Buffalo Rubbing Stone and Wisdom

Buffalo Rubbing Stones are one of the interesting natural phenomena around Calgary. During the last ice age, this entire area was covered with glaciers. As these glaciers receded, they carried large boulders and rocks with them. When a rock became too heavy for the glacier to carry, it found a new home. Some of these rocks were transported for hundreds of miles and some were the size of a car or truck.

Later, when herds of buffalo roamed this area, they loved to rub against these rocks, especially in spring when they shed their heavy winter coats. Buffalo are not here in large numbers in the past, but people are.

Calgary grew up and around several of these stones. People are attracted to them almost as much as the buffalo. Many of them are popular tourist attractions. A relatively small buffalo stone lives in a park in my neighborhood. It is tucked away next to a small grove of aspen trees and is surrounded by bushes of honeysuckle, sage and wild asters. As the area developed, this park was left untouched and set aside as a natural prairie.

The neighborhood school regularly takes the children on field trips to the stone as part of their study of the natural history of this area. I remember my own children coming home very excited about this stone and sharing stories of buffalo hair found in the rock long after the buffalo had disappeared.

The stone has the look and feel of great antiquity as it is covered in lichen and some moss. It sits at shoulder height and is about six feet long and three feet wide. This rock almost demands reverence. I find it interesting that it has not been touched by the youth of the area, while another smaller stone about fifty feet away in the woods is covered in graffiti and paint.

So what does a buffalo stone have to do with wisdom? What is a wisdom? The human mind has been a great mystery to philosophy and science for eons. All of our life experience is created by our perceptions, and our perceptions are colored by our beliefs. No two human beings perceive the same event in exactly the same way. It’s a miracle we even get along.

To me, a wise mind uses its perceptions well, regardless of the age or youth of the owner. The key to wisdom lies in understanding your perceptions and their underlying beliefs. And also understand that no other human being will see something in the same way as you. Sometimes this is refreshing and sometimes downright annoying. Perhaps this is the birth of compassion.

Human beings often assign great wisdom to beings of great age. Our stories are full of them. Think of Merlin, Gandalf, the wizard, and the Ents, tree herders of the ancient forest of Fangorn in “The Lord of the Rings.”

We have within our minds many layers of consciousness and/or perception. One of these layers offers a connection to great knowledge and wisdom. Carl Jung called this the “collective unconscious.” I call it my “inner sage.”

If I have a problem or question that I feel needs the input of deep inner wisdom or insight, I go into a meditative state, quiet my mind, and ask my inner wisdom to come forward. If my mind is calm enough, I will feel his presence. Then I will ask my question, clear my mind and listen. If I get an answer (usually the first thoughts that come to my mind), it is still my choice to decide whether to follow it or not.

Since the old buffalo stone in our park reminds me so much of my inner sage, I thought one day I would have some fun and create the perception of introducing them to each other. I offer this perception to you for your enjoyment.

Leaning on the stone, I connected with my inner sage and asked what kind of wisdom a buffalo rubbing a stone would share if it could speak. I cleared my mind, pen and paper in hand and this is what I heard. “Ancient is just a state of mind, just like wisdom. Wisdom and knowledge are available to everyone, regardless of the age. I’ve seen many ages pass, and people don’t change. Their minds do. Where is your mind?” now? Does it serve you? Wise human beings are a gift to each other and I encourage each of you to find inner wisdom. How will you know true wisdom? It is compatible with all life. I am as old as the ages and will never I have seen nothing. shine as bright as a wise human being. Know that you are loved beyond measure by your planet and its beings.”

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