Tag Archives: life

As many chances as you need

The general rule is that you get however many chances you need to complete your lesson. You always get a second chance. And a third, a fourth, a fifth and however many you need.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be given a second chance by the same person or even in the same life, but in fact you won’t be able to move forward before you get it right.

Now some pessimists might think that there is no incentive to complete the lesson and move on. That the rule of having all the chances in the world will make slackers. Well, there are at least two things that push people to move on. The first is that the lesson becomes harsher each time it comes around in order to motivate us to move forward. Life wants us to evolve. The second is that it becomes outright boring to work on the same lesson over and over.

Let’s take the example of addiction. Life will give you as many chances that you need to overcome an addiction. If that is part of your life lesson you will have every chance. Now that doesn’t mean that the same person will give you unlimited chances. There will certainly be people and institutions that get fed up with you after a while and let go of you, but there will always be new doors opening for you to end your addiction, all the way up until your death bed. And if you aren’t able to solve it in this life you will bring the lesson along to the next, so even if you manage to end it five minutes before your death it is a victory, because you won’t have to go through the same painful journey all over again.

The first times that you get into contact with your lesson the effort needed to break the addiction will be quite small, but it might at the same time not feel very pressing. You might not have felt enough harm and pain to fully understand the importance of dealing with it, so you stay in it. But with time and with each door you close the lesson will become harsher. The harm will increase and so will the pain. What was once a soft and barely distinguishable alarm will grow to a siren right next to you until you simply cannot ignore it anymore. And you will be fed up with your lesson, with yourself and perhaps even with this life because you are just hurting yourself in the same way over and over again. You will be frustrated and bored and longing for change until one day you finally learn the lesson.

Then there will be a great release.

And after that another lesson. That lesson will be all new and might even be quite intriguing. In the beginning you might not even notice the opportunities you are being given to learn the lesson. Perhaps you can’t see the need of learning it at all so you pass up the opportunities. But don’t worry. You will have all the chances you will ever need to learn the lesson. That is simply how it works.

Photo: drink up, its summer by Jeff Ruane on Flickr

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The best thing about being human

– What is the best thing about being human?
– It is to capture the energy.
– What energy?
– The energy you use to play and write and so on. But the very best thing about being human is loving each other.

Sometimes talking to my five year old can be a little like going to a satsang. The difference being that there are no pretentious wishy washy egos around, no white robes and no holy ideas that must be upheld. I trust this guru.

Photo: There’s a snow angel in there somewhere by Daniel Wilby

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Pain and suffering don’t need to go hand in hand

We will experience pain in life. It is inevitable.

How we choose to meet that pain is on the other hand a choice. Many choose to suffer and many also think that suffering is the natural outcome of pain. It is not. To suffer is a choice and as such we have often learnt it.

I realized this a few years back when my life was and needed to be in turmoil. I needed to face pain. When I understood that I did not also need to choose to suffer I could take much more pain that I would have been able to otherwise. Since I didn’t have to deal with the distraction of my suffering ego I could see the pain in sober light and deal with it.

When you disconnect the two you will see that your suffering is of your own making and the pain itself is often manageable. And just as you choose to suffer, you can also choose differently.

Photo: Do you need to Love by Alexandra Bellink on Flickr

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Naysha: Why shamans aren’t vegetarians

I will talk about shamans and not about gurus or healers. I will talk about the reasons not to be a vegetarian or vegan from a shamanic point of view. I won’t say that one way or another is wrong or right. IT’S A DECISION. But there is a lot of judgment and misinformation on the subject. The silent war between meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans must stop. It is not helping nature.

We lost the connection with our food when we let go of shamanism and our shamans. We are responsible for the pain that’s going on and when we become conscious of the importance of shamanism and reconnect to nature, then we will begin to understand how to correct our errors.

The comfortable life that each of us has chosen has disconnected us from nature. The city provides you with so much comfort. You fill your refrigerator with food that you buy from the supermarket, since you don’t have time to grow your own food, because you must work 8 hours a day in order to maintain your comfort. It is the same in all aspects of modern life. We have given up our power of being INDEPENDENTS and INTERCONNECTED and instead we DEPEND on corporations and governments. These problems won’t be solved by us becoming vegetarians or vegans.

A real shaman knows how to provide their own food. All good shamans that I have met hunt and fish their own food, as well as grow vegetables. Their diet is of course depending on where they live, so shamans in northern Greenland almost only eat meat.

For me the experience of fishing has helped me develop my connection with water and other elements. When you are fishing you learn how to read the water and the weather conditions. You need to become the fish and this is how shamanism works. I can connect and feel where the better areas are and where the fish are at that moment in the day. And then when I get them out of the water I never feel sorry or offer apologies. I thank the fish for giving me its life energy.

When you kill an animal you understand life and how fabulous our existence on this earth is. Our bodies are containers than contains a great source – THE SOUL. In the eyes of the animal you can see when the spirit leaves. It’s the light that disappears from this reality to pass to another that is better. Life is a cycle. Death is not bad. It’s a process, a continuation. We are never really born; we are constantly dying since we came to earth.

When you live a genuine shamanic life you understand that everything that surrounds you in nature is ALIVE and HAS A CONSCIOUSNESS – animals, plants and even rocks. Just because they don’t move fast does not mean that they are not alive. They are just having a different experience on earth. Shamanism was born in the hunting cultures.

Is the pain of an animal a reason to become a vegetarian or vegan?

No, it’s not. Everything that is alive CAN EXPERIENCE PAIN and EMOTIONS, but this is not a bad thing. It is one of the reasons why we are here, to FEEL. Plants can also FEEL. We are just not used to listening to their pain, but they can still feel it. It is trough the pain that we know that is better to feel LOVE.

It’s a different thing when we kill animals in factories. There is no respect in it, no consideration in the way animals are killed anymore. In the shamanic traditions the animal must die fast and with as little pain as possible. In the Sami tradition for example they kill the reindeer by first cutting the nervous system and then with a knife to the hearth. Then they wait until the animal does not move the eyes anymore before taking care of the meet and everything else. They use every single part, to honour the animal, the skin, the meat, and the antlers. This is how it used to be when the shamans actively worked in the communities.

Nowadays even the vegetables are being dishonoured in the way they are being grown. People are poisoning the vegetables with chemicals in order to make them look pretty, which is not good. There are a many lands and forests being burnt down right now in the Amazon, in Africa, in Asia in order to grow vegetables.

We must find the BALANCE in OURSELVES, because that is where all these problems begin. The problem is not if people eat meat or vegetables. The problem is how it is being done. If you want to make a change and help nature, start collaborating in your community with farming projects, permaculture and such. Get active in politics.

We must stop the industrial way of producing meat and vegetables. And the most important is to truly start to reconnect with nature. It’s easy to admire nature through your car window, but to live in harmony with nature is a different experience entirely and that is what shamanism is about.

Naysha Silva

Photo: Hunting and Mentoring by USFWSmidwest on Flickr

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Saying yes

Saying yes is often a greater challenge than saying no.

Saying no is not accepting the challenge. It is staying in your comfort zone. One doesn’t need to move or grow or do anything.

Yes is much scarier. Saying yes is interacting with life, trying something new, taking on the challenge. Saying yes is making an active choice.

Photo: Discovering Vampire Weekend (4th52)
by Alexandre Normand on Flickr

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Losing it

I was best in my class at drawing up to the fifth grade. Then I changed schools and met some other boys who introduced me to drawing war. We drew a few wriggly lines on a piece of paper and then drew small stick figures who shot each other. It was a fun pastime, but hardly drawing, so after a year or so my drawing talent seemed to have shriveled and died. Since then everything I draw is childishly malformed.

Sometimes talents disappear because we do not manage them well. We sometimes think that if we have a talent or ability, we will continue to have it regardless. But that is not the case. If we don’t take care of it, it can disappear.

I can only speculate as to how I had grown if I had not met those wars horny boys, but I think it is important to point out three things.
1. It was not their fault that I let my talent go to waste. It was I who did not take care of my talent. On some level, consciously or unconsciously, it chose to make it disappear.
2. Life works in mysterious ways. If I had continued to draw, would I ever have started writing? It is sometimes easy to see what has been lost, but harder to see everything that has been gained, since we take what we have for granted.
3. Life is not over. I might one day pick up a pen and start cultivating the talent that I left. It is my choice. It is easy for me to be remorseful about a talent that I did not take care of, but if I do so I’m probably missing the point that I have more than half my life in front of me. I have at least 40 more years to live. Who knows what will happen during that time. If I am meant to reconnect with an old talent, then I have plenty of time to do it. But I will definitely not do so while feeling sorry for myself.

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My Declaration of Independence

Psychedelics literally saved my life. I could have died if LSD hadn’t found me. And if I wouldn’t have died it seems very likely that I would have been severely damaged by alcohol by now.

To me it was nothing short of a miracle when LSD saved me, so it was logical for me to continue working with psychedelics to heal and grow. I have now been working with psychedelic for nine years and I am incredibly happy that I made that choice. I have experienced so much healing and so much growth. What I have managed to do in nine years with the help of psychedelics would have taken several lifetimes to do without them.

Therefore it is extremely provocative to me that anyone imagines that they have the right to forbid me to work with them. It is provocative that some people think they have the right to punish me for how I choose to heal and grow.

No one has that right.

I could call upon my human rights at the global or European level, which guarantee me the right to my own spiritual path and to my own healing. I could call upon national legislation which ensures me the same. I could, like Jens Waldmann, claim self-defense.

But I don’t want to, simply because it does not matter to me what some ignorant person has written on a piece of paper. I’m Daniel. I am a reflection of the highest divine. I own the rights to my own body and my own life. I own the rights to my own healing and growing.

Those who think they can take away these rights are oppressors. It is an act of violence to try to deny me these rights and any law that tries to do so lacks legitimacy. Those who try to deny me my rights are my enemies and there is no reason for me to negotiate with them. I have the right to defend myself against their violence.

Here and now I declare this:

I own the right to my own life.

I own the right to my own body.

I own the right to my own path.

I own the right to my own healing and my own growth.

As long as I do not consciously hurt anyone else, my rights are above any rights that other people imagine that they have over me.

Photo: Freedom Libertad by Jesus Solana on Flickr

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Imagine this

Now imagine this.

As a teenager you suffer from recurrent anxiety and depression, which sometimes makes it difficult for you to attend school. You start working, but you are still so down that your boss finally sends you to the doctor for help. You get antidepressants and life brightens slightly.

But only slightly and just in the beginning.

Because after a while the anxiety comes back and you start to numb yourself with alcohol and drugs. Sometimes you lose control and become violent, but all you really want is to escape whatever it is that makes you feel bad. Dazed, you are in a free fall in life. You are falling apart and at the same time desperate to escape.

But then one day you manage to brace yourself with all your power long enough to enter rehab. Only a couple of days later your girlfriend tells you she is pregnant, which motivates you to change your life. You go into counseling and get medicine.

But the drugs are not helping you get rid of your anxiety, worry and depression. Instead they cover it up and sedate you. Behind it all your problems are still there. The drugs don’t work very well and you are given stronger medications and increased doses, which gives you serious side effects. You become sluggish, tired and out of it all. Some periods you sleep most of the day, but others you don’t sleep at all. You gain weight and sweat enormously.

Finally a puzzled physician gives you a choice: start take benzo (benzodiazepines), which is a strong sedative with a long list of side effects. It’s addictive, you have yourself abused it earlier on in life and it often leads to apathetic and emotionally blunted states. You know you absolutely do not want to take it.

At the same time several friends advise you to try medicating yourself with cannabis. You have certainly smoked cannabis before, but only when you were abusing something else at the same time. Never as medicine. Faced with the choice to try illicit cannabis or to take a medication that will sedate and blunt you, you choose to at least give cannabis a try before you agree to take benzo.

You can hardly believe that the effects cannabis gives you are true. The medical fog you have found yourself in over several years is dispelled. Suddenly you sleep regularly, you take an interest in life and you begin to set goals for yourself. You go back to school to become a tattoo artist and in time you open your own studio. Suddenly everything is happening very fast. But above all the anxiety is gone. Not gone as in sedated, but actually gone. Your worries are gone and so is your depression. Earlier on in life you had a tendency to destroy everything in order to escape yourself, but now suddenly you turn your energy to create, heal and take responsibility.

But buying cannabis from drug dealers isn’t a solution. The availability is uncertain and the quality is uneven, so you decide to grow your own cannabis. You carefully examine what medical strains are best for you and then order seeds from Holland. It is legal to buy seeds, but not to plant them. But you value your recovery and well-being above the law, so with love and care you grow your own medicine. Everything you grow is only for yourself and you do so for many years. In the mean time you feel great, your company develops, you get married and make an effort to be a good father.

Then one day there’s a knock on the door.

It’s the police who received a tip from customs a few months earlier that you had been sent a package of seeds. Now they want to see what you’ve done with them.

What is morally right?
Should you be punished?
Do you have any legal right to heal yourself, as you are supposedly guaranteed in the Declaration of Human Rights?
Should you go back to sedating yourself with strong medications that might deprive your children of their father and your wife of her husband, or should you continue with the illegal medication that actually helps you?
What would you do?

This is Jens Waldmann’s story. He was convicted in the District Court, but his case is going to the Court of Appeal in Jönköping, Sweden, January 15 2015, at 9 o’clock. The public is welcome to attend trials.

What do you think is right?

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