SHAMAN DUREK SAYS SPIRITUALITY IS JUST COMMON SENSE

Shaman Durek is a visionary for the Now Age. In this excerpt from a talk he gave at the Obonjan wellness festival in summer 2018, he why spirituality is simply Common Sense—and how, with loving interrogation of our darkest places, it is within all our power to heal ourselves …

Photo: Nick Hopper

The spiritual path is not how many times you go to yoga class. It’s not how many workshops you’re doing, or how many healing sessions you got. It is found in the loving interrogation of the places you are vulnerable to the dark intelligence of “the system,” and how much Love you are willing to let into your being instead. Spirituality is actually a matter of Common Sense. Of tapping into the intelligence, the common knowing, of Spirit, of all that is.

This is what makes each and every one of you a powerful pastor, a teacher, a healer, an artist, a creator, an innovator, an edge maker. Someone who’s here to bring forth something that I need to learn, that we all need to learn.

I believe that we all have power. There is no hierarchy here. I don’t believe in gurus. And one of the things I’m here on the planet to do is to educate other spiritual leaders to stop playing their power games. To start delivering the truth and the teachings that have been made available to all by Spirit. To share the knowledge about how to access and use these tools.

I’m about, “Here it is. This is it. Take what you want from it. Go ahead. All the stuff in this box from the ancestors, all those tools over there. Just take it all, and use it because you’re powerful.” Because these are not the times to be playing small. You gotta be a rebel if you’re going to survive what’s happening at this time on the planet Earth.

Durek will lead a special Shamanic Tongues healing session at our NYC event on 11/10. Click for info

 

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We Shamans call the Earth a “type two” planet. Meaning it’s a slave planet. That the species has been conditioned to work against itself in its own process of evolution. Has been enslaved by the idea that it needs to be validated, loved, appreciated, and seen, as its reason for functioning. Instead of knowing that it is already loved, and that the embodiment of this Love is what will drive the species forward. If we truly knew this, we would not create bombs. There would be no war. Because Common Sense tells us that this would only hurt the species.

And yet we accept this paradigm because we have been abused.

When I say this, people often reply, “but I had a perfect life, nothing ever happened to me.” Well bullshit. It did happen to you. It happened to all of us. We have all been treated like dogs and trained in the idea that if we’re not acting a certain way, passing a test, getting good grades, doing something useful, we’ll be punished. That we will not be loved. This creates the belief that there’s always something to prove. That we must become something else and that we must accumulate certain things in order to be valuable as a human being. This in itself is abuse.

And the “dark intelligence” that created this system, is smart. It knows that if it can suppress the feminine, feeling part of you, you will become disconnected, from yourself and from each other. You will become disconnected from your intuition. Disconnect from your ability to recognize yourself as a Creator. Meaning you will keep looking for validation from the outside to acknowledge your power. Keep producing, keep consuming, versus knowing that all you need is in you, always.

We’ve been programmed to believe that our safety is based on how much we collect. How much we have. How much we hold on to. But these things only tie us down you down. Because you start to believe that your personality is tied to all these things, when in fact the only thing that matters is in the way you give someone a hug. The way that you sit and look someone in the eyes and you’re there for them.

We are living in a system that did not provide us the emotional intelligence to feel safe to simply be ourselves. But we must rebel against this conditioning. Meaning we have to rebel against every single thing that we sit in judgment about.

 

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When I asked Spirit: “Why is there so much suffering and pain on our Earth?” she told me that all suffering is the result of a malfunction in thinking. I asked, “What about war?” A malfunction in thinking. “Sickness?” A malfunction in thinking.

And our whole system is built to keep our thinking, our creative energy, and our powers of manifestation, focused on the suffering of the world. So that we will keep getting more of it. And it will never stop.

For example, if you see someone who’s sick and you focus on their pain, you’re accepting this reality and you’re locking it in. It will make it harder for that person to get better. You will recognize your power when someone tells you, “my God, I’m going through such a hard time.” And you don’t go into that story with them. You choose instead to see them where they need to be. Within this simple shift, you’re pulling the negative energy out of their life. You’re doing powerful energy work on them.

You see, you think these negative thoughts are yours. They are not, but you don’t question them. Because that’s what the system wants. That’s why they tell you if you talk to yourself you’re crazy.

But when you hear a voice that tells you, “You are an idiot,” it’s your turn to ask, “Why am I an idiot?” The voice may reply: “Well, because you did this when you were at school.” And again, you can ask: “But that was a long time ago, and why does it mean I’m an idiot?” The voice will continue to try and convince you … “Well, you know, because blah blah.” But if you keep questioning it, after a while you’ll show the voice that you’re not going to accept it. Soon, the same negative voice will appear in your head, and you’ll be like, “nice try, thanks for calling. Click.”

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So start questioning. I call it loving interrogation. You lovingly interrogate yourself when confronted with that nonsense. You lovingly interrogate the voice about the lies you have been told that are limiting you from realizing your ultimate power as a Creator.

Because every time a negative thought comes into your head and you let it ride its course, you’re drinking poison. Every time a doubt enters your being and you accept it and let it affect you, you’re drinking poison. Every time you get into a negative conversation with someone and you sit there and just continue listening, you’re putting poison in. I don’t care how much green juice you drink. I don’t care if you’re meditating twice a day. As long as you’re letting negative thoughts come into your mind, it’s all cancelled out.

It’s not enough to say, “I am spiritual because I do this or that.” The very things that we don’t like, the very things that make us the most uncomfortable about ourselves, the very things we are most afraid of in the world, are the very things we must learn to interrogate with Love.

We each embody four elements—the spiritual, the mental, the emotional, and the physical. But there is a fifth element, which is Love. When all four elements are working in alignment, all your visions, your dreams, are within reach, and all that’s required to make them manifest is love. And when Love happens, oh my God, then let’s talk about power. This is what we have come here to move into. Then there will be no more playing small in your life. This is it. This is the end of it. It’s done.

Numinous founder Ruby Warrington will be in conversation with Shaman Durek and Maestro Manuel Rufino for Emergence: Building Shamanic Communities in the Now Age on November 10 2018 in NYC. Click HERE for more details + to sign up.

SPIRITUAL SHROOMING: MY UNLIKELY AWAKENING

Strung out on repressed feelings, a health crisis and mental break became an unexpected awakening for Meg Hartley, care of some spiritual shrooming…

“During my four-day break with the mundane, I connected to a bigger part of myself, which also happened to feel like an infinitely more stable part of myself”—Meg Hartley 

When I was 19, I wasn’t in a good place. I had lost my mother to suicide four years prior, and my once-successful “smashing down” of feelings had relentlessly resurfaced into every part of my consciousness.

I usually avoided the pain by staying busy all day, then intoxicated into the evening via copious amounts of marijuana or whatever else was floating around the dorms: ‘shrooms, ecstasy, and lots and lots of cheap alcohol.

But late at night, when I’d try my hardest to sleep and fail miserably, I couldn’t hide from the pain. I had taken to scratching at my skin until it bled because it hurt less than the storm that wailed inside. It was like there was so much unprocessed pain my mind didn’t know where to start. Agonizing thoughts just whipped around in my head, out of control and going nowhere.

I’d soon learn about meditation and mindfulness, which gave me a life raft to embrace during these times. But before then, I’d go home to Alaska for summer break and have a four-day experience a psychologist called a “mental break” and a philosophy teacher called “a preview to awakening.”

But to me, it simply felt like a very long dream that showed me true happiness was a real possibility … even for me, which seemed impossible at the time. This set the scene for my subsequent spiritual exploration and gave me a reason to commit to my emotional healing.

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The year was 2002. My first year of philosophy classes in college had finally given form and texture to vague spiritual ideas I’d always had intuitive knowings about. The ideas that this life is an illusion, that humanity is currently experiencing a shift in consciousness, and that we’re each here to learn specific things, were presented by different religions and philosophers from all over the world.

This deja vu sense of remembering (that my teacher said was normal, but which sure felt like magic to me!) combined with all the partying left me ungrounded, spacey, and generally disinterested in “mundane” everyday life. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I also had a B12 deficiency that was hitting mental health symptom levels. In addition to this, there was a cyst growing on my pineal gland, which is known to augment spiritual experiences.

And so, not yet privy to the drawbacks of being ungrounded, and unaware of this explosive combination brewing in my brain, I celebrated my return home by eating yet more ‘shrooms with a dear friend.

The experience of taking psilocybin is different for everyone, but in my experimental days it was something that I regarded with reverence––like a really fun church. During every trip, the idea of “God” or a benevolent bigger something, seemed obvious and present to me. There was silliness and hilarity, but also times where I would leave my friends to go sit with my favorite tree for hours, my head filled with streaming thoughts that were ontological in nature- the answers to all of life’s big questions, more ideas I’d later study in ancient texts.

And this time, for four days after the mushroom trip ought to have ended, my thoughts remained consistently in the ontological realm––a far cry from my daily headscape at the time, which was mostly centered around losing my v-card and being “too fat.” 

In stark contrast, everything I encountered had meaning on top of meaning, and life felt so beautiful that I cried happy tears. From the inside, the experience felt like a blissful and meditative state where therapeutic dreams met real life. Colors became more vibrant as I released dark twisted pains from deep within like a long and satisfying belch.

Meg with a handmade lithograph about her experience

Of course, it’s not “normal” to weep from joy at the sight of a mountain that’s there every damn day, or to stare at everyday items babbling about “the language of the Universe” and “signs.”

Everyone in my world thought I had lost my marbles. When I finally noticed this reaction in others, I very suddenly snapped out of it, shocked at their concern and upset about making an ass of myself. That clouded my vision of the experience, as social acceptance was the form of surrender I was most familiar with at the time. But I now look back on it as being as helpful as it was hugely bizarre: the juice was totally worth the squeeze (it can be freeing sometimes to have people think you’re a little nuts, anyhoo!) 

I was immediately changed, and the depression didn’t return for many years (not until my B12 levels hit a fantastic new low and a whole new set of challenges revealed themselves). It was like I had been dusted from the inside out, I felt clear and centered in a way that I had never experienced. I carried on with the drug experimentation for a couple more years and nothing like that happened again- something that brought both great relief and a fleeting sense of disappointment.

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During my four-day break with the mundane, I connected to a bigger part of myself, which also happened to feel like an infinitely more stable part of myself.

And that connection––and many times just the memory of that connection—brought a cherished light into the darkest nights of my soul. It also provided the motivation for my subsequent spiritual and emotional journeys: remembering that mental landscape, and knowing that if I stayed on the spiritual path then that sense of peace and connectedness would eventually feel like home.

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Meg Hartley is an Alaskan artist and writer happily replanted in wonderfully weird Portland, Oregon. She loves really great trees, cashew ice “cream”, mysticism, and is totally obsessed with mindfulness. Her new book is called How I Lost All My Fucksa one-month experience that will have you losing all yours! Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  

WITH INTENT: WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE LIVING IN A COMMUNE

Living in a commune reflects the humanitarian vision and values of the Aquarian Age, says Amanda Capobianco. Just no-body mention the “C” word…Homepage image: The Source Family

Just over a year ago I did something that would appear crazy to most people around me. I let go of a five room, $1600 apartment in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and traded my solo living situation for well over 20 roommates.

When I moved into to my own apartment I thought I had “finally made it.” But as I set my last moving box down and crossed the threshold, the voice of my spirit, my own higher self – or what I actually like to think of as Shiva – came through: “Don’t get attached,” it said. “Appreciate this to the fullest because it’s an illusion that won’t last forever.”

I appreciated it for over a year. Walking around naked, decorating however I wanted, all of that alone time… It was dreamy and ideal. I was proud that after years of roommates and sublets I finally had a place of my own. Not to mention the apartment was beautiful – a top floor, sunlit, spacious home, with a walk in closet to boot!

But the voice kept getting stronger. This living alone business wasn’t for me. You see, when I wasn’t alone in my apartment I was involving myself in another space just a neighborhood away in Greenpoint – an intentional community called Golden Drum.

I had been connecting with them for about four years or so, and at one point it became very clear that in order to progress on my spiritual path I would need to embrace the initiation of communal and intentional living. After all, this is the teaching of the Aquarian Age – to move out of the solo and selfish Piscean age and into the communal and humanitarian vision of the Aquarian. I knew this had to be my next step – or rather leap – into the unknown.

While it was a clear decision, it wasn’t an easy transition. I had moments where I doubted my choice, believing everyone would call me crazy, and if this new situation proved to be temporary I’d be stuck trying to find yet another home. I didn’t back out though, and I could have.

A year or so later, after some deep spiritual scrubbing, I find myself living in the most harmonious environment, and with some of the greatest people I have come to know on this path of awakening. My work has been supported as well as my health and my happiness. It was by far the hardest and yet, the best decision I have ever made.

We spoke to Amanda in more detail about her experience of living in a commune…

The Numinous: How did you first connect with Golden Drum?
Amanda Capobianco: A close friend of mine had been doing some spiritual work with the community and had just come back from a week long retreat. When she spoke of her experience with the community’s spiritual teacher I knew that I had to investigate. Here I was, like so many, a yoga instructor with no real teacher to learn from or help guide me. I knew it was something I needed to feel into so I started attending events and creating relationships with the community to see what it was all about.

TN: What appealed to you about the community and their lifestyle?
AC: What appealed to me most was that it was and is highly intentional, rooted in the study of sacred practices and open to all walks of life, especially to those that express a need for healing and transformation. It felt revolutionary, compassionate and also, the people were very real, very human. There was no big illusion of spiritual grandeur. You felt that everyone involved was working through their stuff and totally committed to doing so. After being a part of this myself, not only do I see my own transformation but I am a witness to those transforming around me. I can see how people have empowered themselves through their dedication to spiritual disciplines and studies.

TN: Is this something you sought out or, did it find you?
AC: I feel like it found me but it was something that I had wanted all along. I loved the idea of a space that fostered community and peaceful living. I had tried living in community in some sense, renting an industrial loft and having like-minded roommates. But, without any sort of structure or discipline, it was never fully realized. We were all good people but it just never opened in the way I had envisioned. I believe now what was missing was sharing in strong spiritual practices and a commitment to serve others, as well as guidance beyond our own “inner guide”.

Amanda with a drum gifted to her by her spiritual teacher

TN: What are the rules/codes you live by?
AC: It’s not a rigid household by any means, but there is a code of conduct that helps keep the energy peaceful. Because we base our work in spiritual disciplines, it’s important that we keep the space very clean, not just physically but energetically. We are very mindful in this way. These guidelines may appear strict, but are truly set in place as an advantage to our liberation.

We are substance free, no smoking, drinking or drug use.
We do not shout at each other or act in any violent capacity, if we do, we have to leave.
We do not eat flesh foods including fish.
We all have a service duty to help move the non for profit organizations (Golden Drum, Sacred Arts Research Foundation) along.
We all pitch in to help with events and everyday household chores.
We have a protocol for inviting guests over to stay.
We communicate via email threads to make communal decisions and we have house meetings on a regular basis.

TN: Can you describe an average day at home?
AC: We begin each day with some form of morning practice or ritual. This could be communal or individual. After which we head into our work life, studies and/or tend to the business of the community spaces. If I’m working from home there are usually, at least, two other people around, with others coming and going. There may be a music rehearsal then a private healing session, I may even be giving a yoga lesson online, it really just depends on the day.

There are usually some communal meals and if more than one of us are eating at time a good conversation about the current astrological aspects might be taking place! If we have an event in the evening we take care to organize and set up so that all is in place. We tend to our individual sacred practices before bed. There is no code of when we should sleep just an overall sense to be mindful of others if we are pulling an all-nighter.

The beauty is in the harmony of it. To be in a space where so much is happening but it is flowing peacefully is the true take away of community living. It really teaches you how to let go of all those things you think you need, like absolute quiet and for no one else to be around in order to focus. You learn how to conquer all of that and get your work done anyways. It is a true training for any spiritual practitioner.

TN: Who is your teacher/guru and how often do you see him?
AC: My teacher is recognized as Taino Elder Maestro Manuel Rufino. I am eternally grateful for all that he has shared with me. I try to see him as often as possible.

TN: What are your feelings about the word ‘cult’?
AC: It feels like a word rooted in the paradigm of fear.

TN: How do you explain your living situation to your family, people you’re dating etc.?
AC:
With transparency. Being a yoga teacher, my family is used to me being the “odd one,” but they trust how happy and healthy I am. Year after year, my spirit is in peace. While they might not share the same values they cannot deny their daughter’s happiness and contentment.

Dating is funny in the world of intentional community living though. It’s not impossible, but it will never be what it was when you lived alone. Which for me is actually a high point. You have to go really slow and gently bring that person into the fold. Otherwise, it’s just too intense for them. However, if they make it they are met with an incredible community of supporters. I’ve learned a lot about relationships being surrounded with conscious couples. It’s been a great way to undo the ideas of the past surrounding love and partnership, and it has been very healing.

With her roommates at the Sacred Arts Research Foundation

TN: Do you think more people will seek this kind of living situation in the future? Why?
AC:
 I think when people start to understand how incredibly helpful it is to live in community, they will begin to let go of the illusion of needing so much private space.

Think of all the people who are afraid to have children because they don’t have enough money or they don’t have a partner. When you live in a community like ours you have help that you can lean into. You have people that have done it before and can share knowledge with you. You also have children around you via other families, so maybe you don’t have to have a child after all. Maybe that child comes to you in another way. Again, its learning to let go of what you think you need (the societal pressures we are all subjected to) and recognizing the gifts that are already right there in front of you.

On an even more practical note, why pay $1600 a month when you can pay $800 and live just as peacefully, abundantly, and harmoniously? I guess keeping up an image can be cool, but I would much rather live simply and spend all that extra money investing in my continuing education, helping out my family or perhaps taking some time to travel.

TN: What are the difficult parts, if any?
AC: Living amongst spiritual practitioners means you are stepping into a vibration that’s going to show you things about yourself that were much easier to hide from when you were living in your independence. It is a mirroring process with many mirrors! In a lot of ways, you are completely exposed, and it is up to you to own your stuff and then transcend it. Sometimes, it takes a while for this to happen.

You have to let go of judgments and allow for others and yourself to grow, which means you have to learn to forgive and practice compassion. It’s much easier to hide. It’s much easier to isolate yourself or run away. But then you aren’t really growing, and those that come to live in an intentional community are on a path that values spiritual growth. It’s not enough to just take a yoga class every once in a while and call that spiritual living. This is a clear and deep investment in your path of awakening.

TN: Do you see yourself growing old with your community? Is this your long term plan?
AC: I do! I am not sure what it will look like 50 years from now and I don’t know that staying in NYC is really something that I want for the long term but staying connected to this community, our way of life, our walk and these teachings are something I hope to carry with me for as long as I possibly can.

Follow the links for more about Golden Drum and the Sacred Arts Research Foundation, and discover ore about Amanda Capobianco and her work here.

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: THE SPIRITUAL PATH OF BEING A DAD

Be moved, be inspired…fall in love with MEN all over again. Aussie videographer Johnny Abegg shares an intimate personal film on what being a dad means to him