I was delighted to speak at the graduation ceremony for ACCHS (Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences School of Acupuncture) this month. One of the oldest acupuncture schools in the country, ACCHS was established in 1982 by a friend of my father’s, Master Wei Tsuei, who passed this last December. The ceremony was a sweet reminder that our dreams and vision will out last our physical presence – what gifts do we want to be remembered by?
As I prepare for my presentation at the 28th Annual Conference on Shamanism, Healing and Transformation, I am reminded of this Daoist Master, Tsuei, who was a magical mixture of science, art, and shamanism.
One of the Chinese characters for spirit is “ling” 靈
is written as rainfall called by two people connecting between heaven and earth. This character of two people connecting is an ancient character representing shamanic understanding. This understanding of connectivity between humans and humans with heaven and earth is an important Daoist concept. The human is viewed as a conduit of heaven and earth – meaning all natural or universal forces. Being a conduit is the ability to be in one with a natural force, forces of nature, like rain. Shamanism is this understanding which leads to connectedness.
Connectedness with oneself is connectedness with others. Connectedness with oneself and connectedness with others is connectedness with the Universe. This then represents total immersion in the understanding of Oneness.
Oneness is really who we are – we ARE as One with All. When we open our eyes all we see is representation of our Self or consciousness. When we close our eyes, that great void, that nothingness, is also who we are. We are also all that happens in between the void and the manifestation of everything or All.
This understanding gives us a different relationship with ourself as well as with all that is around us. We are able to tap into the forces ordinarily not available nor experiential to us. It is similar to how you have to be in a certain state, sleep, in order to dream. Dreaming is available to you only in this certain state of being.
There is much that comes to you – an understanding of what and who you are through this state of immersion with the Self. Through one’s intent the pathway of life can be carved. I use the analogy of lighting an incense stick. The intent of lighting and the act of lighting. The act creates the light, the burning. The smoke on the other hand is a manifestation of one’s intent – not always controllable – nor do you want to control it. This is also part of manifestation of your intent. Through sound (like the lit incense) and intent one can create changes. It is this connectivity and these changes that we invite.
In many spiritual practices, it is understood that the voice is part of manifestation of everything. In the Biblical account of the creation of the heavens and the earth, when they were created, God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Genesis 1:3). In Hindu, the sound of “Om” created the universe. Om represents both the unmanifest (nirguna) and manifest (saguna) aspects of God. That is why it is called pranava, to mean that it pervades life and runs through our prana or breath.
The spoken word then is an extension of intent (action). The combination of intent and action (sound) creates manifestation of your world. In some cultures it is the sound that creates the creation of the universe. Sound, not thought, creates the universe. Recogntion of intent and action creates a manifested universe. A shaman is one who understands that and plays with it. One who can light the incense and take the smoke and wave it around
My father, Grandmaster Wei Ren Feng, said, “When you are pure, All is pure.” Intent, connectivity are your voice – what is the intent of your voice?