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Life Arts

Reclaiming the Self and Nature: The Wisdom of Shaman don Oscar Miro-Quesada

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Is there a connection between the shop-till-you-drop lady and the plight of this little girl and the elder that loved her? And what of the soldiers in the wars that shot that little one? They truly are not always heartless murderers of little girls.

Imagine what horrors these soldiers or marines have seen.

Even in a lot of our spiritual organizations, we are taught to sit on hard benches while a man or woman stands upon a pedestal, or stage, to dictate to us what we need to know about religion. In these cases, religion is most often about teaching an idealism and not a discovery of the relationship of the individual self to the Cosmic Self. Instead of being Baptist, Catholic, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Taoist, why not be a loving human being? Our alienation from Nature "out there" is a mirror to our alienation from our Nature "in here." Through our being alienated from ourselves, we surrender our power.

Yet, there are spiritualities that are empowering. These spiritualities reflect the epistemological meaning of religion, which is "to connect." Religion in this sense is about relationship more so than following some man or woman standing upon a pedestal. These spiritualities engage a person into kindling their power by developing a deep relationship to Nature. Such is the work of don Oscar Miro-Quesada, a Peruvian Shaman.

Don Oscar's work is grounded in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. The grounding message for this tradition is: awaken to who you are while embracing a vibrant world. As reflected in the short video below:

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My wife and I had the golden opportunity to speak with Don Oscar through our on-line radio show, Envision This! Don Oscar carries the Peruvian Shamanic Tradition to the rest of the world. He presents a cross-cultural shamanism which reflects a depth of relationship with the natural world. It is a relationship of loving and caring. It is responding from that which is sacred within us to all that is sacred around us. His is a practice that turns us all into lovers, healers, creators, and sustainers.

Don Oscar's message is not one of "follow me, for I have the answers." Instead, as stated by Bonnie Glass-Coffin, PhD in the forward to his book, Lessons in Courage: Peruvian Shamanic Wisdom for Everyday Life, "We can choose to be a victim or an evolutionary partner in the unfolding of the great sacred hoop of life."

It's our choice! It is we that have the power. But we have to take a good hard look at how we have surrendered our power. The task ahead of us isn't going to be easy!

To begin, we must ask, "Why does the shop-till-you-drop woman surrender her power in such a way? Is her shopping akin to a drug, or liquor, which then makes her zone out from being who she is in relationship to the world? Is she escaping from freedom to use Fromm's language? If she goes through a misfortune, will she then take on the victim role?"

According to Don Oscar, misfortune is understood as a necessary challenge for the growth and evolution of the Soul. Trusting Soul means shifting consciousness from being victimized (i.e., externalizing our power) by life circumstances to a place of recognizing how illness or violence or disaster are the necessary compost that creates fertile ground for Becoming.

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Yes, as any good gardener knows, for life to flourish, one needs 'sh*t'. Only then will flowers and a wide array of food grow. But even flowers ultimately emerge from the inside out, from the heart of the seed. The sh*t is simply food for the journey. This is just the way of all of life, including those of you reading this article.

Don Oscar follows the Peruvian path of Shamanistic practice because of its depth of relatedness to the natural world. We are blessed that the Peruvian Shamans do not horde and hide their wisdom, even from the conquering hoards, but rather share it. Thus he takes Western practitioners from the fake, manufactured plastic, metallic world back (and forward) into the organic world. Instead of a "dead universe" as believed in by those of us in the West, he brings one into knowledge of a "living, breathing, magical universe."

Don Oscar states that what has gotten us into a dangerous position today is that we don't realize that transformation, or change, is what is permanent. Our world is in constant flux, transforming and evolving. If we try to hold onto it, don't recognize it, we fall into the illusion of control. It is this illusion that gets us into a mess. Thus, the power elite create the horrid war pictures above. It is simply created by their fear of transformation, evolving and the flux of the planet responding to our actions. "We must simply remain in charge! Our lifestyles must continue on! I'm not giving anything up!" It might do the reader well to pause and think more about how this illusion of control has affected our current day politics, economics, relationships, and environment--indeed, the state of our entire world.

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Burl is an avid writer and publishes to OpEd News. He is author of "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal Our Wounded Nature." As of this writing, Burl is planning to self-publish the book. Alongside his wife, Burl co-hosts an on line radio (more...)

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