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Shamanism and Psychotherapy: Reclaiming Self After Trauma

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  • Brave New Dawn
    When I read this I felt confident that you d find it interesting too, for shamanism is the essence of our earliest ancestors explorations of Infinity and how
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2013
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      When I read this I felt confident that you'd find it interesting too, for
      shamanism is the essence of our earliest ancestors' explorations of
      Infinity and how such conjugates with Nature in our everyday lives. Such
      practices are innate to our longing for limitlessness, something resonating
      at the core your being. You can find this article, and more
      *HERE*<http://bit.ly/XtnSup>.


      *Mystical Sadhu*

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      http://TantraPsychology.org/ <http://tantrapsychology.org/>

      *Mysticism is a never-ending endeavour to conjugate the intersection of the
      finite with the Infinite.*

      Helping you "*Say It With Panache!*"

      *Because, how you say it can be, and often is,
      as important as what you want to convey,
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      very important to you.
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      Shamanism and Psychotherapy: Reclaiming Self After Trauma<http://bit.ly/XtnSup>

      Shamanism involves practices explored by earliest humans that, through
      trial and error, and acknowledging and utilizing subtler realms of our
      being along with characteristics evident in Nature, have evolved and
      attained lasting presence well into modern times. Of such shamanic
      practices, Tantra is the oldest extant and *most developed shamanic
      practice extant
      today*<http://tantrapsychology.blogspot.com/p/shamanic-intuitional-training-both.html>
      .

      This article derives from the ideas discussed in Sandra Ingerman�s book *Soul
      Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self*. Ingerman discusses the techniques
      shamans use to retrieve parts of a person which seem to have left them in
      consequence to a traumatic situation. These situations can range from
      anything which some would consider insignificant like the loss of a toy as
      a child to sexual and physical abuse.


      �For shamans the world over, illness has always been seen as a
      spiritual predicament.� They say that because of some crisis, the essence
      or vital part of our life-source separates from our consciousness in order
      to survive the experience and the full impact of the pain. We see this
      clearly happening in cases of abuse. This does not differ from some of the
      views therapists take about a particular situation. John Bradshaw in
      particular says that �in incest parts of the vital self will split off to
      lessen the impact because the pain and humiliation are unbearable.

      Shamans and psychotherapists both deal with the reintegration of these
      split-off parts. What makes the shaman different from the therapist is
      that the shaman does not put the loss in the realm of the unconscious or
      blocked out memories. The shaman sees the other parts living or existing
      in another separate reality. He is a messenger, a communicator, and
      retriever between those parts and the main body of consciousness. When a
      part of the soul is lost, a vital essence of one�s being is gone. One may
      feel depressed, lonely, bored or anxiety-ridden and not know why. This
      lost part is what some people tend to look for in relationships,
      addictions, or even religious organizations. There is false idea that
      these things are going to make them feel more alive.

      Ingerman says �anybody whose spirit is completely at home in their body
      will find a deep feeling of peace and comfort in themselves and all other
      relationships will come from that security. Joseph Campbell said: �People
      say that what we are seeking is the meaning for life� I think that what
      we�re seeking is the experience of being alive.�

      While most therapists are there for their clients to help catalyze the
      inner process, a shaman actually takes the journey for the client. Both
      ways appear to be valid but a shaman may be called for by those people who
      cannot access their memories or by some who feel that they couldn�t deal
      with them if they did.

      Another difference between a therapist and a shaman is that a shaman
      enters a non-ordinary reality in order to connect with the lost parts of
      the client. In this state normal logic is suspended and a shaman must
      depend on his or her inner visions and feelings. A shaman does this with
      the beat of the drum. It is said that the shaman rides the beat of the
      drum to the underworld. In more practical terms, it has been documented
      that a steady beat can shift a person�s brain waves into alpha state.

      The shaman, on his journey, somehow accesses the unconsciousness of the
      client and tunes into particular situations that have occurred in their
      life that have caused a split. When a particular part of the client can be
      seen or visualized, the shaman talks to that part and coaxes it back to
      ordinary reality and then blows this part back into the client. Most
      people feel a greater sense of well-being after this process.

      �It is not technology that will save the world, it is intuition.� 6
      The explanation, at least in my understanding, of why this works is that
      human beings have the power of imagination. This imagination according to
      Jungian analysis is not necessarily a private affair isolated to a
      particular individual. It is rather like a bucket that is dipped into the
      over-flowing river of thought potentialities. By tuning into this flow we
      can connect with the collective unconscious of mankind that manifests in
      individuals as particular thought- forms. These thought-forms are real
      things.

      Essentially soul loss is that part of the psyche that remains fixed in
      time within ourselves. Some trauma or crisis has not allowed continuous
      integration of self in the flux of ongoing emotional perceptions. Some
      piece has therefore remained outside of time stuck in a moment of personal
      history. Who can say if these parts do actually then take form and exist
      in some independent world that only a shaman or individual on an inner
      journey can reach and help integrate?

      On this journey when a part of the soul is discovered existing in a
      separate world, it must be honored as a piece of the person that did what
      it could to survive. When this is acknowledged, this part must be assured
      that it is safe to return and give up its hiding. Sometimes feelings that
      have been repressed must be expressed, like hate, anger, grief, etc. in
      order for integration to occur.

      Some of the key factors in doing this journeying work is that the
      shaman must have a �strong inner intention� that will lead them directly to
      the experience they will need on behalf of their client. �Trust� is another
      key. The mind creates doubt but the spirit overrides them because it is
      connected to something greater than the mind. The shaman must trust that
      the visions coming to him are true and he must go into them and act on
      them. A shaman�s power comes from the willingness to intervene on a
      client�s behalf. Ingerman says that �after the journey I pull these
      pieces of the person to my heart; then kneel next to the client and blow
      the soul parts into the body and shake a rattle around them and seal them
      up.� According to Ingerman, remarkable changes take place in the
      individual.

      While reading this book I sensed in myself where parts of my soul have
      been left behind. I did a little journeying on my own back to some moments
      of my life and saw particular pieces that had remained behind because of
      some unfinished business or emotions that I was afraid to express.

      At the age of 18, I saw how after high school graduation I didn�t know
      what to do or where to go. A part of myself wished I had never left high
      school. I felt as if there was a part that was there on Long Island trying
      to keep an old pattern going. By talking to this part and saying it is
      okay to release the past and grow up, I felt that I had reintegrated
      something; however, I found this brought up an earlier experience.

      At age 8, I felt I was ripped away from everything I ever knew and
      cared about. What happened was simply my family moved from the city to the
      suburbs. The only world I had ever known was replaced by something totally
      unfamiliar with people I didn�t know or care to know. I missed my old
      friends. I, at that point, sent a part of my mind back to the old
      neighborhood to keep on living there and to imagine what like would be like
      if I had never moved. A part of me still wonders what things would have
      been like had I stayed in the city. I know that full integration has not
      occurred because of this wondering.

      Soul integration is complete when one feels at peace with the past.
      When there is no longer any pent up emotion about a particular situation
      and when one can get on with being in the here and now.

      The most remarkable journeying I did was to a time when I was ten
      months old and my mother took me to the barber. I saw that this was
      extremely young for a child�s first haircut, but I also saw how my mother
      wanted a well-groomed clean looking child. This reminds me of Robert Bly�s
      comment of how a child comes into the world with all the wildness and power
      of the universe and all the parents can say is �be a nice boy.�

      In my vision this child was strapped to the chair while a vital and
      precious part was removed. I felt the anger and frustration of that being,
      and I let him know that it was right to express such rage.

      The next morning I woke up with an aching jaw and needed to express
      more anger to finally get in touch with resentment I felt towards my mother
      for neglecting the feelings of my child-self. I assured this child that I
      will never again neglect or ignore his feelings. When this was
      acknowledged a greater sense of peace came over me.

      * * * * * *

      How do we prevent soul loss especially when we are faced with
      situations that are painful and sometimes mean growth and change? One way
      that most cultures, excluding Western societies, know is through the use of
      ritual and ceremony. This allows a period of time to exist as a bridge
      from the old to the new. A time and space is created that allows us
      contemplate where we have been and look forward to where we are going.
      Respecting the process of the individual ensures that the ceremonies are
      more effective. Helping someone let go when they are ready, instead of
      insisting upon change is key to a healthier society.

      Mourning is also a way to connect with loss of innocence. It is a way
      to let all emotions of a particular trauma be felt and experienced. In
      this act of mourning, we do not leave a piece of our self behind to remain
      in �what-if� territory of the mind, but through an intensity of emotion,
      become a more feeling, deeper, whole person who knows the value of himself.


      Perhaps only a poet could have insight to express how to hold onto
      oneself in moments of crises and turmoil and present the lost of our soul.

      Rainer Maria Rilke says:
      *�The more still, more patient and more open we are when we are
      sad, so much the better do we make it ours, so much the more will it be in
      our destiny . . .that which we call destiny goes forth from within people
      not from without into them. Only because so many have not absorbed their
      destinies and transmuted them within themselves while they were living in
      them, have they not recognized what has gone forth out of them.� *

      This article originally appeared at New
      Realities<http://www.newrealities.com/index.php/articles-on-shamanism/item/153-shamanism-and-psychotherapy-by-alan-steinfeld>
      *Do the mysteries of and about shamanism, meditation, tantra, yoga,
      mindfulness, intuition, and consciousness seem, at times, to be more
      confusing than you can grasp?*

      http://bit.ly/MysticalPresentations3
      Instructor in tantra psychology, presenting rational articulation of
      intuitional science with cogent practical exercises bringing greater
      personal awareness and cultivation of subtler realms, imbuing new and
      meaningful talents into participants' lives. Explore further bringing such
      capabilities into your realm <http://bit.ly/m12zDZ>, both personal and at
      work.


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