Shamanic Healing: Cleansing the Diamond Within
“On some level, sometimes gross and sometimes subtle, we all carry impurities. Your parents have toxins within their bodies, minds and spirits, as did their parents, and their parent’s parents. Since the times of the Ancients, we have been passing on our filth, from one generation to the next. Since you were born, your parents have done their best to raise you and while they may have passed on much light, they also, unknowingly, passed on the shadow programming that their parents had gifted them. And so it goes, from one generation to the next, passing on our light and our shadows. Nor is it just your parents, our society is a collective of impurity, and we are a product of the collective shadow. The chain of darkness goes back to the beginning of time, when the only way to survive was through greed, lust and violence. With the beginning of civilization, decency developed and violence diminished, but the primal Ego has never left.”
“So, is a baby pure?” I asked.
“Babies are our greatest teachers, for they are the cleanest of us all,” she said, clearly delighted by the thought of babies. But then her face dropped and she continued, “But no, babies are not enlightened beings. They too have their work, they too must walk the path of cleansing. When two impure beings come together and make a baby, the baby was not made with perfect awareness, was not made with perfect intention. These impurities are passed to the baby on the level of the DNA. We must cleanse ourselves so deeply that we even purify the contamination that has been passed to us on a genetic level.”
For several months I worked tirelessly with a Shamanic Grandmother from the Shipibo tribe in the Amazon of Peru. She led me through many different ceremonies, sometimes two or three a day. We worked with various jungle plants, each with a different intention. Some were to strengthen the body, some were to cleanse certain organs, some were for vitality, some worked in the astral and dream realms. Between each ceremony I would take a plant bath, a process that would take many hours to prepare and would conclude with a few moments of ecstasy. After several weeks I finally gazed into Grandmother’s beautiful, wise eyes and asked, “Abuelita, why do we take so many Plant Baths?” She scowled at me. Had I said something wrong? I held my breath and she began…
“One who is perfectly clean is enlightened. At our core there exists the perfect diamond of an enlightened being. But on this diamond, there are smudges, the filth of the primal Ego that needs to be polished away. The smudges come from the mind, they are our self-doubts, fears, and anxieties. They are our memories of the past and our plans for the future. They are the monkey mind that likes to jump from tree to tree instead of sitting quietly… focused. Spirit's mission is to finish polishing the diamond, to fully realize it's perfection. The Shamanic Path, the path you’ve chosen, is one of cleansing. Cleanse the diamond of your Soul and all Truth will be revealed.”
“Plant Baths are a form of cleansing, they are a way to polish the diamond. They work by cleansing the energetic body, which encompasses the body and extends outward. When energy becomes stagnant or stuck in our body it manifests physically as sore muscles, tight joints, headaches and other bodily pains and dis-ease. The herbs in these Plant Baths have extracting properties that reach under the surface of the skin and pull out stagnant energy.”
“And as we cleanse, we become more attractive to Spirits. For a benevolent Spirit to grace us with their presence is an incredible honor, one that is rarely given. But Spirits are not so easy to attract, they have to be seduced into taking interest. Many people walk this path for many years before a Spirit finds them desirable.”
“Why so long, Abuelita?!” I interrupted.
“Ha!” she squealed with delight, “You think it’s a long time, but how long have you been collecting this contamination? You think you can wipe it all clean with a plant bath?! The smudges on your diamond are thick, thick like dried tar. It takes a lot of baths, a lot of vomiting and shitting and crying to rid yourself of the tar. And we have been collecting the tar not merely in this lifetime, but for all of beginningless time. For a thousand generations we've been eating, breathing, and breeding without awareness. Years and decades of cleansing is needed before Spirits start to take notice. Taking a Plant Bath before ceremony is like putting on perfume before going on a date. If you want the Spirits to take interest in you, you have to entice them with your sweet smells. And, trust me child, the years of work are worth it, for a visit from a Spirit can last a lifetime, so long as they want to stay by your side, so long as you keep smelling sweet. Now go take your bath.”
While traveling abroad during university, Coby met a Peruvian healer who liberated him from the material realm. "Now that you have entered the spiritual world," she told him, "You'll never have to concern yourself with money or materials, they will manifest effortlessly. Your new path is a spiritual one wrought with its own challenges."
Coby took this belief to heart, starting a spiritual journey that took him several times around the globe. He spent many years in Latin America reconnecting with the Earth, a connection often severed in modern suburbia.
He sailed the Caribbean, learning just how deeply one can relax. He led groups of teenagers through dozens of countries and across five different continents. He spent much time in India where he lived 'Baba Life', renouncing material comforts and exploring the boundaries of meditation.
But between each chapter of his story, he would always return to his Shamanic teacher in Peru for study and guidance. Coby’s deep rooted interest in Shamanism found its perfect complement when he married Yogini, CJ Ananda. Their combined passion is to find harmony in the combination of these two ancient healing traditions.