I am delighted to join the warm and welcoming CSEE community, and absolutely inspired by the pro-active projects that we fund to help support Shamanic cultures.
I recently returned from a year in Guatemala and Peru, where I had the opportunity to deepen my personal shamanic practice within the energies held by the land, the people, and the shamanic traditions.
One of my practices is that of listening. The voice of magnificent Lake Atitlan and the firey undercurrents of the surrounding volcanic activity spurred my creativity and personal dedication to energy awareness. The rich hums of the Earthen landscape in the Sacred Valley called on me to listen ever more deeply to my own resonant harmonics.
The voices of these lands inspired me, changed me- by shifting the texture of my attention and intention. (For more about my practice of listening, check out my article Listening to Plants.)
I’m a Reiki Master, Songwriter and Songwriting Coach and I often suggest listening to plants as a way to refine our ability to hear and participate in creative flow. The Shipibo describe hearing the healing melodies in nature, which they sing as Icaros. When there are so many songs being sung- the land, the water, the Greenworld – they call you to listen for long periods before singing anything of your own.
I took their advice. In the high mountains of Peru, I gazed at the mellow, light-dappled eucalyptus swaying in the soft breeze for hours at a time and, listening, I slowly, so slowly, wrote my songs.
Now, though I am far away, I can still feel the songs of the Peruvian and Guatemalan landscapes singing to me. Though this was not my first contact with shamanic cultures, the extended time in these two countries continues to inspire reverence and curiosity for shamanic traditions which relate so deeply to nature.
I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to participate in an organization that prioritizes the preservation and support of shamanic cultures: they are so rich, unique, and vital.
Béthany Pozzi-Johnson is the Director of Operations for the Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange, a Reiki Master, Singer-Songwriter, and Songwriting Coach. Drawing on individual shamanic practice, mystical training, and graduate-level research into meditation, Béthany offers mindful songwriting workshops, and teaches contemplative creating tools to ignite internally inspired songwriting at www.oluminousbeing.com. Recently returned from a year in Guatemala and Peru, she brings her enthusiasm, creativity, and reverence for Shamanic cultures to her presence at CSEE.