What is Shamanism?

This Tuesday we will begin the 3-day Shamanism Global Summit I have been working on this project for the past 3 months and am excited to see it come to fruition. In addition to the inspiring interviews of amazing shamanic luminaries from around the world, you can download my new book, Living a Shamanic Way of Life: A Path of Direct Revelation – both free of charge.

Shamanism teaches us that everything that exists is alive and has a spirit. Shamans speak of a web of life that connects all of life and the spirit that lives in all things. Everything on earth is interconnected and any belief that we are separate from other life forms including the earth, stars, wind, etc is purely an illusion. And it is the shaman’s role in the community to keep harmony and balance between humankind and the forces of nature.
– Sandra Ingerman

Some people have been asking me, “what is shamanism anyway?”

picture1Shamanism is the oldest spiritual healing practice on earth, dating back at least 40,000 years, and some anthropologist are now saying as much as 100,000 years. Early practices, techniques and rituals have formed the foundation for most of the world’s religions. It is a path of heart, of exploring the inner invisible world. This path is based on the belief that all illness, disease and disharmony, both physical and psychological are a function of a loss of essence through some physical or emotional trauma.  It is further believed that not only humans, but every thing has a spirit. This includes institutions, communities, technology, all of nature, even places and buildings. Shamans draw their power from the natural world. I’ll never forget when I was in Ecuador and a shaman asked me “where’s your mountain”, that was when I really got the relationship that shamans have to nature?

Shamans know that if we want to create lasting change in the outer world we must first explore and consult the inner, unseen realm, which is often referred to as non-ordinary reality. Shamans consider this unseen realm real and Ordinary Reality a dream. Shamanism is a system of direct revelation, a practice that involves the practitioner attaining altered states of consciousness in order to encounter and interact with the spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.

A Shaman’s View of the World

Shamans hold a systems perspective of the universe. They talk about thepicture2 “web of life” and how everything is connected: trees, animals, the elements, ancestors, the stars and planets. Everything is interconnected and what happens to one part of this web affects the whole. Their view is holistic and outside of time and space. The deeper Physicists and the sciences delve into the mysteries of the universe, the more it validates this ancient perspective. Shamanism is a global cosmology that has been evolving since the beginning of time. One of the reasons it has survived massive persecution and oppression is that the wisdom is innate to the natural world and is continuing to evolve and expand like the universe itself.

We humans tend to hold our selves above the natural world and forget that we are an integral part of this web of life. Contemporary society sees nature as something to conquer, subdue and that the rivers, trees, earth and elements are simply commodities, resources to be extracted and used for our benefit. We have strayed so far from our connection with the natural world that we think nothing of polluting our habitat, desecrating our life support system and sucking the very blood out of the earth to feed our greed and accelerating consumption. How else can we explain our putting economics ahead of human life? Shamanism is a practice that can bring us back into balance and harmony with the earth to preserve and cultivate our natural resources for the benefit of future generations.

Shamans are Wisdom Keepers

Shamans are men and women from around the world who are keepers of ancient wisdom techniques used to perform healing and maintain the well being of their community and its members. They help people transcend their normal, ordinary, and often limiting definition of reality and the fixed ego based world-view that keeps them from experiencing growth and the fullest expression of their vision for themselves and the world. Shamans work with what they call helping spirits, which are found in non-ordinary reality. These spirits assist in bringing healing to individuals, the community, and the environment. They are also consulted with when specific healing information or guidance is needed.

picture3A true shaman would rarely, if ever, refer to himself or herself as a shaman. Much like the business community, someone becomes a shaman based on their experience and the results they produce. We all have the capacity to access this inner spiritual guidance. Some people are more open and have a greater natural ability, but everyone can become a shamanic practitioner.  I do hope you will tune into the Shamanism Global Summit next week and hear from the great shamanic teachers of our time. I also look forward to hearing if you enjoyed my little e-book on Living a Shamanic Way of Life: A Path of Direct Revelation.

May we all learn to walk in beauty and live out our highest destiny in service to the future children of all species for all time.

With all love and blessings,

Michael

Click here to join the Shamanism Global Summit and receive a free copy of my book: Living a Shamanic Way of Life: A Path of Direct Revelation  unnamed

The Well of Light Newsletter July 2015:  

The Shamanism Global Summit

The Well of Light Newsletter May/June 2015:  

Breaking through the Belief Barriers

Greetings Friend,Join Michael Stone at  Shamanism Global Summit

I’m delighted to share with you about a very special event I’m hosting in partnership with The Shift Network — The Shamanism Global Summit, taking place August 4-6, 2015. (I’ve also created an exclusive e-book, Living A Shamanic Way of Life, just for this event. See details below on how to get your copy at no charge.)

Do you yearn to experience a more sacred way of living? One where you’re living in alignment with Mother Earth, are more fully present with loved ones and see Spirit in all things?

The path of shamanism puts us in sacred relationship with all of life in which we’re fully connected to ourselves, our world and our greatest gifts. It’s a beautiful and powerful path for both personal and collective transformation.

This incredible live series, which features many different shamanic traditions from around the globe, will provide you with a wonderful opportunity to experience ancient practices you can apply to the daily challenges your daily life.

During this free online series, I’ll be hosting more than 15 of today’s most revered shamans, sharing practical tools for accessing guidance, healing and power for sacred living—including Sandra Ingerman, Oscar Miro-Quesada, Alberto Villoldo, John Perkins, Hank Wesselman, Jill Kuykendall, Jose and Lena Stevens, Christina Pratt, Llyn Roberts and others.

Register Here at No Charge

unnamed (1)In The Shamanism Global Summit, we will unveil the practices of a shamanic way of being that is creative and intuitive, connected and life-affirming. You’ll discover skills that relieve suffering and foster joy, radiant health and fulfilling relationships.

  • Receive practical tools for healing negative feelings and toxic thoughts.
  • Reclaim your role as a co-creator with the Earth, the elements and the spirit world—and accelerate the conscious evolution of the planet.
  • Access subtle realms of consciousness (the upper and lower worlds) with guidance from allies there.
  • Discover the basics of shamanic journeying and healing work from various perspectives (as well as key things NOT to do).
  • Awaken a deeper sense of presence and reverence for the natural world — including plants, animals and Gaia herself.

Click Here for Summit Details and to Register


Exclusive E-book Registration Bonus
Living A Shamanic Way of Life: A Path of Direct Revelation

unnamedI am so passionate about our power to transform our lives and evolve the world through this ancient wisdom that I created an e-book just for this summit!

 

 

When you register, you’ll receive instant access to my e-book, Living A Shamanic Way of Life: A Path of Direct Revelation.

Register Here and Receive Your E-book Now—At No Charge

 

Join me for this special event to receive deep insights, rituals and guidance for sacred living from some of the world’s most revered shamans and teachers of this ancient path.

I look forward to being with you for The Shamanism Global Summit and to witness this next step on your spiritual journey.

with love and blessings,

michael

P.S. Register for The Shamanism Global Summit and get your free copy of Living A Shamanic Way of Life: A Path of Direct Revelation now.

In this book, you’ll discover practices to deepen your connection with your inner wisdom, awaken to your eternal evolutionary impulse, and experience your profound interconnection with the web of life and the Spirit that lives in all things.

 Register Here and Receive Your E-book Now—At No Charge

Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.
Niels Bohr

On my show last week my guest was Stephen Davis, the author of Butterflies Are Free to Fly and the YouTube Holographic Universe Workshop series, an intense exploration into some of the latest discoveries in Quantum physics, which are changing the very nature of how we view reality. (You can listen to our Conversation by clicking here). I won’t try to go into the science part here, but I want to share with you the emerging new world-view model that is evolving from these discoveries. One of the most basic realizations could be interpreted as “everything in the universe consists of waves of infinite possibility that are available for us to draw upon and the world we experience is a function of, not what is out there, but our perception, which is shaped by our beliefs.” In other words it is our beliefs that create our reality.

 

While we may have little or no choice over the circumstances we meet in this expanding universe, we have absolute choice and free will as to how we respond to them. We tend to think that the world out there is fixed and what we observe is what others are observing. If they don’t share our experience, well, they just aren’t seeing rightly. We also know that two or more people can look at the same phenomena and have totally different interpretations. This of course brings up the question “what is real” or “what is true?” Regardless of how perverted our perception is, we create deepening neural pathways in our brain through the repetition of experiences that solidify our beliefs, thereby making it increasingly challenging to transform or change our beliefs.

There are those who say that seeing is believing.
I am telling you that believing is seeing.
Neale Donald Walsch

So it would seem that all we need to do to change our reality is to change our strongly held beliefs. But try as we might, it seems almost impossible to change our core beliefs, especially the negative ones like “I’m unworthy”, “life is hard”, “I just can’t…”, “money is scarce”, or “I just can’t find a partner”… We have tried positive thinking, assertions, affirmations, mantras, meditation and all kinds of mental calisthenics with little or no change in either the quality of our life or the attraction of things we long to manifest in our lives. It appears that the old French adage, “the more things change the more they remain the same”, is true.-

Quantum Theory has shown that time does not exist, at the most fundamental level. It shows that our concept of time, thought of as a forward moving linear progression of events, is a fabrication of the mind. It’s like a single film with many frames of reality all on the same film. Contrary to our perception of the world, everything exists in an eternal state of presence. The experience of time seems to be a function consciousness itself, which science is still hard pressed to define. This presents a conundrum for contemporary change theory. If you take time out of the equation, you are left with two opposing forces and the very act of trying to change something actually reinforces its existence. Hence it appears that trying to change anything is the very proof and assurance of its continuing presence and persistence in our lives because that condition only exists in the now and we wouldn’t try to change something that wasn’t.

Human beings have a great capacity for sticking to false beliefs with great passion and tenacity.
Bruce H. Lipton

It is hard to separate our beliefs from our identity or ego as they literally constitute who we consider ourselves to be. Letting go of our strongly held beliefs can feel like a death experience for us. So we hang on to these dysfunctional beliefs, even start wars and kill each other in defense of them, this in the face of overwhelming evidence that they are not accurate. In this state of ego fundamentalism it appears as though our very survival is at stake. Similar to the beliefs that the world is flat or the sun revolves around the earth, the limits of our perception become the limits of our world. If we could allow ourselves the experience of feeling like we are dying, it could become a portal or doorway to our primordial innocence and living a life of peace, joy and fulfillment?

Is it even possible to change our strongly held beliefs? Yes, of course it is; think Berlin Wall, the end of apartheid and slavery, space travel and our evolving view of our relationship to the universe… The first step is to begin to recognize and distinguish our beliefs. The way to do that is to honestly examine our own life, which is a reflection of our beliefs. Our physical reality is a feedback loop that can show us precisely what beliefs are shaping our reality. In other words our perception is a product of our beliefs, which generates feelings that produce thoughts, which then reinforce our original beliefs. To make this even stranger quantum physicists suggest that all possible beliefs exist simultaneously in a quantum universe.

The universe is not just matter and energy, there are a million forms of existence in the multiverse.
Khalid Masood

The multiverse theory of quantum physics proposes the existence of parallel universes, infinite numbers of ever-growing alternate realities that exist concurrently with our own. This theory says that anything that can happen, has already happened, if not in this reality then in another parallel universe. You don’t have to create the reality you desire, because it already exists – among the infinite realities all simultaneously co-existing. You just have to tune into a different frequency and select the new belief. Our physical reality is just a holographic reflection of what we most strongly believe. All beliefs are available and ready to shape our perception and reality at any time. But, how do we do that?

winsome-darkgrey-floor-ceiling-mirror-room-full-mirrors-reflections-backgrounds-desktops-computersThe first step is discovering the core beliefs that are shaping our perceptions. Discovering our core beliefs reveals our perception and how we interpret reality. With that we will also discover corresponding feelings, thoughts, and actions that perfectly correlate with our beliefs. If you want to change the reality channel and select a new belief you need to change the dial to synchronize with a new frequency.  In other words we need to change the inner world to transform the outer one. Since all possible versions of reality already exist right now on a parallel plane, we must select the one we want from the infinite field of possibility. Note that this is not a change, but a selection from the field.  How do we then exchange these dysfunctional beliefs from the primary frequency of our current reality and replace them with more empowering ones?

We can control our lives by controlling our perceptions.
Bruce H. Lipton

To select a new belief you must first clearly visualize it in our mind and hold the intention to adopt that new perspective in our lives. What would it look like and how would it feel to live and move with that belief? Involve all of the senses; smell it, feel it, sense it, see it, hear it. Become an emotional antenna that breathes in that frequency. You have to become it and correlate your actions to the new perspective. At first it will feel like you are just making it up – which of course you are – like every thing else in your life, but this is intentional and takes focused awareness. The reality you desire already exists. When contradictory beliefs arise simply acknowledge their existence, don’t try to push them away or deny them, just return your focus to the one you are envisioning. Simply choose to adopt and express your new belief into the world. Eventually, you will build new neural pathways that will automatically reinforce the new belief thereby changing your perception. It’s like viewing the world from another window in your house.

I personally have not perfected this system, nor do I have miracles every time I practice it. But, I am slowly making progress and old fears, beliefs and attitudes are changing in the process. It has created a softening in my perception of others and my own heart. It is one of the hardest tasks I have ever undertaken. But, what else am I going to do with the life I’ve been given. Each shift for me is cause for celebration. I hope you will engage in this transformative practice.

I have found that shamanic journey work is a powerful tool for dissolving these old limiting beliefs and creating new ones. You are invited to join one of our journey circles. Also, I am available to support you in long distance processes and guidance that can assist in rewiring your belief system.

With love and gratitude,

michael

 

The Well of Light Newsletter April 2015:  

Earth Journey: An Interview with the Earth

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Earth Journey: An Interview with the Earth 

earth_day-750x750As a child I remember lying on the grass, breathing in the magic of Spring and chatting with the garden spirits, as I watched the clouds swim across the pale blue sky like giant whales, spouting puffy mouth watering macaroon shaped cookies for the hungry cloud spirits. At night, I would taste the perfume of jasmine, mixed with the sweetness of honeysuckle as waking dreams of adventure filled the open fields of my mind and the spirited fireflies would make me laugh in wonder. What happened to our childhood curiosity, magic and adventure? Where have the poetic voices of the earth, the elements and seasons gone? How have we become so lost in busyness and exhaustion that we have forgotten how to dream, how to imagine, how to connect with the magic that surrounds us? To answer these questions I decided to put on my journalist cap and journey to the Spirit of the Earth to see what I could learn.

 In my shamanic practice I have been reclaiming my birthright to visit the invisible realms of magic and imagination, to tap into the wisdom of the ancestors and honor and communicate with the spirits that live in all things. Since Earth Day is upon us I decided to journey to the Spirit of the Earth and ask for an interview to see how we could get out of the mess we humans have managed to get ourselves into!

 What follows are excerpts from my interview with Mother Earth.

 As I lie on the grass breathing deeply into the center of my beating heart I call out to the earth requesting an interview?  As I sink into the earth she wraps her gentle arms around me, inviting me into the chamber of her heart where our heart-beat becomes entrained, beating as one. I thank the great mother for granting me this interview, for taking this time to share with me her ancient wisdom.

 Michael: How can we honor you, become more attuned to your needs? What can we small individuals do to stop the desecration of your holy body? Please tell me how we can become evolutionary co-creators with you in this time of great change, great opportunity and great peril?

cherry-blossoms-at-lake-balboa-735x487Earth: (In a soft, still, maternal voice she answers my question.) My son, you are but one of many mouths I feed. My offerings are a gift, my voice is always here for council. Your people have grown deaf, lost in the trance of technology, and distraction, but there is a great awakening happening and each of you is a part of this awakening. You must remember my children that all change in the outer world begins with healing the inner realm. You have become fragmented, disconnected and alienated from the real sources of power, life and living. It is time to reunite the intellect with the heart, the body and the spirit, time to focus your attention on what is important, on what is truly of value, what is sacred, what has heart and meaning.

There are great changes coming, changes that as_3re incomprehensible to the egoic mind, but are evident to the heart and the gut mind. You must learn to listen with the whole body, to focus, to concentrate on dreams that unify, that connect, that recognize the interconnection with all life. You must put down your weapons and open your arms, honor the truth of the moment, this is not my dream, this is ourdream, the dream of the universe becoming conscious of itself. Consciousness itself is the universe. You must tune into the frequency of love, beginning with loving yourself and all that arises within you. Embrace each moment as a gift from the garden of love, from my garden, our garden, the garden of creation. It is time to turn from the dream of fear and separation and plant the seeds of a new dream that honors and embraces all life.

 Michael: How do we learn to unite the heart, mind, body and spirit with the consciousness of the Universe?

 Earth: You don’t understand. They are already united. You must simply transcend the blocks to the truth of who you really are! You are a point of consciousness in the infinite universe connected by a vibrant, living space. The Spirit of the space that gives form is the space of all possibility.

Michael: How do we remove the blocks to our unification with the consciousness of the universe?

 Earth: My child there is a frequency, a vibration that resonates throughout the universe. We must learn to tune ourselves to that universal frequency, which is love. The first thing to know, to really know, is that you are love and you are loved. We tend to listen to the voice in our head, which is the voice of our ego, our identity. But, the softer, quieter, but infinitely more powerful voice is the voice of the heart, it is the voice of love itself. We must slow down enough and trust that the voice of the heart is always available. The voice of the gut is the voice of the instinct, the voice of knowing truth from falsehood. We can cultivate that voice by honoring, celebrating and maintaining the body health, regardless of our physical circumstances.

 downloadSo the unification of the mind, heart, body and spirit comes from attuning with the voice of the universe. It is like listening to the radio, some times it’s just static, other times you hear the voice of demented talk show hosts, fanatics, fear mongers and advertisers. You have the power to turn the dial and tune into the station of love, just love whatever arises within you. Ultimately this is an act of faith and cannot be known at the frequency of the mind and identity. It can only be known by surrendering to love.

 Disharmony with the universal frequency is the source of all disease and conflict. When we heal ourselves of toxic thoughts of separation, fear and alienation, we heal the earth, because we are the earth, we are earth awareness arising in form. Bringing our consciousness into a state of harmony with the higher vibration of the earth and universe, is good for our health, the health of the planet and the universe…

Michael: So what is the point of it all? Where are we headed?18505

Earth: The universe is just recognizing it’s own potential, the same as humans. This consciousness is manifesting in unison. It’s doing this through you, within you and without you. As each individual wakes up to their own light, their own power, their own part in the Divine play, the greater consciousness of the universe expands and grows. We are opening to the potential of absolute Divine love that is a seed in the heart of all things both visible and invisible. Every time you choose love over fear you feed the collective consciousness of the universe and that love expands out lighting the way for what you refer to as oneness, which in actuality is wholeness. This journey is a journey of awakening to unified love and wholeness. All that’s needed is for you and all humans to let their light shine, to focus, and concentrate on the beautiful and miraculous world that we know is possible. This is the story that’s emerging throughout the universe.

Michael: Mother I thank you for all the gifts you bring and have brought to us. We forget how much our lives are a gift of your generosity. Thank you for granting me this interview.

Earth: I am always here for you my child. Please tell your listeners that they can come to me any time for support and guidance. We belong to each other!

Imagination lays the tracks for the reality train to follow.
Caroline Casey

 

The Well of Light Newsletter March 2015:  

Living a Shamanic Way of Life 12 Steps

Living a Shamanic Way of Life
12 steps

 

Shamanism is a way of life. It reminds us that everything is alive with energy and that we are all connected to and inseparable from a universal web of life.

-Sandra Ingerman

When we teach Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins we talk about living a Shamanic Way of Life. People have been asking me “What does that mean”? So I am dedicating this month’s Well of Light Newsletter to exploring twelve key elements that I believe support living a shamanic way of life. Like any practice there will be days when you are fully engaged in all of these steps and others when you only manage to spend a few moments connected to this path. In the end, it’s all about love. We must first learn to love and embrace ourselves when we don’t do it perfectly. When we love the eternal spirit that lives within ourselves, we learn to love all life, as we are all deeply and profoundly interconnected with the web of life and the Spirit that lives in all things.

Shamanism is the oldest spiritual healing practice on the planet dating back at least 50,000 years. It is a system of Direct Revelation (all the world religions were originally based on this practice). The word shaman means “one who sees in the dark”. Shamans enter what is called non-ordinary reality, to access information that is not accessible to the linear mind. While it is useful to have a teacher and outside inspiration, the important thing is to become still enough to hear our inner spirit. The basic principle behind this work is that if we want to change the outer world of form and substance, we must first transmute the inner world of toxic thoughts, beliefs and assumptions into the golden light of loving awareness. We live in a time when the solutions to today’s challenges will only be solved by a spiritual awakening on the planet. Without this awakening, future generations (if they survive), will live very challenging lives. Here are some basic practices that can lead us to living in a shamanic way.

Your true home is in the here and the now.

-Thích Nhất Hạnh

lotus-flowers-wallpaper-640x4001. Cultivating Presence: Our contemporary world is one of distraction, denial and disturbance. To live a shamanic life we must learn to focus the mind. Concentration on the breath is a traditional way of transcending our constant preoccupation with the remembered stories of the past and imagined fears of the future. Presence is already here. Mostly we aren’t. We must learn mindfully to put our attention on what is happening moment to moment or we miss our life.

Our intention creates our reality.

-Wayne Dyer

2. Living an Intentional Life: Intention is the key to living in an intuitive and self-revelatory state of awareness. Imagining the kind of world we want to live in and not being distracted by the daily dose of bad news or the myriad disruptions that present themselves moment to moment is essential to living the life you were born to live and manifesting the quality of living that is your longing. Letting your own luminous self shine needs only that you hold the intention to bring your light forth into the world and shine. All manifested dreams start with intention. Create daily reminders of the future you want to live into.

 

Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it.
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

-Chief Seattle

996333243. Honoring the Web of Life: Humanity is, for the most part, suffering from a serious case of “Nature Deficit Disorder”. Every part of nature works in collaboration with every other part, except the human species. We must reawaken our relationship with the seasons, elements and cycles of the natural world to rediscover how to live in harmony with her. Shamans call forth their power from the trees, mountains, rivers, sun and moon. They know the spirits of nature are their allies. Indigenous peoples have always known that the role of the human on this planet is as a caretaker of the earth and all life.

  

The Navajo people have a saying: May you walk in beauty. In saying this, they mean never say anything that will create fear or harm in another. Do not
curse others with your words. Rather, bless them with words
that create beauty in their lives.

-Sandra Ingerman

sunrise-1105058844974. Walking in Beauty: Our perception creates our reality. Most of us have been trained by our culture to focus on what’s wrong rather that basking in the beauty that surrounds us. If we want to transform our suffering, struggling and despair we must attune ourselves to the miracle of just being here.  It’s easy to find fault with our parents and ancestors, but can we celebrate all the things we appreciate about the vision of life on earth that they bequeathed us? Turn off the radio and TV news and open to the radiant joy of each breath. Celebrate the little things each day that bless you and make your heart sing. What you shine your light on will reflect your own divinity.

  

Some men see things as they are and say, ”Why?” I dream of  things

that never were, and say, ”Why not?”

-George Bernard Shaw

5. Holding a Positive Vision for the Future: Psychology research has clearly shown that at the heart of most depression is not having a compelling vision for the future. It is important to hold a clear image of the life we want to live into, to literally have something to wake up for every day. Setting short and long term goals brings us more directly into contact with life. The future of life on this planet depends on our holding a picture of a positive future for our descendants and ourselves. Take the time to imagine and write down the life you envision today and watch the magic unfold.

  

Although you appear in earthly form your essence is pure Consciousness.
You are the fearless guardian of Divine Light.

-Rumi

6. Seeing all Beings in Divine Light: Our identification with our ego and story of who we think we are keeps us separate from each other. Our character and personality has very little to do with who we really are, which is the eternal light of spirit. We don’t have to condone the behavior of someone to see them in their Divine nature, surrounded by the light of love. To honor the Spirit that lives in all things it is imperative that we practice seeing others in their Divine light. When people are truly seen, they begin to transform as there is no further need to engage in the dysfunctional ways they learned to try and receive the love and attention they never got.

  

Webster’s dictionary, defines integrity as a state or condition of being whole, complete, unbroken, unimpaired, sound, in perfect condition.

 

 7. Being in Integrity: Integrity has nothing to do with right and wrong, good or bad or being morally upright. It is about being true to our nature and honoring our word as our self. It means not leaving things undone and having the strength to engage in courageous conversations when they are needed. The world we live in is the one that comes out of our mouth. Speak the world you want to live into. Being in Integrity means practicing right speaking, thinking and acting based on the values that we hold.

What you appreciate appreciates.

-Lynn Twist

8. Expressing Gratitude and Thanks Giving: It is so easy in our terminally busy lives to take the miracles that surround us for granted. We worry about our future; will I have enough money, time, love; we get caught up in fear, doubt and anxiety; and we rush around missing the life that is disappearing in the wake of our motion. Shamans always begin and end all ceremonies and every day with expressing gratitude for the ancestors, the elements, the directions, all the nature beings and the life they have been given. What we hold in lack increases, just as what we are grateful for grows.

  

When the inner garden is under cultivation and Spirit is present, harvests are regular events. The fruits? Things like courage, hope, love,

endurance, joy, and lots of peace.

-Gordon MacDonald

 

japanese_garden_washington_park-1600x12009. Tending Your Inner Garden: A wonderful metaphor for our inner lives is to imagine it as a fertile garden. Whatever we plant there grows. If we sow seeds of fear, anger, separation and suffering our garden will resemble a garbage strewn abandoned inner city lot. But if we sow seeds of love, gratitude, joy, light and possibility we will reap a rich golden harvest of connection, abundance, health and prosperity.  

 

Three things to remember in any discipline: Practice, Practice and Practice!

  10. Engaging in a Daily Practice: Practice is a discipline. You don’t need to get it right all the time, you just need to do it. To live a shamanic way of life means that you practice every day. You find ways to remind yourself to engage in the rituals, ceremonies and activities of your path. One of the most important ways to keep going when you are distracted or don’t want to (the most important time to engage in practice) is to surround yourself with a community that reminds you of who you are when you forget. You are the Divine, trying to remember your true nature.

 

It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is
humility that makes men as angels.

-Saint Augustine

 

11. Practicing Humility: We have an epidemic of loneliness in our culture. One in four people in the US have no one to call in case of an emergency. It is our ego that keeps us separate and is constantly measuring our sense of self worth against the hierarchy of righteous indignation. When we see the numinous beauty in others we experience it in ourselves and thereby elevate the level of love and goodness in the world. A true shaman knows that the work they do is coming through them as spirit. They are merely messengers, a hollow bone or conduit for the Divine to flow through. It’s time to get over ourselves.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

-Mahatma Gandhi 

12. Being of Service: The happiest people on the planet are those who have learned how to serve. To give ourselves to a path of service is not particularly good or noble, it probably won’t make you a lot of money, but it will make you happy and bring greater meaning into our lives. Being of service teaches us humility and compassion – it dissolves the barriers of separation at the heart of all conflict in the world. A shaman lives in service to the whole of the community in the web of life.

 

If we would just focus on these 12 steps to living a shamanic way of life we could transform the state of the planet into one of beauty, love, compassion and peace. I invite you to join me in integrating these practices into our daily lives.

 

With love and gratitude,

michael

The Well of Light Newsletter: February 2015

Stepping into the Light

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