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 Post subject: Hi
 Post Posted: Sat May 18, 2013 2:57 am 
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Just to introduce myself. Looking forward to participating here, and by way of introduction here's a link to my website and to my path as I see it: :)

http://fireshaman.net/2013/05/11/stumbling-and-soaring-a-story-of-my-path/


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 Post subject: Re: Hi
 Post Posted: Sat May 18, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Hi Fireshaman,

I read the first page of your blog, it's an interesting story. I want to ask you about tantra, but it seems unseemly, what with you being male, and married.

But, if you're not too shy, all I want to know is where a couple goes with this? Is there a state of consciousness that's prolonged? Can you describe it?

Shamanic mirrors are interesting. I chrornicled my dreams here, and a mirror was featured in one.

I'd love to hear about some of your divination experiences, the ones you got right of course. I'm assuming that's what the mirrors are for? Or are they for energy reflection, refraction, amplification?

I can always look that up.

Just wanted to mention that while I was reading your blog, like the moment I read the first paragraph, the energy in my home shifted all of a sudden. There was something palpable in the air, a buzzing insect suddenly went crazy.

I can't figure out how it's making me feel. At first, horrible, but now, I feel a tremendous healing warmth rising up within.

Welcome. Look forward to lots of great conversations. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hi
 Post Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 4:57 am 
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wildcard wrote:
Hi Fireshaman,

I read the first page of your blog, it's an interesting story. I want to ask you about tantra, but it seems unseemly, what with you being male, and married.

But, if you're not too shy, all I want to know is where a couple goes with this? Is there a state of consciousness that's prolonged? Can you describe it?

Shamanic mirrors are interesting. I chrornicled my dreams here, and a mirror was featured in one.

I'd love to hear about some of your divination experiences, the ones you got right of course. I'm assuming that's what the mirrors are for? Or are they for energy reflection, refraction, amplification?

I can always look that up.

Just wanted to mention that while I was reading your blog, like the moment I read the first paragraph, the energy in my home shifted all of a sudden. There was something palpable in the air, a buzzing insect suddenly went crazy.

I can't figure out how it's making me feel. At first, horrible, but now, I feel a tremendous healing warmth rising up within.

Welcome. Look forward to lots of great conversations. :)



Thanks for the welcome. :)

Big questions! I'll try to summarise, so apologies for skating over things. :)

'Tantra' covers a wide range of interpretations. In the context of 'Tibetan Buddhism' it is 'secret mantra' and is a system of relating to the deities, guardians and spirits. In the case of the deities we are seeking to 'become' them, to have their qualities of compassion and bliss, to eventually permanently enter their blissful reality.

In the development of compassion, bliss and wisdom, some (non-monastic) practitioners will have sexual union with a 'consort' who assists them in controlling and harnessing the 'channels, winds and drops' within the body. This is usually only performed when a person has developed that control on their own as much as they can. This often means many years of meditation, or can be already well developed, perhaps after practice in past lives. There is also Dzogchen, entering an instant 'presence' which is our primordial nature, which is only transmitted directly from master to disciple in the beginning, then the disciple is guided into holding on to that state longer and longer. This can go hand in hand with Tantra as we still need to live in this world and deal with other beings of all kinds.

Some people have hijacked the term 'Tantra' simply to peddle sex lessons. They may put charts of chakras up on the wall and talk themselves up as some kind of spiritually powerful being, but it's just sex they are selling, not mystical energy. To murder a common phrase, they are selling the sausage and the sizzle, but know nothing about the fire.

The shaman forms a relationship with deities and spirit beings as well, and the offerings and rituals are not so very different between some Himalayan Buddhists, with their tantric deities and oracles, and the local shamans. The way in which we relate to the Elements and energies is much the same.

The mirror (the 'melong' or 'toli') is like a shaman's 'swiss army knife' in that it has many uses. It need not be shiny and reflective. I see it more as a 'portal'. It can be used for divination by gazing at it, with a specific question and the vision interpreted as an answer. Sometimes, just holding the mirror works in producing a vision. It can be used to connect with spirits who are able to help the shaman. As it is concave the outer convex side can be used to protect the wearer from harm by spirits. The inner concave side can be used to trap harmful spirits and release them at another place. Different mirrors have different characteristics. I've not had one which felt 'bad' but have only a few which feel in harmony with me, and the rest are just bits of metal.

The mirror can also be used for direct healing, by placing on a client's body, or indirectly through distant healing involving certain rituals. For these reasons shamans do not like to pass on their mirrors. Sadly, some being sold are stolen from homes or graves, and some are fakes - they may be old but never used by a shaman. Those never used are best for anyone starting out, especially if blessed by a shaman for them. A shaman may, however, empower other mirrors to give away. In my case, my rituals are always guided by Garuda. It may be Garuda's presence you felt - in past times many of the images of tantra were 'secret' as they carry the blessings and power of the deities. Images and carvings such as statues are regarded as being the living presence of the deity. I guess you could sum up the relationship in that the deities and guardians help us, as do many spirits, of their own volition, whilst others are to be controlled compassionately to prevent harm.

That's my perspective and I'm sure there are many others, some of them on my website. It's a highly individual thing, so I don't think what I do is necessarily workable for anyone else.

Here's a link to a really good article on mirrors:

http://www.generalintention.com/research/2012/7/7/the-shamans-mirror-ancient-animism-tool-of-shamanism.html

It was written as part of a thesis by the author, Walter Cooke, whose site is dedicated to healing practices.

N.B. I can't use url links at the moment, probably because I'm new, so you'll need to copy and paste the web address.


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 Post subject: Re: Hi
 Post Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 3:45 pm 
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Thanks for responding with detailes of your experiences and practices - it is most engaging!

I'm a little afraid to read up on Garuda. If it WAS Garuda, really, that has to mean something, because I don't imagine Garuda goes to everyone through your words, and if he/she does, then not everyone senses the presence.

This communication with you has facilitated my action of committing myself, body and soul to my diety - the sun, and the place that emenates and suffuses everything ever conceived with living, golden, brilliant, unearthly, really indescribable, ineffible living, loving light.

That's where I want to be again, all of me. I have to believe that a piece of me is still there, and will hopefully serve as a becon to the rest of me.

The sun is the creater of my physical form, I have decided. Although I believe that the sun, myself, and everything that is, is an expression of a quantum universe.

What draws you to the dieties?


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 Post subject: Re: Hi
 Post Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 4:55 pm 
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I just read up on Guarda. Seems like a super powerful initiation. I like that fact that the mantra can cleanse all kinds of poisons. I'm going to look into that with interest!

It was a very powerful presence I felt yesterday. I was very confused because the presence itself felt powerful and uplifting, but at the same time, I became more keenly aware of the not so powerful and uplifting energy around here, and that's what felt so horrible. So I could feel both keenly.

I'm definitely going to approach this with respect, but I think I need to.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom, I'll bet you didn't expect this result!


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 Post subject: Re: Hi
 Post Posted: Mon May 20, 2013 3:08 am 
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wildcard wrote:
I just read up on Guarda. Seems like a super powerful initiation. I like that fact that the mantra can cleanse all kinds of poisons. I'm going to look into that with interest!

It was a very powerful presence I felt yesterday. I was very confused because the presence itself felt powerful and uplifting, but at the same time, I became more keenly aware of the not so powerful and uplifting energy around here, and that's what felt so horrible. So I could feel both keenly.

I'm definitely going to approach this with respect, but I think I need to.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom, I'll bet you didn't expect this result!


LOL :)

There some Garuda practices that require no initiation. He is known as an 'antidote' deity - healing and protection against harmful spirits. He is part-human, part bird, so able to span a range of activity. Yes, respect is good - he is a wrathful deity of great power, but that is directed at harmful beings, not those who seek his help. Nevertheless, it pays to walk softly with spirits so gentle practices are good to try first, for example the Tibetan Buddhist ritual called the Fire Sword of Black Garuda for help with a virus. It is intentionally easy to find if you Google.

Mantras are incantations, and as such are best received from a teacher as the pronunciation should be correct, and there is mind-to-mind transmission. One practice I have has over 50 different mantras for different purposes, some accompanied by herbal remedies. Nevertheless, the mantra alone can be sufficient. I'm still working on that one!

I'm sure you will, but of course consult your own spirits for guidance. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hi
 Post Posted: Mon May 20, 2013 3:47 pm 
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You are a very good communicator, and I very much appreciate what has been communicated to me in this thread.

I was thinking about that yesterday, during my workout, that it's all about communication.

Even the harmful spirits are communicating something. Something with which we don't want contact. The message is pain, fear, horror, terror, unremitting hell everlasting.

The more I read about and process material along these lines, the more I'm coming to feel that these spirits are of our creation, just like the lit says. Do we banish the spirit, or can the energy of the spirit be transformed? The latter seems like the better outcome for all.

Healing the spirits and ourselves as it were.

I have a hard time believing that the quantum universe created these spirits, but it seems to allow room for our creations.

I have a hunch that there's an overarching human mind that creates the quantum space and conditions for it's own quantum life forms - the stuff of the mind that haunts our nightmares and fires our dreams.

Can you imagine if the human race healed its collective mind and soul?

After wrestling with the whole concept of a transcendent purpose for sex, I think I have finally arrived at another really amazing possibility.

If one is able to meet with their beloved on the astral plane, they can create their surroundings much more easily than they can on their own.

This comes from an astral experience I had, and I knew, when I woke up, that the best thing that could possibly happen to me find my beloved so that we can do this together.

It might be possible to deliberately create the astral conditions after life in your own, but I somehow feel that this will be much much harder, due to the struggle to "remember". It's easier to "remember" when your with your other half, because you've sorted it all out in communication and practice in astral journeying together.

Have you and your wife tried that?


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 Post subject: Re: Hi
 Post Posted: Tue May 21, 2013 3:04 am 
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wildcard wrote:
You are a very good communicator, and I very much appreciate what has been communicated to me in this thread.

I was thinking about that yesterday, during my workout, that it's all about communication.

Even the harmful spirits are communicating something. Something with which we don't want contact. The message is pain, fear, horror, terror, unremitting hell everlasting.

The more I read about and process material along these lines, the more I'm coming to feel that these spirits are of our creation, just like the lit says. Do we banish the spirit, or can the energy of the spirit be transformed? The latter seems like the better outcome for all.

Healing the spirits and ourselves as it were.

I have a hard time believing that the quantum universe created these spirits, but it seems to allow room for our creations.

I have a hunch that there's an overarching human mind that creates the quantum space and conditions for it's own quantum life forms - the stuff of the mind that haunts our nightmares and fires our dreams.

Can you imagine if the human race healed its collective mind and soul?

After wrestling with the whole concept of a transcendent purpose for sex, I think I have finally arrived at another really amazing possibility.

If one is able to meet with their beloved on the astral plane, they can create their surroundings much more easily than they can on their own.

This comes from an astral experience I had, and I knew, when I woke up, that the best thing that could possibly happen to me find my beloved so that we can do this together.

It might be possible to deliberately create the astral conditions after life in your own, but I somehow feel that this will be much much harder, due to the struggle to "remember". It's easier to "remember" when your with your other half, because you've sorted it all out in communication and practice in astral journeying together.

Have you and your wife tried that?


No, haven't felt the need for that. 'Otherworld' or 'astral plane' to me refer to other realms of existence. How we interpret our interaction with those realms is how we form our understanding of reality.

If, for example, I see a shape and think it is a snake, and it turns out to be a stick, my interaction with it shifts, my 'reality' shifts as I identify what my senses bring to me and interpret what my mind creates. The world of spirits with which I interact may be very different from another person's, and so may our interpretation, even if we encounter the same beings. So, if two people were involved, one would need to share the reality of the other, since two separate realities would not work in the way you describe. That's my understanding, for what it's worth. :)

Our karma (actions from this life and past lives) ripens in different ways and also affects our idea of reality. I see a wrathful Garuda as an ally, a guide and protector, and I always have. Another person may see a terrifying looming presence which seems to be threatening to rip them apart.

I believe in rebirth and in the many realms of existence a being may enter. Those in the spirit realms, harmful or not, must be treated with compassion. It is impossible for fear or anger to enter a mind full of pure compassion, and spirits cannot defeat such a mind. I'm not sure if it an accurate example, but in Crowley's 'Moonchild' the character Simon Iff, representing pure compassion, simply absorbs a hostile 'watcher' spirit sent by the enemies of the rite. No, I don't have a mind of pure compassion either! ;)

The problem with each organised religion is that it tries to shape 'heaven' for example, into a form its followers share. You'll have heard of the Tibetan Book of the Dead? Well, there is a process called Phowa whereby you can help yourself or others pass through the Bardo (an intermediate state) and on to a desirable rebirth. It relies on a shared 'reality', but the dying person must accept the reality of the teacher who reveals the process of Phowa to him/her.

So, in short, the spirits are real, but how we interpret our interaction with them and how they appear to us is part of the way in which our minds understand reality. We can affect that reality through Tantric practice, either as gradual or instant transformation.

I used to practice a gradual path, which didn't seem to suit me, but now I use instant transformation into the 'essence' of the being I wish to become, and into the reality that brings.

This is all related to energy and the elements, and how all beings connect with each other. Hence the warnings, for good reason, not to engage in certain practices without protection. You may not be able to retrieve your energy (or 'soul' if you prefer the label) and can end up mentally and physically damaged. Retrieval of it, which some shamans practice, restores the balance of the mind and of the elements and energy of the body. If you can't tell a snake from a stick, don't go blundering about in the rainforest. ;)

For me, because that reality is mine alone, it is a unique and solitary practice. Joyful, but solitary. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hi
 Post Posted: Tue May 21, 2013 5:02 pm 
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Quote:
If, for example, I see a shape and think it is a snake, and it turns out to be a stick, my interaction with it shifts, my 'reality' shifts as I identify what my senses bring to me and interpret what my mind creates. The world of spirits with which I interact may be very different from another person's, and so may our interpretation, even if we encounter the same beings. So, if two people were involved, one would need to share the reality of the other, since two separate realities would not work in the way you describe. That's my understanding, for what it's worth.


It's worth a life time of grappling and toil, and definitely worth hearing. :)
My question is, what if you share the same interpretation of reality on major points? Or even on a lot of points? What if, during astral journeys together, while still living, you work out the details? Could be interesting and a whole lot of fun and adventure.

Quote:
Our karma (actions from this life and past lives) ripens in different ways and also affects our idea of reality. I see a wrathful Garuda as an ally, a guide and protector, and I always have. Another person may see a terrifying looming presence which seems to be threatening to rip them apart.


It must be extremely comforting to have so much faith in a deity. I feel something bordering on deep envy. I think it's the Bhuddists who believe that there's an astral realm where the dieties reside, and some of the more accomplished mortals can go there for a time, after death. But sooner or later, I read, they have to leave. I don't know much more about that.

Quote:
Our karma (actions from this life and past lives) ripens in different ways and also affects our idea of reality. I see a wrathful Garuda as an ally, a guide and protector, and I always have. Another person may see a terrifying looming presence which seems to be threatening to rip them apart.


Are you linking one's bad experience of Guarda with bad karma? (using "bad" for lack of a better term.)

Quote:
I believe in rebirth and in the many realms of existence a being may enter. Those in the spirit realms, harmful or not, must be treated with compassion. It is impossible for fear or anger to enter a mind full of pure compassion, and spirits cannot defeat such a mind. I'm not sure if it an accurate example, but in Crowley's 'Moonchild' the character Simon Iff, representing pure compassion, simply absorbs a hostile 'watcher' spirit sent by the enemies of the rite. No, I don't have a mind of pure compassion either!


Wow. I love the idea of being able to absorb a hostile spirit. Have you ever done that?

Quote:
The problem with each organised religion is that it tries to shape 'heaven' for example, into a form its followers share. You'll have heard of the Tibetan Book of the Dead? Well, there is a process called Phowa whereby you can help yourself or others pass through the Bardo (an intermediate state) and on to a desirable rebirth. It relies on a shared 'reality', but the dying person must accept the reality of the teacher who reveals the process of Phowa to him/her.


I think it may have been revealed to me that we also, if we choose, can have a real hand in shaping the astral realm where we reside, if we do the exercises while alive. Otherwise, it would seem desireable to "absorb" (good word there) the teacher's/community's construct, if we can't do it ourselves, or find a partner to make the job easier. In which case there's something to be said for the capacity to choose one of the "many mansions" in the Father's house. :)

Quote:
So, in short, the spirits are real, but how we interpret our interaction with them and how they appear to us is part of the way in which our minds understand reality. We can affect that reality through Tantric practice, either as gradual or instant transformation.


I guess that all depends on "real". It's a chicken or egg thing for me. Did the dieties create us, or did we create them? Heizenburg's uncertainty principle seems to be at work here. :shock: Tantric practice. Can I do it solo?

Quote:
I used to practice a gradual path, which didn't seem to suit me, but now I use instant transformation into the 'essence' of the being I wish to become, and into the reality that brings.


What's instant transformation like?

Quote:
This is all related to energy and the elements, and how all beings connect with each other. Hence the warnings, for good reason, not to engage in certain practices without protection. You may not be able to retrieve your energy (or 'soul' if you prefer the label) and can end up mentally and physically damaged. Retrieval of it, which some shamans practice, restores the balance of the mind and of the elements and energy of the body. If you can't tell a snake from a stick, don't go blundering about in the rainforest.


Unfortunately my introduction to Shamanism didn't come with a warning label. Why do we see a snake or a stick in the first place? What's it doing in our path?

Quote:
For me, because that reality is mine alone, it is a unique and solitary practice. Joyful, but solitary.


I know your joy. The roses and the thorns. I've been going through a thorny patch lately. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hi
 Post Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 3:53 am 
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There a people who have had to resign from their jobs after making a simplistic statement about karma. In one case, a football manager I think, made a statement that a disabled child deserved it because of their actions in a past life.

In brief: 'karma' means action. All actions have consequences and ripen as 'karma vipaka' - the outcome of action. These consequences are carried with our consciousness as we are reborn in a new existence, so affect the being we become. It's not luck, just cause and effect. We are not at all to blame for what was done in a past life, but we carry the consequences.

According to that belief, we are reborn in a realm which reflects our karma - there are realms for gods, demigods, ghosts, hell realms, animals and humans realms. If I cruelly mangle the teachings, a Buddhist seeks eliminate the consequences and the rebirths and become a Buddha (enlightened being). Those who are already Buddhas are able to help us but are not omnipotent, like the God of the Christians.

I don't accept all of the teachings - for example I believe there is a soul ad I believe we meet others in this life who we have met in past life - our paths intertwine.

I also believe that there is no 'start', no Big Bang. Eternity stretches in both directions - beginingless and endless. All we observe is merely change.

Tantra teaches two forms of transformation - gradual, where one learns every detail of the deity's appearance (what is worn, carried, the deity's posture, limbs etc are all highly symbolic), one learns about their 'mandala' - the world they occupy and the beings within it etc. Internally, one learns about the body mandala and the points of energy - chakras are just the beginning, it is highly complex.

The other method of instant transformation takes the 'essence' of the deity, without much focus on the appearance and you become that essence. That can be really difficult, but if you've lived with that deity at your side all your life, as I have with Garuda, it is something you find easy and may already have slipped into it.

It's not the same, but if you are watching an eagle soaring in the sky and you imagine that you are that soaring eagle, seeing and feeling what it feels, then it is one form of gently shifting your consciousness, your reality, even if only for a few moments.

I've burbled on about Buddhism, but in shamanic terms I am guided by Garuda and as Garuda I interact with the spirits. I can't give you details, but in that form I perform the various rituals, which in the case of Garuda are fire-based (sometimes visualised, sometimes physical) and may invite other deities or beings to assist me.

I wouldn't absorb a spirit, even if I knew how, as I would imagine it is the death of that being. Having a mind filled with compassion for harmful spirits is a powerful protection, as is mantra (sometimes translated as 'mind protection'). If spirits are causing harm - illness, poltergeist activity etc. then it is best to make offerings to your protectors, to make offerings to the harmful ones, and lead them away from the place or person they are harming. I am lucky to have that relationship with Garuda, but Tara in her many forms would be just as effective, perhaps especially so for someone drawn to the divine female power.

Tantra is often solitary - it depends on the level of practice and the type of practice. Sometimes you work in groups, sometimes alone. If you are interested in that cultural form, check out the Hindu and Buddhist groups near you. It's only a shell, in the end, for the practices.

It's so easy to get lost in the enthusiasm of finding a new path - but it is a case of 'same wine, many bottles'. Dressing up and playing with the toys is fun, but in the end it is what is going on in your mind that matters. In the Tibetan context you have lots of fancy robes and hats, drums, bells, trumpets, rattles, spiked dagger-like implements, thunderbolt weapons etc etc. Oh, and statues and paintings with hugely colourful and sometimes frightening images, stompy dances and huge amounts of incense burning.

Look beyond that in any culture and separate what is being done for the shaman or oracle to enter the right 'state' and how much is for show. The Dalai Lama, for example, to this day is still guided by the trance-led utterances of his preferred oracle. Externally, there's little difference between the oracles and the shamans dancing into trance. here's a snippet of it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2oQM92om14

This being a Shamanic forum it's OK to talk in terms of Himalayan practices, but much is cultural and it is really the practices we need to develop rather than learn a lot of foreign terminology. I have a name for 'Garuda' and align with that culture, as it is there I have been led and I knew it to be right for me as soon as I encountered it. Elsewhere I could maybe call him 'fire eagle'. If I was in a different cultural box, who knows what I may call what I see - Ra, Pazuzu or even the angel Gabriel ! LOL :)

You know the old sayings that may be relevant to how you move along the path: 'be gentle with yourself' and 'walk softly but carry a big stick'. ;)


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