Living in the Hearts

Taos Pueblo Story

The story begins a long time before I met Jimmy, when I had a vision that was as real as this world. In the vision, twelve indigenous elders appeared to me, one after another. They imprinted their faces and features upon my mind so that I would never forget them.

Twelve years later, I met one of these elders face to face.

It happened while I was in a group of thirty other people at Lama Foundation retreat center in New Mexico. It was our first day at this retreat center, and we were all strangers to each other. As we sat waiting for someone to show us to our rooms, a very old Indian man with a cane appeared over the edge of a mountainside.

We watched the old man for fifteen minutes as he slowly made his way, step by step, to stand before us. He raised his head to look into our eyes. I immediately recognized this old man as the first of the group of elders who had appeared to me in the vision twelve years before. And all the other thirty people also recognized him. We all fell to our knees at the same moment.

This was Grandfather David of the Hopi Tribe. He was at that time the holder of the Hopi Prophecy, and a great man (he now lives in the next world, and others have taken his position). We could see in his eyes that he was tired and depressed. It seems that in the Hopi Prophecy it was stated that Grandfather David would meet the true White Brotherhood. But this had not happened to him yet, and it was late in his life.

But when he looked into our eyes, we could see that he recognized us just as we recognized him. His face slowly changed, and a wide, beaming smile appeared. In an excited voice he announced that this was his birthday.

So for the next thirty days we drummed, danced, and sang a ceremony of joy. And Grandfather David took each of us aside and told us our part in the unfolding human drama of these times.

Six weeks later, while I was still at Lama -- I had decided to live there -- another old Indian walked into the room where I was working, and again, I recognized him immediately. He was the second elder who had appeared to me in the long-ago vision. His name was Tellus Good Morning, and he was a beautiful spirit. He was the head of the Peyote Tribe on Taos Pueblo, and he was over ninety years old. He looked at me and asked me if I remembered him. I said that I did. He looked at the ground and gave me the message he had come to deliver. He told me I was to study with his son Jimmy Reyna.

Soon after this I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, just being a tourist. I was window-shopping, looking at old Western items, and I walked into an Indian store that carried handmade ware. As I was looking around the shop, I noticed an Indian walking around in the back room, and I looked in to say hello. He asked me to come into his room, where he was crafting the items of his trade, and when I was inside he pulled a curtain over the door. We talked for a while, and I realized that he seemed very familiar. We both felt this, and could not figure out where we had met.

He then turned to a corner of the room where a huge Eagle was suspended from a string as though it were in full flight. Hanging from the left claw, also by a string, was a large quartz crystal. It was as though the Eagle and the Crystal were in frozen flight.

The Indian looked at me and said, ''Come over here and look at this crystal.'' And so I did. He reached up and gave the crystal a spin. Again, he told me to look at the crystal. As I gazed at the spinning crystal, it suddenly and instantly stopped with its point aimed directly at my heart. A brilliant flash of light, like a laser beam, shot out of the tip and entered my body.

The old Indian slowly turned and looked me in the eyes. He put his arm around my shoulder, and said, ''Hello, brother.''

On the Taos Pueblo, I finally found Jimmy Reyna, and we became good friends. He called me ''Hot Fire'' -- I never knew why -- and the name stuck. It was Jimmy who took my name before the tribe, and then returned to tell me that they recognized me from a past life. In the late 1800s, I had been a Medicine Woman for the tribe. I remembered everything about this past life, almost every minute. And one thing I remembered was that I had made many agreements to serve this tribe in a future lifetime. I knew that I had many things to do for the tribe.

And so, in this life, I remained on the Taos Pueblo for 14 years and helped them in every way that I could. I buried their dead, for they could not do this because of their beliefs. I went to their ceremonies, and chanted with them. I loved them, and they taught me so much about life and Mother Earth.

Jimmy taught me the Medicine Wheel and how to make rain. He showed me how plants could remember songs, and would grow with rhythm and music, not needing water. It was the tribe, I learned, that had opened the door for the angels to come into my life and guide me, long before I had even arrived at the Pueblo.

One day I was on the Pueblo, and I had just pulled my pickup over to the side of the dirt road. I looked a quarter mile ahead, and I could see a big old Indian walking his horse down the side of the road. As he came closer I could see that it was Jimmy. Except on this day Jimmy was radiating light, an aura that was much brighter than I had ever seen around him before.

I jumped out of my truck, and walked over to meet him. I said to Jimmy, ''What has happened to you? I have never seen you with so much light.'' It was truly amazing. Jimmy gave me a big hug, and then kind of leaned back against his horse, and began to tell me the story of what had just happened to him.

If you understand this story, I believe that life could begin all over again for you.

Jimmy said that his father, Tellus Good Morning, had called him into the Kiva a week before. The Kiva is an underground, sacred space for prayer and meditation. It's a place where you can be with the Mother. In the Kiva, Tellus said to Jimmy that he was about to tell him to do the most important thing he had ever done in his life.

This father then said to his son that he had a message to deliver -- a message that had been sent to him three generations ago by his great grandfather, passing from father to son for four generations to reach Jimmy.

In this dark place of the Kiva, Tellus told Jimmy to go to the sacred lake of the Pueblo, called ''Blue Lake.'' He was to take one friend. At the lake, he was to undertake a certain mission. Tellus told Jimmy that he must not come home from the lake until this mission had been accomplished.

Obviously, Jimmy wanted to know what it was that he was supposed to do.

The answer seemed simple enough: He was to find a cave -- a hidden cave -- where something was waiting for him. Something that had been left there for him by his Great Grandfather.

Jimmy loved his father and did what his father told him to do. And so he went and found one of his best friends, Phillip, to go with him. The two of them packed up food and everything they would need for an extended stay. They slid onto their horses' backs and headed up into the mountains for the twenty-seven-mile ride to the most sacred spot on the Taos Pueblo.

When they arrived, Jimmy said, they began to search the entire area for any possible hidden cave. For three days, they slowly went over every square inch of the land near this lake. They found nothing. They went back over the area again, even though they knew that it was hopeless.

Finally, Phillip gave up and said that he had to leave. He urged Jimmy to come with him, but Jimmy would not disobey his father. He stayed to continue the search.

When Phillip had gone, Jimmy went down to the edge of the lake where he made a small medicine wheel and prayed to his Great Grandfather. He told him that he didn't know what to do, and asked for help.

In that moment, his Great Grandfather appeared to him and simply said that Jimmy should get on his horse and drop the reins. Without hesitation, Jimmy got on his horse and let his horse go free, completely trusting his Great Grandfather's word.

The horse turned and slowly ambled around at the water's edge, then began walking along the rim of the lake until they had reached the other side. There, the horse turned from the lake and began to walk between two small mountains and through a space no more than twenty feet wide. It was a narrow box canyon, with no way out.

The canyon sides became steeper and higher as they continued. Then, suddenly, the horse stopped and would not budge.

Jimmy later told me that in that moment, he understood many things on a very deep level. Bringing the shovel he had with him, Jimmy got off his horse and began walking up the 45-degree slope of the mountain that rose at his left. After a while he found a certain spot and, with great conviction, he began to dig away the rocks and soil that were there.

The spot he was working on, Jimmy said, looked just like any other spot on this side of the mountain. It was completely undistinguished.

He dug about three feet into the earth, and a tiny hole appeared. As he dug deeper, the hole widened. Soon, there was an opening almost four feet across, and he could see a small cave.

And there before him in that hidden cave, Jimmy found himself gazing at crystals and fetishes and other sacred power objects, all laid out in an intricate pattern. These objects had been left there for him by his Great Grandfather, four generations ago! His Great Grandfather had been a Medicine Man for the tribe, and could see into the future. He knew that the Tribe would almost lose everything, but that a time would come when that which had been lost, would be restored. His Great Grandfather also could see that his own son would have a son who would bear a child named Jimmy. And so he gave his son the message to pass on to his own son, Tellus Good Morning. Tellus would deliver the message to Jimmy that the cave was here, and that Jimmy was to find the cave and retrieve the sacred power objects of his Great Grandfather.

The old Medicine Man had placed his power objects in a precise pattern, which contained within it the knowledge of how to use them. And he had placed his protection over this cave, until the distant time when this great grandson would arrive who had not yet even been born.

Jimmy went inside the cave, and there, in the midst of the crystals and carved fetishes and other sacred objects of power, he had an experience that changed his life forever. (When I asked him what had happened, he lowered his head and said he could not tell me.)

And so, when I saw Jimmy walking with his horse down the road on the Pueblo, his body was filled with light. He had just returned from Blue Lake. And I was the first person he had met.

Our world is more than we know. We think it is some ''thing.'' We think it is solid. A young child knows it is fluid, and that it is really alive. A child knows this because a child does not know separation from God. A child sees the Reality as pure light and consciousness. We extinguish this light and this knowing by our mistaken beliefs, and we replace it with a myth of darkness. We think a child knows nothing. But God is within a child, and all around. It is we who cannot see.

Do you remember your ancestors? Do you know their names and what they did for you? Please understand that all life is connected. Your actions now create the world in which your children's children will be forced to live. Your children's children will be forced to respond to the actions you take now. The world in which your children's children live will be the one your actions create as you read these words.

The simple ways of the Native Americans are their greatest gift. For they know the truth. And we, the so-called civilized ones, thinking we are so great, have much to learn from them if we wish to walk in ways that will keep ourselves and our Mother Earth alive.

Do you understand?

Bezár