By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
It’s the most ancient spiritual practice on Earth… and also one of the most diverse.
And more and more people are awakening to the realization that it’s one of the great spiritual systems for awakening, healing and transformation.
What is it? Shamanism.
If the word conjures up images of tribal medicine men and supernatural forces, our FREE online Shamanism Global Summit, which takes place July 25–27, will be a revelation.
Modern shamanism provides a pathway of sacred, practical action — allowing you to build inner resources and access guidance to become a positive and effective agent of change.
It can also help you cultivate spiritual alignment, abundance and love in your life and a natural sense of deep interconnection with all the world — seen and unseen.
Summit host Michael Stone has put together an incredible lineup of two dozen leading teachers to educate, surprise and inspire you with profound insights about shamanic practices that can help you transform your day-to-day life.
Speakers include Malidoma Somé, Sandra Ingerman, HeatherAsh Amara, Nonty Charity Sabic, Mandaza Kandemwa and many more. For a sneak peek at some of the topics that will be covered, click here.
For this edition of The Catalyst, Michael Stone and Sandra Ingerman contributed profound Shamanism-related articles, and Malidoma Somé and Audri Scott WIlliams share powerful personal stories about their own encounters with Indigenous wisdom.
The Shamanism Global Summit is a much anticipated highlight, but the rest of the summer is shaping up to be equally promising.
The Inspiring Positive Social Change series, which kicked off with two days of powerful interviews, most recently looked at mindfulness and compassion. The series will now be exploring forgiveness, followed by compassionate and peaceful communication. All the recordings are available for free, so don’t worry if you missed any. Click here to register for free.
One Shift Network member wrote to us, “Bless you, bless you, bless you! I took today off to be able to follow the event [Inspiring Positive Social Change]. I just cannot stop crying while I listen to all the heart-moving, caring, intelligent, bright, hopeful, inspiring messages conveyed. I can feel my own heart softening with joy. Thank you so much!”
Experience the event yourself by listening to the four free Inspiring Positive Social Change audio interviews in this issue, courtesy of Andrew Harvey, Shariff Abdullah, Melanie Greenberg and Audri Scott Williams.
We also want to bring attention to July 30 being the United Nations’ World Day against Trafficking in Persons. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labor globally. Some experts estimate there are more people in slavery today than ever before in human history. (See Movement News)
The Shift Network is passionate about helping end human trafficking, a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labor and sex. We strongly support Shared Hope International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the eradication of sex trafficking both globally and in the U.S. They do direct intervention work and provide extensive resources to help all of us come up to speed on sex trafficking and how to end it. (See Featured Media and Shift Philanthropy.)
As you scroll through this issue, be sure to read Frank Thacker’s essay on the three keys to inner and outer peace. Also included in the Featured Articles section is an in-depth look at The Black Hills Unity Concert, which will be held in South Dakota from September 8–10.
For Shift Philanthropy in this edition, we invite you to support the Black Hills Unity Concert, which will support efforts to return the guardianship of the Black Hills to its original caretakers, the Indigenous Peoples of the Plains. The concert is also a major networking hub to address critical issues of our time. We also introduce you to Winaypaq, a progressive school for Andean indigenous children founded by Alonso del Río, a featured speaker in the Shamanism Global Summit.
Our Featured Artist is Sydney-based singer-songwriter Miriam Lieberman, whose world-folk sound is on full display in her new album, “Full CIrcle.”
Finally, we would love to hear your answer to the question, “What did you feel like after forgiving someone whom you once thought you could never forgive?” To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.
Shared Hope International began in 1998 when U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith traveled into the heart of the brothel district in Mumbai, India. The brutal sexual slavery and exploitation of women and children she witnessed there inspired her to establish Shared Hope International to help bring healing to devastated lives. Their dynamic story of prevention, restoration and justice initiatives has continued unbroken, as you will see as you scroll through the timeline that follows this brief video – click here.
India.Arie bares her soul in her beautiful new album, “SongVersation: Medicine,” as well as in an interview with The Shift Network's founder Stephen Dinan. During the interview, you'll gain rare insight into the depths of a groundbreaking artist and dedicated spiritual practitioner. Click here for the audio and full transcript.
The Summer of Peace is our commitment to peace in the world. The free event provides tangible skills you can apply in your daily life. Here are four recent sessions from this year’s Summer of Peace summit: Inspiring Positive Social Change.
How do we bring the inner peace we find in meditation into the wider world? What actions can we take that make a difference? Philip M. Hellmich, Director of Peace at the Shift Network, joined regular guest host Dr. Laurel Trujillo to discuss the balance between cultivating our inner life and activating a path of service in the world. Listen in and be inspired to act for peace in your everyday life. Listen (and download) Philip’s interview by clicking here.
Walking in Light is a rich resource filled with practices, journeys and insights to help you improve your state of health and well-being, deepen your relationship with spirit and nature, tap into your creative potential, and live from the heart. Sandra offers a complete guide for living in a shamanic way — empowered by purpose, focus, and deep connection to the spiritual dimensions. The passion behind writing this book comes from Sandra’s deep commitment to share tools to maintain a state of hope and feel empowered during these times of change and to teach how we can be positive changemakers for all of life and the Earth by integrating spiritual practices into our lives. View all of Sandra’s books and audio/video products by clicking here.
Join The Shift Network,
The Gaiafield Project and people around the world for Global Shift Meditations the first of each month — click here to register for free. On July 1, we featured Cynthia Jurs, founder of Alliance for the Earth, a nonprofit dedicated to planetary healing and collective awakening. (The free recording is available here.)
I’m very excited about this year’s Shamanism Global Summit and I think you will be too. We’ve listened to your requests from the past few years and, in spite of language barriers, have put together a very diverse and august gathering of Shamanic teachers from around the world. The theme for this year is “Personal and Planetary Healing.”
While new discoveries in the scientific community have been proving what shamans and indigenous cultures have been saying for millennium, these findings have not found their way into mainstream culture and education. We invite you the readers, the cultural creatives of our era, to find your own truth in these offerings and be a conduit for the new story of our time. This is a story of health and healing, of interconnection and communion, of adopting the web of life as our guide and reference point for decision making.
To read more and get a preview of what to expect from the Summit’s featured luminaries, click here.
In a shamanic culture, individuals knew what was out of balance in their lives that might have caused an illness. In our culture, we are unaware of what is out of spiritual harmony that is creating illness. And as soul loss might have occurred early in life, we are unaware of the unconscious patterns and trauma loop we are living out.
The effects of undergoing a soul retrieval vary. Some people feel more grounded, embodied and solid. Some people feel lighter and joyful. For some, memories of past traumas might trigger feelings that need to be worked through. For others, the effects are too subtle to notice a change until further work to integrate the soul is done.
For the past few months I have had the extraordinary privilege of interviewing shamans, medicine men and women, and indigenous energy medicine people from around the world for this year’s Shamanism Global Summit. One common theme that has emerged is that our reality is a function of our beliefs, perceptions and the stories we tell.
It is very clear to me, and to them, that if we want to change the direction we are headed and build a global future that supports a world that protects the children of all species for all time, we must change our personal and collective stories.
About a month ago a small group of us were at breakfast sharing our understanding of what peace meant to us. People talked about the absence of war, a quiet setting, the absence of conflict, everybody getting along, the absence of violence, inner tranquility and peace of mind, outer calm and quiet, a last resort and other similar ideas.
I shared my notion of peace as a goal we are moving toward. It will be a culture where there is honor and dignity rather than indifference and disrespect; integration rather than conflict; unity in diversity rather than discord in differences; harmony rather than chaos; justice rather than injustice; all built upon a foundation of love rather than hatred.
For the past three years, native and non-native peoples have come together in South Dakota for The Black Hills Unity Concert. We have amplified the cry to return the guardianship of the Black Hills to its original caretakers, the Indigenous Peoples of the Plains. So we gather again for the fourth time in the Black Hills on September 8–10, 2017. This is a free event to the public and your support and participation are warmly invited.
My mother became my confidant at a very early age. She was the one with whom I could share my experiences — no matter how “strange” they may have been. She would listen, not just to the words but to the silence as well.
She taught me to embrace my authentic self and gave me permission to be “me” and the confidence to walk the path that I felt born to walk, a path that would be revealed one step at a time and often only recognizable in hindsight!
When the elders in my village approached me about becoming initiated into elderhood, my reaction was Why me, of all people? There were others in the village who were great healers with fantastic track records and I was nowhere near their level. I had always been fascinated with the traditions of my culture, but at forty-three, I considered myself too young to be an elder. Besides, I lived in the white man’s culture and only came home once in a while.
They told me that, yes, I lived in the white man’s country, but that every time I came home with a dozen white people from America or England or Europe, as I often did, they saw that I was playing the role of a bridge. It was through that function that it had become possible for them to realize that the white man does not hate our tradition, does not despise our ritual — that, in fact, the white man would like to find in our medicine something that will help him heal, something that can bring his culture closer to ours.
The World Day against Trafficking in Persons (July 30) was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly. Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. UNODC, as guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, assists States in their efforts to implement the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (Trafficking in Persons Protocol). To learn more, click here.
Based on a peace campaign that began 26 years ago with a candle in the window, Rebuilding Alliance is launching the “It’s Time for Light” campaign #Itstimeforlight. We're inviting everyone to put a solar (or other) light in the window every Wednesday evening. We start with a specific focus on brightening the future of Gaza’s families, including sending solar lights to Gaza — and we hope to use #Itstimeforlight to ease tensions and help families in other parts of world in the future.
To read more and find out how you can help, click here.
Whether you’re looking for the keys to rejuvenation or longevity, or want to know how you can leave a lasting legacy for future generations while living your joyful purpose ... join us for this first-of-its-kind Qigong and Conscious Aging Conference in the Land of Enchantment — New Mexico!
During the Conference, an impressive gathering of world-renowned experts will show you the way to living each day with deep wisdom through effective practices — from ancient teachings to cutting-edge medicine.
Join us via Livestream or in-person to learn from masters who are exceptional healers, authors, spiritual teachers, physicians, scientists, therapists, coaches, ministers, musicians, artists, activists, mystics, and more!
Join us from September 8–10 in Piedmont, South Dakota, to celebrate the fourth and final Black Hills Unity Concert. It’s free to the public, and native youth from the surrounding areas will be invited to attend a special program of traditional teachings just for them. Given today’s political environment and the challenges in the Black Hills, this coming together promises to be like no other.
There is no shortage of statistics and heartbreaking stories within native communities. However, the strength and determination of our youth became apparent for all the world to see during the months-long prayer at Standing Rock. They have decided to fight for the future of our communities and for Grandmother Earth. This year's celebration is a thank you to them, acknowledgement of the commitments made, and a prayer for the future.
To watch a two-minute video about last year's concert, click here. To support this free event with your donation, click here.
The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a collection of audio and video interviews featuring Indigenous leaders from around the world sharing prayers, sacred songs, prophecies, spiritual teachings and pathways to healing, as well as concrete examples for birthing a new era — one in which all members of the human family are treated with respect, understanding, compassion and justice. This sacred wisdom is important medicine for us all. The production of The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a gift from The Shift Network, designed to inspire, inform and involve you by highlighting the voices and important messages of Indigenous leaders from around the world. We thank all the speakers who have contributed to this body of knowledge! To learn more, click here.
Book by Stephen Dinan: Sacred America, Sacred World. Infused with visionary power, Sacred America, Sacred World is a manifesto for our country’s evolution that is both political and deeply spiritual. It offers profound hope that America can grow beyond our current challenges and manifest our noblest destiny, which the book shows is rooted in sacred principles that transcend left or right political views. To order your copy, click here.
World Peace Library. Designed for the layperson and professional peacebuilder alike, the World Peace Library has over 425 audio and video interviews with some of the most remarkable, inspiring peacebuilders in the world available to you at NO COST. You’ll find hundreds of hours of inspirational, peacebuilding, compassion-spreading talks and trainings at your fingertips with this FREE global resource. There’s no way you can’t come away from the World Peace Library deeply inspired, transformed — and part of the solution. Click here to find out how to take peace to the next level — and help co-create a global culture of peace that leaves a legacy of good for our children, our children’s children and all of humanity and life on earth.
If you would like to submit something to The Catalyst, please see the submission guidelines: click here.
Raise your awareness about sex trafficking and what you can do to help stop it by visiting Shared Hope International’s website, and then share the information with a friend and/or your social media contacts.
Wheels of Life Chakra Workshop: Heal & Awaken Through Your Energy Centers — A Free Virtual Event With the #1 Bestselling Author & Expert on the Chakra System Dr. Anodea Judith, PhD. Discover how to open, align and heal your chakras to activate your energy system, nurture your spiritual awakening, and enjoy a vibrant, thriving and full-spectrum life. Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 10:00am Pacific
• Anodea Judith 7-week course
• don Oscar Miro-Quesada 7-week course
• Matthew Fox 7-week course
• Caroline Casey 7-week course
• Ken Page 7-week course
• Dawson Church 7-week course
• Stan Grof & Rick Tarnas 8-week course
• Sara Crow 7-week course
• Suzanne Scurlock-Durana 7-week course
• Robert Moss 13-week course
The overarching goal of the Black Hills Unity Concert, which will take place in Piedmont, South Dakota, on September 8–10, is to return the guardianship of the Black Hills to its original caretakers, the Indigenous Peoples of the Plains.
The Black Hills Unity Concert is also a powerful networking hub and social engine that also addresses the most pressing issues of our time in addition to the Black Hills issue: language extinction, uranium contamination, water protection, youth suicide, sustainable economic development, self-sufficiency and self-determination, racial division, the protection of Indigenous women and others.
To help make this free concert available to all and support this work, please visit their crowdfunding site by clicking here.
Winaypaq, a progressive school for Andean indigenous children, lovingly teaches the most up-to-date scientific, cultural and technological knowledge and skills while respectfully integrating traditional Andean cultural values to forge a new path forward to a sustainable, prosperous and peaceful future. Winaypaq is located near Pisac, Peru, in the "Sacred Valley" of the Andes Mountains, one hour from Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Incas.
Winaypaq was founded in 2000 by well-known musician and traditional healer Alonso del Rio and his wife and current project administrator, Waltrout Stolben, a German-born teacher with an advanced degree in Special Education. Alonso is a featured speaker in the Shamanism Global Summit.
To find out more — and make a contribution — click here.
Shared Hope International is dedicated to the eradication of sex trafficking both globally and in the USA. The Shift Network strongly encourages you to join in supporting their efforts. Please visit Shared Hope International and contribute your donation by clicking here.
Since 2013, she has been involved with the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), a Network of ecovillages and sustainable communities around the world; she is currently serving as a board member.
Nonty is also a director of Revivers of Indigenous Spirituality and Ecosystems (RISE), an international organization founded in 2015 in Senegal under a baobab tree to inspire leaders in reviving and empowering our earth-based wisdom traditions to serve future generations, with a focus on traditions now rapidly vanishing and tackling CCC (climate change challenges). She is also a member of the ILA (International Leadership Association).
The Shift Network is proud to be a member of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, the institutional home for the peacebuilding community — a network of over 100 organizations working to resolve conflict and create sustainable peace in 153 countries. We strongly encourage anyone interested in peacebuilding to consider becoming a member. To discover more, click here.
Sydney-based singer-songwriter Miriam Lieberman is strongly influenced by traditional West African music. She plays the kora, a 21-string West African harp, which provides a refreshingly novel contrast to her world-folk sound. On her latest album, “Full Circle,” she is joined by violinist Lara Goodridge and cellist Kate Adams who add lush strings and harmonies to the sonic tapestry. Each song is a poetic prayer to reflect the deep mystery of life and awakening. Listen to the song, “Here Is the Rhythm,” by clicking here:
Watch the video for the song, “Do You Hear Me Now” by clicking here.