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 Post subject: shamanic journeying, dreams and past psychosis
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:44 pm 
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I have never tried shamanic journeying and I am thinking of attempting it. Is it safe to try it if I had prior psychosis experience, a few years ago? Could it trigger back that state or not?

I also have lucid dreams about once every week or two. Is that another way of journeying? Could these dreams be developed so I could control them more and get information from spirits?


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 Post subject: Re: shamanic journeying, dreams and past psychosis
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Folks with a mental illness history, especially psychosis, should be very cautious about engaging in shamanic journeying, meditation or any other psychospiritual practice. - I speak from experience!...

These practices can be safe and helpful when properly "grounded" and after any necessary stress-relief, healing work and emotional intelligence training has been done. Repressed or disconnected emotional energies and anxiety/depression states can distort shamanic journey experiences directly and/or indirectly distort the interpretation and implementation of visionary/psychic experiences.

However in psychosis, archetypal forms in the psyche have usually become over-energised with potentially destructive held-in energies [largely emotional] and have taken on a separate life of their own, energetically fuelled by the stressful reactions to the person's experience and interpretation of them. Cathartic de-energising work [in experienced hands and followed by supportive TLC] can be very helpful in the initial "taming" of these inner demons so that transformative healing work can begin. Sometimes ill-advised "Extraction" techniques are over-hastily used on these "inner demons" - which are often just natural inner needs and drives which have become energetically-distorted through neglect or misuse [poor lifestyle or under-developed lifeskills].

I have just updated my beginners' training leaflet for Shamanic Journeying, which includes key "Health and Safety" tips. If you, or anyone else, would like me to email you a FREE copy, contact me via:
www.sunflower-health.com/forms/enquiry.htm


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 Post subject: Re: shamanic journeying, dreams and past psychosis
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:07 pm 
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This is a touchy subject and something I'm not 100% qualified in answering. I do have mental illness (in remission) however it was not psychosis. I would stray away from the use of hallucinogens and cannabis, they may increase the likelihood of problems. Absolutely lucid dreams can be used for journeying. I would ask more people and see if you can find anyone with a similar experience. I would spend time learning a variety of banishing and grounding techniques and maybe take it slow. if I were you I would track down someone in your area to speak with and perhaps ask a doctor (I say this because considering my personal illness, spiritual work was actually recommended).


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 Post subject: Re: shamanic journeying, dreams and past psychosis
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:46 am 
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@Blackanimism: thanks for the reply.
I doubt that I can find an alternative-supporting doctor because it seems all they want to do is feed us with chemical poisons. Sometime it helps reduce the symptoms, I agree, but it just masks the problems and makes it worse in the long run.

Not sure what your illness is, but I want to share a book I found on the topic of curing mental illness with the aid of a Taoist meditation called 'dissolving'. The book is called "Possessing Me" by Jane Alexander. She completely cured herself of PTSD and Shizoaffective disorder (Bipolar and Schizophrenia). You can google it if you're interested. I can't say it helped me also, I am still getting my toe in the pool, and it should take years to see the effects.

@BrotherMichael: I have read from the master who initially brought this techniques to the west (Bruce Frantzis) that the 'dissolving process' is far more effective than cathartic release, since the latter most of the time just releases the energy temporary, and it is also very hard to provoke a genuine full cathartic release with positive outcomes. Do you know anything else on this topic?


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 Post subject: Re: shamanic journeying, dreams and past psychosis
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:23 am
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Location: UK
Hi VaseaDude!

After an incident of post-traumatic stress disorder in 1984 I suffered for some years from episodes of depression and psychosis. Despite conventional therapies and medication the episodes slowly became worse until I needed a hospital admission in 1990. I was surviving on periods of medication until in 1992 I went for a weekend of holistic "change your life" experiences which included cathartic work. I never went back to medication, psychosis or depressive illness after that. I also met others with a background of various mental illnesses who were cured by this holistic approach which included cathartic work and I now provide it myself to others.

You are quite correct when you say that catharsis ON ITS OWN will only provide temporary relief - the self-destructive thoughts, behaviours and emotions, if they continue will just build up more illness and cathartic release will have to be repeated.

What is really important is that for a few "golden" moments after release [which must be a TOTAL SURRENDER to the energies] there is a "window of opportunity" for the collapsed sufferer [if lovingly supported and cared for, WITHOUT INTERVENTION] to glimpse the traumatic memory [spiritual/emotional wound] or "inner illusion" that underlies the pattern that created the sickness. At the same time, the TLC [tender loving care] of the group [we usually do this work in a healing group] is a direct healing energy going into the underlying woundedness which has been perpetuating a pattern of soul-loss. The KEY POINT is NOT TO JUST RELEASE SELF-SABOTAGING HELD-IN ENERGIES, BUT TO OVER-WRITE A TRAUMA MEMORY WITH A NEW MEMORY OF LOVING SPIRITUAL CONNECTION AND SUPPORT.

One of the forms of cathartic healing I teach my students is "Rebirthing", see videos etc here:
www.sunflower-health.com/courses/projects/rebirthing.htm
Many later-life relationship problems involve co-dependency or abandonment issues - patterns which can begin during the birth process when a Mother, in her pain and fear - abandons the spiritual/emotional connection to her
child. A "Rebirthing" can be helpful in "over-writing" this old wound with a new and healthy experience of death and rebirth [the birth of life as a baby is the death of life as a fetus].

One final point is that the format of the cathartic healing must match the held-in energy causing the problem e.g. I use a different releasing format for HATRED [which is a very focussed and destructive emotion-plus-negative spiritual state] than for FRUSTRATION/RAGE which is a more CHAOTIC energy and needs a spacious and very safe, non-focussed [except groundedness in the body] release environment. Rebirthing works well where there is tendency to go into collapse [an inner "death wish"] when under stress e.g. in a recent rebirthing [shamanic format] training session, one of my trainees went into a huge cathartic release of sobbing which led her to reconnect to a series of "pure hell" memories of bullying incidents when she was at school. In these incidents she felt totally alone and helpless i.e. TOOK ON A ILLUSORY "NEGATIVE-SPIRITUAL" BELIEF in totally aloneness and helplessness. This created an anxious, fearful underpinning of subsequent life - life became a fear-laden struggle for her. In the depths of her cathartic experience, as she touched her trauma memory of utter despair (and discharged its long held-in emotional charge), she was lovingly held by another student and all the group supported her in sharing [and re-examining from an adult perspective) the distress that she had borne alone for so long - and the illusory belief in her total vulnerability thatshe had formed at that time.

As the saying goes "There is never just one cockroach in the kitchen!" and so a single format of cathartic healing will not always totally overwrite a particular trauma memory. Trauma often generates a RAINBOW of negative emotions and negative spiritual patterns. In these cases a range of cathartic formats may be necessary before total transformation is achieved, but each should produce [we see this time and time again]...

a) MORE PEACE OF MIND [deepening of connection to self, others and to life in general]

b) MORE SELF-EMPOWERMENT [catharsis puts us in touch with the vast untapped power we have within ourself and the reality that unconditional love exists in this world to support us when we have exhausted the ability to support ourself]


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 Post subject: Re: shamanic journeying, dreams and past psychosis
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:23 am
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Location: UK
Further to my posting above, I have been asked if I accept people on medication [anti-depressive or antipsychotic] for cathartic healing practices, and thought I would share my personal response to this question with everyone interested in this thread.

The short answer is that I have accepted participants on a range of various medications and so far without any problems
HOWEVER I do take Health and Safety very seriously and would like to emphasise the importance I attach to these aspects...

1. I require participants to let me know [in strict confidence] beforehand if they have any current health problems or are taking any medication. This is so that I can keep a particular eye on their progress during the practice and, if the worst came to the worst, quickly provide important information to emergency services.

2. I emphasise that this is an extreme physiological practice - on the same level as sweatlodge, firewalking, fasting etc and is therefore not without risks. I emphasise that each person must look within themself and find the deep guidance that this is the right thing for them to be doing at this time. My catharsis sessions are preceded by breathwork and bodywork [grounding exercises] mindfulness exercises to encourage people to be in their most resourceful state for good decision-making. If the practice is being undertaken within a shamanic context we will all do sacred space setting and purification rituals [e.g. smudging] beforehand and encourage people to connect to their spirit guides. Even when the cathartic work is part of a secular course, I will do my own shamanic preparation [and seeking guidance] beforehand.

3. So far I have only accepted participants who have already done a workshop or healing with me - so that I have had a chance to assess their suitability for this type of strong deep healing. The most important considerations being are they emotionally and psychologically grounded in body, breath, nature and social connectivity and are they on a path of finding and living with TRUTH in preference to self-serving illusions.

4. Cathartic practices are always preceded by training people in self-stabilisation techniques [and graduated self-surrender exercises] because if they do have a strong transformative experience they will often feel a bit strange and unstable at times in the next few days - as old realities/patterns/beliefs and new realities/patterns/beliefs struggle against each other. I am believe that after a deep transformative healing there is some re-wiring of the brain continuing for some days, plus ONGOING self-healing work of the psyche, plus physical detox type processes in the body i.e. REAL and DEEP healing is A JOURNEY rather than an instant 1-off event. So I warn people to plan to take things easy for a few days afterwards and get plenty of rest etc in the post-cathartic period. Not everyone will have such a strong experience, but I like everyone to be prepared.


I have led catharsis practices for 4 or 5 years, but rebirthing for only 1 year. I never wanted to get into rebirthing work because I am trained as a physiologist [also worked as a veterinarian for 30 years] and my respiratory physiology training had left me very wary of anything that involved overbreathing. However, I had overcome my reservations and tried rebirthing myself, with good benefits, and I had also had a lady go spontaneously into rebirthing during one of my workshops a few years ago [in the last year I have also had a man also go spontaneously into rebirthing during a workshop] and I have heard other reports of this happening, so there is no doubt that it can be a natural, non-forced part of a self-healing journey.

However a year ago while leading a series of shamanism workshops I experienced a deep spiritual guidance to hold a rebirthing session. My ego was very scared - what if someone had a medical crisis during this extreme release? Just as if we were about to start a guy came to and told me he had had heart surgery and was on medication for that. I was terrified - this was my biggest fear! However I followed my spiritual guidance that this was OK and so told him that he was at greater risk of problems and that he must look within himself for guidance about participating. He had no hesitation at all about taking part and in fact had the strongest experience of anyone who was there! I met him a couple of days later and he told me that he felt lighter and more at ease in social situations as a result of the rebirthing.

A midwife friend tells me that the rebirthing breathing pattern is quite usual in newborn babies, perhaps that is part of how it can connect us to our birth experience.

More on catharsis and rebirthing....

www.lovehealth.org/tools/catharsis.htm

www.lovehealth.org/books/cathartic.htm

www.sunflower-health.com/courses/projects/rebirthing.htm

Laughter is of course one of the important forms that catharsis can take..
www.lovehealth.org/books/laughter.htm


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