Many people don’t know that the process of Guided Meditation is an important doorway to the fifth state of consciousness. The imaginary landscape is the connection to our inner mind. It’s also known by a number of other terms including “Creative Visualization” and “Mindfulness Meditation.” You might be surprised to learn the process of Guided Meditation actually comes from a much older tradition – Shamanism.
What is Shamanism?
At its core, Shamanism is a body of ancient wisdom about human nature and our environment. You can trace the roots of modern medicine and psychology back to the early practitioners of Shamanism. It’s also remarkable that you can find similar traditions around the globe. One of the main processes used in this tradition is the Shamanic Journey.
What is the Shamanic Journey?
The shamanic journey is a “spiritual technology” which assists in opening a doorway to a unique state of consciousness. Michael Harner noted anthropologist, author, educator and modern-day Shaman called this state, “The Shamanic State of Consciousness” (SSC). In this state the brainwaves are the theta-wave are around 4 to 7Hz. SCC is similar to another non-ordinary state known as bliss consciousness or transcendental consciousness. SCC can be useful in the healing of mind, body, and spirit. Or, just to explore. It is one of the primary “spiritual technologies” of mankind transcending all cultures. Another way to understand SCC is as one of our default states of awareness waking, sleeping, and dreaming.
How do you access SCC? Many traditions use sound or vibration to reach this fifth state via drums, rattles or singing bowls. The use of vibration alone to open the doorway to SCC enables full control over the process in both depth and duration. This has advantages over drug-induced altered states. There are disadvantages to using drugs (Peyote, Ayahuasca, etc.) to induce the state. As a result, you are at the mercy of the potency of the drug. This takes away control of the depth and duration of the session. Some ancient traditions used a combination of both drug and sound. This approach is only for the experienced spiritual traveler.
Why was Shamanism Demonized?
So, why were the practices of Shamanism and the Shamanic Journey demonized? (To demonize is to try to make someone or a group of people seem as if they are evil). The short answer, because the teachers and practices were in competition for the hearts and minds of people. Shamanic practices and knowledge provided answers and solutions that Western theology could not. As a result, the practices were demonized. Consequently, anyone practicing or attempting to practice were dealt with severely by those in power.
Re-Branding the Shamanic Journey as Guided Meditation
So, to make the Shamanic Journey more acceptable to the Western Paradigm, it became Guided Meditation, Creative Visualization, Mind Journey, Mindfulness Meditation, etc. These generic terms are the products of the successful re-branding campaign. This enabled those in the West to utilize the spiritual technology and still demonize the source traditions from which it came. In conclusion, you can find Guided Meditation used across many Western religions that would not otherwise contemplate the use of Shamanism.
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