A prayer for aging discovered from the ancient medicine wheel

Nothing has touched my soul and spoken to aging with grace quite like the ancient Indian medicine wheel and the traditions that have evolved from it.

From the National Library of Medicine, I learned that in the Americas, Indian tribes have multiple interpretations of the four directions, but the following prayer is my own, geriatrician’s interpretation of a version from the book “Black Elk Speaks” and Oyate (Nakota, Dakota, Lakota) tradition.

First, we get down on our knees and feel the soil, the sacred Mother Earth, bringing the world around us, the animals, plants, prairies, lakes,...


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