The Interconnectedness of All: Acknowledging the Beings Around You
Apart from working with one's Helping Spirits, at the heart of shamanism is bringing our full presence to the world around us. It's the acknowledging and noticing the simple, yet miraculous goings on around us that bring us out of the mundane to the divine. The flower opening; a dragonfly landing nearby; a rainbow appearing overhead - are all opportunities to recognize and acknowledge the beings who reside in this world alongside us.
However, you don't need to be a shamanic practitioner in order to open your heart to this practice. Acknowledging with curiosity the sentient beings around us in Ordinary Reality as fellow members of this existence, without judgment or notion of hierarchy, naturally opens our hearts, minds and souls. This acknowledgement might be thought of a mindfulness-based way of living. As Zen Buddhist Master, Thich Nhat Hanh conveys:
The kingdom of God is available to you in the here and the now. But the question is whether you are available to the kingdom. Our practice is to make ourselves ready for the kingdom so that it can manifest in the here and the now. You don't need to die in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. In fact, you have to be truly alive in order to do so.
Our culture unfortunately supports a way of living that reinforces more work and less play, more doing and less being. The saying "stopping to smell the roses" is a good reminder to breathe and visit stillness, to slow down into a rhythm that is the heartbeat of Nature. It's no secret that being outdoors has been scientifically proven to restore people to wholeness. When we are spending time acknowledging Nature, our own rhythms begin to match Hers.
In working with Nature Spirits, I have learned over the years that they are emphatically pleased when we acknowledge them. As Stewards of Mother Earth, the Little People want humans to understand that there is more to existing than the material world that modern society has created. In fact, it is this disconnect from the Earth and the pulse in which She operates that is at the core of our collective sickness. The Nature Spirits actually yearn for humans to understand that there is so much more to witness and participate in. When we interact with the sentient beings in this world, there is a welcoming of peace and a rhythm of calm that comes with the acknowledgement of all beings great and small.
At this time of Harvest Moon just passing and Autumn Equinox soon arriving, let's celebrate the bounty of the summertime and honor the slowing down and going within that Mother Nature does so gracefully in Autumn.
In the great hustle and bustle of your life, you might wish to carve out time to share with the infinite number of compassionate beings around you. Perhaps rattle or drum outside, acknowledging a tree, the wind, the rain or the clouds. Sink into the natural rhythm available to you at all times. Then, watch how these spirits respond to your acknowledgement!