Ommm. It’s often the first and last sound in your ears in a yoga class. But what does it mean? Perhaps you’ve heard it defined as “the sound of the universe”—but what does that really mean? Turns out, a lot—and yet, like many spiritual (and especially yogic) things, it’s not so easy to define. “It’s […]
If you’re the kind of person who makes to-do lists (I am), you might feel that self-care—cooking healthy, practicing yoga, even meditating—is just another chore to check off your list (I sometimes do). So when a friend invited me to participate in an ancient Buddhist ritual that literally involves doing nothing, I was intrigued. It’s […]
A Q&A with Martha Beck Martha Beck earned three Harvard degrees before deciding to spend her life helping others tap into the deep, wordless wisdom already within them. A New York Times best-selling author, she has been referred to as “one of the best-known life coaches in America” by Psychology Today, USA Today, and NPR. […]
by Lewis Mehl-Madrona A medical doctor trained at Stanford University School of Medicine, Lewis Mehl-Madrona has pioneered the conscious intregration of Native American approaches to healing with 21st-century health care. He is the author of Coyote Medicine, Coyote Healing, and Coyote Wisdom, a trilogy of books on what Native American culture has to offer the […]
So what are you doing this New Year’s Eve? Watching the ball drop over Times Square on television … again? For many of us, the typical New Year’s celebration can feel like old hat after a while. We start looking for more profound ways of honoring the space between letting go of the old and embracing the new. For those seeking a spiritual connection during times of transition, the world’s wisdom traditions—including Peruvian shamanism, Kabbalah, and yoga—offer rituals rich with meaning.
Shamanic philosophy sees the turning of the year as a time to honor and give back to Mother Earth, and a way of tapping into and acknowledging nature’s cycle of transformation. According to Ray Crist, founder of the Jaguar Path, which fuses yoga practice and the philosophy of Peruvian shamanism, the Q’ero of Peru believe that we’re all shamans—each of us possesses an intuitive power and wisdom that connects us to both the world around and the world within. Rituals empower people because, he says, “through ritual, we can be the catalysts that bring forth healing and change into our own lives.” To celebrate the power of change that the new year brings, the Q’ero shamans perform rituals such as the despachio, an offering of gratitude to Mother Earth for all she provides.