The spiritual skills used in the book were taught by Tom Brown Jr. as passed down by Grandfather Stalking Wolf.
I can do little justice to the spiritual lives of Grandfather’s people in only a few lines. If you truly want to understand his people and his spiritual journey, I highly recommend Tom Brown Jr.’s book Grandfather. There are many who discredit Tom because they do not believe in the spiritual skills he teaches; they believe the stories he tells are impossible. Not only can Tom do what he says, but he can teach other people to do it as well. I’ve been a student of the school for almost twenty years and it doesn’t take belief; you watch people reproduce the results all the time. The pure spiritual skills Grandfather passed down work regardless of race, religion or belief system. They are profound tools for anyone seeking a richer spiritual life.
There are not nearly as many people teaching the spiritual skills as the primitive skills. The best place to go is to the source, The Tracker School. Tom even teaches online philosophy classes sometimes these days. Most of Tom’s non-field guide books focus on the spiritual teachings, with one, Awakening Spirits, literally being an actual course, very much like what he teaches in the Philosophy 1 course.
I’ve also compiled a few games and activities, not just for children, but for adults, that utilize some of the spiritual skills.
These games and activities help tap into our inner vision, our intuition and our sensing skills. Children do these inherently and reinforcing and encouraging these skills with games can help children retain their skills in a world that tells them they are not real. Have fun, and may the Force be with you!
TEAM PLAY: Line up 6 shoes/moccasins per team and hide an object in one shoe. The opposing team gets three tries. If they get it right on the first try, they get 5 points. If they get it on the second they get three points. If they get it on the third try they get one point. Trade back and forth. The team at the end with the most points wins. For more fun, allow the team that hid the object to do whatever they can to distract the team guessing- from their side of the line.
PARTNER PLAY: One player hides a small object under one of their two moccasins (or other shoes). Their partner must guess under which moccasin the object lies. If they are correct, they get a kernel of corn. If they are incorrect, the person hiding the object gets the corn. Take turns hiding the object and guessing. The person with the most corn at the end wins. You may want to set a starting pile of fifteen pieces of corn.
GET TO KNOW A TREE
Blindfold all of the players. Have them sit quietly in the middle of a group of trees. Take one player at a time and carefully lead them to a tree. They should spend their time feeling their tree so that they can identify it later. When all players are at a tree, begin to bring them back in the same order. You may want to wander them around a bit to confuse their directions. Take off the blindfolds and have them go out and try to find their tree.
JEDI BALL Equipment: One large plastic ball, rope, blindfold and wooden lance or other long “weapon.”
Hang the ball with a rope from a overhanging tree branch. Blindfold one person at a time and provide them with a lance. Others get the ball swinging, not too hard and it is the job of the blindfolded person to strike the ball. Take turns.
This game is easiest indoors but can be played outdoors with spotters. Blindfold all players except the sardine. Talk about safely moving with blindfolds if children are playing. On go, everyone tries to find the sardine. When a person finds the sardine, their blindfold is removed and they hide with the sardine until all others have joined them.
BLINDFOLD STRING WALK
Before participants arrive a course should be set up by tying a string to the start them weaving it through the woods, tying off occasionally to keep it stable. Take it through a variety of terrains and challenges. Then, all participants are blindfolded. Start by taking the first to the beginning of the course and placing their hand on the string. They are to follow the string to the end. After they get partway in, put the second on the string, try to keep space between each player. Continue until everyone is on the course.
BLINDFOLD DRUM STALK
Blindfold all players at the edge of a forest or other natural area. A good distance away through the woods, have a person with a drum. When the drum is struck, the players begin to move blindfolded toward it. The drum doesn’t have to beat constantly, some silence is okay. This is more about the experience than reaching the goal. When you stop, have discussions about people’s experiences.
Each member of the group chooses an animal; one person is to choose a predator and all others must choose prey animals. Ask each person to share their animal and demonstrate their sound. The players are spread out around the play area and blindfolds are put on. The object is for the hunter to track her or his prey and tag them. The prey animals must make their sound every time they move and every time they hear the sound of the hunter. The hunter may make his or her sound at any time but must make it when they tag someone. The tagged player then removes her or his blindfold and goes quietly to the side of the play area to watch the rest. The last animal tagged wins! Safety: there are many people moving about with blindfolds on. Review slow, hands out walking and have spotters to avoid players wandering from group.
Just a note on blindfolds. As you can see, they are prominent in these activities. When we use blindfolds we open up our other senses, not just physical, but spiritual. Encourage people to pay close attention and discuss their experiences. Anything you can do in blindfolds helps so look for other opportunities. Try something like doing the dishes or taking a shower or other simple tasks around home. It also makes these daily tasks a bit more interesting!
Have players get a partner. Partners stand about twenty-five to thirty feet apart and one turns their back to their partner. That person keeps their eyes open. The other partner begins to quietly walk toward their partner. The person with their back turned should try to feel their partner approaching. When they feel their partner is within arm’s reach, about three feet, they should raise their hand. They can then turn and see how close the person was to them. The goal is to catch them at that range, close but not touching. Trade roles. Do this several times. Then change to have the person stalking take on a feeling of aggression, that they will strike the person if they reach them. They need to make this feeling as real as possible. See what effects this has on the person’s ability to sense their stalker. Did it change the intensity of the feeling of being stalked? Was the person the same distance away when the person felt they were close? Discuss their findings.
PRESENCE HIDE AND SEEK
Once people have become proficient at the Sensing Presence exercise, try hide and seek. One player hides in the woods, the other tries to find them using their sense of presence. Switch roles once complete.