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The Way of the Luminous Warrior
Category: The Inner Shaman Written by Alberto Villoldo PhD
In this blog we explore the four practices of the Way of the Luminous Warrior: The Practice of Fearlessness, The Practice of Non-Doing, The Practice of Certainty, The Practice of Non-Engagement. Take some time to think deeply about each practice and how it might change your life.
Fearlessness. To live fearlessly is to actively practice peace and non-violence, even when it seems like we’re being threatened. This doesn’t mean that we don’t protect ourselves and our loved ones – it means that we don’t respond from a place of anger or violence. Our propensity toward violent solutions is rooted in our brains, which are wired in a very strange way. The region where our sensations of pleasure are experienced is very close to the center where we experience violence, so when we stimulate one of these areas in the brain, we often end up stimulating the other. The reason that fearlessness allows us to step beyond violence is because violence is rooted in fear – of being rejected, taken advantage of, ridiculed, hurt, and so on. Practicing fearlessness requires us to approach people and situations with love so that others can also let go of their apprehension and propensity toward violence.
Non-Doing. We practice non-doing by immersing ourselves in the flow of the universe, receiving and working with the opportunities it presents to us rather than struggling to get everyone and everything to go along with our plans. In the West, we mistakenly believe that the only way to solve problems and get things done is to work hard. There are things we all need to do in order to survive and to keep our communities vibrant. But we don’t have to take up residence in the “kingdom of do” and become possessed by our obligations and our accomplishments. Our constant bustle makes it easier for us to avoid dealing with our emotions. When we pause and sense what we’re feeling, we can be open to how the hand of Spirit might touch us in that very instant.
Certainty. To practice certainty is to have an unwavering commitment to the course you’ve chosen. That is, you let go of your worry that you’re making a mistake or that you’re not good enough thin enough, rich enough, or young enough for an endeavor. Certainty means we deliberately choose not to leave ourselves any “escapes” that would allow us to keep one foot in the new track while keeping the other foot out the door. Back doors leak energy that could otherwise be available to fulfill your dreams. They are where fear lurks within you, and they lead to self-fulfilling prophecies of failure and defeat.
Non-Engagement. When you practice non-engagement, you deliberately choose not to take part in battles, particularly those where the grounds of engagement are defined by your adversary. Just because someone is itching for a fight, longing to create a drama that will allow them to feel like a noble rescuer or a victim, that doesn’t mean you have to play along. So, if you choose to enter an argument, be aware that you’re doing it for sport, sparring because you enjoy it, not because it will allow you to vanquish your adversary of the moment or will prove you right. The question is, Do you want to prove yourself “right,” or do you want to connect with your opponent and find common ground? Do you want to perpetuate and maintain your point of view, or do you want to solve a problem?
What have you learned about the Way of the Luminous Warrior?
What have you learned about the Way of the Hero?
Alberto Villoldo PhD is a medical anthropologist who has spent the last 30 years investigating the healing practices of the shamans of the Amazon and the Andes. He is the founder and director of the Four Winds Society, and author of Shaman, Healer, Sage, Mending the Past and Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval, The Four Insights and Yoga, Power and Spirit. Alberto is founder of the world-renowned Four Winds Society and of the Light Body School. In his teachings and writings, he shares the experience of infinity and its ability to heal and transform us, to free us from the temporal chains that keep us fettered to illness, old age and disease.
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