Bringing all of us in

 

Many traditions have ways of bringing all of us into transformative processes.

In Tibetan Buddhism, it is done – among other ways – through visualizing all beings taking refuge with us, during the first of the four ngondro practices, each done a hundred thousand times. In Shamanic traditions, by inviting in the protectors from the six directions. In Christianity, through the Christ meditation where Christ is visualized in the six directions and the heart. In many traditions, through prayer or well-wishing for all beings, including our enemies and those in the hell realms. And so on.

In each of these apart from the Christ meditation, there is an intention and visualization of all beings aligned… in taking refuge in Buddha nature, in participating in sacred space, being included in healing and awakening. And even the Christ meditation has a sense of completeness and absolute inclusion in it, by visualizing Christ in all directions and in the heart.

And each of these is a way of inviting all of us to participate, and to align all parts of us. Using voice dialog language, each subpersonality or voice is invited to join and align in the same overall purpose of healing and awakening of the mind and heart.

In addition, it helps us see all beings in the same boat in different ways. All beings are taking part in this sacred process of life. All have the potential for awakening, and all have Buddha nature. We can learn to see beyond the surface ripples of contraction, and see how we each seek happiness and freedom from suffering, and all are awakeness.

Spirit animal

 

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When I was a child, I had a Big Dream about a black panther, and I realize later that it was very similar to shamanic experiences and connections with a spirit animal. In the dream, there was a connection with the panther as long lost friend, and someone who had immense wisdom, insight and ability to guide me.

The world is a mirror of what is inside of ourselves, and animals can be especially helpful in mirroring and evoking certain qualities in us.

When we journey – whether in dreams, shamanic rituals, active imagination, through using the whole of us as in process work, or even through voice dialog – we are often guided to exactly those qualities that wants to come into our lives more fully. Those that may have been disowned, or just temporarily forgotten. There is an infinity of sources for reminders, including animals.

What comes up is what is needed here and now, so will change over time. But some may have to do with longer term processes, unfolding over decades, and the black panther for me seems to be one of these.

For me, the black panther evokes a beautiful combination of polarities, maybe especially a natural confidence and relaxation, and alertness and explosive activity, depending on what the situation calls for. It is firm and gentle, cute and vicious, and follows its path with receptivity yet in a non-nonsense way and undistractedly. Its velvety blackness reminds of the fertile blackness and awakening of the belly center, which nurtures each of the qualities listed above.

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Shamanism is probably the earliest form for psychology, and from the little I know about it, it can be every bit as sophisticated as any contemporary western psychology. Judging from the earliest examples of rock art, it is a form of psychology that has been with us since before the dawn of civilization, which is humbling and also gives a sense of connection across time and universality.

I have worked with the black panther more lately, bringing its qualities into my daily life, and have found it a great support.I may find the black panther qualities in myself through images and movements, or just ask myself what would the black panther do?

Interpretations and substance

 

When I read about the Munay-Ki rites, a part of me was exited to have the opportunity to receive them, and another was slightly concerned about how they were talked about.

They are described from within a context of taking a sense of separate self as real, as something that needs to be protected, and so on. It doesn’t quite fit in with my Buddhist background, or my other explorations right now.

But at the same time, it is pretty clear that this is just how it is filtered, interpreted and talked about, by this one person, or this one organization. It may not even reflect his own experience of it. It could just be a way of talking about it that is more accessible to most people.

So for instance, when the first rite is described as protection for our individual self, I can appreciate the wisdom in that. Why not protect this human self through shamanic means? We do it daily anyway, in other ways, whether in the context of exclusively identifying with it or not. We eat, put on clothes, seek shelter, go to the doctor, look both ways before crossing the street. So why not also through shamanic means? It is, after all, just the initial rite, with many other ones following.

And the same is the case with the other rites. They are all aimed at transformation at our human or soul levels, so why not? It is just another exploration. Another way to discover what is possible. And it can happen within the context of taking a sense of separate self as real, or not. Either way, it is fine. Even desirable, from relative and conventional views of wanting to support life (minimizing suffering, nudging towards happiness and awakening) and evolution.

Dream: transmissions

 

 

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I am participating in a group receiving the Munay-Ki rites. It is led by a Tibetan Rinpoche, who is one of several Rinpoches seeing the effects of the rites as very helpful for themselves and anyone else open to receive them. (John Cleese is there as well, and I talk with him briefly.) The Rinpoche tells us that although we only have received one or two rites so far, the changes have taken place and are available for us to use. We are already released from old patterns, even if we haven’t quite noticed it yet, or trust it enough to live from it.

A friend told me about the Munay-Ki rites a couple of days ago. They are offered where I live, a new cycle start in a few weeks, and it comes from a tradition I have been interested in for a while (Four Winds Society, Alberto Villoldo, Inka shamanism), so I decided to participate. It is similar to shaktipat, energy transfer serving as a catalyst for awakening or healing, which I know works from my experience with Waking Down, Diksha and some other flavors of it. And the differences just makes it more interesting.

In their typical pragmatic and inclusive way, the Tibetan Rinpoches in the dream see the value of the Munay-Ki rites, and use them with their students and anyone else interested. My associations of John Cleese is of a slightly cynical person with a big heart, so him participating may mean that even cynical aspects of myself are on board with it. And the release from patterns may reflect something already happening for me, or something that may happen through the rites, or, most likely, both.

The terrain dream followed this one.