I was teaching a workshop several years ago, playing a drum in sacred space, when a furry little animal appeared in my mind’s eye. It poked its head out of a hole in the ground, ran across a strip of grass, and disappeared as suddenly as it had arrived, down another hole. Soon it popped up again, and as I watched, Continue reading
I woke up this morning into a place of pure bliss. The bed covers were cozy, my body was relaxed, and my mind was safe. It was an hour yet before I had to start my day, and I was in no hurry to push it.
As I lay there, simply noticing the peacefulness in myself, thoughts began to emerge with astounding clarity. They brought with them a richness of details, images, patterns, examples, and a kind of whole-body “knowing” in a way that is rarely accessible to me. I was in a state of pure creativity.
I have been here before, and I knew I wouldn’t make it to my coffee cup before 99% of this was gone. Continue reading
Words have the power to heal. In shamanic traditions, this is sometimes called “word doctoring.” It can refer to spirit-given words or phrases which the shaman transmits to the patient, or it can be a “healing story,” often associated with other shamanic work on a patient’s behalf.
Story-telling, when it comes from the spirits, can also carry healing power for an audience. I believe this goes beyond “teaching” Continue reading
From the first few weeks of learning to take a shamanic journey, I knew my journey experiences were destined to become a book. This was not because I had a conscious story or message to bring to the world, but because the journeys were there, in my notebook, calling to me and to the few close friends with whom I shared them.
I struggled for almost eight years to put these journeys into a publishable form, and I learned a few things along the way about organizing the ineffable.
As a book coach, I have clients come to me who want to write their life stories, but they have difficulty with the writing itself. Some actually write quite well, and all they need is good editing and an outside perspective. Others have great difficulty writing at all. I have found, as a rule, that this second group has no trouble telling me their stories orally at length….
It is said that a shaman often will not reveal the identity of the true power animal or helping spirits which he or she relies upon for healing work. The power and relationship between shaman and spirits is sacred. In the same manner, if an experience happens in our life which touches us profoundly and changes us forever, it too is sacred. Spiritual experiences are often not to be shared, but to be held close and allowed to deepen and grow within us.