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The Hidden Knowledge of String Figures
by Lois Stokes


Photo by Earl Stokes

We sat drinking coffee and eating the scones that Earl brought out of the oven. We sat as we held talk story many times before but this time something was different. We talked until we sat in silence, in stillpoint, knowing that we had touched on something profound. The knowledge connected deep. We approached the source. We opened the doors to the Hale Kula, the School of Knowledge.

The source is our piko, our navel, the spider's path is our spine. The source is within us. We move the right hand and then the left. We find balance and harmony and that's what it is all about. Centering, finding the stillpoint of balance, the light and the dark, hu and na, yin and yang, the female and the male. Connect this with the heavens, with creation, with conception and birth.

We formed a circle with the string and moved palms facing and turning away and found friction. We crossed the strings in the center and the pivot made the movement smooth as silk. We were on the path of the elliptic, the path of infinity, the path to harmony and healing. We felt something different in our body. We felt the movement of chi as we generated an increase of healing energy.

We felt that what we were doing was profound. It was the symmetry of hands in prayer, the hula, the leaves and all of nature. The place of chaos and the return to harmony, the balance. The new myth: we are creating a new religion, a new spirituality connected with nature. Philosophy and spirituality is replacing the old dogmas. New rituals for playing out the old myths. Grandmother Spider speaks to us again.

Women need this so they can teach it to their children. It is ancient knowledge resurfacing. Women of wisdom sat circle weaving tapestries and quilts. Sharing knowledge while they worked. Talk Story continues as we weave ancient patterns with a simple loop of string.

The Buddha held up a flower and the teaching was complete. So simple yet why do we struggle so in trying to grasp it. Play with the string and we will know. We do not need the words. We will bring back ancient memories, body memories stored in our cells, gifts of the ancestors. Hidden but not forgotten. The hidden knowledge not because it is secret but because we are not yet aware of it.

Listen to the ancient rhythms

Feel the shaman's dance

Look into the seer's waters

Reconnect to the spirit of our ancestors.

Sing the song of our elders

Start the movements of the hands

Let the creation begin and the teachings resurface

Our children are waiting

The hidden game must be played

Grandmother spider speaks once more to us

We must sit in circle and begin our weaving

Please enter with us now in the weaving of the Hawaiian pattern called "One Eye." You will need a simple loop of string for this meditation.

We will begin with Piko Piko breathing. Breathing from center to center. Inhale with your focus on your navel and exhale with your focus on your navel.

    Weave the ancient pattern:
  • Hang string on left thumb.
  • Put left little finger into loop (so that the string goes from behind your thumb across your palm and behind your left little finger. The long loop hangs down in front).
  • With your left palm facing you, put right thumb (your hitchhiking thumb) into the hanging loop near your left thumb. Turn right thumb towards the body and up while hooking the hanging string on your right thumb. Put right little finger into the loop from below and extend (This looks like an x with the strings crossed in the middle).
  • The index finger of your right hand swims across to pick up from below the palmar string of your left hand (The string that goes across your palm) and swims back. Extend by stretching your hands so that the strings are tight.
  • Now with the index finger of your left hand swim across and pick up from below the right palmar string and swim back. Extend your hands so that the strings are stretched tight.
  • Drop your thumbs (let go of the thumb strings).
  • With your thumbs go over the two strings on your pointer fingers and under to pick up near little finger string.
  • Extend your fingers so that the strings are tight and the one diamond shape can be seen.

Spend a few moments looking into the pattern you made with this simple loop of string.

Do Piko Piko breathing. This time, inhale with your focus on the string figure pattern and exhale with your focus on your navel. Do this a few times. Close your eyes. Feel the stillness or go into a nalu meditation. (Gently resting your thoughts like the movement of an ocean wave)

When you are ready, take another deep breath and open your eyes. See the string figure pattern now glowing more brightly. Go inside and check with your body. Feel the energy of light and love.

For more information about string figures go to www.stringfigure.com or email Lois and Earl at stokes@lava.net.

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