Thou Art My Sister/Thou Art My Family

18 01 2016

As requested:

THOU ART MY SISTER

Thou art my sister, because we were born of the same Great Spirit;

Conceived from the same mound of earth;

Slept quietly together in the cradle of unknowing until Great Spirit gently set us in the midst of humanity…

You are my sister, I love you.

 

You and I are destined to be companions on the highway of life;

Together or apart. You are my sister, I love you.

If the color of my skin is different from yours,

It mattereth not, only let the beauty of our souls be kindred…

 

I will honor your wisdom and understanding, as you will mine. Together

We shall seek the seeds of truth in the distant rooms of the Great Spirit;

The reflection of inner knowledge shall wear as beauty upon our faces…

You are my sister, I love you.

 

If death takes from me the lamp of life, and the veil of eternal sleep falls across my eyes before yours, I will wait for you.

I will come to lead you a cross the bridge of night into the meadows of Great Spirit… You are my sister, I love you.

 

Adapted from a poem by Jean Humphrey Chaillie, Navajo 1940

 

MAY THE MOUNTAINS’S OWN GREAT SPIRIT

MAKE YOUR LIFE A SINGING STREAM.

MAY THE TWELVE NEW MOONS NOW COMING BRING A PURPOSE TO YOUR DREAMS

MAY A RAINBOW TOUCH YOUR SHOULDER

WITH A PROMISE OF ITS GLOW,

MAY THE SUNLIGHT FALL UPON YOU

AS YOU WALK IN MANY SNOWS.

 

Traditional Native American prayer

THOU ART MY FAMILY

Thou art my family, because we were born of the same Great Spirit;

Conceived from the same mound of earth;

Slept quietly together in the cradle of unknowing until Great Spirit gently set us in the midst of humanity…

You are my family, I love you.

 

You and I are destined to be companions on the highway of life;

Together or apart. You are my family, I love you.

If the color of my skin is different from yours,

It mattereth not, only let the beauty of our souls be kindred…

 

I will honor your wisdom and understanding, as you will mine. Together

We shall seek the seeds of truth in the distant rooms of the Great Spirit;

The reflection of inner knowledge shall wear as beauty upon our faces…

You are my family, I love you.

 

If death takes from me the lamp of life, and the veil of eternal sleep falls across my eyes before yours, I will wait for you.

I will come to lead you a cross the bridge of night into the meadows of Great Spirit… You are my family, I love you.

 

Adapted from a poem by Jean Humphrey Chaillie, Navajo 1940

 

 

 





The Cost of Being Weird

6 01 2011
Are you afraid to be considered weird by your family and friends? Or do you relish the idea?The time of burning witches and medicine men is not so long past that it can be completely forgotten.   I frequently hear snickered remarks in the workplace about anyone who admits to metaphysical interests. 

Who are these People?

Modern shamanic practitioners come from all walks of life and at first glance seem to have little in common. They are often healers looking for ways to expand their services.  Some folks are vagabond drop-outs wandering the earth happily experimenting with odd traditions. More commonly they are nurses, plumbers, housewives, farmers, or shoe salesmen who are not looking for drama, a guru, or the latest new age workshop. They are simply people trying to understand their place in this universe.

What will my Friends Say?

Many of the people I have met exploring the shamanic path are concerned with what others think of them. Many friends and family members will find the practitioner’s interests weird.  The practitioners may be embarrassed or afraid of ridicule, especially as they experiment to learn more about this path. Some friends will present themselves as happy test subjects while others silently move away.

The more I learn, the less I feel weird.  In fact, people who don’t question their lifestyle choices, who feed on drama, and those who define their life with many common pursuits, seem weird to me.

As I learned about non-ordinary reality I realized how much of what I previously considered real was related more to my view of things than the things themselves. As I became an observer of my actions I stopped, for the most part, blaming anyone else for my choices. I am working on forgiving myself for the difficult ones. No, my choices aren’t perfect.  Some aren’t even rational and I continue to make frequent bad decisions. Still, I find myself to be happier, more compassionate, and less judgmental. I no longer suffer depression of the sort that marred my youth.

While my family and friends may not understand my obsession, I believe they realize it has value and meaning to me. Some friendships have fallen away. Among those that remain strong they have accepted me as I am. Other friends and family members are noticeably more comfortable to avoid the topic.  I am hopeful that with time they will come to trust that I haven’t joined a cult or become a fool. Meanwhile, my growth is more important to me than their judgment.

Yes, you can still hold a job

Unlike a monastic life, shamanism is practiced in conventional societal and economic rolls in one’s customary environment. You don’t sit in a trance 24-7.

The shaman is a master of the two realities, ordinary and non-ordinary. A practitioner’s ability to function in non-ordinary reality in no way hinders her ability to function in ordinary reality.  In traditionally shamanic cultures the shaman joined her community workforce just like everyone else. She slipped into her shamanic roll only when it was called for, by someone’s illness or other triggering event in the community.

Drastic Change

Students of shamanism often fear the loss of important relationships. Why? Most likely because they realize they are changed by what they learn.  Change is hard on relationships. Most people can look back and see that as their life moved through cycles their primary friendships changed.

I experienced great upheaval in my life.  My exploration of shamanism coincided with these changes and helped me make them. However, the desire for change was already there. This desire for change is one of the characteristics many shamanic practitioners have in common.

Common characteristics of shamanic practitioners

I have observed that many people on this path where already set outside the mainstream of society by something. Perhaps it was an aspect of their temperament or a lifestyle choice. Often their intuition has made them aware of things others don’t notice.

While shamanic practitioners vary in many ways I see some commonality in the following areas:

  • Open to change
  • Introspective
  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent
  • Self-directed
  • Resilient
  • Creative
  • Empathetic
  • Honest
  • Disciplined
  • Nonconformist
  • Strong Intuitive

Interesting Times Ahead

I remember my mom saying to me one day, “your friends are certainly interesting.” Her tone of voice suggested that interesting covered a lot of territory, some of which she wasn’t comfortable with. Her remark was loving and undoubtedly true. My friends are interesting. So, dear friends, welcome. There are interesting times ahead.





Shamanic Divination

27 11 2010

When I first began my search to understand why I spontaneously knew some of the things I knew about people, I read voraciously. I became a scientist dedicated to learning all I could about metaphysical knowledge and the paranormal.

In my search I decided to pull the veil off anything that I feared. One of my early investigations was into Tarot. I purchased half-a-dozen decks, compiled a ledger of notes from various experts, and seriously applied myself to learning how it worked. Because, for me, it worked. Eventually I created and published a deck of my own.

When I was working on introducing this deck to the public I participated in a Psychic Fair. I found it unusually difficult to read a person in a room where, as I felt it, the energy of so many people was hanging out. I felt as overwhelmed as I had years earlier when visiting a family member in a mental hospital.

I hung an out-to-lunch sign at my table and began to visit with other readers in the room. I also observed the clients of various readers.

I asked readers whether they read from their intuition of from the strict guidelines inherent to each card. Generally, they claimed only to go by the traditional meanings.  This may or may not have been true. For me, tarot, or any other divination tool I have used, is only a way to open the channel for intuition. Having done shamanic divination or reading for over 25 years, I know that no tool alone is as effective as any of these tools in the hands of an intuitive and empathic reader.

I focus on shamanic healing rather than shamanic readings because a healing session not only puts me in touch with the client’s underlying issues but gives permission to do something about them. I don’t just say you have soul loss, I restore the soul part. I don’t just say your mother-in-law has put a hex on you, I remove the hex.  I don’t say you are suffering from loneliness, I work to heal the reason you put protective  barriers around yourself that cause the loneliness.

What I observed with many of the clients at that psychic fair was that they intuitively sought out the reader who would tell them what they wanted to hear.  Some seemed to pick a healer who would wallow with them in their shared woundedness.  I believe that each person selects the healer to work with who suits their current need. It might be a different choice on a different day or at a different stage in their healing. That tends to be me when you are ready to break your consensus reality.

I am happy when I meet a former client who has moved ahead to different healing methods. I know that my part in their healing was surgical. I often peel away enough layers of the wound to allow them to go to another for the delicate work of a psychologist or therapist. I sometimes learn that they have committed themselves to a healing or religious practice.

I see people as blocks of pain. Through healing, we break off this pain bit by bit as they can handle it. The spirits direct how much work can be done at any one time. When I have the blessing of being present at the release of the final big block of pain it is an amazing experience. It is overwhelmingly emotional and painful to let go of something so familiar and comfortable that has been with one so long.





Highlights of Aama’s visit

14 11 2010

Aama’s pictures and December Schedule of Events to post soon.

I was able to have some truly fabulous professional photos of Aama and the group healing taken. I will post the as soon as I get them from the photographer.

I will also be posting some upcoming events although because of the holidays they are fewer than typical. If you sign up to follow my blog you can be assured of receiving notices of these events.

Highlights of Aama’s visit

Aama has left me with joy in my heart. It wasn’t until yesterday that I had time to contemplate her visit. Here are some of my observations.

What a joy to prepare breakfast while she moved through the house and yard chanting mantras and lighting incense.  My humble efforts to use my Nepali Phrasebook lead to lovely conversations. And when that was put aside, without the necessity for conversation, there were lovely shared moments. We had a few minutes to walk on the Esplanade in Capitola where she expressed joy at the sound of the surf. We laughed as she attempted to copy my placement of my feet on the seawall as we sat on one of the benches.  With her short stature this was much more difficult for her. Communication does not depend on language. Despite her longing to return to her home after an extended trip, I loved her ability to be fully present.

From the moment I announced Aama’s forthcoming visit, many wonderful and generous individuals came forward to help. I feel so blessed and thankful to them all. You know who you are and I thank you. My biggest thank you is reserved for Larry Peters who has a lifetime of service to Aama and the other Nepali and Tibetan shamans who are now family to him. He is responsible for making this event possible. I also especially appreciate the support and help of Icasciana Barrs and Diane Wilson from Samadhi Life. I have had the great good fortune to attend one of the Grandmother’s gatherings and can only hope to have more such opportunities. I offer my profound apologies to any who’s needs were not met in the unexpectedly hectic schedule that surrounded Aama’s visit.

Tuesday evening’s healing session was such a joy. Those of you who were present certainly felt the joy, hope, and loving kindness present in the room. Despite long waits and uncomfortable seating, people were so kind and patient. My desire to provide more chairs was squelched in an effort to make the experience as much like it would be in Nepal as possible. I hope those of you with physical discomfort were able to accept it as part of the pilgrimage. It truly saddened me to see your discomfort.

Here are a few mental notes I made during the healings. I share them here in the hope that they might help your understand Aama’s healing process.

  • Some problems have physical causes, some karma or life patterns (astrology), and some spiritual. Aama treated the spiritual component which can also positively affect other causes.
  • Aama has the wisdom to know which problems she can help and which ones she can’t. That sounds a little like St. Francis, doesn’t it?
  • She doesn’t sugar coat bad news while leaving open the possibility of improvement.
  • If Aama prescribed that you do some sort of healing ritual, it isn’t as important that you do it perfectly as it is that you hold the proper intention, focus and humility as you perform the ritual.
  • Many of those present have their own healing gifts. It is up to each of them to discover how to use those gifts. Regular meditation is one of the best tools available to strengthen those gifts.
  • Great comfort is available to all through meditation.

A couple hours into the evening, a lady said to me,” when is she going to start doing healing?”  My eyebrows raised in surprise. I recognized her as a local healer and said, “Aama is doing healings with each person who sits in front of her. These are spiritual healings, not the energy healings you are more familiar with.”  That is a subject I will blog about at another time and only one of several subjects to explore as a result of this event.

At the end of Aama’s visit Larry Peters told me, “In Nepal there is great spirituality but little money. Here there is great wealth but we are hungry for spirituality. It is a good exchange.” I use Aama’s practice of accepting donations rather than setting a specific fee for shamanic services.  It requires a lot of faith in abundance to do so as the cost of living here is about 50 percent higher than it was in Portland. But that is nothing compared to Aama’s situation.

Tibetan refugees in Nepal experience none of the rights of citizenship we take for granted. Even though Aama was born in Nepal, she is still a refugee. She is Tamang, an ethic group from Tibet.  A refugee can never take a job from a citizen nor can a refugee own land. That means there are few sources of income available to refugees. Beautiful Thanka paintings, carpets, and jewelry are traditional Tibetan crafts that provide much of the income of the refugees.

Aama alone supports 14 people.  In addition, in the small refugee camps, as in many poor cultures, there is much sharing with the community. People know that if they don’t share, when they are hungry no one will share with them.  This shared experience draws people together much more closely than any coffee klatch.

I thank you all for your generosity to Aama.  Your money will go into the world and do much good. I also must say, that as an initiated healer in Aama’s tradition, I was able to observe much during the healings that might not have been visible to everyone. I can say for sure that the value received by many of you is much greater than the money exchanged.  So, dear friends, as Thanksgiving is almost upon us, I am holding a prayer of gratitude in my heart and looking for ways to share what I have with those in need.   I encourage you to do the same.