Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I remember telling her "the sacred sites would prove themselves equal to Machu Picchu by the end of the next moon."
She frowned in disbelief; but a month later she was literally eating her words. The manifestations following her visit, her prayers and the ceremony at the site were not only memorable; but phenomenally impossible to explain. ‘Til this day she is the first person to say: “Don’t judge a site by what you see. It’s the “memory” or “energy” behind it all that needs to be fully acknowledged in order to understand the experience.”
The reason why I bring up the topic is because I’m often approached by individuals who are seeking out phenomenal shamanic experiences and are looking for recommendations. I often warn people against spiritual consumerism. I see nothing wrong with wanting to live something different than our said “boring and comfortable” Western living. Unfortunately, more and more young people these days are using drugs to reach levels of ecstasy, freedom and spirituality; when it’s not necessary. Plus, you don’t need to travel to the ends of the World to meet Holy People or to find shamanic teachers or spiritual gurus etc... You would be surprised with who lives right in your neighborhood.
Ironically, I have lots of students and initiates who come to “us” (G and I) from all over the World. At the Great Gathering this year we counted more people from out of Province than individuals from Montreal. I wondered about this phenomenon. For some reason lots of European people feed the notion that “authentic Shamans/Sorcerers or Shamanic teachers” are best found in North America. If they are First Nation it's even better... In North America people will mostly travel to South America or the U.S. to find Medicine teachers. It seems no matter where we are in the World we continue to believe the grass is greener in our neighbour’s yard. Yet, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s definitely an illusion many of us choose to believe in.
I plan to return next month with a blog "to answer this question."
With many of my students and initiates I see this deep urge for adventure and this expectation that their journey should be filled with exotic stories. I remember one student who told me on our very first meeting that she expected to be able to talk to the animals after her initiation with me. I’m not saying that it’s not possible to communicate to animals; or that students shouldn’t set up goals; but I am warning people to be careful with expectations because they don’t always come true in the exact same form we imagined them. What I loved about the story of the woman who wanted to become a female version of Dr.Dolittle is that she eventually ended up working for the S.P.C.A and literally become the voice for abandoned and rejected animals. As far as I was concerned this woman definitely met her objective and accomplished a dream! ‘Til this day I still mention this woman’s name and story in my prayers in hope that she didn’t stay attached to desire; but rather opened her heart to miracle.
There’s phenomenon around us every day and interwoven into the most boring, mundane details of our lives. It takes opening our hearts and our eyes to it -- to see it and experience it.
People hate it when I say: "It takes discipline, consistency and lots of work."
I remember meeting this fireman almost twelve years ago who had really strong and negative opinions on me and my work. On so many occasions when he joined his wife and daughter at some of our circles, he harshly commented: “All this supernatural fluff that you sell to people only keeps them from the inevitable: Reality!” Then one day in tears, he showed up at a conference/workshop I was giving in the city. He told the audience and I how one of his grand-children was diagnosed with cancer and was literally fighting for his life.
“The worst thing is,” he said “both my wife and daughter have asked for me to stay away for a while because I don’t believe in miracles.”
At the end of the evening this man was begging me to teach him how to see and how to feel what he obviously despised and denied for so long. It was hard for me to tell him that faith, the extraordinary, and the ability to surrender weren’t something I could give him in one sitting or through one workshop. He needed to work on it. For a year, I saw him every now and again. He eventually got access to his grand-child again (the boy survived) and even though he wasn’t totally convinced in the idea of Great Spirit and miracles --- he certainly understood there could possibly be more to life and our World than what meets the eye.
For some people the world of phenomenon is scary or overwhelming while for others it’s inspiring and something to seek out. You have a full gamut of people in between who either don’t care about the topic or just accept it as something natural. One way or another it’s one piece in the puzzle of life.
‘Til this day I still agree with my fireman friend: “The supernatural should not just be fluff to get away from life but rather a piece of the puzzle; which inevitably brings us to reality.”
Take a moment to recognize that every piece of land is sacred. You don’t need to travel the world to find a sacred site. Learn to make of your home – a place of power. Teach your children to pray and to be thankful for the leaves that fall in their backyard and the flowers, which grow in their garden. You can even make an altar with stones you've collected from your immediate environment. Encourage the mentors from your neighbourhood and community. Show your children that GOOD PEOPLE exist everywhere. And if you are seeking out adventure tell the Medicine People in your life because they could guide you in making your journey more connected to the dreaming or the extraordinary.
Again – I’m not saying “you shouldn’t travel and you shouldn’t seek out Shamans, Socerers or Medicine People from across the World.” I am suggesting though that you take the time to bring consciousness to your journey. Make sure that it isn’t only about desire, expectation, and this undeniable need for adventure.
Add to your journey an added bonus: Phenomenal Reality!