mouse.
Immediately, he made his way on one of the horns, when all of a sudden he heard a sound. It sounded like a moan. It seemed to come from the dark furry thing! Quick as a wink, Jumping Mouse scurried down to the grass beneath. There was another moan, and the sound of deep breathing.
A voice said, "Hello my brother."
"Who are you?" asked a curious Jumping Mouse. Why I am Buffalo?"
"A Buffalo!" thought Jumping Mouse. Even in Mouse Village he had heard of the mighty buffalo!
Jumping Mouse had never before seen a buffalo. Certainly, no buffalo had ever lived in Mouse Village.
"What a magnificent being you are," Jumping Mouse said to Buffalo.
"Thank you, my little brother, for visiting me."
"You are lying down. What is wrong?" asked the little mouse.
"I am sick and I am dying," said Buffalo. "There is only one thing that can save me. That is the eye of a mouse; but there is no such a thing as a mouse out here on the prairie!"
The eye of a mouse! Jumping Mouse was astonished! "You mean my tiny little eye could save this magnificent being?" He darted back to the chokecherries. He scurried back and forth. What to do, what to do. But he could hear the breathing of the buffalo. It was slowing down and becoming heavy.
"He will die," thought Jumping Mouse, "if I do not give him my eye. He is such a magnificent being. I cannot let him die."
With no time to waste, Jumping Mouse scurried back to the spot where Buffalo lay. "I am a mouse," he said with a shaky voice. "And you are such a magnificent being. I cannot let you die. I have two eyes. If my eye can save you, I will gladly give it to you."
The minute he spoke, Jumping Mouse's eye flew out of his head and Buffalo was made whole. The buffalo jumped tho his feet, shaking Jumping Mouse's whole world.
Buffalo said to Jumping Mouse, “I know that you have been to the River. And I know of your quest to the Sacred Mountain. You have healed me. Because you have given so freely, I will be your brother forever. To cross the prairie, you must run under my belly. I will take you right to the foot of the Sacred Mountain. Have no fear for the spots in the sky. The eagles cannot see you while you ran under me, for you will be safely hidden. All they will see is my back. I know the ways of the prairie. You are safe with me."
Even with the confident words from Buffalo, it was frightening to be walking under a buffalo on a wide-open prairie. What about the brown spots? They were still in the sky. And the hooves were scary. What would happen if one landed on a little mouse? With only one eye, it was hard to see well enough to stay out of the way. Each time the buffalo took a step, it felt like the whole world shook.  It seemed to take ever so long to walk across the prairie. But finally they stopped.
"This is as far as I go," said Buffalo. "I am a being of the prairie. If I were to take you further, I would fall on you."
"Thank you very much," said Jumping Mouse. "It was frightening crossing the prairie with only one eye. I was so afraid that one of your powerful hooves would and on me!"
"You did not know, my little brother, that there was never any need for fear. For I am a Sundancer, and I am always sure where my hooves land. My time with you is over. I must go back to the prairie. You can always find me there."
With that, Buffalo turned and left.
Jumping Mouse was happy in his new surroundings. There were new things to investigate. There were plants in abundance and new seed to enjoy. As he was busy exploring this new place, suddenly before him was a great wolf. The wolf didn't seem to see the little mouse. In fact, he didn't seem seeing much of anything. He was just sitting there, doing nothing.
Jumping Mouse was pleased to find a new friend in the woods and spoke to him right away. "Hello, Brother Wolf."
Immediately, the wolf's ears sat up and he became alert. He looked directly at Jumping Mouse. "Am I a wolf? Yes, that is what I am. Wolf?!Wolf! I am a wolf!' He seemed quite pleased with his new discovery. but then his mind dimmed again, and in a matter of minutes he had forgotten completely who he was!
Several times the same sequence occurred. The wolf would just sit, quietly staring out into nothingness, completely without memory as to who he was! Jumping Mouse would say, "but you are a mighty being. You are a Wolf.
"Yes," would come the answer from the gray wolf. "I am a wolf! Yes, now I remember. That is what I am!" He would become excited once again. But soon would forget again.
"Such a great being," thought Jumping Mouse, "but he has no memory. He has forgotten who he is."
Jumping Mouse would help the wolf remember who he was for a moment, but then he would forget again. Jumping mouse wanted to help his new friend. "If giving up an eye could help the buffalo, then, maybe, I could give up my eye to the wolf and he would be well, too." This time there was no hurrying and scurrying around. And there was no need to ask anyone else for advice. He knew how to find his own answer. This time, he went to a peaceful spot and sat quietly. In the silence, he listened to his heart. It told him exactly what he must do.
Wasting no time, Jumping Mouse hurried back to where the wolf was.

Brother Wolf," he called out.
"Wolf? Wolf? Came the still-confused response.
"Brother Wolf, listen to me. I know now what will heal you. If I could give an eye to a buffalo and it would heal him, then I will gladly give you my eye."
No sooner had he said the world that the last eye of the little mouse flew out of his head. Now Jumping Mouse had no eyes. But that didn't seem to matter so much. What mattered was that the wolf was whole again. He could remember who he was.
As soon as the eye of the mouse went into the wolf, he was healed.
Tears started to flow down the wolf's face. Of course, Jumping Mouse could not see him because he had no eyes. He was blind; but even without eyes, he could see that the wolf was whole again. Now, the wolf could remember who he was.
"Thank you Jumping Mouse. You have healed me," said the wolf, as tears ran down his cheeks. "Thank you my little friend. Now I can remember many things. I am the guide to the Sacred Mountain and to the Great Medicine Lake. And it is your time to go there. You are blind, so you must follow close beside me. But I know the way, and I will take you there."
The wolf, with his little friend close by, slowly made his way through the tall pine trees to the edge of the Sacred Lake. Unlike the river which roared as it rushed over rocks, the lake sat in perfect stillness.
"This lake," said the wolf, "is more powerful even than the mighty river. For this is a Medicine Lake. It reflects all the world, all the people of the world, the lodges of the people, and all the beings of the prairies and the skies. It is said that he who drinks of this Sacredness is given the wisdom to understand the mysteries of life."
Jumping Mouse leaned down and drank the cool, refreshing water from the Sacred Lake.
The wolf said, "This is where I must leave you, little friend, for I must return. There are others I must guide. But if you want, I will stay with you for a while."
"Thank you, my brother; but you must go, and it is my time to be alone." Even though Jumping Mouse was trembling with fear, he said goodbye to his friend.
Jumping Mouse stood alone and trembling, sensing what was to come. He knew, somehow, that an eagle would find him. All of the sudden he could feel a shadow on his back. Then he heard the noise of a giant eagle swooping down, coming closer. He braced himself for what was to come...the noise grew louder, an enormous swoosh... then, a thump on his back. Jumping Mouse fell into a deathlike sleep.
After a while- we have no way of knowing how long, since time in such experiences has no meaning- Jumping Mouse began to awaken. The surprise of being alive was great. And he could see! Even though everything was blurry, he could see colours and they were beautiful.
"I can see! I can see!" said Jumping Mouse again and again.
A blurry shape started to move near Jumping Mouse. Jumping Mouse squinted hard, trying to see, but the shape remained a blur.
"Hello brother," a familiar voice said. "Do you want some medicine?"
"Some medicine? Me? Yes! Yes!"
"Then," said the voice, "what you must do is crouch down as low as you can, and jump as high as you can."
Jumping Mouse did exactly what he was told. He crouched as low as he could and jumped as high as he could! Suddenly, a wind caught him and began to lift him higher and higher.
"Do not be afraid!" the assuring voice called out. "Ride the wind. Hang on to it. It will carry you... TRUST!"
Jumping Mouse did as he was told. He closed his eyes and let go. The wind began to carry him. The wind, the breath of Great Spirit, lifted him higher and higher. This time, when Jumping Mouse opened his eyes, they were clear. The higher he went, the clearer they became. He could see with the eyes of an eagle. He could see through things and into things. He could see miles away. He could see in the Spirit Way.
As Jumping Mouse looked down, way below was his old familiar friend. There was the frog, sitting in a lily pad on the beautiful Medicine Lake.
"You have a new name," called the frog. "You are no longer Jumping Mouse. You are Eagle!"
The End