Journey to healing:
a world filled with health and happiness. To be clear, I do not consider myself a shaman or medicine man. As an alternative
and transformational health facilitator I am following the dream-visions that are my continuing experience and I
honour and respect your dream-visions.
As this lifelong apprenticeship continues along Nature's road of
spiritual knowledge, I appreciate that we are all cousins and everything is related and not disconnected. It is
the Great Spirit, the transcendent Supreme Intelligence at the basis of all relative existence, through the elemental Laws
of Nature that is the true teacher.
training and personal experience with ancient meditation techniques and study of shared archaic wisdom spans
more than 30 years, beginning in 1975 with a daily deep meditational practice from India. The idea of calming
the mind and focusing on directly experiencing spirituality, rather than adhering to set cultural beliefs, dogmas and doctrines,
struck a resonate chord. This practice has assisted in approaching this life walk from a more transcendent
perspective. This aspect of my journey to personal healing led to more than 5 years living an austere monastic
path meditating 10-12 hours a day in ashrams and monastaries, learning Vedic/Sanskrit wisdom, ancient
Ayurvedic healing ways and meditating at ancient sacred power places. As well, teaching meditation, performing ceremony
and facilitating group meditation intensives in Canada, India, and Africa.
My late maternal grandfather, Jacob, who resided
in Southern Russia, 70 horse and buggy miles from the nearest medical doctor, was known as 'tracht
mocha,' translated in the dialect as 'bone straightener,' an intuitive natural healer
of animals and people. One could say my work with Plant Spirit Healing is a 'straightening out' of energetic
knots and blocks at the root of symptoms of emotional trauma and spiritual crisis leading to lack of health
In the recent 15 plus years, while advising clients suffering emotional trauma, spiritual
crisis, and soul disconnection, this journey to personal healing has been guided by traditional healer-wisdom
elders, living embodiments of their ancestral lineages. Gratitude to these
inclusive open-hearted souls, who live life transcending business, political, showbusiness or spirituality
crushing dogmatic agendas, in loving-kindness for the humanity of respectful shamanic
dreamers of all relations irrespective of any ancestral origin. Sadly, some have passed to the afterlife, and thankfully
some have returned in dreams to continue sharing understandings.
Introduction to 'local medicine:'
Years ago, in the after-glow of deep meditation,
following the thought that I was eating local bee pollen for good health, I experienced an unexpected turning point.
It was a transformative experience that has changed my life in ways that I am still only beginning to understand. At the core
of my inner being I heard an arresting vision-voice speaking ...."local medicine." While
in transcendant consciousness my awareness soared to the height of the coastal mountains, while the words ...."local
medicine" continually echoed back throughout my whole being off the nearby mountains. I
promptly sought out local traditional healer-elders here in the Pacific Coastal Northwest to locate those
rare individuals who had the ability to interpret dream-visions of the elemental Spirits of the Land and who had themselves
intimately recieved verbal and musical communication from local plant spirits while meditating in the wilderness.
I recognize these are mystical experiences those with a rationalist
mindset find difficult to comprehend. In all cultures the true mystics who can speak from their own shamanic
dreaming experience are in the minority.
I found myself introducing referred acquaintances suffering symptoms of energetic, emotional and spiritual trauma
to the pre-eminent traditional
Musqeam natural healer and revivor
of Coastal Pacific Salish ancestral spiritual traditions. This spiritual Grandpa was a respected 'indian doctor,'
a practitioner of a multi-millenial spiritual healing tradition whose seriousness, rigor and depth elicits humility.
evening, while we watched television, Grandpa Vince, who was savouring rare downtime from his busy healing
and traditional ceremonial schedule, turned to me and said, ..."my teacher told me there are only two things that are important - first, overcome fear
and second, have patience." He then he resumed watching TV, while chain smoking his
beloved Export A's. This man of few words, for over 40 years was a much sought
after traditional natural healer-wisdom elder, assisted by 'Mom,' his wife Edna.
Grandpa shared 'understandings' by example, not explanation. On another occasion I said, ...."Grandpa, I'm not an Indian, and I'm not trying to be an Indian." With unconditional kindness
in his eyes, he replied, ..."I know Jake, you're human."
Grandpa Vince was one of those rare individuals who did not see others according to pre-determined appropriate cultural
ancestry, but viewed everyone who requested healing or spiritual advice for their humaness only. He
used his powerful healing gifts to guide and heal many people. Grandpa taught love and respect for all beings. He
was known to see a person's potentialand future spiritual 'work' before they realized it themselves. I was
not the only non-native who was on the recieving end of the kindly grace of this gigantic spiritual Grandfather. I
know others like myself, who were always welcome visitors at his home, continue to miss Grandpa dearly.
Introduction to the Plant Spirit Realm:
Introduction to the plant spirits
was a humbling experience that opened a level of consciousness that completely changed my perception of Nature. It occured
nearly 15 years ago while traveling across the US. Well after midnight, having stopped to rest in a small
Midwestern town and finding the only motel fully booked, for safety, I parked my van for the night in the middle
of a large well lit shopping mall parking lot. The fresh aroma of Sagebrush I had prayerfully picked earlier
that day in the Rocky Mountain foothills permeated the air. Somewhat anxious for my safety as i drifted off to dreamland I
'sent a thought' to the Sagebrush scent ..."you will be my protector tonight." Sometime
before dawn in a dream vision, I observed the Sagebrush plant slowly emerging telescopically from within
itself, out of a 3-4 foot diameter sphere of bright white-yellow light. I realized that my Inner Self was witnessing
the celestial level of Supreme Intelligence, what some might call Creator/God or the Great Spirit, the Great Mystery,
the source, course and goal that underlies all manifest phenomenon. Gratitude that over the years, the extended family
of this plant spirit has continued to reveal the scope of it's 'medicine.'
The second shamanic Plant Spirit encounter was with a flowering Thistle in
the high desert Southern California coastal mountains on a hot sunny afternoon. For some reason the Thistle caught my
attention, so I paid attention. Respectfully introducing myself, I noted how the Thistle thrived and interacted
with the neighboring vegetation, climate and elements. After about 20 minutes I prayerfully expressed
gratitude, and as I was walking away, distinctly heard a loud masculine human-like musical voice behind
me saying ..."caring and sharing." Surprised, I looked around to see if there
was any other person present, but I was definitely the only human there. I looked back to where I had been sitting with the
Thistle plant and from that direction again heard the loud clear masculine sing-song voice ..."caring
and sharing." Emotionally overcome, with tears streaming, I walked back to theThistle
plant 'sending the questioning thought' ..."caring and sharing?" Again the melodic
voice of the Thistle plant spirit responded with ..."caring and sharing." Later,
back home in the Coastal Pacific Northwest, I noticed a patch of the same Thistle family and introducing
myself enquired if it would be ok to take some of its leaves. A grandfatherly voice kindly said ..."wait." Realizing that the Thistle was not yet flowering in this cooler northern
climate, I 'sent a thought' to the plant ..."ok, i'll come back when you are flowering." Weeks
later, while in daytime shamanic consciousness, I saw a number of patches of the same Thistle plant in full bloom in
a field in the distance. I joyfully 'sent a voice' of recognition ..."caring
and sharing." This time the Thistle plant spirit nation resumed the relationship, with what
I percieved were many Thistle arms waving in response, singing a collective chorus of ..."caring
Developing Shamanic Communication with Plant Spirits:
Opening a personal communication relationship with plant spirits can occur when
we respectfully enter a state of non-ordinary transcendant shamanic consciousness through lucid dreaming, silent
meditation or monotonous drumming. Use of entheogens/halucinogens is not a requirement. Aboriginals from ancient times have known this state of awareness as 'the dreamtime.' Vedic texts from
more than 5000 years ago, refer to this shamanic meditative experience as ritam para pragya, 'that which
knows only truth,' a state of consciousness distinctly different from ordinary waking, dreaming or sleep states
In my experience, each plant spirit has a subtle dreamtime energy or 'medicine'
that is a distinct energetic flavour of consciousness, which sometimes is accompanied by an unexpected never
before heard voice or an unusually lucid visual scenario. For me, this often first occurs in the night-time
dreaming, then continues while meditating or fasting in Nature. When a plant spirit catches my attention I pay attention.
It is not belief or faith based. It is not sincere imagination, or wishful hoping that the energetic aspect
of the physical plant will somehow reveal or perform its 'medicine' as needed. The specific 'medicine' gift that each plant
spirit communicates is totally unique for each individual. Traditional healer-wisdom elders teach that everyone should endeavor to develop their own personal relationship with the Spirits
of Nature. Borrowing others experience is totally superficial and can be detrimental for our personal
spiritual journey and the health of others.
When I spend time in the forest home of the local plant spirits I learn
a deep truth about life and healing. Heartfelt thanks to these compassionate Nature creature teachers. We can only be
in gratitude and awe that the Great Spirit manifests through the loving-kindness of the Spirits of Nature in such
We never stop learning. Each year, I continue meditative
field study in Nature expanding my plant spirit materia medica with local wild plants, an active schedule of facilitating sacred
sound therapy meditation circles, in-person Plant Spirit Healing sessions, and transformational counseling.
If you need additional information, or to schedule an in-person
appointment, don't hesitate to e-mail by clicking on the following link: firstname.lastname@example.org