The passageway into the world of shamans opens up after the warrior has learned to shut off his internal dialogue. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Tales of Power
“How can we facilitate healing and shamanism without getting caught up in financial entanglements in the first place? I too hate the money changers in the temple… but what’s your suggested alternative, I wonder?”
This question was posed to me in response to my adamant approach that we must stop searching the world over to find a person to pay in order to unlock the mystery that already exists within each of us. There is no amount of money that can “buy” one the experience that they seek into the infinite that is often promised through a high-priced venture by means of signing up for a workshop, retreat or journey. The mystery, being adamantly sought by millions, is the desire to once again become fully re-integrated to the authentic freedom and wholeness that is our birthright.
First of all, knowledge is free and available to all who would seek to know it. Sadly we have become a culture of people who consistently look for the quick fix, for others to do it for us, for the $19.95 shit happens awareness. And herein lies the problem. If someone is interested in shamanism, freedom, awareness, etc., then they need to make a commitment to it and eliminate the mentality of packing a bag on Friday, grabbing a flight Saturday, having a briefing on Sunday, participating in a sacred medicine experience on Monday, followed by several days of “processing” and flying back home on Friday.
This “healing through a workshop” mentality is no better than taking Prozac to get over a depressive disorder. It just doesn’t work. You have to get to the root of the depression and not just slap a Band-Aid on it. Same thing with Prevacid. You can take a pill to reduce heartburn but unless you take responsibility to change your diet, you’re always going to have heartburn. It’s a quick fix to a lifetime of living in a chaotic jungle that is so far removed from the natural beauty of the real, authentic world.
Be patient with yourself. Trust yourself to reconnect with that inner knowing. Make a commitment to walk in beauty, gratitude and awareness on the earth. Hell, it could be in Central Park, a rooftop garden in the city or a drive out to the shore or mountains. Create intention, the intent to meet a master. The Buddha says “when the student’s ready the master will come”. Replace the word master with healer, shaman, teacher, whatever you are looking for. And they WILL come. And they will empower you to trust yourself so you can deepen into silent knowledge, how to honor yourself and all living things and Mother Earth. They will show you how to cultivate the plants, how to respect them, how to know them in beauty, as teachers, as healers.
A hot topic that I’ve also been involved in lately has been in regards to taking entheogens for the advancement of knowledge, healing, integration, and a myriad of other pertinent reasons. It doesn’t serve anyone to seek to ingest a plant medicine that is not indigenous to their country. Ayahuascan Shaman from Peru weren’t hanging around saying to each other, “damn, I wish I could get my hands on a peyote button.” They honored the sacred plant that grew in their neck of the woods. Become familiar with what you can cultivate in your own area with people who hold that knowledge and experience the real magic of integrated healing, awareness and beauty within your own sacred spaces and places.
The warrior’s path is an extreme commitment to patiently and diligently take responsibility for yourself in order to peel away the layers of the onion. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again. Erase personal history, recapitulate, break the mold of man. Become mindful; discern what belongs and what must be released and let go of forever.