...the Wandering

In order to journey to the other dimensions of existence a Shaman induces an altered state of consciousness in himself similar to a state of self-hypnosis called a state of flow. While in this state of flow, or Shamanic Trance, he is in complete control. He is able to take his consciousness and subtle bodies into nonphysical reality where he visits the heavens and hells of existence, communicates with and controls spirits, gains information, retrieves souls, and makes subtle changes in reality which may affect the physical world. Properties of the Shamanic altered state of consciousness are:

  1. There is a sense of egolessness. It is as if a person feels as if they are merging with people and objects around them. As if they are in a single state of consciousness.

  2. A distorted sense of time and space of time. There is a breakdown of normal boundaries. Intuition takes over in situations where a rational approach was the normal operating model.

  3. Extraordinary psychic and other mental powers.

  4. An intense and accurate sensitivity to the emotional states of others.

  5. A trance like state often called The State Of Flow

In a state of flow, you feel as if you have actually become one with the activity you are focused on. You may lose track of your body, emotions, sense of time and even of your physical location. When you are giving everything you can to a particular vision or challenge, you become free of fear and anxiety. You have no room in your consciousness for boredom. Many people who function in this way speak of it as a "drug free high" that comes from the rhythm that seems to be part and parcel of working at this l00% level. Many people relate to this to activities as simple as tying your shoes, to something more complicated such as driving a car. There is an "automatic pilot" effect. When tying your shoe, you JUST tie your shoe. When driving you know where you are going and you are driving effectively and safely and yet your mind is not intensely focused on the road. This is still attention to detail and focus, but it is different than intense concentration. It is not the type of concentration that creates great mental strain. The easiest way to describe "state of flow" is that you function at a level of excellence with ease [1]. See also Nirodha.

The lighter trance states feel like those times when you are reading a book, or watching television or a movie, and are so engrossed that you are not aware of your surroundings. The deeper trances feel similar to how you feel when you are first waking up in the morning. You are aware that you are awake, your imagery is vivid and dreamlike, and you feel relaxed, calm, and good.

The ability to attain and control a trance is the result of cumulative conditioning and mental training.

A weight lifter trains himself by practicing daily. He begins by lifting relatively light weights and progresses to heavier and heavier ones. Eventually he is able to lift a 200 pound weight above his head with relative ease. By working in this manner he has trained his muscles to respond according to his will. After he has reached his goal he can maintain the ability by practicing only two or three times per week. If he stops practicing entirely his muscles will gradually loose their conditioning and strength and, after a time, he will no longer be able to lift the weight. By reestablishing a routine of practice he will bring his ability back to where it was.

This same principle applies to the trance state. You train your mind to respond in accordance with your will in order to produce the ability to develop a deep trance. This is done by daily practice. It may take some time and effort to establish that ability, but once you have it you will be able to maintain it by practicing only once or twice per week. If you stop practicing entirely your ability will gradually lessen. Like the weight lifter you will need to begin a more regular practice in order to reestablish your abilities.

When you go into any trance you gradually progress from ordinary consciousness into deeper levels. It's convenient to have a means of measuring the depth of your trance, so the paragraphs that follow outline some of the symptoms found at various depths. For convenience sake I've divided the depths of trance into four major sections, and, using terms borrowed from the hypnotic sciences, called them the Hypnodial, Light, Medium, and Deep Trance states:

  1. Hypnodial Trance: You progress from ordinary consciousness through the following steps: feeling physically relaxed, drowsy, your mind becomes relaxed and you may feel apathetic or indifferent, your arms and legs start to feel heavy, you may have a tendency to stare blankly, and have a disinclination to move your limbs. As you border this and the Light Trance your breathing becomes slower and deeper, and your pulse rate slows. (See also: LAYA)

  2. Light Trance: You progress to a reluctance to move, speak, think or act. You may experience some involuntary twitching of your mouth or jaw, and sometimes of the eyes. You will feel a heaviness throughout your entire body and a partial feeling of detachment. You may also experience visual illusions. As you border this and the Medium Trance you recognize that you are in a trance, but may find that feeling hard to describe. (See also:BOMPU)

  3. Medium Trance: You definitely recognize that you are in a trance and may experience partial amnesia unless you consciously choose not to. By giving yourself the proper suggestions you can make any part of your body insensitive to pain, and can experience the illusions of touching, tasting, and smelling. You will be more sensitive to variations in atmospheric pressure and temperature changes. As you border this and the Deep Trance you may experience complete catalepsy of your limbs or body. In other words, if your limbs or body positions are changed you will leave them in the new position until they are changed again. (See also: GEDO)

  4. Deep Trance: You can have the ability to open your eyes without affecting the trance. You will also have the ability to control such body functions as heart beat, blood pressure, digestion, and body temperature. You can make your body and limbs completely rigid. You will be able to recall lost memories and experience age regression. Here you can vividly experience the sensation of lightness, floating, or flying. You can also experience both positive and negative visual and auditory hallucinations both while in the trance, and, if given the proper suggestions, after awakening from the trance state. (A positive hallucination is when you are told that you see something that is not there, and you see it. A negative hallucination is when you are told that you do not see something that is there, and you do not.) In this state you can also stimulate dreams and visions, both during the trance state and (upon proper suggestion) later in your natural sleep. (See also: SHOJO)

Each depth of trance has valuable uses. For example, in the Light and Medium Trances you can learn to begin practical Shamanic Journeying so that you can see, hear, touch and smell experiences in the worlds which border ours. In those trance states these journeys will feel similar to a fantasy or daydream and you may wonder if it is real, or just your imagination. As you train yourself to deepen the trance the journeys become more vivid, until, in the Deep Trance, they look and feel as though they are taking place in physical reality.


The above quote by John Bearwalker, in the last sentence, referring to a Shaman's ability to fly, reads in part "...until, in the Deep Trance, theylook and feel as though they are taking place in physical reality" with the emphasis on "look" and "feel." If you follow the Shamanic Journey as outlined in Zen, the Buddha, and Shamanism there is a relatively interesting tid-bit left unmentioned that is highly related. And that is when the Wanderling awakened the next morning in the trees there was actual in-reality beach sand gripped in the palm of his hand, yet the spot he was found was at least seven miles inland from any sandy beach and several thousand feet up the mountain. However, the night before sand was scooped on a pass over Lime Cay during the journey. Such a phenomenon, that is, having something physical in your possession following a similar experience, is termed Apportation IF the experience did NOT transpire on the conventional plane as the Wanderling's seems to have done. For a definition of Apportation and one person's attempt to explain a like phenomenon as it transpired with her, see The White Stone. In the realm of things Zen, visit Do You Think Flying in the Sky Is Magical? by Venerable Master Hsing Yun.

Please consider visiting Vayu Gaman Siddhi as well as how any or all of it relates to the Wanderling specifically see Codex Atlanticus and THE WORD OBEAH: What Does It Mean? See also AUSHADHIS: Awakening and the Power of Siddhis Through Herbs. Equally interesting may be the event that transpired at the sacred Native American astronomical site called the Sun Dagger.

Ellie Crystal in the Shamanism page listed below writes:

"Shamanic Flight, is in most instances NOT an experience of an inner imaginary landscape, but IS the shamans's flight beyond the limitations of the physical body."

That is to say, NOT "a look and feel," but actually taking place.

the Wanderling's Journey
(click image)

Some time ago twenty-two western Buddhist teachers met with His Holiness The Dalai Lama to discuss a variety of Buddhist realted issues.

The conference was organized by Lama Surya Das, a native of New York who is now a teacher in the Tibetan Nyingmapa tradition. Each of the teachers had practiced for at least a dozen years in either Japanese or Korean Zen, the four major Tibetan schools, Thai or Sri Lankan Buddhism, or the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, a Western school based on Great Britain. There were laypeople, monks and nuns, psychologists, scholars, essayist, translators; some had meditated in caves, others had Western doctorates. Most were actively teaching Buddhist meditation, not only in the West, but in Asia, Russia, and countries like South Africa and Brazil.

In response to questions on psychic powers such as flying His Holiness concluded, "As far as I know, ZERO LAMAS today can do that. SOME MEDITATORS living in caves around Dharamsala ARE HIGHLY REALIZED and possibly capable of such attainments."(source)


Click here to see: OBEAH Jamaica-based Afro-Caribbean Shamanism

Click here to see: SHAMANISM

Click here to see: WHAT IS A SHAMAN?

Click here to see: WHAT IS NOT A SHAMAN?


Click here to see: MIDEWIWIN: Secret Ojibwa Medicine Society

Click here to see: POWER OF THE SHAMAN: Where Does It Come From, How Does It Work?


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  • very interesting and very true...thank you for sharing...much joy and love

  • You gotta have nerves of steele if you want to align yourself with the spirit of mescaline and the other plants.  As you read all the books Casteneda finds out what we all really look like-large balls of energy with an infinite number of 'filaments' emanating from one spot and each 'filament' is a different reality -Don Juan would smack him on the back between the shoulder blades and he'd find himself standing in a stange otherworldly city or weird dimension

  • MASTER says to student;  YOU have done well and now you are a MASTER.

    Master Rhiannon Yellow Star/rheaven1964/Yellow Dancing Wolf/rhonda ward

  • the 1st book was published in the late 60's...
    if u read from the 2nd book onwards, u will understand what the 1st book was all about...

    ..and also a reminder that the term "Warrior", that we hear and read so often now-a-days among new age/spiritual circles, (and which everyone interpretets it in whatever way fits his/her mindset), first came out to the public through the writtings of Castaneda, and it didn mean the type of person that many now describe when they are refering to it...

  • i hear you Shama-an ...;) and understand what you are saying ... and it's so true the sense of humor is the key to our sanity ... lol ... life is pure Zen ... ;) which couldn't be explained.

  • ahh ... but that's the challenge to be in that state with the constant noise around, which doesn't have any influence on one's personal progress .. ;) - that's is the Mastery of Self, when you are in your Core, and you are not reacting to your surroundings (with mechanical reflects) - however with constant vigilance and awareness as a natural state of Being.

  • Nice one Shama-an ... i would say with time 'trance' can become a permanent state of meditation ... ;)

    and as Don Juan said to Carlos Castaneda: "  We don't need anyone to teach us sorcery, because there is really nothing to learn. What we need is a teacher to convince us that there is incalculable power at our fingertips. What a strange paradox! Every warrior on the path of knowledge thinks, at one time or another, that he's learning sorcery, but all he's doing is allowing himself to be convinced of the power hidden in his being, and that he can reach it." ~The Power of Silence~

  • yes I think it was written in'73 -how did you get this?  Enjoy

  • Have you read books by Carlos Castaneda about the Yaqui Indian shaman Don Juan? Try the first book-really great read.

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