We learned and practiced a number of techniques, and while I understand that listing them here will not mean much to our readers, I feel like I need to acknowledge what was offered by the presenters as a beginning point for my own practice. We learned and practiced:
- POWER RETRIEVAL
- JOURNEYING (Upper and Lower worlds)
- POWER PRACTICE
It is all very interesting, and I found myself alternately diving deeply into the awareness of this bit of reality that I am sometimes only peripherally aware of... and then falling into an analytical frame of mind, evaluating each experience like the science geek I can sometimes be. From time to time, as the workshop progressed, and I listened to others describe the intricacies of their fantastic visions, I wondered if I was perhaps not "doing it right." Where some described journeys full of talking wolves and beautiful, strong, young Native American "teachers," I saw simple stone fountains and plates of sweet grapes. Standing out in the parking lot of the hotel where the workshop was held, singing the morning sun song, seemed a lot like public humiliation play, and trying to "dance my power animal," was only difficult because I had to try not to giggle hysterically.
OK. I'll admit it -- I am and earthbound, skeptical, prosaic, old woman.
I appreciated the instruction in techniques for accessing that "other" reality, but I am not interested in living life there. I am glad for tools and practices that help me live better, day by day -- but I expect to do the vast majority of that living right here in this world; this reality. Power animals and spirit helpers / teachers are welcome to the party that goes on in my head. I'll take all the help I can get. In the final analysis, however, I am responsible for me and I'll make my decisions as best I can.
The best, and most useful parts of the weekend for me? I "heard" quite distinctly that I need to relax; to avoid rigid patterns; to keep my heart light; to go with the currents and tides; to listen more deeply; to keep myself grounded and steady and stable; to practice simplicity; to approach others with gentleness and compassion.
Rattles and drums? Soul songs? Spirit canoes? Rock divination? Spirit guides and power animals? Talismans? All of that seems like infrastructure to me -- bridges across the gap between here and "not here." I am glad to have been shown another way to move between the realities, but I find I am not absorbed or enthralled. Intrigued, yes. Open to the possibilities, yes. I am. I think all of this can just fold into my days and my nights; add another dimension to my experience of my world; enrich my life. I am not interested in living in the realm of "non-ordinary" reality. I want to learn to be fully present and engaged with this reality. The days are each precious. Life is truly a good gift. I don't need a spirit ally to convince me of that one.