I would like to start this month with an important announcement for all of you reading The Transmutation News in another language besides English.
Each translation for the Transmutation News will now be posted on www.sandraingerman.com. Just click on the language you wish to read the column in.
It is wonderful that we have the Transmutation News translated into: French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Spanish, and Swedish.
I would like to take this opportunity for all of us to give gratitude to Eva Ruprechtsberger as for many years now she has been organizing the translations and posting them on a central website. And let us give gratitude to all the translators who volunteer their time to translate The Transmutation News. We send many blessings your way.
I have some incredibly exciting news to announce!!
In 2004 I co-partnered with the University of Michigan School of Integrative Medicine to do a pilot research on how Medicine for the Earth practices could help people who have suffered a heart attack.
Dr. Sara Warber was the primary investigator.
There were three randomized study groups. There was one group of participants who took a four-day workshop with me on Medicine for the Earth. I was assisted by Kate Durda who is an amazing teacher in Michigan listed on www.shamanicteachers.com.
Another group participated in a Lifestyle Change Program where participants learned about the importance of nutrition, physical exercise, and stress management. They learned how to practice meditation and yoga.
The third group received usual medical care.
The results of the study are now published by Explore Journal of Science and Healing.
This is such an exciting study as we were able to show the benefit of practicing Medicine for the Earth work for people who have suffered heart attacks.
The manuscript of the Healing the Heart study can be downloaded for a fee by clicking on the following link:
I do hope you will download it and read the paper. It has taken many years for the paper to finally be finished and published. I do trust that the timing is now right to share the power of healing that comes from the Medicine for the Earth work.
In the September Transmutation News, I will write about some of the practices that we did in the four day workshop. All the practices came from my book Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins.
I am teaching a Medicine for the Earth and Healing with Spiritual Light training in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Oct. 19-23. I will share how I taught the practices to a non- shamanic community where I used guided visualizations and ceremonies that did not conflict with participants strong religious beliefs.
For more information on this training please email Ruth Aber at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been studying taiko drumming for about 4 1/2 years now. Taiko drumming comes from Japan and there are many extraordinary taiko drummers performing around the world today.
One would never know that I had been studying for so long if you watch me play. I am afraid to say my form just doesn’t seem to match the beauty of the ancestry of taiko drumming.
But I so love to drum, and it is has been a very healthy practice for me to keep up as long as I let go of the judgement of my progress.
In the class that I am in we start each class with about 30 minutes of warm up and practice on a very small taiko drum called the shime. In many of the taiko pieces the shime is played to provide the back beat and the rhythms played on the shime can be quite complex.
When we practice on the shime we play rhythms where the left hand is playing something very different than the right hand. And this of course can be challenging for anyone.
When I play different beats with my right hand and left hand it is very clear that I cannot allow any thoughts to enter in if I want to be able to keep the different beats flowing and not get lost.
If I let thoughts come in such as starting to think of something that happened during my day, I lose the beat. If I start to think about something I need to do after class I lose the beat. If I start to reflect on how I am playing, I lose the beat.
My body knows how to keep the beat. There is an innate sense of how to do this. And when I can surrender to what my body knows how to do, I can easily keep the beat. But when I get my mind involved in the process, I find I get lost.
After one of my recent classes I started to reflect on how this is a metaphor for our spiritual work. For during this particular class, I had surrendered to the wisdom of my body and the cellular knowing of how to keep the different beats going with both of my hands. I had moved into a place of non-thinking and let my body wisdom flow.
Often when we engage in spiritual practices, we get distracted from the flow very easily. The media can distract us. Our beliefs of what is possible and what is not possible distract us. Our self-talk distracts us. In our modern world we simply have created and are surrounded by endless distractions. I think you know what I mean.
But when we sink into our inner state of knowing and our own divine spirit our spiritual life simply unfolds naturally without thinking about it. It is when we start to think that we end up in trouble.
I would love for you to reflect on times in your life when you just allowed yourself to ride the waves of life without getting caught up in mental thoughts and distractions. There is a freedom and sense of joy that comes as we can do this.
And we can simply start to play with this in life. Watch the distracting thoughts that come up for you throughout the day as you live your spiritual practices. Notice how your thoughts can throw you off beat and off center.
It takes discipline to stop the train of thought that is leading to distraction and focus and get back into your own natural rhythm of flow. Stay aware throughout the day of what you let distract you from your flow.
Last month I wrote about the need to be embodied to experience the true power and potential of spiritual work. And I want to weave some more threads into what I wrote last month.
For when we sink into our own body and the spiritual wisdom that it holds, we find ourselves flowing through life and the rhythms of life.
There are times when we move into a pure state of reaction and this of course typically stops our ability to flow with the river of life and all that life brings to us.
We are all experiencing many challenges in our lives as we are being asked to surrender to evolution on all levels. I wrote about this last month.
In New Mexico we have been in extreme drought. And it has been our driest year in recorded history. As I live in nature and spend a lot of time in nature it just breaks my heart to watch the trees and plants being affected by the drought. I am such a tree lover!!
One day last month it started to rain in Santa Fe. As I had a lot of errands to run around town, I experienced how widespread the rain was in the city.
But the one thing I knew was that it was not raining in the part of Santa Fe where I lived. It was not raining when I left my house, and I did not return to any rain – the land was dry.
I am so devoted to my spiritual work and I wanted to just accept that we were not receiving rain where I live. But no matter what I tried – every tool I had ever worked with just could not touch the reaction I went into. And the feeling that came up for me was rage.
I was not angry at the spirits, the weather, people, or any particular aspect in particular. I was simply in rage at how unfair life can be. Obviously, something deeper than rain had been triggered in me.
I got lost in a conditioned response. Although I could not stop my reaction, I could keep transmuting the energy so that I did not send raw rage into the collective. I avoided sending darts of rage to all of life.
And I could also reflect on my state while I was in it.
My frustration with myself was getting lost in the conditioned mind. For all spiritual teachings throughout time have taught that happiness must flow from within. If your happiness is dependent on your outer conditions, you will never be happy.
Rationally I think all of you who are reading the Transmutation News know the truth of this. When life seems to be going your way it is easy for the egoic part of yourself to feel happy, content, and at peace.
But any little life event can easily throw your ego out of that state of contentment. And it has always been thus for human beings. And the goal of spiritual practices is to find that inner light, inner peace, inner joy, inner contentment that is not shaken up by people and events in the outside world. This is true freedom!! And this is something that I know we all would like to experience. For we know our outer conditions will always change minute to minute, hour to hour, day by day. And we can ride a real rollercoaster when we get lost in what is happening in our outer world.
I have been writing about this for years. And what impacted me on this day of rain was I felt so frustrated as I have devoted every day of my life to my spiritual work and yet still my egoic self got so shaken up by the lack of rain in my area.
And I think this disappointment in myself was worse than my reaction. I am not sure as they fed each other.
Well, it did end up raining where I lived. I just needed a bit of patience.
But I learned a lot from watching my state of being. And that night and the next day I spent time reflecting on this nightmare I had allowed myself to fall into.
What occurred to me the next day was that although I did react to the outer events, I never lost my trust in nature’s intelligence. I realized that this was huge progress for me as in past years I would be angry at the weather spirits for not answering my call. I did not experience this. I knew in every cell of my being that nature knew exactly what it was doing, and I trusted that.
I did surrender to the experience of knowing that there would be loss from the drought and that this was simply part of evolution.
The point I am trying to make is that when I felt I had failed in my spiritual practices I realized that actually I had made great progress from the years of my continued discipline. For I had integrated some very positive behaviors into my daily life.
Yes, I did react but at the same time I did not lose my sense of trust and I did surrender to the outcome.
Oftentimes we are tested by life circumstances and we might think we failed the test once again. But when you can take some time and step back and reflect on how you did handle “the test” you will find that you did make progress. And although your behavior might not have felt great you still changed your behavior from years past. And this is such a huge key to acknowledge.
We still get upset and allow our ego to override the peace and contentment that lives inside of us. But as you continue your meditations, your journeys, your practices you will find that you do make progress. And you don’t repeat your past behaviors in the same way. This is so important to acknowledge!!
So, when you find yourself “falling off the path” take some time to step back and either write down or reflect on how you did actually integrate some of what you have been working with into the situation that presented itself as a challenge.
If you do this, you will actually be impressed by how far you have come.
And I do want to encourage all of you to continue to begin each day with gratitude for your life and all that you are given. For I personally find that when I start my day with gratitude, I don’t fall so low for the state of gratitude raises the ground higher and catches me as I feel myself falling off the path.
I start my day with giving thanks to:
-The helping ancestors on the land where I live.
-The spirit of Santa Fe and feeling grateful for the opportunity to live here.
-The spirit of the land I live on for having the opportunity to be a caretaker.
-The hidden folk and the spirit people (the elves, fairies, angels, and forest guardians) for working with me in partnership on behalf of the land.
-The spirit that lives in all things – this means all of life, so I don’t have to list every living creature.
-The elements of earth, air, water, fire (the sun) for giving what all living beings need to thrive and not just survive
-My helping spirits for all the wisdom, healing, and protection they share with me.
-And most of all I give thanks for my life.
Of course, each day I adapt my prayers for gratitude, as I don’t want to recite them as a recipe. For example, I also give gratitude for my health and for all my physical senses that allow me to experience the beauty of the natural world.
And I do express gratitude for important people in my life such as my wonderful husband, my parents, and all of you in our global community who are working on behalf of all of life. I do send blessings each day to feed our circle.
I find some time in the beginning of my day to give gratitude. And I find it creates a path that even when I feel lost, I can follow the light that my gratitude prayers are shining for me to follow.
How do you give gratitude each day?
It looks like I will be writing some regular blogs for AOL/Huffington Post. This is exciting as it gives me the opportunity to share some of the work we are doing together with a broader community. It would be great if you are willing to share the articles and the links with your community.
I will send the blog link to those on my email list as I write short articles which remind us of the principles we are incorporating into our spiritual life. I don’t know how often my blogs will be posted but I will send a link when a blog is published.
The full moon is August 13. Let us truly spend some time experiencing our divine light connecting with all in our global community around the world committed to shining our light to create a human web of light deep within and throughout the earth.
Reflect on how your practice of joining in with our web of light ceremony each month has deepened.
For those of you who are new readers to the Transmutation News please visit Creating A Human Web of Light on the homepage to read the instructions for our monthly full moon ceremonies.
Last month I encouraged all of us to engage in the work of joining our lights together each day. It is nice to have the full moon to focus on together. But we do want to feed the web of light each day.
And as we do this we tap into the principle of reciprocity. For as we feed the web of light that light flows back to us feeding us and energizing us in return. It is not something to think about but rather just sink into the natural and inherent flow of life itself.