I am delighted to announce that we have new translations!! Please join me in sending blessings and appreciation to our two new translators. Filiz Telek is translating The Transmutation News in Turkish. And Jitka "Jitush" Navratilova is translating the Transmutation News into Czech. It is so wonderful that our global community keeps growing!
I have decided not to send a broadcast email each time a blog I have written is posted on the Huffington Post. We get enough emails, don't we? Instead I will post the blog link on the Transmutation News. The blog for August is posted in the Announcements Section below and also it will posted on the homepage of www.sandraingerman.com.
I received messages from many readers that what I wrote in the August Transmutation News was extremely helpful.
I feel that as teachers and practitioners it is important to never put oneself on a pedestal. For when we do we set up unrealistic expectations for others.
Part of living in the conditioned world is always thinking that there is a perfect state we must attain and achieve. The truth is we are all growing towards the light and the sun. And in nature growth occurs in a slow and steady fashion.
I think putting people on pedestals or putting oneself on a pedestal is not healthy and is not truly being in service. For all those people we respect in life for the states of consciousness they model went through a challenging process of growth and are still growing.
The key is we must support and inspire each other to not give up and to keep walking on a spiritual path. In this way we flow with the river of life instead of being dragged by the river of life.
Last month I said I would write more about the Healing the Heart study I conducted with University of Michigan Integrative Medicine.
The study was published in the July issue of Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing.
Heart patients who participated in a four-day Medicine for the Earth retreat that included techniques such as meditation, guided imagery, drumming, journal writing and outdoor activities saw immediate improvement in tests measuring depression and hopefulness. Those improvements persisted at three- and six-month follow-up measurements.
The study was the first randomized clinical trial to demonstrate an intervention that raises hope in patients with acute coronary syndrome, a condition that includes chest pain and heart attack.
"The study shows that a spiritual retreat like the Medicine for the Earth program can jumpstart and help to maintain a return to psycho-spiritual well-being," says study lead author Sara Warber, M.D., associate professor of family medicine at the U-M Medical School and director of U-M's Integrative Medicine program. "These types of interventions may be of particular interest to patients who do not want to take antidepressants for depression symptoms that often accompany coronary heart disease and heart attack."
The retreat group was compared to two other groups: one received standard cardiac care and the other participated in a lifestyle change retreat run by the U-M Cardiovascular Center that focused on nutrition, physical exercise and stress management.
The study used a number of standard mental and physical benchmarks to assess the success of the program.
The spiritual retreat group went from a baseline score of 12 on the Beck Depression Inventory, indicating mild to moderate depression, to an improved score of 6 immediately afterward, a 50-percent reduction. Their scores remained that low half a year later. The lifestyle group saw their scores drop from 11 to 7 and remain there. The control group's score started at 8 and went down to 6.
Participants also showed marked improvement in their scores on a test measuring hope. Scores on the State Hope Scale can range from 6 to 48, with higher scores indicating greater hope. All three study groups started with average scores between 34 and 36. After the Medicine for the Earth retreat, participants' average scores rose and stayed at 40 or above, while the other two groups' averages remained significantly lower, ranging from 35 to 38, three and six months later.
"Our work adds an important spiritual voice to the current discussion of the importance of psychological well-being for patients facing serious medical issues, such as acute coronary artery disease," Warber says.
The workshop I taught was based on what I wrote in Medicine for the Earth. I taught the workshop in Michigan in 2004 and the majority of participants were very religious and would not be open to working with helping spirits or shamanic practices.
In teaching the workshop in Michigan all the practices were very powerful for our group. I just adapted my vocabulary to match the vocabulary that the participants could understand and work with.
This in itself is a powerful teaching. We oftentimes get so attached to feeling a need to use certain vocabulary when we teach spiritual practices. We must be flexible with our words to reach a broader audience with the work.
After the workshop in 2004 I wrote How to Heal Toxic Thoughts and then a couple of years later How to Thrive in Changing Times.
In both these books I was able to share the Medicine for the Earth work in ways that I felt could be understood by an audience of all beliefs and religions.
I know that these books are not all available in the languages that the Transmutation News is translated into. To get a book published in another language requires an interested publisher. At least one of these three books is published in almost all the languages.
If you are interested in teaching the Medicine for the Earth (MFTE) work to others in your community you might consider reading these books and adapt some of the exercises and practices given.
Below is a list of just some of the principles and practices we worked with:
We worked with the formula for transmutation and transformation: intention + love + union + harmony + concentration + focus + imagination = transformation.
Our perception creates our reality. If we believe we can create a life filled with good health then we will and can. As we learn how to appreciate the beauty of life our life reflects back that beauty.
We can perceive a person as healthy or ill. Spiritual teachings share when we perceive a person in their perfect health we help to lift them into a state of perfection.
Everything in our physical world starts in the invisible realms. This means our train of thoughts effect our health on all levels. The words we use also create the world we live in. Thoughts and words are "the as within" that create "the as without".
When one looks at creation stories from around the world you can observe that most cultures believe that the world was created from a sound or word. And words are seen to have great creative power.
We used meditation to breathe through our hearts and to learn how to observe our thoughts and state of being. We used meditation to disidentify from our emotional triggers.
We used journaling to write out thoughts, words, and decrees we wished to focus on throughout the day to lead us to our desired outcome.
We worked with creating a state of well being by using our imagination engaging all of our senses to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell the experience of the life we wish to create. In our workshop I had participants use their imaginations to see, hear, feel, taste, smell the experience of a life where they were healthy and happy. If you need more information on how to do this please read the May 2011 Transmutation News.
We used guided imagery to help participants discover their own story of creation so that they could understand the principle of union with the divine. An exercise to do this was written in the October 2010 Transmutation News.
We focused on how being out in nature helps us to regain a sense of well- being as we are connected to nature. And the earth, air, water, and the sun give us life. We went outside to sit with a tree as a time to relax and feel our connection with the heartbeat of the earth. And then we took short walks in nature while appreciating all that the earth, water, air, and the sun give us so that we may thrive.
We meditated on our life as a garden. We reflected on the thoughts and words we seeded our garden with. To have healthy lives we need to plant seeds in our inner garden of hope, inspiration, and love with our thoughts and words.
We asked for a healing dream before going to bed at night.
We learned how to transfigure into our divine light.
With the work that we did in the MFTE group we did a simple ceremony to imagine ourselves traveling deep into our bodies until we experienced our inner spiritual light. Then we experienced the flow of our spiritual light and radiated it out to the other members of our circle. In this way we experienced everyone in the circle in their divine perfection feeding the health of each participant in our circle.
One easy method I write about in How to Thrive in Changing Times is to imagine our body and mind being a beautiful coat over our spirit. Just unzip your coat and step out as pure divine light. Once you have had the experience zip back up your coat remembering the truth of who you truly are.
Another simple way I write about is imagine yourself merging with a star in the night sky. A star is light and radiates that light effortlessly for millions of miles. Imagine yourself being a shining star in the night sky.
After the four-day workshop, participants were encouraged to keep up a daily practice of transfiguration and also to keep perceiving everyone who was in our group in their divine light. And also each person was encouraged to feel the love of the circle throughout each day.
And I also encouraged the group to take in all the elements as light. Participants were taught to breathe in air, drink water, eat food, and take in the sun as love and light.
The practice is to allow our cells to absorb love and light throughout the day allowing radiance to shine through us creating a state of health and well being.
Participants were asked to create sacred space in their home and office by bringing in special objects. Decrees, words, inspirational images, flowers, candles, etc. can be placed in our space to remind us of our divinity.
Each person in our circle was amazed at the depth of the growth and healing that came from the practices they were taught during this four-day workshop. But they were also so touched by the love and support of the circle, and this was a new and life changing experience for them.
There were so many personal stories filled with emotion when we shared how the practices touched each person during and after the workshop when we continued our follow up.
At some point I hope to be able to pull together these wonderful stories to share with others as a source of inspiration. For as we know the heart filled stories shared by participants speak to the results in a deeper way than statistical data.
In the May Transmutation News I had shared about the Recall to Basic Consciousness. This was a conference for indigenous elders that took place in June. The conference was created by Jose Lucero, who is an elder in the Santa Clara Pueblo.
Jose Lucero has sent me an update on what occurred at the conference and I wanted to share a brief summary with you that you might find interesting. Here is an edited version of what Jose Lucero sent me:
"Following the tradition of the Indigenous United Nations meeting, the gathering used a circular format and the concept of an open fire to invite all of nature's family who share the love of life, and respect and care for Mother Earth. The open fire is symbolic of planting and nurturing the spiritual seed of traditional knowledge in the hearts and minds of all who were present. The circle represents a simple gesture of respect for Mother Earth.
Participants honored and acknowledged elders present, those who could not attend, as well as those who have passed.
During the gathering, prayers were offered asking for the blessing of water to grow the spiritual seed of traditional knowledge, and that rain be sent to our drought-stricken areas. This was done by casting a sacred pebble into the pool of life. The strong winds that blew throughout the meeting carried the message.
Prayers were offered to bring harmony to Mother Earth and to the human race. And all the tragedies that have come from environmental disasters, disease, famine, war were acknowledged and prayers were offered to all those impacted.
It was with this heavy load that the elders made a pilgrimage to "The Heart of Mother Earth" by Navajo Mountain. While there, they offered amends, condolences and asked for forgiveness on behalf of all peoples.
While the rings of the sacred pebble made in the pool of life continue to grow further and further, so we reach out toward the future and the year 2012. It is at this time that a "cosmic alignment for spiritual enlightenment" must be made which will coincide with the alignment of the planets in our solar system. The planets are governed by the spiritual strings of our Grandfather Sun who in turn is ruled by the Creator. The solar flares from Grandfather affect all life forms and events in our solar system.
As these events occur we must not be fearful, but aware, and humble ourselves as we transition to recognize higher consciousness.
We would be wise to follow the example of the indigenous traditional elders who have gone before us, and those who are here with us today, and return to basic consciousness in order to help Mother Earth and all her children. For as we think and live, so Mother Earth, the solar system, and ultimately the universe will respond to us in like manner.
Un be og gin de way da. With respect and love for all."
The final message that comes from the elders matches the work we have been doing together.
I suggest that we celebrate the change in season by sending a prayer for all of life by casting a sacred pebble into the pool of life. You can do this through a meditation, creating your imagery, or through shamanic journeying. Let us join in with the wisdom of the elders and add to the rings of the sacred pebble so the rings continue to grow reaching further throughout the planet and into the future.
The equinox is September 23. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere we welcome in Autumn. And for those in the Southern Hemisphere we welcome in Spring.
This is a wonderful to time to meditate on your inner garden. Put on some nice music and imagine yourself traveling within to your own inner sacred garden of life. Notice what thoughts and attitudes need to be weeded out and what new seeds need to be planted.
Remember what we give energy to we give life to. What energies are you feeding?
This is a time where we are being asked to surrender to the death of what we know. It is time for us stop thinking and to live from our hearts and follow our inner wisdom.
It is a time to respond to questions with the answer "I don't know".
Whether you are celebrating the fall or spring equinox it is time to start looking at the world through spirit eyes. Drop into your heart and merge with your inner spirit and perceive all that is happening from a new perception.
Rationally we do not know what is coming. We can only allow our spirit to guide us.
The full moon is September 12. Let us continue to feed and weave a beautiful web of light within and throughout the earth. And let us send love and blessings to our global community as we perceive all of us in our divine light radiating light within and without.
For those of you new to reading The Transmutation News please read "Creating A Human Web of Light" on the homepage for instructions on our full moon ceremony.
Please join me in sending blessings to all for a joyous equinox!
I will be co-teaching a weekend workshop with Hank Wesselman titled "Awakening to the Spirit World" at Omega Institute September 23-25. Taught at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York Contact Omega Institute at: 877-944-2002 in U.S. 845-266-4444 from outside the U.S. email: email@example.com
NEW: Two-Year Teacher Training in Shamanic Journeying and Healing beginning April 2012
For the general information letter which includes more specifics and prerequisites for the training please email Ruth Aber at: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW: On line course "Experiencing the Shamanic Journey" (sponsored by Sounds True)
In April I traveled to Boulder to teach a two-day beginning workshop on shamanic journeying and healing. The workshop was filmed by Sounds True so that it could be used for a future online course.
If you would like to join into our virtual community and learn shamanic journeying please visit: www.soundstrue.com and click on the "Courses and Events" tab.
I had the wonderful opportunity to contribute to a book titled: Shamanism Without Borders: A Guide to Shamanic Tending for Trauma and Disasters.
In this handbook, produced by the Society for Shamanic Practitioners, experienced practitioners explain techniques and principles used by shamans throughout time to deal with trauma and disasters and how these practices are applied today.
Tripping The Bardo with Timothy Leary is Joanna Harcourt-Smith's story about the systematic suppression of the 60s Revolution & her Mata Hari days with Timothy Leary, the Harvard legend of LSD. This book is being self-published through the support of the Kickstarter community http://kck.st/nPAbLr. Please visit the site to learn more on how to order this book.
Soul Retrieval, Medicine for the Earth, and Shamanism