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Welcome to my blog, a quasi-weekly column on topics and issues that have my attention, or that are intended to inform or inspire--including the following reminder:

"Realize why you're here, and be about it!"

An Inka Medicine Wheel year

I just completed the year-long Inka Medicine Wheel training--Alberto Villoldo’s synthesis of 25 years of study with Peruvian shamans into a modern-day program for Westerners.  With 19 other students, I met for four intense three-day sessions at The Ojai Foundation, 40 acres of slightly tamed wilderness at the foot of the Topa-Topa Mountains. Together we journeyed through the Four Directions--South, West, North and East--and the archetypes of serpent, jaguar, hummingbird, and eagle. (Beautiful painting at left by Lynn Berryhill)

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The shaman's way...is inexorable

It is my joyful sense that we—humanity—have turned a corner in our collective dreaming.  I was running errands in Ojai yesterday and found that feeling reflected in various shopkeepers and cashiers, as well—an almost giddy excitement: We did it! 

“We did what?” 

“I don’t know really,” they’d shrug. “We turned a corner!” 

Yes, we did.  We survived 2012—and not only that, we anchored a new awareness, a collective longing-turned-to-commitment, for oneness, for ayni; for healing the Earth and all our relations.  Even a scientist friend from the Methow Valley, Washington, shared an excerpt (below) from a talk given perhaps over a decade ago by the now-deceased evolutionary biologist Terence McKenna, calling for a return to the magical ways of the shaman.  Here’s a brief quote: “At the centre of that ‘archaic revival’ impulse is the shaman: stoned, intoxicated on plants, speaking with the spirit helpers, dancing in the moonlight, and vivifying and invoking a world of conscious, living mystery. That’s what the world is. The world is not an unsolved problem for scientists or sociologists. The world is a living mystery: our birth, our death, our being in the moment – these are mysteries. They are doorways opening on to unimaginable vistas of self-exploration, empowerment and hope for the human enterprise.”

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