This week’s Notable Blogs cover a wide range of shamanism and healing related topics. There are so many engaged, caring, thoughtful writers blogging now that I am often at a loss as to which blogs to note. I hope you enjoy this edition of Notable Blogs.
Sometimes I think joy is a forgotten aspect of shamanism. I’m reminded of the Inuit shaman whose song was simply, “Joy! Joy! Joy!
Sometimes joy just finds us, as Animalway recently discovered:
I had certainly heard the word (shaman, MW) but most of my references to it were from odds and ends I had picked up through life from text books in my Native American History class in college though to playing World of Warcraft. But I had never really sat down to discover what Shamanism was.
Imagine my surprise when I awoke one morning last month with the word bounding through my thoughts like a wild bunny in a field of flowers, popping in and out of sight with great joy.
As the summer wanes and Autumn approaches, my thoughts have begun to turn to the West, the place of aging and dreams. It seemed propitious to stumble upon Hermit’s Thatch’s lengthy meditation on the challenges of living in the desert and of aging:
If the desert is the test of physical and psychological tenacity, then old age and death test psychological and spiritual tenacity. Old age and infirmity haunts everyone, including the hermit. Old age is not merely the transition to death but the end of autonomy. Physical and spiritual liberty is found in the desert, the silence and solitude of desert life, the life one carries about within oneself every moment. Desert life (the inner desert) envelopes and nurtures the mind and heart. Everything else is the world. Can we carry our desert into that final house of physical dependency and personal loss?
Caleb Whitaker took up a topic I know is on the minds of many healers: Why do people turn away from healing, relapse, when it is offered to them?
These people come from all over the world, and they tend to be successful, professional types—therapists and teachers, bankers and doctors and entrepreneurs. They are people with the means and intellectual curiosity to travel to a remote jungle outpost to work with traditional medicine and be willing to take a harrowing look inside, to the deep, dark corners of the self that are always, always easier to ignore. They proactively seek their own healing. Simply by being there, they have made the greater part of the journey.
What puzzles me is not the variety of accurate divinations received through these visions, but the relatively large recidivism rate that follows. What I mean is, most people who go looking for answers in the spirit world, receive answers, Usually they are in the form of good, practical advice spelled out in very clear terms. But how many of these people actually follow this great advice and go on to change their lives? There are no statistics on this, but it’s surely a small minority. Why do so many relapse? I have seen a lot of these people come to Iquitos time and again, repeating the same formula, and vowing to do better for themselves. Perhaps part of the problem for many people is that intentions and actions are casual acquaintances at best.
One of my teachers always said that healing should never take more than three visits. I’ve come to realize that in Western countries people usually simply don’t have a supportive community to aid hem in healing. The shaman, therapist, or other healer, of ten is asked to be the missing community. Of course this is impossible. Rather, in as much as possible, the healer supports the person requesting aid to build a community. Only then can the many deep traumas really be healed.
Finally, the Tilapia Incident wrote a lovely piece about finding joy atop Cadillac Mountain at sunrise:
Maybe I will return in the future to experience such splendor. Perhaps I will never see such a sight again. But for one moment, I stood and breathed and felt time come to a halt. I stood and watched as the first light of day kissed the Eastern coast – the very first ray of sun to touch the United States. I stood and experienced, and what I saw will forever resonate inside me, too massive for mere words and photographs. Something has awoken within my soul, something that will fade not with time nor with the introduction of new, potentially more fantastic experiences. An all-consuming awe and respect for nature is a religion in and of itself, a state of indescribable peace, a primal longing too deep and intuitive to be fathomed. This I have learned.
I have read the works of great naturalists and writers, and I hear them speak of the unspoiled wilderness in their hushed, reverent tones, as respectful of this earth as any devout worshiper is of their deity. I have read these things and I have agreed. Before today, however, I have never truly understood.”
via <a href=”http://tilapiaincident.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/sunrise-at-acadia/”>Sunrise at Acadia « The Tilapia Incident</a>.