RHINEBECK, NY, June 07, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Streaming live on the Co-Creator Radio Network on Tuesday, June 14, at 11 a.m. Pacific time/2 p.m. Eastern time, on her show "Why Shamanism Now?: A Practical Path to Authenticity," shaman and founder of the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing Christina Pratt talks to Stephan Beyer -- professor, peacemaker, and author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon. Beyer tells listeners: "The spirits want you to be a human being, in right relationship with all persons, both human and other-than-human. Whether plant medicine lends solidity to imagination, or opens the door to the spirit realms, or transports the user to distant dimensions, it is still the quality of our meeting that matters, what we are willing to learn, whether we are willing to be taught by what we encounter, whether we will take our chances in the epistemic murk of a transformed world."
In this episode of "Why Shamanism Now?" titled "Pour Your Heart Out in Prayer—The Spirits as Teachers", Pratt and Beyer explore the reciprocal obligation inherent in a working relationship with spirit. There are things the spirits want from us, and their messages are made clear by our willingness to deliver our honesty and heart. The spirits are not simply another resource in this exquisite world to be used, consumed, or squandered. They are not here to do our bidding, but to teach us who we are, why we are here, and what it means to be truly and fully human. According to Pratt and Beyer, the art of shamanism is the art of relationship with all things, physical and non-physical and the helping spirits are the Masters.
Beyer talks to Pratt as part of a series of "Why Shamanism Now?" episodes sponsored by the Society of Shamanic Practitioners (SSP). Throughout this series, Pratt explores how contemporary shamans are meeting the challenge of their world where the relations of things—the living and the dead, the humans and nature, and the technological world and the spirit world—are profoundly out of balance. It is the ancient role of the shaman in all cultures to tend the balance of things, and the question is asked: how are these shamans meeting this extraordinary need today?
Christina Pratt is an authentic, non-traditional contemporary shaman. In practice since 1990, she specializes in mending the soul and transforming the parts of life that feel impossible. A teacher of exceptional clarity, humor, and inspiration, Pratt brings the power of shamanism into the practical grasp of anyone willing to take responsibility for improving the quality of their life. Her well-received book, An Encyclopedia of Shamanism (Rosen), is an 800-page, two-volume set with over 750 in-depth entries that clearly discuss the basic concepts of shamanism, methods, and traditions of over 50 different shamanic peoples. Pratt is the founder of the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing in Portland, OR, and New York, NY, creator of the original Foundations of Shamanism and Shamanic Healing course at the University of Minnesota, and a frequent and honored speaker for the American Holistic Medical Association.
Stephan Beyer brings us a beautiful guide to mestizo shamanism in the Upper Amazon and the use of sacred plant medicines in his new book Singing to the Plants. Beyer holds doctorates in both religious studies and psychology, was a lawyer and a litigator as well as a wilderness guide, peacemaker, community builder. He has worked with sacred plants in the Amazon, in ceremonies of the Native American Church, and in Peruvian mesa rituals; undertaken numerous four-day and four-night solo vision fasts in Death Valley, the Pecos Wilderness, and the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico; and lived in a Tibetan monastery. From these experiences have come books on Buddhism, Tibetan language and religion, and now, mestizo shamanism. Beyer has long had an interest in wilderness survival in a variety of terrains, especially jungle survival. He explains that "as I learned more and more about the ways in which indigenous people survive — indeed, flourish — in the wilderness, it became increasingly clear to me that wilderness survival included a significant spiritual component — the maintenance of right relationships both with human persons and with the other-than-human persons who fill the indigenous world. Thus I began to explore wilderness spirituality, to learn ways to live in harmony with the natural world, striving, like indigenous people, to be in right relationship with the plant and animal spirits of the wilderness." In addition to studying how indigenous peoples of North and South America survive and thrive, Beyer studies sacred plant medicine with traditional herbalists in North America and curanderos in the Upper Amazon.
"Why Shamanism Now?", a live internet talk radio with host Christina Pratt, airs Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Pacific time/2 p.m. Eastern time http://www.co-creatornetwork.com/hosts/shamanism/host_bio.htm. Each week host Christina Pratt, and guests explore the practical application of shamanic skills in our contemporary lives to create robust well-being, strong and clear community connections, and life enriching spiritual maturity. Listeners can ask questions by calling 512-772-1938 or via Skype. Prior episodes from "Why Shamanism Now" can be downloaded for free from the iTunes library. Pratt also talks about Shamanic Healing on YouTube.
For more information on Christina Pratt, the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing, and workshops and classes with Pratt, or to order An Encyclopedia of Shamanism at a special discounted rate, visit http://www.lastmaskcenter.org. Upcoming classes with Pratt include "Cultivation of Personal Power" on June 17-18; Shamanic Journey Circles the third Tuesday of every month; Wisdom of the Shaman talks every third Friday; and Qigong classes every Wednesday, all in Portland, Oregon. A new session of Pratt's Four-Year Cycle of Transformation Training begins July 10. For additional information or to arrange an interview with Pratt, please contact Linda Woznicki, 845-417-8811, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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