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Pilgrimage & Initiation Journeys to Nepal are designed for you if you are seeking something different experience in life, for shamanic initiation and empowerment. In this era we know what science has done but our age old unique traditions have their own value and we welcome you in a sacred journey to Nepal for deep immersion into the culture, spirituality, and healing practices of Tibetan, Tamang, and other tribal shamans to make you feel how animism came into function and how these traditions are continuous flowing down from generation to generation in a oral tradition.
Shamanism is humanity's oldest healing practice; as nearly as anyone knows, it is as old humanity itself. The word shaman means "to know" or "to see in the dark" in the language of the Tungus people (modern-day Tuva, in central Asia), and refers to the capacity of the shaman to access spiritual and healing powers beyond the physical world. Shamans gain this knowledge and power by making contact with spiritual guides and teachers, both in this reality and non-ordinary reality. They use their gifts for the benefit of others and the community, and to maintain balance between their people and the rest of the world. True shamans never use their gifts to harm or gain power over other people. Shamanism is not a religion per se, and so it is compatible with all religious practices -- though naturally the specific form of shamanic practice will be shaped by a person/culture's religious beliefs.
Shamanism in Nepal is mainstream. It exists alongside medicine as a viable healing system. Shamans are consulted by politicians, priests, and laymen alike for healing, divination and as intermediaries with the spirits. The ancient wisdom tradition of Tibetan and Nepalese shamans is passed on through pilgrimage type full-moon initiations in which master shamans, like those with whom we work, transmit power (sakti) for the healing of self and the prosperity of the community.
Participants receive teachings, healings, and initiation from Tibetan and Nepalese shamans, Buddhist lamas, Hindu sadhus, shamans, and cultural experts, as well as visit the major residences of the deities (shrines).Participants will sit in circle with master shamans . come and make the understanding of culture, custom, myth, ritual, and heart-to-heart conversation with shamans. Experience a unique once-in-a lifetime opportunity to study ancient Tibetan shamanism from masters who learned the shamanic ways of divination, extraction, healing and trance from their elders in Tibet. Receive healings and teachings from shamans whose practice reflects traditions that predate Buddhism in Tibet, and share their stories.
Shamans function as spiritual leaders, doctors and physicians, granting healing through the restoration of belief. For the Mien and other Southeast Asian hill tribes, a shaman functions as a religious specialist who works with spiritual forces, serving as a bridge between the spirit world and the physical village community. Shamans consult spirits regarding problems such as curing the sick and guiding the souls of the dead. The spirits then prescribe a ritual, which the shaman must perform as a solution.
Our Nepal Spiritual Shaman tour program is open itinerary program and we design program for you on your choice. This is the general itinerary.
Nepalese Shamanism: A Rich Tradition
Nepal is home to over sixty distinct ethnic and linguistic tribal groups, more than half of which practice some form of shamanism. Not surprisingly, then, the shamanic practices of Nepal reflect a diverse array of influences, among them Tibetan "Bon" religion (probably an early form of Tibetan shamanism), Tibetan Buddhism, early Hinduism and an apparently unbroken line of traditon and history dating all the way back to their Stone Age origins. It is likely that many of the healing practices of Buddhism and Hinduism share a common origin with Himalayan shamanism. However, Nepalese shamans belong to different religious groups and do not see themselves or their shamanic roles as "religious".
Here we focus mainly on the shamanic practices of the Newari, one of the more significant ethnic groups of Nepal, offering a few details about the Kirati as well.
The Path of the Shaman
The Newari shamans (jhankri) say that "the way of the shaman is the way of love". They seek to bring love, harmony and peace to those who suffer from diseases of a spiritual nature since, like most shamans, they recognize that disease can be caused by other, more physical, mechanisms and leave such cases to medical doctors. As in other cultures, the shaman’s role is recognized by the community, not claimed by the individual: he is a jhankari only because others are healed by him, not because he says he can heal them.
The primary duties of a Kirati shaman (mangpa) are invoking spirits, remembering his own roots in nature, and putting his actions to the service of the good; this is mundum, the path of the shaman. Both groups believe that the Path of the Shaman was brought to the world by Shiva, and that people are called, rather than choose, to be shamans. The chosen person may try to avoid the call because he knows it will mean a difficult life; the jhankri have everyday occupations like everyone else, but must make themselves available for healing work at the "transition times" of the day: at daybreak, or just after sundown.
Three Calls to the Path
The requisite skill for becoming a shaman is the gift of being able to fall into a trance, as this is how a shaman bridges the spirit and physical worlds. A child with this gift often feels she is "different" from other children, an outsider. There are three main ways in which a person can be "called" to the shaman’s path:
(1) "Abduction by Ban Jhankri", waking visions of and/or interactions with Ban Jhankri, the primordial shaman and mentor to all shamans
(2) visionary dreams, usually of nature, which expand the persons sense of connection to nature, natural places and natural objects
(3) family tradition, visions and dreams in which ancestral shamans (recent and distant) call the person to the path.
When the call is finally recognized for what it is, the child or young person is initiated as a shaman, but then must find a teacher (guru/guruama) with whom she can apprentice to learn all she must know to be a spiritual healer.
Three Causes of Spiritual Disease
The jhankari seeks to right the spiritual, psychic and emotional imbalance which underlies many (though not all) physical ailments and has three primary causes.
(1) Bhutas are the spirits of humans who died under violent circumstances and wander between the two worlds. These spirits often help the jhankari, but when they have been insulted or neglected they can cause chronic illness or minor physical problems, and so must be appeased.
(2) Grahas are negative influences from the planets, demons or even everyday circumstances which bring on acute diseases, accidents and so on.
(3) Disease may also be caused by bad karma, consequences of one’s own misdeeds in the current lifetime (not in past lives, as many Westerners mistakenly think). In such cases the jhankari cannot cure the patient, but can only help the patient understand how to take responsibility for his actions and thereby restore himself to "good karma".
The Three Worlds of Spirit
The superficial appearance of the everyday world (maya) conceals a hidden Reality which guides us -– whether we realize it or not -– and in their trances, jhankri see behind this veil of maya to the three worlds of the spiritual realm: dharti, the Middle world; patal, the Lower world, imagined as a sparkling, crystalline-blue ocean spreading beneath the Middle world; and akash, the Upper world, the realm of the gods.
In a healing ritual (chinta), the jhankari most often travels to the Middle world to receive information about the people, animals and plants which are relevant to the patient’s condition, while the Lower world is accessed to ascertain the origins of the disease, or in cases where bits of the patient’s soul have been stolen. The Upper world is accessed only in the most dire cases, such a deathly illness, and here the jhankari negotiates with the gods directly to restore the patient to health.
Preparing to Heal: Jokhana and Shakti
Before accessing the spirit world in her trance, the jhankrini sometimes consults the jokhana (ginger oracle): small bits of fresh ginger root which are thrown and interpreted according to how they fall. The oracle may reveal which of the three primary causes applies, it may give glimpses of the past or future relevant to the healing, and it may give insight into the intentions of the patient. The jokhana is especially important in Kirati healings.
Shakti, the healing energy which a shaman taps is not infinite or limitless. Periodically the jhankrini must replenish her own shakti. This is accomplished in various ways: a gupha or pilgrimage to a sacred site; a retreat where Nature can be confronted/experienced; or a visit to a cemetery.
Trance is an altered state of consciousness (called the "journey", "soul flight", etc. in other traditions) by which the shaman connects with the spirit world. The jhankrini enters trance through the recitation or singing of mantras, burning the appropriate kind of incense, special breathing techniques and drumming. Once in trance she bridges the spiritual and physical worlds, and can choose, as needed, to communicate with both worlds without breaking the trance. With the aid of animal spirits, helping spirits and the gods, the jhankrini moves among the three worlds seeking healing for her patient, and uses her knowledge of demons and death spirits to influence them to disappear or to reveal what they know about the patient’s condition.
Phurba: The Shaman's Ritual Tool
The phurba, a ceremonial dagger, is a central ritual tool for all shamanic rituals - so central, in fact, that its use is rarely specified but simply presumed. It may be made from clay, wood, iron or more expensive metals. While other objects of similar shape can be considered phurba, it is usually a knife with three distinct segments, one of which is a characteristic three-sided blade or point. The segments and the triple blade represent the three spirit worlds, while the phurba as a whole symbolizes the "world axis" binding all three worlds together. But it is more than a ritual object; during a healing it is the jhankari himself. During his trance, the jhankari transforms his spiritual body into a phurba and takes flight through the spirit worlds in this form.
Day 01: Arrival & Transfer to Hotel
Day 02: Kathmandu sightseeing
Day 03: Kathmandu to Beshishar
Day 04: Beshishar to a village where live shaman and practice animism
Day 05: Rest & Shamanism Ceremony in the evening
Day 06: Village to – Khudi
Day 07: drive back to Kathmandu
Day 08: Free day in Kathmandu
Day 09: Visiting monasteries & meditation
Day 10: Departure