Talking Bears Talking Circles – Book Two
In Talking Bear’s Talking Circles – Book Two, George Walking Bear provides more insight into the medicine path, Indian doctoring, and spiritual awakening through the format of the talking circle. This is the second of two books containing stories from events at Walking Bear’s talking circles that cover a span of thirty-five years. As in Book One, the pages are filled with medicine for the soul and humor for the mind. In Book Two, Walking Bear introduces his East Indian spiritual guide, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and discusses universal truths that can be found in religious teachings from around the world.
By George Walking Bear
ISBN 978-0-9748668-4-0; 6 x 9 trade paperback; 219 pages; 30 stories with b&w illustrations; color photo; index.
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Author’s preface to Book Two
I have held many, many talking circles during my thirty-five years as a spiritual teacher and doctor. The events in these stories are true and happened, but the names of people are fictitious. I wrote this book in story form to help the readers feel they are sitting in the circle, instead of just reading about it. I also included jokes and the kind of humor medicine men and women use in teaching. It is our way.
To the Native Americans
We are currently in the process of coming out of our long suffering of oppression, degradation, humiliation, low self-image, self-loathing, self-pity, and loss of our identity. We must now bend with the winds of change and give the seventh generation their noble identity.
Every tribe has their own cultural traditions, which have been handed down from generation to generation, and now we have to make some changes in them. Tribal traditions are unwritten customary beliefs and behaviors that we have followed for a long time, and along with them are protocols. Protocols are codes of prescribed procedures of strict etiquettes that are important to the survival and welfare of any society and culture.
The time has come to stop hanging on to half-forgotten ways that belong to a society that no longer exists. New circumstances and conditions are being presented to us to help us make the changes needed to get off the traditional path and back to the medicine path, the spiritual path. Our ancestral blood does not make us Indians, walking the sacred path does that.
To the Non-Indians
We are all relations with the same father and mother. God, the Great Spirit, is our father and the Earth is our mother. God gives us life and the Earth’s elements give us our physical bodies. Our bodies may be white, yellow, black, or red, but our souls have no color or race. We are all Divine beings traveling on the journey of experience to gain wisdom. We have not reached our present state through something called “natural selection” and the “survival of the fittest,” but by evolving spiritually through many sojourns to this celestial school of hard knocks, and graduation day is much closer than you may think.
The visions I have seen of coming world disasters are meant to wake us up from our daydream world of satisfying the ego and believing our illusion of life is real. We are magnificent beings temporarily using a physical form who have forgotten who we really are.
George Walking Bear
Excerpt from Talking Bear’s Talking Circles Book Two
From Chapter 29: “The Grand Tour”
“One evening while I was conducting a sweat, I asked a woman if she had a song for us. She said she would love to sing a certain bear song but couldn’t remember the whole song. She asked Vera if she would help her, so they began singing. To my surprise, a bear spirit came into the lodge, sat in front of her, faced her, and sang with her. It is not unusual for animal spirits to come into the lodge, but I had never seen this kind of behavior before.
“A moment later another bear spirit came in and sat in front of Vera, and also faced her. The surprise became bigger when I saw that the second bear was blue. Who ever saw a blue bear? Instead of singing, it laughed during the entire song and, when the singing stopped, the spirits said that Vera’s name was now ‘Laughing Bear.’” He looks thoughtful for a moment, and then says, “Maybe it’s because she refuses to laugh at my jokes!
“I have never come up with a name for a naming ceremony, because it is always the spirits who do it. Some of you know my friend Yellow Bow. He is clever at giving people appropriate token names for the fun of it. When Ron Elk’s sons were young, they often came up with names for people they met. They called me ‘Chief Who Laughs At His Own Jokes.’”
The arbor fills with laughter then he adds, “Now that I huff and puff a lot because of my lungs, they call me Darth Vader.” The laughter starts up again. “A few years ago when one of my sons called to tell us that he was the proud father of a son, the spirits instantly told me the boy’s name was ‘Two Bows Broken,’ which really surprised me. Broken arrow means peace, but two bows broken means the end of all wars. I couldn’t help but wonder who this soul was who was joining our family. It sounds like he has an important mission to take care of someday, and the big winds of the next world cataclysm aren’t too far off.
“Okay, I want the baby’s mother and father to stand next to me and the grandparents to stand facing them, with the grandmother holding the child.”
When they take their places, he tells them to kneel on the blankets and to put the cradleboard on the ground between them. The cradleboard is actually called a baby basket, which has a large loop on the top that resembles a handle. The baby is handed to her father. Then Talking Bear makes a tobacco offering to the four directions and tells the father to pass the baby through the loop to the mother. They do this four times then Talking Bear says, “Her name is Spider Girl.”
Each of the thirty stories is graced by an illustration personally drawn by Walking Bear. Here are two examples.
About The Author
George Walking Bear Gillette is a Native American spiritual leader and medicine man. He is a member of the Kern River Indian Community known as the Tubatulabl Tribe, which is a Shoshone/Paiute band in California. Family history claims he also has Blackfoot and English blood from Canada. His full Indian name is Walking Bear Has Two Eagles. Walking Bear was born at the foot of the sacred Mount Shasta in the town of McCloud, California in June of 1927. He served in the Navy during World War II and became a Behavioral Therapist in 1968, successfully combining Indian doctoring and hypnotherapy in his practice.
Walking Bear has been a member of the American Association of Behavioral Therapists, the California Hypnotist Association, and the Native American AIDS Advisory Board and served as an officer on the Haslett Basin Traditional Committee and the Association for American Indian Culture. He was on a special committee of Native Americans who made it possible for Native American spiritual leaders to become chaplains in California prisons and subsequently held behavioral modification classes for Fresno County inmates, attending sweat lodge ceremonies in California prisons.
Walking Bear taught about his work to groups within Indian Health Services, Urban Indian Health Services, and United Indian Health. He taught classes on the use of hypnosis for childbirth, self-improvement, weight loss, and surgery. He conducted classes on weight loss using hypnosis in Iceland and Sweden as well as the Stanford Medical Center in California. He was invited to the Navajo reservation in Tube City, Arizona to explain Indian doctoring to the hospital’s medical doctors and served on a special panel on Indian health for the One Sky Center at Portland State University in Oregon. He also worked with scientists in Redwood City on cancer research and helped with the Tule River reservation’s Alcohol Program.
Walking Bear’s speaking engagements include the Santa Rosa reservation at Lemoor, Fresno State University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Shasta College, and Local Indians For Education in Shasta Lake City, California. He helped conduct a ceremony for the releasing of condors in the Santa Maria Mountains of California and served as guest speaker at the Ishi Memorial in Mt. Lassen National Park, California. In 1994, he was taken to Wounded Knee in South Dakota to help with a sacred ceremony for the White Buffalo Calf.
Walking Bear has authored and illustrated seven books. He recommends they be read in the following order: Talking Bear’s Talking Circles—Book One, Talking Bear’s Talking Circles — Book Two, The Secret Success of Life and Its Problems, To Hell With My Soul Mate: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, From Here to Eternity, Divine Design, and Life Goes On.