Category: Shamanism

The Spiritual Dimension of Reality, Part 1

As a nuclear physicist and former university professor, Claude Poncelet may seem an unlikely choice to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on shamanic practice. Yet, Claude has taught shamanic spirituality worldwide for more than 25 years, and has recently written the book The Shaman Within: A Physicist’s Guide to the Deeper Dimensions of Your Life, the Universe, and Everything. In this episode, Tami and Claude discuss the innate sentience of all matter, the points where science and shamanism converge, and the practical benefits of a leading a shamanic life in the modern world. They also speak on the shamanic art of shape-shifting, both as a spiritual practice and a path to physical healing. (73 minutes)

Awaken the Inner Shaman

Tami Simon speaks with Dr. José Luis Stevens, a leading shamanic teacher who brings indigenous wisdom to personal and organizational challenges. José is the cofounder of the Power Path School of Shamanism and the author of 18 books and ebooks, including his latest book with Sounds True, Awaken the Inner Shaman: A Guide to the Power Path of the Heart. In this episode, Tami speaks with José about what the Inner Shaman is and how we can access it through practice and surrender. He explores shamanic ways of seeing, relating to your body, and actualizing your potential. José also examines the questions of trust and faith for both the Inner Shaman and the unfolding of world events. (68 minutes)

Coleman Barks: Rumi, Grace, and Human Friendship

Tami Simon speaks with Coleman Barks, a leading scholar and translator of the 13th century Persian mystic, Jelaluddin Rumi. Coleman’s work was the subject of an hour-long segment in Bill Moyers’ Language of Life series with PBS. He has published numerous Rumi translations, including with Sounds True the audio programs I Want Burning, Rumi: Voice of Longing, and his new three-CD collaboration with cellist David Darling called Just Being Here: Rumi and Human Friendship. In this episode, Tami speaks with Coleman about the extraordinary friendship between Rumi and his teacher Shams Tabriz, and how translating Rumi requires entering a trance state. Coleman offers insights on grace as he and Tami listen to selections from Just Being Here. (63 minutes)

Walking a Path of Power

Recently, I had the pleasure of recording The Power Path Training: Living the Secrets of the Inner Shaman with husband-and-wife teachers and shamanic practitioners José and Lena Stevens. In the course of our days together in the studio, I encountered a number of concepts that I found I could immediately put into practice in my own life with powerful results.

At the core of their teaching is the idea that we are part of a vast web of relationship, and that the universe is brimming with beings and powers who can serve as allies in our own unfolding. In fact, in their view, everything in our environment—not only the spirits or totems we might normally think of as power animals, but natural forces like wind and water, heavenly bodies like the sun and stars, as well as other humans past and present—can offer us support and serve as medicine to help bring us into balance. All these sources of power are available to us at every step of the journey.

But the Stevens teach that the key to accessing that power and using it wisely lies in mastering our relationship to ourselves—as bodies, as emotional and mental beings, and as pure spirit. To act from our essence—our true nature as spirit—we must identify the fears and desires of the false personality, learning to navigate the world from a place of neutrality instead of reactivity. Shifting from the reactivity of the personality to the neutrality of spirit is not a one-time choice, but rather the result of thousands of small choices.

Since the recording, I’ve tried to remember in moments of reactivity (with varying degrees of success) that my reactions have an impact in ways I can’t possibly fathom. I’ve tried to see those situations that throw me out of neutrality not as problems, but as gifts that show me where I have work to do, where my fears and desires get in the way of clear seeing.

Perhaps the most powerful practice I’ve worked to do as I move through my day is simply to pause and recognize all the allies working on my behalf all the time. It’s easy to forget the miraculous blessing of just being here—of being on this planet in the whole vast galaxy, just far enough from the nurturing sun that we can survive; of living in a place where there is food and water and a culture which allows some degree of ease; of being among other humans who love us and whom we love; of breathing this air that sustains us. I’ve found that cultivating this underlying sense of gratitude helps me maintain equilibrium when things go “wrong” and equanimity when “problems” arise.

What habitual reactions prevent you from living from your essence? And what allies are available, right now in this moment, to support you in acting in love, from your deepest nature?


Sandra Ingerman and Marie Manuchehri: What are Spirit ...

In this special edition of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Marie Manuchehri and Sandra Ingerman about their experiences with spirit guides and how we might meet these helpful forces ourselves at any moment in our lives. Sandra and Marie share their perspectives on how to access information that we can trust, communication through metaphor, and how they work with spirit guides for healing in their professional practices. Sandra and Marie also share advice and recommendations for those curious about connecting with their own spirit guides. (61 minutes)

The Sweet Ache of Longing and Loving Well

Tami Simon speaks with Oriah Mountain Dreamer, who was given her name by the elders with whom she studied shamanism. Oriah is a teacher, mentor, group facilitator, and the author of the internationally bestselling books The Invitation, The Dance, and The Call. With Sounds True, she has created an audio program called Your Heart’s Prayer. In this episode, Tami speaks with Oriah about her experience with vision quests, the role of the ancestral guides in her life, what it might mean to have faith in our longing, and the power of asking the question, “Did I love well?”
(56 minutes)