Today, I will review the first six steps in learning to become a shaman that I channeled while dreaming with the women shamans of don Juan’s lineage, back in the fall of 2009, before going on to the seventh step.
First, however, I wish to address two points. Although I am writing, to a certain extent, about shamanism, I am really writing about having a spiritual, energetic experience. So, I ask that you suspend judgment as to the terms I elect to use, which, in my opinion, do not really matter. I could just as well have asked to dream with Jesus, or Buddha, or Jeanne, or any other guide and, if I had done so, I believe I would have gotten the same answers, though possibly in slightly different words, but maybe not. The steps that were offered to me are evolutionary practices, related to growth and exploration, daring me to let go of this world and enter another, the very thing that we will all be confronted with at our deaths, no matter what spiritual practice we elect to follow, and even if we don’t have one. I happen to be curious about what comes next. I have always been interested in reading and hearing about people’s experiences in near-death, out-of-body, comas and dissociative states. Where did you go? What did you encounter? Who did you meet? What did it feel like? How did you get back?
The second point I would like to stress is that, in my experience, as soon as I open the door, as soon as I send out an intent, I have an experience. I know that everything is possible because of the experiences I have had. Certain books have the power to take me right into an experience simply by cracking them open. The books that have this kind of power, for me, are any of the works of Carlos Castaneda, Florinda Donner Grau’s Being-in-Dreaming, Taisha Abelar’s The Sorcerer’s Crossing, William Buhlman’s Adventures Beyond the Body, and a charming book by Preston Dennett called Out of Body Exploring. By asking to dream with the women shamans I gave myself the opportunity to have an experience. I am most likely to receive an experience if my intent is “unbending,” as don Juan stressed to his apprentices. Carlos writes of Doña Soledad in The Second Ring of Power: “She wanted to know if I had correctly understood don Juan when he said that anything is possible if one wants it with unbending intent.” (p. 31)
So, having made those two points, I recount the first six steps of energy practice, previously written about in lengthier form, that I learned from the women shamans:
1. Know the difference between the two minds, the conjuring mind and the knowing mind. (Read about this step HERE.)
2. Understand the value of repetition. (Read about this step HERE.)
3. Contend with all the parts of the physical self. (Read about this step HERE.)
4. Allow for dissolution of ego. (Read about this step HERE.)
5. Wait for the right moment then shift. (Read about steps 5 & 6 HERE.)
6. Remember what transpires in dreaming.
Now I present the seventh step in learning to become a shaman. As usual, I slept with the dreaming pillow on my lower abdomen, just below the navel. During the night of October 26, 2009, I wrote the following in my journal: Abolish, get rid of, all energy glitches so that energy is not lost or siphoned off.
So what does that mean? First, I want to tell you a little story about a book that Chuck read last week and that he wrote about in his blog on Must be the Season of the Witch. The book is The Second Ring of Power. In his blog, he described the decrepit condition of the book and how he was reading it, taking each page out and placing it in a pile. By the time he was finished reading, the hard cover binding was empty and the pages were in a neat pile on a table in our den. I began reading it at this point and, as I read, I placed the pages back into the binding of the book. Now I am halfway through the book and it is halfway to being put back into its original form. I have just finished reading the chapter where Carlos meets La Gorda and learns about the biggest energy glitch of all time, the hole left in us by our children, which continues to drain us empty of energy until we die, perhaps long before we really need to. The only way to stop this drain of energy, this energy glitch, is to close it up by completely detaching from our children and letting them go off on their own journeys. I believe this is the main energy glitch that the women shamans instructed me to get rid of. This type of energy glitch appears as a dark hole in our sides, in both men and women, by those who can “see” such energy. These holes can be there because of children we have actually given birth to, biologically, and also children we have become deeply attached to for other reasons, because of marriage, adoption, fostering, etc. The more children we have in our lives the bigger the holes; one side for girl children, the other for boy children.
For me, and for most women, this may be the most difficult and painful energy glitch to close up. I use the analogy of Chuck reading the book, essentially emptying it, and me filling it back up again, one page at a time, as a process of detachment and reclamation of the energy we give away in raising our children. First the book must not be so special that it cannot be read in this way, that it cannot be allowed to change form. Our children must not be so special to us that we cannot allow them to become who they must become. We must be able to dismantle our old books, our old ideas of who we want our children to be, how we want them to be, and what perfect form we desire for them to fit into, especially the desires and fears we really have within ourselves but are projecting onto our children, and, finally, we must let them go out of our lives. Our children must become no more than the empty hard cover of the book once the pages have been ripped out, and we must allow ourselves to be the same.
Once we are empty, having dismantled the book, having let the children become separate beings, having detached ourselves from them, having let them go, we can now begin the process of putting the book back together for ourselves, taking back our energy. Once the pages of the book are replaced, once the energy that we had previously given over to the raising of our children —in the worrying, the wondering if they are making good choices, safe, doing what they should be doing, acting wisely and right; wondering if they are fearless and powerful, or depressed and sad; wondering did I screw them up, did I do everything for them, etc.— once this energy is replaced, we can then begin the process of closing up the holes in our sides. This is the task that La Gorda gave Carlos, and it is the same task the women shamans gave me. I now pass it along to you as the next step in learning to become a shaman, or in other words, learning to become energetically detached, spiritually whole, complete.
As Jeanne mentioned in her message this week, don Juan taught about energy, as does she. This is also what I learned about from the women shamans: energy. By using my unbending intent, I asked them to dream with me and teach me something. In all, I was given twelve steps. Next week I will move onto the next. In the meantime, watch for those holes and glitches and take back the energy.
See you in dreamland!
NOTE: The books I mention are available in our STORE.