The Sounds of the Shaman
An Article, Meditative Practice, & description of our Sacred Sounds Retreat
~~Zacciah Blackburn, PhD
From Our Director:
The Sounds of the Shaman
People have asked me for years to offer more traditional shamanic practices through my sound healing programs. The reality is, my work is very shamanic in nature, and based in the rich tapestry and history of the use of shamanic sound in cultures from Cherokee and Ojibwe nations of the Americas (cultures I carry genetic and spiritual lineages of,) to the Tibetan Bon and Buddhist, Hindu mystical and Egyptian Mysteries I am initiated in, and birthed from.
Sound is every where and in every thing. And, when we learn to listen to, and attune to, the vibrational essence, and information carried in all Living Things, as well as the VOICES OF THE OTHER WORLDS, we have an extraordinary opportunity to work with sound from a highly refined and other worldly perspective.
How do they speak, how do we listen, and learn?
From a place of deep listening, and noticing how we perceive information from the subtle worlds, and developing relationship with those living entities (holy beings, guides, allies, teachers,) we come into deeper direct communion with them. Paying attention is part of the process, to allow the Medicines to unfold. Yet, there are specific methodologies we shall incorporate, as to how to access and gain direct communion with those in the SpiritWorlds.
There are, also, specific methods of learning how to view into the subtle body, and work energetically with others in shamanic/sound practices (therapeutic in nature.)
And, there are numerous ways to tap into the Living Energies of the Earth, create alliances with these energies, and the Elemental, Ancestral and other living consciousnesses of those energies (and realms, or worlds,) present, in every place, every room, every Earth Sanctuary we visit or live in, to incorporate in our lives, practices, and healing ceremonies for our selves and others, not to mention for the Earth Herself.
We are in a time of profound transformation, and in this special first of its kind retreat, we shall engage in real healing ceremonies for our selves, the Earth, and each other during this very special 5 day program.
In this retreat, we shall take the highlights of my Sound Healers and other trainings, and incorporate & encapsulate elements of how to work with voice and instruments, energy of the human subtle field, and the subtle realms of the Greater Realities (or, Other Worlds,) around and within us. How to develop allies and personal power, and resolve or dissolve the encumbrances we, or others carry, which debilitate most of our lives.
Why do so many focus on the shadow side, when that is not what we wish to create? We cannot ignore the shadows we carry, but it is far more important to realize who we truly are, where our power truly lies, and who are our greatest allies and resources for healing, living, and thriving, upon this bounteous Earth.
We shall peer into, work with, and come to understandings of both principals and processes of healing.
This is all part of what I offer in my greater 1, 2, and 3 year trainings in Sound. Many do not understand how much of the shamanic perspective I bring into this work. That is partly because of misunderstanding of the true nature of Shamanism, partly because of how I choose to language my work.
What I do is, and has always been, based more in traditional Shamanism (world traditions,) rather than what many have come to view shamanism to be in our contemporary society, where many of us have a very limited perspective of its true and authentic nature, and ability. It is fundamentally to make us whole, to discover who we truly are, not who or what we have been led to believe. By peering into the Other World realities, we gain direct observation of our true and authentic nature. This empowers us, enlightens us, enlivens us, and we come away feeling whole and complete; healed.
So, perhaps we will start here. What is shamanism; where does our power reside; how do we access it, define it, and utilize it; how do we heal ourselves and others; how is the Earth involved; and what can we each do to assist in this powerful transformation of Human and Earthly consciousness which is transpiring today.
What does he mean by the Living Earth, Living Energies, or 'Consciousnesses of Other Worlds?' Do you realize these are alive, (everything,) and accessible as allies, as true living entities?
We have not been taught these principals well in the modern era. We shall explore these directly, to empower our own path with direct communication, direct communion, direct communication, direct realization.
We will be in the luscious 95 Acres of the SpiritFire Retreat Center in Leyden MA, with the option to live in or commute to the practice. Some work will be in doors, some outdoors.
It will incorporate traditional fire ceremony.
Everyone who comes will likely find this experience more than they anticipated, more than they possibly even imagined. The majority of participants in this work, previously, report just that. Even those who have come for years. (One participant, who is an advanced student, with over 8 years of practice, states the ceremony in the Stone Chamber was the most profound she has ever experienced, even moreso than our practices in ancient sites of UK, such as, Stonehenge, or in Egypt, and Peru.)
We look forwarfd to seeing you.
Scroll down to see our accompanying meditative practice.
I offer this with much love and grace.
A Meditative Practice
This practice is incorporated in one of our articles, The Solar Principle. However, I am including it here, for those of you who did not see it.
I do this in large part, because the Sun is revered in equal part to the Earth as home and Creator to our reality on this plane of existence. In many indigenous cultures, the Sun is representational of the Masculine aspects of Creation, as well as the elemental nature of Fire. It is often reverently spoken to as "Grandfather," just as the Moon is spoken to as "Grandmother," and the Earth is spoken to as Mother.
Utilizing the princioples of FIre and Light bring guidance, warmth and nurturing, wisdom, and illumination, as well as the intensely transformative property of Fire and Electricity.
In this practice, follow the instructions, however, this time, use soft humming sounds as you tune into and 'entrain' to the principles of Light and Fire as you bathe in the Sun's ecstasy. Use stronger sounds as you move into the advanced part of the practice, using the Sun's Electric Activating principle for insight and healing.
Recommended allotment: 10-20 minutes, though the benefit of this practice can be derived in shorter and longer durations.
Lightening of the Sun.
Come to a restful, upright posture. If you are indoors, it is preferable to be near or in direct sunlight, such as by a window. If outdoors, also, it is preferable to be in or near direct sunlight. This is not mandatory to use this practice. You can do it anywhere, at any time, in daylight, other light, in the dark, or beneath a night sky. In these latter cases, you will simply need to use your power of awareness and imagination to create the affect of the Sun. But, this is easy to do, as any of us have used our imagination many times, and perceived an affect by so doing.
Come to a restful posture, sitting upright. It is fine to lean back against a tree, or in a chair or sofa, etc. Feel, or imagine the sun above you. Imagine if you can, that it is directly overhead.
If it were actually at an angle, cascading onto your back or neck, take a few moments, or minutes, first, to feel it as it is in this present experience. Allow yourself to relax into and ‘entrain’ to that feeling experience for a while, feeling the sun as it actually is at this moment in time. If it is dark or cloudy, again, simply use your imagination. Then slowly, migrate your awareness to the crown, at the top of the head, and imagine the sun is directly overhead, and the sunlight is cascading directly down upon your head, through the crown center, at the top of your head, and cascading down into your body.
Let your awareness migrate for a little while, up to the sun, back down through the crown, and down into your body, following the sunlight down, wherever you feel, or imagine, its warmth and light wishes to wander. Allow some part of your body to become a primary receptacle of that light and warmth. And, over the next few minutes, begin to focus more and more of your awareness in this region of the body, feeling the accumulation of light and warmth from the sun. Some part of your awareness is always focused upon the sun as the source point for this light and warmth.
At some point, let some part of your awareness move down into the Earth below you, through your pelvis, tailbone, root center, and/or bottoms of your feet, directly into the Earth, or through the floor, as if you were resting directly upon the Earth. Simply, allow, for some time, some part of your awareness to move down, to connect, to some degree, to the Earth below, then bring your awareness back up to this ‘gathering vessel’ in your body. Continue to gather feeling and energy here for some period of time.
Then, slowly, migrate your awareness back up to the sun, and down again.
As you do so, this time, imagine the sun is cascading out, in arcs around you, as if the sunlight is forming a dome, much like a domed cathedral. You are sitting in the middle of this dome. The sun is at its zenith, its highest point, directly over you. And, the light of the sun is cascading out in arches around you, creating the form of the dome, as well as continuing to cascade down directly into your body, through the crown, into this region of the body we are calling your gathering vessel.
Rest here, as long as you wish to, in this arced dome of Pure Light and Warmth. Focus primarily upon the Receptacle in your body, simultaneously, with the Sun as the Source of Light above you, within this Arc. Allow yourself to experience, through the feeling states, any intuitive awareness which arises. You might notice, for instance, the charging, warming, illuminating, or transformative nature and power of the Sun, and, its Light, or, Fire. What do you perceive? Does joy or some other quality arise? Allow your self to perceive it, and drink it fully into this gathering region of the body.
Rest in this.
You can end the practice here.
If you wish to continue to a more advanced stage of the practice, continue reading.
This practice may germinate awareness of intuitive insight which arises, including a more ‘indigenous’ understanding of the Living Energies and Consciousness of the Sun, Our Body, and The Earth. In indigenous wisdom, this correlates to the “Three Worlds” of Creation, becoming a vessel, an axis between the three is a conduit for great experiential learning and understanding.
Rest in this arced conduit, or column of Living Light, for some time.
For some of us, this practice may bring up any combination of intuitive wisdom, vision and insight, direct revelational states from the celestial realms, or some deeper aspects of our own inner consciousness waiting to be healed. Either way, the remainder of the practice can be of great benefit, utilizing the Intelligent Wisdom and Activating/Electric Principles of the Sun.
While resting, allow your awareness to, more and more, simultaneously focus upon the Receptacle in your body, with the Sun as the Source of Light above you.
Allow your awareness to germinate a distinct difference, or distance, between your Receptacle and the Sun. What are you perceiving in each focal point? And, in the distance between them? Allow your intuitive wisdom, perception, and insight to notice your subtle impressions of consciousness through the feeling states of the practice. Do not get too engaged in a cognitive or analytical process, just notice what you perceive.
Again, rest in this awhile.
As you do this, at some point, bring up a point of insight, a question in which you wish greater clarity, or something which has arisen during the process that you would like to heal. Perhaps an unresolved emotional situation has come up, a past or current relationship issue, or an insight into self-awareness, or motivations behind your actions, either that are encouraging or disappointing you in your life journey. Perhaps there is some part of your life you have been trying to change, or something you have been wanting to more fully realize, awaken, or create.
Allow some point of awareness to arise, such as these, that you can form a direct question from, or inquiry into, for healing, transformation, or greater wisdom and insight.
Allow this ‘inquiry’ to form in the region of your heart, in your solar plexus, or in the ‘gathering vessel’ you have been utilizing. If there is another chakra, or energy center, of your body, in which this ‘inquiry’ wishes to form, simply allow it to focalize it there.
Focus upon the question, with the ‘distance’ or ‘difference’ between the Gathering Vessel and the Sun becoming more and more prominent.
NOW, in the next moment, allow an arc of the Sun to pass into the space in which you are holding this inquiry, and ILLUMINE or TRANSFORM it.
Do this last aspect of the practice several times, until you feel resolution within it. If you do not ‘experience’ the Arc, allow yourself time to try it several more times over the next few days or weeks. Do not be discouraged, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of perceiving this.
Once you feel complete in the practice, rest your awareness in that region you were ‘holding’ this ‘inquiry,’ and allow yourself to continue to bathe in the dynamic illuminative and transformative properties of the Sun.
We pray this practice serves to the highest benefit, and that you may use it in service to your own evolution, and that of All Life.