A Shaman’s Journey To Inner Peace and Outer Expression
Learning and Traveling the World
Treasure the moments still enough to feel the connection with the oneness and enjoy the peace and vitality the universe brings to your life.
A trio of Andean ibises, high above me in the rocks, squawk and scold, as if to say,
“Why are you here?”
“Why do you disturb our peace?”
For a moment I wonder,
“Why am I here?”
Then, “I am here!”
This is the final pilgrimage stop. I commune at the Amarumuru star gate. I want to whisper to the ibises, “I am here to fulfill a dream. I have always wanted to come home to this place.” But, I did not even know of the star gate until yesterday, this Peruvian rock face near Puno on Lake Titicaca. Here, I am because I must feel in this place. The universe has conspired, bringing me gentleness, vitality and a glimpse of my destiny. I must strengthen myself to create this feeling — this peaceful, loved and supported feeling — in every place I go and with every person I meet.
Once I grasp, the next level of my life, the three crown white and throat chakra blue ibises wing away to teach another, as if satisfied that I belong here in this sacred place, where hundreds of years ago an Inca priest gathered sacred treasures. Protecting them from the marauding conquistadores. He walks into the rock face. No, not in amongst the rocks but into the rock face and up to the Pleiades, sacred stars to the Incas.
I put my hands on the rock face, feel the vibration and will myself heavenward. I touch my forehead on the cool rough surface connecting my third eye, my intuitive sense with this sacred place and see images of my flight to the stars.
A Peruvian pilgrimage, balancing on the ridges of smooth serpent-shaped rocks, along the edges of multicolored white and purple potato and warm yellow quinoa fields. In the Hayu Marca mountains, birds and butterflies draw our attention.
After an hour of hiking, we see, for the first time, the star gate Amarumuru, an ancient carved stone called “Gate of the Gods”. In a tube-like opening cut in the stone, stretching up to the sky, I stand quietly one hand over my heart, the other over my solar plexus feeling my rhythm, my breathe, the energy of the place, remembering the third eye stone at Machu Pichu, the climb to the temple of the moon on the back side of Huayna Picchu. I don’t hear a voice, or see a vision but in this moment I know, I am okay. Not, I am going to be okay. I am okay! I will continue to enjoy life with a passion because that is just the way I am.
Studying Shamanism and Changing the World with Sandra Ingerman: Kimberly Burnham, Feb 2011
In her 2010 Sounds True Insights at the Edge, Sandra Ingerman, Shamanism and Spiritual Light explained how, “shamanism teaches us that there’s a web of life that connects us all and that classic shamanism, is that our outer world is a reflection of our inner state of consciousness.” She notes, “One of the great teachings from shamanism is that if you really want to change the world that you live in, to move your focus inward because we’re actually dreaming the “outer world by the invisible world of substance that we’re building within us. Then through shamanism, [they] teach the person about the changes that they need to make in their life to live from a place of passion and meaning, and to move back into a place of living life from a place of appreciation, gratitude, honor, and respect, and connecting with nature and life itself in order to restore long-term healing and not short-term healing.
My book Our Fractal Nature, a Journey of Self-Discovery and Connection is in a way Shamanism meet Quantum Physics. Our Fractal Nature gives you a way to reconnect to your inner being, your physical body, to the trees, water and nature around you.
The Start of Exchange, of Reciprocity, of Ayni
Laying in cool, lush grass above 7,000 feet at the bottom of a green stone vortex, I let go of old life seeds, opening to the new in this ancient agricultural center. I start journeying. Grounding my feet in the richness of this world, I move to fully embody the red pelvic chakra, the center of creativity — the birthing of new ideas, of unique ways of creating love and peace. Eleven of us climb into this sacred energy ring, meditating as we lay absorbing the healing electrons bouncing from the rich black earth. We are exchanging with the Quechua mother earth. Pachamama.
She is revitalized by the just ending Andean rainy season. I open to her vitality as I start unwinding and connecting. I am a light traveler, a shaman-in-training, learning Ayni — Quechua for reciprocity and respect. To give back to the earth and the environment is a privilege. My responsibility is an opportunity to improve my own life and the lives I touch.
My bones vibrate with the stone mountains populated by the descendants of Inca magic. My sacrum resonates with the natural world at the base of my spine. Ten of us plus our shaman guides, profoundly charged in our gifts as healers, seers, clairvoyants and sound workers. Opening our chakras as we turn in the strong energy vortexes. We connect with the fractal beauty of these healing, haunting, calming mountains. Here in the Sacred Valley near Cusco, I am among the kindest most open hearted people in the world. It is possible each day to see new things and to see old things in a new way. I sleep, grateful for abundance.
Breathing Up My Dreams
This day begins with breathing high mountain air. Breathing in healing oxygen, creating experiences and resources for a day of generating energy and sharing myself. Breathing in what serves me. Breathing out what I no longer need. Breathe inward spiraling with a force that massages the organs below. Breathe providing a strong foundation to my heart, the green chakra. Clockwise, counterclockwise spinning as I breathe in and breathe out. I literally change myself from the inside out.
Inhaling the breath of my shaman power, my ability to connect. Feel the love. Supported by mother earth and father sky. Clearing ancestral patterns. Holding high the blessings. Releasing the miasmic patterns that no longer serve. Enjoying the hot quinoa soup of W’ilka Tikka Chakra Gardens, the end of the rainbow in a land of colored skies. The heart in my chest pumping my dreams into reality.
My dreams flying on the wings of ceremonial Despacho fires — shaman lead, heart-felt rituals of gratitude and attraction. Shaman names bring it all back to me. Anytime I can connect with the thanksgiving, the flowers, the seeds, the asking and remembering the results of past prayers and requests with gratitude. They are with me, open hearted shamans: Pierre Garreaud, Vilma Pinedo, Wilson Pinedo, Don Martin, Don Ricardo, Don Fernando and Don Benito.
The fiery sun is boundaried by the blue sky. The rain laden clouds open on the fertile green of the sacred stone covered landscape. The light all around me highlights the blue of my shirt and hazel eyes as I walk among the ancient walls of Machu Picchu. I find my voice among these sacred Peruvian temples, worshiping the universe that provides me everything and asks in return only that I contribute my humanity to a world of wonders.
I vibrate my voice out into the open white granite courtyard, into the shape of the jaguar. I call the condors in the mountain tops above me and to the snakes in the land below. I walk and call like the jaguar, expressing my voice, taking the stage. My fingers gently trace the steps of the stone chakana, a carved symbol of three connections: The condor of the upper world and universe above, the snake of the lower world and inner realms below and the puma jaguar of the here and now roaming the land where dreams are made. The chakana is anchored above with God, Wiracocha, with the highest level of consciousness being expressed as the Great Spiritual Central Sun. Wiracocha is also said to be the carver of the Amarumuru star gate. Pachamama anchors the bottom of the cross bringing vertical alignment to life.
Accessing Third Eye Vision
I connect. My senses already heightened. I feel the coolness of the night, the warmth of the fire, the gritty sand rolling around my tongue as I drink San Pedro. The texture of the llama wool blanket wraps my shoulders. The thick cactus medicine slides down my throat. It a purgative. Not all of it stays down. The visions it brings allows for the release of all the old, the no longer needed, the no longer useful baggage. I am letting go with the sounds of the drums flashing out into the night air.
Shadows and colors of the W’ilka Tika garden flowers cocoon me in the moonlight. A vibrating, halo of reflected light connects my oneness with the natural world. I see more clearly the path before me. The journey I am empowered to take. A glimpse of who I am and my place in the cosmos. I am letting go of the past. I plant new seeds of what I want to be seven years from now when every cell in my body is new.
The red chakra balanced below the orange of my sacrum spinning my life, grounding me to create goodness in this world. Above them spins my breath.
The lemon yellow solar plexus lays a foundation for my verdant heart, generating the love and gratitude. I generate my life, the energy, and the value. I feel the support of the blue throat chakra connect with my hands, my heart and my ability to contribute my voice and message. My voice mixing with the sound of bells chiming around me lending a backdrop to the sparks from the fire. This step of the journey opens my third eye to indigo visions that remain, accessible whenever I forget to create and generate healing power and access my connection to the universe through my feet and my violet crown chakra.
I take in the color, the drums, the cactus, the smoky air and touch the world around me. I have enhanced by gut sense, intuition and brain clarity. I reach for the sunlight and the star light. I am perfectly placed, perfectly aligned to walk into the unknown with clarity and hope.
I am reminded of the day, I walked off the face of a cliff. I am fourteen and just because I am roped up in rappelling gear doesn’t mean I am not scared. I do it. I revitalize the pride in a life live with passion, with creativity that contributes my humanity to the world, a pilgrimage and journey lived.
Our shaman guide, Bruno, my girlfriend and I hike across the red rock filled agricultural land. A Peruvian pilgrimage, balancing on the ridges of smooth serpent-shaped rocks, along the edges of potato and quinoa fields. In the Hayu Marca mountains, birds and butterflies draw our attention. I think about what to write in Flat Stanley’s journal. Flat Stanley about one foot high his flat paper head sticking out of my backpack, accompanies me across Peru. Flat Stanley will soon be on his flight back to West Hartford, CT then into a box back to Miles, the second grader who sent him with me along. He will fly with pictures of his trip, his journal, a brightly colored woven water bottle holder and a small rock from Machu Picchu.
After an hour of hiking, we see, for the first time, the star gate Amarumuru, an ancient carved stone called “Gate of the Gods”. The Peruvian boy selling carved tablets depicting the stories of this place is dwarfed by the huge rock. In a tube-like opening cut in the stone, stretching up to the sky, I stand quietly one hand over my heart, the other over my solar plexus feeling my rhtyhm, my breathe, the energy of the place, remembering the third eye stone at Machu Pichu, the climb to the temple of the moon on the back side of Huayna Picchu, my Tibetan Buddhist training near Glastonbury England, the coolness of the stones at Stonehenge, the red rock of Lake Powell, Sinai at the Red Sea, all my sacred places. I don’t hear a voice, or see a vision but in this moment I know, I am okay. Not, I am going to be okay. I will continue to enjoy life with a passion because that is just the way I am.
Tibetan Shamanism Training Healing Voice with Jill Purce in Glastonbury, England: Kimberly Burnham, May, 2008
“I will quit my job when I return.” It was the first time I said aloud what I had been thinking for a year. Here introducing myself to 70 strangers, I recommitted to my own happiness, to work that is satisfying, enjoyable and contribute to healing the world, one person at a time.
I didn’t expect my life to change so dramatically in a week but these seven days in a British Retreat Center near Glastonbury, the mystical mythical center of the English speaking world drew out of me the power that had been crushed for a few years. These seven days filled with potent shamanism, Tibetan Green Tara chanting, moving meditations, the opening of powerful hearts and minds. Life altering symbolism incorporated into expression and observation of the past, present and imagining the future as well as the symbolism of the death of the old and rebirth of pure joy.
These seven days sandwiched in my life between two other powerful sound healing expediencies with Jill Purce at Naropa Institute (the Buddhist University) in Boulder Colorado and at Esalen Institute near Big Sur, California.
I am powerful when I hold the vibration of my soul with an open hand, reaching out to the life experiences that nourish me and help me share my unique skills to improve the quality of the lives around me.
The answer to the question, “What do I want? and What can I share? is powerful. Thank you Jill Purce for helping me to change my life
Originally published at http://www.shamanportal.org on June 14, 2012.