You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Story’ tag.

Hi there.

There is another benefit this month in Malibu that I wanted to bring to your attention. Another good time for a great cause. Among the items up for raffle you will find…

The Dreaming: Dream Circles.

The Dreaming: Dream Circles

I wrote about this painting recently and it is part of the Shamanic Journey / Awakening to the Spirit World book review. You can find that blog post here.

I will most likely be at this event.

Don’t forget your checkbook. We have more than 100 items to raffle and auction off, including hots sailors and sailorettes.

If you can’t make the event you can always make a donation directly to the Van Ness Recovery House through their website. Van Ness Recovery House Donation Link.

Malibu Barbie’s USO Beach Party

Benefitting the Van Ness Recovery House

ADVANCE ONLINE TICKETS: www.MalibuBarbiesBeachParty.org
$12 Advance / $15 At The Door

Sunday August 22, 2010
11:00 am 8:00 pm

    • Beach Play 11:00 am
    • USO Tribute Drag Show and Competition 2:00 pm
    • Raffle 3:30 pm
    • Sailor/ Sailor-ette Auction 4:00 pm
    • Silent Auction 12:00 5:00 pm
    • Dinner Caravan to Neptune – 8:00 PM-10:00 PM

Please remember to bring a picnic basket. Guests are expected to bring their own lunch and refreshments.

Don’t forget your check book for the silent auction and raffle. Prizes already include a weekend in Palm Springs, a spa massage package, a family pack to California Adventures and Disney Land, and more than 75 other super hot items!
———————————————–

ADVANCE ONLINE TICKETS: www.MalibuBarbiesBeachParty.org

TO DONATE SILENT AUCTION OR RAFFLE ITEMS:
Call Fundraising Committee Chair Carlos Cortez at (323) 620-8810 or “Contact Us” at www.MalibuBarbiesBeachParty.org
______________________________________________________________

Van Ness Recovery House

Donate online to the Van Ness Recovery House in Los Angeles at:http://www.vannessrecovery.org/donations.html

The Van Ness Recovery House is a licensed and certified alcohol and drug recovery home designed to provide opportunities to the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and heterosexual communities. All services are offered in both English and Spanish.

We provide a highly structured and safe environment, where the residents learn how to make healthy life choices while receiving direct experience with the 12 steps of recovery through an intense schedule of meetings, alcohol/drug education and discussion groups.

The House was opened in May 1973 as a Joint, co-operative effort of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center (GLCSC) and a group of dedicated and visionary members of Alcoholics Anonymous. In 1976, the Van Ness Recovery House separated from GLCSC and became an independent non-profit corporation dedicated to serving the needs of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and heterosexual men and women, regardless of their ability to pay, who suffer from the debilitating effects of the disease of alcoholism and/or drug addiction.

The Van Ness Recovery House opened a 20-bed facility on Beachwood Drive in 1973 and became aware of serving its first HIV-infected resident in 1984. The program has since served 1,632 HIV-infected residents. In the past five years, 61% of transgendered clients entering the program have been HIV-infected, 80% of all residents have been HIV-infected and over 86% of the residents have been homeless, having had little or no reportable income of the previous year. Over 2500 men and women have been given a new start in life thanks to a community that cares.

Our goals are simple and straightforward:

•Increase the length of abstinence from drugs and alcohol
•Decrease STD/STI occurrence
•Increase HIV and mental health medication adherence
•Increase the length of free time
•Develop an expanding network of culturally appropriate role models
•Increase employment rates
•Provide safer sex information and empowerment to the populations family/partners
•Create a replicable model program

The Van Ness Recovery Home does not discriminate in services or employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, handicap, sexual orientation or HIV antibody status. We would like to emphasize that although we largely target the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community, we also have an extremely high success rate with our heterosexual clients.

********

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

Want to support Lifencompass?
Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.

Scott Lifencompass

Advertisements

I was reading through this coming months Transmutation News, thoughts on the Shaman’s Death. I am aware that the last few chapter reviews were about Death and Dying and I thought the newsletter, on the tail of these posts was an important connection to the last three articles in Awakening to Shamanism.

The following contains a few excerpts from Sandra Ingerman’s newsletter, Transmutation News.

((EXCERTPS))

Transmutation News August 2010

“When one embarks on a spiritual journey there is a process of dying to the ego – spirit sculpting us to be greater spiritual beings. And this journey of the shaman is filled with initiations that keep asking us to let go of our egos and a separate state of consciousness that can lead us to a unity consciousness and an experience of light that brings forth our clairvoyant, psychic and healing gifts.

As our ego is carved away at by our spirit, divine light can shine through. It is like a burning away of what keeps us separate from our spiritual state and what prevents our spirit from fully shining through us.

I have written about this many times in my books and also on the Transmutation News.

I think that the setting the intention of “the experiment” with the working in community groups brought me personally to a new stage of the shaman’s death.”

Then

“We are all on a journey – and we are all at different phases of the path – that will ultimately lead to a whole new evolution of consciousness. I think we need to move away from the focus being on the process of individuation. Individuating I think has been necessary on many levels but it is time to grow away from being so self absorbed into a consciousness of unity.

But first a death must occur before we see the possibilities.

When I was in my late teens I experimented with taking LSD. One night some of my friends had taken LSD and we went to a Grateful Dead Concert. At the concert I was separated from some of my friends.

I went into a real place of “ego death” there was no “me” and there was no “other” we were all one. I was in a glorious state of being.

I wanted to tell my friend Robin something but I knew I could never find her amidst the crowd of people. So I thought to myself that if we are all one I can tell the person standing next to me the message and it would be the same as telling Robin.

And then I had the realization that if we were all one I only had to tell myself the message.

The shaman’s death in the true sense of the term is letting go of the ego that provides any containment of the spiritual energies coming through to heal and to transform.

The shaman’s death is dying to anything that keeps you from being in the present moment. And that means letting go of outcomes, desires, needs, wants.”

You can read the full newsletter, and subscribe, at Shamanic Visions.

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

Want to support Lifencompass?
Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.

Scott Lifencompass

If you are just joining me in these posts you can catch up on the chapter-by-chapter book review of Awakening to the spirit world through these posts:

Experiential Work With Death & Dying | All Change Involves a Death

First the technical and then the personal. I put these two chapters together. As an after thought, I feel that I should have put all three chapters on Death together, but maybe the acceptance and understanding I have of the passage is a bit more “accepting” than others. I’m doing my best not to condense down the subject and breeze through it.

These two chapters contain a lot of personal experience, and sections about:

  • There are No Unfinished Conversations
  • Soul Stealing (about forgiveness)
    • Exercise: Creating Closure
  • Saying Goodbye
  • Recapitulation
  • Granting Permission to Die
  • All God’s Creatures Grieve
  • All Change involves Death
  • Dismemberment as an Initiatory Journey
    • A Journey for Dismemberment
    • Erasing Personal History

In and throughout the stories and exercises in these two chapters are guidelines for helping others to cope with Death. For the self, the parent, and those in need. The second chapter covers more initiatory processes and how we, encountering life or visionary happenings can potentially be transformative from a shamanic or mythological sense.

I think that the authors have done well in this.

As I said I have tried not to gloss over the subject, and not for any reason other than my personal experience in the last 4 or so years has been heavily washed with the passage of family, and a psychological erosion of a youth’s belief in physical immortality by the nature of life’s entropic (physical) journey.

We die. All of us. You will die. I have to say it because I need to remind myself that in time I will. It’s not a constant awareness, but it is there, hovering near, when I heal, hurt, wake, eat, and go about doing. It is something we can or cannot accept, true ,but eventually we end up there whether we accept it or not.

That’s why it is important to know it, say it, accept it. I’m not advocating running around depressed, or in fear, actually I find that by living in a process of accepting Death, there is liberation from a lot of psychological snags. Tho I do believe that my essential self (soul, what have you) may continue on is some form, and I believe that meditation and self-discovery help you to connect with that true being, it doesn’t mean I don’t feel some natural instinct to keep, continue, and create. I am not sitting around planning my funeral, bemoaning my fate, but I am also blessed with health, job, home, and love. I could be much “worse off” compared to many millions of people, and I count that as a blessing.

What does strike me is that many people do not accept this fate. It is a destination yet not a goal, it’s as if Death is a demise, or punishment. Tormented with sorrow, anguish, fear, anger, and so many other mind-traps that throughout history we have needed those who know Death near us when it too becomes our time for passage into that otherness, whatever it ultimately my be. And because it Death perceived is a punishment, we have states in our own country where you forced into dying, in accordance to the law.

Death has become reviled. It’s so terrible, it is the greatest punishment… Where did we go wrong in our understanding?

It’s thoughts like these that drive me to the point that (I think) Sandra & Hank are making: There needs to be a personal re-address of the dying process and Death. A look at first realistic and then metaphysical in the sense of our relationship to ourself and those that have/are passing, and then the greater relationship to the bigger circle of living that we are part of.

Spiritual systems abound, throughout our history from small tribes to the great ethnic groups of human kind, that express an after to what we are living now. There are many similarities in myth, legend, story, and personal experience that tell us we are part of something greater and into the greatness we go when we expire. It is fundamental to most of us (some people believe we live and die, and once dead nothing more) to prove a link at some point in our life with that other world in whatever shape that takes hold of us.

When my grandfather passed away I knew, almost to the minute, even though I was hundreds of miles away. I felt a presence. There was a whiff of Old Spice and a splash of motor oil. I was sitting at my office desk, the door was closed. His memory, smell, and spirit was there in the light before me. Saying goodbye.

At a much younger age when one of my dogs died, we lived apart at that point, I had a dream she was across a vast chasm from me. Kahlua, my dog, was on one peak and I on another. She was barking and wagging her tail at me. I called her name over and over.

The next day, my mother called to let me know she passed away.

When my boyfriend Sean took is own life, I woke to see a light in my room and someone standing in it, waving. I woke. Smiled and waved. I honestly thought it was a Guide. The next day I began to receive calls…

My great-aunt and her funeral. The spirits in our various houses. “Ghost stories”, near death experiences, encounters. We go somewhere. We become something else. We meet that greatness.

“There is nothing to fear”, as they say, “but fear itself” and when we release that fear we enter a new life. It is part of living to know this. A shamanic perspective is but one way in which we can find the Sacredness and Grace that is helpful to meet it, to complete the circle. We can aid that sacred moment through paths as described in these chapters: Conversation. Forgiveness. Acceptance. Understanding. Connecting. It is one of our task while living.

We can find it in our spirituality, yes, but ultimately we make these graces within ourself.

I hope that this finds you well.

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

Want to support Lifencompass?
Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.

Scott Lifencompass

If you are just joining me in these posts you can catch up on the chapter-by-chapter book review of Awakening to the spirit world through these posts:

Chapter 9: Death as a Rite of Passage

Be welcome to what most feel is an unwelcome topic of conversation: Death. There are obvious reasons for the discomfort, namely that the majority of people fear death!

Awakening to Shamanism, the Path of Direct Revelation continues to surprise me with each chapter. There is an intent to shift the vibration upward but the author and joined voices of Modern Shamanism do not spare us the darkness in the retelling of their practice. I think that needs some explanation but Alberto Villoldo illustrates this “darkness” it well in the first few pages,

“In the West, we no longer remember how to die with grace and dignity. We shuttle the dying off to hospitals where death is considered a disease and extraordinary measures are taken to prolong life at all costs. Families do not know how to come to closure with the passing of a loved one. Many people die in fear, with unresolved issues, not having said the “I love you’s and “I forgive you”s that would be so healing for them and their families. We have tried to make death invisible; we think that if we ignore it long enough, it will go away.”

Sandra Ingerman writes,

“When someone starts to speak about impending death, the usual social response is, “Don’t talk like that, you are going to get well and you will be back on our feet before you know it.” Yet we are all going to go through the death experience sooner or later.

Denial that a big change is coming, and that this change is inevitable, blocks understanding. It also blocks true loving and supportive communication on all sides. As a result, many people die in a state of acute fear and anxiety, while their families and doctors try to hold them here for as long as possible.”

~Pgs. 180-181, Awakening to Shamansim

We have a wealth of spiritual and cultural traditions all over the world who speak of an afterlife among spirits of friends, family, and even deities. There are stories throughout time of near death experiences, visitations by those who have passed and encounters with other  entities from places beyond our sight. It’s strange to me that we have built a culture of horror around the passage from this life into the other world(s).

Personally I have had more encounters than I can count in a moment. I would have to take my time perusing journals and memories to pull every thread together, weaving for you the blanket of my, and my families, experiences with “the dead”.  A few come to mind…

I have written about my great Aunt Joyce a few times, she had a great and lasting impression on my life, shaping much of my childhood as the one constant figure who was there for me. I love my mother, she was there, sometimes she wasn’t, but our Aunt Joyce would always step in and take care of us.

When Aunt Joyce passed the family collapsed.

Days leading up to her funeral turned to the moment when friends and family gathered at the Chapel near the foot of the Mission Hills. We came together in solemn and then teary remembrance, and with the Priest in charge of ceremonies we laughed, we cried, and then as entertaining priest began the Rosary a funny thing happened.

A light appeared behind the priest in the shape of a robed woman, crown ablaze with rings of light, hands folded in another nimbus of prayer. As I stared at her, this luminous being behind the prayers, feeling like a grain of sand to the sea, I heard my sister ask, “Who is that lady?”

When my sister spoke between my mother and me, we both turned from looking at the vision to stare at my sister, we had all seen her!

Our family has many such stories, I think coming from the South, my mother’s family had a way with connections, ours I think is spirits in one degree or another. I don’t claim to be a “Ghost Whisperer” but I have had my moments and time to think about a lot of these things, namely my own fear of death.

For a few years my thought was, if I am having this experience that tells me that we continue on after this life as we know it, why do I fear it? Really, it’s kind of silly.

I find that in the last year my perspective is changing. I’m in no hurry to leave / die, in fact I’d like to live a long and healthy life and end up on the Today’s Show, Smucker Jar as a Centennial. Here’s hopes for being upwardly mobile until my twilight years!

The rest of this chapter focuses on the aspects of transition, Death as a Rite of Passage:

  • The Life and Death Cycle
  • Stages of the Death Experience
  • The Bardos: The After-Death Realms in The Middle Worlds of Spirit
  • Maps to the Landscape Beyond Death
  • Psychopomp Work (this is an illustration, there is no way (stated) that the reader should attempt this work without advanced work).

The next chapter focuses more on this subject and I look forward to reading it. This is a singular issue that we will all face in various forms, from the passing of loved ones and eventually our own journey into otherness. It is vital that we learn to understand our relationships in life, and just as vital that we learn to accept with grace our eventual portal into the afterlife.

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

Want to support Lifencompass?
Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.

Scott Lifencompass

Greetings. Welcome back.

I was about to start a new post for the Chapter 9 review of Awakening to Shamanism, when I decided to post a bit more on sound. Chapter 8, Working with Sound and Light, inspired some connections this last week when I attended class on Wednesday evening. I’m now, happily, participating in a 10 week course entitled Runes 110, at the Points of Light bookstore in Long Beach. I mentioned this class a few weeks to a month or so back because one of our friends, Christopher Lung, is teaching it.

First week was refreshing, interesting and entertaining. I honestly didn’t realize the depth of history that the Runes carry, nor did I realize the span of years that they had existed. History can become boring to me but fortunately the topic is within the realm of “more than interesting” and Christopher is an entertaining, and informed, educator.

It takes me over an hour to get to Long Beach during traffic hour but it’s worth the commute.

This last Wednesday we did some Runic breathing and chanting, and this is why the class corresponded to the Chapter 8 topic.

Singing, chanting, and toning have been used throughout history in ritual and ceremony. It’s a powerful tool socially, brining us together in a common voice and cause, and in my opinion an important part of magickal work. No I don’t sing like Whitney (used to), or chant like a Tibetan Monk. I’ve had my moments of singing in tongues and of course there is always the use of vibration with magickal symbols, like the sacred Reiki Symbols, when healing… I must be silly, I wasn’t connecting the dots.

Chanting the names of the Runes, while visualizing them, in a group was “neat”. More than neat, the resonating with the Runes in carried voices was intense. OK. I’m solitaire for the most part. I have worked with others over the years on many occasions. I’ve been part of countless classes, lectures, and workshops, but raising our voices in vibrating unison was AMAZE-BALLS!

We worked on 4 Runes:

f Feoh / u Uruz / th,þ Thurisaz / a Os

The primal powers of the Runic alphabet, up and to the point of the point of consciousness (Odin / Os). We chanted each rune nine times. At points I felt like the power of my voice was raising up a little too loud but I let myself enjoy the experience. I may not sing very well but I do have some powerful lungs. *smile*

This got the hamsters spinning the wheel in my head. The power of the Rune was intensified by breath and sound, the same way that I empower the Reiki symbols (Cho Ku Rei, etc).

With Reiki symbols I use the following technique.

Reiki Gong: Technique’s in Reiki Practice

(Previously mentioned in the entry, Reiki-Gong).

Practice with Cho Ku Rei

As with the Violet Breath exercise, tongue to top of mouth, breath in circularly. Allow the energy to flow through nose and down the energetic paths of the chakra. Instead of cycling the energy down through the root chakra and up the back of the spine, breath it into your second chakra, just below or about your navel. Fill that area up with the energy, a golden light.

Next we will draw the symbol.

Draw the golden light up from this Chakra, our center, and out the arms to the palms of the hands and with your dominant hand, draw the Reiki Symbol, in this case the Choku Rei. Imagine it as a golden symbol. The seven and the spiral.

Place this symbol into that which you are sending Reiki. Hold the symbol as if you were holding a dish, about the size of a dinner place and gently feel it descend into the client or object. Gently move it about until you feel some resistance. Gently push into that resistance until you feel it “click” into place.

Vibrate the CKR name three times. Say it aloud, draw it out, vibrate the name. Three times. Place your hands on the recipient / object and pass Reiki.

When you feel the Reiki complete, when the energy ebbs, gently withdraw the symbol and bring it back to your center, just around or below the naval and put the golden energy back into this place. Take your hands, palms flat to leave the hand chakras open, and push the symbol in. Breath into this center a few times.

Check out your results. Was it different? How?

I’ve practiced with this new technique on the three traditional Reiki Symbols. I have drawn the symbol large enough to fit a room and gently clicked it into place and vibrated the name and sat with the energy. I have used it on myself, on the crystal grid that surrounds my home and even in distance healing. For myself I’ve been pleasantly surprised each time at home much more effective the energy seems to flow.
Notes:

Why the center, the 2nd Chakra?

Because this is our Ki, our energy that we are using to draw a path, a channel for the Reiki energy to enter. Think of it like a straw or a catch for the Reiki energy.

Why do we lock it into place?

We do this because it sets a focal point for the symbol to recieve the energy. Drawing the Life Force Energy into place and purpose. Where it is needed and the effect of the symbol.

Why do we withdraw the symbol?

Because the gold light is our ki. It has been infused with Reiki and it will continue to empower your Reiki center over time. Consider this spot below the navel, the 2nd chakra, like a well of personal energy. it is replenished by the Reiki with each use. The more you practice this form of Reiki the stronger that center becomes.

Let me know your results. Try the SHK and the HSZSN as well.

If you are interested in that particular form of Reiki practice or would like to read more, visit the entry on Reiki Gong for more info and a link to the book / author who I learned the technique from.

I’m thinking that the next 8 weeks of class will be a whole lot of fun. I’m also feeling that my magickal practice just expanded in a new way and all it took was a big breath and a strong vibe.

Until next week.

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

Want to support Lifencompass?
Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.
Scott Lifencompass

As promised (if a little late), the Dream Gatherer, which I call Dream Circles. This exercise came out of Awakening to Shamanism, chapter 6 ~ Dreams.

In Awakening to Shamanism, the Path of Direct Revelation, Carol Proudfoot-Edgar:

“…We also construct “dream gatherers,” usually using natural materials in the landscape where we are meeting. Dreams are a doorway into another world, and the dream gatherer is the door. Think of the wreaths that people make Christmas (Yule, Winter Solstice ~Scott) and hang on their doors. There is a circle within the wreath. The dream gatherer is made from things from Nature and has a circle that represents the doorway into the dream world. These are then placed somewhere close to each dreamer and used to entice the dreamer and the dream spirits to join one another in mutual collaboration.”

I personally wanted to create a safe circle of communication for the dream work. This particular piece would be for two dreamers.

Dream Circles, by Scott K Smith. 12'' x 36'', Acrylic on Canvass, Paper Machete, organic materials (stones, vines picked respectfully).

"The Guardians" Spirit detail in "Dream Circles.

Aside from the obvious circles with the connecting pathway, there are three spirit guardians between the portals. The feathers are made from the under feathers of a Redtail Hawk, in blue, white, gold, and purple representing their protective and insightful energies while one journey’s in the dream. These guardians mind the pathway to and from the world of dreams, casting illuminating light on the message for the dreamer.

Dream Circles is one of the paintings that will be appearing in the August, 2010 show, downtown Los Angeles.

I hope to see you then.

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

Want to support Lifencompass?
Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.

If you are just joining me in these posts you can catch up on the chapter-by-chapter book review of Awakening to the spirit world through these posts:

Chapter 8: Working with Sound and Light

Welcome back. First I want to say that I did finish the project from Chapter 6, Dreaming: The Dream Circle. It is a painting, created to safely access the World of Dream. It was a work in progress and I will post a few photos this weekend so that you can get a better look at it. The Dream Circle will be part of the evolving body of work that I had planned for the collaborative show in August… which is “evolving” on its own and becoming a bit more than I had anticipated. Anyway, as I said, details are to come.

This chapter is about Sound and Light. I assumed that sound would come along eventually as sound, ceremony, and ritual are generally brought together for altering our state of consciousness, bringing people together into a group mind or energy field, and to call in the helping forces and spirits that one wold need. These are a few of the ways in which sound compliments healing or magickal work.

The chapter begins with historical and cultural stories of first sounds and sound healing deities and then moves into topics like:

  • Drumming and Healing
  • Gods of the Harp
  • Power Songs, and finding your power song
  • Singing and Healing Patterns

Tom Cowan, in the Gods of the Harp part, writes:

“This is keeping with other cultures that we see the universe as something vibrational or something created by a voice, song or sacred word.

In an old Irish myth, the goddess Boann (later her name become Boyne, on of Ireland’s sacred rivers) gives birth to three sons who become harpers. As each son is born, Boann’s husband, Uainthe, plays music on his harp to accompany her experience. The first birth is difficult, so he plays a lament or song of sorrow; the second birth is joyful because she realizes she is having another child, so he plays a happy tune; and she falls asleep during the third delivery because she is tired, so he plays a lullaby. When the boys become harpers, each specializes in the type of music he heard when he came into the world. I think of them as the gods of the harp.

(Later) …A simple way to  use this matrix for healing is to hum these three strains of music for someone as a kind of prayer. Visualize the person in distress or pain and hum a low tone, then watch the person’s face begin to smile as youmove up a couple of notes on the scale, then see the person in total peace as you move the hum up a coupel more notes (C, E, and G work well). This can be done in one slow breath as you exhale. Then keep repeating this as a kind of breathing-humming meditaiton for several minutes in which ou send out healing with your breaths and intentions. Not surprisingly, you’ll find that this brings you too into a wonderful state of peace”

~Tom Cowan, Awakening to Shamanism, Pgs 162-163

Although I personally find the harp relaxing, I find the toning to be an interesting of simple sound therapy. I don’t know much about toning or sound therapy as a medium for healing, I have benefited from experience.

My friend Jamie Bechtold is a great Sound Therapist and recently performed at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts, during the Autumn, Spring, and Summer Equinox’s. Three powerful planetary gongs accompanied by four crystal singing bowls, and two sound healers. Phenomenal!

I attended the Spring Equinox Sound Bath among revelers, and friends old and new. Initially the sound was overwhelming. I don’t to say it was scary or distracting but the power of the gongs and bowls are overwhelming. It is a “bath” of sound. The beat, pulse, and vibration took me deep, and then into a state of release, before brining me back to (that moments’) present. The only other time I can think that I have experienced something like this was with drumming.

Back in 199*mumble* I attended a small circle in San Francisco. We all had various instruments and I, a small hand held drum. I was nervous about the chanting and drumming because I am a perfectionist about certain things and I didn’t feel that my voice was very harmonious… and I think the last time I had played on a drum, I was five. Irregardless I joined along with the drumming, and kept my chanting to myself. Somewhere in the rhythm we were generating, us four, I got lost. I’m not sure where but I had one of these fall into the ecstatic states. I can recall plains tribes, being an old woman with a long life and a deep sorrow, singing a song for those who had passed.

No wait, I did sing it. I not only sang it but I took the lead in the circle and sort of dominated it with this painful song. I was a little embarrassed but the people I was drumming with, after a moment of shock (which makes me laugh at this point) were pretty supportive.

Sound has a profound and amazing effect on many things, not just me. 🙂

This section continues into something entirely interesting, which I want to call weaving tapestries of sound and light, but it isn’t really an exercise. There are exercises in the chapter to explore the world of sound in making song and working with the “song” of things. One exercise helps us to find the song of a plant. Jose Stevens worked with the Shipibo and their use of healing through song. This is where I draw the feeling of tapestries of sound and light.

“According to the Shipibo, everyone has a song, everyone can sing, and Spirit gives  everyone song upon request. All that matters is that you are willing to sing.”

~Page 166

You’ll need to pick up a copy for his full telling of the Shipibo’s use of song in mystical work, it’s fascinating stuff!

Though you may  not sing or use song in your work, you can use music to find altered states, to accompany your journey. There are albums created for healing, dream, and shamanic work (and more) that you can find to work with. These may or may not be healing songs, but they can provide stepping stones into the world of sound and singing.

(Dead Can Dance is one group of artists that can quickly take me into altered states and I often use them for meditation, sessions, and magickal work).

Personally I recommend finding a rattle, drum, or other hand held instrument that you can use at home. Try some rhythms, find what feels right. It shouldn’t be complex. State your intent and begin to make music with the intent as the meaning of the sound. When you are comfortable with that level of work, trying sining along. It may or may not have words that make sense, it doesn’t need to vocally make “sense”. In moments I’ve found that just singing the language that comes to me can be a powerful thing in cleansing the house, calling in helpful spirits, or vibrating the energy that we wish to bring into the space we are working in.

The later part of the chapter begins to focus on light. Not the light of the Sun, or color therapy, but the light of spirit, the white light, and the light of our spirits.

  • Working With Stones of Light
  • Working With Light
  • Exercise: Transfiguration
  • The Human Spirit
  • Maintaining A Spiritual State
  • A Journey To A Descendant

If you are reading along and you have or are working with the “Transfiguration” exercise I would love to hear about your experience(s). This process involves using the Light to shift, or transform parts of self, illness, or thoughts (for example) into lighter forms of being. Imagine shifting a stagnant form that you find within your journey work that is stuck in pain, in the past, or in the type of darkness that does not serve us.

We’re coming into the three final chapters of Awakening to the Spirit World, The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation. As I wind down I’m going to begin to incorporate more of the experiences and lessons from The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft, Christopher Penczak, to continue the work.  I hope that you will join me.

Until then, enjoy the Journey.

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

Want to support Lifencompass?
Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.

If you are just joining me in these posts you can catch up on the chapter-by-chapter book review of Awakening to the spirit world through these posts:

Chapter 6: Creative  Art as a Bridge

I blazed through this chapter! As an artist it had some creative ideas, and affirmations for my own practice; And as it is I’m now in a creative frenzy because of the upcoming show; and the dream circle (still forthcoming) it paired up nicely with everything that is happening in this moment.

I spent the better part of today painting and trying out the casting materials for the August Show. I’m in the creative space.

Chapter 6, Creative Art as a Bridge, illustrated by example how various tribal peoples use art and the shamanic practices of healing throughout time beginning with the caves of the Late Stone, which houses ancient works somewhere between 32,000 – 36,000  years old. Theory, reasoning, provoking depth, Sandra notes the history of art and shamanic practice.

It’s interesting.

We come to Art in SHamanic Healing (page 142), where the connection between art as a practical application of the path cast for us,

“There are many different ceremonies that can be done to restore power and, by  association, harmony within the client. The Ulcchi shamans in Siberia, for example, might work for a person who is ill or suffering from a loss of power in a way that incorporates shamanic art.

The Ulcchi shaman will journey into the spirit worlds on behalf of the client to find a power animal or helping spirit who is willing to come into relationship with the client to help restore the client’s personal power and proveide him or her with support and protection. Then the shaman will commission a carver in the village to make an image of the power animal – a bear for example. From the traditional perspective, shamanic art does not represent power. Rather, it is power. The carving of the bear becomes the vehicle, the embodiment, of the spiritual power of bear, so the next step is for the shaman to imbue the carving with that power. Then the carving will be placed by the shaman in the client’s home in order to serve as a literal and symbolic bridge between the person and the bear spirit. “

Personally I think that I find this true in most, if not all, of the work I do. I may be painting or crafting for someone in particular, or just for my own creative calling but the Spirit(s) connect, and imbue the work with the flavor and vibration of the creative evocation. I used to call this “Spirit Portraits” (thanks to Astrid!) and I honestly didn’t make the real connection to now. I’m not the only modern “city person” who crafts in this way! I keep thinking I need to dip into Urban Magick, but I have enough books on the shelf that are begging for attention…. Anyway.

You can see this channeling of spirit in dance, photography, sculpture and other mediums. Myself, I don’t think this connection and empowerment of spirit to the physical is limited to spiritual practices… but then again I don’t think “spiritual” is just spiritual practice as recognized by most. Spirit can come through in dance and it can be of any sort, expressing needed energies for those that are viewing. I think that you can see this with creatives like Johnny Raymond (Johnny 2.0) in his exploration of the boundaries of flesh, pain, emotion.

Artists are edge-walkers, skirting the world of the invisible, in touch with beings others experience in the craft of the creative.

Yeah… Ha. Well I did say I take a mystical approach to things. For myself I make sure what’s coming through is for healing or benefit and the rest is a matter of channeling or transcription.

Other topics in the is chapter were useful as well.

  • Working with craft in your practice.
  • Exercise for Crafting shamanic art.
  • Healing words in song and affirmation.
  • Blessing with words and walking in Truth.

This chapter by far has been my favorite. The practical application of the tools they offer rang and gonged my inner bells, most probably because I could use them right now.

Sandra Ingerman writes (page 149),

“The Navajo people have a saying, “May you walk in beauty.” Whenever there is someone from the Navajo nation at one of my lectures, he or she comes up to me and tells me about this term. It means that one can choose to speak words that are loving and that will be healing to others – words that create beauty.”

The chapter goes on. It’s a gem.

I’ve taken a small break from the work here at home and popped out to do some errands. As I write, I tingle. I’m thinking about the new work that’s pouring out and thinking, I will sing this beauty, this beauty will sing. I will sing this power, this power will sing. I will caress this work, this work will caress. Incanting the vibration of the creative, sensual, empowering words into the work.

It’s all in the book, Awakening to Shamanism, The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation.

See you next week.

********

A couple of notes here. You may have noticed that I’ve bumped the day that I post the chapter review. This was necessary as my schedule is changing throughout the month. Trying to make the Tuesday evening (personal) commitment was difficult when I began to journal the Tarot Journey in addition to the review.

I also have a show coming up in August. Details to come. At this point the entire operation is under wraps to build a sense of excitement. Tee hee. I’m glad the work I am doing pairs with that. 🙂 Think Priapus, healing, fertility, recovery


– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

Want to support Lifencompass?
Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.

Alright. I promised to post something that I was making for the book review but to be honest, I am waiting for the layers of the painting to dry and there are some other details that cannot be rushed. I will post the final dream circle painting as soon as she is ready, until then you will have to wait.

If you are just joining me in these posts you can catch up on the chapter-by-chapter book review of Awakening to the spirit world through these posts:

Chapter 6: Dreams

I can remember when the world of dreams and the waking world was a liminal space, blurred and connected between waking and rest. I can still remember many vivid dreams where I remained lucid in the dream world, then waking I would be looking for clues and items from the dream.

A common dream was about lizards and/or snakes. Keep in mind that I was a big animal buff when I was little and my great-grandfather had a wealth of literature at his house that kept me enthralled for hours. National Geographic, encyclopedic volumes about particular species, his library was extensive. It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to dream of them when I had been so influenced by the natural world early on.

In the dream of reptiles I was seeking and finding them. Could have been Blue Belly’s, or Garter Snakes, but I would be hunting and catching them, awake while I dreamed. I was certain that if I caught them while I was in the dreaming place I could wake up and have them. As soon as I put my hands on the little critters I would wake myself up and hope that I still had them. Of course I didn’t catch them but I didn’t know it at the time. If my mother had peeked into my room on those nights when I dreamed of reptiles she might have found me tearing apart my bedroom looking for the little scaly creatures, certain they had been transported between the realms in my hands, coat, and pockets.

The dreaming took me in many ways.

I can recall playing with friends, I must have been about seven, and suddenly realizing that we were in fact dreaming, “RIGHT NOW!” I would say. “Feel it! We’re dreaming!”

The sensation would come and go, but suddenly I could become eclipsed by the dream, while I was waking, I wanted desperately for everyone to wake up in it. Like I felt I was.

As time went on I became a very vivid dreamer. Naturally I was told that dreams were not real, that they were products of my mind, and that I shouldn’t take them so seriously. After a time, with the exception of night visions of flying, traveling to hidden worlds and other dimensions, and the horrific nightmare, I slowly began to wean away from the dream world… until my early teenage years, about the time I met my friend Kat, and that wasn’t without an event. 🙂

Kat and I spoke of dreams often. Where my dreams felt vivid, her’s were Technicolor fantasy’s and flights into the incredible butt (Kat correct me if I’m wrong) the real leaping off point for us was a shared dream.

During my teenage years I would dream of a little house. The house was usually in some far away place out in the country, stark on a plain. Sometimes I would find it in a neighborhood. The house at the end of a street. Other times the house appeared in the most random place and I would be drawn in through the door, unable to stop myself from entering.

An old woman lived in the house. Gray hair tucked up in a bun, draped in a slim, conservative, and usually dark button dress. It reminds me now of something worn around the turn of the century. The woman appeared kindly but once the door closed the dream became nightmare. The little two-story house would become an infinite mansion of rooms, many of them requiring puzzles solved or monsters fought or fled from.

One night within the first year of knowing Kat, I again met the house. This dream was particularly vivid and violent. The old woman went from a looming figure to a physically abusive tyrant. The dream was significant because Kat was with me in the house.

When I woke, showered and got out the door into the summer, I went to Kat’s house. She lived close and we spent almost every waking hour together, I had to tell her the dream because it seemed somehow significant. When I got to Kat’s house she was just waking. Bruised, beaten, sore, as I had dreamed.

Apparently, as WE had dreamed.

Yes it is true, we had shared the dream of the house and the old woman who lived there amid the doors, the rooms, the nightmare. .

Our friendship threaded with many shared dreams. As our amazement tempered as our experiences grew in many ways but these types of shared encounters, and dreams of things to come, would wind in and around our lives. The significance of the dream world, already heady with the fantasy became a new dimension of exploration. A dimension that in turn wove back paths of insight into our waking life.

Interesting how that happens.

So I’m reading the chapter on dreams in Awakening to Shamanism, and of course there is a gushing well of memory pulling up all sorts of things, like I’ve mentioned above, but a few things strike me from the chapter. I’m not here to spoil the fun of the book and so I don’t  want to give away too much. Anyway I read up to a statement about an ancient worldview: Waking or sleeping, we are dreaming in the same dream.

Basically what I found there in the book is repeating what I suspected when I was young. Yes, much like the child “me”, I wanted to say, “We’re dreaming RIGHT NOW!” to people around me. I want to vocalize the feeling because I’ve got that long forgotten awareness of being awake at a dreaming level. Dreaming at a wakened level.

There are also suggestions for the Shamanic path, ways to enter the dream, to dream lucid, to understand the meaning and messages of the dream we dream.

I took one of the suggestions and for two nights I dreamt the “healing dream”, which meant that I actually fell into a deep, deep sleep. I slept so soundly that I cannot remember the real healing dream!

The last exercise I wanted to try with the chapter review was the dream circle. A portal we make to enter the dream world, safely. I am still working on the portal, as I write this to you now the painting is soaking up some essential oil blends for safety, expanded awareness, sacredness, and restful sleep. There is even a bit of Selenite part of one of the two circles in the canvas!

I am going to have to ask you to wait for that piece. It’s going to take a bit more time to complete.

Until then…

I hope you will join me for the journey.


– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

Want to support lifencompass?
Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.

I’m as satisfied with this post as I can be. As my friend Andrew would say, “Just put on your Vogue costume and thats your costume for the night.”

Being that this is as good as it gets…

Turning the card.

mother_earth

Tarot of the Spirit (click image for link to site)

Another step on the journey. I pull a new card. I place it on the altar. I see the Mother of Earth, and the life force energy rises up from the soil, through her gold and green gown and cascades out of her crown in a floral fan. Reminds me of a vegas show girl. Stirs around the saying, “In perfect love and perfect trust.” Inside me is a feeling of fragrance.

Through the process I am attuned to each card as I meditate on the deck. In this card I experienced a growing fruition of doing through guidance and fulfillment in memory. She is earth, she is making, acting, sharing and giving. As I am. Advising, encouraging, empowering, others.

Today was that day. Arms around, hugs given in thanks, then smiles riding away on a bicycle from my house. I felt that I had really served my calling.

Last week I twittered about a phone call from a friend who knows me from my day office. The caller, my friend, said, “So I googled you after we talked about art… and I gotta ask, ‘what are you doing at that office?” He meant the Rowan.

It was a direct and poignant question and I really thought about it. I see a path over the last few years of slowly going within. Finding myself again, digesting what I have, creating (A Hidden Place) and then emerging once more. I ask myself, why did I do this? Why did I go this direction? In the end it was about what have I really discovered. What has been matured in me about my work, my life and my calling in this time and what can I now do with it for those around me.

In and out. Up and down. Back and forward. A rush and a push and a land.

I am journaling so I’m less about what I want to write and leaning heavily on what will come out of the writing.

I’ve been thinking about the past a lot. I guess it’s all part of the personal retrospective of where I was and where I am, querying where I could be. Measuring the distance, and the road I have traveled. I keep looking back at a few technicolor memories that have grabbed me when I’m just becoming conscious in the morning.

envisioningI’m brought back to something hidden, joyful and unspoken. I’m thinking in the morning, what ever happened to who I will call “Derek”. When I moved away from San Francisco, I lost all contact with him. By that point I was also well into another relationship as well and I think on my way to Manhattan.

(“Derek” if you are out there please feel free to fill in any blanks. :))

Anyway Derek was a friend of a roommate who would come up on the weekends from the East Bay. Cute, fun, kind, interesting, and nice to hang around.

Seemed that at some point -these were my party days- when we were all going out to the Stud or some other night club, that it just became to late for him to go home. Now my roommate and Derek came out with the gay boys to hit on the girls. True story. My roommate would often get saucy and sexed up. Out on a night with the boys he’d often end up with a “date”. Those were the days I suppose. 🙂

Weeks passed and I switch around my bedroom and one of the two couches ended up in my room, the fold out. I had the larger of the two rooms available. We all went out, as was the usual thing and long story short, Derek needed a place to stay that wasn’t on my roomies couch as he had found a “date for the night”.

I considered myself friends with Derek. We usually spent a lot of time talking and hanging out. I didn’t mind. That first night I think we stayed up until about 4 am, he on the pull out couch in my room and me in my bed. Chatting across the distance at each other in whispers.

I want to say that I was thinking we were being too loud or that the walls were too thin but at some point, after he was explaining in around about way why he left his fiance I said, “Derek. Wouldn’t this be easier if you were over here?”

Blanket’s rustled. The shadowed form of a man rose from the couch and climbed into my bed. It was that easy and I realized, I think, that in the back of my my mind I had been hoping for this. I’m not usually that forward or bold but in retrospect it was a nice move on my part. Ha.

Anyway, back then in my room on the Haight, above Phuket Thai, my heart was pounding. I didn’t know what I was doing -honestly- or why I suddenly had put myself out on a ledge to ask this friend into the covers next to me. To know me you would think, oh please, but then I guess we all have different views of our self, sometimes different from the way the world actually sees us. *Shrugs* That’s being human for you.

We were quiet. Conversation had stopped. In the silence I thought the pounding in my chest was  possibly louder than our earlier whispering. At the very least I thought my little drum was shaking the bed as we lay just inches apart. It was terror and joy all rolled together, waiting to kiss, touch, sweat and roll it out.

I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I’d never been with a guy before!

“Scott… can I have a massage?”

Well. *ahem* I am a healer you know…

At that moment I had this far away perspective, as if I was in bed with Derek and looking down at the same time. I can’t say how long we stayed up together. It was intimate, close, touching. Me wondering how far I should go, I mean this was supposed to be the guy who had been engaged to be married and came out to visit my roommate to meet new girls, yet here I was in bed with him.

I never rush but yes, I gave a massage.

In the morning Derek asked that I not mention our long night together to anyone. I think he feared that my roommate, his best friend, might have thought he was gay. I’m sure it was a terrible and exciting feeling. I kept my word with one exception, Emilia would know for certain but I was jumping up and down on the inside and I had to tell someone.

Weeks passed and we had episodes where people asked me what was going on. I was a coy as ever. Dodging remarks, laughing off questions, pretending to be totally unaware. Between those inquiries were nights, for instance, where he held my hand in the back of the car behind eyes, smiling at me, putting his arm around me. Closeness.

What struck me this morning was how completely blind I was. When I look back at me at that time I think, “oh you dork! NO wake up! LOOK!” Not to be critical. No, more like comic relief with several *hand to forehead* moments where I just shake my I head and wonder. Monday I woke early with the image of his face on the big screen of my mind… not for want, but for memory of love and all of these little lights went off in my head.

n the pre-dawn hours I lay staring up at the painting on the wall by the bed asking, what happened to Derek?

The living spark of him is inside me, a crackling flame that dances across my mind in wonder. Maybe I don’t really need to know what happened to him. Maybe it’s better that he lives on as he has in my mind gorgeous and loving.

And for me, like the Mother of Earth full of love, gratitude, abundance. I feel like these these moments that have passed, and those to come are the times when I am filled up again by the grace and curiosity of another. Heated by the strength of tension, set aflame by the friction between lives colliding. Gathering light in the empty places of self…

on every level love

…We become full. It is that place of fullness where I love to be, where I give best and so the memories serve me now. Supplying love in the day-to-day. Unlimited. Expansive. Unbound.

Remember, the only rules to love that we have are the ones we have arranged.

Scott K Smith
Lifencompass.org

Scott LifencompassCreate Your Badge

Buy your herbs and supplements online @ iHerb.com!
Green_SquareLIF882

“We all have a special responsibility to help create a better world, because material progress alone is clearly insufficient for a happier human society. No one loses, and everyone gains by a shared universal sense of responsibility to this planet and all living things on it.”

-His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Support Lifencompass

Advertisers

Llewellyn - New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit - www.llewellyn.com


Get up to 90% off Eco, Vegan, Fair-Trade, Organic, Handmade, Cruelty Free, Sustainable products at Pure Citizen.

Archives

I heart FeedBurner

Lifencompass

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

iHerb.com

Green_SquareLIF882

Lifencompass @ Facbook

Networked Blogs

Scott

Copyright

The written materials and pictures within the Lifencompass website are presented without copyright and are the property of Scott K Smith / Lifencompass.com. While no copyright is asserted for my written materials or pictures, you must respect the copyrights on commercial materials which may, on occasion, be used here by permission. You are encouraged to reuse the articles and images created by Scott K Smith in written materials, in web sites, teaching guides, and other publications that are FREE to the general public, but I would like to be notified for my records.

Works, books, articles, magazines, etc that charge a fee, subscription or otherwise receive money from the use or publication in any form of my work, need to contact me and do not have permission to repost or reuse any body of my work in any way shape or form, without express written permission from me, Scott K Smith. To preserve the integrity of the information, "The Journey", and my work, I ask that the content not be altered. I ask that Scott K Smith / Lifencompass.com be credited.

The stories and images at Lifencompass websites may not be used to imply official endorsement of anyone without express written consent from me, the author, Scott K Smith