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The Tools You Need for Shamanism
Once there was a young native boy who was walking with his grandfather on journey down along forest path. This boy adored and respected his grandfather as his teacher and mentor and friend. His grandfather had shown him many things about all of life. And as they walked each day on this journey, the grandfather would stop along the way to show the young boy a plant or a tree or a stick or an animal they saw together and teach the young boy something about that. The journey was wonderful for the young boy, to be there with his grandfather walking and talking and loving each other and learning so many wonderful things all along the way. The grandfather was teaching his grandson how to be a good hunter.
One day the grandfather saw a plant that the boy had not seen before and started to call the boys attention to it. But the boy was looking at a squirrel nearby and ignored the grandfather. So they continued to walk and watch the squirrel walking with them for awhile. After they had walked much further the boy remembered that the grandfather wanted to show him something about a plant many days before and he asked his grandfather. “What was it you wanted to show me back there about a plant?” And the grandfather said, “Well I was going to show you how to cure cancer with a plant we saw back there.” The boy exclaimed ”Oh yes, I want to learn how to do that so much! Think of all the people I could help when I grow up! Yes Grandfather, show me that plant and how to use it please!”
But the grandfather frowned and said, “ I cannot show you anymore. That plant only grows in that place and we are now very far away from there. We cannot go back there now. We are here now. I can only teach you what you are ready to learn now.”
So many times we miss those things that are important to our growth and learning because we are not paying attention to the now. Sometimes we are not interested in what is there to be learned. We are only interested in something else. We cannot go back, we can only go forward. So let your guides teach you what they can teach you now at this place on your path. If you don’t let them teach you what there is to teach now on this part of your path they cannot go backwards and teach you something you refused to learn when you were on a past part of your path and they wanted to teach you. You have changed. You have moved along. You have missed something very important by not being in the now moment and letting them teach you about that plant when you walked by it three weeks ago. Its too late now. Don’t do this to yourself or to your guides. Let them teach you what they know to teach you in the now. Please don’t miss out by being caught up in your own interests or desires or choices. We will not walk this way again, this day again, this part of our life experience again.
The course I teach is about walking your path. This part of your path takes you through a beautiful dense forest. The path is clear and well marked and a delightful journey of self discovery because this forest is you. There is nothing in this forest to frighten you because it is all you.
As you and I take each other’s hands and walk together now through this forest we are heading towards a lake that is far up ahead. You have told me that you want to get to this lake and cross it to the other shore to walk the path of Shamanism that continues on the other side of the lake. You know that you want to reach the lake and cross it.
With each step we take through this forest path there are opportunities for you to discover more and more about you. There are tools left along this path such as the medicine wheel and balance and awareness and gaining new perceptions and there are materials along this path such as gratitude and study and compassion and strength and many more. Each lesson is a reminder to look around and see the tools and materials as you walk this path.
But it is up to you to reach down and pick up that tool and practice with it. It is up to you to see the materials left along this path for you to pick up and carry with you for your own benefit.
You may be walking along and see a screwdriver and say to yourself, "Oh, I am headed to the lake, what need have I for a screwdriver at the lake?" And so you leave it on the path. You may see the opportunity to find the material for generosity and say 'Oh I already have enough of that material now, I don't need to carry more." You may be so blinded by your own daily life issues that you dont' see any tools or materials along this path and think that the whole goal is to get to the lake and call yourself a Shaman. Or you may think "Oh yes look there is a screwdriver, there is the material of generosity, yes I see them, I know them", but not pick them up and carry them with you now.
This path is a constant walking path, you cannot turn around or go back on your path of life. You get one chance to experience this part of the path, this section, this moment now. The point of me taking your hand and walking with you is to help shine a light for you on those tools and materials you need to see and pick up and carry. By carry I mean to experience, not just to see them laying there and say, "Oh yes I see it laying there on the path. Oh yes I see a screwdriver, good." If you do not pick it up and learn to use it and carry it with you along your life path now, it will not help you build that boat, will it!
You cannot walk through your day without awareness and balance. You will miss the tools and materials that are here at this point on your path. You cannot be so consumed in your daily affairs that you cannot look around on this forest path. You are walking it whether you are paying attention to it or not. You are walking past the tools and materials blindly because you are not aware of what you are doing. You will not have the tools and materials to build your boat this way. It is not enough to just see them. You have to pick them up and practice with them and carry them with you along your path.
The opportunity to pick up a tool or carry material comes from this forest path. And this forest path also includes your thoughts words and actions, your responses, your intentions, your daily life completely, your relationships, your worries, your joys, everything is on this path, It is your life path and right now, with this course you are taking, it looks like a forest. It is not about stopping your life to look at the path. You are on this path! It is about keeping your eyes open as you walk each day. It is not separate from your life. You chose it as part of your life so it is on your path and the path goes through a forest to a lake and beyond. But not many arrive at the lake with the tools and materials to build the boat. And if you arrive at the lake with out practicing with the tools and carrying the materials then you can only look at the lake and experience its beauty. But you will not be able to cross the lake. You can only keep walking on this side of the lake to your next experience along your path. It is your choice.
There is no need to transcend the world. Everything we need to know is right in front of us, if we pay attention. If you enter a state of nonordinary reality it is only to draw from it what you need in order to see the miraculous character of ordinary reality. For me the way to live – the path with heart – is not introspection or mystical transcendence but presence in the world. This world is the warrior’s hunting ground.
"The universe has no limits, and the possibilities at play in the universe at large are indeed incommensurable. So don't fall prey to the axiom, 'I believe only what I see,' because it is the dumbest stand one can possibly take."
About the author:
Indigenous Traditional Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls has been walking this path for over 55 years and offers to teach her own family lineage wisdom to a select few people who can respect this wisdom and wish to use it to benefit their own lives and to heal themselves and others. To learn more about this rare opportunity to walk with Shaman Elder for 4 months of unlimited correspondence and teaching through her online course visit http://www.shamanelder.com
Deer One - July 3rd 2010 01:04:06 PM
I love this article. Thank you, Shaman Elder Maggie!
Deer One - July 3rd 2010 01:06:41 PM
The path is a beautiful. I see there are tools to use alongside this path. I'd like to see if I can learn about these. You say you have guides and I want to meet my guides. Thank you for putting the contact info here.