There are not many people who learn to cross the membrane between the visible, tangible world into the invisible, non-tangible world, yet the author has accomplished this brilliantly.
His journey stories will take you from physical and non-physical aborigines in the bush, to lines and balls of light, and on to the distant stars, yet all have one thing in common: authenticity. It is only when you have made similar journeys that you know the authenticity of another person’s account.
This is an excellent book.
MICHAEL J. ROADS
Author of the best selling classics:
Talking with Nature
Journey into Nature
And his recent;
Through the Eyes of Love –
Journeying with Pan
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.46(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Diary of an APPRENTICEBook One in the Series Diaries of a Shaman
Balboa PressCopyright © 2012 DreamSnake
All right reserved.
There was a tingle of anticipation driving out to the land today. As I traveled down the long, winding, dirt road and neared the valley, this tingle of anticipation increased. For an image appeared in my mind of a little point of land at the base of the hill. I had been drawn to it lately, and the thought now arose to meditate there.
Parking the car under the shady trees beside the creek, I wandered along the creek flats, following the car tracks through the long grass, and then wound my way up the hill through the trees to the point of land. Sitting down, I crossed my legs to meditate. Bellbirds chimed overhead and a warm yellow sun shone softly down through the trees. Yet I was restless. I increased my efforts to become calm, but the body wouldn't quieten and neither would the mind. Frustrated, I opened my eyes ...
... And sensed a presence. I'd noticed this presence out here before, but never had he felt so close, almost like he was watching me. I twisted round on my seat, peering expectantly through the trees behind, but there was no flash of color or movement to suggest someone was there. Even so, I imagined I could smell the mustiness of his body odor. Idly wondering if he'd walk down and talk to me, I understood he wouldn't, and knew if I went looking for him he wouldn't be found. Still, the expectation was there, so I stayed, sitting on this flat spot among the trees.
Letting my gaze drift around, I took in the quiet harmony of the bush. The land sloped steeply away from me, down through the trees, and then across a flat, open meadow to the creek. Beside me, gum trees towered through the scattered undergrowth, rising up to spreading branches under a light blue sky. Thin, white, wispy clouds floated above the leaves of their uppermost branches. Feeling settled and calm on my small outpost upon the hillside, I closed my eyes to meditate.
The ground trembled beneath me – and trembled again. I opened my eyes, startled. Was it an earth tremor? I held my breath, waiting. The land was still; the bellbirds piped undisturbed overhead. As I sat there thinking about this strange trembling, I remembered when it had happened once before, and I knew it wasn't just a physical vibration. In another time and place, it had rumbled through the earth, shaking the house as if a huge truck was passing outside.
I closed my eyes, curious and puzzled why it had happened again, when another tremor ran through the ground under me. Keeping my eyes firmly closed, I felt another tremor follow it, and then another, each growing stronger and lasting longer.
These vibrations began to run into my legs and buttocks which were in contact with the earth. They rose up into my body, climbing along my spine and spreading out into my arms and head until my whole body was shaking. It was like sitting on top of a tiny earthquake and I thought I was going to be toppled down the hill! I opened my eyes, ready to brace myself – and saw the land was still. Not a leaf fluttered. The breeze had dropped and bright sunlight was shining down through the trees, falling in dappled patterns upon the grass.
Wondering at what had just happened, I took a deep breath to calm myself, and saw ripples of light spreading out in circles from where I was sitting. With growing fascination, I watched these tumbling waves as they flowed out over the edges of this point of land. Then I realized the waves were echoing the rhythm of the tremors, for the vibrations were continuing, flowing on down the hill and running underneath me, as strong as before.
I decided to join with the vibrations. Willing myself to blend with them, I sent them onwards down the hill. I could follow their course as they continued down towards the creek, but they didn't increase in strength and faded near the front of the land.
I then tried sending them out into the shrubs and trees around me. The waves rippled out, increased in brightness, but disappeared a short way out, leaving me centered in a pool of light.
Unsure of what to do next, I sat there, feeling the vibrations as they ran under me, and into me. The idea came to send them back up the hill to where they were coming from – to where I sensed the presence was. I closed my eyes and, still facing downhill to the creek,
focused on the vibrations running beneath me. The odd sensation arose of looking backwards through my heart; I could see the trees on the slope behind me. The scene grew clearer; waves of light were rolling down the hill.
My awareness began to creep up the slope. The waves increased, white clouds of energy billowing past. Cautiously, I inched forward, finding I was gaining momentum. The waves grew stronger. It became harder to keep moving as they started to buffet me, pushing me sideways.
Slowly I waded up through the waves of light, until they were crashing down upon me, and thundering past. I felt like I was swimming against a raging stream and wondered how long I'd be able to keep going. With an effort of will, I concentrated on moving forward.
And then a Light appeared. Looking up the hillside to where it shone brightly above me, I was suddenly surrounded by the Light, and within the Light was the Presence. Connection!
I wanted to stay as long as possible, absorbing this light, this wonderful vibration, but was so full of vigor I couldn't sit still. I jumped up and started to head down to the creek. As I was leaving I felt the Presence again.
It seemed sad and disappointed. I stopped at the bottom of the slope and looked back towards the connection site. Was I leaving too soon? Should I have stayed longer? A longing rose in me. Maybe if I had meditated more, he would've come down.
Perhaps next time ...
Chapter TwoGrandfather Goanna Spirit
Having finished work for the afternoon, I was heading back down the hill for a drink and a splash in the creek, when I decided to stop for a moment and catch my breath. I'd been clearing lantana by hand; this large, shallow-rooted shrub had been imported a century ago, and now grew in profusion over the hills, smothering the native flora. Sitting in the heavy shade of a large tree, I took off my hat and work gloves and gazed across the valley to where the distant tree-clad hills were bathed in brilliant sunshine. A soft breeze floated up the hill, drying the sweat on my face.
As I sat there, enjoying the cool breeze and quietness of the valley, I suddenly heard a loud Scrunch – like a foot had stepped onto a large pile of dried leaves. I quickly looked around to see what could have made that noise, but the little clearing was still. Just then a presence swept over me, prickling my hair and skin, and a voice gently whispered in my ear, "Grandfather Spirit". And from behind a tree, directly across from where I sat, stepped a large goanna.
He walked boldly into view, heading into the clearing with that ponderous swinging motion of his body, and then turned and scaled the tree he had appeared from behind. I watched as he slowly climbed up the trunk, his claws noisily clutching the bark. Stopping, he turned his head and looked at me. Because of the slope of the land, I was sitting level with him, and staring him straight in the eye.
I had never been so close to a goanna before, less than a dozen steps away, for these large lizards are usually timid creatures, scrambling up trees at the first hint of danger. So it was surprising to see him walk out into the open, and then climb a tree right in front of me! Still, I was careful not to move lest I frighten him. I sat very quietly.
He was the biggest goanna I'd ever seen, nearly man-length from his head on the tree trunk to where his tail curved down to touch the ground, and black-skinned with small patches of color running in designs down his body.
The thought came to sing to him. Worried that it might scare him away, I hesitantly began to softly sound a long Om note, but he never moved, gazing at me steadily from his position on the tree. I changed to a mantra, gathering in volume, and then to voicings that just came out spontaneously. The whole time he sat there, eyeing me with a look between friendliness and pity. The last note floated into the silence of the valley. Still, with neither of us moving, we regarded each other.
I found the markings on Grandfather Goanna Spirit fascinating. They reminded me of the dream I'd had that morning – a dream of seeing a boomerang fly in through the door and land on the floor. The dream had come just before waking.
We were out the front of the house and my wife was hanging up the washing. Looking up, I saw a huge UFO flying over the house. It was in the shape of a yellow digital clock. I ran through the house and out the back door to get another look, and saw another clock flying in the opposite direction. This time it was a huge red digital clock. (Time flying past and not wanting to miss the early morning on the land?) There were also boomerangs flying in formation through the air, each with a short extra crosspiece attached to a wing.
A boomerang started coming towards me. I expected it to curve away but it kept coming straight on. Hurriedly, I stepped aside and it flew past, straight through the door and into the house. It landed on the floor behind me and I turned to see one wing in deep shadow, and the other lying in the bright, early morning sunlight streaming through the door. The wing in the light was covered in strange, yet attractive, markings.
These markings were similar to the patterns on Grandfather Spirit's tail. Intrigued, I studied the colored designs in detail. From behind his head, a pattern of yellow shapes swept down to meet, and blend into, a series of squares, both yellow and green on the long trunk of his body. These squares broadened out with his girth and then stopped at the base of his tail where a new series of markings began. They were small green shapes that swirled down the length of his tail. I ran my eye back up his body and over the flowing lines of color, highlighted by his black skin.
Finally, I pulled myself out of my reverie. Grandfather Spirit was still looking at me. His eye was now radiating a peace and goodwill like you'd find among good friends – his eye really looked human then.
I enjoyed the moment of closeness and friendliness that came out of the experience with the Being, and then it was time to go. I rolled a mandarin towards him as a gift, expecting it to bounce past him and roll down the hill, but surprisingly it stopped right against the base of the tree. I was even more surprised when he didn't flee with the sudden movement.
Pleased, I rolled two more mandarins towards him. These, too, landed up against the tree. Still he didn't move and I thought, even more so, that this was a special meeting.
I stood up. He shifted on the tree trunk and I quickly stopped, standing still. When he didn't move, I offered a heartfelt blessing and a farewell and, passing the tree he clung to, walked off down the hill.
Chapter ThreeThe Snake
Twilight was deepening as I made my way slowly back to the car along the narrow bush track. Trees hung over the pathway, making it gloomier and darker still. Dirty and sweat soaked, I had worked in the hot summer's afternoon clearing lantana until it was almost too dark to see.
A long, thin, black shadow lay across the pathway.
I slowed, peering towards it. It was too dark to tell exactly what it was, but I wasn't too concerned. Many times I had cautiously approached a snake-like object on the ground, only to find it was an old branch or twig lying there. Besides, I thought, if it was a snake it would slither off before I got too close. It was high summer and they move quickly in the heat. I stamped along, thumping my feet onto the ground and letting it know, if it was a snake, that I was coming. It didn't move. Still, as I neared it, I became wary. I didn't want to step over it just in case it was a snake.
Bent over, I was slowly moving towards it, squinting through the gloom, until my nose was almost within arm's reach of it, when suddenly I realized – it was a snake! Startled, I straightened up, and in one quick movement leapt back! And put a surprising amount of distance between myself and the snake in that one big jump! Without taking my eyes from it, I slowly took a few backward steps, putting a little more space between the two of us.
I stood silently, staring down at the black shadow of the snake lying stretched across the bush track. There was a strange tingling sensation around my feet and I decided to move even further back, but then thought, "No, I'll stay here." Courage arose, and I knew I was safe – safe, at least, from my own mental processes. And oddly enough, I was calm – the heart rate and breath hadn't accelerated at all.
But what was I to do? It was nearly dark and here was this snake blocking my path! I looked back along the track the way I had come, and then up through the trees to where the first stars were shining. There were only about ten minutes of light left, and almost none within the heavy shade of the thick trees surrounding me. To avoid the snake, I'd have to backtrack and then swing up and around the hillside, battling my way through the trees and lantana and getting torn and scratched in the process, for there was no other easy way back to the car from where I stood. Not the end to the evening I had hoped for.
Yet it seemed so unusual for a snake to be lying there, not moving on the pathway, and I wondered why. The idea arose to contact it. I mentally projected a friendly, "Hello," towards it. There was no answer. The snake lay still. I gathered myself and sent as strong a greeting as I could. Did I pick up a slight response?
Then an image appeared in my mind of the grassy connection site nearby, sitting amongst the trees higher up on the hillside, and the thought came, "Send it as a rumble through the ground."
Gathering my greeting, I sent it down to my feet and into the earth, willing it towards the snake. He began to move – oh, so slowly – inching himself off the path. It had worked! I watched, peering through the deepening gloom, unsure at first if he really was moving. But he was!
As he began to slowly slither off the track, I felt a tearing sensation in my chest. It started in the left side, ripping across to my right, like someone was slowly opening a huge line in my chest.
When the snake's tail appeared on the track, his body easing over the side, the tearing sensation began to subside and it felt like a weight was being lifted off my chest. I took a few breaths, surprised at how deeply and freely I was breathing, and realized that this opening up had been timed to the rhythm of the snake as it'd crawled off the path.
The end of its tail began to slide off the track. I quickly walked up to where the snake had lain, feeling his impression under my feet and staring after him until his thin, black length had vanished into the gloom under the trees.
Chapter FourTree Spirit
Early one summer's morning, I decided to climb the hill at the back of the land. It's a long walk and I was well prepared with a bucket containing a water bottle, snacks, a mobile phone and other bits and pieces. A solid gum tree branch that'd come to hand made an excellent walking staff. Leaving the car near the creek, I walked along the creek flats and up the hill, slowly making my way through the tangled undergrowth and thick trees, following an old, overgrown logging track up to where a ridge meets the hill. This ridge starts near the gate, rising up and leveling out to join with the hill at the back of the land, about one third of the way up its slope.
Climbing out onto the ridge, I rested in the shade of a tree, sipping from the water bottle and looking across the valley. The air was fresh and clean up here, especially after tramping over the musty, dead leaves of the forest and through the dense undergrowth.
The next section of the hill was very steep. The old logging track had been recently widened by a bulldozer, making it clear walking. Gathering my gear, I set off again. Trees had also been felled, and I passed new stumps with clumps of branches lying in untidy heaps beside the track. Pieces of white quartz had been unearthed by the bulldozer and lay scattered across the broken ground.
Pushing into the forest past the end of the dozer tracks, I tried to remember the landmarks of previous visits. A tall hollowed tree stump soon appeared, an obvious and familiar marker, and I knew I was on the right track. More than once I stopped to rest, facing downhill to ease my aching calf muscles, and each time the view had expanded across the valley.
The top of the hill appeared through the trees and I looked for somewhere to pause before the final climb. A little pathway drew me in. Wandering through the trees along this winding animal trail, I came to where a huge gum tree towered overhead. Impressed, I gazed up at its wide white trunk that soared into the canopy, following the tree's line until it disappeared amongst the leaves and branches of the surrounding trees. With the sweat running down my face, I sat down on a litter of soft leaves and took off my hat. The day was warming up. There was a very pleasant feel to this spot and I was happy to sit among the rainforest trees, listening to the birdcalls chirping through the stillness, and surrounded by the peace of the bush.
Excerpted from Diary of an APPRENTICE by DreamSnake Copyright © 2012 by DreamSnake . Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Introduction - The Air Chakra....................viii
2 Grandfather Goanna Spirit....................7
3 The Snake....................12
4 Tree Spirit....................15
5 The Inner Earth Warrior....................26
6 The Old Warrior....................29
7 The Dreamsnake....................35
9 The White Warriors....................51
1 The Light on the Beach....................69
2 Two Trees....................74
4 Who Shot Nelson Mandela?....................81
5 Ball of Light....................84
6 Colors in a Ball....................90
1 The Pink Room....................135
2 Initiation under the Rock....................144
3 The Birthing Pools....................152
4 Be Gentle from the Heart....................160
5 Rock of the Elders....................168
6 Dance of the Elders....................172
7 The Rain Rock....................179
8 Feet on the Ground, Head in the Clouds....................184
9 The Afghan Shaman....................188