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 Post subject: Drumless Journeying
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:22 pm
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Location: Western USA
I practiced Zen Buddhism for a number of years. After I took several courses and workshops on Shamanism I learned to journey to the 3 worlds via drumming with little or no effort. One day it occurred to me that I could journey without the drum. I simple sat in my meditation position, closed my eyes...and journeyed. The journeys now are just as vived as with drums and my friends are alway there to meet me on the other side. Anyone else just close their eyes and go solo to the 3 worlds? Dennis


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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:01 am 
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Location: Canada
In all those years before shamanism came to me, I used to play a weird little "head" game with myself when I was alone, a game that used to both fascinate and frighten me. I called it "getting big". Basically, that means that I would allow my psychic boundaries to expand far beyond myself just because it was interesting to do it. I had to be feeling very safe to do this. I think I was quite lucky that I didn't run into some of the dark stuff out there when I was "playing". I started this as a child - and continued until shamanic work took its place. I never did it with others around nor did I ever talk about it. If someone came into the "space" when I was "big", it was like a thousand doors slamming as I rushed back into my physical being. I had the same thousand-doors-slamming experience once when I was most unexpectedly interrupted in the middle of a very deep journey with a drum.

Journeying with a drum came instantly and very easily. Hoever, it wasn't very long after I started shamanic journey work that I discovered that I didn't need the drum and made the connection between the two experiences. I have often had very powerful journeys without a drum, perhaps even some of the most powerful journeys. However, I like the drum. I like the boundaries it sets. Interestingly enough, in the most powerful journeys with the drum, its sound simply fades out - and I don't hear it until the journey begins to end. The experience resembles a journey without the drum.

Chris


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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:19 am 
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia USA
When I go on shamanic journey, I use a drum or rattle, depending on the purpose of the journey. However, there have been many times I've gone into a trance-like state without any rhythmic sounds... and I'm not so certain this is a good thing. Wandering about in the NOR is not wise.

I like the drum/rattle for shamanic journey as it sets the tone and mood for the work. And I think my Guides and Spirits like it, too. :shock: It set parameters, gives me cues, and helps bring me back (when using the drumming CD) to OR.

A surprising thing to me is when listening to the drumming CD, what I hear changes, even though it's all be pre-recorded. Sometimes I hear an undertone; sometimes I hear voices; sometimes I hear chanting or toning. And it always fits.

The rattle is always the same, but then I'm doing the rattling. These journeys have a wide time range, unlike the CD. But the rattling helps keep the focus on the journey, and allows me to go deeper - or not, depending on the images and messages I receive.


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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:51 pm
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Location: Ohio
Well I can't say I've been sucessful outright in journeying without drumming, but then again I haven't really been focusing on my journeying even with the drumming as of late. I can say I am able to induce some trance like qualities at random times with or without drumming, (I tend to listen to a lot of electronic trance music which does also induce a similar state that the drums do,) or music.


What I am currently beginning to work on is reading about lucid dreaming. I'm interested in using their methods to consciously induce lucid dreaming as a means to undergo journeying. In most cases if I actually remember my dream then I'm already fairly lucid, but I want to be able to induce it and more desired times, basically have a little bit more control. I've always felt I get the best results from my lucid dreams more so than my waking journeying, (I have enough control over myself without forcing too much control over what my mind perceives in the environment around me.)


They also made mention of inducing direct lucid dreaming without actually going to sleep first, I haven't read it yet, but I'm curious if it is similar to the methods used in shamanic journeying. If anyone else has already done such, I'd be interested to hear their accounts. But yeah I don't feel the drum is absolutely required, although like Rachara El said it does help focus things for the tone and mood, but I tend to use journeying right now as more personal enjoyment rather than for any specific tool usage.


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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:11 pm
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Location: Portland, Oregon U>S>A>
Yes, I too travel without musical accompaniment more often than with it. I do enjoy using instruments at times when the occasion calls for it. I don't like using the pre-recorded soundtracks at all. I have trained myself to be able to practice the arts anytime, anywhere without any physical tools. This is my way.


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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:16 pm
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Location: NW UK
I also do this and used to do more but I was given a warning by my teacher (in this middle world) that not having the drum or rattle call back to end the journey safely can occasionally result in bits of me being left behind. If there is no call back and you are disturbed somewhere where you don't know how to get back and you simply 'wake up', part of you can be left over there.

This happened to me once in a group situation where someone was drumming so I know that it is possible. Everyone here who is a 'frequent flyer' will know how to get back to look for the missing part of themselves but it is a novice's mistake, avoidable and takes up time back tracking then making sure nothing else has set up home in the place of the missing bit while it was away. I was ill for 24hrs after that!

Just sharing a personal experience, thats all.


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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:42 am
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia USA
Forest Child wrote:
...everyone here who is a 'frequent flyer'

HA!! LOVE that phrase!!
8)


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 Post subject: Spontaneous Drumless Journeying Initiated by Depression
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:23 am
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Location: UK
In my healing work [with myself and with clients] I have found that there is a great natural opportunity to enter a helpful lower-world journey via the "sinking feeling" of depression.

It is something that I discovered quite by accident simply by allowing nature to take its [energetically downward] course and realising that the body does not have to be a "limiting container" for emotions. Simply facilitate the "sinking feeling" continuing downwards into the earth and typical lower-world journey scenarios [tunnels, wells] can unfold and spirit guides appear.

The spirit guides have always carried through to guiding the return journey, so a "call-back" has not been needed.

This may seem to conflict with my usual advice to "clear (dis)stressed feelings" before journeying but actually it doesn't - these journeys have naturally emerged during the "pre-journey" clearing/de-briefing process and indicate spontaneously that "the time is ripe!" to begin.


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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:35 pm
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Location: Finland
Nowadays I like much more work without drum. I have used it only maybe two times during two years, even it is still important to me.

I may use other sound device - a little harp. Or if concentrations is good enough, jus allowing myself merge with surroundings, if outside at forest.


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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:37 am
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Location: Central Missouri
I was surprised (like this is unusual ha) when I had my first drumless journey while meditating with an arrowhead. I know of other practictioners who often journey without a drum. Remember this ability to move ably between the worlds is what really shows the mark of a shaman. However, the abilty to be succesfull with this will depend on lots of factors, one is just how in touch with your energy body you are, i.e. able to deeply relax like someone who has practiced zen meditation.

To the person who mentioned leaving parts of yourself behind. This is an interesting point...I think it has more to do with the setting and protection of your physical body more than whether or not you have a drum or not, it seems the point is being interrupted.

I love my drum though and it makes the transition and depth come at a rewarding pace, and the medicine of the drum is good too!


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:41 pm 
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Location: UK
Drums, rattles and rhythmic group chanting are quite good to journey on, because there is a wave of sound energy that you can "ride-on". When I teach beginners who are not naturals for journeying [usually folks whose lifestyles involve being in control a lot] I encourage them to focus on "letting go" and letting the sound wave carry them along, which they find very helpful.

Journeying without rhythmic sound needs a bit more developed ability/practice. Sometimes it happens spontaneously, but more often I use the "reflective breathing" technique to "let go and open" to the journey.

Quote:
What I am currently beginning to work on is reading about lucid dreaming


BetaSwimmer, have you read "Lucid Dreaming for Beginners: Simple Techniques for Creating Interactive Dreams"? If so, did you find it useful? I have been given a copy to review, but haven't actually read it yet.

I wonder if we need to [or can?] draw a distinction between Lucid dreaming, Daydreaming, Visions and "Drumless Journeying"?

Quote:
I have enough control over myself without forcing too much control over what my mind perceives in the environment around me.


I like this approach to journeying in general. It worries me when people are demanding, controlling or manipulative in their journeys - so much scope for the ego to aggrandise itself and confirm its insecurity-driven world-view!
...as opposed to genuinely seeking to open up to, and integrate with, unconscious [spirit world] mind.

In Lucid dreaming there is usually a specific purpose [agenda] involving taking control of what our unconscious mind has generated, and I would separate that form true journeying, but perhaps some people journey in a way that is actually the same as Lucid dreaming?

Visions I would classify as pure [non-interactive] "receivings", though of course, just like a dream or journey they can be "re-entered" in an interactive way. What do others think?


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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Location: NW UK
brothermichael wrote:
Visions I would classify as pure [non-interactive] "receivings", though of course, just like a dream or journey they can be "re-entered" in an interactive way. What do others think?


I've never been able to re-enter a vision. Remember it vividly, yes, but actually re-enter it or re-experience it . . . no, not unless it was a repeated vision of the same or similar thing until I understood the message but then again, it was given, I could not force it to happen.


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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:23 am
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Location: UK
Quote:
I've never been able to re-enter a vision


Hi Forest Child! Would like to share with you a powerful experience of this...

Last year, 2 days after returning from spending a very stressful week in Wales, looking after my disabled, frail, depressed and generally quite difficult mother, then 88, I went for a routine medical check-up and was
shocked to find that my Blood Pressure was raised - for the first time in my life, I also felt increasingly "out
of sorts" and eventually quite ill. Dowsing suggested that my illness was "bad energy" - picked up from the time spent with my constantly complaining/demanding/criticising mother. I had had a significant "gorilla" dream while staying with my mother and after returning kept saying to myself "I must revisit the gorilla dream to clarify it" but everytime I thought about this plan, a vision of a bear kept appearing, so I decided instead to visit the "bear
vision".

...To my surprise, the bear motioned me to follow him and turned and ran off towards a river. On reaching the river, the bear shapeshifted into an Native American brave and climbed into a canoe. The brave paddled me along the river, in the process shapeshifting into an indian chief. I respectfully bowed to him, but he motioned me not to because, he said, I was a chief also, in my own way.

He paddled me on a journey which separately visited two women friends of mine, with whom there had been a triangular-relationship-tension which had been bothering me in recent weeks. The journey gave important insights into the underlying issues involved in the conflict and they [the women and the issues!] were taken on board the canoe. The indian chief then jumped inside me (merged/integrated) and I paddled the two women to a beach where there was a joyful "coming together" (merger/integration) of us all. In the everyday world the latter event has not happened, as yet, but after this visionary journey I felt more self-empowered with both "bear" [power of the
unconscious] and "Chief" [wisdom, authority] energy, not only in this relationship drama [which no longer split me into 2-sided conflict] but in other situations too, including the one around my mother's care and her constant complaining/demanding/criticising.


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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:23 am
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Re: entering the bear vision

Sorry, I omitted to say that after the vision-entry journey, I had a nap and when I awoke, my "out of sorts" illness symptoms had disappeared. My blood pressure was checked again the next week and had returned to normal. I attribute the rise in blood pressure to a build-up of repressed frustration and anger with my mother, with the conflicting pulls of the two friends - and not least with myself for being pretty impotent in both situations!

Two weeks after the vision-entry journey I was on a sacred-dance-leadership training weekend. It included a sacred evening ceremony bringing together sacred rituals from the wide-range of religions/paths represented in the participants and content of the weekend. I was invited to lead a shamanic ritual. It would previously have been pretty daunting to do this with 27 people with no little or experience of shamanic practices, yet I felt no fear, only enthusiasm and a certainty from my "bear power" that it would be fine.

I chose the "Song of the Sacred Directions" call-and-response ritual, even though I had never sung and led it before without a backing track of the words and music. As I sang it, there was a ["Chief" authority] power coming out through my voice and my drum beyond anything that I had previously known.


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 Post Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:40 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:35 pm
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Location: Finland
Nice. I just dreamed I was emptying by bowels, and could not stop. Needed to check if sheets were clean, when rised up. (happily thou were)
No need to mention about the need of purification. Not body, but thoughtpatterns. The whole summer has goon busy and no real time, but think what to do next, this and that have to been done, these and those should be taken care of. So, eventually I lost ability to just be and became driven and tense. Happily house is soon ready for winter, but anyway I am now going fishing for two hours. - to become more joyful company.


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