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 Post subject: Fast Food Shamanism
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:22 pm
Posts: 46
Location: Western USA
There's a ton of stuff here and elsewhere blaming today's teachers...they're not indigenous, they're indigenous but are con men/women, they're plastic, they're superficial, they're just after our money or sex or pumping up their own egos.... In my foolish mind this isn't the fundamental problem. The core problem is the fast food mentality and spiritual mall rat superficiality of many if not most of today's seekers.

I was the head meditation teacher at the Cleveland Buddhist Temple for six years, I've attended a number of Zen seshins as well as workshops on shamanism over the past 25 years. Peple come all full of interest and enthusiasm and then after a minimum effort they give up, or lose interest, and/or "move on with their lives" for a superficial dip in the next pool.

In my past I've learn as much from bad teachers, crooks, con-artists and their ilk as I've learned from good teachers, so called holy men and women and enlightened masters. In this classroom who doesn't teach to you if you seek knowledge? The trick is you have to graze in a meadow long enough to not only taste the grass, you have to chew on it, digest it, get all the nutrients from it and then poop out the rest!

Web sites on shamanism never seem to get past the who's plastic?, what is shamanism?, I'M CONAAN THE GREAT SHAMAN?, phase of discussions. In the words of the old Wendy's ad, "Where's the beef?" If you've done more that dip your toe in this ocean then step up start some threads with substance about your practice, contribute to some of the threads I and a couple of others have tried to start, bring some experience to the table and let's share! Thanks, Dennis


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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:10 pm
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Location: Idaho Falls, ID USA
oh Dennis,
i the great and mighty fuzzinator hear the call of your words. 8) graze we on plastic grass that we might poop up plastic turds. which we can then fill with paint and sell for target practice. let us be ephemeral as love and light and fill our large heads with helium and float upward ever upward into . . .Oz! maybe. let us paint cardboard images of our mighty spirits and run through the streets in yelping madness scaring all who see us! especially if we run nekkid! :wink: let us be silly, let us be sublime, let us shine!!

seriously though, great post. my life has been ever so busy lately but i like this forum thus far. i think it has great potential and i hope to focus some of my attention into helping it grow and flourish.

frith and bliss,
Fuzzy


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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:54 pm
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Location: Edmonton, alberta
I personally get frustrated hearing 'the bad teacher' stuff. I have met questionable people over the years, but overall I have met great people.

I have put myself out to my community for eleven seasons teaching shamanism in a drumming circle. I can just as easily say "beware" the students!! You know that old saying... when a student is ready, a teacher will appear... well I like to think that when a teacher is ready a student will appeard. And that student can learn discipline, like the teacher had to, The student can learn the small stuff first, like the teacher had to. The student can.... and the list goes on.

I like to say that there are lots of waterskiiers on the lake of spirituality. It is a fast food mentality. It used to make me crazy, and then I got older and more comfortable with my own 'stuff' and eventually realized that I have to accept "eveyrone is exactly where they are, doing exactly what they need to be doing"... even if it kills me :wink:


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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:22 pm
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Location: Western USA
Crowfuzz and Kriket: Good posts! Thanks, Dennis


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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:35 am 
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Location: West Vancouver, BC
Bearsky: I could have been called one of the 'dabblers' at different times in my life, and I have compassion for these people. We're all searching, and we all get to the same place, just with different paths. When I was 'dabbling' sometimes I would get scared off by facing my Shadow, or get lured away by something "more shiny" much like a mockingbird.

Now, for me, things are different. I have heard the call to follow a shamanic path many times, since childhood even...and that was in suburban Ohio :) (the concrete land) Now, as the saying goes, the rubber is meeting the road, and frankly I don't think I have a choice anymore whether or not to follow this path. I can kick and scream all I want, but the more I resist the more painful it is. From that realization would come the advice I would give the 'fast food' spiritual seekers. Allow. Be still. Listen inward. And don't be afraid!

As for the fake teachers....that's a whole topic in itself! But to be truthful, we learn something from the fakes too. Fix whatever in you that is attracting the fake!


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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:10 pm
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Location: Idaho Falls, ID USA
i must agree. Kriket, there is an aspect of "beware the student", or there should be. all too often people seeking the teachings of others want someone else to do all the work. for the "teacher" to share all they've learned from their venturings into spirit. or to do all the research and digestion thereof for their "students" in the matters of book learning.

howdy Ember,
"As for the fake teachers....that's a whole topic in itself! But to be truthful, we learn something from the fakes too."

yes, every experience encounter, confrontation, time of acceptance, ect. so forth and so on is a learning experience. if a person is open to their spirits and willing to learn they will learn. even if the example they are learning from is what not to be.

"Fix whatever in you that is attracting the fake!"

has it occured to you, Ember, that we are so interwoven with all that is as to have these encounters not be all about us? perhaps we are sometimes "attracted" to the power mongers for the opportunity or geas to tell them so? or to confront those who sponser them? or to be a different example to those shallow waders following the easy path?

frith and bliss,
Crowfuzz


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:18 am
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Location: West Vancouver, BC
Hi Crowfuzz, thank you for replying to my post...

I agree with you about the 'fake teachers' but what I meant with what I said was, if you are looking for an authentic teacher, you must have authentic desire in your heart. As in, what place are you coming from, from which you seek?

I noticed your location in Idaho, and I used to live in Hell's Canyon in a yurt and go to Rabbit Stick. Maybe we've crossed paths?


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 2:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:10 pm
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Location: Idaho Falls, ID USA
howdy Ember,
you're welcome.

Ember wrote:
I agree with you about the 'fake teachers' but what I meant with what I said was, if you are looking for an authentic teacher, you must have authentic desire in your heart. As in, what place are you coming from, from which you seek?


not to be contrary, but i don't necessarily agree with this. i think that Spirit has a lot to do with whether or not a person finds a living teacher.

i also think that the right peer group is very helpful in learning and growing forward. as well as providing opportunity to shamanize. perhaps as much or more helpful then some teachers. at least at this time, with so much lost to history and so few deeply engaged in shamanic practice.

Quote:
I noticed your location in Idaho, and I used to live in Hell's Canyon in a yurt and go to Rabbit Stick. Maybe we've crossed paths?


possibly. currently i'm in Eastern ID. i've only been here since Jan. i did live in Sandpoint from 93-96 though.

frith and bliss,
Crowfuzz


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:50 am
Posts: 44
Location: Pennsylavania
Bearsky,

I think we all feel your frustation. I get down to 2 things.

Those that geneuinely move the energy.
Those that don't.

While I know everyone wants their shaman to have creedence.

I can say that if you had a problem and needed help and the only one who is getting results was dressed in plastic wrap and doing cartwheels and praying to the god "Ziplock" It wouldn't matter, as long as you got the results you wanted.

<Laughing>

:D


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:57 am
Posts: 22
Location: London, England
Traveler1400 wrote:
I can say that if you had a problem and needed help and the only one who is getting results was dressed in plastic wrap and doing cartwheels and praying to the god "Ziplock" It wouldn't matter, as long as you got the results you wanted.

<Laughing>

:D
LOL I completely agree! :D

Sometimes wanting The Big Teacher who can fly and turn into something exotic etc blah, is more about trying to borrow plumage, about ego and about a weird surrender of power in which, as crowfuzz says, the student wants it all done for them... and not about wanting to become the best servant for one's own community at all.

I could have Kasparov teaching me chess 8 hours a day and I'd still suck at it, so there's also the question of innate calling involved. :P


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:23 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Euclid, OH
It's sort of like those that desparately want The Wolf, or The Eagle or The Buffalo as their main totem/spirit guide -- they want what they consider the important, or grandiose, and it IS because of our human EGO!

One of the most important things I have learned on my path is to dispense with the personality ego. It's difficult for those of us in "the real world" -- business, city rat race stuff -- to remember; and I am constantly reminded about the ego, should it rear its head (which it sometimes does).

The instant gratification society in which we live is one that strokes the ego. The Shamanic path helps us strip that away, sometimes slowly and painfully. It doesn't have to be painful, but it does take "time" to learn to live shamanically. You can't do it in a weekend; you can't do it in a year. You can START on the journey through the experience of a weekend workshop with the right teacher, yes! But, it takes discipline, experience and "time" to learn and assimilate the ways of Shamanism.

Crowtalker


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:10 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:50 am
Posts: 44
Location: Pennsylavania
nova wrote:
Traveler1400 wrote:
I can say that if you had a problem and needed help and the only one who is getting results was dressed in plastic wrap and doing cartwheels and praying to the god "Ziplock" It wouldn't matter, as long as you got the results you wanted.

<Laughing>

:D
LOL I completely agree! :D

Sometimes wanting The Big Teacher who can fly and turn into something exotic etc blah, is more about trying to borrow plumage, about ego and about a weird surrender of power in which, as crowfuzz says, the student wants it all done for them... and not about wanting to become the best servant for one's own community at all.

I could have Kasparov teaching me chess 8 hours a day and I'd still suck at it, so there's also the question of innate calling involved. :P


I have had traditional teachers and some not so traditional. In the end its about service to the universe. I know I made some fun above since everyone wants an "authentic" shaman.

I feel simply, get a calling, struggle with whether to answer or not, work at following the calling and the path laid before you, work with your friends, family and then others once you keep getting proven results.

When you keep hearing people calling you a shaman, keep doing what you are doing and ignore the title people put on you.

I also think that not of us really chooses to sign up to help the problems of the many.

The ego does not long survive when you look into someone's eyes every so often and all your shamanic prowess can do is help them ease their own passing because of their own prior choices.

A shaman works from a genuine place in the heart. He or she does what is needed. They get results and help affect a positve change.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:51 pm
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Location: Ohio
I would like to make a personal clarification or perhaps out right contradiction to the exact perspective of the Ego that Crowtalker has placed. While I agree wholeheartedly that human kind as an evolving culture has become addicted to the 'fast food' gratification for their ego's, I would like to state that its not that we must shed ourselves of our egos, but rather alter the perspective that our egos place on the world around us.

I do not find my ego to be bad, its what makes me who I am, and I personally cherish the personality I have, (And mind you as a child till now I have always had a rather unique personality.) My ego is what allows me to bond with and help others through my unique actions yet still allows me to maintain my desire for independence. Indeed we still have to shed ourselves of the negatively charged attitudes and views over the world that the culture today has imprinted on our ego's but the ego itself isn't to be out right cast away. That is why in so many cases, when shamans go through their 'quests' many times they will speak of near death or 'rebirth'. They are reconstructing their ego's, but not outright abolishing them.

As for the 'fake teachers' we know that they will always exist. And likely they will grow in numbers as our culture trends towards the 'metaphysics fad' as I like to call it. People consumed by their desire for a 'quick fix' to their life struggles, and 'teachers' who are willing to play the role of the pseudo healer to those people, who are either cured through a placebo like affect, or turn against in disbelief anyway.

It will exist. But it is us, those who have learned to listen, and learned to see who are able to look beyond even the 'fakes' and learn from our world around us, even through those who are at heart 'fake'. If there are those I know being drawn into a 'fake', desperate just to seek a teacher, (and I have a few friends who are currently in that situation,) I will try to warn them, but ultimately I cannot, and will not force them not to go to this 'fake' teacher because it is there decision.

((Yeah, everyone wants the Wolf or Eagle as their totem...and the Cat(s) too...*pouts* no one ever goes for the more interesting and less overused animals...and no...Monkey is MINE! Xp ))


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:23 pm
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Location: Euclid, OH
BetaSwimmer and all, I see your posting as a clarification, not a contradiction. As you present the Ego, as a balanced part of who you are, with a balanced attitude, it is desirable and indeed a precious part of yourself. It is what makes us "who we are" and showcases our unique attributes and gifts.

The ego I speak of in my posting is what I call "the little ego" - the part that for many is deep in illusion -- lacks clarity as to "the what is". I agree with you, BetaSwimmer, that it is the programming (i.e. attitude) that we carry that needs to be shed in most cases, and in shedding that programming -- indeed REprogramming ourselves, we initiate our "rebirthing" process.

Thank you for the clarification!

Insofar as I have worked with 5 main totems - a totem for each of the Anchors of the Wheel (E, S, W and N) and a Center, I have 3 predators and two prey animals...having a Zebra as a totem is ALSO rather interesting - lol Especially as it is my warrior totem! Having a prey animal as a "warrior" brings a whole different perspective to the idea of what a warrior really "is"! I agree with you, that these types of animals bring a very interesting perspective to one's personal wheel and one's Ego!

Crowtalker


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:51 pm
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Location: Ohio
I do feel as though I should apologize in my own right. After making my post I kind of realized that I was letting myself get a little 'heated' and perhaps overly defensive over the topic. I found myself laughing at my own irony in the middle of work today over it all...letting my ego get to me when I was trying to rightfully defend it...


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