Sunday, October 14, 2018

"The Great Shift" Book Release

The Great Shift is about the new era of humanity. We have entered the new epoch of humanity’s spiritual evolutionary journey into higher consciousness. Our present world is one in which order is arising out of chaos. Everything is changing and seeking equilibrium. The conditions are nothing short of a rebirth. We are quite literally witnesses and participants in the shift from individual to planetary consciousness. We are part of the emerging consciousness, and the signs are everywhere. It is here now, and we all have a part to play in it.

This book is a guide to navigating the shift from an old paradigm into a new one. It is deeply rooted in the shamanic and Taoist traditions, which are a fountain of wisdom and knowledge for restoring our relationship with the Earth. Shamanism and Taoism are a way of living in harmony with nature, rather than an adherence to a religious doctrine. By practicing these ways of being, we awaken our soul calling and our connection to nature. They provide a myriad of responses to the spiritual quest of self-discovery. They are ways that embed us in the living web of life, yielding greater awareness and perspective. These practices are easily integrated into contemporary life and provide a means of navigating the turbulent times in which we live. Look inside The Great Shift: And How To Navigate It.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

New Shamanic Album "Mudang Rock"

Mudang Rock, the revelatory new album from Grammy-winning guitarist Henry Kaiser, uses the rhythms and spirit of Korean Shamanism as the vehicle for an extraordinary voyage into improvisation and collaboration that reaches far beyond boundaries of genre. In Korean spiritual lore, a mudang is a type of shaman who has become possessed by a god, called a momju. Mudang perform fortune telling using their spiritual powers derived from their possession. They preside over a kut (rite) involving song and dance. The highly electric music on this album is a collaboration of four musical luminaries of jazz and experimentalism: Henry Kaiser, Simon Barker, Bill Laswell, and Rudresh Mahanthappa. Kaiser, Barker, and Laswell each have spent more than one-half of their musical lifetimes collaborating with Korean traditional musicians. They invited saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa to join them for this newly energized exploration of the musical unknown. The result is compelling, ecstatic, and very shamanic. Available on Amazon and iTunes.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Psychedelic Experiences versus Mystical Experiences

We are witnessing a renaissance of the idea of using psychedelics in connection with spiritual practice. The main theory put forward by psychedelic users in relation to spiritual practice is that those who take psychedelics are able to skip all preliminary work with spiritual practice. Are psychedelics a fast track to enlightenment? If so, why have we never heard of one single human being who has attained enlightenment through the use of psychedelic drugs? Why is that all wisdom traditions, which incorporate spiritual practices that lead to enlightenment, without exception warn against the use of drugs in combination with spiritual practice? What is the difference between genuine mystical experiences and psychedelic experiences? Read more.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Voice as Musical Instrument

It is likely that the first musical instrument was the human voice itself. The voice can be viewed as the ultimate musical instrument, since it is capable of instant expression with no instrument required to render thoughts and feelings into sound. With the human voice, thought nearly equals sound. The voice is capable of producing an incredibly wide range and depth of expressions. It can reproduce musical instruments and play melodies and harmonies just like about any other instrument. The voice is the most versatile, natural instrument capable of sound in existence. Musicians often replicate aspects of the human voice with their instruments because of its pure expression and feeling. The human voice is the social glue that binds us and the most important sound in our lives.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Harnessing the Power of the Drum Circle

Indigenous cultures have been practicing community percussion for thousands of years. Although most of us did not grow up in an indigenous rhythmic musical tradition, we can still tap into the healing power of the drum circle. The shamanic drum circle is the most powerful way I know to connect with the spirit and oneness of everything. Drum circles provide the opportunity for people of like mind to unite for the attainment of a shared objective. There is power in drumming alone, but that power recombines and multiplies on many simultaneous levels in a group of drummers. The drums draw individual energies together, unifying them into a consolidated force that can be channeled toward the circle’s intended objective.

Drum circle participants should play in unison so that the drumming creates a mesmerizing effect to induce trance. Avoid free form drumming, which produces a cacophony of competing beats. The goal is to produce a sound that is unifying and consciousness-shifting, so individuals should alternate the responsibility of setting the tempo and leading the drum circle. Like the indigenous shaman who conducts community healing rites, the drum circle leader or facilitator must hold sacred space and guide the pattern, flow, and energy of the drumming toward the ritual’s intended goal. Even in trance states, a skilled facilitator maintains a portion of conscious awareness in order to stay in tune with the pulse of the circle.

Shamanic drum circles are an effective way to restore the web of life. The drums shape available energy into a powerful vortex that spirals out into the resonating circle of life. The true power of a shamanic circle comes from the capacity of its members to work together for a common goal. When they are of one heart, of one mind and of one accord, a circle of shamanic practitioners can effectively heal individuals, communities and beyond. To learn more, read my Shamanic Drumming Circles Guide.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Ethics of Shamanic Healing

In shamanic work, there is one essential ethical requirement; permission. According to Susan Mokelke, who leads the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, "Permission means the express, informed consent of the client for a specific individual or group to perform shamanic healing or divination—including the consent to disclose any information about the client." Healing without permission is not only unethical, but deviates into the realm of sorcery and black magic. It is unethical because it is every person's right and responsibility to decide what to do in matters relating to his or her own soul.

If the healee is in a coma, permission should be obtained from the person's closest living relative or guardian before doing shamanic work of any sort. Even then, you should still journey to ask that person's soul what healing, if any, they wish to have done. Before doing psychopomp work or other mediation involving the soul of a deceased person, you still need to get permission from his or her next of kin. When you journey to help a deceased person, you should ask their soul what assistance, if any they want. When in doubt, don't perform the work.

Even in cases of natural disasters and crises, it is essential to get permission from the spirits of the land or people involved before trying to help. When doing distance shamanic healing in drumming circles, it is important to do only the work that was requested and to work closely with your helping spirits.