In Asia when someone goes to a healer to cure an issue there is an unspoken contract of behaviour that both parties adher to. The behavioral contract consists of how the dynamic of interaction between healer and client will work. During shamanic or energetic healing sessions the client is not passive in the way that many westerners are when interacting with the healing process. The trance experience is approached with the purpose of the encounter well focused. The client allows herself to be lead by the shaman to connect with the cause of her illness or problem. It is important to notice that when the client is journeying that her expectation is to meet with higher beings or states of consciousness and through that interaction to find an energetic method to solve or cure her problems. This connection on the part of the client is necessary for the shamanism to have a real effect.
In contrast when working with my western clients I often notice during sessions that they take the opportunity to drift off and explore interior spaces in non focused ways. The session becomes another entertainment. This type of journey can be helpful only in a small way – by reducing stress. Sound sessions by their nature always have a physiological effect on stress and relaxation. I also make sure to use certain frequencies that are know to have exhibited therapeutic effects, so on a physical level some good will be acheived. These type of sessions are fine for a spa-like experience but to truly confront a deeper problem and move toward a more holistic state of wellness, the client must adopt a slightly different mental attitude. The western client often expects complete responsibility for intercession to rest on the practioner. This is not correct. The process of healing can be guided and supported by the shaman but ultimately the resolution of the energetic causes of discomfort and illness must by undertaken by the client.
During the sound healing session the shaman is fully engaged, maintaining a high energetic state and a constant attentiveness to the client and the sound in the room. Methodically setting up the sounds to lead the client into a trance state. She stays between the worlds of energy and matter neither of one or the other. When the client begins to have dreamlike experiences the energetic component is then guided and moved by the shaman. During this experience the client should only be attempting to focus on their experience – however if their mind is drifting it is important that they return to their intention then follow the sound back into the experience. If the shaman is closely observing the journey and supporting the trance with sound the journey will then flesh out and the client’s issues will take shape in the experience. The client should not only know that this is how to interact with their problem but expect to have that interaction as part of their healing journey. This is the important thing to stress in pre-session conversations. When the client begins to experience the world of their spirit they need to interact with it within the context of the trance experience.
I have found that it cannot be assumed that western clients understand this important component in the process and interaction. Often after the first session I find it necessary to restate to the client that they must not only relax but seek to engage their issue. I often hear it said that merely setting of intention will engage the healing process. I don’t really believe that just saying ” I have a perfect body and it is full of health” will do it. The energetic patterns of illness need to be engaged in a tangible way, with emotion and mental focus to effect healing. The process is experiential and the client should be trying to find ways to have an experience of their intention. This can take many forms, colors, shapes, beings or activities that come forward while they are riding the currents of the sound. Once these types of experiences begin to take shape all intentions and other thoughts should give way to the interaction within the dream logic context. As the mind begins to relax and dreams or visioning occur it is incumbent on the client to use this experience to approach the texture or story of their problem and become engaged with it from the nonverbal position.
The process of interaction with the nonverbal through trance experience is central to shamanic healing of sickness. It is the responsibility of the shaman to guide the journey using sound. The shaman does not heal she creates the conditions so that the patient can resolve their problem on an energetic level to encourage and achieve healing on a physical level. Constant observation of the client’s state both physically and spiritually become the necessary focus of the shaman. Hooking the consciousness with patterns of repetition, tension and release. Creating the waves on which the mind of the client floats. It is by experiencing these sonic and energetic patterns of tension and release that the client builds a knowledge of the root causes of her discomfort and finds the path of experience that allows her to resolve and release the conditions that bind them to illness.
My way of explaining what they should be doing is …
1. First they should set their mental intention
2. While in the early stages of relaxation as their mind drifts they should seek to become single minded in their thoughts.
3. When thinking is no longer possible they should relax and allow the trance to happen
“Be their experience.”
4. When in trance no matter how deep – their will be a logic the client must seek to stay engaged with the logic. If you have doubts about the logic that you should follow try to find a way to make the experience more beautiful.
5. If the practiioner is attentive and uses sound to guide the experience using patterns of build and release – the client’s journey will allow them to interact with their problem.
6. The more attentive to the client the practiioner is the more likely that the release and repatterning will occur for the client.
The client in a session understands that their mental state is important to the healing process and behaves accordingly.