Manataka American Indian Council

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Speak It With Your Lips and It Will Become Reality!

By Lee Standing Bear Moore and Takatoka



It was hours before dawn in the beautiful springtime of May 1989 and Grandfather Lee Standing Bear Moore sat on a large boulder atop the sacred Manataka Mountain waiting for a good Spirit to come by.  After a long time of singing chants to the sacred lady of the mountain, the Rainbow Woman, he began to pray silently and in a flash his mind and body were taken to the top of another sacred mountain over nine thousand miles away.


Núi Bà Đen (Mountain Lady Black – Black Virgin Mountain) is a dormant volcano rising up sharply some 3,000 feet above the flat surrounding plain of Tây Ninh Province.  Hundreds of ceremonial caves and tunnels twist thousands of feet down inside the mountain. Its vast expanse is covered with thick three-tier jungle.  Seven ornate pagodas are strategically placed around the mountain to follow the sun through its movements in the heavens.  Emperors of China made pilgrimages to this sacred mountain for hundreds of years.  Proof of their long journey to Núi Bà Đen remains today etched into large boulders surrounding a small pagoda at the top of the mountain.  A human-size naturally shaped black stone of a woman knelling in prayer sat in front of the pagoda 46 years ago and probably thousands of years before that.


It was a military radio signal relay station and Army Ranger camp during the war nearly a half a century ago.  On May 13, 1968 two dozen men were killed in a vicious attack, many were tortured and at least one taken capture by the NVA – North Vietnamese Army. The Ranger station was again attacked in August when more lives were lost and maimed on both sides. Nearly every building was completely destroyed, except the small pagoda that was significantly damaged.  It was a bloody hell at a sacred place.


Sergeant Moore was on the sacred mountain during both attacks in 1968 and the same man was there again.  He was not certain if this was reality or a vision, but regardless he continued prayers until daybreak on Núi Bà Đen that he began on Manataka Mountain in Arkansas. 


He wandered the top of the mountain and finally saw the main pagoda.  It was huge compared to the ancient building.  The bullet-riddled black boulder of the Bà Đen had been removed.  The pagoda was completely restored with beautiful pink-beige walls and classical Chinese Buddhist design with curved roofs glazed with gold-colored ceramic tiles to ward off straight-line evil spirits.  Figurines and monster-like creatures decorated the roof ridges.  Ornately painted colonnades wrapped around the building supporting large roofs.  Everything was painted elaborately with bright colors and fantastic designs.


Inside, beautifully painted symbols adorned magnificent golden walls.  Hundreds of colorful prayer flags waived gentle greetings.  Many large Buddhas sat peacefully around the great prayer room.  The pungent odor of incense floated around every room and a peaceful silence smiled from every direction.  All thoughts of the bloody hell were gone and a powerful presence of holy spirits gently patted Lee Standing Bear’s shoulders as if to say, “the past is gone and only peace remains.”  He could not be certain if this was a dream of reality.


After making several offerings inside a large bowl filled with ashes and sand, Bear gave thanks to the lady of the mountain, Bà Đen, and asked forgiveness for harm created many decades ago.  His tears moistened the sand and ashes in the bowl and turned it dark red.  Lee Standing Bear walked slowly and backwards out of the Bà Đen pagoda.


The view from the top of the mountain was a more vibrant, greener and a more spectacular panorama that what he remembered.  Searching to find anything familiar in this strange place, he was amazed at the beautifully landscaped walkways and many statuettes placed near ponds with small water falls.  Foot bridges, benches and railings were layered in gold and blooming flowers were everywhere.  It was truly a magnificent heaven created out of the old bombed out battlefield wasteland Bear recalled. 


Later in the afternoon, he spotted several foot paths diving into the dense jungle and decided to leave the paved winding walkways to venture on one of the paths leading down the mountainside.  After an hour or so wandering in the jungle he heard monkeys in the canopy above and instantly knew they were the Keepers of the sacred pagodas and he should tread lightly. 


Screeching and howls of the fierce monkeys grew louder and louder and finally he felt it would be wise to communicate with the sacred monkeys and let them know his good intentions.  But he dared not to speak his foreign tongue that might antagonize them, so he made whimpering sounds first followed by a holy American Indian chant.  The whole jungle became quite as a whisper.  There was no rustling of leaves and not even the birds could be heard.    


Then all of a sudden with a crash from above, one very large female monkey jumped directly on to the foot path in front of Bear and at the same moment, another big male monkey leaped to the path in back of him.  Trapped between the two, Bear again made whimpering sounds and quietly sang a native chant.  The female turned around and started walking down the path and the male waved his arms, shook his head and screeched as if to say, “Move along! We don’t have all day!” 


The jungle erupted with sound again and the two monkeys along with their human charge moved down the trail as a company of monkeys squealed from the tall trees and watched the small parade from above.  After a while, an early dusk fell upon the jungle and the two monkeys stopped at the entrance of a cave that was cleared of brush and rubble. The cave did not emerge from the side of the mountain, but was a large fissure or opening in the ground.  Bear tried to remember if this cave was one that he might have explored decades ago.  Moving away from the entrance, the big male again waved his long arms and made an ugly face as if to say, “This is the place where you get off!”  So, with a some trepidation, Lee Standing Bear moved into the opening of the cave and disappeared into the darkness below.


After stumbling in the damp, dark and rocky cave for over an hour, he made his way into a large cavern where he lowered his body to sit and rest in contemplation.  He thought about going back out into the jungle, but the reaction the monkeys might be dangerous, so he sat for a long while trying to decide what he should do.   


He must have gone to sleep in the darkness of the cavern as stiffness in his bones made movement slow when he awoke.  In his grogginess, he recalled dreaming about a Lakota spiritual man, John Fire Lame Deer who was a friend of one of his mentors, Frank Fools Crow.  John only spoke Lakota when visiting Grandfather Frank, so understanding his words was not easy for a boy of English, Kituwah/ Choctaw ancestry. 


In the darkness of the cavern, Bear remembered from years ago reading a quote of John Lame Deer written by his son Archie who wrote, Gift of Power: the life and teachings of a Lakota medicine man "…A vision could put you on a path you don't want to follow," said John Lame Deer.   


Bear smiled and remembered his predicament being stuck in a dream within a dream in a foreign land and deep within a dangerous cave. “This must be one of those visions I don’t want to follow,” he mused. 


Lame Deer sometimes played the role of the Heyókȟa who is a trickster spirit, a contrarian, jester, satirist or sacred clown.  When he said or did something, it was important to know that he really wanted you to do the opposite of what he said.  Bear thought about the opposite meaning of Lame Deer’s words -- a vision could put you on a path that Creator wants you to follow. 


Sitting on the floor of the cave Bear silently prayed, “Oh, Great Spirit, give me Your vision to follow now.”  


In the instant after his prayer thought was said, Grandfather Bear was taken to the center of another cavern where he looked up and saw thousands of tiny sparkling lights all around the cavern and a bright light powerfully streaming down to the place where he stood.  In that light, hundreds of mind-twisting revelations swirled around his head, and within a second or two, it left him an exhausted heap on the ground.    


Bear dreamed for a thousand years.  He experienced many ‘knowings’ coming from the white light that blinded his vision and forced him to focus on nothing else.  Only a few seconds had passed standing in the light, but it seemed to be time without end.  Every bone and cell in his body was energized with love and happiness.  He saw beauty in everything through peaceful eyes and his mind and heart were wiped clean of fear, anger, the horrors of war, and every manner of negative thought.


He knew the power of manifestation.  He knew the power of a conscious being.  He knew the power of healing and renewal.  He knew the power of peace. 


When Bear awoke in a stupor in the darkness, he crawled on his hands and knees toward the wall of the cavern in search of an opening.  After bumping around for the longest time in the cold black, he ran head-first into something that did not feel like stone, but was hard and big. Reaching out with his hands, he felt a tree!  How could a tree be in a cave?  Then he looked around and saw other trees, rock outcroppings and stars scattered above in every direction.  He was no longer in a cave.  It only took him another minute or so to realize that he was on the sacred Manataka Mountain again.


Picking himself up, he began a slow descent down the mountain.  Too many thoughts crowded his mind, so he distracted his busy brain by singing a happy limerick.  He felt good and was tempted to whistle a tune if his lips and breath were coordinated enough. He labored down the mountainside as hunger grumbled in his stomach and his mind began to return to the present reality.


Weeks went by and Lee Standing Bear busied himself with meeting visitors to the sacred Manataka Mountain, answering letters, and working on a dozen projects.  Planning gatherings and ceremonies was the main focus of his life. Life was not the same though and his thoughts often produced amazing pictures.  He began to call them walking-waking dreams.


This was not normal for Bear.  He is or was a literal type person – everything was always straight up and straight forward.  Always bottom-line first and no chit-chat in between.  However, he began to interpret many things in life in a spiritual way.  They were not thoughts of religion, but more philosophical, more deeply focused on the true meaning of being without the distraction and confusion of everyday life.  Everything was much different after his visions became real.


Bear recalls his prayers on the Manataka Mountain and in the dream cave asking the Creator for visions to follow him.  Then, he realized that he had manifested the change in himself without realizing what was happening.  Or, was God, the Creator manifesting these changes?  Regardless, the visions he experienced were a direct product of manifesting.

Lee Standing Bear began to study the subject of manifesting and he learned that many great people in history knew the power of manifesting what they wanted in life. 


Mahatma Gandhi said, “…A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes…”  


President Ronald Reagan said in many different ways during his presidency “…You move toward and become like that which you think about..” 


Twenty-three hundred years ago, Aristotle said it simply, “We are what we repeatedly do.” 


And the great Buddha said, “…the mind is everything.  What you think you become.”


Bear began to understand that if we keep thinking about a bad thing, we will move in that direction. If we think about fear in some area of our life, we will probably experience this fear. We move toward and become like that which we think about. If we think about secret things, these secret things will come to pass. Our visions are very powerful. Visions determine our direction, our lives.


Bear says, “We should think about our visions to make sure they include the Great Spirit in every area, every day.” 


Right thinking and excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.


Beyond spiritual ideas and experiences, there is one thing that is essential for our personal and collective evolution — an authentic transformative practice.


That’s the open secret of the spiritual life. The fruits of spirituality, in daily life, and the transcendence of ego, are the results of daily regular consistent practice. We’ve all tasted this and yearn for a fully awakened life.  Yet for too many of us, something gets in the way of actually doing the practices that we love, and that we know in our hearts will transform us.  Every human was given the gift of manifesting. 


Grandfather Lee Standing Bear teaches us today to “Speak it with your lips and it will become reality”.


Since coming to understand the nature and practice of manifesting, Bear has learned the joy and love of co-creation.  His family, friends, seekers at Manataka and strangers have received many beautiful gifts that magically manifested simply by speaking them into reality. 


At the same time, he learned to be extremely careful about asking for things.  Intent and purity are two very important things to remember.


Every human was given the gift of manifesting. 


The next two chapters focus on developing this gift and creating an environment and life that brings the Creator of All Things closer. 


Speak It With Your Lips and It Will Become Reality!