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Toltec Universal Vision. Mexico Desert Retreat.
A Practical Intuitive Shamanic Initiation
Chu-Ra, Yei Malinali, Estefany Ruiz Gordinez, 'El Paco' Ramirez and others
Teotihuacan and the Wirrikuta, Mexico.
November 18th-December 9th 2017 (two, three week options)
This powerful experience can be taken on its own or as part of the Practical Intuitive Shamanic Training.

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Shamanism

Shamanism is a term used to describe various spiritual, ceremonial, counselling, psychotherapeutic and medical practises worldwide. It has been used to describe various ancient practices in such diverse places as Siberia and the Peruvian Amazon. The variations in the practises are so diverse that it can seem absurd to bunch them all into one word. Indeed, Mercea Eliade, the most eloquent academic authority on shamanism, has argued that shamanism doesn't exist, since the word would imply a coherence that simply isn't there. There is no definitive book or text which defines shamanism, like for example, Christianity or Judaism or islam, because the traditions were passed on mostly orally. In the contermporary western use of the term, modern psychoanalytic, councelling, team buiding, and complementary medical approaches are merged with remembered, imagined or (in rare cases) directly taught ancient practises from an established living lineage.

The facilitators at the Centre of the Conscious Dream, are either part of that living lineage, or have found inspiration from shamanic teachers or ‘curanderos'. Although the centre of the conscious dream runs courses which teach shamanic practises, we do not believe that a shaman is born by being given a certificate. In fact, none of us (even those in their lineage) call ourselves ‘shamans' as such. We work from the heart with what would be recognised as shamanic methods, among others, and understand that a calling to this path is from an inner sense (innocence) of knowing.

Unfortunately, the word shamanism and shaman have been appropriated to describe all kinds of weird and wonderful ancient and modern practises, which has created a vague all-encompassing confusion. Here are some definitions or associations from our direct experience of world shamanic traditions which are useful and relevant to our work, the courses and the circles we hold.

The earth as a conscious being.

Animals, plants, rocks, mountains, seas, the elements as well as human beings as holding different aspects of consciousness.

Healing as the balance between mind, body, emotion and spirit. Without the understanding of the spirit part of this medicine wheel, we can't diagnose clearly nor find the cure.

The interconnected relation between the humans, the earth, the planets and the stars.

Our perception defines the dimension of our reality. Different ways of seeing can be trained.

It is possible to journey through time.

There is a responsibility to assist the passage of death. Death as transformation between one type of life and another.



Buddhism.

Buddhism is more easy to define that shamanism because it is based around the real and legendary life of one man, Siddhartha Gautama , and there are several texts which document his teachings. However, there are so many diverse practices under the umbrella of Buddhism that, like shamanism, one can wonder if indeed Buddhism exists. The monastic traditions of teravadic Buddhism is very different from the more shamanically inspired Tibetan style, and both are worlds away from the approaches of, for example, the Western Buddhist order, or ‘the buddha' nightclub in the city San Luis Potosi, Mexico. There is a famous saying - “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him” (because this would be an illusion). This does give a fair amount of scope for life students the world over to find their own understanding of ‘buddha' and ‘buddhism'

Our work is influenced by direct experience of the Tibetan traditions in which the influence of Bon shamanism is very present. Here are some of the ways in which we understand the term.

Everything comes from nothing. Matter is illusion. (Quantum physicists have also come to this conclusion)

The importance of breath awareness as a means of understanding the root of all thought.

That we come from a bardo (dream), we live in a bardo (dream), and our death is the movement into a different bardo (dream).

To know and heal the world one has to know and heal oneself.



Conscious Dreaming

Our interpretation of the word ‘dream' refers not only to our activity during sleep. It is closer to the Australian Aboriginal meaning of ‘dreaming' which refers to the dream of the day as well as the dream of the night. In this approach, dreaming is 24 hours since all life is dream, or different forms of dreaming. The practical application of this understanding is that we do not separate night dreaming and attempt to analyse it, rather we treat all experience both night and day as coming from the same root. Our work it to become conscious in the dream of our day as well as the dream of the night, and we do this by creating dialogue with our dreaming. A conscious co-creative dialogue. Anyone who has woken up during a dream at night would know the ecstatic awakening feeling of seeing the world ‘s it really is'. If we apply this to our day time experience, it implies that most of the time we are dreaming in the day without being conscious, and so to wake up to our dream of our day would be becoming aware of the illusion that has been presented (projected) to us, or which we have projected. When we wake up either in the dream of the day or of the night, we open our doors of perception, and see the world in a different way. As it ‘really' is. A conscious dreamer would be able to see things as they really are in a sustained way.

Do words matter.

We work with anyone, from any country, no matter what path they follow – shamanism, Buddhism, Christian, atheist, agnostic, jew or gentile. Underneath the labels all humans are looking for the same – love, a sense of home, healing. Shamanism, Buddhism, and conscious dreaming, are words that communicate something of what we practise and offer. However, we, like you, at heart, are seeking the same.