Shamanism - Plant Attunement by Don Ollsin

    Shamanism fascinates me.  It is a path that embodies many skills.  I was born with an ability to enter the dreamtime.  I learned out of necessity to be pragmatic.  Shamanism brings these two qualities together, the practical dream walker.  I want to introduce you to the art of aware dreaming.  The first dream world we will explore is the plant domain.  The practice of attuning is vital to the art of dreaming.  It is a simple craft that you can learn easily.  Start with a tree as they are the elders of the plant kingdom and usually very co-operative.  The only ability we need for this exercise is active imagination.  Your imagination may be rusty or undisciplined and that is fine.  With a little patience and practice it awakens and can be directed.  I prefer to do this exercise in the tree's presence.  We can also do it from anywhere.  Choose a tree that you are familiar with.  I encourage you to spend time with the herb or herbs that you are using (if using Hawthorn then commune with a Hawthorn tree).  Once you choose your tree I want you to experience or envision it as clearly as you can.  Involve as many senses as possible.  Experience or imagine how it smells, feels, looks and tastes ?  When learning herbs engage all of your senses.  As you examine your tree move in closer and immerse yourself in it's energy.  Go slowly and gently allowing your energies to blend.  Introduce yourself to the tree.  If you have any problems (emotional, mental or physical), present them clearly to the tree's spirit and request  assistance.   A response may be communicated in any channel.  It might come as a thought, a sound, a picture, a feeling or even a movement.  Your task is to fill in the spaces.  If it is a thought then possibly develop it into a story.  Exploring a sound can turn into a song.  A vision can be encouraged into a short movie.  A feeling may carry you into deep unexplored places inside yourself.  By slowly expanding on a movement it can turn into a dance.  I am very shy and I usually have my best experiences alone or with someone I am comfortable with.  By sharing your experience with a companion it helps to enliven it.  Choose a conducive and supportive partner.  You only need to do this exercise for a few minutes to get benefit.  You can also do it for as long as you want.  Once you have completed the exercise, thank the tree. 

I record my shamanic experiences in a book.  It helps me to integrate them.