To Be Free from Greed and Clinging

May 8, 2019
A brown bear perched and snarling at the cameraman
First of all, I practice shamanism with a subsequent lay practice of Zen Buddhism.  I begin with shamanism, or neo-shamanism as some mainstreamers would say of it, as it directly reflects a series of awakenings that I experienced before leaving active duty from the Marine Corps.  These experiences, as unexpected as they were, were shamanic in nature and served as precursors to a more extensive spiritual inquiry that I processed while attending Kent State University.  These gateways, as raw and unambiguous as they are, were also the stepping stones for a more formal relationship that was developed with Spirit, and shamanic allies, in a safe, supportive, environment, and one that has led to deeper levels of awakening.

Unsatisfied with the lack of structure, and probably discipline, associated with this type of spirituality, I then explored the world of the Dharma, and specifically Zen Buddhism.  Buddhism has long served as an interest in my own spirituality and in the early '00s found myself wondering where I could become formally introduced to these powerful instructions, here in the States.  With this introduction to structured meditation and self-inquiry, I then began to let go of the mental concepts that had defined my spirituality.  Up until this place in time, let's say 2004 - 2008, I was a consumer.  I found that I had been defining my spiritual practice with the things that I bought, and the authors that I had been reading.  Consuming ideas and things isn’t spirituality, they are simply pointers along the way of finding your own path; one that you can walk on with your own two feet.  These pointers are important reminders, yes, but they are ultimately dependent upon a thorough investigation of the self, the questions that motivate it, and the willingness to let go of the conceptions, and misconceptions, that once defined it.

The dharma, or teachings of the Buddha, do not teach 21st-century neo-shamanism.  Shamans do not necessarily practice zazen, or Zen meditation.  Rather, they actively journey to other worlds where they will connect with their spiritual allies, and confer information, from the past, present, and future.  Both, when practiced with consistency, can be regarded as altered states of consciousness that have the ability to transform the lives of the practitioner, and those that she has chosen to share it with.  These are uniquely different experiences that can be merged within the Dreamtime and formal instruction, from a reputable source, is recommended for each.  Yes, these are the types of enlightening activities that you can learn on your own, although, until you have submerged yourself into their subculture, will miss the context entirely.

This is but one reason why you're seeing the services that I offer — therapeutic bodywork and shamanism — separated into different categories.  These are entirely different services, each with its own set of expectations, that somehow meet magically in the middle.  Therapeutic bodywork, when practiced with a medical license, is also overseen by a state's respective medical board, and is governed with its own licensing requirements and professional standards.  Shamanism, on the other hand, often requires an in-depth knowledge of energy-based spiritual anatomy, access to alternate realities with their inner landscapes and inherent symbolism, and an intuitive-feeling awareness that touches every soul you meet.

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