09 January 2008

Introductory Course: Shamanism as a Spiritual Path

Dear Drummers,
Below is an outline for a six month introductory course I'd like to lead. Please let me know if you are interested. The class is limited to 15, but I need a minimum number of about 10 to get started and pay costs. If you are interested, please send me an email at jaime@drummingthesoulawake.com


Shamanism as a spiritual path - Level 1

This six-month course will introduce students to the core concepts and cross-cultural practices of shamanism. This course is ideal for persons who want to formally learn the core skills and ideas associated with shamanism, who are motivated by a desire to expand and deepen their spiritual lives through earth-centered spiritual practice, and who want to engage with a community of like-minded seekers. This course sees shamanism, or shamanic spirituality, as a practice and a way of life of a person who is skilled in crossing into non-ordinary reality for the purpose of creating balance and healing of self and others in the community. This course does not involve the use of psychotropic plant substances, and is not recommended for those currently using substantial dosages of mind - altering medications or chemicals.

The course will not only teach common shamanic techniques and practices but also provide students with a broad cultural context for shamanic practice in the modern world, touching on art, psychology, and theology. Students who take the course will exit with an understanding of many core shamanic practices and confidence to continue building their shamanic skills. They will also have a greater understanding of their own shamanic call and how it fits into today’s world and in their own creativity. In this sense, shamanic practice is about learning ancient methods of gaining insight to today’s life issues. Students will leave the course with a greater understanding of their own spiritual power, how to cultivate it and how to bring it into the world for good.

The class will meet approximately once per month for a 4-5 hour workshop (specific times and location TBA). An outline of the curriculum follows below. Each workshop will contain 30% lecture/demonstration and 70% experiential work with opportunity for discussion and sharing of ideas and experiences. Students will be assigned homework to complete before the next monthly workshop. The homework will involve some reading and journaling, but mostly practice. In addition, each student will receive two individual consultations with the instructor during the six months to help set individual direction and answer specific questions.

Students are urged to bring a drum and rattle with them. However, some drums and rattles can be provided and the instructor can also help students find ways to purchase or make their own drum and rattle. Enrollment is limited to 15. Prospective students will be asked to submit a brief essay outlining their interests, prior experience, history of spiritual practice, and expectations for this course.

The course begins near the Spring Equinox (March 2008) and ends near the Autumnal Equinox (September 2008). The six workshop dates will be on Saturdays or Sundays in the Twin Cities metro area for 4-5 hours (specific times and location TBA).

Class 1 (March 2008)
Lecture/presentation: historical overview of shamanism; the shamanic cosmos; the science of shamanism and trance; sonic driving & visions.
Experience/Training: basics of the shamanic journey, safety, protection, openness.
Homework: Reading, journey practice, journaling.

Class 2 (May 2008):
Lecture/Presentation: Comparative theology of spirit guides and relationship with Spirit
Experience/Training: Finding a power animal or spirit guide
Homework: journey practice, dancing a power animal, following instructions of spirit guides, looking for “signs” in the natural world.

Class 3 (June 2008)
Lecture/Presentation: The shaman’s task: creating balance between spirit and humans realms; ideas of the wounded healer; identifying the call.
Experience/Training: Working with the spirits of nature
Homework: journey practice, dancing a power animal, following instructions of spirit guides regarding balance.

Class 4 (July 2008)
Lecture/Presentation: Spirit and voice, the singing shaman, song as power
Experience/Training; Finding a power song and its use
Homework: singing your power song and learning to use it, memorizing poetry, journey practice, journaling.

Class 5 (August) 2008)
Lecture/Presentation: Shamanism and personal creativity, art-making
Experience/Training: Becoming a storyteller (tools of the trade).
Homework: journey practice, dancing power animals, learning a story to tell, memorizing poetry , journaling.

Class 6 (September 2008)
Lecture/Presentation: Shamanism and psychology; the “transpersonal”
Experience/Training: Working with the different types of ancestors
Homework: Journey to the ancestors, telling the ancestors’ story, memorizing poetry, power song practice; connecting the past to the present and future community

The cost for the six month course is $550 covers the costs of the course, handouts and some other ceremonial materials. Students will provide their own journals and some other ceremonial supplies at minimal cost. A deposit of $250 is required before the first class with the remaining $300 due before Class # 4. Some flexibility on payment schedule can be arranged. Some scholarship support is available – just ask.

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