Category: The Inner Shaman Views: 1539
Strangely enough I have discovered through my counseling practice that many people do not really know what a spiritual practice is. When I ask them if they have a spiritual practice or what their spiritual practice is they say, “Well I do a little yoga or “I exercise regularly,” or “I go to church once in awhile.” None of these things are actually a spiritual practice. They may contribute to one but in and of themselves they are not one. These times that we have entered, especially since September, 2015, are about extraordinary change for the planet.
Everything that has taken place in the last few years including the seven major Pluto Uranus squares ending earlier this year, have only been preparation for what comes now in the late summer and fall. The foundation for change has been laid and now the wheels are turning and there is no going back. This accounts for: Recent stock market swings, the refugee migration crisis, the focus on immigration in this country, the focus on police brutality and the attacks on police, the recent spate of senseless killings, the uptick in violence and murders around the United States and the world, and so on.
The frequency is going up dramatically on this planet and this creates a tension that begins to snap the weak points in society and in people’s psychological states. These are the inevitable consequences of change and transformation. As in an earthquake, everything not nailed down or grounded gets tossed off its bearings. Everything in a state of imbalance, everything unsustainable, everything lacking in integrity will be shaken to its foundations and will crumble. Some people will be sure it is the end of the world and it is, symbolically, not literally. The end of the world as we know it is coming to pass.
Now you can complain, whine, resist, fight, scream, and claw but it is not going to make one damn bit of difference. In fact the more you resist the harder it’s going to be on you and the people around you. You have a number of choices. You can hold onto the past out of sheer stubbornness, choose to lose your marbles and go postal or psychotic, tremble, cry, and whimper, or you can get yourself a damn good spiritual practice and take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities that change brings, and welcome the ushering in a new and better world. This is it folks, Let’s roll or you will be rolled on instead.
So you will need a spiritual practice and doing a little yoga is not going to get you where you need to go. Now bear in mind that these forces and changes are not random but planned and they have been brought about through the consequences of our own choices as a species and individually. On the other hand there is no escaping the phenomenon of puberty. It is challenging for everyone. We all go through it individually and yes, we go through it on a planetary wide level. Because we need assistance at this time, assistance is arriving on a huge scale. This planet it is being midwifed, bathed in light, supported on many levels. While there are those weak links that will go crazy there are many who will rise up in this time of need and become extraordinary forces and catalysts for positive change in the world, especially among the youth and minorities. There will be creative and inventive people, inspirational people, action oriented people, and people of great wisdom and knowledge that lead this planet toward unprecedented cooperation and sane sustainable practices. Some of their voices will shame those recalcitrant leaders who have been obstacles to change causing them to reverse course. These new innovator’s words will be inspired by the tremendous support coming to our planet as we speak. Just like in the movies, when all seems lost, there is breakthrough and celebration. Life is just like a movie.
This is of course where faith and trust come in. Now, the words faith and trust are often used interdependently and they are quite similar. Faith means having a conviction that something is true, a belief in its credibility. There is a feeling of assurance and confidence in something or someone. For example I have faith that “our strategy will work” or “I have faith that she will do a good job.” Trust suggests that I can depend upon someone or something. I am going to rely on this person so I need to trust them. “I trust my employees” or “I trust my husband.” Sometimes people have faith in things they have not tested and this is called blind faith. This often has to do with a conversion where someone has faith in a new religion. The person may hear from a clergy member, “Don’t question, just have faith.” Trust suggests that there is some evidence from the past that this will work out. “I have worked with this person many times.” “I trust them.” Sometimes faith and trust are misplaced and this causes some people to decide they will never trust again, that having faith is for fools. Yet without faith you would never climb into a car or onto an airplane again. You wouldn’t bother with a computer or a cell phone. Trusting that these things work most of the time is what is needed to make society run.
On the one hand the world has never been at this exact juncture before. So why should you trust that all will turn out well? Why should you have faith that the world will self correct since human beings have proven to be so unreliable, inept, violent, self serving, and corrupt? Well, we have gotten this far without destroying ourselves. In addition we have predictions and prophecies from some of the most spiritually aware people the world has ever seen that we will transition from darkness to light on this planet. This includes America’s own Edgar Cayce. The indigenous peoples from all parts of this world, carriers of ancient wisdom, have all held this view from the Mayans to the Tibetans to the Hopi. Since most if not all their prophecies have come to pass, why would be expect them to be wrong about this? By the way, the current migrations of refugees to Europe is not news. It was predicted long ago and signals a new and different world, especially for Europe. The migrants are mostly mature souls with a few terrorist baby and infant souls embedded amongst them. They are what everyone is afraid of.
The Spiritual Path
We all have a choice between despair and trust (not hope which is rather ineffective comparatively). Despair leads us to misery and suffering and having no fun. The only value in despair is that we get the booby prize, the satisfaction that we were right if everything turns out badly. On the other hand if we have trust then the worst that can happen is that our trust was misplaced and we are terrifically disappointed. Now for some people this is a fate worse than death. They would rather suffer anything but disappointment because they have had betrayals in their past and they don’t ever want to go there again. OK then, if this is you, don’t have faith and try that on for size. How has that worked out for you? Well maybe you want to be surprised when (if) everything works out fine. That is OK and it is up to you but you will suffer in the meantime and you will not be helping the cause. That makes you a taker and not a helper.
Having faith in the future, having trust that everything is headed somewhere good may seem irrational yet it is based on having a bigger view of reality, not a myopic one. There is an ancient Chinese saying that there are many things under the sun meaning that there is way more going on than any of us can see, sense, or know. At any given time we have only a thin sliver of the truth. Who amongst us is smart enough to say that it is hopeless? This is a rather arrogant position. Having faith means not worrying but taking that same energy and using it constructively to build a positive future and to further the possibility that there is movement toward it. There are those that would say this is naïve and stupid as they smugly prepare for the worst by stockpiling guns and ammunition. Lest you think this is extreme there are even gurus and spiritual teachers who have lost their way and are instructing their followers to prepare for Armageddon. When the going gets tough the frauds reveal themselves. What are they going to do with those guns and ammo, kill other people in order to survive themselves? That is completely senseless. If we have to kill our brothers and sisters to survive then what is the point? This kind of thinking will only bring violence to our doorstep.
All these reactions we have been talking about are fear based and in the end demonstrate resistance to change. Resistance takes many forms, even craziness and violence however it is just fear generated by the false personality, the ego. Essence is never afraid, knows it cannot be harmed because it does not identify with being solely a physical body, a human being. It knows it is immortal, limitless, and is only temporarily being human for learning and entertainment purposes. If you worry about what is going to happen to your body in the future you are in deep trouble because no matter what, you can’t save your body from its ultimate fate. It is going to turn back into maggots and dirt or ashes Your essence is going to get to travel the universe in a very good way, no matter what. If you take essence’ perspective on the future, it is all good. Everything will work out just fine and it will be fascinating to watch and participate in.
The physical body usually uses spirituality as a method to protect itself from harm or as a method to get ahead in the world. Go to church for insurance just in case there is a God or to be seen by the community as being pious. Pray to avoid getting caught in criminal activity, to win the battle, to have more gold, to become king or queen. Essence is interested in spirituality for other reasons entirely. Essence feels great when it is reminded that it is part of something greater and is deeply connected to it. Essence loves the mystery and grandeur of the universe, of source, of infinite possibility. Essence loves beauty, mother nature, life itself not dependent on having a physical body.
This is what spirituality actually is, to know that one is a God Self temporarily in creator school. So then what is a spiritual path? A spiritual path is anything that reminds you of these core things we have been speaking of. Essence likes silence so it can hear spirit so periods of quiet concentration, meditation, and prayer are very helpful, food for the soul. If running, yoga, and exercise help you get to these places then they are spiritual techniques and methods supporting your spiritual path. Being of service to others is a good spiritual practice because it takes you out of the me-first orientation. Getting into altered states, trance states, sometimes called higher centers, is an excellent spiritual practice because from these states you can more easily download information and wisdom of the Source Self. Ceremony is an outstanding spiritual practice because it designates a sacred space and uses it for all the above purposes. Human beings have always done ceremony because it is essential food for their essence and always gets them back on the right track and away from selfish aims. Ceremony makes people critically present in the moment of now, builds vitality, renews inspiration and creativity, and resets ones whole approach. This is why native peoples always place so much emphasis on it.
How to use the last third of 2015
By now it should be clear. If you want to make the most of this extremely transformative time between September, 2015 and the winter solstice here is what you can do.
- Activate your spiritual practice. It does not matter what it is exactly or what your local beliefs are. The most important thing is that you have one that accomplishes the things we have been talking about.
- Set aside time for quiet, for going inward.
- Set aside time for being in nature and appreciating the extraordinary beauty of the world.
- Take time to pray. By pray I mean engage in gratitude, love, and awe. Talk to spirit like a friend. Do not be afraid or too proud to ask for help. Don’t forget to listen. If you’re doing all the talking then how can you hear what spirit has to say to you?
- Attend or create ceremonies. It can be just for you or include others.
- Go out of your way to be of assistance to others.
- Engage in small disciplines. When you catch yourself worrying look at your fear neutrally and say to it ”You have no power over me.” Repeat as necessary.
- Remind yourself often that you are a God self and reflect on what that means. If you find yourself afraid to say that, then look at your fear. What are you afraid of? Being too uppity? Should you be groveling instead? What has that done for you lately, groveling?
- If you find yourself out of balance then say “Correct neutral now,” with one hand vertical on your chest, palm open, fingers pointed up.
- Say hello to your body everyday and tell it you love it and will take better care of it. Otherwise it gets lonely, feels isolated, and gets sick or rebellious.
- Focus on who you love and what you love, often.
These are just a few of the many things you can do. Remember if it doesn’t feel good, don’t use it as your practice. A spiritual practice is supposed to make you feel extraordinary good, not bore you to death or make you look or feel grim.
Inlakesh: I am another yourself and you are another myself.
José Stevens PhD is an international lecturer, corporate team builder and organizational coach, consultant and trainer. A psychologist, licensed clinical social worker and author of more than twenty books and numerous articles, he is also co-editor for A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism and a board member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. He is the founder, with his wife Lena, of the Power Path School of Shamanism and The Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating youth in indigenous cultures. He has completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol Maracame in Mexico and has studied with the Shipibos of the Amazon and the Paqos of the Andes for the last thirty years.
Go to: www.thepowerpath.com
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