The Roots of Spirituality and Religion is a one-of- a kind training for developing a true understanding of spiritual life. Drawn from foundational principles of the most well-known religions, it reveals their sources as being one and the same therefore providing the seer to choose and create the spiritual structures that suit their own hearts. The spiritual experience leads to the structure that sustains and expands the experience. This structure then can be seen as a religion for those who follow it. However, unlike yesterday’s religious structures that were based on past lives, the living experience of the now must be true to today’s hearts and minds.
In order to accomplish this goal, participants in this training will learn the very specific techniques and rituals as well as the underlying meaning and application of the spiritual language and myths that abound in every culture. This offering is intended to catalyst personal spiritual experiences that allow for the birthing of an authentic religion which is rooted, nurtured and flowers from within the realm of the personal heart.
We begin with an extended overview of ancient indigenous religions and understand how our ancestors viewed life and found remarkable spiritual ways to not only survive, but to flourish as well. With an understanding of this foundational development, we trace the growth of spirituality to its emergence into formalized systems of worship.
In examining the basic formats of these sprouting systems (religions), it becomes remarkably evident that their roots are deeply embedded in ancient ways and spiritual practices. Further, we discover that each system of religion known to us today not only models our ancient spiritual format, they universally maintain the same understanding and application of those practices which have been known to bring us to spiritual enlightenment Following this examination, we seek out our own spiritual activation, beginning with the practice of prayer.
It is impossible to separate religion and prayer. Prayer is where we begin our search for meaning, wisdom and God/Great Mystery. It is our first conscious directive to look for help in a world which seems too large, confusing and at times, frightening. We learn the many aspects of prayer from multiple traditions. We learn how to formulate and use prayers in beautiful and powerful ways.
While prayer directs us, meditation merges us with the Creator. During this third module, we learn to progress beyond spiritual thoughts and relation-ships into meditative states, which gives us a direct experience of the Great Mystery. Though we function in relative reality (the material world), those experiences we seek actually exist in absolute reality, (undiluted consciousness) and are accessed through our inner world. Participants will be initiated into several, highly venerated and sacred techniques of meditation, which until recently, have been reserved for seekers who have demonstrated certain spiritual capacities and understanding. Many of these techniques are still not well known in the West.
Our fourth module brings us to the shamanic journey for purification. Having been aligned through prayer and opening the gateway through meditation, we now move through the portal by the enactment of the shamanic journey in order to explore the realms of sacred space. journeying is a unique attribute of the soul which provides an experience of spiritual dimensions. This awakens the spiritual powers and qualities of our senses which, in tum, allows us to tap into sacred knowledge – the “hidden mysteries”. The journey begins the process of weaving our multidimensional worlds into one. Where prayer and meditation are techniques of opening to our hearts and souls, the journey is the process of exploring our spiritual freedom.
We complete our training by studying the language of the spiritual world – mythology. Although the shamanic journey introduces us to this language, mythology completes this body of work. A personal, growing mythology is essential for us to feel rooted, vitalized and expansive. Using the shamanic journey~ we will develop and create our own personal mythology. Mythical language is far more important than historical fact. Historical fact is bound in time and the conscious mind; myth speaks of the soul’s exploration and ultimate journey home. Its metaphors come from the timeless subconscious mind which helps weave our struggles to be human into a life of freedom and personal power.