Saturday, May 8, 2010

Shamanism Books and Earth Based Spirituality

When a person begins seeking answers to life's many mysteries, they sometimes end up on a spiritual journey. Some are drawn to study eastern religions. Others learn about angels, ascended masters, and connecting with other beings of light. And some are drawn to the native traditions known as Shamanism or earth based spirituality.

Are you drawn to books and practices related to Shamanism and Earth Based Spirituality?

There are as many shamanic paths as there are native traditions from around the globe. Shaman means "one who sees in the dark," meaning they are aware of, and can navigate, in the unseen world. I'm talking about what exists beyond the 5 senses. You can learn more about that in my article about shamanism and earth based spirituality.

Many people became aware of the Toltec tradition as a spiritual path through the writings of  Carlos Castaneda and other authors writing about a Toltec teacher from Mexico known as Don Juan.

I studied the Castaneda stuff for awhile. Met several people who had once lived in Mexico and been part of that teaching. I even met a guy who was rumored to be the actual Don Juan. I did a weekend workshop with a Toltec woman living in California. Although interesting, I found the whole Castaneda/Don Juan path of shamanism a very difficult one. It often called for very arduous physical and mental practices. Recapitulation can take years. But the bottom line for me was that all the people I met who followed that path were tense, serious, fairly unhappy people.

More recently, Miguel Ruiz introduced an even larger audience to the Toltec Path. His Four Agreements are widely studied and practiced and seem to contain none of the rigorous disciplines of the Castaneda era. One of my best friends is studying it with her Husband. A nice choice for learning how to love, play, and work with others.
The Four Agreements Toltec Wisdom Collection: 3-Book Boxed Set

If you like the earth based spiritual approach, my absolute favorite book is Shaman, Healer, Sage by Alberto Villoldo. He has several other very good books.
Shaman, Healer, Sage: How to Heal Yourself and Others with the Energy Medicine of the Americas

I'm really into spiritual adventure novels. I like them because they tell an interesting story and you get to learn about spiritual practices and techniques at the same time.

If you like the feel of being in the Andies with the shaman or "medicine" people there, a great story is The Brotherhood of the Magi by Jessie Ayani.
The Brotherhood of the Magi

The Warrior series by Dan Millman is also very thought provoking and fun.
Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives

Hank Wesselman's series is very fascinating. It forces you to contemplate a few things you might not even consider otherwise. I've met all of these authors at one time or another. Hank is in my friends list on Facebook if you want to check out more about him.
Spiritwalker: Messages from the Future

If you want to learn about Soul Retrieval, Sandra Ingerman's book is very good. She has taught people the world over. I attended one of her workshops while living in Santa Fe. I almost laughed out loud when she started talking about the ways various shaman enter the other worlds for healing. One way is by imagining going down into water. I've been leading people in guided meditations for over 15 years and I often tell them to imagine going down into water. I didn't know until her class that what I had been doing all these years could be officially called a shamanic journey. As with most of the techniques I teach, I was just using the words and imagery that came to me while in meditation and prayer.
Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self

The processes in my ebook, Freeway to Freedom, can be used in place of recapitulation (Toltec) and/or soul retrieval (various shamanic traditions). They are significantly easier, faster, and don't require nearly the hardship that the shamanic path sometimes entails.

There are numerous other books on Shamanism and Earth Based Spirituality. These are just a few that I've read over the years.

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