I am not a religious person. I consider myself to be “Spiritual with Reason and Faithful without Dogma”. Yes, I connect with Spirit on a daily basis. I am faithful to myself and, hopefully, to humanity. I like to reason things out. If there are contradictions then the actual truth has not been found. I will never allow myself to become a sheep blindly following the masses to the slaughter. Even within Shamanism I have discovered an abundance of Dogma (which basically amounts to lies): “You can’t do this if you are white,” “You can’t do that if you are a woman,” “You can’t do this if you are a man,” “This can only be achieved in this one and only way,” are just a few of the lies that people are told within shamanism. When with other shamans I find myself often glared at and verbally (even once physically) attacked for speaking out against this sort of messed up dogma.
Like-minded shamans are the friendly ones. The more enlightened a shaman is the less full of self-importance they become. I remember a friend of mine sharing with me that a shaman that he met took exception to being called “brother” by my friend, because this would denote an equality when he was obviously an elder and much more advanced and therefore important than was my friend. My friend asked me about this. I told him that the guy was obviously on an ego trip and to distance, which he did. If you are in a position of being a practising shaman, you better be able to leave your ego at the door, and all this multi-levelled system of one-up-man-ship has no place whatsoever in the practice.
A true shaman won’t fill your head with “teachings” that are twisted and morphed by some religion in their history that has only wanted to control the masses. A true shaman tends to help empower each individual, thus empowering the masses. It is amazing when someone finally “gets it” that they are a wolf and not a sheep. How beautifully they will soon blossom! Shamanism is not a place for “sheeple” Sheeple like to be spoon fed how to think, what to say and what to do. This is not in the realm of shamanism at all.
But why are so many of the world’s population hungering for their religions, no matter which religion it is? I have a theory. My theory is this. Many people hunger for connection. The human mind is one that is capable of a vast many things in comparison to the brains of other species on our planet. One of those things is self-indulgence. Having a higher functioning brain does not always serve us well. We become navel gazers. We contemplate “how it all began” and then create some fantastic story to help us to feel that there must be some purpose in life beyond our physical needs, our emotional needs, and our psychological needs. When we do this we disconnect from our own personal empowerment and start handing it over to some fantasy deity in the sky, and we start thinking that someone “out there” has reign over us. We start thinking that this deity cares for us, but we also twist it into a relationship of subservience to said deity. This is sick and twisted thinking in my opinion. Those deities don’t even exist, other than in the deep dark cauldrons of our minds as an attempt to not feel lonely. That is pathetic.
What I have found does exist, which science is just now beginning to be able to measure, is an “intelligence” in all things. Trees communicate with each other, as do birds, animals and, yes, even rocks. As a part of this ecosystem of vibratory communication, it is our responsibility to learn (or should I say “re-learn”) the language. This means learning first to listen. This is something that humans struggle with. Why? Because we have become LAZY. People who hear the whispers in the wind are the ones who do their work in connecting on a daily basis. We are the ones who work out our personal issues within ourselves, regardless of what others around us are doing or expecting, thus getting those issues out of the way so that we can stay “tuned in” to all that there is. We don’t have to look to the distant heavens to find “god”. Most of us don’t actually believe in some wrathful deity and would rather not even have anything to do with that anyway. We want and we achieve actual connection to the earth, and in so doing we also connect to the intelligence of the universe…because all is indeed one.
My beautiful dog is perfectly happy just being loved by me and others in my home. And we are perfectly fine with being loved by her. None of us need some “What is this connection all about and what does it mean?” bull hunky to cloud the actual connection. We simply love and care for each other. That is how I am with most animals. Some of them freak me out because they are actually poisonous…or a rodent….so I stay away from them. But for the most part, things are pretty hunky dory with me and animals. I don’t view them as my “pets”…not even my dog is viewed within me that way….they are my “friends”. For example, I love birds. Some people don’t, but I do. So birds tend to follow me around and flocks of birds tend to hang out in my back yard. I don’t own them. They will sometimes do things that I ask them to do…but that sort of comes naturally to them. For example, if there is danger afoot the birds will suddenly stop chatting and singing. This mostly happens in nature on hikes and such, but it also happens in the city. I am always aware of the chatting and singing of birds and when it suddenly stops…I notice. There is a crow that seems to enjoy sitting on my shoulder when I am out gardening. A neighbour across the street the other day asked me if I needed help “getting that filthy thing off of me”. I called back, “No, that’s fine. It is alright where it is.” I have learned to not wear my earrings when out gardening anymore because the crow loves all things shiny and tries to remove them. When this happens I just gently move the bird off my shoulder. It also seems to like the frames on my glasses, so removing from the shoulder happens frequently as I cannot garden without my eyes! I also like the flock of grackles that play in my yard. The thing is that they would not be there if they did not feel welcomed. I welcome them. I don’t feed them…because to do so would also be feeding mice and I have already mentioned how I feel about rodents, but I do welcome the birds. I do have a beautiful birdbath and a small fountain that they also use in which to bathe. I love watching them splash around and seeing the joy that emits from them is the sheer delight of the water on a hot day. These creatures are my friends and they seem to respond well to that. This is a deeper form of communication than is praying to some made-up deity. At least it is for me. But to each their own, right? At least I don’t have to worry about being led astray into some weird train of thought and belief just because some religion has programmed me to think that way. I just listen and respond. But this takes practice.
I have found that many people are completely uncomfortable in their own skin, let alone in their own company. So doing the work, sitting and breathing and just listening, becomes uncomfortable and often scary for them. They have to learn to filter through their messed up monkey minds in order to find the stillness within, and most people just don’t have the determination to accomplish that. But if you are one of us who do carry that determination within, I highly recommend that you start this practice now, if you have not already begun! The rewards far outweigh the demands of the discipline involved. I am not even talking about the hours and hours of daily meditation. I am talking about starting with just one minute. Then the next day add another minute to the meditation. And meditation is NOT creative visualisation. That is something else entirely and not appropriate here. Meditation is breathing, relaxing, and listening. You don’t have to do it in a lotus pose or anything like that either. You can do it while you sip your morning coffee on your balcony or deck…or at the kitchen table for that matter. Using your ears twice as much as your mouth is a highly important skill set here! Gradually, and yes this could take years or days depending upon each person, the monkey mind stops. All the distracting and stressful thoughts and emotions empty out with each exhale. All the goodness and life force energy enters the body with each inhale. All the empty spaces where negativity has emptied out becomes filled with energy and goodness. And it is done so simply. No tithing is involved. No allegiance to any make-believe entity is necessary. It is just you and the greatness of the universe….finally at one.