October 1, 2016
In October of 1974, I was invited to a dance party in San Francisco’s Jack Tarr Hotel hosted by “est” founder and guru, Werner Erhard. Arriving late and jacked up in my usual caffeine, nicotine, work fiend frenzy, I raced up the stairs to where the event was already well underway. The usual plastic chandeliered, brightly lit hotel conference room, where I had attended many seminars and events, had been transformed. The lurid undulating bass beat led me to the entryway, where a cascading conflation of brightly colored silk banners hung in a vertical, maze-like fashion in front of the doorway.
As this colorful portal of tangled tapestry drew me in, I was spun into a dimly lit room of swirling bodies and strangely intoxicating music. It was as if I had been transported through time and space into some alien land. I knew at once: these were my people!
I was home…
It has been 42 years since I began this 5Rhythms journey, slowly at first, peeking into the possibility of becoming an embodied soul, deepening through the years to teaching and eventually expanding into the shamanic wisdom of Gabrielle’s teachings. Shortly before that first encounter, my Rolfer, Dub Leigh said to me, “Michael, you’re the only person I have ever met who doesn’t realize he has a body!”
Now I teach Embodied Shamanism to thousands of people around the globe.
The word “shaman” means “one who sees in the dark.” It is a path of direct revelation. A shamanic practitioner chooses to live in two worlds at once: the outer world of form and substance and the inner world of instinct, inspiration, intuition and essence. It’s not something that can be experienced and retained purely in the mind; the body is the true vessel. To access the ancient celestial cellular wisdom of our ancestors, we must first become embodied. Only then can we enter the world Gabrielle called the “Silver Desert”, a world of luminous silence and endless movement where we drop our identity and enter the mysterious realm of spirit.
It was decades before I fully realized that ours was a shamanic practice. It was only after encounters with shamans of South America, doing classic soul retrievals and dismemberment journeys and beginning to study with Sandra Ingerman, that I started to understand what our beloved raven woman had been leading us to all along. Everything that I had been experiencing with Gabrielle was intended to reunite the Spirit with the flesh, the masculine with the feminine, the light with the dark, the self with the web of life.
“Think of your body as a begging bowl for spirit!”
We have not fallen from grace, there’s no need for salvation. We only need to return to the garden, which is our true source of nourishment. Our body is the access to our longing for wholeness, truth, beauty and the unification with spirit.
For thousands of years, shamans around the globe have gone directly to the heart of nature to tap into the limitless potentiality of the universe. Our future depends on our learning how to reclaim this ancient power of direct revelation to meet the challenges of today!
Perhaps the greatest psychosis we face is the plague of Nature Deficit disorder … Humans, especially children, are spending less time outdoors in nature, which has resulted in an epidemic of mental, emotional and behavioral issues that are eroding our quality of life and our relationship with this exquisitely precious planet.
This separation from nature and the web of life has led to an escalating disintegration of our culture, economy, and ecosystems, which is threatening the future of all life on this planet. We have become lost, disconnected and out of balance, facing an uncertain future that looks bleak and foreboding.
We must return to the garden and reconnect with our embodied nature.
Shamanism is a nature-based spiritual path of direct revelation. Shamans have known since the beginning of time that the web of life is our true source of power.
To live a shamanic way of life is to walk in beauty. To recognize that everyone and everything is sacred and holy. Not only in the visible, but the invisible worlds.
When we recognize that we are not separate from nature, we can reclaim our innate power and move from a cluttered mind to a spacious and compassionate heart. It is from this place that we can see things rightly. Embodied Shamanism is a culmination of ancient wisdom, years of 5Rhythms and Gestalt practice enhanced with meditation and other transformational practices.
On October 12th I am offering a free global event on Embodied Shamanism. I hope you will join me for Living a Shamanic Way of Life: 3 Core Lessons From the Heart of Nature.
In this event, we will experience a deepening connection with the self-empowering lessons that come directly from the heart of nature. We will be journeying to access the wisdom of our Ancient Cellular Memory, Merging with the Web of Life, and Moving with the Cycles and Patterns of Life.
If you would like to join us for this free global event, please click here to register.
Thank you all for your 5Rhythms partnership and commitment to bringing forth a world that works for all life.
You are the embodiment of spirit in flesh.
With love and blessings,