April 2007 – Shamanic Initiation
This is a copy of the latest entry for the nine-month course, and I feel that is is significant to share it with all my apprentices in a revised and more relaxed form.
Our earliest sense of oneness with the environment did not require words. The shaman’s ability to be quiet and relate to nature and spirits in all forms, without the intrusions of language, is an extremely important and essential tool. For me, personally, the most powerful teaching experiences have occurred during a series of Shakti experiences while being in silence. Being comfortable with silence in a sacred way returns us to our true nature.
Buried beneath the masks of civilization lies an indigenous soul longing to emerge into the light of the sun, to sing and dance with joy, to reclaim that which is wild, holy, and free within all of us.
For the shaman, self is the basis of all being and at some point it is clear that self is not something into which we become, but something out of which we proceed. This is accomplished by meeting a state of consciousness that can only be embraced by being removed from what is familiar and comfortable. This can only really happen when we are finished playing the social game that we have all bought into. In every social interchange we are constantly telling others, and conversely, are perpetually being told by others – who we are. Everyone in our life is expecting certain behavior from us, and at first we willingly oblige. However, at a certain point in the life of every shamanic initiate, they cannot continue to dutifully uphold that image.
Part one – I ask that you take a day off of from your normal routine this month and put yourself into a state of silence for half of an entire day – completely alone. Take a walk into nature and sit there for a part of that time and then sit in a completely dark room for six or more hours (you may need to blind fold yourself). Do not interact with other people during this part of the initiation! There are 24 hours in a day and I ask that you devote at least 12 of those hours to this exercise on that day. Do nothing and be no one during that time! Fast during the entire period and only drink water. Part two – On a separate day this month, conduct your business as usual, but do so in silence for the entire day. If communication is absolutely necessary, you can always write a note. If you wear makeup and jewelry, leave them and all other masks at home. Also, wear clothes that you would not normally wear during that day of silence. Just to make it clear – this part of the initiation exercise is in two parts and has to be done on two separate days this month!
Part three – In large part, the shaman receives initiation by themselves. The role of the ASS (Attending Seated Shaman), or me, is to facilitate the process. As your ASS, I ask that you connect with me in the consciousness of stillness and hook into a dream that is being dreamed this week. I want you to describe the animal and also the color of the animal that is dreaming me, you, and others taking this course. You cannot do this, so you can relax. IT will be revealed to you. If nothing comes, make it up. Note, this is an entirely different animal than the one I worked with in the nine-month course.
Part Four – before the end of the month – sign up for the November 3 – 15, 2007 Peru trip!!
Please send your sharings for my review as well as for the rest of the group!! If you would like to comment about what someone else in the group wrote, please feel free to do so.
I will post what you send for all apprentices to see, subject to any edits that I feel that are necessary.