This is a post that is hard to write conclusively, because it presents a paradox for the writer. It embraces a concept that is far easier to describe than to achieve. It centers around the practice of being a “hollow bone” for Spirit.
In his book Fools Crow – Wisdom and Power, Thomas Mails quotes the late Lakota holy man, Frank Fools Crow, as saying “Anyone can do the things I do if they can live as I do”. This writer only aspires to that, but we have to start somewhere.
That book introduces the idea that a key to accessing the power of Spirit is being a “hollow bone” through which Spirit can flow to others for their healing or benefit. Fools Crow’s actual practice for accomplishing this is described, though the underlying principle is merely the presentation of yourself to Spirit for that purpose.
It is an effort to properly be a “hollow bone” for Spirit. There is no place for being self-centered in any way. Allowing any ambition or self-serving motivation into your practice creates an impediment for Spirit to flow through you to others. This is why the practice described included discarding selfish motivations and intentions. His use of a “Self-offering Stick” reinforced that.
I learned early on that the medicine path is not a path to material wealth. Medicine people are traditionally the poorest people in the village, because they harbor nothing for themselves. It is a life of self-offering and humility; there is no other methodology to accomplish the work. Realizing what Spirit can accomplish through such a person is humbling in itself, but the effort to hold human nature in check is paramount nevertheless.
This principle is universal to all spiritual systems. The elevation of others over self is a mainstay in the teachings of these systems. And it is the prerequisite to accessing the Divine and being a conduit for it to the world around us.