Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why Shamanism Now?



Would I go to a shaman for healing? YES! In a heartbeat! Especially if I were having physical pain or a dis-ease that is not responding to Western medicine. I have a friend whose daughter and spiritual guide often travel to Peru to a certain shaman, Don Diego, for healing. Remarkable changes have occurred in their lives. As one participant put it, "My personal experience was intensly profound and life changing. The degree of healing experienced is beyond the scope of explanation possible here. Mother Vine is truly a healer - physical, emotional and spiritual - for me." So, I am holding on to this information for a "just in case" moment. Just in case I find the money to travel there, I (and my husband, also, would love to participate) would go right now for the emotional and spiritual healing. Just in case I should become ill or a family member or close friend needs physical healing, I keep this website close at hand. There are trained Western shamans in our country, also, that are true healers. Michael Harner's shamanism workshops have trained many that are now practicing all over the country, if you so desire to check on some of them. I just happen to know someone personally who goes to Peru for healing, and that is why this particular shaman attracts me.

So, why shamanism? Read on........

From ancient times, shamans have worked with the spirits of nature for healing, survival, and knowledge. By learning from the plants and animals, from the rocks and mountains, from the winds and waters, and from the sun, moon, and stars, shamans helped their peoples live in harmony with the universe. In a world now out of balance, the way of the shaman can teach how again to respect nature, our Earth, and its inhabitants at a deep spiritual level. As our ancestors everywhere once knew, our survival depends on the survival of the other species.

Michael Harner, in the preface to the Third Edition (tenth anniversary edition of The Way of the Shaman), considers some reasons why this renaissance is underway. Harner finds that:

1. The Age of Faith has been replaced by the Age of Science wherein individuals no longer are as willing to accept spiritual dogma and insist instead on firsthand experience as a teacher of important truths. This is an impact of the experimental method.

2. Scientific experimentation involving observations made under the influence of LSD could be understood from a shamanic perspective.

3. Near-death experiences, made more common by medical science, turned out to be personal experiments that challenged existing understandings of reality and the existence of spirits, which were clarified from a shamanic point-of-view.

4. Shamanic methods involving journeying with the drum are safe and effective.

5. Shamanic methods work quickly and fit well into the fast-paced lifestyle of modern life.

6. Holistic health approaches have rediscovered ancient shamanic methods and their effectiveness and now incorporate them into practice.

7. We are rediscovering spiritual ecology, which requires that we again connect with our planet and its other inhabitants in order to maintain our survival.

To this list I would add several observations. Our concern for our damaged environment has largely come from our new “priests”, the physical scientists, who have been warning about global warming, pollution of air and water, declining resources such as petroleum, loss of ozone, and such for decades. However, these priests carry no sacred authority to underwrite their warnings. In fact, they have purposely distanced themselves from the sacred and have taken refuge in the secular and objective aspects of reality. Scientists’ conclusions are only as good as their latest observations, a point easily and frequently exploited by politicians. Scientists command no moral authority. In the United States they have little political power at present. Shamanism, designed as it is around an animistic philosophy, can provide a sacred charter for the ecological imperatives we recognize. Underwriting ecology from this deep, heartfelt perspective provides the moral basis for supporting sound ecological practice and feeds back to validate shamanism.

From: The Reawakening of Shamanism in the West
By Bill Brunton

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spirit House


Spirit houses provide appealing shelter for deities who protect and bless the family who reside in the "real" house on one's property. In Thailand, these tiny temples are perched high up on poles in every yard or garden. The Guardian of the House is the spirit that watches over and protects the home. It is uncertain whether there is one spirit that watches over all homes, or if individual spirits do this for each home. However, all you have to do in Thailand is look around and you'll see that every home has a spirit house. Thai families who believe wholeheartedly in the spirit house and it's importance light incense every morning and ask the spirit to watch over and protect the home.

I have decided I would like to have a spirit house, maybe perched by the front entrance to my house, or in the serenity of the garden in the back. Who wouldn't want protection and blessings from the spirits as one goes through the stresses of life? We would all like less suffering, and let's face it, we humans think we would like to alleviate it completely. Yet it appears as though the only way to grow spiritually, to be more enlightened, is through that door of suffering. We can choose to either be broken down or to be broke open.

In her book "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lesser, she was given a gift by her sister and it was a beautiful spirit house. As she was unwrapping the treasure, she discovered to her amazement that the house had gotten broken from being sent through the mail. Disappointed from her discovery, she still had a good laugh from this. She said to herself, "A broken spirit house!" She had just spent the year finishing her book, which is about finding protection and blessings in the broken moments of our lives. She tells stories in her book of blessings that come disguised as disaster, not as cute little houses in lovely gardens. Elizabeth Lesser keeps the broken shards of her spirit house gift in a basket to remind herself that while she is never safe from breaking, she is always protected by spirit.

From her book she writes, "Over and over, we are broken on the shore of life. Our stubborn egos are knocked around, and our frightened hearts are broken open - not once, and not in predictable patterns, but in surprising ways and for as long as we live. The promise of being broken and the possibility of being opened are written into the contract of human life. When the sea is rough, and when we are suffering, we may want to give up hope and give in to despair. but brave pilgrims have gone before us. They tell us to venture forth with faith and vision. "

The poet Rumi tell us this:

Drum sounds rise on the air,
and with them, my heart.
A voice inside the beat says,
I know you are tired,
but come.
This is the way.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

"The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle



I've learned to be a pretty joyful person, and the magnificent ideas, or pointers, from Eckhart Tolle's books have led me to experience for myself his concepts of how to live in the present moment. When I began living in the present, I've experienced heaven, and it's here for me (or you!) every moment we let go of thoughts of the past and of the future.

The Center for Contemplation (we meet in Abilene, TX - see the link to the right)is doing a review of "The Power of Now". Many of us have read it and are eager to discuss our personal experiences of how we've implemented the ideas from the book into our own personal lives. For many of us, it has been life changing and liberating, freeing us to be whole and at one with the great "I AM".

Here are some excerpts from this spirit inspired book:

"Since ancient times, spiritual masters of all traditions have pointed to the Now as the key to the spiritual dimension. Despite this, it seems to have remained a secret. It is certainly not taught in churches and temples. If you go to a church, you may hear readings from the Gospels, such as, "Take no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for things of itself" or "Nobody who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of heaven". Or you may hear the passage about the beautiful flowers who are not anxious about tomorrow, but live with ease in the timeless now and are provided for abundantly by God. The true nature of these teachings is not recognized. No one seems to realize that they were meant to be lived and thereby bring about profound inner transformation."


"Having access to that formless realm is truly liberating. It frees you from bondage to form and identification with form. It is life in its undifferentiated state prior to its fragmentation into multiplicity. We may call it the Unmanifested, the invisible Source of all things, the Being within all beings. It is a realm of deep stillness and peace, but also of joy and intense aliveness. Whenever you are present, you become "transparent" to some extent to the light, the pure consciousness that emanates from this Source. You also realize that the light is not separate from who you are but constitutes your very essence."

"Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race. This will affect every aspect of your life and close relationships in particular. Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict ridden as they are now. As you may continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world. For those who hold to the old patterns, there will be increasing pain, violence, confusion, and madness."

"To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly. Things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them - while they last. All those things, of course, will still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss anymore. Life flows with ease."

Namaste'

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Greet the Day" prayer




This is an inspiring way to begin your morning and to stay grounded throughout the whole day. Try it and see what a difference it will make for you.

“Greet the Day”

I SALUTE THE SKY AND ALL THAT IS

OFFERING MYSELF TO THE DAY

GATHERING MY ENERGY

I PLANT MY VISION

AND ACCEPT THE CORE ENERGY OF THE EARTH INTO MYSELF

I GATHER AND ACCEPT THE ENERGY FROM THE UNIVERSE
INTO MY ENTIRE BEING.

I RELEASE WHAT I NO LONGER NEED

I GIVE MY GIFTS FROM THE HEART

AND I RECEIVE GIFTS FROM THE UNIVERSE

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Enlightened or Awakened Beings



Many people today believe we are in a global time of great transformation, in which we shall arrive as an awakened, enlightened, or ascended species. But, what does that mean? How do we get there? And, do those who embrace this understanding truly understand what that means?

So, how do we get there? How do we get into a Buddhistic Mind, be an enlightened or awakened being? Many in our contemporary times are into ‘healing', into their own healing path,or into the ‘healing arts'. But what is that? Do we truly understand the ‘healed’ state?
The path is one of recognizing, honoring, embracing,and embodying who we truly are as Divine Beings. Do we get that? Truly? Do we feel it? Do we live it, in a fundamental and daily way, in all our relations, on the highway to work, with the kids when they are doing something we feel is a poor choice in their lives? Are we living in our Divinity in our daily lives?

The Heart of all Creation emanates, pulses out into creation, indeed, is the cause of all creation. All Creation pulses in Harmony with that original pulse. The laws of Sacred Geometries and other studies of the sacred sciences disseminate this truth - "That all life unfolds in Divine proportions". When we enter the harmonic state within our own being, we activate that harmonic principal of our self which is in union with All Life, with All Creation, with All Harmony. And, through this visceral state, we can very easily feel what is in harmony and what is not. It is a VERY simple mechanical reality. Any great conductor can tell you when the bassoon or 3rd violin is not in pitch. It only requires practice, discernment, and trust in our own ability to discern. Given that this is a lesson from birth, allowing us to discern our own truth, with proper guidance to not do harm to ourselves or others during the learning stages, we SHALL come into seeing, believing, understanding and living from the principals of this divine truth - "That all life is in harmony, and we can enter into that harmony at any time, and discern all that is in or not in that harmony".


By Zacciah Blackburn

Zacciah is a gifted teacher, and sound healer. He is trained in classical healing, shamanic traditions, and sacred sound practices. He teaches internationally, and practices in Vermont, USA, at the Center of Light. Zacciah shares teachings on the nature of human consciousness, explorations into the Shamanic worlds of earth energies & awareness, and teachings on the nature of sound and sacred sound practices. His in-depth understanding provides life transforming experiences into the authentic nature, being, and wellness of who we are as spiritual beings. He is Director of Education at the International Sound Healing Network. See www.thecenteroflight.net for further information.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Energy Healing Experiments


This impressive book is one I really want to share with everyone. I've been delving into the world of energy healing, such as Reiki and Shamanic Touch. I know that energy healing works, but I just couldn't understand HOW it works. This amazing book explains it thoroughly. Anyone who is skeptical will be reassured by the scientific experiments that are presented here. I am the type of person who always wants to know why and how things work and I like to be shown proof. This book does that.

Here are some reviews I found from Amazon.com:

"Over the past three decades, an impressive body of scientific evidence has quietly emerged that points to stunning new insights into consciousness and itscapacity to mediate healing. Dr. Gary Schwartz's The Energy HealingExperiments is a stellar introduction to this dazzling evidence, which will transform the very meaning of 'healing.' " ­Larry Dossey, MD, author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things

"For more than 30 years, I have known and learned from the truly creative genius of Dr. Gary Schwartz. In The Energy Healing Experiments his courageous odyssey continues with scientific rigor, penetrating insights, his characteristic twinkling humor, and true wisdom. "­Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD(hc), author of New Medicine and internationalbestseller Mind As Healer, Mind As Slayer

"In The Energy Healing Experiments, scientist Gary Schwartz reveals his thrilling journey to the threshold of 21st-century medicine. There we encounter the promise of new classes of therapies based on the modulation of energy and intention. While we don't know yet exactly how these new therapies work, the fact that they work is being firmly established by Schwartz and others, as reported in this riveting first-person account. "­Dean Radin, PhD, author of Entangled Minds and The Conscious Universe

"This is a lovely book. I congratulate Gary Schwartz, with William Simon, on a very readable and lucid book on the important and complex topic of energy/information healing as distinguished from chemical/nutritional healing. It is highly recommended for all readers because it will significantly transform the public mind-set in very beneficial ways."
­William A. Tiller, PhD, author of Science and Human Transformation

"Through the able hand of a master scientist, this book is a reliable guide to the complex and sometimes perplexing engagement of mind, body, and spirit."

­Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, PhD, Vice President for Research and Education, Institute of Noetic Sciences


Customer Reviews

By Nicole Wilde
While some other reviewers found this information dry, I found it fascinating. I'm not a scientist by a long shot, but when I read about scientific experiments I want to know the details, particularly because there are so many factors involved. Especially when it comes to this type of subject matter -- and I say this as an energy healer -- I want to know that the placebo effect or other factors are not contributing to the results. I began reading this book as research for one of my own books, and ended up finishing it before I knew it. Okay, it's not for those looking for scintillating prose that reads like a novel, but the information speaks for itself and Gary Schwartz has done an excellent job of presenting it a way that the non-scientists among us can understand.
- Nicole Wilde, author Energy Healing for Dogs: Using Hands-On Healing to Improve Canine Health and Behavior


By Jed Shlackman (Miami, FL United States)

This review is from: The Energy Healing Experiments: Science Reveals Our Natural Power to Heal (Hardcover)
I first came across Schwartz' work almost a decade ago in the Living Energy Universe. His subsequent books have been more focused, and the Energy Healing Experiments looks at the research and evidence validating the power of consciousness and intention to guide healing energies. This book provides solid evidence and explores important questions raised by both believers and skeptics. As an energy healer I know what I observe and experience with myself and clients, so I don't need convincing... but for those who lack the expanded sensory awareness to feel and perceive energy healing it's useful to have empirical findings and methodically designed experiments that confirm something is happening that can't be explained in a materialistic manner. Gary Schwartz has done well in collecting this evidence and presenting it within a thoughtful analysis and discussion of its implications. This book is practical and more scientifically-oriented than spiritually oriented even though it does bring up the spiritual and philosophical implications of energy healing. I recommend this for healers who want to have a collection of research that supports their work, as well as the general public and skeptics who wish to carefully consider the evidence regarding this phenomenon.

Explore and Read...........

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Abilene, Texas, United States
One day life no longer made any sense. I began enquiring, "Who am I", What am I", and "What's the purpose of this life?"

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