I have the great opportunity to mentor teachers and practitioners of spiritual healing. There is the wonder and awe of the power of sharing teachings and spiritual healing. And of course all the shadow stuff of jealousy and competition comes up. Our work together on the planet is to work through these shadow states of consciousness so that we can embrace the consciousness of love.
I wrote a bit last month about how many of us need to install an update into our DNA code to move out of competition to a place of working as an alliance.
I was journeying/meditating on this issue some more. I met up with Lao-tzu. I was thrilled to have such an amazing teacher talk to me about this issue. His advice was that when one walks down the middle path there is peace and freedom. The energy from other people including jealousy will pull you off of the middle path. This will pull you away from freedom.
He encouraged me to keep cutting the energetic ties with others who pull me off my path. He also encouraged me to keep walking on the path toward the light, peace, and freedom. He encouraged me to teach this way to others.
The work of transmuting the problematic energies we experience as egoic beings is our greatest work. And we have been working on doing this for years. As you continue to do this work visualize, feel, hear, smell, and taste yourself walking on the middle path towards freedom. As you find yourself being pulled off the path by others cut the energetic ties binding you. As you experience being pulled off the path by thinking about the past or future experience yourself shifting your focus to the present.
It is clear to me that the middle path that Lao-tzu is talking about is the path of being in the present moment.
Years ago I wrote that life forms that live on the earth seek out light. Plants compete for light. Humans compete for resources and love which I think are misperceived as light. When we seek to buy objects on an unconscious level we think we are buying light.
Light gives life and light provides the energy for life forms to live.
When we find the light within us all the light that is needed and desired is available to us. We will no longer have to compete for that which we believe is outside of us.
Keep up your practice of absorbing light from the sun, the air you breathe, the water you drink and bathe in, and the food you eat. Keep doing the inner work of transfiguring into light and allow your cells to absorb the light from within nurturing you on every level.
As the earth absorbs light, water, and nutrients it bursts forth with an amazing amount of abundance that creates nutrition for all of life.
The earth gives and gives. There is only abundance. It is like chi. There is no such thing as limited chi in the universe. There is no such thing as limited abundance in the earth. It is the collective energy of fear that creates scarcity.
To receive the gifts of the earth and give back gratefulness and appreciation keeps the cycle going.
Mabel Mckay, who was a Pomo elder, wrote that the trees gave people food and that was one thing that kept the trees going. I believe it is important to get the physical, emotional, and spiritual food from trees and plants and give back to them with love. This keeps the abundance flowing.
Both the summer solstice and the full moon are June 21. Create an appreciation ceremony in nature that others can come to where as a community love and appreciation are given for all that we receive so that we might thrive.
Be flexible about how you perform the ceremony so that you might include others who are not initiated into spiritual work. We can all go outside and be in appreciation for the abundance that we receive from the earth.
And as you do your ceremony of appreciation for the abundance that you are receiving from the earth as well as the sun, the water, and air the energy you share will be magnified by the full moon.
Incorporate weaving a web of light within and around the earth into your ceremony. Again bringing in as many community members as you can. The light within and around the earth connects us all.
Many of you who read The Transmutation News are also students of classic shamanic healing. I recently attended a psychology conference where one of the speaker’s presentations inspired me to share some of my thoughts about performing soul retrievals today.
The presenter’s name is Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk. He is a trauma specialist and is the author of more than a hundred papers on trauma. He directs the Trauma Center in Boston, possibly the largest trauma specialty center in the U.S. He has also written some books on trauma.
He shared with us some research that he was a part of where brain scans were performed on patients who suffered trauma.
What was found is that during a trauma it is the limbic part of the brain that is affected by trauma. During a trauma the right posterior part of the brain lights up. This part of the brain doesn’t have language.
The left anterior part of the brain literally shuts off during trauma. This is the part of the brain that is associated with speech and being able to talk about events.
Other neuroimaging studies also show that the impact of trauma sits in the amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and brain stem. It does not sit in the verbal and understanding part of the brain.
van der Kolk says that it is our bodies, not our minds, that control how we respond to trauma, what we do and don’t consciously remember, and whether or not we recover from it.
This means that in the midst of trauma civilized discourse is not possible. It also means that people don’t need to talk about trauma to resolve it.
As we have always known talk therapies are not successful with people who have suffered trauma.
Bessel van der Kolk shared about the successes of working with the body to resolve trauma. He talked about the power of chi gong, tai chi, yoga, dancing, and breathing in order to quiet the body down and teach people self-regulation.
All the above methods came out of shamanism. In teaching workshops I keep trying to get participants to understand how important song and dance has been to shamans. I personally believe this is more important to shamans than the journey itself.
The fact that trauma lives in the body makes a lot of sense to me. When I perform soul retrievals I experience all the sensations that the client felt at the time of his or her soul loss. I have always experienced all the information in my body.
In sharing my experience with clients I have felt greatly challenged. I feel so much and yet I don’t ever have the language for what I feel. Based on what Bessel van der Kolk discovered along with others who have performed neuroimaging this would make sense.
In soul retrieval trainings I try to teach practitioners about the importance of bringing ritual and ceremony into working with clients. And one of the most powerful experiences for many in my soul retrieval trainings is the fire ceremony that we perform. During the ceremony I do have people dance and move what is being released into the fire.
Many practitioners of soul retrieval have been more moving their work towards a psychotherapeutic way of working. Many practitioners ask the client to talk way too much.
Brain scans are showing what shamans always knew. I ask those of you reading this page who do perform soul retrievals to journey on how to work with less talk and more of what would be called body psychotherapy.
We don’t need to turn to other systems to do this. Shamanic healing in itself does embrace what is taught in chi gong, yoga, tai chi, and breathing. We just have to bring it back into our work. As shamanic practitioners we need to engage our creativity. I feel a lot of practitioners have become trapped in trying to move shamanism into old forms of psychotherapy that are not effective. I think we need to bridge psychotherapy into shamanism and not the reverse.
And I want to remind you that I am teaching with my husband Woods Shoemaker this August at Omega Institute. The workshop is intended to teach concentration practices along with teaching the shamanic journey. Please look at my calendar posted on Trainings and Announcements for more information.
“The divine energy in itself is infinite potentiality and actuality. Creatures are localized manifestations of it. If there is no obstacle in us, no false self, we become transmitters through whom the divine presence as boundless love and compassion communicates itself to others in ever widening circles of influence.”
- Thomas Keating
Happy summer! Enjoy the beauty and be joyful in your life.
Soul Retrieval, Medicine for the Earth, and Shamanism