I cannot count the number of emotional healings that I’ve witnessed and I still hear today about the many physical healings Cheyenne was involved in. We would give people some of Cheyenne’s fur for them to carry with them or to place somewhere on an alter or a place of special meaning to the person. We have sent her fur all over the world to people who request it, the last of it recently to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are out of her fur but do have some of her ashes that we now send out. People have come from all over the world to see and meet with Cheyenne; recently the longest distance traveled has been from Denmark, Iraq and Germany. Many of Cheyenne’s visitors had no idea that they had a problem. If Cheyenne removed some clothing from a person’s body and would lick, lightly nibble, hit with her nose or paw on a certain part of their body, I then knew there was something wrong in that area. Some people already knew, others did not, and some did not want to know. Cheyenne was right each time. She detected cancer in about 25 people including my late wife and I can’t tell you how many other physical problems she detected.
Who can practice the medicine of the Eagle?
Anyone who can be open-minded. Mostly it is about having an open heart. In order to be able to receive the medicine, it is about simply showing up, free from judgment and criticism, just allowing your soul to resonate with what is being taught. Eagle Medicine is a very powerful Shaman medicine to carry. All nationalities, all indigenous traditions recognize that if you carry Eagle medicine, it is of the highest order.Thus said, the Eagle medicine should be a revered practice and should be respected in high regard. It should not be taken lightly and not be given to somebody that took a weekend course and then calls him- or herself a Shaman or a healer. You really have to go through initiation. And it is just like in our tradition, to become an Eagle medicine woman or man you must go through vigorous training, you must go through cleansing, purification and you must go through initiations.
It’s knowing that we are divine. And we are creators of our lives. It also means knowing that there is a part of you that is more intelligent than your left brain thinking. Very often people misinterpret that. They think if I am the creator of my life I am going to decide what I want. And then again we shine our torch only on that which is known. What I say is that you are the creator of your life, but don’t worry about pursuing or creating. The only thing we have to do is love ourselves and allow what is truly ours to unfold. You don’t even have to worry what it is. Because what is truly yours will unfold. Just follow your joy, follow your passion. And all I have to do every day is just ask myself: “What would I do today if I did love myself? What would I do in this situation if I did love myself?” And really the situation or the life that unfolds before you is much greater or much more powerful than if I myself tried to create it as the creator of my life. I am the creator of my life, but I don’t actually consciously pursue or create it. I allow it to be created.
(Self) love is a tricky word to translate into Yoga’s language. However, self-respect and self-connection are probably two concepts that come close and they definitely play an important role in Yoga. In so many ways Yoga teaches us to respect and honour ourselves for who we are, and what we are capable of becoming. Yoga does not preach us to become like another, but rather teaches us to become the best we are capable of. This way the deep connection to our self is an important lesson. When we disconnect from ourself, or disrespect ourself and try to become someone else, then we are going against our inherent nature and there is deep conflict. Not only at a surface level, but also at a very deep level as well. This is one of the origins of negative patterns and diseases, which are originating from self-negation. And this can create a lot of suffering for us.
In the deep South of India lies in the small and remote village of Alvar Tirunagari a temple that was built around a sacred tamarind tree. In India trees are revered as givers of knowledge. Many people here in India who are still connected to nature think for example that the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha sat played an important role in the Buddha being able to achieve enlightenment as it helped him in gaining wisdom.
The Tamarind Tree in Alvar Tirunagari is supposed to be more than 5000 years old. It's leaves never close like the ones of others of the same species and it is said that it is always awake and offering prayers to the divine. Also the tree rests on the roof of the temple with no roots to be found.
One of the priests of the temple told me that the tree is an incarnation of Adishesha, the divine snake that carries the God Visnu. It is also closely connected to Nammalvar, one of the twelve most revered saints of Vaishnavism that lived 3000 BC.
Manu: And the more awareness you have, the lighter you become. And it is about having an awareness, not being aware. It is not the ‘be cautious, be aware’ what I am talking about. I talk about an awareness of what is happening around you. In your family, with your friends, in your own house.
Atarangi: When someone comes to us for healing, we are not just listening to their physical being on the table there, we are seeing a whole movie of things going on around them. A lot gets revealed by the language they use, how they look, what they are describing, it all depicts a whole movie.
Tibetan Medicine defines health in holistic terms – it includes not only the body and biological systems, but it also includes ethical practices, nutrition, lifestyle practices, social relationships and it takes into account religious perspectives. Tibetan Medicine is heavily connected with Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, with which it shares its views of conception, birth, death and rebirth, karma and so forth. However, within the tradition’s teachings and clinical applications it also takes into account religious views or lack thereof and how these impact a person’s health. In the Western medical model we are starting to see greater awareness of the body-mind connections. Tibetan Medicine has a highly developed understanding of the body and mind’s interaction and their effect on health. Yet this is not just a matter of internal factors, it includes a person’s lifestyle, relationships and ethics as well. So for Tibetan Medicine, health is not just a physical experience – health is a mental, emotional, spiritual and social well-being.
Arunachala literally means ‘the sacred fire’ and this fire can purify you and free you from past negative karma. Be it from this or past lives. See, we have many sacred mountains in India, but the Arunachala is a sacred center-spot. My teacher believed that all the enlightened masters of this world have a connection to this mountain. And the Siva loka, the realm where Siva resides, is linked to this mountain. My guru said that this mountain has strong magnetic energy and the people who walk around this mountain will feel that. This is why many people feel dizzy when they walk around the mountain. Because it’s energy is so intense. There is a constant vibration put out from the mountain all the time. This vibration reaches about 35 kilometers far around it. So when you are near the hill, the mountain’s energy will reach you and it will support your transformation or whatever it is that you need for your life in that moment, be it healing, spiritual advancement or finding your purpose in life. The mountain supports your wishes, even if these are material in nature. But to spiritual seekers who seek knowledge, it will give the most precious thing: knowledge from within. The mountain opens its caves to these seekers to meditate in and to reach the state of wisdom.
When I first travelled to Peru, the teacher I came to work with asked me about my work. In broken Spanish, I tried to speak about what I did and how I work with homeopathic remedies. He struggled while I tried to explain how these were energy medicines, made by a process of dilution and succussion, until finally he burst into a big grin of recognition. “You work with spirit medicine; you work with the spirits of the plants and animals!”, he said. “That’s what we do here in the jungle”. And he was right, we do the same things.
What the indigenous healers have (and what we have often forgotten) is a strong connection to the earth and all its web of life. For them everything is connected, all life is sacred. Illness is what happens when we forget our place in this hoop of life, lose contact with our true nature.
During the Middle Ages, people saw reminders of Mary in the different forms of Mother Earth, especially in the flowers and healing herbs growing around them. The rosary that Catholics pray with symbolizes a garland of roses which was attributed to Mary. Between the 1500s and the 1800s many church reports in Europe reported that prayers to the Virgin Mary had overcome innumerous illnesses ranging from the recovery of sight and hearing to the use of arms and legs that had been broken through accidents. In some countries like Spain this led to a strong belief that praying to Mary was the most effective way to achieve medical miracles. During that time entire towns would pray to her for the end of a drought or other forms of help. In many cases the townspeople were absolutely certain that it was divine intervention by God through Mother Mary that brought rain and saved them from famine.
Even when we look at chanting only physically, in order to produce certain sounds you need to aspirate and you also need to use the nose or the throat, etc. So sound engages different parts of our body. If I want to produce a sound with what we call Maha Prana it will cause a contraction of the stomach and thus also works on the internal organs. It is known to reduce weight and even regulate the menstruation of women. One woman had a problem with her menstrual cycles ever since she got it in puberty. She learned chanting and after having chanted regularly for two years her period became well regulated.And as a tool for therapy, especially when we talk about stress, chanting or sound can relax people immensly. It can be a great helper against sleeplessness. I have also worked with mentally retarded children and have seen a lot of positive effects with chanting. Problems like drooling or stuttering can be reduced. Some of the friction sounds like Hram for example can help them so much.
We dont see the land as Earth, we see it as the mother. The land provides and we in turn nurture the mother. So we work hand in hand. The country is very important for healing because it is where you are and where you come from and there is a spiritual connection to the land. Land also plays an important part because it is where the medicine comes from. So if we nurture the land, she assists us by providing the medicines we need when required.
But today a lot of these ideas have gone missing because a lot of our people were forcefully removed from the land and became very sick. They were forced to live in missions and reserves. And a lot of the information in regard to healing has been lost because of rules and regulations. That meant that we were not allowed to discuss these topics. However, just because it wasn’t discussed doesn’t mean it wasn’t talked about. This might sound silly but there were times when people would talk and it became a new language. It became a whispering language. So that is how information was passed on. It was whispered.
One reason why yoga therapy is so efficient is because it engages the patient in the healing process. When we take responsibility for our health we can take care of ourselves better, because we are actively involved in understanding the causes of our suffering and how to alleviate them. The second reason why yoga therapy is effective is because it takes a multidimensional approach. It views every individual as a collection of different layers and therefore has effective tools to address more layers than just one. The third reason why yoga therapy is effective is because it views every individual as unique and therefore does not prescribe one solution that works for all. It takes into consideration different unique parameters of the patient such as their age, their illness, their strength, their mental capacity, the amount of time they can afford, the other illnesses that accompany them, family circumstances, etc. And then yoga therapy prescribes a unique individual approach that is tailor made for every individual. Another reason why yoga therapy is very effective is also because when implemented in an appropriate way, yoga therapy does usually not create any bad side effects for the patient because the practice of yoga is a non-invasive process that utilizes the international resources of the body such as body, breath and mind. My grandfather T. Krishnamacharya used to refer to it as surgery without surgical instruments.
by Meme McDonald
‘Uluru is an enormous library – a living, breathing, evolving Story place. The Anangu elders are the librarians. For over 40,000 years people have been drawn here first and foremost because it is a place for watering and food gathering. In a desert, this makes Uluru an important place.
When asked about healing places for Anangu people, Bob explained: ‘The natural feelings of beauty and peace that every living thing feels need to be present for a place to be right for healing. The place is effected by the healer but also by the patient. Wherever the meeting place of healer and patient may be, that place is also effected and added to by the energies of that healer and that patient. In a healing place, the energy of everything there is the natural energy of goodness.
‘Everywhere on earth has the potential to be a healing place,’ he continued. ‘Healing can happen publicly or privately, it can happen walking around or in conversation, here there and everywhere. It is the energy of the patient and the healer together that makes healing happen. Nothing else is really needed. The support of others, of family for instance, can help, can add to the effect, but it is not essential. The healer and the patient, it is between them. Both need the positive energy that healing is going to happen. You can call this faith.’
by Meme McDonald
‘Healing that comes from the land carries the power of that land. It is the land then that is the healer. Land not only provides medicine, it is the medicine. In our culture, unless you know the land you live in, the land you walk on each day, you can’t be strong in yourself. If you listen to the mountains, they talk to you and tell you how to survive in them. If you don’t listen to the desert, you will die in the desert. And so it is that you can understand why many Aboriginal people become sick when they no longer have a connection to their land. We don’t own that land, it owns us. Land is our mother. You become separated from the land and you become lost. If you become lost, then you become sick. The same with all of us and with our nation, Australia.’
‘In our way, medicine is most often given to us through story, song, dance, painting and so on, along with the medicine from the plants, from the earth, from the nature where we live.’
Each person is given a totem through which to learn of themselves and their relationship to each other and the world around them. Totems can be plants or animals or natural phenomenon or elements. The story that goes with each totem is sung and painted and danced. It is often through the story of the totem that each person learns to face challenges, or gains powers of observation, or increases their spiritual understanding.
One of the biggest issues I see with many is their lack of physical understanding about the body and when it starts to flare up (show indications of pain) and what is best to be done about this. Most people will see their doctor as their first line of healing. Others will go to a chemist and get over the counter support. Most of our Elders and my dad I include in this, would see their doctor and still use his Rongoa (Maori bush herbs and medicine) as part of his healing regime. My personal belief is that there are several things going on within the body / mind / soul that when something is out for an amount of time (we each specify this time frame individually) and it doesn't get resolved, then the body will start to look around within itself for healing. When this doesn't occur it takes things into it's own hands, and does it's best to start healing - i.e.: a tumor, a headache, water on the lung, inflammation of parts of the body, etc. My Elders believe that first there is a spiritual disconnection within the person, so they have specific types of prayers on hand for clearance of that, then there is a type of Romiromi (deep tissue pressure bodywork), Mirimiri (spiritual connection with the body), Takutaku (chants), Karakia (prayer), Kaupare (cleansing of the physical body), Puure (spiritual cleanse done in the sea), Tohi (release of entities), Whakawaatea (cleansing of the land or home) and more.