Inflicting spiritual dis-ease

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I took the day off yesterday from blogging to recover from an incredible Shamanic workshop weekend. As background, I started my training with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies founded by Michael Harner. Core shamanism according to the Foundation, “…consists of the universal, near universal, and common features of shamanism, together with journeys to other worlds, a distinguishing feature of shamanism…Training in core shamanism includes teaching students to alter their consciousness through classic shamanic non-drug techniques such as sonic driving, especially in the form of repetitive drumming, so that they can discover their own hidden spiritual resources, transform their lives, and learn how to help others.”
The particular workshop I attended was titled “Shamanic Extraction Healing Training” and is described by the Foundation as:
“Participants are initiated into the extraction method of healing, including how to see, sense, and remove localized illness and pain connected to spiritual factors. This is an important part of shamanic healing training…The Extraction Healing Training workshop is designed exclusively for people who want to bring shamanic healing work into their practice with others…”
Now that I have provided the backdrop, let me relay what I learned over the weekend. To start, any time you get a group of students (or any group for that matter) together, there are some stereotypes. The person that asks a million questions, the person that brings in things that seem completely irrelevant, the person that is chronically late, etc. All of these were present in my group, and I found myself silently grumbling about them or non-visibly eye-rolling. Well come to find out, this could be what causes people to have spiritual intrusions that need extracting. When we have ill thoughts, nasty words, or actual physical abuse, we can spiritually abuse another person as well. The result of the spiritual abuse is what we were learning to sense, find, remove and heal. Now this doesn’t mean you can never get angry, jealous, etc, but what it DOES mean is that how you act when those emotions, words or physicality arise can have a spiritual impact (besides the obvious mental or bodily impact) on others. Here is an example:
Let’s take my perpetual question-asker from my workshop. I can roll my eyes, sigh, and think, “Why does she get so hung up on the specifics? Why can’t she just SHUT UP! She is impacting my experience of the workshop.” OR I could think, “’She has a very inquisitive mind, I wonder what led to that? Perhaps I could benefit from the answers she is receiving. Maybe I need to practice more patience.” Which one do you think would impact her spirit negatively, possibly leaving signs of dis-ease? Or possibly impact me the same way?
When I reflected on the thoughts I had about my fellow students, I realized I could have caused some spiritual dis-ease. Luckily we spent the weekend helping each other remove signs of dis-ease and healing each other. But it really got me thinking more about how my thoughts and actions manifest themselves and what I could choose to do to prevent spreading any dis-ease. And how wonderful it would be if we could all pause before expressing ourselves negatively to another and act more with empathy and spiritual nourishment (I am an eternal optimist).
I challenge you to become more aware of your thoughts, words and deeds. Carefully consider your reaction, choose wisely, and I believe you will be amazed at the results.

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