Newborns Recognize Beat
Research on newborn babies showing the ability to recognize a drum beat lends support to the theory that beat perception is inborn. This has interesting implications not only for music, but also for the use of rhythmic percussion sound in the practice of shamanism. Read the article from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Healing and Sonic Entrainment
Rhythmic patterns affect brain functioning in ways that can heal. Neurological disorders such as ADD and ADHD and Parkinson's disease have been helped using a rhythmic stimulus to cause brain wave entrainment. Read the article from Search: The magazine of science, religion, and culture online.
19th Century Altai ShamanExhibit of shamanic artifacts from Siberia will be on display now through the end of June 2009 at the Linden-Museum Stuttgart, Germany. View the online gallery. Submitted by Martina Umierski, Three-Year Program student, Mountain View, California.
Linden- Museum Stuttgart
Over the Hills and Far Away: Shamans, Mysticism, and a Family's Journey, a documentary film about a father's search for traditional healing for his autistic son, Rowan. When it was discovered that Rowan has a special bond with horses, the family traveled to Mongolia, a place combining horseback riding and shamanic healing, searching for a powerful shaman. The resulting documentary film was screened at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Read a review. Watch a video clip. Submitted by Timothy Flynn, Three-Year Program graduate, Royal Oaks, California.
SUBMIT NEWS: We invite you to submit news about shamanism for our readers. Please submit no more than a few brief paragraphs, including the source of the news item to the Editor.
Ethical & Legal Considerations in Shamanic Healing
With the current increase in the number of practitioners of shamanic healing and of those seeking shamanic healing, what constitutes the ethical practice of shamanism is of particular relevance. In addition, many state and local governments have legal requirements for the practice of "complementary and alternative medicine" (CAM), which may apply to shamanic practitioners. Read more on the FSS website ... Read the article "Ethical Considerations in Shamanic Healing" by Susan Mokelke, The Shamanism Annual, December 2008, Issue 21.
Note: Each issue we plan to post on the website or provide a link to an article of interest. Check the Articles section for several varied perspectives on shamanism and shamanic healing, many from past issues of Shamanism, the Foundation's scholarly journal -- one of the exclusive benefits for the Circle of the Foundation.
What Core Shamanism Has Given Me
Last night I sat down to update a very special essay. Adding to this document has become more onerous with each passing year. It is an ode to my friends who have died too young, taking their own lives intentionally or through drug and alcohol abuse. For many, midlife seems to be the tipping point, some others never made it past their twenties.
My most recent entry was an ex-girlfriend from high school and college. A mother and vital member of her community, she apparently chose to end her life after a battle with addiction. She is the sixth such death from the close circle of friends of my youth. Each person's story is of course unique, each person was struggling with their own sorrows.
Photo by Susan MokelkePerhaps the high number of these kinds of deaths is due to the unique circumstances of my life. Perhaps I just gravitated toward sensitive, troubled peers. I may never know, and in the end does it really matter? Something is amiss and healing is needed. The specific cause for each person wounds may never be known, it's the healing that is important.
This morning I got up at dawn for my daily spiritual practice. It has developed from a variety sources including dance, meditation and martial arts. Its taproot is the shamanic journey as taught by The Foundation for Shamanic Studies (FSS). I may not journey every morning, or even every week, but my relationship to non-ordinary reality, as communicated by the FSS in a broad set of teachings, nourishes my practice.
In the grayness of this cloudy dawn, the spirits instructed me to remember the fullness of my relationships with those who have died, drawing on the strength of our youth and the community we made up for a time. They helped me to avoid getting mired in sorrow or self pity and gave me a respectful means to support those I love who have died in this way. Inevitably I took time to reflect on a topic that seems endemic to the human condition "why them and not me?" I don't know if it actually saved my life, but I credit core shamanism with moving me out of the trauma of my youth and into the fulfilling adult life I have today. Read more...
Submitted by Timothy Flynn, FSS Three-Year Program graduate, Royal Oaks, California.
NOTE: "Healing Words" contains helpful practices, ideas and suggestions from shamanic healers, and answers to questions of concern to those practicing shamanism. FSS presents them as a service to the shamanic community without endorsement; as always, each shamanic healer is responsible for using these ideas in a responsible and ethical manner. If you would like to SUBMIT A HELPFUL TIP, email the Editor. (No more than two succinct paragraphs, please.)
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Editor: Susan Mokelke
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