In the 70’s and 80’s practices from China such as tai chi and chi gung started to be taught, along with other eastern ideas like Buddhism and eastern philosophy. These practices clear the mind so that we can experience nature or the universe as it is. With practice, the mind becomes quiet enough to access the power of nature. This accounts for the powerful healing effects of high quality chi gung.
Over the past 20 years, people have become more aware of shamanic practices from Africa and South America. There still exists a living tradition of these methods that are deeply rooted in nature on these continents.
All of the above practices have a common ground, which is the development of an ability to shift or transform our consciousness and in modern times is known as shapeshifting. This is what John Perkins, author of the NY Times best seller, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, had in mind when he coined the term shapeshifting.
John Perkins explains in an article he wrote that “Shapeshifting is about energy. We are made of energy and our emotions are energy. The practices that are known as shapeshifting empower us to use that energy to change ourselves and the institutions that impact our lives. We can transmute our negative thoughts and emotions into positive energy, which can be channeled into appropriate actions. Throughout history humans have found shapeshifting to be one of the most effective means of transforming ourselves, organizations, and communities. Practices such as movement, meditation, visualization, breath, sound and others will help shapeshift us into animals, plants, the wind, heat or other aspects of nature and the universe. In the process, we can experience, and then act on our experience, of our connection to everything.”
Food is also a central connection to the energies of nature in all Shamanic cultures. People in Asia understood food as having the power of nature in the form of five elemental energies; fire, earth, metal, water and tree. Combinations of these elements or one predominant energy may make up a person’s genetics, or one energy might temporarily dominant a person’s condition. Food choices can balance a person’s genetics or a person’s condition. Utilizing an understanding of the natural elements can heal disease, balance a person’s emotional or psychological nature, and help to expand one’s consciousness.
Along with movement and mediation practices, the indigenous cultures taught the power of food to aid in our spiritual shifting of consciousness. These teachings about food have to be renewed for today’s world. Indigenous cultures had no experience of highly refined foods, pesticides, GMO’s, restrictive diets or hormones in foods. There is evidence that these newfangled changes to food, and our understanding of food, will interfere with the function of the mind as well as the body.
Sakurazowa Nyoichi was a Japanese philosopher who wrote about getting in touch with the primitive (ancient) mentality. According to Sakurazowa, this mentality was in many ways more advanced than our modern fragmented thinking. He rightly spoke about two ways to either block this shamanic mindset or promote it; education and food.
Humanity lives in a trying time facing devastating circumstances such as peak oil, climate change, mass extinction and social injustices. Given these major problems, it is essential we trace back our steps and examine where we went wrong. One place to start is by becoming educated on the philosophy and practices of primitives, the shamans. Shamans were the connectors to nature in traditional cultures. They were always essential to the well being of the tribe. Understanding how to choose foods to support our journey towards the light of expanding awareness and consciousness is also a powerful tool for our self-development. This expansion of consciousness can create in each person the power to address the deep challenges that face our world.
copyright John Kozinski 2015