The Body as the Shaman’s Teacher
(The Shamanic Practice of BodyKnowing)
Led by Carol Proudfoot-Edgar
Assisted by Susan Gilliland and Pirkko Miller
August 10 12, 2007
Those of us practicing shamanism enlist help from various Power Animals and Teachers and use a variety of tools. Employed together, these are sources of knowledge, wisdom, and healing powers.
Our ultimate tool, however, is our own being, our own body capable of gathering, storing, and directing energy. The body is also a great and very wise Teacher and a most magical source of the physical ‘knowing’ that we associate with our Power Animals. In whatever realm we contact our Power Animals, we see in Them a way of being in which movement and sound are so aligned that the subtle energies become intense transformers of experiences.
I am calling this shamanic practice “BodyKnowing.” It is not a technique although some techniques may be employed as one learns BodyKnowing. I call it a practice of shamanism because it can become a way of doing shamanism a way that is used when the shamanic practitioner is fully engaged in special work, e.g., healing -- or is simply seeking to expand the ability to engage with the world from a consciously spiritual approach.
BodyKnowing recognizes that our source for knowing how to proceed with shamanic awareness comes through our body: our hands, ears, eyes, nose, tongue, skin, and even our body touching the body of Earth.
There is kinship between this practice and that of walking the Medicine Wheel for BodyKnowing teachings how we are the Seven Directions: each direction has an internal home in our bodies with associated animals, colors, seasons and wisdom. When we are fully balanced in the Wheel of our Being, then we are Turning Stars. We become the Walking Stars that humans are so named in the ancient stories and by our ancestors.
This weekend will focus on how our body is this shamanic instrument of exploration, of gathering and dispensing power. Some few examples to illustrate our focus:
Breath: Some elder shamans say that to gain the power of another being, to be able to access that power, one must learn to “breathe” in the same rhythm. What is it like to breathe like a stone, tree, bird, turtle, bear….or any other being?
Hands: “My hands are sacred paws” says the BearShaman. How do our hands become such incredible vehicles for the flow of power. How do we gather the power of our hands?
Eyes and Ears: How do I increase my vision, my ability to ‘see and seer’ in the middle world. Likewise how do I learn to see with my ears? One African healer says: “I have eyes all over my body; I am covered with eyes and ears.”
Belly: why is this called the ‘seat of wisdom’ or the place where the stories come from (Hopi); the place where the Ancestors lodge when they visit (Bantu), etc.
All parts of our bodies, including our organs, make their singular contribution in our ability to transmute the power that comes from other realms. After our time together this weekend, we will be able to bring BodyKnowing into our shamanic practice and our lives.
Place of workshop: We are meeting in a beautiful retreat center with a spacious meeting room that is surrounded by lovely woods. We located this place after the last workshop in Philadelphia as we were looking for a retreat center that could meet our needs for nature, cabins, and a good meeting space in which to do our work.
Registering: Please contact Veronica Lamb regarding registration including fees, lodging, and other relevant information. I encourage those of you interested to register as soon as possible as space will be limited.
Contact: Veronica Lamb: firstname.lastname@example.org