On Tuesday, Nov. 19, students came together at the Interfaith Chapel to let go of everyday stress through an ancient form of meditation.
Gail Cantor, Director of Spiritual Life, coordinates many events at the Interfaith Chapel to help students relax and find happiness through spirituality. One of these relaxing and illuminating experiences is the Shamanic journey.
“A Shamanic journey is a deep meditation with background drumming music which allows you to access the guidance of spirit guides,” Cantor said.
The Shamanic journey is a practice within Shamanism, an ancient healing tradition described as a way to connect with nature and spirit animals. Some view Shamanism as the universal spiritual wisdom inherent to all indigenous tribes.
“It helps to just stop all the action and relax the mind,” Cantor added.
To begin the meditation, students laid back on yoga mats and closed their eyes. With lights dimmed and incense burning, students relaxed. Drumming echoed throughout the room as they tried to make contact with their spirit animals.
Journeying, like meditation, is a tool for spiritual growth. It is a tool that can be used for healing, to obtain information and in working through psychological issues.
“Shamanism is becoming more and more popular with psychotherapists and life coaches. People love how it makes them feel. It is becoming normalized as opposed to only being practiced in Peru,” Cantor said.
Many religious faiths comprise Endicott. Cantor and the chapel welcome each and all unique faith traditions and practices. Although the Shamanic journey does not appeal to everyone, it is something worth trying, Cantor encourages.
“Shamanism for some is spiritual, others just want to experience it and try it out. It is a good practice to get out of everyday thinking and to receive guidance” Cantor said.