Shamanism is a traditional religious practice of interacting with the spirit world, usually through a state of altered consciousness, for the purposes of directing spiritual energies toward the physical world, usually for healing, divining, or seeking wisdom. Shamans usually train their whole lives to learn their practice from one or more experienced shamans in their tradition, and pass on their learning in turn. Contemporary interpretations of Indigenous shamanistic traditions are referred to as neoshamanism.
Fascinating, comprehensive, and eminently readable, this guide explores shamanism―the world's most enduring healing and religious tradition―in the light of modern medicine, psychology, neuroscience, consciousness disciplines, and religious studies.
In this “masterwork of an authentic spirit person” (Thomas Berry), Buddhist teacher and anthropologist Joan Halifax Roshi delves into “the fruitful darkness”—the shadow side of being, found in the root truths of Native religions, the fecundity of nature, and the stillness of meditation.