FAQ: Shamanic Healing Techniques, Mentoring and Meditation


Find some commonly asked questions and answers about Shamanic Healing Techniques, Mentoring and Meditation. If you feel a relevant question may have been missed contact us so we can consider a thoughtful answer and add it to the page.

Shamanic Healing: What You Need to Know

What is a Shamanic Healer?

An increasing number of individuals go to a shaman to support their physical, emotional and spiritual well being. Although, in the United States, shamanism tends to be more readily associated with Native American traditions, shamanic healers have been found in virtually all cultures and throughout the ages. The attire and customs may vary from culture to culture, community to community, but the essence of what shamans do is remarkably similar: they work as intermediaries between the world of Spirits and our mundane reality to support positive change.

What happens in a shamanic healing session?

The core of the work happens while the shaman journeys to the spiritual world to gain insights about a particular situation and support healing. A session also generally includes hands-on healing to help integrate the effects of the journey, release blockages and increase the body’s innate healing ability.

Why would I need or want a shamanic healing?

Clients come for a shamanic healing with a wide range of demands: issues with their job, finance, sentimental or family life, loss of a dear one, all types of health issues (in particular long term illnesses), past emotional and physical traumas for which no cure seems to be helping, etc. They may feel depressed, hopeless, stuck in their life; they may struggle with anxiety, fears and insomnia. Most people come to a shaman with a long list of issues they want to work on.

Can a shaman help overcome a physical or emotional trauma

A shaman can help a person heal from all types of physical and emotional traumas where conventional approaches may have failed. Shamanic healing is an adjunct to, not a substitute for, conventional medical or psychological services. When doctors and other medical practitioners refer patients to a shaman, they know that it will help them pass a stuck point in a therapy process, better integrate a treatment or release an energetic or emotional block that is preventing the body from healing. In other words, shamanic healing helps address dimensions of trauma that the person may be unaware of or that would take much more time for conventional approaches to uncover. In the past few years, neuroscience research has made substantial progress in showing the benefits of meditation and other types of mind-body practices in supporting mental and physical healing.

What is so powerful in a shamanic healing?

Shamanism works at a level from which we are often dissociated in our modern busy lives. It helps reconnect the different dimensions of a human being. The shaman creates a safe and sacred container for the client to develop a state of relaxation and radical presence in which healing energies can be brought to your whole being, bypassing most usual resistances, facilitating a healing you may have stopped believing in.

Which benefit can you expect from a shamanic session?

At the end of a session, you will have gained invaluable insights about the different dimensions of your situation, including the physical but also emotional and symbolic dimensions that might not have been immediately clear or had remained unconscious and would have taken much more time to get unraveled through more traditional approaches. You will feel peaceful and hopeful, unusually clear in your mind and body. More importantly, most clients also report immediate shifts in the situation they wanted to address. The effects of the healing will continue to unfold as the days past.

Do you do soul retrievals?

Soul-retrieval techniques are one of the classic methods a shaman may use. Anyone who has had a trauma, from a shamanic point of view, may have had some loss of their spiritual essence / energy, and the shaman may have to retrieve it so that the person can feel whole again. Another major technique in shamanic healing work is known as extraction. Extraction involves removing a spiritual intrusion. The shaman can also work as a ‘psychopomp’ to help  the deceased in their transition. Those are all ‘techniques’, among others, that the shaman may need to use and know how to practice. However, I personally never presume what a person needs, for instance that a person would have ‘lost’ her soul (or part of it). The way I work, I agree with clients about the intention(s) for the journey and what the person wants to ask; I always add to the intention that the person receive exactly what they need at this point of their life. Once the intention has been formulated aloud and released, I make sure that I get out of the way, in order to allow Spirits to do the work. In the journey space, I follow what Spirits show me to do, not what I may think the person needs, and usually there is a lot, and more often than not it leads me to places and situations that I could never have thought of myself. Each person, each story is unique, and this is what I love about this work: to respond to that uniqueness and serve it at best.

Will I receive any type of report after the session ?

Yes, in the days following your session, you will receive a report containing the entire notes from the journey as well as personalized recommendations and suggestions to support you fully integrate the benefits from the journey.

Is there any follow up treatment suggested?

Immediate follow-up sessions are not always necessary. It varies from person to person. Some people may need to work with the shaman over a few months to consolidate the results from the initial session. A conscientious shaman will always check with a client in the weeks following the session to discuss how things are enfolding for them and provide a follow-up, if needed and desired, making sure that the person has received the support that they needed at that specific moment of their life.

How often should I get a shamanic healing?

Most individuals find it useful to come back for a shamanic journey every few months or once a year.

Is shamanism associated with some sort of religion practice?

Shamanism is not a religion, nor does it interfere with any religion. Individuals’ beliefs are always fully respected. Though shamanic healing works at the level of the soul, no belief is required on the client’s part, no need to understand all of it, just an open attitude. The shaman’s ethic is to respect your boundaries and will. A shamanic healing is often a life changing experience but it is entirely yours; you remain the one in charge.

 

Spiritual Mentoring: What You Need to Know

Why would you seek a spiritual mentor?

There are as many personal reasons for seeking spiritual mentoring as there are people seeking it. Typically, you may look for a spiritual mentor to get ongoing support on your path, because you feel lost or stuck and need someone to be on your team, someone to serve as your personal growth partner. You may feel isolated or not knowing where to start to shift your life and answer your true soul purpose or even understanding what it is. You have a sense that you have some personal work you need to do but don’t know where to start or how. You want someone to be accountable to so that you make sure that you actually make the changes that you want in your life…

What is the difference between a life coach and a spiritual guide?

This depends on how a person works. As a mentor, I know that I can’t have a preconceived agenda, curriculum or end goal in mind. I have to meet my clients exactly where they are along the way. They always remain the one in charge of the process. As a spiritual mentor, I use a vast range of tools that integrate body, mind and spirit. I never work only at one level. I make sure that I remain fully present, centered and connected with Spirits in order to tune in to what the mentoree needs exactly in each session, each moment.

What kind of tools do you use during the mentoring program?

I never mentor two people the same way. I will meet you exactly where you are, how you are feeling and what you need to focus on at the time. And this will more likely evolve along the weeks and months that we work together.

I draw upon ancient wisdom that can be found in all religious and spiritual traditions and teachings, and combine them with modern consciousness and psychological research. On that basis, I will strive to find the tools, exercises and rituals that are going to support you at best – meeting their specific needs and characteristics. During a session, we may use meditation, dream work, journeying, visualizations, art craft, movements… depending on what resonates most with you and what might be of best support.

What are the most important qualities to seek in a spiritual mentor?

For me the most important qualities for a spiritual mentor are respect, presence and loving compassion. To guide another person, I must fully respect the path they are taking, with complete integrity. I am there to hold space for another person, listening fully to their heart and soul, without any judgment. The mentoree needs to know and trust that I am on their side, no matter what, and that I am there to fully support their dream, and their path, no matter what it is and what the difficulties are. I am fully there for each person and never hesitate to walk the extra mile if it serves my client. In my book, each person is a star and deserves the same attention and support on my side. I will always be there for you.

What will I learn when I undertake a spiritual mentorship?

You will see aspects of yourself and discover inner resources that you are not aware of and you will go to places within your soul that you have not yet imagined. Ultimately, you might reinvent yourself and your story and think about yourself differently. No matter what you are looking for, I will guide you through a deep and beautiful process. There will be work but there will be many rewards as well, not only at the end but along the way.

 

Mindfulness Meditation: What You Need to Know

What is Mindfulness Meditation?

Vipassana is a Pali word which refers to the ability to “see clearly”. It is generally translated in English by insight meditation as the simple and direct practice of moment-to-moment mindfulness (Sati in Pali). Through careful and sustained observation, we experience for ourselves the ever-changing flow of the mind/body process. This awareness leads us to accept more fully the pleasure and pain, fear and joy, sadness and happiness that life inevitably brings. As insight deepens, we develop greater equanimity and peace in the face of change, and wisdom and compassion increasingly become the guiding principles of our lives.

The Buddha first taught Vipassana over 2,500 years ago. The various methods of this practice have been well preserved in the Theravada tradition of Buddhism and have been transmitted to the West in the full spectrum of this tradition’s lineages.

What Are The Benefits of Meditation?

The reasons we meditate are as varied as the many ways there are to meditate. In the West, most people are drawn to meditation to quiet the internal chatter of the brain and to reduce stress. Meditation is, indeed, a very effective stress reducer, but its benefits—sometimes mysteriously hidden—go far beyond this.

Meditation is good for our bodies. Scientists gathering data on meditation have found that a consistent practice not only boosts the mind, but it also bolsters the body. Studies bear out that meditation can help reverse heart disease, reduce pain, and support the immune system, better enabling it to fight disease. The mind-body connection between stress and disease is abundantly apparent as science is finding that meditation can lower production of the stress hormone cortisol. This means meditators are better able to adapt to stress in their lives and its common physiologic responses, which can include: heart disease, osteoporosis, sleep problems, digestive problems, depression, etc. An increasing number of studies in neuroscience also shows how mindfulness meditation durably impacts the way the brain functions. Access articles on this in our meditation resource corner

Because it is good for our relationships. Paradoxically, while meditation helps us tune in and turn inward to our true essence, it also helps us detach from our own egos to connect with others in more meaningful ways. Couples counselors have found when they assign their clients meditation, the couples become less angry, more self-reflective, and more loving. When we become aware of—and honor—our interconnection with other beings, we are able to recast our perspectives, see our worries in a different light, and embrace gratitude, which is the heart’s memory.

Because it can change our lives. In a world rife with never-ending fast fixes, crash diets, and get-rich-quick schemes, it’s nice to know there is a proven practice that really can change your life (or at least bring about dramatic effects) in just a little time in each day. Yogis and doctors both agree: meditating—even just a few minutes of deep breathing—relaxes the brain, reduces anxiety, and decreases depression. When we feel as though we can’t afford the time to meditate, but the truth is we can’t afford not to.

Is Vipassana difficult to practice?

Relative straightforwardness is what makes Vipassana one of the most popular forms of meditation. It does not require laser-like focus and concentration. Unlike some other forms of meditation, there are no complicated breathing techniques to learn, no rigid postures to assume, and no mantras to remember. Presence and acceptance are the core requisites of Vipassana. With patience and guidance anyone can learn how to incorporate this form of meditation into their daily life on a moment by moment basis.However, as with any meditation, mindfulness meditation requires practice and time. Click here to see 6 very concrete tips to put in place a regular meditation practice

Why Attending A Meditation Class?

Both beginning and experienced meditators can benefit from a guided meditation class. Getting started is pretty simple, but it’s helpful to have a teacher or guide to coach, motivate, and encourage you along as you start. It doesn’t get better than having a real, live person teaching you how to meditate. Many also come regularly to my meditation classes/circles to simply have a weekly group with whom to meditate on a very regular basis, and receive some guidance as it supports their individual and more regular practice.
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