Death and Dying
Death is a shared common experience that is little understood in Western culture. We mourn the passing of loved ones but seldom explore death’s deeper meanings and the significance of its inevitability or its place in our spiritual experience. Shamanism helps us to see death as a transition within our spiritual evolution and its certainty as a sign of the continuity of the spirit in a timeless universe.
In shamanic practice, dying is viewed as a process providing a connection to the many realities that we will inhabit beyond this one physical reality that we often perceive as our only actuality. By exploring the dying process and confronting the pain that we often feel at one’s passing, we can open ourselves more fully to the wonder of the eternal nature of the cosmos and in so doing find healing and closure when we encounter our own death or that of a loved one.
Shamanism, often through death rituals and spiritual experiences, can be a source of exploration, discovery, and understanding of death by a clarification of our belief system and an opening to greater meaning. Constraints imposed by modern culture’s avoidance of an appreciation of the transitions that the spirit makes in the death of the physical body can be replaced by the comfort of knowing that we all live in many realities beyond this brief moment in time.