The First Encounter

One
The first time I encounted my shaman was about a week ago. I was out in the sound garden.
The sound garden is a place I have set up out back where I can meditate and just chill with my dog and cat.
I hung a bunch of pipes from a tree so we could have interesting wind chimes. There are dismantled plow parts there too that my uncle brought when he heard I wanted to make music. It’s funny how something as heavy as iron makes such sweet music.

It’s nice out there, although if you were passing by you’d think it was a junk heap or the castle walls of a severely mentally ill person.

Ha! If the truth were known!

I was out there, minding my own business when I heard someone speaking in the Quiet World.
It was my shaman.
He was standing there, in the other realm, asking me, by gesture, if I was ready.
It was broad daylight there and the cicada were singing loudly.
I didn’t even have to think about it. Of course I was ready. I’ve been wanting a teacher since I was 12 years old and I’ve wanted to be a helper for longer than that.
So we just started right in. There was no big hoopla.

The first thing we talked about was the validity of Quiet World. It’s a very real place.
I’ll tell you about I how I see it.

Maybe it’s different for others.

In the Quiet World, one can communicate without actually speaking.

A person can use language, but it is carried by thought, sometimes with gestures.

Hearing is just like it is in this world, the Noisy World. So if I say, “How are you–if I think it, you would hear it in my voice

There are sounds there, birdsong, water running over rocks, the wind in trees. But it is not audible. It is weird how you can hear it without hearing with your ears. It is almost like really elegant math.

The Quiet World is where a lot of people go to pray. And some types of meditation are practiced there, but not all.

When I was 12, I thought I had to take pills to find Quiet World. The world I found was not the real Q.W. and I don’t want to go back.

So that first day he was very gentle; his humor was gentle.

He let me share my concerns about what we were about to do, and he rejoiced in my excitement. He could tell how happy I was. The feeling was like the one you get when you are in a field and you come across those wildflowers that look like little red and black sunflowers. I love those.

I said extra prayers and sang a special, secret song.

My shaman smells like leather and smoke. Leather, smoke and those wildflowers.

He makes me feel like there is no hurry to learn. I know learning is multidimensional. I remember wildflowers on one level and it trips a whole sequence of memories and associations. Learning happens where it needs to, however it needs to in order to be useful.

But not just useful.

Learning is fun, or at least captivating. Even when it is played out in a dramatic way, it’s satisfying as an experience.

These are the things we talked about the first day. It was casual as in laid back and causal in that seeds were planted for who knows what.

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