Friday, October 12, 2007
Posted by EditorsChoice Tuesday, 09 October 2007
Cross-culturally, there is a common belief in spiritual help that is witnessed as an intervention from a non-physical realm into the physical realm that transcends, changes, or heals. This non-physical realm is where the spirits dwell. I was taught that the Lakota people believe there are 405 helping spirits that you are born with that are literally assigned to you: A small army of helpers whose main function is to be of service to you and your human experience. You may choose to use this help throughout your life, or not. There is no judgment if you don't. But why wouldn't you? Whether it's 405 or 1, their help can bring sensational results---magical, miraculous, profound, guiding, transformative, informative, and fun. You can use your spirit helpers for minor things or gain insight and direction for the major decisions of your life. You can heal yourself and your loved ones. You can learn to direct energy in such a way that you can change the past and look into the future. The non-physical doesn't follow the same physical laws that you have been taught. There are no limits to this realm except those from your own perspective. One of the most effective ways to access help from the spirit helpers is the shamanic journey. The shamanic journey is filled with mystery, and despite its ancient history, is little understood in Western culture. The altered state of consciousness achieved in a journey allows you to transcend the limitations of the rational world and connect with a non-ordinary reality. The shamanic journey is common to all cultures (even European) and the nature of the journey is remarkably similar, even in cultures widely separated by era and geography. In the spirit world, both time and place are illusions. The lessons from the other worlds are universally true, drawing from a collective consciousness that is accessible to all. Learning how to journey successfully takes time and practice. Journeying requires you to tune in to all of your senses. It is vital to activate as many of the senses as possible to stimulate your powers of observation beyond the visual. Many people depend too much on the visual in journeying, and fail to access the total information contained in the journey. Often, the information will come through a sense of "knowingness," a kind of sixth sense that is beyond seeing or any of the other single senses. To practice stimulating your senses, try this simple exercise: Close your eyes and imagine a red rubber ball. Bounce the ball and hear its bounce. Throw the ball up against the wall. Squeeze the ball; feel its texture. Bring the ball up to your nose and smell it. Stick your tongue out and taste it. Now open your eyes. Could you see the ball? Could you hear the ball and notice the difference in sound qualities from bouncing the ball close to your feet and throwing it against a distant wall? Could you feel the elasticity of the ball and its texture? Could you smell it and taste it? Notice which of your senses was the strongest. If you close your eyes and it is totally black, then tune into your knowingness and "see" with that sense. Many people have absolutely no visual sense in a journey, yet the detail of the journey is exceptional. This exercise will help you become more attuned to your senses and discover which ones are more vivid for you. The goal of the ball exercise is to literally activate your senses to a reality (the ball) that is not currently in your ordinary reality. In a journey, you will do the same thing. Through your senses you will activate a non-ordinary reality and journey through a place unfamiliar to your ordinary reality. I have taught several hundreds of people how to journey, most with remarkable success. The journey method empowers and enriches their lives. They develop a modality through journeying that is useful to everyday life. They can reach and communicate with their spirit helpers in a constructive and accurate way. Remember that your spirit helpers and power animals are magical and they can do anything, they do not follow physical law. Birds can swim under water, whales can fly, and tigers can talk. They are your protectors and guardians. They do not lie, that is only a human trait-you can trust them. Each journey will be different; some will be more powerfully realized than others. There is much to learn about the spiritual realm. In each journey I gather information concerning my intention, but I also listen openly for what the spirits may want to tell me. I have found the shamanic journey to be one of my most profound ways of connecting with the spirits and one of the richest sources of understanding and awareness. It has literally healed me and keeps my mind curious and reaching. To me, imagination is the gateway into the spiritual realm. It is not the spiritual realm; the spiritual realm is real, not imaginary. However, imagination can be used as the way in to the realm. Imagination is a tool that we are given as children, but often forget how to use. Children usually have a profound awareness of the spiritual realm; they have wonderful vivid imaginations, and many have imaginary friends. Children become completely entranced with other realities; they easily talk to trees, sing to flowers, see magical kingdoms in sparkling sand, and physically "see" spirits. Kids see and communicate with spirit beings quite naturally. Unfortunately, these fabulous encounters with the spirit realm are categorized as imaginations and are often stifled as children grow up and conform to society. Family, school, church, and other external forces of the culture shape their beliefs and responses. Mothers lovingly but with authority, say, "Now honey, you should not lie. There really is not anyone sitting next to you. Rocks do not have mouths and they cannot really talk." The fabulous, magical, fun, mystical connections are lost or blocked. What the spirits have taught me about imagination is that it is actually a gift from Spirit, it is how we as humans create and that Spirit is providing us with an avenue to creation and connection that our psyche will accept. Imagination connects you back into the magical, mystical worlds of Spirit you once knew as a child. When I work with people in journeying they will often say, "I feel like I am making the whole thing up, like it is just my imagination." And I say, "Good." Trust it and let's see what happens. Imagination is the portal in. It gives permission to the psyche (your limited mind) to experience something that is out of the realm of what you would call an ordinary experience, or real. Because of conditioning, you are extremely limited by your own perception of what you define as real. If the imagination can travel further into the realm of the unknown than your belief system allows, then by all means travel on the imagination. What you will find is that you are not making it up at all. The spirits are alive and well, existing in other realities that you probably cannot see with your physical eyes, but are real just the same. The imagination provides the avenue to get there. So use your imagination, develop it, and allow it to expand, create, grow, and become. Open the door and get out of the box that society has placed around you. You will find that the shamanic journey and your spirit helpers continually provide you with ideas, information, possibilities, and potentials for your own growth and development.
Jan Engels-Smith promotes self-healing, empowerment, better communities, a healthy world and conducts workshops in shamanism & journeying. Her book, Becoming Yourself is at http://www.LightSong.net . Jan
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]