We all live busy lives and are on the move a lot of the time, with work, family, school, study andmore. As our lives have become fuller we forget to take the time to come back to ourselves and focus on our own daily practice.
As my practice is about Shamanism I would like to share about Shamanic Daily practice that honours, “Shamanic Self Mastery” through mind, body and spirit.
Over the years, I’ve been asked why we even need a personal daily practice. It can seem like a lot ofeffort, and many people feel they have already done a lot of work on their path and don’t need to do anymore – they just want to put their energy into space holding for other’s, rather than themselves.
My response to them is always, “If we can’t create and hold a space for our own personal ceremony first, then how can we hope to create ceremony and hold space for others?”
Our personal daily practice is an important part of self-mastery and walking the shamanic path. We want to be aware of our mind, body and spirit; not just with our physical being, but on all the levels.This extends to an awareness of what is going on within our family, our community and tribe.
The first thing that I teach in shamanic self-mastery is to come back to ourselves through daily practice. Once we are aware of the rituals that we do around it, we can build onto it further, addingmore rituals to help ourselves. Eventually, we can then progress to helping others.
When starting our daily practice, it’s not necessary to overwhelm ourselves with a lot of new rituals all at once. We can start small and slow to fit around our commitments. Our practice can build gradually and it doesn’t need to be difficult. One of the easiest and most powerful practices we can start with is to cultivate Gratitude. Before weeven get out of bed in the morning, we can lie there and just give gratitude for our breath. We can give gratitude for waking up and we can give gratitude for the sun rising again. We can give gratitude for the sounds we hear outside, eg the wind in the trees, the songs of the birds, the sound of rain if it is falling
In this way, we can create our first daily prayer, our first ritual.
I practice my Gratitude ritual every morning. When I first wake up, I like to just lie there for a little while and share my gratitude prayer.
Depending on the circumstances, I might offer something like this:
“Aho creator, it is I, your grandson Peter. Here I am, once again, waking up on this amazing day.
As I wake up on this day I can hear the song of the birds outside and the wind in the trees. I honourthe air as I listen to these sounds. I honour my sacred breath. I give thanks to my breath and for breathing once again, on this amazing day.”
If it's sunny, I will give thanks to Grandfather Sun for shining a light once again.
If it's raining, I will give thanks for the rain and I really ask it to nurture all the plants and all the thingsthat need watering outside to keep everything alive and fresh.
As the sun dawns and as I acknowledge the day for what it is, I ask Creator to acknowledge whatwill happen for my highest and best for that day. I put it out there and ask Great Spirit to look after me as I journey through this day.
My morning practice has changed many times over the years, especially as I get older and my hips have started to lose mobility. No matter what though, I can always give gratitude.
Once you get up out of bed and go to the bathroom, try to have a drink of water and then you can take yourself for a walk.
Walking creates movement. Take your dog if you have one, or go and do some sungazing. Watch the sun as it comes onto the horizon for the first 10 minutes every morning.
Some people like to get up and do yoga or another form of exercise like running or bike riding or swimming, it doesn’t matter which one you choose - it is all creating movement for our body.
After we've created our movement, we want to be able to go into meditation. We want to be able to gointo some stillness. In this stillness, we are coming back to our sacred breath and ourselves. At least 15 - 20 mins per day
I like to light a candle on my altar. I do this every morning in honour of the day, in honour of my spirit and what I want for the day in my journey, for my own medicine.
You can also pull a card at this time, or do a reading for yourself, then sit in quiet contemplation.Another important element of daily practice is journaling, writing down your thoughts, ideas, learnings and intentions for the day to give them substance.
How Long Should I Spend on Daily Practice?
Everyone does their daily practice differently. Some people’s daily practice can take anywhere up to 2hours a day. I also know others who do 3 - 4 hours of daily practice before they go to work in the morning. Another powerful practice is to smudge and cleanse yourself in the morning with white sage or Palo Santo and practice techniques like the Hollow Bone, which allows you to open up to become the channel for spirit, guides and teachers. Your practice will change over the years depending on where you live, how much time you have and the physical condition of your body. I’ve had to change the kind of exercise I do, most mornings I dosome stretching, but I’ve also started to go back to the pool again and I’m finding other ways to get movement back into my body. I also like going out into the magic hour of sunset and watching the settingsun go down. That's my favourite part of the day here, watching the sun go down and connecting into that sun and saying, “thank you Grandfather for this amazing day” and acknowledging all that I have experienced during the day. You can set your own tasks for your own daily practice. They set us up in a good stead for the day, for a good way of being.
If you don’t have a daily practice, I challenge you to start something that will work for you over the next month. Journal about it and what it means for you to Start your own Self Mastery Practice. If you are taking it to another level with Shamanic practices start to spend 15 - 20mins per day with your Drum, Rattle or Flute
Enjoy your day.
“As we are the ones we have been waiting for” Aho!