Saturday, December 21, 2013
Saturday, September 15, 2012
I have moved!
Saturday, March 12, 2011
TAOIST SHAMANIC PRACTICE
"A group of Aryans was shipwrecked on the China shore thousands of years ago. They did not die, nor have children, and became known as the Shining Ones. They taught shamanic practices, including the protective circle, calling the elements, ecstatic journeying and flight, power animals and tutelary deities or guides.
"With the rise of Buddhism shamans were persecuted, like witches in the west. They continued their practices in secret, without the use of drums, rattles, robes or other articles of the craft to identify themselves. The saying goes ‘you cannot tell a sage by his clothes.’ They were also known as magicians, wizards and sorcerers.
"Magic is like religion. It can be of great benefit, or cause great harm. In Taoist magic as in the Tao, there is no judgement - we are all responsible for ourselves. As long as you do not harm another being, you are free to do what you want."
My studies and research over the years since show that some of the old shamanic arts flourish today under the shield of Chinese Medicine, most practitioners unaware of the magical connections.
From its shamanic roots, Taoism rose to become the official religion of the Imperial Dynasties. It is the foundation of most Chinese art, of the Traditional Chinese Medicines we know today as acupuncture and herbalism, of Chinese Astrology and Divination, of Tai Chi Chuan "the Supreme Ultimate" combining meditation and martial art, and of the esoteric sexual practices taught to the Emperors by their female advisers to form the basis of Taoist Alchemy: the quest for immortality.
Outside of the Imperial Court Taoism evolved as the folk religion, the Old Ways common to many First Nations, a way of mystery and secrecy, with rites, rituals, and initiations. A notice stating ‘There is an altar in this house’ was a sign of a safe haven for the travelling Taoist during the Buddhist persecutions. The tradition has been maintained to this day to show the location of a Taoist household or temple.
Barefoot healers, pre-Taoist shamans, wearing red headbands, wandered naked and were subject to fits, a characteristic particularly of the Siberian but also known among shamans of other traditions.
The shaman, as ‘mediator with spirit’ is chosen by spirit and called by humans when healing practices such as herbs, massage, acupuncture or allopathy have failed. If the sickness prevails, Shaman finds out from Spirit what healing the soul needs for the body to be whole again. Everything is a gift and a blessing, for everything is Love, and gratitude and thanks must be given even for hurt and pain. Then harmony can be restored between soul and body.
Practitioners of shamanism can be susceptible to suffering afflictions of spirit in this earthly dimension. I personally know two people, one an acknowledged practitioner and the other a young boy recognised by his teachers as having shamanic power, who have an extremely difficult time living in the "normal" world themselves but through their spirit-connection are able to help others. This of course is where modern-day Taoist practitioners have the advantage of the Healing Tao system to protect themselves from depletion and contamination.
Families and priests, sources of the great Schools of Taoism with their ideological and geographical differences, practiced Shamanic Taoism as local cults. The simple philosophy, or Tao Chia, expounded by Lao Tsu in the Tao Te Ching c600 BCE had become Tao Chiao, religious dogma, by 2nd Century of the new millennium. The ‘Do-It-Yourself’ principles of Taoism were competing with Confucianism’s reassuringly strict codes of behaviour for all situations. After another thousand years the Complete Clarity school sought to return to the untrammelled simplicity of the original practice.
Interesting comparisons between Taoist and other shamanic practices:
Worship by Smoke: the Native American "peace-pipe" equates to the Taoist practice of burning incense, with the smoke rising as a prayer to Heaven. The Taoist has the additional feature of the ash falling as a prayer to Earth. The Taoist also uses the ash to establish other "altars" such as when the student leaves to start their own practice; they take a pinch of the accumulated ash from the mother-altar.
Purification by Sweat: here is a common thread running around the world among First Nations in the cool-to-temperate latitudes. Native Americans with their Sweatlodge, North Europeans with Sauna and the Taoist Hot Tub Immersion all share the sweat-detox practice, social as well as ritual in nature.
Symbolic Sacrifice: common to all traditions with varying relationships between symbolism and reality, from the killing of the Corn God at the end of the harvest in North America and Europe, to the ritual breaking of bones until death in the Siberian tradition, to the burying of slaves at the temple corner among the ancient Hawaiians, crucifixion and ascension for Christians etc etc. The suffix name -ti for the Emperor implies a meat sacrifice reflecting the killing of the old one when his son reached puberty. The shamanic blood-sacrifice traditions of ancient China were modified in religious Taoism: the scriptures were written on parchment, which is made from lambskin, a lamb being killed only once but thereafter each time the priest reads the scriptures he evokes the spirit of the sacrifice.
Ecstatic Flight: Whereas the early Taoist practice culminated in ecstasy, the shamanic practice began thus, using it to launch into the celestial or lower realms. Other traditions perceive the Taoist practice as more familiar with the Heavenly path than the lower worlds. True, Taoists begin with the celestial realm then use its light to illuminate the dark places below.
Bone Spirits: all traditions practise "changing the bones", the cellular crystalline structures capable of transmitting and receiving energy-waves: the first radios were crystal-sets. Mantak Chia teaches bone-changing through the Advanced Iron Shirt practice. In Hawaiians cooked off the flesh and preserved the thigh-bones (the location of the bones of the last king who died 100+ years ago is still kept secret.)
Initiation: common to all traditions and the Taoist are as testing as most. Overcoming obstacles the Initiate gains knowledge of her or himself and learns secrets of the craft. Through Initiation the Shaman learns the power of Spirit, using it to understand the illusion of fear and physical limitations of discomfort and fatigue. After the Ordeal of Initiation the Shaman is reborn to take his place in the Community and returns to the Outer World
The Shaman is the Healer in the community and, particularly in the Taoist tradition, is known only to the community, unknown in the Outer World. This secrecy stems from the days of persecution. As Healing Warrior, the Shaman mediates with, or combats, Spirit, by taking into her or himself the energies, to heal and to seal.
Click for info on my latest book: Taoist Shaman, Practices from the Wheel of Life, co-authored with Mantak Chia.
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Saturday, February 26, 2011
Thirteen minutes to change your life
Its perfectly normal, isn’t it, to want a better life, achieve your ambitions and fulfil your desires, solve problems, let go some baggage, drop a few unnecessary habits – especially the more expensive ones! Lose a few fears or phobias. Funny enough, once we’ve started on something it seems to spread into other areas, a kind of vicious cycle of well-being, satisfaction, achievement, from the magnificent to the mundane.
I’ve often wondered what greater achievement than to change someone’s life for the better. Could it be to change our own? To help someone change we first understand them, then inspire, even start an avalanche in the mind. Einstein said to understand the universe he wanted to know how God thinks. To understand a human being we find out how we think - what motivates them. To discover that, we must earn their trust. And to earn their trust we must offer them safety – safety to confide in us, safety to express yourself, to show the feelings of your heart, the songs in your head, the thoughts in your mind.
And to change ourself?
I had a client once, a musician, who wanted to change an out-of-date way of thinking. He told me he couldlose himself in playing, but really found himself in conducting. ‘Ah, now then, I am God!’
It was enough to suggest he imagine himself as one of his orchestra, watching and following the instructions of the conductor, himself. He made his change, ‘by frequent rehearsal,’ he told me. It was just a tweak, really. Entering his world, speaking his language, the language of the senses, in his case the sense of hearing. Not surprising for a musician, I guess. We just had to suggest adding the visual sense - watching the conductor.
We are sensual beings, we humans. We love to watch movies, our favourite movie star, our football team, even our favourite soap, to see our favourite picture – would that be the one on the bathroom wall? To be seen in our favourite fashion, our new heels or sneakers. Appearance is all – ask any hairdresser!
What were the pictures populating your mind as you read my words describing what we like to see?
And those we love to watch like to appeal to our own sense of style by wearing theirs - Jennifer Lopez, Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham.
And do we not love to hear music, Mozart to Gaga, certain voices, sounds of nature or songs of the city, we love to taste, good food – good drink.
We love to smell, fragrances, scents, flowers, perfumes. Britney and Madonna like to be associated with their own fragrance, to bring out their own fashion lines, the power of appearance. And don’t singers love to act, crossing the edge from auditory to visual. Abba made the first pop videos, motivated by the desire not to travel – Agnethe hated leaving her kids!
And we love to learn!
And we love to laugh
The power of the senses is easily understood when we look at the obscene amounts of money put into them: movies, tv, sports, music, perfumes, food … and the language of the senses is how we each express our own world. Understanding this helps us change - change what we want to change and keep what we want to keep. Before we do that we need to know why, the motivation for change. Knowing this, we can choose the right technique.
Motivation is the key to changing our lives, habits, our way of being, offering realizations. A friend, a woman, a peace-loving pacifist who would never harm anything, but wanting to learn a martial art, but baulking at the idea of violence. It took just one question to redden her face and bare her strong white teeth as her eyes flashed fire, her hair stood on end and her hands seemed to grow claws of a tigress. And what was that question? Well, you’ve maybe guessed that it was about her children being threatened. Violence had a place in her brain that she didn’t even know was there, but the limbic memory would have sprung her into action without pause for thought. Now, for a mother, isn’t this perfectly normal?
Some people had difficult childhood experiences. Now it’s obviously not possible to change the past, but what about changing our perception of the past? That or those childhood experiences colour one’s perception of the world in which you live today, your world in the here and now, and that, please understand, is PERFECTLY NORMAL, because are we not the sum of all that has ever happened? The good we have done, the bad we have done, the good done to us, and the bad done to us?
How might you have reacted to a situation in that childhood that formed you, then, had you possessed the resources of now? The knowledge, the experience, the mental strength – even the physical strength? It is but a small step to do the impossible – to help yourself, or the client, imagine themself in that same situation, but with their clear and present grown-up resources.
In this way we change our world, for what is our world but our perception of it? Helping others to make life a rich rewarding lesson, ah! Someone told me I was lucky to have had the experiences I have had, been to the places, met the people, done the things. Was I lucky? Was I lucky that I lost my father when I was a toddler? Was I was lucky in my stepfather who raised me and my brother as his own – and abandoned us? My view of the world was perfectly normal for someone who had those early experiences.And when I took the conscious decision to change it, my new world became perfectly normal. But it took me fifty years! You don’t have to wait so long, unless you’re there already, and then it’s never too late and no dog learns new tricks so well as an old dog who simply learns to adapt the old tricks.
And its not just scars from childhood, is it? That more recent past, not so far behind us, the wounds of betrayal or cruelty, deception and disappointment, heartbreak or humiliation, can we let these too distort our view of the world or can these too be placed in perspective, processed and dealt with. Some might call this a life of suffering but those same also say we cause that suffering for ourselves. Let me tell you, calling out from the depths of a vale of tears holds us in those depths, and we can leave them, and we can learn how. We have a choice, to dwell in the past, to long for the future, but meanwhile the present slips by, unnoticed.
It is a simple process, to find motive, and then to associate it with a desire. Imagine now, or remember, a moment of total pleasure, or a peak of achievement. Think of a time when you felt wonderful, any time, from a moment ago to years ago, any moment when everything was right, perfect, in that moment, for however long or short a time. In your mind’s eye, see what you saw in that moment, the picture, and see where it is, in front of you or all around, colourful or black-and-white, moving or still, framed or panoramic – yes, that’s right, see what you see – are you in the picture or looking at it? Hear what you heard in that moment, feel what you felt, and where did you feel it? Where in your being? Was there fragrance, a smell or a taste? Re-live that moment with all your senses and now, and now, double the size of the picture and turn up the volume, double the feeling, the smell or the taste, and double again and again and again until your whole being is filled with that moment, that’s right, all your senses, be there, in it all around, capture that look, that feeling, all those sensations, savour them, let them linger in your being, your mind, your body … that’s right … and now, just be aware, back now, be aware of how far you went, how deep, how you lived that moment as if it were now!
And now, of course, you will have noticed, won’t you, that moment was your moment, entirely personal to you. I did not know where you were or what you saw or how you felt or what you heard – but you did!
And then we take that peak moment and anchor it, yes, anchor it, so that it can be revived and relived, at will! Then we associate that moment with something you want to do, something you want to achieve, something you want to change, and that instills the motivation deep inside you. Imagine now, how effective this can be in helping others change, help others achieve what they want and sometimes desperately need, freedom from negative programs that might have been instilled in them from childhood,freedom from unnecessary habits or out-of-date ways of thinking, freedom even from the past – the past is where it belongs, behind us! Freedom to move on, to achieve what we want and help others do the same.Freedom. Yes, freedom. That’s what we teach. The ways of letting go, cutting the chains of the free.
We learn to speak each other’s language, the language of the visual, if you see what I mean, or the language of the auditory if you hear what I’m saying, the language of the kinesthetic if you catch my drift, yes, smell the freedom – how does it taste? The sweet smell of success, the taste of achievement, the sound of letting go, the feeling of a weight off your chest, seeing yourself, as you really want to be, the past in place – a place to learn from and move on. That’s right.
Of course I don’t know your personal situation, problems, difficulties, hopes and dreams but I do know that at some deep level within us we have the resources to make the change you need to make and its just a matter of learning how to help yourself and others make those changes and make a decent living at it too.
Take a break - eight days hard work by day, private study by night, relentless concentration, tough challenges, exhaustive practice and thorough testing, all made well worth it by your NLP Practitioner Certificate signed by Richard Bandler, John LaValle and me, Kris Deva North, your Licensed Trainer, internationally recognised, accredited by the Society of Neurolinguistic programming. If you are prepared to step out of the box, invest eight days in YOU. You may find that success, fulfilment and happiness can be ... perfectly normal!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
AWAKENING YOUR INNER GODDESS...FOLLOW YOUR INNER WISDOM!
Saturday, January 29, 2011
VALENTINES WEEKEND for Couples: 12th & 13th February
CAN YOU TELL the strength of his/her libido?
DO YOU WANT to know secrets of pleasure - giving and receiving?
DO YOU BELIEVE that however good you are already – you can be a more effective lover?
WOULD YOU LIKE to spend two days of sensual delight exploring how Pleasure can open the door to Bliss on the path to Ecstasy and, ultimately, connection with Spirit?
"Tantra 1 was a wonderful experience. What a valentines gift!! A beautiful intimate weekend with fun, deep time to reconnect with my loved one, looking forward to the next one." S.D. & L.P.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
What is Tantra and how it can help with relationship.
Overview of tantric traditions: Indian, Tibetan,Taoist.
Energy Centres/Chakras as Gateways to Spirit
Qigong (Chi Kung) for Couples
Sexercises to warm up and cool down.
Prelude to Intimacy: The Art of Tantric Touch
Magic Buttons and how to press them.
Intimate Tantric Massage
The Whole Body
The Nine Flowers
"We would like to thank you both again for the wonderful weekend we had - we really didn't want to leave! Tao Tantra 1 was great for the foundation of tantric practice." J.G. & J.
Pre-requisite: being a couple!
Couples work/play only with their own partner
Please bring: big fluffy towel; silk cloth; sarong/lunghi/kikoi; rug/blanket/sheepskin; open mind
"Our objective of reconnecting and spending some quality time together was successfully met. We both feel we came away more intimate & loving towards each other with some great new tools/ exercises that we are able to work into our relationship.(...)the chi kung for couples has become part of our morning courtship!(...)It was a pleasure to be led by a couple who were genuinely benefiting from the exercises themselves as well as embodying the Way."C.C. & J.H.
Sign up here to give yourselves a treat!
Learn more about Taoist Tantric Massage in ‘A Touch of Sex, Shiatsu Secrets for Love’ co-authored by Taoist Master Mantak Chia & Kris Deva North
"I would like to thank you for the loving intimacy that you expressed this weekend as a couple which contributed a great deal to the quality of love that was reflected in the ease of participants in what was a very warm and heartful group energy." K.W. & J.
Workshop Facilitators: Kris Deva North & Anamarta
...and when you have enjoyed this first step on this Taoist tantric path and completed the Foundation Step 1 - Harmony of Yin and Yang , you may like to explore together Tao of Tantra Part 2...and beyond.
"I really enjoyed the heightened intimacy my partner and I now share as a result of the practices we learned on Tantra 1 & 2. We enjoyed every minute of discovering each other in a completely new and exciting ways on these courses." L.P. & S.D.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
TAOIST SHAMANIC HEALING: Taoist Shamanism London training
Learning secrets of the Hidden Masters, healing warriors and barefoot healers stepping lightly in all worlds. A rare opportunity for training like this cosmic chi kung, Hands of Light without pre-requisites. Come by 4-day event in London: Friday 28th thru' Monday 31st, 10am to 5pm daily.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Communing with Spirit
Journey through the Inner Eye, Heaven's Garden, Moon Gates, Steps and Chambers.
Guides Totems and Animals
Taoist Medicine Wheel, relationships to other traditions
African, American, Australian, Druid, Hawaiian, Indian/Nepali, Pagan, Shinto, Siberian, Tibetan, Wiccan,
Space Clearing and Cleansing
Personal, General and Specific
Shamanic Tools & Uses
Intuition, dreams, prayer and ceremony, hands, wand, bowl, drum, fan, incense, sage, water, herbs
exploring the stone people, ancient allies and healing tools of the shaman
Intention, visualisation, communing with others; drilling, cutting, separating
Seeing, sensing, feeling, healing
Aura, energy field, anatomy, meridians and points
Adapting other traditions
Hawaiian Calabash of Light; Native American medicine cards
Daily practice on this workshop includes the 'Hands of Light' (Cosmic Chi Kung) exercises to develop sensitivity to etheric fields and enhance healing power. See demonstration video below.
Reading resource for this workshop is Taoist Medicine Wheel - Tao of the Shaman 1
This workshop is pre-requisite for Step 5, Tao of the Shaman
You can continue with Taoist Shamanic Training by going on through Steps 4 and 5 (Steps 1 to 3 pre-requisite).
Register early - make the commitment and benefit from the savings for multiple registration: 10% off the combined total for booking 2 courses, 20% off for 3 or more.
Sign up on-line