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Live the Way of the Heart

Student Resource Page

We have loved having you in our classes and workshops

Here you will find books on shamanism to deepen your practice and understanding, drumming tracks, song lyrics (some with links so you can remember the melody) and more.

Recommended Reads

There are a multitude of books on shamanism available; this is only a small sampling of our favorites.

 

Anything by Sandra Ingerman but we particularly recommend:  

  • Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation

  •  Walking in the Light

 

Shamanism of a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life by Tom Cowan

 

The Way of the Shaman, Michael Harner

 

The Shaman’s Doorway: Opening Imagination to Power and Myth by Stephen Larsen

 

Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Patrice Some

 

The Woman in the Shaman’s Body by Barbara Tedlock

Recommended books, Etc.
that reflect a Shamanic worldview

Bowl of Light, by Hank Wesselman

 

Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer

 

Article:

"Ethical Considerations in Shamanic Healing "

by Susan Moekelke, JD: 

Documentary: The Way of the Shaman:

The Work of Michael & Sandra Harner

Recommended Websites

www.shamanism.org  (The website of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, founded by Michael Harner.)

www.dorycote.com 

www.sandraingerman.com

www.livethewayoftheheart.com

Drumming Tracks & Circle songs

These drumming tracks are from various

Sandra Ingerman programs

Shamanic Journey: Drum - 16 minutes with call back

Shamanic Journey: 3 drums - 25 minutes with call back

Shamanic Journey: Berimbau Rhythm - 15 minutes w call back

Creating your own rhythms

If you are called to journey while spending time in nature, try creating a rhythmic beat with 2 sticks, 2 stones, 2 shells. It is almost a guarantee that whatever nature spirit you feel called to create music with will excitedly grant you permission.

 

Circle song document

*Mother I feel you

+*Morning Sun

+*May You Walk in Beauty

Earth Please Make Me a 
Sanctuary

*Indicates the lyric sheet also has a link to a you tube video that contains the same melody as we use

+* Indicates a short explanation is given at the beginning of the video by Victoria Vives

 

Creating an altar

Why do we have an altar? 

Altars have been and still continue to be created and used in many cultures around the world. Creating a focal point to honor sacred objects, honoring intention, honoring the space, the Circle, the Ancestors, the Nature Spirits and our own Helping Spirits, as well as the Spirits of the land that are all around us.  

An altar is a place of non-ordinary reality held within ordinary reality. Often altars include items such as but not limited to:

  • a cloth      fresh flowers      stones    

  • crystals      tobacco            candles

  • statues/figurines of helping spirit (s)

  • photos of ancestors, family etc.

  • figurines of helping spirits

  • representations of the elements

  • items for cleansing (selenite wands, white sage, palo santo{sacred wood})

This is something you can set up in your home, your yard, the beach, anywhere in nature, the possibilities are endless!

If we set up an altar in a live class, it represents a place where our hearts come together. It symbolizes the energy we create together in Circle. We can make this energy available to others who are suffering by placing their name under the cloth. 

When you are moved, create an altar, there is no limit to the number you can have or for how long they are active. Create your altars with intention, infuse it with your passion; remember to honor and thank the spirit of the altar and all the spirit essences contained within and give gratitude. 

Formulating Intention

When you first begin to journey, it is completely appropriate to journey for the purpose of learning your way around. Ask a Helping Spirit to show you their realm, or to bring you to a place that may be significant for you, or just help you get acclimated to the landscape. You may also ask your Helping Spirit to introduce you to other spirits that may be useful for you to know. Feel free to journey with the intention of finding Helping Spirits to help you with particular issues, like relationships, career matters, health, money or creative projects.

At some point, if you are to use journeying as a spiritual practice, you will journey to seek healing, insight or advice. In those cases it’s often helpful to have a question to present to the helping spirits. In general it's best to avoid "yes" or "no" questions, and questions that begin with When? or Who? Questions that begin with What? How? Why? offer your Helping Spirit the most leeway to provide a useful answer. As you gain experience in journeying you will learn what forms of questions are most effective for you and your Helping Spirits.

Here are some suggestions:

  • What do I need to know about....

  • What can I learn from.....

  • What is the lesson of....

  • How do I move on from....

  • What changes do I need to make in order to....

  • How can I....

  • What is the meaning of…..

You can also begin questions with the words,

  •  “Show me… what, how,” as Helping Spirits sometimes like to show rather than speak. 

Questions are helpful but you needn’t always have a question. 

  • Intentions like, “Direct me to the highest good in x situation” or “Show me the potentialities of x decision” are excellent journey intentions. 

Ask your Helping Spirits for healing for your best and highest good (or for what you need today)—either healing for yourself or for a situation. You can ask for healing for the planet, or for a particular part of the world, like a polluted body of water or a war zone (but be sure to not go into the war zone). 

Reminder about shamanic ethics: you may not journey for another person without their permission!

Connecting with Nature

Journeying is a powerful tool but it requires you to set time aside for it. There are myriad ways outside the journey process to invite the shamanic worldview to infiltrate the rest of your life. 

The most important concept for you to integrate is that all beings are inspirited, which includes sentient beings, rocks, plants, the elements, ideas, relationships, tracts of land, buildings, cars—everything is a spirit that you could visit on a journey. We encourage you to acknowledge that spirit even when you are not on a journey and are walking about in your daily life. 

The process of noticing is critical. Recognize that if you are noticing something it is because it wants your attention! See the beauty in all and watch how easily you can connect. These connections will deepen and come more easily with time. Acknowledge it, and try to intuit its message.

Relax, breathe in the light, and allow what no longer serves to release with the out breath. Open your heart and let the Light radiate 360 degrees from within your heart center, hold the intention to activate your senses and trust.

Exercise: Engage in dialogue with a creature you encounter. If a living creature has shown itself to you, or made a sound that you heard, acknowledge the presence. Drop into your heart space and communicate from there, letting it know that you’ve seen/heard it. Be open to receiving anything it might want to communicate in whatever ways it might choose. You might also try this with the wind, a tree, a stream, a cloud, a flower—anything from the natural world that has captured your attention. 

Exercise: Find a rock out in nature that is about the size of a large baking potato—for the purpose of this exercise, the ideal size is bigger than an apple but no larger than a grapefruit. The rock should be in its natural state, not one that has been tumbled or polished or altered in any way. When such a rock captures your attention, enter into dialogue with it and ask it if you could bring it with you. Listen for an answer and do not collect the rock unless you get a definite feeling of “Yes!” 

You can either bring the rock home or find a quiet space near its home to do this exercise. Settle your awareness into your heart and hold the rock in your hands. Ask it to tell you a story. Then carefully observe each side of the rock and speak aloud or write down what it is showing you. The bumps, fissures, and lines in the rock might present pictures or you might hear a story in your head or you might hear a song—it will depend on you, and the rock. You could also present the rock with a problem or question instead of just asking for a story.

When you have received the information and the exercise feels complete, thank the rock for sharing with you and ask if it wants to stay with you or be returned to the place you found it. Honor its wishes, and if it wants to stay, find it a place where you will honor and appreciate it.

Exercise: Go outdoors and walk. You might follow a path or just walk aimlessly. As you’re walking, write down what draws your attention. Sights, sounds, sensations-if it commands your attention long enough for you to notice it consciously, make note of it. Stop after you’ve made note of 12 things. Sometime later when you can be quiet and alone for a few minutes, relax into a meditative state and consider your list. Can you glean any information from it? Does your list offer you any guidance or tell you a story?

Exercise: Think of a situation that is concerning you at this time or a decision you need to make.  Don’t seek an answer, just get a clear sense in your mind of something you’d like to know or better understand. Then set the issue aside and go on a walk or hike somewhere in nature you love. Over the course of your walk, pay attention to the inanimate beings (natural objects) you notice. Focus specifically on those that you could fit in your pocket or bag, like rocks, acorns, feathers, leaves, shells... When you notice something, engage in a dialogue with it and ask whether it would like to come with you. Honor its answer! If you get a “no” or don’t sense an answer, leave it where it is. If you get a yes, thank it for its willingness to help you and bring it with you. Collect 4-6 inanimate beings.

When you get home, arrange them in a way that seems meaningful to you. Do the objects, the place you found them, or your dialogue with them offer any insight about the situation you pondered before your walk? Does your arrangement speak to the situation ? Can you discern any meaning or pattern that might be significant?

After you’ve worked with the beings in this way, thank them for their help. Ask each inanimate being whether it would like to stay with you or return to its place of origin. Again, honor its answer. If it consents to stay, find a place for it where you can acknowledge and appreciate it often.

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