Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Walking Between the Worlds

So – I'm just back from two back-to-back neo-pagan events at Brushwood Folklore Center near Sherman, NY. I have been making this trip every year for perhaps 15 years or more, and it provides me with an annual milestone of sorts – checking in with myself each year to see where I am relative to where I was.

Brushwood has been hosting gatherings of this kind since the early 90's, and has gradually grown into one of the premier sited for the neo-pagan movement to hold large festivals.

Over the eight days there – teaching workshops, attending workshops, chatting with interesting folks, catching up with friends who I only see during Brushwood time, and just hanging out with my dear friends at Camp Sashu – all this served to open my heart and move me into a fairly deep altered state. Leaving that space and driving home has been a kind of movement from one world to another. Over the past few years, I've noticed that there is less of a shift.

The shamanic perspective is that we are living in many different worlds all at once AND that all these worlds are the same world – perceived from slightly different perspectives. The ideal is to – eventually – integrate all the worlds (and all the parts of the Self) into one, unified whole.

Coming home from Brushwood, I stopped for gas and noticed that I was scowling slightly at the people around me. I wondered why, and looked at what was behind this. I realized that I felt vulnerable and disconnected from these "others" because I had spent the previous eight days connecting within a limited community setting. This had created within me a sense of "us and them".

Taking a few slow breaths, I attempted to extend my sense of "us" to include the rest of my fellow humans. I'm not sure how well it worked, but I stopped scowling.

And I'm very happy to be home.

1 comment:

sobaokokoromo1 said...

Greetings Ken
It was a real pleasure to have chatted with you at Brushwood. I am impressed at the way in which you have managed to adapt the tradition of shamanism without actually losing the important sense of cultural identity which is vital to this discipline.
Please visit me at the following internet sites: TAINO Shamanism MAYA prophetic tradition
The blogger website that Maya Calendar teacher Antonio Aj Ik and I maintain