Episode #16 Shaman: A conversation with visionary & healer Chris Luttichau
Visionary, healer and author of two books on ancient and contemporary shamanic practice, Chris Luttichau is a beacon of grounded integrity in this time of upheaval. In this week’s podcast, we explore how the indigenous peoples’ view this time, and how we can respond to the challenges of the moment.
This was recorded on the third day of lockdown in the UK. Our world is changing and we’re feeling things we’ve never felt. Or feeling them more deeply. Or strangely. If ever there was a time to re-connect with our heritage, to re-discover the ancient teachings of the indigenous shamanic peoples of every continent, that time is now.
In this podcast, Chris Luttichau shares the teachings of the Inner and Outer Minds, of the Four Attentions, and offers a meditation to help us to become grounded in our own Heart Minds.
If we’re going to step into a new way of being, if we’re going to connect with the More than Human world, to make the step into conscious evolution, these are the skills we will need.
My guest today is Chris Luttichau. Chris is a shamanic teacher, dreamer and visionary of absolute integrity and strength. I met him in the early 2000s and was struck then by the authenticity and depth and groundedness of what he teaches. He was and remains my shamanic mentor and is the person I turn to for grounded, compassionate wisdom.
Chris runs the Northern Drums Shamanic Training School, both online and – when we’re not in lockdown – in person. He leads wilderness trips to the Shamanic lands of Europe in northern Finland. And he’s written two books, one on Shamanic power animals and the second is called Calling us Home: Finding Your Path, Your Balance and Your Inner Strength. I will list both of these in the show notes. They are both definitely worth reading.
Chris is Danish by birth. He trained with indigenous elders in North America, and now he lives in Cornwall. As with Ya’akov, in the last podcast, I had planned to meet Chris and record a face to face interview when I was teaching at Schumacher in Devon. Then the Covid Virus hit and all teaching moved online. And so this interview was recorded with me at home in Shropshire and Chris at home in Cornwall. The quality of the sound is not quite as good as if we’d been face to face, but the quality of Chris’s teaching is, I think, unmatched for its clarity, compassion and coherence.
Chris, welcome to Accidental Gods. Thank you for taking time out on such a beautiful morning. We’re on day three of lockdown. How is that feeling for you?
First of all, thank you for having me. And. And yes, it is a beautiful day. For myself, I have quite a lot of work to do here with changing from being in person at the workshops to learning about a technology that will enable me to do some work with the groups that I run online. So that has been one of the main things here. In that sense, on a practical level, things are really not much different for me. As far as lockdown goes, I’m in my office and I’m working.
I think Zoom is discovering that it is the main way that everybody is connecting. On a more serious note, the world has changed pretty much out of all recognition since you and I originally decided to record this podcast. So if we take a step back and look at this from a spiritual and shamanic perspective, first of all, did you think that this was coming? And second, now that it’s here, how can we look at this in a way that gives us a shamanic perspective and a way of working with it rather than constantly reverting to the war metaphors that are around us all the time?
Your first question: Did I think that this was coming? There have been a lot of prophecies from the indigenous tribes over the last years and all these prophecies, point towards one thing, which is that we are going into a transit time where the things that we are very familiar with begin to change the structure of societies and begin to change. When something like this happens. we are getting a a wake up call.
From a shamanic perspective, we ask ‘what is the teaching here? What are we supposed to learn from this, if anything?’ And obviously, this virus that has come now is not the only unusual thing. There has been flooding, wildfire and earthquakes. And then from a shamanic perspective, you could say that we are getting a message, we are getting a warning. Basically, we are being told that we need to pay attention. Now, why are these things happening? What is it that we need to look at? Again, if we turn to the indigenous people, they say that we are part of the earth: the native people, they call her mother Earth.
And their message is that we are not just living on the earth, but we need to live with the earth. And we need to recognize that when the earth is ill, then it affects us. It’s cause and effect. So when the earth is ill, we become ill. if we say that the earth is ill, what we mean by that is that we have done things to the earth. There’s loads of plastic in the oceans, there’s deforestation theres’ cutting down the rainforest, which they call the lungs of the earth, and that we are using up the resources on the earth in a way that is lacking consideration for what effect it is going to have on on the whole of the web of life.
Something is coming back to us now. As a consequence of how we have been living. So I think the virus is telling us literally to slow down and look carefully at how we are living. And we are getting a message here that we need to change. Because if we don’t change certain things, then we will expand that experience more of these things and most likely to a higher degree things will become even worse.
You can say that this virus, even though it’s global and creating a lot of suffering and death, the death rate – the percentage – it is not very high. It could be a lot worse. And what the indigenous people have been saying for a long time is that if we don’t listen, things will get worse and worse as far as these earth changes that are happening now.
And that was one prophecy from the Mayan in Mexico – the 2012 prophecy, saying that the world as we know it is going to change. And those changes have definitely begun now. And one of my teachers, Hawk, he used to say that the first enemy is forgetfulness. Meaning that we forget who we are, that we are part of the earth, that we are connected with everything else on the earth, everything that lives on earth, animal, trees, bodies of water…. When we forget and become complacent and comfortable and begin to live in a very materialistic way, then we have put ourselves in a in a vulnerable position because we are not paying respect. We are not living, we are not seeing what is needed in the in the bigger picture.
Now that we are being forced to slow down and perhaps begin to listen, how are you recommending to your students that they change their lives? What is it that people listening to the podcast can do here and now on a spiritual and shamanic level, but possibly also on a practical level to begin to do the listening?
If we were to say, ‘We can design for you a way of being that is more generative, that is beginning to head in the directions that the indigenous elders have been recommending for all of our lives.’ How can they do it from the starting point of now?
Well, that’s the fundamental thing here. As far as I see today in relation to a shamanic perspective, is that this way of living that has caused the problems we are facing now, which is a way of living that has been developed in the Western world, in industrialized countries, is based on the what we call the Outer Mind.
So it’s a paradigm, it’s a way of thinking that comes entirely or almost entirely from the mind and it lacks heart.
So this is from the Head Mind rather than from the Heart Mind.
You could you could put it that way. It’s an outlook basically that lacks what the indigenous people that I work with called the Inner Mind or the the Centre Mind, and that is connected to the Heart Mind. And basically from the Outer Mind or the the Brain Mind, you can do a lot of things – they come up with inventions, and it is a way of thinking that helps you to function in the world.
So it has its purposes. But when that mind takes over and becomed the ruler, it can very easily become self-destructive and also destructive to things in the outer world and the Inner Mind is a place that is connected to the Heart Mind.
It is a place where there is empathy. It’s a place where there is a sense of being part of a greater whole. So the first step is to understand the difference between the two and to be aware of the difference between the two within oneself and then to begin to build a bridge to that Inner Mind so that there begins to be balance between the two minds. That is a very key teaching in the way I teach and in the groups I run. Over time, we build that bridge to the Inner Mind and begin to open and up it up and begin to understand it, so that when we talk about Heart Mind that it’s not just a concept. This Inner Mind is a place of feeling and that is basically the key that you feel instead of just thinking.
And we are not talking about a feeling on the usual emotional level: feeling anger and sadness and joy. It has to do with this shamanic element to feel connected and to to feel into those things that are hidden and being able, for example, to tune into animals, being able to tune into trees, being able to be in tune with the Earth, being in tune with one’s true self. So this is what we also call Power, but shamanic power, medicine power, which is not power over but power with.
And so I’m guessing now that the teaching at scale is going to happen because teaching online is very different to teaching in person. And it’s possible in a way to teach more people online than one could do in a room for simple logistical limitations of being in a room. So I’m guessing that people listening to this could potentially sign up to something that you might be teaching. Is that possible? Because I think a lot of people listening will want to explore this more deeply. And clearly, it takes time to learn.
It does take time to learn. And that’s why I teach three year training or a one year training, because we we want to really embody and understand not just on the level of the mind, but to own the teaching. And yes, I do run these groups and whatever obstacles there might be as far as meeting in person on at their venues, I will do online instead.
Brilliant. I will put links in the show notes for people. But I’m remembering that when I read your book, both of your books, because you’ve done two now. Are you doing another one?
I am working on the next one. Yes.
But at the moment there was this spirit animal guides and then Calling us home, both of which are available on Amazon. And I noticed that if you have Kindle Unlimited from the demon Amazon Calling us Home is actually one of the ones that they support. So people at home, you can buy it.
For me, Calling us Home presented quite a clear construction of how to come home to ourselves. And I wondered if it’s possible to outline what it described for listeners.
Well, the way I was taught was by teachers in the physical world, of course, and most of them were indigenous people. And so they’re are part of the way the world is changing now, is that now teachings are also conveyed through books more and more online.
In Calling us Home,I gave a lot of exercises and teachings that can be applied, can be worked with, immediately. And they include meditations and contact with the power animals and spirit guides. There’s also the teaching about what we call the Four Attentions.
The First Attention is to be here and now to be present.
The Second Attention has to do with being aware of where our thoughts are taking us. Do they take us to a place we have chosen, a place we want to be? Or are the thoughts random and taking us into places that may not be beneficial for us?
Third Attention is to look for the teaching, and that is the one we started here today. We’re talking about that one. What are we learning from this virus that has come as a as a challenge to us now? So the Third Attention says that whatever happens, look for the teaching and then look deeper again and look deeper again. So in that way, the Third Attention means that we are deliberately on a journey of learning and evolution of the soul.
The Fourth Attention says, ‘let the little child play’. And that basically means that a child has a flexibility about them. They can get hurt and cry and then the next moment they they are laughing and playing again. So the Fourth Attention is about not being stuck in any mode, but being able to to shift, to shapeshift. So for example, now with the virus, we need not to be stuck in fear, not to be stuck in being too serious about it either, but to move in and out and also maybe joke about it and laugh about it like just like indigenous people do.
The indigenous people who were persecuted and had their land taken away – even had their children taken away – in spite of all that, they continue to dance. They continue to sing. They continue to joke. This is how they survive because they have kept that little child inside of them alive. And the Fourth Attention is about that, that no matter what happens, if you keep that youthful, vital energy alive in yourself, you will get through it. And you are a spirit and will remain strong. Your heart will remain strong. So the book is about how how to do that, how to incorporate these teachings into your everyday life and and begin to awaken what you could call you own native soul, and that is very much about the heart mind, the Inner Mind balanced with with with the Outer Mind. With the brain mind.
I was very struck by your concept of the vital life force. And it says at one point in the book ‘Your old dramas don’t have much vital life force, but it takes a lot of your own vital life force to keep them alive’. And I was thinking in terms of where we are with the virus. Nobody really paid very much attention. It came over here and people were still planning their lives as before until it became obvious that for a lot of people, those plans had just been completely taken apart. None of it was happening.
And what we’ve been given as a gift, as a teaching, the ability to take a step back. And I’m wondering if collectively we can move our vital Life Force from keeping alive that hamster wheel, of having to go and do stuff to earn money, to pay the mortgage, the whole kind of neoliberal economic system that extracts energy and life force from us as our kind of primary sacrifice to it. And now we’re not having to do that. And I’m wondering if you’re seeing that in your students and in yourself and around you that people are finding their life force has been given back to them.
I think that is definitely true. This Is one of the results of this standstill we have been brought to is that we have the opportunity at least to find that place within ourselves again. Traditional shamans would say that the earth here is giving us a strong message to look within.
From a scientific perspective, they have found out now in laboratories that prayer and meditation ceremony actually strengthens the immune system, and those practices are all about what you’re talking about. They are about becoming still, and going within. And when we do that and the immune system is strengthened, then we begin also to draw that life force that’s otherwise used with what you were quoting from my book. For fight and flight for drama, for being on the tread mill. That lifeforce that we constantly drawn just to keep our drama alive and in order to just survive. A lot of energy is used in that process and when we learn to become still, we begin to free that energy and that of course, has a tremendous benefit on many, many levels, including health and the immune system.
And the health and the immune system of society as well as of individuals.
We are told a lot of things we need to look at. You know, they they say that the virus comes from animals. So here’s a hint that we are getting. How do we treat animals? There’s a lot of abuse of animals going on nowadays. Farms are becoming more and more like factories and a lot of suffering going on with the animals.
A shaman would say that has come back to us. And we we need seriously to look at whether we want to continue these practices also in relation to trees and deforestation, how we treat nature. You could see it this way: thatit is like a curse.
Traditional Sharman’s would see it that way. It’s like a curse we have put upon ourselves by mistreating other creatures. And now we are we are getting some warnings and we can choose now to make some changes or we will get the next lesson. And the volume would probably be turned up.
Yes, because the gods whisper and then they speak, and then they shout and if you wait until they shout, you’re going to regret not having listened sooner is my experience. So as you’re talking, I’m thinking of the Buddhist concept of right livelihood. In the Buddhist monasteries and in the Buddhist practices, they have a list of what right livelihood includes, which I think can be very cultural. So for instance, the other day I read that in the monasteries, the nuns have 331 rules and the monks have 279. And I’m wondering what it is that makes the women need 60 more rules than the men? But leaving that aside, I’m wondering if we could create between us a shamanic right livelihood?
In the way I was taught, there was a concept called the Children’s Fire. And the children’s fire basically means that when the Council of Chiefs, men and women meet to make decisions for the people, then they light a fire in the center of the council and they warm their hands over that fire and they look into that fire. And when they look into the the embers, then they see the effect that proposals will have on the next seven generations. And once they have seen that, once they have been able to tune into that, then they make that decision.
And we also have what we call the second sacred law. All things are born of woman. No law shall be passed that will harm the children. So the children’s fire is about the next seven generations.
And the Second law, no law shall be passed that will harm the children, means the children of the earth, not just the human children. So that will include the oceans, the forest, the animals, everything. So in order to create a world when the virus is over, we we need to make a real shift because the mind, the Outer Mind will have a tendency to say, okay, now it’s over.
And then we forget and then we want comfort again. And we want all the things that we had in our routines early on. And so this way of the Children’s Fire basically means that we need to make some fundamental changes and we need to look at how everything that we decide, how will it affect the next seven generations? How does it affect the children and how this affects everything on earth, including that the rivers and the lakes.
For example, when I do expeditions up in Finnish Lapland, we can drink out of every lake, out of every river, out of every stream – even in Southern Finnland. It’s simply just the laws they have passed. They are that protect the rivers and the lakes to such a degree that their water is clean enough to drink.
And we could do that here. And that is one of the messages we are getting with the virus, with the flooding, with the fires, the earth wants our attention?
So a number of things arise from that going back to the children’s fire and everything is born of woman. There are people who interpret that as everybody shall become vegan overnight. And I’m wondering where you sit with that? Because I know that you have a slightly different practice in your own life. And on a collective level, what you do would be quite hard for everybody. But I’m wondering if you have a view on how we can move our whole culture – who are not necessarily shamanic – towards something that lives by the Children’s Fire. Because factory farming is such an abomination and apart from anything else, the use of antibiotics to allow it to continue is potentially fatal.
One of the other ways that our culture might fall over is that fundamentally we run out of antibiotics that work. And part of the reason that’s happening is because of their widespread use in industrial farming to keep the animals alive under conditions of extreme stress. So, on every level, that needs to stop. But I’m wondering where you would take it if we assume that we stop factory farming.
There are, of course, many practical challenges that we have to look at and find solutions to when we begin to bring in a new way of living, a new paradigm. I think that eating clean food is like a basic human right. And the way we produce food now, just like you say, is is harmful for animals. But it is also with pesticides and herbicides, harmful to us. We bring in a lot of poison into nature and a lot of things have to change in order for us to come back to balance.
But as far as animals go, then in the shamanic tradition, there’s a lot of individual freedom. And what’s right for one person is not necessarily right for another person and that we don’t have dark matter where nobody is forced to do something that is not right for them. I think we could eat generally a lot more vegetarian food, but many people seem to still need a bit of meat. And when we eat meat, it is important that it is clean, that it is high quality, and also from a shamanic perspective that the vibration in the meat in the food is is high. And that kind of vibration, high vibration, you don’t get in animals that have been mis treated. You can you’ll get it in meat at that comes from wild animals and also, for example, in biodynamic farming based on Rudolf Steiner’s principles under which animals are treated very, very differently.
There’s respect and there’s honouring and that kind of meat is is also of such a vibration that it will be beneficial. There are people who need this more kind of heavy diet protein that has that kind of quality that comes from meat.
And one of the things that struck me as you were speaking was that if the reports are correct (and of course, they may not be) this particular virus started in the wet markets of China, which are the wildlife market, but they’re are not animals that are being honored. They’re brought in, stuck in cages, stacked on top of each other, animals that would normally have no contact with each other. And they’re under extreme stress and conditions of extreme maltreatment. And so the the balance is the honoring of the giveaway that the death of the animal represents rather than going and saying wild animals are OK so we’re going to find a few wild deer, herd them into a corner and not honor them as we kill them.
For me, one of the big learnings of this,is our approach to death and our approach to what it is that keeps us alive and where the balance lies. So one of my previous interviews was with a young man, Daniel Thorson, who lives in a Buddhist monastery in the states. And one of the things that we got to there was the need to come to grips with our own death. And I’m thinking that this, again, is one of the teachings of this virus. People are dying, that we didn’t expect to die. Some of the people were already dying. And the virus has perhaps hastened that. So could you lead us into a shamanic view of coming to grips with our own death?
In the in the tradition I was taught, we have this concept that in death, our own mortality can become our teacher. What that means is that when we become aware that one day we won’t be here anymore, everybody will die one day. Then instead of the western culture where we want to keep that at bay and don’t talk about it, don’t look at it too much.
There’s another way. And that is to live on a daily basis, actually, with the knowing with the understanding that one day we won’t be here anymore. And when death become our teacher in that way, then we can begin to live lives with appreciation, with gratitude for each day and for each moment, and then when we are aware of our own mortality, on a deep level, then life becomes precious and we begin to wake up and we begin to live more intensely. We become more present, we begin to live with appreciation. Again, if we go back to scientific discoveries, this has a very beneficial effect on the body and the immune system as well.
So there are unforeseen benefits to this also, but it also puts us on high ground because we make as much out of life as possible, whereas if we don’t look at our own death, then suddenly one day the years have gone by and death is waiting for us. And we may have missed out on a lot of things that we really wanted to do. All the things that may be when we face our death turn out to be the most important ones. Like how much time, how much quality time we spent with our loved ones. How much did we pursue our own dream and when we face death, suddenly it’s too late. And also when we become older, there might be physical conditions that mean whether we can’t do the kinds of things we dreamed about doing once when we were younger. So learning from death, from our own mortality can really enrich your life and make you come into a place where all the different spiritual traditions talk about, which is to be here now.
And finding the balance matters, too. Because for a lot of people in our Western society, if they begin to do the work with death,they often create what we might call a bucket list. So they decide they need to fly to Australia – or whatever. And they can get caught up in lists of things that they think they want to do that will make them whole.
My understanding from you and other teachers is that the the balance is found internally. It’s not about rushing around the world or buying more stuff or climbing 100 mountains because you’ve decided that that’s what you need to do before you die. It’s more about finding that sense of completion in ourselves inside. Could you speak to that a little bit?
Absolutely. And that completion you are talking about within yourself is found in what we were talking about before: the Inner Mind. And the Heart Mind is part of the Inner Mind – it’s not all of it, but it’s part of it. So the real sense of fulfillment comes when that mind within us begins to open up.The driven part of the the Outer Mind that very easily becomes driven that. So with the example of the bucket list, it could be the doing/outer mind that that is doing the bucket list and then still there is no real true fulfillment. That’s not peace within yet. The real peace within comes when we open our own heart and begin to feel on that deep inner level and begin to learn about deep trust, deep joy, and we begin to honor ourselves and the rightness of who we are, but also very much the rightness of life, the overall rightness of life.
So that in spite of all the crazy things that are happening on the planet, that we still trust the overall rightness of life. And this is a real core teaching from the indigenous people: that whatever happens, it happens for a reason. And we may not understand that reason and we may not be able to see that reason at all. But in the end, the old teachings tell us that there is a purpose and eventually we will understand it and eventually it will bring change for the better. And that evolution is always, ultimately, for the better, even though there might be temporary setbacks.
One of the other bits that I highlighted in your book, Calling us Home, was that the awakened masters, irrespective of their tradition, all say the same. ‘All is well’, they don’t come back from their experience of awakening with a list of things that are wrong. If they did, they would probably attract a lot more followers.
I loved that. Partly for the humour at the end of it. But also it’s hard when when we look at what’s happening in the world, when we look at the politics that’s moving ever towards the right. When we look at the response to the virus, when we look at the people rushing around panic buying, or I read the other day that nine ambulances in Kent had their tyres slashed … and I can stare into an abyss of despair. And yet all of the teaching is that this is all right. All of the people who come back from near-death experiences or the awaken masters all say, ‘It’s okay, people, this is how it’s meant to be’. And yet there is an awakening that needs to happen. And I feel sometimes that those of us working towards awakening are in the minority. We’re not the hordes trying to break into Tescos to get the last toilet roll or whatever.
Have you or your teachers got any ideas on how we can extend the understanding, the awakening that needs to happen. Because we need to wake up before we can grow up? Ken Wilbur says that, and I think he’s right. Have you ideas on how we can extend the awakening. Or is it happening? Is your sense that the virus is already extending that well?
That the awakening you’re talking about here, that has to do with facing all the horrible things that are going on in the world and not looking away from that but to face them and say ‘this is not good. This need to change. Something that needs to be done about this. We need to act here.’
That’s on the one hand. On the other hand, to know and trust that everything is perfect – there’s a paradox here. And this paradox cannot be solved or understood by the Outer Mind. However, the Heart Mind has a good idea about it.
When we are in that dilemma, we need to expand our consciousness and expand it so much that we are able to hold that paradox, to hold both within our consciousness, that both are true. The Outer Mind. Cannot do that. The Heart Mind has the capability to do that.
So the horrible things are not right and need to be changed. That’s one truth. And everything has a deeper purpose that can be trusted: that is another truth and only the Heart Mind/Inner Mind can hold that and unite them until there’s no conflict. Whereas for the Outer Mind goes crazy with that and cannot hold the paradox. But that is a kind of limited to consciousness. That consciousness needs to expand in order to really understand that and and know it on our inner level that this is the way it is. As human beings, we need to ascend to that place where we can hold both. And there is no opposition between the two. Both are true.
Right. And being able to find that place is key. So in terms of people listening who have not yet joined one of your teaching groups, have you got something straightforward that they could learn here and now, as a beginning step to be able to connect to their own Inner Mind and find that place of balance where both are true?
Yes, we can do an exercise right now. Meditation right now. This is a way.To connect with the Inner Mind and with the heart.
So if we do it now, then the first step is to close your eyes. And then put one hand on the chest over the heart. And when you when you place your and over your heart, you bring awareness to your Heart Mind on a physical level. And then the energy loves to follow consciousness. So your consciousness begins now to go to the heart.
Then next step is to take a deep breath in. And to hold that breath. So when you’re holding the breath now. Get in touch with or listen to, or feel your heartbeat. See if you can connect with the beat of heart on a physical level. When you need to exhale, do so, but you keep your awareness with your heartbeat. If you didn’t get in touch with the heartbeat on this first breath, then take another deep breath in, hold it… and connect with the beat of the heart. So we are beginning now to tune into the Heart Mind. You exhale and then you begin to slow down your breathing – slow inhalation, slow exhalation. You do this for a little while. Calming the mind, centering yourself in the Heart Mind.And the Heart Mind is the center of trust.
And then now you add one more element into your Heart Mind, you call forward something you really love. Something you really appreciate. Something that brings you joy. Something you have passion for. Something you really care about. And you just sit here now and feel that.And let those feeling fill you. Open up to the joy of that.
So that is a short meditation to connect with the Heart Mind. It’s like they they say in the different spiritual tradition.The answer to what we are looking for outside is actually right here in front of us. It’s so close and so obvious that we completely overlook it.
And there’s a little story from the indigenous culture where they said the creator, the Great Spirit, had a secret that the humans were not ready for and the secret was put into the white stones, and then the Creator had a council with all the animals and said, ‘We have this issue here. The humans are not ready for this secret. So we need to hide it until the humans are ready. Who can hide it amongst the animals.
And the eagle said I will take it to the highest mountain tops. And they all dreamed into that and they saw that the humans would eventually get to the highest mountain tops, so that wouldn’t work. Then the salmon said, I will take it to the bottom of the ocean.
And again, they looked into that and saw that one day the humans would reach the bottom of the ocean. That didn’t work either. And then the buffalo said, I will take it into the plains, dig a hole in the ground with my hoofs and hide it there. And when the animals and the creator looked into that, they saw that the humans one day will turn the soil upside down and find the stones there. So that didn’t work either.
So they were sitting there not knowing what to do. And then the little blind blind mole stepped forward. And said, Let’s hide it in their own heart because that’s the place they would never look’. And that story, as far as I’m concerned, is so true. The answer is right in front of us and we are so busy, so caught in our Outer Mind that we completely overlook it.
Thank you. But now with the virus, we have time to look. It seems to me this is such an astonishing gift. For all this time we’ve known that we needed to get off the wheel of of modern economics and the way we live and we haven’t known how and now we’ve done it for so many of us. Obviously not. If you’re a doctor or a nurse or involved in keeping the really basic things going, then you haven’t.
But the majority of people listening to this have got time now to do the work, to look into their own hearts. And you just gave us a meditation. Thank you so much for that.
My pleasure. And I would just add without meditation that it’s good to do it first thing in the morning. And maybe as you meditate already, just combine it with the other meditation you do and then do it a few times throughout the day. The way I was taught three times today into this kind of stillness, three times a day. Then after a couple of months, your consciousness will begin to change.
Yes, because what fires together was together. And then, I did this as you were speaking, and I connected to the red kite over the hill that I saw this morning in the blue sky. And I was so filled with the joy and the wonder and the awe of that shadow moving over me. And I think if each of us can make that feeling a familiar place, then we dont get swept up in the fear and uncertainty and sense of threat that the virus can bring or that the sense of life at the moment can bring.
So thank you, Chris. I think we’re heading towards an hour. That’s been just beautiful. I’m sure that when this goes out, I will have a lot of requests to talk to you again. So I think at some point we definitely will do that. As we’re heading towards close, I’m going to put a link to your web site and to your books in the show notes. Is there anything else that you’ve read recently that you would think that people could read with some of the downtime they have now?
I haven’t been reading a lot lately, but anything that is about the original instructions, the original instructions about how to live that comes from indigenous people. So maybe that’s something that can be Googled online and teachings about that, because I strongly believe and know within myself that the elders and the wisdom keepers of the indigenous people, they have the answers about how to live in a way of harmony, respect and beauty. So I read about that and that is time well spent.
Both of your books are a very good start to that because you’ve brought that wisdom and shaped it into something that the Western mind can take in. And you’ve got exercises in there. So if people want to have something to progress with, then that would be a good way to go.
So are you listening to podcasts at the moment? I generally ask people towards the end of this podcast or something that they’ve listened to that they could recommend, but you may not be listening to podcasts much either, given the way the world has changed.
I have listened to some of the American Indian elders who have spoken about the current situation with the virus. I watched a video also on YouTube. It was a little American Indian girl. See, she put dance on YouTube because she had heard that the grown ups were they were dancing for the healing of the people and for us to have a strong heart and not succumb to fear. And then that evening, she said to her mother that she wanted to do the same. And her mother had her dance out on the lawn, and it was filmed and put on YouTube. And the little girl has a message about being kind and take care of each other and wash your hands. And that girl there, she really embodies the heart. Mind. And that’s where we all need to go.
Fantastic. I will put that in the show notes, too. Okay. Thank you, Chris. That’s I think that’s that’s done. Unless there is one last thing that you want to say to everybody. But I think you’ve just given us almost an hour of of such deep and profound wisdom. I am enormously grateful. Is there anything else you wanted to say as a last thing?
Well, it’s been wonderful to be with you here. And I am grateful for this opportunity to share some of these teachings, some of these ways off the original instructions about how to live. And it’s time that we apply them now. We are being given a chance here. And I think we we got to take that chance and act on it now.
You may also like these recent podcasts
How can we create beautiful things to wear that allow us to be the best of ourselves – and build community while we do it? Alice Holloway is co-founder of London Urban Textiles Commons, and she’s committed to finding the answers.
How can we be the best possible stewards of the future for our children? How can we meet their eco-anxiety and teach them resilience, adaptation and give them the skills of systemic thinking that will help them navigate the uncertainties to come?
What is Power? How do we use it: both power over each other, and the power that fuels the world? How could we use it better?
At the darkest night of the year, a time of introspection & assessment of the year just gone, Manda talks to Della Duncan & Natalie Nahai.
Winter Book Round up with Manda – Best of the Fiction, non-fiction – and podcasts – to share this season
What are the best, most readable, most inspiring and most give-able books this season? Manda’s solstice list of her favourite Fiction and non-Fiction books read in 2021. Plus a bonus handful of must-listen podcasts.
How can we get from the current edge-of-catastrophe to a world where we have addressed the huge issues of the climate and ecological emergency? Only in fiction can we bring the answers together in a vision of a better world. Author Kim Stanley Robinson talks about his ‘The Ministry for the Future’ – One of Barack Obama’s favourite books of last year.
How can we shape our economies in a post-COP, decarbonising world? How can we build a way of exchanging value that actually works in favour of our planet, not against it? Dr James Meadway, former economic advisor to John McDonnell on how redistribution can take place, and how to reshape our political landscape.
How do we evolve the radical new sense of community, connectivity, mutual support – and resilience – that we need as we move into a world of climate breakdown?
Jeremy Lent’s book ‘The Web of Meaning’ is the 2nd of 3 that build a picture of an eco-civilisation.
As we lurch towards irreversible climate chaos, how can we begin to pull back from the edge? This week, we look specifically at the area of transport: how can we be mobile and yet reach the 3 Zeroes of Death, Emissions and Carbon? What would it mean to live in an area with fair, free, extensive public transport? And how can we make this happen. Our lively, inspiring conversation with Dr John Whitelegg has answers.
If the stories of our culture are of separation, scarcity and powerlessness, how can we build new stories, new myths, new ideas of how we can be different? Alina Siegfried has explored the deep concepts of the stories of our world, and how we can reshape them.
In a world of such astonishing inequity, where ever fewer people hold ever more power, how do those of us whose lives are given to change, meet the reality that we are embedded in the system? If we are an integral part of the problem, how can we live the solution into being?
What is the bare minimum we need world leaders to agree at COP26 and what can we do if they fail? Rupert Read, academic philosopher, author and climate activist discusses the urgency of the moment – and how a ‘moderate flank’ of climate activists can grow out of the COP.
STAY IN TOUCH
For a regular supply of ideas about humanity's next evolutionary step, insights into the thinking behind some of the podcasts, early updates on the guests we'll be having on the show - AND a free Water visualisation that will guide you through a deep immersion in water connection...sign up here.
(NB: This is a free newsletter - it's not joining up to the Membership! That's a nice, subtle pink button on the 'Join Us' page...)