Several months ago, I walked into a yoga class, dripping sweat from running...
This summer of 2017 has been filled with wonder and amazement from various perspectives. There have been a few obvious cases of spiritual or emotional birth. As usual in Shamanic practice it also accompanies a spiritual death of some sort. These deaths and births or vice versa are all a part of an evolving soul or evolving view from our perch in ordinary reality.
One of the things that began in early May was that I was able to participate in a 40 year class reunion for the school that I attended earliest in my life. It really was a wonderful experience to classmates after 40 to 45 years. I then began a journey of organizing and planning for another 40 year reunion with classmates from a school that I attended while approaching my teens. This was a result of the first reunion experience.
There were many similarities between the two groups, and also many differences. The one obviously noticeable item that I brought to these experiences were visions or pictures of the people, and who they were or would be as adults much later in life. Any preconceived notions probably would be best left in the past, because, in essence they represent walls in one way or another.
These walls and preconceived views were formed before even our brains were near full development, not to mention none of us probably had much of what might be referred to as “life experience” at that point. This combination puts us in a position of not being smart or seasoned enough to ask why? The answer to why would probably enable us to understand things previously gone misunderstood.
In Shamanic practice it is all about recognizing, then knocking down, stripping out or destroying the walls that have been constructed in our minds as a result of upbringing, events, social constructs, etc. A large part of Shamanic practice is dedicated to the Initiation or Ritual of Dismemberment. Without getting too deep, dismemberment is the identification of something that is a problem or barrier, and stripping it away, or asking spirit helpers to strip it away and dispose of it. It is fascinating in many ways that in the story relayed above, this particular experience is co-mingled with memories from my earliest childhood. This really makes one think about the whole circle of life. What happens when we get to this point? When the circle goes all the way back to the beginning?
To take this one step further down the Shamanic path, Dismemberment is the tearing down of these unhealthy thoughts, emotions, etc. This initiation is also often accompanied by another called Remembering or better put as re-remembering. To make this short, it is literally remembering the best of the true self, and again, bringing it forward with assistance of the spirit helper and assimilate it into daily life. So I began to wonder how awesome this really is. Where better to find the best and most pure version of the true self than when we were very young?
So I’m left with the wisdom that I have to visit that time and space for two reasons. One is to dismember any walls constructed without knowledge or experience. These were created by social norms of the day, and, hence, need to be understood and put in it’s proper place. I must also visit this time and space to remember who I am from the beginning.
Such is the glory Shamanic practice.
Mark Glynn, CSP