This is an ongoing US and global project to help enthusiasts, scholars, practitioners, and curious parties learn more about shamanic living in a contemporary culture. The space here is devoted to sharing info, experiences and opinions about all forms of shamanic expression covering shamanism's multiple permutations. Among subjects explored are traditions, techniques, insights, definitions, events, artists, authors, and creativity. You are invited to draw from your own experiences and contribute.

What is a SHAMAN?

MAYAN: "a technichian of the Holy, a lover of the Sacred." CELTIC: "Empower the people...by changing the way we think." MEXICAN APACHE: "Someone who has simply learned to give freely of themselves..." AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL: "...a teacher or healer, a wisdom keeper of knowledge... (who) takes people to a door and encourages them to enter." W. AFRICAN DIAGRA: "views every event in life within a spiritual context." HAWAIIAN: "...human bridges to the spiritual world and its laws and the material world and its trials..." QUECHUA INDIAN: "embodies all experience." AMAZON: "...willing to engage the forces of the Universe...in a beneficial end for self, people, and for life in general."

-- from Travelers, Magicians and Shamans (Danny Paradise)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Center Of The Circle Excercise

Each one of you has the task of sitting, in some way, in a modern version of Pritchel's (Secrets Of The Talking Jaguar) circle. He sat for 12 hours, looking only within the circle. He came alive to his present moment (time) and area (space). Let us know how you have done this, and what you noticed about 1) the space 2) the time and 3) the process/you. Hugs!


hearsthetrees said...

Here’s a thought-
Our entire lives are nothing more than a long string of nows. Live each one like it matters.

Allowing the light said...

The weather was so beautiful today, I looked at the forecast for tomorrow and thought, well, I think that I will go to the hospital to cuddle the babies tomorrow; today, I am going to sit in a circle somewhere… So I took my bike and went to the little forest behind my favorite park in town and climbed a little hill to seat among the trees – better said: in the arms of one of them.

First thing, my mind started talking all over as she knows so well to do. Between “well, this is not like when you ventured alone in the jungle, you know, here you have the sounds of the planes, of the traffic of the city not far away, even of people and their dogs from time to time” – and “nothing is going to happen, what am I going to report and – even more important – write on the blog!!!” OK, don’t be scared. This is just an exercise. Besides, the weather is really beautiful and I like that spot. Different parts of my body started talking also as a protest (why not?) so I just closed my eyes and waited until everything just slowed down. When I opened my eyes again, I realized that even though I had not designed any circle intentionally, it was there, like a transparent wall, a clear pretty small circle. I could see beyond it but others could not see me. This created a strong sense of solidarity and even familiarity with everyone who was in that circle with me so I had to get to know what my new family was. The more I looked, the smallest I was noticing and wanted to notice, until I got very interested in the most microscopic that can characterize life in the woods in the winter. I thought of the beautiful paintings I could do. But, most of the time, I was not thinking at all. I really felt at peace and it was nice to finally be able not to do a thing. I could see that the same very faint wind that would make the remaining of a leave moves slightly would move my scarf too. I would feel every single movement and noticed that even that aunt I had been observing for a while had been slowing down her rhythm tremendously.

I confess that I also noticed things outside of the circle: the most amazing red and orange bird I have ever seen, little movements on the ground, people passing from time to time at the bottom of our hill (most of them with dogs) – but I mostly felt that, just as my friends the trees were doing, I was observing them from above, curious of who these aliens were while they could not see me. I mean: human beings could not see me; because, of course, the beautiful red bird saw me and he came closer to observe (I had a red back-pack, I am sure, he noticed) – fair enough. At some point, I also started communicating with a turtledove somewhere. So I will not pretend that I stayed centered on/in my circle. I will not pretend either that my mind did not try to interfere again. I also looked up to the sky and the head of my tree (as gorgeous as the one I had met in the jungle) and spent a long time observing; at least, this was technically in the circle! For some reason, I felt very proud of that tree. After a while, I started feeling cold and tired. The sun had disappeared and only the head of my tree was still getting some light. I look at the time: it had been over an hour… Nothing to be particularly proud of! To tell the truth, I was not feeling proud at all. I looked at what was surrounding me and I thought: my Goodness, there is so much still to get to know and you have barely started! So I promised them to come back and I will, trying to stay longer each time.

When I came back home, I was decided to write something about my little experience (I had promised) and could not help but feel that, honestly, I did not have much to report. But then I remembered that Pritchel did not immediately succeed. I also remembered how frustrating I felt sometimes (I mean: often) not being able to “practice” and “be trained” all the time as he was or as are those of us who are already healers, having so much daily opportunities to learn and grow… while we are stocked in our mudane life, having to spend so much time and energy doing something else to make a living!!! It almost feels unfair sometimes (this was my minute of honesty!). But here I have a simple exercise I can practice easily. Even better: I did not succeed the first time staying in my circle for 12 hours – and I will probably not succeed the second time either. So I still have many opportunities to practice! Here is my little version of the four month-walk journey… I will keep my shoes on though (at least as long as this is the winter season). Thank you Robin! We love you!!!

Robin Rice said...

This is wonderful, Allowing The Light. Good job. Great job, actually! Thanks for sharing, because it makes a real difference to hear of other's experiences. Hugs, Robin

ancientwindrunner said...

Going Within The Circle.....

The typical day for me begins with 30-60 min of spiritual practice. Today I included one hour of "Going Within the Circle". I chose to sit in my sacred space at home at 6:30am. Through the skylight I could see the dawning of the day - a blue sky emerging holding clouds capturing golden-orange sunrays. Hearing the sounds of birds, a dog bark and the traffic out side.
I am expanding, my awareness is increasing. Senses become more clear. I hear the humming resonance of no sound. Going in deeper, I go within the space around me (extending approx 3 feet) and all of my senses connecting with the space. I get the message: "You are a container (holding, giving, receiving, releasing) that is poreous, flowing continuously".
Thoughts seem more reflective and constructive (at the same time), witnessing/observing. I am feeling very grounded.
I catch a glipse of a black bird flying over the skylight...I hear the call of the crow. The sounds of stilness within begin to intesify. I begin to notice the my relationship with objects around me and their individual essences. Sitting with the relationship of my essence. Internal and external expansion now allow. I begin to merge with the objests around me. The abalone shell on the alter-(honors the sacred/gives messages)= I receive messages of the sacred/skrying). The Wooden/glass/cloth/ containers-(hold & organize) = I am a poreous container ( holding, organizing, releasing, allowing) I am a container inside and outside of me - "What am I really?"
Hearing the tangible on the outside = Hearing the intangible on the inside - "What speaks without words?" Nature, the space between words, the space between sounds, pause, reflect. As I go into this space it opens and my awareness increses.
The stillness seems to move and stretch. As I observe objects they begin to move and pulse differently. I begin to tap into my connection with the different energies of each. As a moment is presented with each object, I notice what it's relatinship feels like inside of me and what it's relationship feels like outside of me.
Some things I noticed: Abalone shell vibrates, Plate stretches and pulses, Water jug pulses and shifts, Hand weights feel dense in left brain and move side to side, Water glass has a pulling in (inside)and pulling out (outside)sensation with me..the outside of the glass begins to vibrate. Clear quartz crystal, the Buddha statue -increases expansion, internal and external light. I notice I am also sensing the aura's of the objects.
Yes, I scan back to them and they are each different. The ottoman has an aura...fascinating!!!
The message I received: "Look at what you can do, when you allow and skry into the stillness and the space between"

The hour passes way to quickly, like a flash in the sky.
...I look to the sky light and give thanks....there are bright white clouds glowing in the sky illuminating the new day.
All is open and allowing!

ancientwindrunner said...

FWIW....This morning I was reflecting back on yesterday's experience... and noticed that after coming out of going within the circle, it seemed that I had some residual or a trail of the "being inside" as well as "outside" focus-n-flow. As the the day progressed, it gradually seemed to diminish.

Later - AWR

ancientwindrunner said...

Back in the Circle again???....
This morning my mission was to experience going within the circle in nature. So I ventured out at 6:20am to set up camp. A definite lesson on "No two experiences are alike". It took me much more time to settle with the new environment.
And to note "time" I forgot to bring a watch...(I had intended to sit for 2 hours)"keeping time is not that important", I reminded myself. A large flock of geese flew overhead, belting out the halelluja chourus, reminding me of all the chatter in my head. Gotta love nature!
As I began to tune in to a deeper level, I felt the vastness of the space around me and the newness of this setting's relationships. "OK, perhaps I need to check into that leaf right in front of me lying on the ground...and that neighboring tree". That was better :) and quickly I was able to sense their energy and essence. Then out of what seemed nowhere ("know-where"), a new guide (that was introduced yesterday), presented itself and began to teach with clarity from a higher source. When my lesson was complete, I tuned back into the present setting and felt the opening to express thru chanting.
Before leaving the circle, I did a grounding exercise and gave thanks.
This circle experience seemed to last longer then yesterday's. Arriving home approx 1.5 hours after I had left that would be ECT (estimatd circle time)of 1:10.
It was not what I had planned or imagined, Spirit certainly had something special that was presented to me, and I was ready for it.
Looking forward to more Circle Time with out expectations in the outdoors!!