Hummingbird Shamanic Summit
    Formerly The Spokane Shamanic Summit                          
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Shamanic Preaching


Rev. Dr. Todd F. Eklof

March 20, 2015


As a longtime minister, I’ve come to believe religion is at its very worst whenever it drives us deeper into our own delusions, and at its best whenever it brings us closer to the reality around us. Delusional thinking defends us against the painful realities of life by enabling us to deny they exist. Reality, though full of beauty and joy, is also ripe with injustice, suffering, and chaos. Delusional religion copes by insisting the world is but an illusion, that we mustn’t become attached to it, that it is fallen and sinful along with everything in it, including our own bodies, desires, and minds. Lucidinal religion, on the other hand, tells us the world is good, that we should care for it and delight in it, that we are made in the image and likeness of the Creator, and our work is to become more present in and aware of the reality around us.


It would, however, be extremely audacious for any of us to claim we have grasped reality, at least in its fullness. As the Tao te Ching says, “Looked for, it can be seen; listened for, it can’t be heard; reached for, it can’t be grasped. The name that can be named is not the Eternal Name. The Way is nebulous and void.” Our senses operate within a limited range of frequencies and are extremely localized, meaning we can’t sense much of the world, not even much of what’s right in front of us. There’s an entire spectrum of reality, on the quantum, microscopic, macroscopic, and cosmic scales, that we simply haven’t evolved the ability to perceive. This doesn’t mean those other dimensions don’t exist. We’ve invented prosthetic devices like microscopes, telescopes, particle colliders, and their like to help us know they do exist.


In 1981, neuroscientists, David H. Hunter and Torsten Wiesel received a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their research regarding the visual cortex. In the 1950s they experimented with kittens, raising one group in an environment with only horizontal lines, and another in one with only vertical lines. After they matured, losing the neural-plasticity of their young minds, those raised in the vertical reality were incapable of seeing horizontal lines, and vise versa for those raised in the horizontal reality. This was so, it turns out, because the neurons necessary for seeing horizontal and vertical lines never developed in the respective groups. Just because they couldn’t see them, however, doesn’t mean horizontal and vertical don’t exist. The point being, our brains are hardwired to perceive a certain reality and it becomes increasingly difficult to see reality in any other way.


This doesn’t mean that what we do perceive isn’t real, but it’s only a partial, very limited, human interpretation of reality. To consider the whole of reality only in terms of our anthropocentric perspective is like drinking a glass of water then claiming to know the entire ocean, or like the parable of the three blind people who try to describe an elephant. One touches its tail and says, “It looks like a rope.” Another touches its trunk and says, “No it looks like a snake.” A third touches its side and says, “You’re both wrong, and elephant looks like the Great Wall.” Reality is at once the Universe’s most abundant resource and its rarest gem.


In the shamanic tradition, it’s the responsibility of our spiritual leaders to venture into the hidden realms of reality for the purpose of bringing back greater awareness to the entire community. This is often done through the ingestion of DMT containing plant compounds, like peyote and ayahausca, often called “hallucinogens” in our culture, though they were traditionally called, “consciousness expanders,” before being outlawed, and, today, they are increasingly called, “entheogens,” meaning, God-enabling compounds. For the shaman, the “plant spirits” do not drive them temporarily out of their minds, causing them to hallucinate things that aren’t real. Rather, they alter and expand consciousness, widening the doors of perception, making them more aware of the realities around us all.



As a minister in the U.S., it would be both impractical and illegal for me to hand out peyote from the pulpit, but I like to call what I do on Sunday mornings, “shamanic preaching.” What I mean by this is that rather than attempting to inadequately answer questions or speak “the truth,” I mostly question our common answers and challenge our cultural paradigms, so that everyone ends up leaving in an altered state of consciousness. Here’s an example from an actual sermon I once gave on this very subject: “Remember, the first sin, according the Christian tradition, which caused everyone to fall from grace, involved the ingestion of a mind-altering plant called the Tree of Knowledge.” A simple statement like this causes us to see this ancient myth in a new light, helping us to expand our consciousness about it, just as shamanic preaching, in general, helps alter our thinking just enough that we begin recognizing realities we never noticed before. If raised in the likes of a proverbial vertical world, shamanic preaching helps us begin to recognize the horizontal, diagonal, fuzzy, and all the other lines we then become free to color outside the boundaries of our own minds.

Oh Love A Bye    Oh Love A Bye
Mother, please whisper to me as I lye
Within the pooling of my soul
Gently rock me, as we flow 
Show me my pathway through the mist
Splash me clean with your playful twist
Oh Love A Bye   Oh Love A Bye
Dancing rainbow ribbons swirl  
Enter my love reservoir and let’s twirl
Dip me into your wishing well of dreams
Ready to receive your life force of means 
Oh Love A Bye   Oh Love A Bye
Mother Mu, Oh Mother MU
Sing your sweet melody to me
Let your sonar sounds set me free
Lead to still waters, where I can see
Oh Love A Bye   Oh Love A Bye
Your voice opens and colors my memory banks
Quenches my thirst within your ranks 
I listen to your precious songs, rhythms and rhymes
So I can join your heart beat and reclaim mine   



The theme for the 2015 North west Shamans Summit is the Higher Self. With this Higher Self theme in mind. I have decided to write a article entitled The Higher Self.
As a experiential shaman , these are some of my thoughts and experiences with regard to the Higher Self. First of all the Higher Self is the Authentic self. The authentic self or the higher self comes from the HEART , not the mind. The authentic or higher self can not be fully explained on the intellectual level. The roots of the higher self/authentic self , come from a place of spiritual silence and stillness. In order to better understand the higher self or the authentic self I will also talk about the LOWER SELF. In large part the lower self starts with our birth. After birth , family , friends , government , and school socialize and actualize us. We are told who we are , from many outside sources. We are told what are place in life is , from many external sources. Our so called limitations ,  are explained to us time , after time.
In shamanic Toltec terms , the lower self is the Tonal self , or the daily routine thought processes. The Tonal mind , or lower self focuses almost solely on the rational thought  process. The rational thought process has its proper place. How ever most other forms of perception are mostly unknown , or undervalued. Rational , or logical thought are greatly valued in life.
Some of the many other forms of worthy perception are
In short , only one tiny area of perception is given great value , the Newtonian mind set of two plus two is always four. And I will only believe it , after I see it. The Tonal or daily mind set leaves out about 98 % of all other forms of perception. The Tonal mind often has the need to name things out of fear , in order to control every thing. 
The HIGHER SELF ,  or the AUTHENTIC SELF , comes from  spiritual silence. In order to come from your Higher self or in Toltec terms your Nagual self . Release all that you know. And lower your awareness into a place of silence in your heart. Meditating , or praying will also strengthen your Higher self , or Nagaul self.
One easy way to find out if you are operating from the lower self or the higher self. Look within , if you feel limitation , or fear. You are operating within the lower self. How ever , if you feel at peace , you may be operating with in the higher or authentic self. Both the lower self and the higher self have value. We all grow at our own rate. It is best if we all love our self's  unconditionally.
The higher self , is very Gnostic , and intuitive. The Higher Self , has few , if any limitations.
If you plan on coming to the North west Shamans Summit.
Please r.s.v.p. me at this email before march 2015. If you have any summit payment questions please email or phone me.
Ps , the North west Shamans Summit will have 15 presenters, an