Episode 8: The Role of the Shaman

What this is – Hello and welcome to the “The Shaman Podcast”

Speaker –        Mark A. Ashford

                        I am a Usui Tibetan Reiki Master and Teacher for IARP

                        I am a Registered Teacher and Practitioner for Canadian Reiki Association

                        Tibetan Shaman

Some of the other sources are:

So, let’s get to the subject of this Podcast…. Role of the Shaman

As Healer and Guide

The shaman is a healer. This is their principal role. 

They have access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits. To reach out to these spirits, they undertake a Soul Journey during which they are in an Altered State of Consciousness or trance. The trance is induced during a healing ritual that seeks to divine and understand the cause of a person’s illness and gather information from the spirits to allow the Shaman to heal the recipient.

Mongol shamanism had ninety-nine deities:

  1. Fifty-five of these deities were White, i.e. Beneficent for mankind. 
  2. Forty-four were Black, i.e. Terribles to all the evildoers of mankind and to the enemies of the Mongol Nation. 

In total they are the national gods of Mongol Shamanism. They were the Spirits of Ancestors of every clan, the souls of dead chieftains, shamans and shamanesses who during their life had devoted themselves to satisfying the requirements of the members of their clans and who in the World of Spirits should solve the difficulties in the life of the current members of their clans, commoners and nobles and even serfs.[1]

Black shamanism is a kind of shamanism practiced in Mongolia and Siberia. It is specifically opposed to yellow shamanism, which incorporates rituals and traditions from Buddhism. Black Shamans are usually perceived as working with evil spirits of the lower and Underworld, while white Shamans work benevolent spirits of the upper world.

The banners of both white and black shaman flew in Mongol tribal camps and were each guarded by white and black Lord Spirits of the Clan. Nobles of the clan would escort the banners during ceremonies and feasts.

As Oracle

Shaman were astrologers and Oracles. Everyone, especially tribal leaders wanted to know what the future would bring. Will it bring war, will they be successful in the struggle? Will crops and animal husbandry be successful. Will the tribe merge with another though marriage?

The history of the shaman in this role goes back into the very remote past long before the advent of Buddhism in Tibet in the 7th century. 

Historically, Oracles, divination and Astrology were a feature of Bon religion the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet.

Bon held the spirit or soul of the individual was a world or realm of energy which humans are able to contact. For example, humans are able to connect with physical things such as food, a chair, and other people. On the spiritual level they are able to connect at the psychic level with other spirits and those on the different levels of existence.

When the Buddhist Dharma appeared in Tibet, they were able to include the Bon world view into their own. The Buddhist world exists in three parts: one solid, one psychic and one mental. 

The change happened when the famous tantric master Guru Padmasambhava came to Tibet and tamed the subtle world – the deities of the Bonpos – and bound them under oath to obey and defend Buddhist teaching. These deities became protectors of the Buddhist faith and of Buddhist practitioners. They became Cho sung, protectors of the Dharma. According to Tibetan tradition, he tamed these beings through powerful mantras and spells which bound them to obey those who held the power of the spells.[2]

The deities are sentient beings. They are beings, just like people or animals and anyone else, but without a body. They also have a mind or spirit, and, a voice. Without a body they cannot communicate with those who communicate on a bodily level. So, they are samsaric beings. 

Samsara is the term for the everlasting cycle of being. It is the cycle of becoming and passing away, or the cycle of rebirths in the Indian religions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

As such, they are not higher gods, as we would understand the great gods of India or Tibet. They are gods linked to the land, mountains, lakes and to the geographical features. We could in a way say that mountains and lakes are their bodily aspect. They are the subtle aspect: the speech and mind aspect of mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes, especially mountains and lakes.

Providing Continuity

They provided continuity to the tribe and a reliable connection to the spirit world. In this way they were a communicator from the human physical world to the spirit world and back again.

They were an educator of people about the spirit world as well as about medicines and herbs and natural healing solutions. They kept the tribal stories, myths and essential tribal wisdom that made the tribe they belonged to different from another. 

They understood and passed down information about their trance states, how to induce them and how to control them. Their clothing, symbolic regalia and objects were passed down to enrich subsequent generations of shaman.

They are the keepers of tradition, ancient texts, books, and scripts as well as way things should be done. Songs, dances, music, and observance are also carried forward from shaman to shaman within the tribe. 

Shamans usually have expert knowledge of medicinal plants native to their area and often prescribed a herbal treatment. It is believed shamans learn directly from the plants, harnessing their effects and healing properties, after obtaining permission from the indwelling or patron spirits.[3]

The chieftains and nobles may change, but the shaman remains.

As Protector

One of a shaman’s main functions is to protect individuals from hostile supernatural influences. 

The shaman may act as psychopomp conducting the spirits of individuals who have just died to the proper refuge for dead spirits.

Psychopomp literally means “guide of souls” there are creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. 

They do not judge the deceased, simply to guide them. Appearing frequently on funerary art, psychopomps have been depicted at different times and in different cultures as anthropomorphic entities, horses, deer, dogs, whip-poor-wills, ravens, crows, vultures, owls, sparrows and cuckoos. When seen as birds, they are often seen in huge masses, waiting outside the home of the dying.[4]

What next?

Click the link in these notes to find out more about our books, Online Courses, Social Media, our Patreon Page to support the channel, and more. https://bit.ly/3h3E6I0


[1] Ibid.

[2] Dr Fabian Sanders, “Tibetan Oracles and Himalayan Shamans.”

[3] Wikipedia, “Shamanism.”

[4] “Psychopomp.”

The Practical Shaman the Realms of the Shaman

Shamanism predates current day organized religions by tens of thousands of years. European cave paintings and carvings showing shaman date from the Paleolithic era. Graves of shamans, 12,000-year-old and older have been discovered in Israel and the Czech Republic.

Shamanism is an ancient spiritual path for awakening, raising consciousness, healing, divination and, in many cases, peace-making. All major healing systems have shamanism at their root, as do some of the major religious traditions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism still contains key shamanic principles.[1]

Shaman has no dogmas; it is a spiritual path of awakening. The Shaman seeks and experiences his or her personal communion with the sacred without an intermediary. The word Shaman, originates from the Tungus people of Siberia, and has been translated as ‘the one who sees’, ‘the one who knows’ and ‘the one who sees in the dark’. So, it is important to recognize Shamanism is not a religion it’s a spiritual path.

The Shaman sees and knows the essential truth about the nature of reality and the place of the human within that reality.
 Another key element that characterizes a shaman is that she/ he works under direct and conscious guidance of spirit teachers and other helpers, and if that factor isn’t present, it’s not shamanism.[2]

In pop culture, shaman may be: Gandalf in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Professor Dumbledore in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda in George Lucas’s Star Wars, or the Arthurian Merlin in Hollywood productions. This list speaks of the return of the shaman. 

This book is part of The Practical Shaman series, which includes broad introductions to shamans and shamanism and concentrates on the Soul, and the Spirit, together with the beliefs and rituals that surround both and why they differ.

The Reiki, Shamanism and the essential loving mysticism is complementary to our: 

  1. YouTube video series, “Reiki and Shamanism”, 
  2. “The Shaman Podcast” on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Tunine, Deezer, Pandora, and more. 

Together, these expand on Reiki and Reiki Energy and what means to be a shaman. Visit and subscribe to all of these as well as our blog, www.thepracticalshaman.ca.


[1] https://northerndrum.com/files/Shamanism.pdf, “Shamanism.”

[2] Ibid.

The Shaman Podcast – What is Karma?

Speaker –        Mark A. Ashford

                        Usui Tibetan Reiki Master and Teacher and

                        Shaman

What this is – Hello and welcome to the “The Shaman Podcast”

In this Podcast we talk about – 

  • Shamanism
  • Reiki – Reiki energy healing, especially the lineage I follow originated in Tibet
  • And everything else that is related

Media – 

  • This Podcast is one of several media available to you to help you understand and develop your awareness of energy healing practices, history, and traditions. 

The other sources are:

  • YouTube videos – “Reiki with Candice, Mark, and Opame” – Candice and Opame are two of my guides.
  • Books – eBooks and Paperback books – in full color available on Amazon.ca 
  • Online courses at Teachable.com
  • A blog at ThePracticalShaman.ca

Today we are talking about – Karma

Karma originates from the Indian word Karmen.

It has great significance in very many religions around the world. But in the west, we are used to thinking of it in terms of someone who has done something that deserves the same as what they have done to us in return.

A friend of mine came out of a fitness class to find the driver’s door on her Mercedes had been keyed. Someone had walked past the car in the parking lot, and used a car key to scratch the door as they walked past. The door would have to be repainted, which costs money and she would be without the car for several days. Her reaction was “What goes around, comes around.” Meaning she hoped the same would happen to the person who did this to her.

When we say, “What goes around, comes around,” we unwittingly imply there is something, a force, an entity, or energy that will judge the perpetrator for what has happened and apply something equal to them. We do not know when, or if, and we don’t care to be there when it does. We just hope that it happens.

This means we think of Karma operating by the law of cause and effect, action and reaction, it governs all life and living things. If an individual sows’ goodness, he or she will reap goodness; if one sows evil, he or she will reap evil. Something like an Excel worksheet with one column for Good and one column for Bad. 

In many religions Karma has a much bigger role to play, and there are different forms of Karma.

Let’s dig in!

Karma has suffered a chronic miss-association with the word fate, or destiny. 

Fate is a Western idea, derived largely from the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It means, with wide variation, that one’s life has been set by agencies outside oneself, and as a result we are helpless to change anything in it. We simply go from birth to death with a belief that something is supposed to be happening as decided by a power, which is greater than our self. 

We all have free will but what type is it? Is it absolutely free? 

No, there are restraints on our fee will, we cannot do whatever we want. As a scuba diver, I had to wear a lot of gear in order to descend to even modest depths and could stay down for a limited amount of time. The physical limitations were real and had to be respected, no matter what I wanted to do.

No Free will.

According to fatalism, we cannot choose to do anything, everything we do is predestined, and our feeling of being free to choose something other than what is preordained is an illusion. Fatalism is impossible to prove, but it’s also impossible to disprove, because a fatalist would say that whatever we do or say to try to disprove fatalism is itself determined by fate![1]

Limited Free will.

This is it! 

I may not be able to breathe underwater like a fish, but I do have free will to learn the skills and understand the equipment that will allow me, for a limited time, to exist underwater. That limited amount of free will includes what is necessary to challenge my mental and psychological prohibitions against opening my mouth and trying to breathe underwater.

Karma works to develop our ability to handle free will responsibly. [2]

Karma is not like that Excel worksheet, there is no netting out of the Good and Bad columns, a good deed does not offset a bad deed. And, you cannot show a “profit” on the Karmic balance sheet by doing a lot of good things while also doing the bad.

It is the consequences of Good, and Bad karmic actions that our soul is here to experience and learn from. Learning from the consequences of good karmic actions as well as from bad is the take away message. Good karmic actions give rise to good experiences and consequences. Bad karmic actions give rise to bad experiences and consequences. It is what we learn from the consequences, good or bad that is important. 

Different types of Karma.

The process of action and reaction on all levels — physical, mental and spiritual – is karma. God does not give us karma. We create our own. Karma is not fate; humans are believed to act with free will creating their own destinies according to the Vedas,[3] a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India.

Let’s refine Karma a little by bringing in the intention of our actions. 

If I punch you in the arm and hurt you but it is accidental, the effect on my karma will be less than if I had punched you with the intention of hurting you. 

At the same time, your karma is affected because you trusted me and did not anticipate or accept that receiving a punch in the arm is acceptable. The break in your trust that I will not punch you is your karma, the intention to hurt you and the action are mine.

Now to the two different forms of Karma.

The first is what we call “fruit bearing.” This is, what you sow, you reap, either immediately, or a short while after. 

The other type of Karma is accumulative. 

The philosophy of karma is closely associated with the idea of rebirth in many schools of Indian religions particularly Hinduism[4], Buddhism[5], Jainism[6] and Sikhism[7] as well as Taoism[8]. In these schools, karma is in the present, it affects one’s future not just in what remains of your current life, but also the nature and quality of future lives into which you are born – that is one’s samsara.[9] [10] This means our good and bad actions accumulate from life time to life time and at each rebirth, the balance, not the net value of good and bad affects the type of rebirth we have.

This means that events in our lives are not only the result of the karmic balance in this life, but also actions from previous lives. This explains why sometimes there is a disconnect between our actions and consequences, why bad people seem to enjoy success and prosperity, while good people suffer despite their best actions and intentions.

I mentioned before that Karma is associated with rebirth and reincarnation in religions such as Hinduism[11], Buddhism[12], Jainism[13] and Sikhism[14] as well as Taoism.[15]

Abrahamic religions such as Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, and Orthodox Christianity to not accept rebirth and reincarnation. Through the theory of salvation, embracing and adhering to, and worshiping Jesus Christ is the only way to escape the consequences of our bad or evil deeds when it is time for our souls to be judged.

Karma and New Age!

If you are wondering, New Age encompasses a very broad range of spiritual or religious beliefs which developed in the Western World during the 1970s. The New Age philosophy is non-unified and includes beliefs and practices from eastern and western religious traditions, as well as a holistic approach to health, motivational and positive psychological research. 

New Age is so broad because the general development of human understanding started to coalesce at that time across an amazingly wide variety of human experience and empowered people to castoff organized religious structures and organizations. New agers, as they are called, don’t limit their belief system to one particular doctrine.

Karma in Science

Yes, Science! Perhaps the simplest illustration of Karma is Sir Isaac Newton’s[16] Third Law of Motion[17]

  • For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

In terms of karma, this would mean that a good deed done by someone would be returned to them to the same value, of course, a wrong doer would receive an equal and opposite wrong. In other words, a more scientific expression of “what goes around, comes around.”

C. C. Jung[18] in his view of World Religions[19] was quite agnostic with regard to karma, though he was careful to distinguish between metempsychosis and reincarnation since the former did not imply continuity of personality while the latter did. 

You probably guessed that whether you are a follower of a religion that believes in reincarnation and the karma you accumulate in life, or not, it does not stop you from responding to a karmic action with “what goes around, comes around.” 

There is more to read on Karma, in our book on Karma available as an eBook or paperback on Amazon. 

Check it out and enjoy.

I look forward to chatting with you in our next episode. 

The Shaman Podcast E3 – Meditation

Today we posted a new page to this side for the Third Episode of The Shaman Podcast. The Podcast is introduces a shortened style of Meditation anyone can practice anywhere.

Speaker –        Mark A. Ashford

                        Usui Tibetan Reiki Master and Teacher and

                        Shaman

What this is – Hello and welcome to the “The Shaman Podcast”

In this Podcast we talk about – 

  • Shamanism
  • Reiki – Reiki energy healing, especially the lineage I follow originated in Tibet
  • And everything else that is related

Media – 

  • This Podcast is one of several media available to you to help you understand and develop your awareness of energy healing practices, history, and traditions. 

The other sources are:

  • YouTube videos – “Reiki with Candice, Mark, and Opame” – Candice and Opame are two of my guides.
  • Books – eBooks and Paperback books – in full color available on Amazon.ca 
  • Online courses at Teachable.com
  • A blog at ThePracticalShaman.ca

Today we are talking about: Meditation

This is the age of the Coronavirus. There is a feeling of uncertainty, about the present as well as future. Simply put, our lives are not as we wanted or planned to be either today, this week, or this month.

Change is a constant in our lives but usually it happens to one thing at a time and we have learned to adapt to these types of events but this affects all parts of our lives, and it has been imposed on us. People I know tell me they have fits of sleeplessness because they cannot see an end to this or what their lives will be like afterwards.

This is where meditation can help, but not in the way it is often described or enacted in videos. 

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Scholars have found meditation difficult to define, as practices vary both between traditions, and within them.[1],[2]

Meditation has been practiced since antiquity in numerous religious traditions, often as part of the path towards enlightenment and self-realization. Some of the earliest written records of meditation come from the Hindu traditions of Vedantism. Since the 19th century, Asian meditative techniques have spread to other cultures where they have also found application in non-spiritual contexts, such as business, sport, and health.[3]

So, lets simplify this so that we can use it at any day or time, in any place, for a few minutes or much longer period of time.

This is how I do it. sit in a straight-backed chair that is comfortable. This can be at home, in my car, on the train, or a park bench. I slow my mind down and stop it from racing. I stop it from trolling over and over about what happened, what didn’t happen and what I feel should have happened – anything over which I have no control.

I consciously let go of all that is driving the restlessness in my mind.

I continue until my mind is clear and I can sense my breathing. I am not trying breathing exercises as practised in more advanced levels. With some practice, the mind, and the ego that drives, it can be made to stop. The more practice, the quicker and more in control of your mind you will be. 

As I said, this only takes a few minutes – maybe 5, or 10. Sometimes less.

I have come out of an acrimonious meeting and sat at my desk and in just a few minutes I have quietened my mind, my feelings, and my desire to resist and fight over what took place. I am now calm and collected and free of stress, anger, and the other emotionally and spiritually draining feelings the meeting brought to the surface.

Meditation helps us understand and practice mindfulness and being in the present, and not where the busy mind wants to take us. 

The most common tool in meditation and mindfulness is concentration on breathing. It is the simplest tool that comes with our physical bodies and that is why it is always part of more advanced meditation techniques.

Breathing in and out, and then graduating to being able to breath in through one nostril and out through the other takes practice, but like any skill, what we practice becomes natural and easier until we do it without thinking.

I want you to take away the practice of just sitting quietly, and using the stillness and quiet time to practice slowing down and stopping your busy, worrying mind. 

Breathing exercises and other advanced techniques will come in a later podcast. 

What we need now is to keep it simple!

Stay well, stay relaxed and stress free. See you in the next episode.


[1] Wikipedia, “Meditation.”

[2] dictionary.com/browse/shaman, “Meditation – Definition of Meditation.Com.”

[3] Wikipedia, “Meditation.”

The Practical Shaman – Reincarnation

The Practical Shaman - reincarnation book cover

Shamanism is the oldest religion on the planet! 

In terms of human existence, it predates current day organized religions by tens of thousands of years. European cave paintings and carvings showing a shaman date from the Paleolithic era. Graves of shaman 12,000-year-old and older have been discovered in Israel and the Czech Republic.

Shamans have played an essential role in the defense of the psychic integrity of their community for thousands of years. Shaman are pre-eminently the antidemonic champions; they combat demons and disease, but also black magicians… In a general way, it can be said that shamanism defends life, health, fertility [and] the world of ‘light’, against death, diseases, sterility, disaster and the world of ‘darkness’… What is fundamental and universal is the shamans struggle against what we could call the ‘powers of evil. Shamans are not only able to foresee the future, but can change the outcome. As an example, shamans can find out where food or game is located for the community, or averting threats to the community. This is a vital difference between shamanism and clairvoyance.[1]

This book is part of The Practical Shaman series, books 1 and 2 are broad introductions into shamans and shamanism. This book concentrates on reincarnation and the beliefs and rituals that surround the soul. This book is connected to The Shaman Podcast – Episode 2, Reincarnation.

The Reiki, Shamanism and the essential loving mysticism is complementary to our: 

  • YouTube video series, “Reiki with Candice, Mark and Opame”, 
  • The Shaman Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Tunine, Deezer and more. 
  • https://thepracticalshaman.ca/2020/02/05/the-shaman-podcast-episode-1/
  • Visit https://markaashfordconsultinginc.simplybook.me/v2/# to book a remote Reiki energy healing session

Together, these expand on Reiki and Reiki Energy Healing as well as what means to be a shaman.

Visit and subscribe to all of these as well as our blog, www.thepracticalshaman.ca.

Enjoy.

Mark Ashford, MSc,

Usui Tibetan Reiki Master and Teacher

thepracticalshaman.ca

eBook Version:


PaperBack book version

International's Association of Reiki Professionals Seall
International Association of Reiki Practitioners Seal of Membership

The Shaman Podcast Episode 2

Speaker –        Mark A. Ashford

                        Usui Tibetan Reiki Master and Teacher

What this is – Hello and welcome to the “The Shaman Podcast”

What we talk about in this Podcast – 

  • Shamanism
  • Reincarnation
  • Reiki – Reiki energy healing, especially the lineage I follow originated in Tibet, in Shamanistic practices that were recorded in Tibetan Buddhist Texts and practices that from the 8th century onward.

Media – 

  • This Podcast is one of several media available to you to help you understand and develop your awareness of energy healing and practices, history, tradition and a little anthropology. 

The others are:

  • YouTube videos – “Reiki with Candice, Mark, and Opame” – Candice and Opame are two of my guides.
  • Books – eBooks and Paperback books – in full colour available on Amazon.ca 
  • Online courses at Teachable.com
  • A blog at ThePracticalShaman.ca

Today we are talking about: Reincarnation

Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that the non-physical essence of a living being, its soul or Spirit starts a new life in a different physical form or body after biological death. It is also called rebirth, transmigration or metempsychosis.

Reincarnation is a central tenet of the main Indian religions; Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism. Some Hindu groups that do not believe in reincarnation, instead they believe in an afterlife.

It is found in many streams of orthodox Judaism as well as some North American Natives and some Native Australians. 

Historic Greek figures, such as Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato all believed in and wrote about reincarnation.

The Celts and Druids had a central core belief that the soul does not die. After death it passes from one body into another… the main object for this is education. The soul learns or relearns about existence from one life to another but itself is indestructible. 

Taoist beliefs as far back as the Han Dynasty 206BC – 220AD describe reincarnation as “Birth is not a beginning; death is not an end. There is existence without limitation; there is continuity without a starting-point.”

The majority of the major sects in Christianity and Islam do not believe in reincarnation, but some such as the Cathars, Alawites, Druze, and the Rosicrucian’s do. 

It is the doctrine of salvation in Christianity that prevents belief in reincarnation. Islam believes in a linear life at the end of which a person is judged and sent either to Hell or Heaven. On judgement day all are resurrected. 

Personally, I think of my body as a container, a container in which my soul exists and is able to experience the physical world. Through each life time, my soul learns lessons about existence and balances its Karma, and in so doing, it becomes enlightened. When it achieves enlightenment, it breaks free of this plain of existence and has a choice to move on, or, continue but on its terms. When a particular spirit is so moved by compassion and love for those of us still in the throes of birthing pains again and again, it comes back to teach and heal.

The intermediate or transitional state between death and reincarnation is known as the Bardo in Buddhism. It is in this state that Near-Death Experiences [NDE] are recorded.

It is at this time, after death and before rebirth that the shaman plays his/her most important role. 

A soul or spirit may not immediately be reincarnated to the next physical form. The soul may not accept the death of their physical body, which may have ended because of an accident, sudden illness or even violence. The soul may linger in the current world as a non-physical essence and attach themselves to a physical person such as a loved one or a completely unrelated individual. This may hurt or damage the physical person they have attached to. Damage manifests as illness.

Shamans operate primarily within the spiritual world, which they believe affects the human world. A Shaman healing the soul or spirit of a living person restores their physical body to balance and wholeness. 

In so doing, the Shaman encounters the source of the sickness, the attached soul that has not passed over to be reincarnated and guides it to the spirit world where it can manifest into a new physical being, healed and capable of continuing on their journey.

In other situations, relatives may engage a shaman to seek out the soul of the deceased and help it cross over and reincarnate normally.

I hope this podcast has been informative and interesting. Please, subscribe to the Podcast so receive future episodes, and check out our other materials to help in understanding Shamanism, Reiki and energy healing.

I look forward to seeing you in the next Episode.Bye for now.

International's Association of Reiki Professionals Seall
International Association of Reiki Practitioners Seal of Membership

Merit…

Merit is a fundamental notion in Buddhist ethics. It is a beneficial and protective force which accumulates because of good deeds, acts, or thoughts. Merit making is important to Buddhist practice: merit brings good and agreeable results, determines the quality of the next life and contributes to a person’s growth towards enlightenment. In addition, merit is also shared with a deceased loved one, to help the deceased in their new existence. 

Despite modernization, merit-making remains essential in traditional Buddhist countries and has had a significant impact on the rural economies in these countries. [2] The opposite of Merit is Demerit. Demerit brings retribution, and weakens the merit already accumulated. A mixture of the two generates mixed results in a person’s life.

In the world of a shamanism, the soul or spirit may not go immediately to the next physical form. They may linger for some reason in the current world as a non-physical essence and may attach themselves to a physical person and if malevolent, the soul may hurt or damage the physical person they have attached to. The soul damage manifests itself as illness, or even cause the physical person to do harm to others.

Mt. Kailash is sacred to other religions as well. The Jains call the mountain Astapada and believe it to be the place where Rishaba, the first of the twenty-four Tirthankaras attained liberation.

In hopes of gaining extra merit or psychic powers however, some pilgrims will vary the tempo of their movement. A hardy few, practicing a secret breathing technique known as Lung-gom, will power themselves around the mountain in only one day. Others will take two to three weeks for the Kora by making full body prostrations the entire way. It is believed that a pilgrim who completes 108 journeys around the mountain is assured enlightenment. Most pilgrims to Kailash will also take a short plunge in the nearby, highly sacred (and very cold) Lake Manosaravar. The word ‘manas’ means mind or consciousness; the name Manosaravar means Lake of Consciousness and Enlightenment. Adjacent to Manosaravar is Rakas Tal or Rakshas, the Lake of Demons. Pilgrimage to this great sacred mountain and these two magical lakes is a life changing experience and an opportunity to view some of the most magical scenery on the entire planet.


From: The Practical Shaman:

The Practical Shaman

Shamans and Shamanism is the oldest religion on the planet! 

In this eBook available on Amazon Kindle, we explore the history and heritage of Shamanism in Tibet and other parts of the world.

Get this book to start your journey into understanding the religion that predates all organized religion and practices. Learn why a Medicine Man is not a Shaman, why a Witch Doctor is not a Shaman, and much more.

This is our heritage, all of our heritage