Spiritual Heroes 2013: Q&A With Sandra Ingerman
Shaman, author, and teacher.
Photograph by Sylvia Edwards
Do you have a favorite quote, prayer, practice or credo that gives you strength?
There is so much from which I draw strength throughout my day. I work with the practice of shamanic journeying where I have access to helping spirits who have been sharing spiritual guidance with me for many years. My spirits continue to inspire me and help me remain positive and strong in the midst of change. Through my practice I continue to learn how to shift my perception to focus on the beauty of life. Shamanism is a way of life that teaches how to live a life of honor and respect and in harmony. As part of my shamanic practice I spend time in nature walking and this is where I draw most of my strength. I live in Santa Fe in the high desert. I am lucky to live in a location where I am surrounded by pinion pine and juniper trees. I watch how they stand strong and continue to grow toward the light even in extreme climatic conditions. They flow with change instead of resisting change. They are a great inspiration for me. My desk has quotes that inspire me pasted all over it. One of my favorite quotes is from Emmet Fox, “It is impossible to think one thing and produce another.
What current project are you most passionate about?
I love to write, teach, and lead healing ceremonies for the earth. Right now I am writing three books in which I can share these teachings and practices. My passion is helping people bring simple spiritual practices into their day- to- day lives to improve the quality and health of their lives and of the earth. My passion is to teach people how to use spiritual methods to reverse environmental pollution. Part of this work is performing ceremonies to heal pollution on places on the planet that are in need of help. But most important is the understanding that our outer world is a reflection of our own inner state of consciousness. Before we can truly heal the planet we must transform how we think, daydream, and speak so that we plant seeds of love and light into our earth garden and learn to feed those seeds so that they grow into beautiful healthy plants. What we feed grows. I am passionate about teaching people how to cultivate a rich inner landscape so that light and joy returns to our eyes and also to the earth. My creative fire leads me to help bring people back home to themselves and to the earth to remember their divine nature and creative potential.
I love to teach people how to find what will bring meaning into their lives again and how to embrace their creative brilliance so that each of us contributes to weaving a beautiful fabric of reality to replace what is currently not working and is unraveling before our eyes. I remain passionate about teaching people how to remain in a state of hope as we ride the waves of change and transformation. I have a lot of energy to inspire people to be a vessel of love and light throughout the day while performing errands, driving, and while at work. And I love to teach children how to stay connected to their joy, light, and creativity—keeping that creative spark alive while also staying connected to the invisible realms of spirit.
What motivates you to do the work you do?
When I was a young child growing up in Brooklyn I remember a profound moment while I was sitting on the couch in my living room. I had a vision and kinesthetic experience of the joy that we all came here to experience as part of our destiny. I remember, at that moment, making a commitment to help people remember their true destiny of being a spiritual being in a body manifesting beauty into form. My parents taught me that life is precious and to always honor life. The practice of shamanism has taught me the importance of honoring all of life and being in gratitude for earth, air, water, and the sun for giving us all we need to thrive. So many of us are caught up in the material world and have forgotten some very basic principles of honoring ourselves and all of life. I am very motivated to keep up my teaching and writing as means to transform the violent and abusive behavior that is happening to children, women, and to all living beings. It breaks my heart to see the level of abuse in the world toward children. I do my part to be a force to transform this behavior. I know we can shift the balance from a life filled with violence, greed, and extreme climate changes as we return to living a life filled with gratitude and honor for all that is alive. This keeps me motivated to do my work. I have seen, felt, and heard in my own soul what is possible and I am committed to being in service to the planet. The Salish people of the Northwest Coast have a saying, “When people and nature are in perfect harmony, then magic and beauty are everywhere.”
What do you consider your spiritual roots?
This is actually a hard question for me to answer. Throughout my life I have felt so connected to the hidden realms of spirit. I had three Near Death Experiences, which have kept me exploring many esoteric traditions of how to live a spiritual life. My spiritual path has been very associated with nature and honoring the web of life that connects us all. My formal practice for the last thirty years is the cross-cultural practice of shamanism. What has kept me engaged and committed to shamanism is that it is a path of direct revelation. I love to learn through my own experience versus learning from others.
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