It is hard to believe that we are coming to the end of 2013. This has been quite the year for so many. And I think we all feel how change and transitions are occurring on an exponential level.
The recent storms throughout the world devastated landscapes and life. We hold all who have been displaced and hurt with love. We hold those in the Philippines in our hearts and prayers. There have been other storms and stories of devastation and loss of life. We continue to hold all in light.
Last month I wrote about being on a spiritual path and allowing yourself to be guided by spirit instead of ego.
This month I would like to summarize some practices that will help to empower you during these changing times. I have been in communication with some people who feel so overwhelmed by current world events that they do not know or remember where to begin. I hope this column helps to reinspire all of you.
My helping spirits advice to all of you is this is a good time to settle into yourself and go beyond the surface of your spiritual practices. Creating a rich and fertile inner landscape will help to carry you through what life brings.
In the last month I received such a wealth of stories from clients and students about how the practice of transfiguration has created healing for them.
For new readers of the Transmutation New the practice of transfiguration is to travel within to who we are beyond our skin to experience our divine light and radiate that throughout our body and into the world.
One veteran reported to me that a regular practice of transfiguration healed his PTSD.
I have many reports of how a regular transfiguration practice has created miraculous physical healings for some of my students.
Some people have written to me how a daily practice of experiencing their divine light helped them to ride the waves of very challenging life events.
Others have written me that a transfiguration practice has been helpful to stay grounded and centered while being a witness and holding the space for others who had become ill or suffered from a catastrophic event.
And I have unfortunately lost some dear friends and students who died recently. As they increased their practice of experiencing their divine light they ended up dying from a place of grace and ease.
The practice is a potent way to strengthen ourselves. As we experience our own divinity and perfection we create a state within where our cells can communicate with each other and release the knowledge we were born with of how to heal ourselves.
As we transfigure and experience a state of oneness, instead of separation, we can find a calm and centered place inside in which we can ride both the smooth and turbulent waves as we travel through the river of life.
I want to encourage you to take time each day and settle into yourself. Put on some expansive music and allow your consciousness to expand into a state of oneness. Travel within yourself and experience your inner light. Your intention is to experience who you are beyond your skin. You want to experience who you are beyond your body and rational mind. You are a spiritual being.
Experience your light radiating like a star in the night sky. Find your inner starlight.
With the practice of transfiguration you do not effort to send light to yourself, to another, or out into the world. Just as a star in the night sky you radiate light effortlessly with no intention of where this light should go. A star does not decide where it will send its light. It simply shines.
This state creates a radiance that is healing and uplifting for you. Your eyes will shine brightly again.
When you experience the world through the eyes of spirit and radiate light throughout the world this light and the love of spirit lifts up the veils of darkness and nurtures all of life. The more you transfigure you will find it easier to see through the eyes of spirit. If your practice is very inconsistent it is harder to create a spiritual flow. You end up bouncing back and forth between ego and spirit and this creates a feeling of being torn, as you perceive your life and the world around you.
Experiencing a spiritual state changes our perception. And our shift of perception changes our reality.
We have to train our minds to shift out of seeing only the negative and the challenges. When we perceive the world from our divinity we learn how to perceive the gold and richness even with all the challenges and growth experiences.
When life seems dark and filled with grief and suffering there is another level of fertile ground that transforms suffering into beauty. As you focus on the beauty, your perception changes. As your perception changes so does your life. One way to shift perception is to return to the state of awe and wonder about life that you held as a child.
Remember back when you were a child to how everything seemed so new and fresh. This will assist in experiencing the beauty that life has to offer. By doing this you might notice your attitude towards what life brings you changes.
You do need to keep improving your attitude so that you stop reacting to everything that life brings to you. You do this by lifting the veil to experience the beauty of life no matter what is occurring in the outer world.
By doing this you move into a place of love, appreciation, and gratitude for your life. This always leads to a place of inner and outer transformation.
We can get so overwhelmed by all that is happening in the outer world. Go within and do your personal work. This can be added to whatever action you are called to take to help the earth and living beings.
The intensity of change on the planet is actually forcing us to do our personal work.
Here is a summary of some very simple practices we have worked with together over the years.
Carry a rock in your pocket or have some way of reminding yourself to stop what you are doing and ask yourself the question: “What am I thinking about right now?” You want to learn to stop the negative train of thought that leads away from your desired outcomes.
Surround yourself with nature images and photos of beings that are precious to you. You could carry photos of puppies, kittens, baby animals, an ocean, river, flower, tree, or rock, etc. Whatever energy you send out into the world also goes to all life forms you hold precious. For we all are all connected to one web of life.
You can shift your negative thinking with beautiful sounds such as birds singing, children laughing, etc.
You can write down and look at inspirational words such as hope, brilliance, radiance, awe, wonder, love, etc. When you look at these words your present state will shift.
You can also carry inspirational phrases with you for the same purpose.
Think about something you are grateful for. Remember simple things that you love about life such as the first time you ate ice cream, or saw snow, etc.
It is important for us to be diligent and observe the thoughts we loop throughout the day. For we need to learn how to replace our negative and sabotaging thoughts with thoughts that will lead to our desired outcome.
Our thoughts are made of words. And words are seeds. When we speak we plant seeds that with nurturance will grow deep roots and strong plants. What plants do you want growing strong in your inner garden and this earth garden? Remember what you feed grows. Remember the Aramaic phrase of Abraq ad Habra (abracadabra) which translates to “I will create as I speak”.
Adding to shifting our perception, living a life filled with gratitude, being diligent about the thought and words we use, we must remember that we dream our life and the world into being with our imagination.
We must all learn how to focus our imagination together to envision the life and world we desire to live in. This takes using all of our senses and stepping in the dream, and living from the dream as if we have manifested it now.
We are always daydreaming. It is time for us to focus our imaginations on what we do what to create versus the chaos we are using our imaginations to dream into existence. And at the same time we do not know what spirit and evolution is leading us towards. The paradox is to do our dreaming work while surrendering the outcome.
When you do find yourself reacting to others and to life make sure you express your feelings while at the same time transmuting and transforming the energy behind your emotions to light and love. Express don’t send. In this way we continue to feed the energy of love versus hate, suffering, and separation.
And please go outside and reconnect with nature as much as you can. It does not matter whether you live in an urban or rural environment. The earth is alive and has a spirit. Everything that exists on this planet is alive and has a spirit. It is time for us to reconnect with the spirit that lives in all things - this means all that is alive.
Connect with the heartbeat of the earth. Everyday give gratitude for your life and the earth, air, water, and the sun for providing all you need to thrive.
We have been doing all the practices I wrote about above for many years together.
For those of you new to the work the practices are written in my books Medicine for the Earth, How to Heal Toxic Thoughts, and The Shaman’s Toolkit (former title How to Thrive in Changing Times). And I teach all this work in “Shamanic Visioning” which is a 6 CD audio course produced by Sounds True.
As we move to celebrating the winter solstice it is important for us to move away from the commercial aspect of the holiday season. In past Transmutations News I wrote about creating a prayer tree in your home, at work, or in your community.
The times we live in call us to strengthen our communities. For when challenges occur it is good to live in a strong community. We have been seeing people coming together and planting community gardens. In times of catastrophe people in communities have been coming together to help each other rebuild their homes and businesses.
We can bring spiritual practices into our community. When I conducted the Medicine for the Earth Heart Study with the Integrative School of Medicine at the University of Michigan my group was positively effected by the work. When I reflect on the power of our time together people in the group were so touched by the love we created in our circle. Everyone knew how much each person cared about him or her and the success of their healing. I personally believe it was that love and support in the community that ended up creating the positive results we saw in the participants.
It would be wonderful to bring that kind of level of support into your family, your community at work, and the community in which you live.
You can make this very simple by finding a tree or bush that you can give thanks to for its willingness to carry prayers. Invite people to loosely tie on ribbon or yarn (you do not want to choke the branches) that holds a prayer. You could set out a prayer bowl and invite people to put their prayers into a bowl. You would ask each person in your family, at work, or in your community to hold the intention that everyone’s prayers are answered. This will create a bond among people, which will have a positive impact on all. People will feel cared for and this strengthens the bond needed to be a true support for all in your community.
The full moon is December 17. We are a strong, loving, and supportive community. We gather our spiritual light to continue to weave a strong, potent, and radiant web of light within and throughout the earth.
For those of you new to reading the Transmutation News please visit “Creating a Human Web of Light” on the homepage for instructions of how to participate in our full moon ceremony.
The solstice is December 21. Let us celebrate together this change in season. We celebrate the winter solstice and the return of the light in the Northern Hemisphere and the return of summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
I would like to ask you on the solstice to perform a meditation or journey to connect with the elements where you live. Connect with the earth, air, water, and the sun. Express your gratitude for the energy and life they provide. Ask how you can be in service at this time of change that the earth is going through.
Place prayers and blessings on an indoor or outdoor altar in behalf of the thousands of readers in our global community who work together with the practices I share on the Transmutation News. Let us create our prayer bowl and feed the health and life of our circle.
For myself I feel that as the world is changing so rapidly I need some time to reflect on how I need to change my teachings to help people deepen their spiritual work.
This summer I received two new book contracts. One contract is with Sounds True to write a book based on what I teach in my audio course “Shamanic Visioning”.
I am taking the attitude with this book that this could be the last book I write on shamanism. It might not be, but this is the attitude I am writing with. I am taking a lot of time to reflect on how I wish to shift my prior teachings about shamanism and shamanic practices to take shamanism out of the box. I feel so strongly that the practice of shamanism will change and has unlimited potential to be a healing force on the planet. But the practice of shamanism has been put in a box as people in a modern day world have tried to give it too much form. The power of the invisible can get lost with the focus on techniques. This is just my opinion.
The other book I have a contract for is a book I am co-authoring with Llyn Roberts. We are writing a beautiful book together on reconnecting with the feminine aspect of nature. This book is so fresh and different. There is nothing on the market like it. Inner Traditions will be publishing this book. I have loved working with Llyn on this project, and I excited about the book.
This is all to say that I only have two workshops scheduled in 2014. For I am taking this year to deepen my teachings through my writings and also to have the time needed to vision what I want to teach in the future.
Of course it is my delight to continue writing the Transmutation News.
As we spiral towards a New Year and new opportunities for healing, growth, and evolution I would like to thank all who help in sharing the Transmutation News with readers from around the globe.
Let us give thanks and gratitude to Sylvia Edwards who is the webmaster of this site. She has such a generosity of spirit and has contributed so much to keeping the Transmutation News available. Blessings to you Sylvia for all the best that life has to offer!
And just imagine all the work it takes to translate all the words I write in the Transmutation News. Please let us give gratitude, send blessings, and radiate love and light to those who so generously give their time for translation:
Katalin Abrudan - Hungarian Lena Anderheim - Swedish Nello Ceccon - Italian Ines Fermoso - Spanish Sofia Frazoa – Portuguese Dorota Goczal – Polish Els de Graaff-van Meeteren - Dutch Eleni Evangelinou and Rallou Gromitsari - Greek Annie Idrissi – French Miriam Kisssova and Jan Lenc - Slovakian Irina Osechinsky – Russian Eva Ruprechtsberger – German Tea Thum - Finnish Simin Uysal – Turkish
We join together to send blessings, give gratitude, and radiate love and light for all of us in our community as we deepen our spiritual work together which creates exponential changes in our own lives and in the world around us.
We wish all of you a joyous solstice!
I did share previously that I would announce my plans for my Two Year Teacher Training starting in 2015.
I will teach a Two Year Teacher Training beginning in 2015 in the United States at Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma, California.
The Teacher Training in the United States will be taught twice a year for two Years. Each session will be five days.
My sponsor and assistant will be Ruth Aber. Please email Ruth for more information at: email@example.com.
As so many people asked me to come to the UK to lead a Teacher Training I have also scheduled a Two Year Teacher Training in Scotland. Due to my schedule I will teach this training once a year for two years. Each session will be 9 days. And I will augment with webinars for any material I cannot get to during our sessions.
This Two Year Teacher Training will be taught at Lendrick Lodge in Scotland. This is an extraordinary retreat center located in the beauty of the Trossachs.
The dates for this training will be May 19-27 2015 and May 3-11 2016.
A couple of wonderful books to check out this season are:
Anne Barclay Morgan wrote a most engaging spiritual novel titled Bending Destiny. I loved it! This book is available on Amazon as an e-book and also as a print-on-demand book.
Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks by Stacey L.L. Couch offers a vivid and candid tale of a woman who loses then rewrites the meaning of her life, and shows how being open to spirit messages from animals can provide life-changing guidance. Through Stacey’s relationship with hawks woven alongside her study of shamanism you find intimate insight about the shamanic path. Colleen Deatsman author of The Hollow Bone:A Field Guide to Shamanism Bone writes that “This exquisitely written book warmly touches hearts and gives flight to the soul, while offering opportunities for healing and cathartic release. Don’t be surprised if Gracious Wild moves you to tears and helps you experience some spontaneous healing of your own.”
Mark Wagner is a colleague of mine and such a brilliant artist. I have loved seeing his work on the back covers of “Shaman’s Drum” when the magazine was still in print. And he has done some beautiful book covers.
I had not been in contact with Mark since I left San Francisco. And recently we reconnected on Facebook.
I am such a fan of his work. He does brilliant paintings and art projects. One project he worked on this November really touched my heart.
He created chalk drawings at an event back east to honor veterans. I am writing about the event, and I hope you will visit his blog and also his website. Although the event was in November I wanted to share this wonderful work with you. www.heartsandbones.com.
Ceremonial Chalk Drawing for Veterans and the Global Village
By Drawing on Earth.org with Mark Lewis Wagner, Mark Pinto, Laura Slocum
In the old days the village created a sacred time and space to welcome the warriors back from the unimaginable experience of war, and help them integrate back into society. Today the need is still the same, returning military service personnel and the community both need rituals that help integrate the soul and help bring us all back into wholeness. We need to bless those who have served and who are still serving, to bless the dead on both sides, acknowledge and take responsibility for sending our youth off to war, help right any wrong, grow into a global community, and welcome everyone home.
Drawing on Earth (.org) with Mark Lewis Wagner, along with Veteran Artist Mark Pinto, and Laura Slocum will be creating a large ceremonial chalk drawing that Vets and the community can walk on to help complete the journey home. We do this to support and inspire the Veterans and families, helping them to create long-term health and lead soulful lives.
Where: Sarasota Chalk Festival (largest in the world) When: Nov. 13 - 18, 2013 Web: www.chalkfestival.org Facebook: Sarasota Chalk Festival Theme: Legacy of Valor
Concept: To create a sacred space on the pavement using chalk and tempera paint that acts as an imaginary journey. On Sat. and Sunday the piece will be open to walk on for Veterans and the community. Paper will be supplied to draw and write prayers to burn in a small fire as a give away. There will be a chalk drawing area for anyone to add onto, and a closing ceremony late Sunday afternoon.
“The soul is the drive to create and preserve life - that of our own nature, other people, our community, and the planet - as we participate in the endless creativity of the universe.” Edward Tick, War and the Soul.
Drawing on Earth is a small 501(c)3 nonprofit created in 2010. Our first project set a Guinness World Record for the largest chalk drawing. We had 6,000 people (most of them elementary school kids from Alameda CA) chalk drawing for 2 weeks, covering 90,000 sq. ft. (almost 2 football fields). The work was photographed by satellite. Recent chalk drawings at UC Berkeley Space & Science Lab, Stanford University, San Francisco Exploratorium, and CBS Interactive. www.drawingonearth.org
Mark Lewis Wagner is a visionary artist working in both digital and tradition mediums as illustrator, graphic designer, author, filmmaker, and educator. Wagner works in the film industry as a concept artist working on John Carter, Terminator 3, and the ABC mini-series DreamKeeper. He teaches art and creativity in elementary school, graduate schools, and state prison, and has been involved in Native American Indian ceremony for over 30 years. Clients: Smithsonian - Museum of Natural History, Disney/Pixar, and SpaceX. Wagner has created 5 pieces of art that have been photographed by satellite. His father was a Merchant Marine in the Korean War. www.heartsandbones.com
Mark Pinto: USMC helicopter pilot, Gulf War veteran 1982 -2002. Pinto is currently a Teaching Associate at San Jose State University where he is also earning his MFA in photography. Mark creates installation and multi media art projects that deal with veterans' reintegration issues, as well as the larger, complex issues of war. Pinto is exhibiting a digital photo project called "Joes Come Home" at the Pentagon. He's utilizing GI Joe dolls in scenarios to bring awareness to veteran daily suicides. Pinto's father was in Army during the Korean War. www.markpintoart.com
Laura Slocum: Muralist and war veteran of a different type - ovarian cancer. Helping her cousin Mark Wagner on this project was on her bucket list!