Creating Like A Spider

Wenjun Zhu from Pexels

I took a shamanic journey the other day, seeking guidance on how to move forward in my soul’s work. I have been sharing visions and wisdom, images and messages from my shamanic journeys and dreams for several years. Now, I long to weave my experiences of the Unseen World into group discussions and classes, collected stories and books.
Before the journey, I asked for a guide to show me how to bring mystery and mysticism into substance and form. As the drumming began, I stepped through into a meadow lined with trees, which is one of my favorite places for lessons from nature beings. There I found Grandmother Spider waiting for me. 

Weaving a web is not a matter of taking threads that already exist and interlacing them. The intricate patterns that you love, emerge only after you have done the initial work of making the anchor strands that form the basis for the rest.

When you begin to create a web, you must form an original silk thread allowing its substance to emerge from your deepest being. You are creating with the strength of your heart and soul, and entrusting your life to this one filament . It holds you suspended as you continue to add to its length. There is no option to start a different strand, you are committed to this emerging.

You may spin a great deal of silk before anything happens. It is just you and the spinning process. Then, without warning, a breeze or the breath of Spirit comes along and carries you to an anchor point. When it connects, you release what you have created and return to a higher position again to start forming the next silken thread.

As you dangle mid-air from this new strand, you have no idea whether it will attach somewhere near the first or in a different direction. Enjoy the sensation of freedom as you swing in the breeze. You have no control of time or space. Eventually, you will touch the ground, a plant will offer an attachment spot or you will decide to go back up and begin again from another starting point.

From time to time, an animal or strong wind with come through and take apart all that you have created. Let it go, there is no hurry. Use patience and determination, resilience and calm as your guides.

Remember that you are not alone. All of the elements of nature surround you. Enjoy the sunshine and shadow. Release all fear and float in the breeze. This makes the work easier and more fun. The time will come when you will have enough anchor silks developed that you can begin weaving the more intricate portions of the web. But for now, creativity and grace are your tethers. Enjoy

Grandmother Spider

I was smiling as I reentered the ordinary world, coming back to my home and my chair. I am grateful that wise teachers appear when I hold a question. I like the surprise of seeing what form each will take, and how they will lead me from what I think I know to an insight that reveals the next step along my path. 

This process is open to all of us. I use a recording of shamanic drumming to help me make the transition. You may find that forming your question, and then quieting your mind opens the doorway to the Unseen through your imagination. The key is to open to the wisdom beyond the conditioned mind and separate sense of ego. Experiment with asking for loving guides and teachers to show you what you are seeking. Let me know what you find.

Peace and Joy,
Nancy

Beacon/Beckoning Circle

Approaching 2022, the word that ripples through me is “imperative.” It has an energy that propels me forward, insisting that I not hide behind excuses or wait to find the perfect form for my work before I share it.

The time has come in this evolutionary cycle of our species to share my highest and best offerings for the healing and transformation of humankind. I cannot wait for things to quiet down or the whole picture to come into focus. I must take my place in the Beacon/Beckoning Circle and allow whatever wants to be expressed through me to take tangible form.

The Beacon/Beckoning Circle is an image from a shamanic journey on Winter Solstice, Dec. 21, 2021.  I had receive it a few weeks before, but within the drumming circle ceremony, it took on a more vivid form.

My notes after the journey:

We are standing in a circle facing outward. All of our drums and rattles, bells and flutes, voices and instruments are helping to tune the Being of Humanity; to raise the vibration of all. This is part of the evolutionary unfolding of humankind in harmony with Gaia.
My guide tells me,
You are standing shoulder to shoulder, each a bearer of what your degrees of arch from this circle are pouring through from the Cosmic Soul. All are vibrant and all are equal. The streams of light from you overlap, echo those around you, amplify each others gifts, and add the unique quality of sacred energy flowing through your individual expression of life.

As you continue this harmony, this way of uniting your energies and openness to sacred flow, each of your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters will find their place among you. All will come to stand shoulder to shoulder, your light shining outward through all the Web of Life.

I have not been writing this past few months because I have been learning from a wide range of paths and practices about how to connect with the Unseen World. I had been hoping that some synthesis would emerge, but now I see that each is a portal or window into deeper reality and wisdom. I have been learning the value of each, not so I can somehow weave them together in my life practice, but so I can see that there are pathways of access to the Unseen Mystery, the True Reality for everyone.

I don’t know what I will share with you or in what order. I do commit myself to sharing whatever wants to be expressed on a regular basis. I will shine my own arch of light outward and hope that it will resonate with something within you to strengthen and encourage the way you share your light.

I love the thought of all of us standing shoulder to shoulder as we each find our way to respond to the imperative to nourish wholeness, unity and harmony throughout all of the life of Earth.

Peace and Joy for the coming year,

Nancy

Tell Us What You Do

“Tell us what you do,” is a common request as people meet one another for the first time. I heard it this past weekend as I took an online workshop. I had a few minutes to consider my response and made an important discovery when the words came out of my mouth.

“At this point in my life, I am focusing on living a shamanic life.” It was a simple, clear statement and I felt no pressure to explain it. As I write it again now, it rings true.

For much of my life I have tried to be in service to others by sharing spiritual insights and guidance. It has often led me to learn a new practice or have a new insight, only to pass it along to others as soon as possible. It has not seemed enough to be living my soul’s path, I have added the inner demand that I also find the words to share it. Most times this fails, because I am trying to use words to describe something  thoughts and concepts.

The benefit is that it has kept me connected with people who are doing similar explorations about how to live with freedom, joy, and love. The exchange of ideas and suggestions is one of the ways I receive nudges about what may be next along my personal path. The down side is that I often forget how unique we each are and that the wisdom that comes to each of us through direct revelation is the most precious and powerful.

In these past few months, I have remained more inward, seeking to explore and practice with vibration, tone and releasing the illusion of separation. The other day, I was listening to a wise woman, Monica Gagliano, describe our shared spiritual path. She spoke of going through a time when we reclaim the understanding that everything around us is alive and that all of these other beings have messages for us. We talk about our animal guides telling us this and the trees showing us that, developing rich relationships with all of these wonderful life expressions. “Then, we realize that there never was an Other,” she said with a smile, and lightening raced up my spine. That’s what I am looking for, longing for, and imagining is somewhere other than here in my life now.

I have been busy looking for the doorway into the unity of all of life. I have used my meditations to see the love that connects all of humanity, all energy and elements of the cosmos, all of the evolutionary unfolding of humankind with the soul and consciousness of Gaia/Creation/Source. But as soon as I use words, I have separated myself again from the union. There is no doorway because there is no wall. It is only my mind that has created a distinction between the Seen world of tangible expression and the Unseen world beyond all duality and separation.

I can sometimes feel it here in my chest or my belly or the space behind the middle of my forehead. There is that sweet sensation of just energy, light and vibration playing in and around and through the combinations of matter and space. But even as I have the thought, I am naming and making distinctions and trying to capture this so I can describe it to others. I want to invite everyone to this sweet spot, and in that longing, I begin to look again for a doorway that I can point to as the “way in.”

In these weeks, I am exploring vibration without attached meanings, and tones without words or images. I am learning from Jill Purce about Mongolian Overtone Chant which helps us to tune our being with the field of natural vibration as we listen. She tells us, “It is more important to hear the sound you are making than to make the sound you are hearing.”

I cannot explain what I am experiencing nor do I want to try to relay Jill’s insights. I will let this be a mini nudge to you and let you follow it if it is yours to explore. There are so many ways that our human family has discovered to leave the illusion of separation and dwell in a clear knowing that time, space and a self standing separate in creation are all figments of our imagination. The Mystery is so much deeper, richer and uncontrollable than my mind wants to let me entertain.

So, I return to where I began. I will write as the words flow and share when I feel I will burst if I don’t try to put language around the life and light that I experience. But I cannot tell you when that will be, or promise that it will sound reasonable or clear. It will be something I feel is deeply true for me, and may also be true for others. When and how these will appear, I don’t know. I can only return to the answer to what I am doing now, “I am living a shamanic life.”

Fears at the Threshold

I am deeply grateful to be part of a monthly drumming circle led by Della Clark at Spiritwalker Retreats here in Mount Shasta. Led by Della’s drum, we journey into the Unseen World to find guidance on whatever question we want to explore to help us face the challenges of lives. When the drum leads us back into this tangible world, we share the images and messages we have received from our helping spirits. Often we find that there is an echo that moves among the messages which further feeds our understanding of how to live more fully from soul and heart.

I am at the threshold of a new expression of my soul’s work in the world. It is time for me to help others embrace and integrate their experiences with the Unseen mystery into their daily lives. I know that everything in my life has prepared me for this and that it is time to integrate and share what I have to offer. But I have been frozen here, uncertain about the descriptions, frameworks and practical elements needed to birth this into being.

In recent days, this process has led to a growing dread and fear. During last night’s drumming circle, I journeyed to find a way to work with these fears. Sharing it with the circle last night and with you now weaves it more fully into my daily experience.

As the drum beat carried me I went down through the floor of the ocean and into a deep cave. The walls had many crevasse like the open work of lava. I was aware of a presence of luminous light in the midst of the cave, but I was not sure where to find the fears I was looking for.

“Look in the corners and in the deepest crevasses,” I was told.

There, each huddled by itself, tiny arms through over heads to avoid being seen, were my fears. They were small and helpless creatures, cowering away from the light.

“Why are they hiding?” I asked.

The luminous one smiled gently and told me,

They are afraid of me. They believe that they will be revealed as unworthy. They are afraid that they will be met with judgment rather than with acceptance and love. Most of all they dread being seen as they are.

I thought for a moment, and then asked the luminous one if there was another form it could take.

The light swirled in the air and floated to the floor as lovely, soft, fragrant rose petals. They were white with pink edges and soft shades of yellow. Some remained suspended in the air carried on a gently spiraling current.

One after the other, the tiny creatures of fear came out of hiding. Soon they were all bouncing in the petals on the floor, flinging them up over their heads, letting them rain down all around them. A few lay on the ground and buried themselves in the sweetness of the scent. The fears closed their eyes and I watched the scent and color, vibration and joy of the petals move in and through their beings.

When they opened their eyes, each and every one of these tiny fear beings had transformed into a being of dancing light. They joined hands and moved in a circle dance, looking at and being seen by all and finding themselves cherished.

“Are you ready to go back up to the surface?” I asked.

All agreed and the rose petal spiral current strengthened and lifted us all up to the surface of the ocean. There we enjoyed floating in the sunshine, feeling the fresh breeze and the supporting water. Then we went to the beach to dance and play until the drum called me back to the room where my journey began. As I returned, all of these transformed fears nestled back within my being, taking their place among all the feelings and emotions of my life.

I know that these fears will sometimes separate out to grip and stir within me. But now I know where to go and look for them. I have a hint about how to free them from their belief that they are separate from the rest of life and must stay hidden.

As I wrote about this journey, I told these little ones again that I will not leave them alone. I will always come to find them and bring them back home within me because we share this amazing world of solid being.

I do not know what is unfolding in my life’s work. I have hints and ideas about what it means to stand on the shore of the Unseen Mystery and add my voice to invite people to discover this feeling of being deeply interwoven with all of life. It is my hope that within the next few weeks you will find a new website with invitations to join me in answering the call of the Source. It has been calling every one of us since before we were born. It is beckoning us into our way of living for the highest well being of all within the web of life.

I will keep you posted.

Peace and Joy,
Nancy

My Full Bön Chant Practice

Each morning, I spend 25 – 30 minutes with my Tibetan Bön Chant practice. Those who have used this chant for personal healing and transformation know its power and beauty. It weaves together sound and mental image, energy and spirit. I have been sharing this practice with you piecemeal and it is time to unfold it fully.

There are five syllables I sing: AAH, OM, HUNG, RAM, DZA, which come from the traditional Bön Chant, as taught by Tenzin Wangyal.

AAH, I envision moving from the middle of my head, deep within my brain and located where a line down from my crown and in from the center of my forehead meet. It carries the feeling of spaciousness and openness. Picture a broad open sky.

OM is at the level of my throat. Its image is light and I envision the growing light of dawn flowing over a hillside.

HUNG is at the heart. It represents loving kindness and compassion. The images that accompany this vary, but it is often waves of iridescent shimmering pastel colors moving outward in all direction.

RAM is at the naval. Its energy is “joy which feeds the well-being of all.” Joy bubbles and swirls, plays and scampers as it move outward.

DZA is at the level of pelvic bone/sacrum. As I learned the traditional chant this is associated with manifestation or bringing to birth. In my thoughts it has become, “The full expression of the highest well-being of all.” This reflects my personal sense that when all beings are free to thrive, harmony and unity are remembered as keys to life.

Over the months, I have moved beyond the traditional four repetitions of each syllable to a series of 7 at full voice and 5 whispered. The phrases I use to describe my focus for each tone shift and change, but generally represent interwoven aspects of the tangible world and the world of mystery.

At this point the repetitions follow this pattern.
At full voice using a pitch that is comfortable for me:

  1. Everything that is above
    Here I focus on the tangible expressions: mountains, sky, stars, clouds and birds.
  2. Everything that is below
    The earth and soil, the creatures and plants that live in and under the ground, the water that flows below, and all that provides a solid place for my feet.
  3. Everything that is all around
    The landscape, trees, grasses, buildings, animals, insects, air, water and all the visible expressions of the tangible world.
  4. Every aspect of who I am
    body, mind, spirit, soul, energy field, mental habits, ego, emotions and consciousness.
  5. The Being of Humanity and the collective consciousness of humankind
    All human beings everywhere and all the thought forms, beliefs, values, myths, illusions, dreams and perspectives that form our self-understandings.
  6. All elements, energies and vibrations of this cosmos
    This includes everything we experience on this planet: fire, water, air, minerals, the chemistry of life and the vibration of light and sound and all the forms they take.
  7. The Web of Life
    This overlaps all of the others including animals, plants, fungi, microscopic beings and humankind… This is a way of blessing all of the expressions of life that we experience.

Whispering brings a sense of the unseen mystery to my chant:

  1. Throughout the Unseen World
    The energies, mysteries, wisdom, spirit that exists outside our ordinary reality. There are many unknown forces in the Unseen World, but as with all living beings, my intention is to bless them all.
  2. Throughout the soul and collective consciousness of Gaia
    For me this affirms that the planet that births us all has a soul and intelligence of Her own. The collective consciousness of Gaia includes Her vast wisdom as well as that of every species of plant, animal, microbe, mineral, and molecule… of this world. I find joy in blessing a consciousness informed by elephant and tree, stone ancestor and microscopic web of life.
  3. Throughout the entire evolutionary unfolding of humankind
    This blesses all expressions of humankind from the beginning of our time on this planet until we reach the fulfillment of our journey here and move on. As the vibrations of the chant move through, they are forces of healing that help us remember who we have always been within the web of life.
  4. Throughout all time, space and dimension of being
    This provides the broadest image I can hold at this point. This is my hearts way of releasing the blessings of the chant to anything, anywhere, in any form in or beyond time. I sometimes envision a starburst moving freely in all directions.
  5. Throughout the process of creation of all of life:
    This idea takes my imagination to the Void out of which everything emerges into form. All that is about to come from energy and formlessness into tangible existence is here. All that is moving through the process of taking form is here. All that has fulfilled its existence in tangible form and is returning to energy is here.

As I chant, my thinking mind boggles and my heart soars. I enter an alternative way of perceiving connections and relationships within Creation and beyond. This is my way of nourishing the inner garden of my soul with openness, light, loving kindness, compassion, joy and the experience of the highest well-being of all life. It reminds me of who I am within this astounding complexity of reality.

I invite you to make this practice your own. You will find your own words and images, your own way of sensing connections with form and element, vibration and spirit. May you be reminded of who you have always been and know the feeling of being forever at home.

Spaciousness, Light, Compassion, Joy and Well-being be yours,

Nancy

 

How can I help you explore this practice of energy, vibration, connection and healing? Please contact me if I can assist you as you develop your Bön chant practice.

All of Us A Living Dance

Each One A Living Dance

I will not hold you in a static form,
for you are a brilliant dance of energy,
shifting and changing in each second;
becoming more than any imagination can hold.

I will not lock you into my “knowing,”
for that is just my limited mind,
reassuring itself through the ability to
categorize and find familiar patterns.

I will not confine you in terms and descriptions,
for they speak of the past and of the surface,
missing the eternity of your being,
and the continuing transformation in all things.

I will open to your becoming.
Only your own soul knows your road,
for it alone recognizes the dream
which invited you here in the beginning.

I will embrace the mystery of your unfolding.
No other will ever carry this dance of
emerging, expressing and releasing
for it is your unique gift.

I will listen to the song of your creation.
It alone reflects the riches of your being,
singing out in the vibration of color
as well as pitch to greet the dawning of a new day.

——
I wrote this piece two years ago focusing on my circle of family and friends. This morning I applied it to the Being of Humanity and the flow of human evolutionary unfolding.

Whenever I hold a static view of my species, limited by my critical evaluation of who we are and how we live on the Earth, I suffer. All that, “I know” about humanity is based on an incredibly narrow slice of experience, within a tiny snapshot in time. I become the victim of my culture as I look to the surface and the limited patterns that filter and confine my ability to see, hear and touch a reality beyond my judgements and beliefs.

My practice of Tibetan Bon chant is beginning to shift this experience. It invites me to step into an unseen sacred reality beyond ordinary sight, and look again at everything around me. As I move through the sequence of tones, key words and images, I include “The Being of Humanity” as one of the expressions of creation I hold in my heart.

I begin with “AAH,” which is openness and spaciousness. When I envision spaciousness for Humanity the tight knots of categories that I have placed around various groups of people loosen. The same space that encircles every cell of our physical body also encircles each individual person. Each one has room to grow, change, discover, move and evolve throughout the moments of their lives. Each person flows within the Being of Humanity without jostling and bouncing against everyone else. In this spaciousness, we do not need to protect or defend ourselves. There is room enough for all, as we are.

“OM” is Light. Before I apply that image to Humanity, I have already felt its reality within every aspect of my being. The light which fills me also fills every being within the family of humankind. I remember that we are beings of light and also expressions of the sacred Light of life. Envisioning light shining from every human being, making this entire creature of Humanity shimmer, I see our species as we are beyond the illusion of separation and fear.

“HUNG” is loving kindness and compassion. In these moments, I envision a healing energy flowing to all of us, not needing to direct the vibration of “HUNG” to “where it is most needed.” Loving kindness and compassion are limitless and available to enliven everyone at every level of being. I remember the passage of Christian scripture that states, “Perfect love casts out fear.” This is how HUNG feels moving through the Being of Humanity.

“RAM” is “Joy feeding the well-being of all.” I sense this vibration nourishing the creativity, imagination, soul and life energy of every one of us. Joy generates an energy that lifts us beyond existing to  thriving. As we thrive, a wellspring of joy pours from our lives in all directions.

“DZA” is “the full expression of the highest well-being of all.” My thoughts open to the current evolutionary flow that is pulling humankind forward. As we remember that our highest well-being is supported by the highest well-being of all living ones we are at home on the Earth. My vision shifts so I see the interconnections and wisdom of the web of life.

The collective consciousness that feeds our understanding of who we are in this world is not limited to human minds. Ancient plant relatives, as well as animals and insects which existed eons before Humanity was born, are cheering us on. We are not alone, isolated, confined to old patterns of behavior. All of creation is lifting us up as we move forward in the massive shifts involved in our current evolutionary leap.

I invite you to read the poem again, holding in mind the Being of Humanity as its focus. I find that it opens my heart to my species and reminds me again of who I am within the complex beauty of creation.

May all Humanity Thrive,

Nancy

Sixth Chapter: The “AAH” of Me

In this sixth chapter, of what will eventually coalesce into the a book The Stories My Drum Told Me, we return to the Bön Chant and the wisdom of The Woman of the Open Sky.

While I use other characters in sharing images from my shamanic journeys, I seem to come back to the first person when I write of my experience with Bön Chant. I begin my mornings with this chant and find the vibration and the images they bring both intimate and universal.

In The “AAH” of Me, I share the feeling of spaciousness and open sharing of energy that come when I sing this syllable focusing on my physical form. It is wonderful to sense that I can stop “holding myself together,” and allow all of the space within me to also connect me with all of the life that surrounds me.

If you are intrigued by the images of this chapter, I hope that you will explore; Tenzin Wangyal and the 5 Warrior Seed Syllables practice. Through months of practicing this chant, I have come to expand the number of times I repeat each syllable. As I sing each tone, I let my mind focus on a specific image. This chapter introduces four of these: All that is Above, All that is Below, All that is All Around, and All that is Within. Future chapters will share my experiences when I focus on other aspects of the seen and unseen worlds.

You may want to revisit the first chapter: Earth Breathing at the Beginning of the Day where I first introduce The Women of the Open Sky and the tone “AAH.”

I hope that you enjoy The “AAH” of Me, and that it invites your to explore the use of vibration and chant to touch the mystery beyond ordinary reality.

Peace and Joy along your path,

Nancy

Fifth Chapter: Canyon Lands Healing Ceremony

In this fifth chapter of “Stories My Drum Told Me,” Grace is invited to a healing ceremony in the Unseen World Canyon Lands. When she arrives, she meets Koktswea, who helps her release the feelings of shame, failure and regret that she had been carrying within her. As the ceremony unfolds, Grace learns the connection between her willingness to let go of her suffering and the beauty of desert canyon walls.

May you feel the compassion and joy of Canyon Lands Healing Ceremony

You will find links to my earlier chapters: Stories My Drum Told Me.

I hope you are enjoying these stories drawn from my shamanic journey practice. I offer them in love and joy.

Nancy

Fourth Chapter: Tending the Being of Humanity

In this fourth entry in “Stories My Drum Told Me,” Maya is invited to join The People who use song and vibration to nurture the very young Being of Humanity. Her guide explains how difficult it is for the human species to find our place within the web of life, because we are so very young, not much more than toddlers among the ancient life forms of the Earth.

“Every time a new voice or a new instrument is added to this song of blessing, it becomes more beautiful, and more powerful,” Maya was told. “The Being of Humanity will experience the richness you add.”

I hope that you enjoy reading: Tending the Being of Humanity

Peace and Joy,


Nancy

Third Chapter: Reclaiming Energy That Harms

The third entry in “Stories My Drum Told Me,” is about a ceremony used to reclaim projections, assumptions, judgements and other thought energies that we send out toward others without thinking about it. The practice described here helps each of us take personal responsibility
for these thought arrows and call them back from anywhere they have interfered with another person’s well-being. As the energy of these thought forms returns, it is transformed back to its pure form to nurture both our own life and the life of the planet.

I hope you enjoy reading, Reclaiming Energy That Harms. 

You will find links to my earlier stories on the page: Stories My Drum Told Me.

Peace and Joy in the unfolding of your life,

Nancy