"In ancient times, and probably today in a few places, the Taoist priest was called in if there was a problem in the village...he would trot off from his hermitage and go to the town and say something like, 'Give me a quiet place, give me a cabin, and leave me alone.' There he would sit down and open himself to the chi of the environment, to the energy. Now that's great compassion because when you open yourself to the environment, if it's out-of-kilter, you are going to feel the out-of-kilter in your own being. It's all going to happen inside just as it's happening outside. But if you have enough stability, if you have enough insight, nothing in you is going to be worried about that. It's not going to be a problem. It's not even going to make you suffer, but it will just happen: turbulence. Only when you've fully realized yourself, do you have the fearlessness to do that. Otherwise, if you open yourself up, you get totally lost.
"The Taoist priest would sit there in the cabin and just open himself to the chi, or the energy of the environment--feel it, experience it, and then open the chi to the light of his own consciousness...and the energy would start to rectify itself. The people in the village would start to feel better and get along for awhile.
"That's why scriptures have advised us to hang out with awakened beings. The awakened one could be a human being, a tree being, a street-corner being. Expose yourself to them. Don't worship them and put them on a pedestal. But expose yourself and this rectification happens; this harmonization happens because of their state of consciousness.
"But don't become dependent. You wake yourself up."
Adyashanti, emptiness dancing, pp 30-31
photo originally uploaded by *Micki*
"The traditional or tribal shaman, I came to discern, acts as an intermediary between the human community and the larger ecological field, ensuring that there is an appropriate flow of nourishment, not just from the landscape to the human inhabitants, but from the human community back to the local earth...To some extent every adult in the community is engaged in this process of listening and attuning to the other presences that surround and influence daily life. But the shaman or sorcerer is the exemplary voyager in the intermediate realm between the human and the more-than-human worlds, the primary strategist and negotiator in any dealings with the Others.
And it is only as a result of her continual engagement with the animate powers that dwell beyond the human community that the traditional magician is able to alleviate many individual illnesses that arise within that community. The sorcerer derives her ability to cure ailments from her more continuous practice of "healing" or balancing the community's relation to the surrounding land...Only those persons who, by their everyday practice, are involved in monitoring and maintaining the relations between the human village and the animate landscape are able to appropriately diagnose, treat, and ultimately relieve personal ailments and illnesses arising within the village...The medicine person's primary allegiance, then, is not to the human commmunity, but to the earthly web of relations in which that community is embedded..."
David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous, pp 7-8
photo originally uploaded by David Pham/shapeshift