Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shamanizing by 'canonical' hours day and night

Upper montane red fir forestImage via WikipediaGreetings Everyone from Elizabeth! Maybe, besides joining the Friday night circle from your ordinary-reality distance, some of you might like to join me during one or more daily periods of shamanizing. The exact ordinary-reality spacetime coordinates to not have to match, only your intention, attention, and energy-flow.

Years ago I began moment to moment prayer as the Practice of the Presence of God combined with the Jesus Prayer, which together I now call just Praying Presence. Besides the daily shamanizing periods, I also recommend this kind of personal daily prayer, of ongoing awareness of the divine anchored by the repetition of a short prayer such as the Jesus Prayer, synchronized with one's breathing. After a month The Presence can begin to be automatic, continuing (like breathing) in the background of any and all activities.

But long before I learned about praying The Presence, back when I was 11 years old, I was moved to devise and take my own childish 'monastic vows' in secret during a religious youth retreat in the Northern California coastal hills. I began praying the Daily Office or canonical hours the same day, right after I did some research in the retreat center library to learn how.

I was a dedicated member of that church for many years and completed ministry studies within it before branching out and co-founding Companions Circle Church. Now, of course, my daily office has shapeshifted into a very different practice from the Daily Office kept in liturgical churches, with a set order of psalms, scripture readings, and prayers following the Christian cycle of seasons and holy days.

I do not usually go by a prayer book anymore, or any traditional format or liturgical year. I simply do some shamanizing during each of the prayer periods, as I am guided and moved by Spirit and Spirits, using any shamanic method or technique I know, as I am guided by Spirit.

Or I shamanize by a new way of connecting with Spirit and bridging ordinary and non-ordinary realities that I receive from Spirit in the moment. For me any way of direct connecting with Spirit and Spirits and bridging ordinary and non-ordinary realities on purpose, from the most elaborate and lengthy ritual to the quickest and simplest gesture, is a shamanic way.

The natural Wheels of Life, the Planets, and the Stars are my liturgical calendar now. This expands the church's year considerably and gives far more holy days and seasons to celebrate.

The exact times of the shamanizing periods vary according to the seasonal cycles of daylight and darkness and the weather, and around my ordinary-reality schedule. The length of the shamanizing periods changes to match the situation at hand in the moment.

Also I go out of my way to blend in these 'shamanic daily office' observances with my ongoing ordinary-reality journey through the day, or I step aside for a few moments, so that these prayer periods go by unnoticed by others. This daily office is flexible, with alternatives and substitutions built in.

The seven periods I observe are: Mid-Night (anytime during the middle of the night, like Vigils); Pre-Dawn, Dawn, or Sunrise (like Lauds); Morning or Mid-Morning (like Terce); Mid-Day (around Noon, like Sext); Mid-Afternoon (like None); Evening (around Sunset or Dusk, like Vespers); and Day's Accounting (around 9PM, like Compline). If a period gets skipped it is OK because in that case some of my non-ordinary spirit helpers fill in for me.

These several daily prayer periods give me the sacred spacetime to shamanize over the circle's and my list of prayer requests and shamanic intentions, and remember the beings, places, situations, and events on my 'permanent list' every day. If anyone wants to join in, for one or more or all or for other periods, please just begin, as you are stirred and guided by Spirit and Spirits.

If you are doing this or a similar practice now, by any name, I know that we are circling and cycling our prayers and shamanizing as one already. All intentions, attentions, and energy-flows are blended, spun, and woven together by Spirit and Spirits rhythmically, harmoniously, and beautifully in Mystery, beyond any need to define how.

Through shamanic intention, imagination, and dreaming I join this daily office to ALL daily offices or daily prayer cycles being prayed anywhere (and anytime) in the world, of any kind, style, format, language, religion, tradition, or order. So global - and through non-ordinary reality, universal - synergy is key to the great power of this daily prayer cycle practice.
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