Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shamanic Spirituality

One of the often difficult aspects of authentic, shamanic work is that the spirits that one works with generally have their own ideas of what you need to do and they expect you to follow them. If you don't, you run the risk of loosing the alliance with that spirit. I've certainly tested Grandfather, my spirit ally to great lengths in this regard, but he has stuck with me none the less. Eventually he gets through to me. It just takes awhile. For the past ten years or more, he has been "suggesting" that I learn deer medicine by going bow hunting and connecting with the spirit of Deer. I've managed to put it off all this time, but now that I'm finally moving forward with it, I find that Deer medicine is surprisingly powerful and meaningful. This is filling an old blind spot that I had no idea was still present.

All of this leads me to consider more about the sort of spiritual path that shamanism provides.

The foundation of shamanic spirituality is Animism – the awareness of the presence of the divine in all things. Without further definition, this makes for a pretty broad spectrum spiritual practice. I remember realizing just how deeply this goes on our trip to India, where there are places in which pretty much everything is sacred.

Add the Soul to this already intoxication mix and you have a very rich spiritual melange.

For myself, this has generated a constantly changing practice of mindfulness, self realization, honoring of my ancestors and other spirits and recognition of the divine everywhere. But the fundamental is a regular sitting practice that seems to create space for the soul to enter more fully. Everything else in the practice is built on this connection with soul.