The Steel Shaman
Zen Gem And ONE e-books are (Below)
The Steel Shaman by Tom Wright, 508 pages, (Currently E-Book Format only-no shipping, instant access) is a true story, an odyssey filled with practical "how to" instructions and colorful stories of shamanistic experiences. This read is for the courageous, those willing to expand themselves beyond where they are now, to experience their full potential. Their human potential. The included disclaimer had to be put in, because simply out of reading the book while editing it, my editor began to have lucid dreaming and distant awareness experiences that she was not prepared to have.
All these occurred spontaneously, simply while reading and editing. I then had to coach her on how to handle these experiences, to pay attention to the path that was being walked up in order to reach them, rather than to obsess upon the actual experiences themselves. Because it is always the path, the now moment, that is the thing that's really important to us, not some distant hoped for goal. The path is not only the way we came to be where we are now, but at times it is very important to recall that way, so that when we need to, we can come back again. Back to this world, back to the world of the tonal where we have to know how to tie our shoes. It is no less important to us, than any other world. As a true Steel Shaman, this is the way we live our lives, right now, in this moment, that not only becomes our lives, but is our lives. And it is to that magical richness of all things good that I dedicate The Steel Shaman to you.
Please read this disclaimer prior to reading the first sample chapter below:
I have found it necessary to provide the following disclaimer because of the experiences of my editor and staff, who upon reading this work before this disclaimer was added, would call me up with tales of the most astounding dreams and experiences.
Nothing in this work, or in any of the work of A Course In Shamanism, should be detrimental in any way to either the practitioner or to anyone around her or him. In light of this desire for nurturance from this work, the suggestion is to put up your shields before you begin reading.
Circle yourself with a perfect sphere of indestructible, impenetrable, and eternal Sourced love and light that lets in only pure, positive, love and light Sourced energy and lets out only pure, positive, love and light Sourced energy and anything negative not needed for your path-with-heart. Speak these words out loud and intend their reality with all the energy you can generate. Do this with all the love you can muster: feel it, create it, and with that much love, you will always, and in all ways, be safe.
A Course In Shamanism,Twixsilver Press, and its affiliates, inheritors, and employees are not, and never have been, responsible for any and all choices or effects that you may encounter. Your life in its complete entirety is something that you, and you alone, are completely and wholly responsible for. You hereby release A Course In Shamanism, Twixsilver Press, all employees, affiliates, and inheritors, from any legal redress that would seek damages for any and all experiences, physical harm, or psychological harm claimed, imagined, or experienced. Your agreement to this statement is demonstrated by your reading any further. Go now, and practice being the powerful creator you already are!
The Steel Shaman ($17.95) is only available online in E-book format, to save you shipping and hardcover costs:
"Tom Wright's The Steel Shaman is damned fine writing and damned fine story telling. It's also much more than that. This book challenges the reader to come to terms with the realities of Shamanism and a magical universe, not in some far off place but in the here and now. It dares us to realize how much courage, heart, work, attention and dedication we will need to become Shamans ourselves, and then offers us clearly-defined exercises that can help us do that.
--Peter Gorman, award winning journalist and Amazon explorer
"With fascinating stories that are personal and engaging, Mr. Wright outlines the modern practice of Shamanism, making its value accessible to all. The Steel Shaman is one of the most experiential definitive works out there, a recommended read for anyone interesting in improving their lives in a clear, straightforward way!"
Alan Shoemaker, world renowned Shamanism expert, and Director of the annual International Amazonian Shamanism Conference held in Iquitos, Peru.
Chapter One The Steel Shaman
Walking Between Worlds
“I am not the shape, I am the shifter. I do not write my words, my words write me. I don't act my actions, my actions act me. I do not speak my thoughts my spoken thoughts speak me. I am who I am when I am that. We all are the Shifters Of Shapes.”
*This story is about Shamanism, and Shape Shifting in particular. I am writing this because there is so much confusing information out there from people who either are repeating inaccurate published material, or who simply don't know what they're talking about. The only information of value is that of the direct experiential type, and that will be in the form of new data, new in that it will be something you have not seen before, such as the following true story. You have never heard this story before because it isn't rehashed data based on what I've read in books, but rather, a complete story based on actual events.
The mystery life is can be both affirming and deadly at the same time. Life doesn't choose the directions we go in, we do. I leapt, at first thinking I was trying to escape the hot breath of a massive black panther. Despite his size, he was moving fast. The damp air was heavy with many strong animal smells of wet fur, close and sharp. It was dark, but I could see. Everything. Moonlight washed the trees like silver milk spilling down the trunks and over the ground. Everywhere an ethereal light caught on the bare edges of fallen leaves and branches, glistening back into my eyes as I effortlessly glided over the path. It must have rained recently, but I could not recall when.
A desperate feeling flooded out as I ran, commanding myself wordlessly with the push of my fear to move, move! Without effort my speed increased, muscles rippling like water flowing over hard ground. From a place that spoke to me again, still void of language, I felt the need to spring forward, and fast, because I knew that I, the hunter, was being hunted. There were many hunters out tonight. I was hunting the hunger. Hunger was what drove me on to keep moving right into the danger I knew was there, too hungry to run away. I was tearing down the mountain, digging up leaves and small sticks with claws that gripped the earth, propelling me toward the hunter. The smell of gunpowder burned my nostrils, along with the smell of fear that pulsed hard through my veins with every new breath. Many different fears, both animal and human.
The hunger was so great it drove me into the open field bathed with a dull silvery moonlight. Despite the low light, the whitewashed red clay soil and the long grass all seemed as bright as day to my eyes. The extra light seemed so unreal, for a moment I could not understand where it all was coming from, nearly caught by the desire to look around for its source. And then that last thought was gone. Only the gnawing emptiness in my belly captured any of my attention now. Otherworldly screams of a small herd of alpacas shattered my silent run as I raced toward them. Their warnings meant nothing to me. No more than the smell of the hunter's rifle. Even he was out of my mind now. Nothing existed but the blood hunger that swung me around to face the beasts, body responding instantly, claws digging into the soil, throwing small clumps of red dirt everywhere.
Alpacas and goats were scattered all over the field. Some of them bounced off hard wire as they followed the fence line, long necks stretched up, eyes desperately searching for a way out that was not there. All except one. The easy one. Again I was gripped with another wordless knowing that told me either I would get in and out of there fast, or I would be killed. Hunted. The animal was trapped between a barn post and some large foundation stones, facing away from the smell of gunpowder. My sharp focus locked onto its screams as a huge paw shot out, claws tearing at the ground. Fast. I had to get it fast. Dry dust flew up, filling my nostrils with the smell of earth as I dragged the screaming beast out from underneath the barn. The animal was kicking powerfully. Something sharp flashed with a pain on my front leg, but then it was gone, it too devoured by the hunger. Paws up and slashing, I struck.
The alpaca's chest opened up, ripped by razor-edged claws, as the smell of blood drenched me. No more screams filled the air. Only a heavy, vibrating growl could be heard, oscillating like a drum beating throughout my body. The beast's flesh moved as easily as water parting when I plunged my paw into its chest and removed its still beating heart. A fresh heart, red and pulsing, beat for a moment between my clamping jaws and then it stopped. I had it. The hunger was fulfilled. Faster than I had ever known something could move, I leapt again. Like a hot finger pressing in on my back, the hunter's sights burned into the ground just a few feet behind me, but I knew I was too fast for him to shoot. Before he could squeeze the trigger with his shaking fingers, I was gone.........
Zen Gem (164 Pages) is a rock shaman's journey through raising two children, while hauling them around the appalachian mountains searching for gemstones. Through tears, tirades, and quicksand, the avalanches of poignant memories abound in Zen Gem. A thoroughly entertaining and enlightening book. Available in E-book format only. $3.99(No shipping, instant access)
First Chapter Excerpt:
SAPPHIRES, CHILDREN, AND ZEN
"Beyond any accomplishment, far above any degree, power, entourage, law, claim, or proclamation, exists one simple truth, the one truth we most often forget: that living itself is the reason, and awareness is the gift outside of even conversations about value. Living itself is what's sacred."
It's taken three weeks of waiting, but finally the day has come. With light from the rising sun still an hour away, it's time to pack up the kids and my shovels, then head on out the door to a gem dig. Barely awake yet, Nic and Alyssa shake their rumpled blonde locks in protest, but they will also protest the moment we have to leave the dig. It doesn't matter where they are taken or even if they originally wanted to go. Because the same resistance to change will happen, including on our annual trip to Disney. It's too long a ride; they want to stop and buy ice cream, and the inevitable "I don't want to go now" which applies both to coming and going. You just have to love them. I do.
We're heading off to a special place today, but just try and tell them that. I don't dare risk such levity, at least, not at five in the morning. This trip will become special to them when the ice cream hits but not until then. I wonder at their open, heart-on-the-sleeve reactions and how as adults we have closed down so much of those kinds of communications. Especially as an adult male. Though hard to deal with, somehow their whining and shuffling seems more honest would be the word. They express how they feel, and what they want, right in the moment. They live there. What I want in the moment is to get going. I'm living in the future. It's been three weeks waiting, and I am a rockhound, after all.
At first blush, most of the gem grade crystals you find don't look like all that much in the rough. First appearances are deceptive, especially to the novice rockhound. Full sapphire crystals are six sided with a weathered exterior that often looks like worthless, corroded stone. Emeralds hide under a black biotite in the matrix, that reveals nothing of what lay just thin millimeters beneath that surface. If you aren't careful, no matter where you are or what gemstone you are looking for, you just won't see the treasure right in your hands, no matter how hard you look. That's why it's so important to start out with a clear picture in your mind of exactly what you're looking for. With gem digging, you are always forced to look as deeply as you can, and even then, sometimes gems are missed.
It's great training for being a good parent I'm hoping, as I look over at the kids, complete with their usual rough faces they paint on prior to leaving to go anywhere. They're just not sure how things will turn out around the next river bend, and if they're happy where they're standing, they're thinking, "what's the point of moving?" As an adult, I'm convinced I know the point, simply because I've been around longer than them. Yet, I'm not always so sure about that knowing. To me the point is, everything moves, even the sapphires tumbling down the river, so why not us? We were made to move.
Alluvial deposits of gem quality sapphires can be found in hundreds of different locations all around Western North Carolina. These bright stones come in all colors of the rainbow. In Franklin county, you can sift the river rocks and find red and blue corundum deposits running over with those sapphires, along with gemstone rubies. I have seen some translucent red stones the size of my fist come out of there. The Chunky Gal mine has red corundum in abundance, and right down the road from there at the Herbert mine, thousands of white sapphires dot the river bed. At the Cherokee Mine, which is a commercial mine, yet still a real mine, meaning that they don't "salt" the dirt with gems from around the world, you can take two gallon buckets of dug-up river scree and sift through it all day long to find the clearest and brightest violet and pink sapphires this world has to offer. There are even a few clear, gemmy red rubies in the mix at times. I know. I've found enough of them.
Just down the road from Asheville in Canton, there's Wood's Hole Sapphire Mine, right next to the Old Pressley Mine. Woods Hole is also a real mine, which means it too, is unsalted. Mines open and close as often as the owners change, but there were times when you could get into Woods Hole and I took advantage of every one of those moments. Unsalted mines only contain matrix from the local area or if there's a sluice setup, like at the Cherokee, usually material from within a mile radius or so. Woods Hole doesn’t look like you might imagine a mine would look though. It's just a few acres of mountain slope with a very small stream running right through the middle of it. If you dig down into that streambed, at a certain point, you will encounter hundreds of blue sapphires. Some are light blue, the clearest and brightest this world has to offer. Some are also a gorgeous, translucent dark blue. Corundum, which is what sapphires are made out of, is one of the hardest minerals on earth, next to diamond.
That's why gem material survives the tumble down the river over millions of years, finally coming out of the stone it was once trapped in: the softer matrix that encased it long ago turned into either sand or river silt. One of the reasons I love gem digging is that there's an unmistakable parallel between the journey of a gemstone and the journey of human beings as we roll down our lives, bumping and traveling along, trapped within a river of time. Give that journey long enough, and we have to come out in our full gemminess...........
ONE is now available in printable format.
There is ONE and only ONE Universal Law, and from this law all abundance flows. Once you learn this law, you can apply it immediately to your life.
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What's the point? You are!
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