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Shamans are the ultimate psychologist. They understand just as modern science does that our thoughts are directly connected with our health. To give you a brief picture of how that works imagine a thought that makes you very angry. Now consider the peptide ( the neurochemical ) for anger surging throughout your biological circuitry. Negative emotions like this are causing harm to your internal organs. From the shamanic perspective, these negative emotions and thoughts impact your spirit body, or energy ( Chi; Nawi ). Your reaction to situations effects your spirit body as well.
A Shaman knows that if a patient continues to live with the same faulty thinking patterns that the illness will remain a problem. Therefore, it is the job of the shaman to get into the mind of the patient and find out what the problem is. When these ancient healers were able to change the patients mind, they could then increase the natural level of chi within the body. Most modern psychologist in the western world would just prescribe some sort of pill to mask the physiological symptoms caused from these habitual patterns. Can you see how doing that does not solve the problem?
Andean shamans believe that resentment causes cancer. They also believe that people who don't express their feelings suffer from throat problems, while an aching in the stomach is credited to sorrow. They teach that the heart, stomach, and solar plexus are the storage portals of our emotional baggage. So it is required of the shaman to locate the areas of weakness and change their patients mind.
Visualization techniques are used to build up and store energy. It's basically utilizing the law of attraction in the most clever way imaginable. Shamans believe in embracing your innate child-like nature and creativity. Imagination is what drives us towards living our waking dreams. Imagine what it is you want. Don't be afraid to dream. Visualize it like you're there living it right now. You'll start to feel it. The emotions that permeate your being from the idea of living this dream of yours are charging your spirit body with positive energy.
In the Shamanic approach to healing and operating in general, this stored energy is a major source of power. It can help them to help others. After all, what good is a doctor who's just as ill as the patient? So you want to reach your goals and live your dreams. The first step is to imagine exactly what you want, feel it with every ounce of your soul, and the manifestation of this reality has literally begun to unfold.
Shamanic cultures like to integrate their senses in their visualization practices. Taste, aromas, sights, feelings, and sounds of an organic nature all enhance the power of the practice. This is why you'll often see them burning incense, or chewing on something from nature. These strategies wire neuropathways into the mind, to form memories. By using the senses, the law of associations makes those pathways more secure, or profound. The stronger the pathway, the easier it is to access, and the more intense the energy it provides upon retrieval.
Visions to the shaman can be thought of as profound insights from ones higher self, or the consciousness of the cosmos in its entirety, also known as the divine. Shamans go on psychedelic journeys which induce such visions. They can occur at any time though, and they are the truth that Shamans live by and constantly seek. Meditation is very important in these cultures because it quiets the chatter of the mind and enables the shaman to tune into this internal and divine cosmic knowledge. It takes focus, intention, and a meditative state to accomplish this.
Shamanic cultures learn to work with the plants. They understand that the plant teaches you. The goal is is commune with the very spirit of the plants, and gain a relationship with them, in order to achieve success. They gain this knowledge through visions. Often the visions that teach this knowledge are said to appear to the shaman through dreams, or on journeys. It takes time, and is not something you just read and learn from a book.
To Shamans, their is the physical realm, and the spirit realm. They believe that everything physical also has a spirit. Whether it is animate, or inanimate, it all has spirit. For humans, the strength or weakness of the spirit is detected by the aura of the person. Humans have an aura, and this was also proven by a Russian scientist. It's this spirit world that shamans work with. They keep one foot in each world, traveling back and forth. They view reality as a miraculous and powerful spirit of limitless potential.
In this last paragraph I'm going to sum everything up and show the connection between all of these teachings. Shamans must understand whats going on in the mind of their patients. They must change the source of the illness and cleanse it out of the body and spirit. They must obtain knowledge through divination. They must learn through their visions, dreams, and journeys in order to be successful. They must use their mind as an artist does a canvas, in order to obtain and share the necessary positive energy that is required. To leave out any of this ancient knowledge is to be an unsuccessful healer.
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