Shaman’s World, by Paul Ayling

Shamans World Nov2016

Welcome again to the Shaman’s world. Last time I talked about the role of the Shaman and the continuing need for his/her work in the modern world. I also talked briefly about our need as human beings to reconnect with nature so that we can start to live in harmony with it again and hopefully stop doing quite so much damage to our environment.

Many people seem to be aware that something is missing from their lives and many are searching for that something, sometimes in spirituality, sometimes in materialism. People search the world for something that will help them understand and connect with life and meaning. Eastern philosophies, mindfulness, yoga etc. South American rituals such as Ayahuasca. Traditions and beliefs from around the globe in fact, far too numerous to mention and all with much to offer the seeker.

Back at home I often hear people expound the benefits of walking in nature, either by the sea,on the hills or in the woods. Just walking and looking around helps them to clear their minds, relax and let go of the stresses of life. A beautiful and simple way of self healing perhaps!
It’s possible to go deeper with it too!

If you are one of these people who enjoy the outdoors, I urge you, next time you are out, take things a step further. Even if you are not a walker, you can go out into you’re garden or local park. Somewhere where there are trees.

When you find a tree that you like the look of, simply look at it. Observe what it is doing. Is it motionless or moving in the breeze? If so does it move easily or creak and groan?
Then try to forget all that you know about trees. We each have a lifetime of knowledge about trees stowed away in our memory banks that clouds our opinions of them.

Imagine you are a small, wide eyed child, seeing a tree for the first time. Not knowing that it has roots down into the ground that drink up water. Not knowing that we can take wood from it to make furniture and other objects. Not knowing that we can make paper from it. Not knowing even, that it breathes for us, creating oxygen from carbon dioxide so that we can continue to breathe ourselves. Erasing all that built up knowledge that you have.

See that tree again from a view point of complete innocence. How does it look? How does it feel? What does it feel? Is it alive? Can it speak even?  Who knows? This is a completely new being you have stumbled across. Try to see it again for the first time and let you’re own questions and answers come and go. Don’t dismiss any thoughts that come into you’re head, just see how comfortable and right or wrong they feel.
Maybe the tree is another living being rather like yourself, with hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future. Or maybe not. You decide, let the tree inform you.

We can look at all living things in this way. Forming our own opinions and letting the energy of the object of our attention guide us, rather than the beliefs of others that we have learned.

It’s a simple exercise but one that we can do at home or close to home, without having to travel the globe or study books and classes. It is also a first step to actually feeling what nature feels like in the way that an indigenous tribes man may have done. If nothing else it can put you in touch with yourself and you’re own beliefs so you can see how that fits with the world view. I urge you again take a little time and enjoy the simplicity of just witnessing a tree.

I for one find it beautiful and inspiring.

About the Author

Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge is a hugely experienced journalist who has worked on local and national newspapers, magazines and written for websites over the past 30 years. He lives in Bognor Regis with his wife and son.