Reviewer F.C. Boyd: F.C is an entrepreneur freelance writer/life
coach/trainer. Visit her blog
Author: Sandra Ingerman & Hank Wesselman
Publisher: Sounds True, Inc.
Today, F.C. Boyd, one of bookpleasures.com's reviewers is pleased to have as our guest, Sandra Ingerman co-author of Awakening To The Spirit World.
Welcome and thank you for making time for this interview today. I am delighted to tell you that this was the easiest interview to set up I have ever experienced! I want to thank you for that.
Sandra, you say in your book that Shamanism is a calling and that something happens in your life to call you to be a Shaman. Was there something that happened in your life to open the door, so to speak?
For me, it was a natural process. I had three near-death experiences when I was young which a classic initiation to Shamanism. I was an incredibly spiritual child. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and in a Jewish family. I had visions of Jesus ever night when I went to sleep. You can imagine how well that went over…. (laughed) My parents had to work hard to support my brother and myself. With that, I had a lot of spiritual freedom and I think I shocked my mother when I talked about Jesus but she was so busy she didn’t make a big deal about it. I used to come home and sing to the trees, the birds and the moon. I did have a lot of creativity and support with my teachers. I was a good student and had good grades. I was really grounded. I always have been. I have been able to bring through some esoteric principals but in a grounded way.
You write that Shaman’s are developed over time and there are lots of initiations that happen over this time. Tell us about some of them.
Initiations vary culture to culture. In the west, we are constantly going through initiation experiences. The purpose of that ...how shamans were developed is that in order to have healing abilities, in order to be able to get guidance for clients, for the planet, we can’t see each other as separate.
What happens with an initiation experience is your ego starts to get sculpted away. In our culture we can talk about the losses; the loss of the job, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a home or some kind of environmental disaster. When you experience something like that, it opens you up to an expanded experience of awareness. Of course, some people stay bitter. But generally, people come to some kind of awareness. People on a Shamanic path, might have gone through some kind of loss of health whether it be physical or mental. The initiation is to sculpt away at the ego and you will go through many initiations where your ego is sculpted.
Did you go through that yourself?
I have had a good life but depression was the path that lead me to searching. I was a very depressed teen-ager...a happy child but a depressed teenager. It was through a desire to choose life. I was so focused on choosing life, I was expanded more and more and more. Shamanism was my form of healing.
In the book, you say that we are always dreaming. For the people that don’t sleep much and feel they don’t dream, can you share with us some basic things that can be done to help them remember their dreams?
Dreams are part of a spiritual path. Every path is a discipline and demands some form of practice. Some people bring it through with a walk in nature and some people bring it through in meditation. We can develop certain skills by setting intentions each night and watching what happens. Not everyone is called in the same way. We have to find our own path and journey.
From a Shamanic point of view everything that exists on the planet is alive and when we shift our consciences, what we call the spirit talks to us in certain ways.
You talk in the book about reintroducing the visionary experience in children. What can parents do to help this happen if they feel comfortable doing so?
I am often asked this question. I think that kids are already born opened up to physic and spiritual norms and come in with extraordinary physic gifts. So for a parent, do you support them or do you try to socialize it out of them.
Many of the adults I work with notice that they were on a shamanic path and were told by adults to stop talking to their imaginary friends.
Parents can engage their children in conversation about their imaginary friends, trying not to block that off. Also, taking children into nature and teaching them respect for everything in the world...the birds, the sun, the insects… and less focus on the tangible things that we try to collect.
For those of us that have trouble with meditation, who cannot get to a place of peace, what advice would you give us?
It all leads to the same place…we all need to find our own way to our own path. We all need to go inside ourselves and allow our soul to lead us instead of forcing ourselves into a box that is not our path.
You have written seven other books. Are you currently writing another book?
I wrote the book Awakening to the Spirit World and How to Thrive in Changing Times at the same time. It wasn’t my intention to write them at the same time. How to Thrive in Changing Times came out around Christmas time and Awakening to the Spirit World came out in February. They were both addressing different audiences. Awakening to the Spirit World, I was trying to introduce people to a Shamanic path with some other contributors. How to Thrive in Changing times was trying to bring principals to a very general audience without talking about a particular system and how we can work together as a global community spiritually to create change on the planet for ourselves and for the planet at large. I wrote everything that was in me for a while.
A couple of years ago I was interviewed for a movie called “Invocation.” In the movie, the director traveled around the world talking to spiritual and religious leaders and teachers about how working from a place of oneness could create peace on the planet. He is having a hard time selling it.
Two of us are working on a companion book to help people go deeper into the material of the movie, once it is sold. So, I am writing again…I am constantly writing.
I do have a monthly column that I write and haven’t missed a month since 1997. It is called the Transmutation News and it is on my website www.sandraingerman.com and my whole purpose of the monthly column has been to keep people out of the state of hopelessness and working together again as a global community; Helping people stay focused on the spiritual work as that is where we have power right now. I am always writing. The newsletter is translated into eight different languages. I get a lot of feedback.
This concludes our interview and I sincerely wish you the best. It has been a delight being able to interview you. I will send you links to both the book review and this interview in the next few weeks.