Rose Petal Jam

Getting Back to the Basics

In this modern world of instant gratification, immediate messages, fast food, faster internet, etc., I find myself taking a step back. It seems to me that we try to find ways of cheating for a brighter bright, a whiter white, an oxy clean, a new chemical to treat wrinkles, depression, weight loss, impotence, lack of good digestion… …the list goes on for what seems an eternity. We want a quick fix. We want “more time”.

More time for what?

To pursue our spiritual endeavors? Are instant mashed potatoes really going to help me have the time to be a better person? Or, taking the time to work the land in prayer, feel the earth, dig the hole, plant the potato, nurture the plant, watch it grow patiently, give thanks as you harvest and clean, cook, serve, and feel the kupuri (life-force) and love from the gods as you take in the potato is going to serve me better? Knowing that the process was a shamanic experience and being aware of it, is a choice I have made.

People ask me why do I make my own laundry soap and bread from scratch and cook everything from scratch? Well, the answer is for the journey.

Last year I made rose petal jam. The easy recipe I found called for harvesting the rose petals and placing them in the food processor to grind them down in about three seconds. Another recipe was in a traditional style that called for rolling the rose petals between your hand to crush each one and release it’s flavor. I chose the longer version, which took about an hour. That hour was wonderful! There was something very meditative about it and I could feel the love and had time to give thanks for each rose petal as I worked. This is my therapy.

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Sacred Journey Mt. Shasta

Effective Tools of Communication

Shamanism offers important and effective tools of communication. Based on animism, the attribution of a soul to all living creatures and the earth, Huichol shamanism is a fully developed system of active participation and interaction with our inner world and the outer environment. In practical terms, I find this adds an element of wonderment and excitement to life.

Shamanic techniques provide an opportunity to understand and embrace specific natural events. Everything from visiting a place of natural beauty, to spotting a whale or bird watching, all have opportunities to brighten one’s spirit. When I see a red tail hawk, I have learned how to embrace and feel its presence. More than this, Huichol shamanism informs me of the specific place and power of that bird in the natural order. In this way, my experiences with red shouldered hawks is very different than that with peregrine falcons or kites.

The same is true for experiences with waterfalls versus great mountains. Each place has its own power, sounds and songs. Huichol shamanism opens a door through which I can connect with the intrinsic power of the world around me. Through this connectedness, I have the opportunity to be in the moment more fully.

There is an intellectual component to Huichol shamanism wherein the significance of each natural occurrence bears an exact meaning. I don’t always pick up on that component of my experience immediately but Huichol shamanism allows some breathing room. Huichol shamanism teaches that memory is sacred. There is no rush and I have a lifetime to reflect on my experiences to learn from them. That said, traditional Huichol practices often allow me to directly access a more powerful and vibrant aspect of my being in the moment. This is an immediate and refreshing experience.

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