Our Relationship with Food

As living beings, we all rely on food for sustenance. We each have an innate relationship with our food, but this relationship is also affected by our culture and personal experiences, in turn informing the way we understand, enjoy and respect the food we eat.

How do you honor your food? This and other questions are addressed in this interview. Brant Secunda describes the indigenous perspective of food, as experienced within the Huichol culture. He recounts the way the Huichol manifest a deep relationship with the food they grow and gather from their environment and methods they utilize to honor these harvests.

The sacred crops of the Huichol, including corn, squash, and beans have their unique mythology, informing the way in which the Huichol honor these foods and integrate them not only physically into their bodies, but also into their spiritual rituals and ceremonies. Brant explains the spiritual heritage of some of these foods, including URARI (Chocolate – the Food of the Gods).
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Negative Emotions

Negative Emotions

Everyone struggles with negative emotions. Brant Secunda shares with us the Huichol perspective on negativity and ways in which they alleviate themselves from these negative feelings.

The Huichol say that all negative emotions stem from three primary negative aspects, each connected to a particular region of the body. We inquire about this emotional/physical correlation and explore specific practices we can utilize to purify ourselves of negativity.

By letting go of the roots of negativity we can embrace a life of balance and harmony. Brant says, “We have to try, we have to practice it and watch, and feel how it can affect us and transform our life. This is how we Huichol shamanism is viable today in the modern world…”
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Humility

Humilty

Brant says, “Don José… …always emphasized to be humble, that humbleness is such a high quality, to have humility, to be humble in front of nature. To be humble and have humility in front of The Great Spirit is such an important part [of shamanism].” We explore the connection between humility and self-confidence, and how this can help us from being held back in our lives.

Surrendering to Nature, to the beauty of life, allows us to embrace who we are and our place in this world. This allows us to experience pure joy and laughter.

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Finding the Soul

Finding the Soul

Where is our Soul? Brant Secunda says “it is in the place between two heartbeats.” But finding this place requires us to focus on the heart; to develop a relationship to nature through the heart.

We inquire about the Huichol perspective on the Soul/Body connection that has become so popularized in our modern world and learn from Brant how to empower our bodies through our innate connection to the Earth.

Do the Huichol differentiate the Spirit from the Soul? We examine this question and the importance of bringing all three (body, heart/soul, and spirit) into unification.
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Dance of the Deer Foundation

Dance of the Deer Foundation

In this interview, we explore the history of the Dance of the Deer Foundation and the meaning behind our unique name. Brant shares the background of the organization he founded with his teacher Don José Matsuwa and offers insights into the spiritual importance of the Deer within the Huichol culture.

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The Huichol Tribe

The Huichol Tribe

The Huichol are considered to be one of the last remaining pre-Columbian indigenous tribes in North America. Brant Secunda shares his unique perspective on the Huichol garnered from the many years he spent living among the tribe and his continued involvement within Huichol villages and communities.

Still living a life steeped in mysticism and shamanic ceremony, the Huichol are striving to maintain their ancient forms of spirituality. Their simple way of life provides a blueprint for living in harmony with the environment and honoring the spirits of nature.

In this candid interview, we are able to scrape the surface of Brant’s knowledge and experience of the Huichol culture. We look forward to many more interviews in which we can delve deeper into life within the the tribe.
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The Art of Chanting

The Art of Chanting

Chanting can be found in all major religions and spiritual traditions worldwide. The Huichol see the art of chanting as one of the highest and most difficult forms of spiritual practice. The ceremonial shamans are often referred to as the “singing ones.” They utilize the ancient chants to alter reality, both in the spiritual paradigm and in our everyday life, with things such as the weather.

Chanting is one way to alter consciousness and create a link to the divine. Specific tones can help to “open the heart” and shift our mental state into a more peaceful and harmonious phase.

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Staying Steady

Staying Steady

With all the ups and downs, highs and lows of modern day life, it can be very difficult to remain steady and even keeled. The Huichol people have an amazing ability to remain steady in their life. Both emotionally and physically, they live a life of continuity and balance. By better understanding the ways in which ancient indigenous cultures lived a sustainable life, we too can unlock the secrets to avoiding the roller coaster of negative emotions and physical pain.

By making yourself aware of the natural rhythm of nature and by striving to be a part of that cycle, each of us can find stability on our path of life.

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Connecting with Nature

Connecting with Nature

Huichol traditions are closely linked to the earth, its’ elements and seasons. In this interview, Brant explores how we can bring positivity, balance and meaning into our lives by incorporating shamanic practices such as speaking our dreams to Grandfather Fire and breathing in the beauty of Grandmother Ocean.

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Benefits of Shamanism

Benefits of Shamanism

Our various programs strive to harmoniously connect ancient traditions and way of life to the modern world. What we offer through each of our programs is a lasting new perspective on the world and self.

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