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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)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Diet, Chi, and the Relationship to Food


During my trip to a monastery in China last year, I learned how my relationship with food improves my ability to connect with the higher self. A lecture from one of the Masters at the Zhe-Zhe-An Temple particularly discussed the importance of a good diet as one of the pre-requisites to self-awareness and not just as a part of good health and physical self-care.

We often hear about exercise and diet as elements of a healthy lifestyle, but there is not enough of a detailed discussion, from what I have seen, about how both of these can contribute to a person’s capacity to access information from other realms more readily, or more fully enter altered states.

Diet as a starting point for accessing higher vibrations doesn’t appear on the list for many shamanic practitioners either, although there is a growing awareness about how the quality of the energy conatined in food and how it has an impact on a person’s concentration and longevity.
In our urban shaman’s apprenticeship, food was a ritual for social bonding and a source of offering for the formless, but we stopped short of making it a focus of study, and the Tribe rarely went into the impact of diet and exercise on their practice, although we were discouraged from journeying after eating a heavy meal.

According to Master Wang-Li Ming, a Daoist Chi Gong Master and resident Abbot at a centuries-old temple in China, reinforcing the body’s life force or “chi” is an all-important foundation and goal for any spiritual practice. What is more, the area of the Tan-Tien (second chakra), where food digestion takes place, is regarded as the “fertile field” of the body. It is in this space where the body absorbs food, processes emotions, and stores chi.

“Food has chi,” Master Wang asserted, “the chi can be lost if the food is not fresh.” According to Wang, “raw vegetables have more chi than if they are cooked. If they are overcooked, then most of the food’s essence disappears.”

The food served at the monastery was mostly fresh, local, and vegetarian, and the stews and sauces were very lightly cooked. I began to appreciate how non-processed, fresh, and organic foods helped me with finding alignment and connecting with divine source during my daily practice of meditation.
I was a vegetarian for years before making raw locally grown vegetables a bigger part of my diet and it has had a significant impact. Just from my recent and limited experience with a partially raw and organic food diet, I can feel a big difference after my meals. I feel lighter, more alert and more energized. I also feel like I am more present to my senses and my organs are clearer. Overall, this condition has only helped me receive more from the spirit realms.

It may have been a tough transition at first but I recommend making diet a priority to all practitioners.

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