No Salt, No Sex - Preparation for Sacred Pilgrimage

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Next week, I will be traveling to central Mexico for my annual pilgrimage to Wirikuta and Cerro Quemado, sacred lands of the Wixáritari (Huichol) people. This is year four for me, and I consider the opportunity to take part in this sacred journey one of the greatest gifts I’ve been blessed with in this lifetime.

Traditionally, Huichol pilgrims would take about 40 days to make the 300 mile trek from their homes to the sacred valley of Wirikuta and then hike Mount Quemado on foot. They would stop at sacred shrines along the way to perform rituals and ceremonies of preparation and purification.

Where there was once only untouched land along much of the route, now there are highways, private property fences, and cities. But the Huichol pilgrims still make this journey, working around the challenges modernization brings.

The purpose of the pilgrimage is both personal renewal/purification as well as the performance of ceremonies and making of offerings aimed to keep harmony and balance in the world. 

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For the Huichol. these sacred sites are honored because this is where the sun rose for the first time and where their ancestors come from. Making the journey and honoring Tatewari (sacred Fire spirit) and Kauyumari (sacred Blue Deer spirit) helps the pilgrims remember where they came from and renew/strengthen their connection to Great Spirit.

I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to make this sacred pilgrimage each year. Along with my annual journey to Peru in the Fall for participation in traditional Shipibo plant dietas (discussed in this previous post), I consider this annual pilgrimage an absolutely critical part of my ongoing training and growth. 

Though the journey I participate in is much shorter than the traditional Huichol one, the power and blessings are still immense. When I was preparing for my first pilgrimage, I asked one of my teachers to assist me with setting good intentions. He said, “Ask to have really powerful prayers. That’s the whole point of the trip.” 

That was clear enough, so I followed his instruction and began praying and asking for assistance in having really powerful prayers during my pilgrimage. I was left stunned at the power and beauty of the pilgrimage and the incredible power of the prayers said on that journey. 

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It’s impossible to describe in words how healing, inspiring, and empowering the pilgrimage experience is. Taking part in an all-night ceremony under the guidance of a Mara’akame (Huichol shaman) and then hiking up to Mount Quemado for more prayers and ceremony is one of the most amazing experiences I have had. 

I feel transformed and strengthened with each successive journey. And I witness incredibly profound, positive shifts in my life (personal and professional) after each pilgrimage. But such rewards don’t come without a price.

Most spiritual traditions advocate various practices and rituals that require some sort of sacrifice in order to gain spiritual growth and insights. Think of the different fasts various religious traditions encourage/require. Or the solitary journey into the unknown that an indigenous vision quest entails.

For this pilgrimage, the preparation requires a 30-40 day period of refraining from any use of the sacred sexual energy and two weeks of a no salt diet. The purpose of the no sex is to conserve the sacred sexual energy for spiritual purposes and to store up qi for this special pilgrimage. 

The purpose of the two weeks of no salt (one at the beginning of the preparation period and one at the end) is to do a physical cleanse of the body and dissolve any negativity stored inside. Salt acts as a preservative, so by eliminating it, we are able to eliminate the energetic residue collected from past pain, stress, and toxic patterns.

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The most important part of the preparation for me is the saying of prayers and asking for guidance, assistance, and support for my pilgrimage. As part of the prayer process, I make four flechas (prayer arrows) to take with me on the journey. The flechas are made in a meditative, prayerful way, and they carry the intent of the pryers I will say on my pilgrimage journey. (The ones in the photo are from my first pilgrimage.)

So, the preparation period takes some effort in getting oneself ready both physically and spiritually for the powerful journey of pilgrimage. I believe that the more sincere we are in our preparations, the higher are the rewards of the journey. Our commitment and dedication is always rewarded a thousand-fold.

And this applies not only to spiritual practice but everything else in life. The more sincerely and earnestly we commit ourselves to something, the more rewards and blessings we receive. Experiencing this in such a special, sacred journey inspires me to carry this lesson into the rest of my life.

One of the things I most enjoy about my journey is being able to carry your prayers and offering them on your behalf during the beautiful ceremonies I participate in. So, if you would like for me to take your prayers with me, please send me your prayer requests via this Prayer Request form.

When I return, I will be teaching a class on How to Pray Powerfully and Effectively. In that class, I will share more about my pilgrimage and what I learned from my journey. The class will be at 6pm Pacific Time on Monday, April 8th. It’s part of my monthly Shamanism, Spirituality, and Energy Medicines class, and you can get more information and sign up here.

I hope you can join me for the class. If you can’t make it live, you will have access to the recording. I feel so blessed and honored to share this journey with you. Thank you and have a beautiful day.

Reiki and Shamanic Healing Post Car Crash

Reiki After Accident

Reiki and Shamanic Healing have been constant sources of comfort and support for me for several years now. In addition to getting Reiki and Shamanic Healing sessions from fellow practitioners, I have a personal practice of doing healing work on myself. 

It is such an incredible blessing to enjoy the benefits of these healing ways on an ongoing basis and to be able to turn to them in times of need. One time I felt especially grateful for having access to these tools was after the brakes on my car failed back in October of 2014. 

I had taken the Honda Civic I drove at the time to my mechanic earlier in the day. He had worked on the brakes as well as other things. That evening, I was driving to a meeting in Hillcrest and was in a crowded area with lots of traffic and many pedestrians out and about. (University and 6th for those of you familiar with the area.)

Suddenly, I realized my brakes were acting funny. I was needing to push all the way to the floor to get any traction. As you can imagine, my heart started pounding and my mind started racing. I was driving through an intersection and decided I would pull over at the first opportunity.

But the cars in front of me came to a standstill, and I had no idea what to do. Luckily, I was driving slowly and had put distance between me and the car in front of me when I realized my brakes were not functioning right. But if I didn’t act quickly, I would crashed up crashing into it.

I quickly scanned the scene and was terrified I’d crash into something or someone because the streets were full of people. Suddenly, I noticed a big concrete planter on the sidewalk to my right. I steered towards it and drove my car into the concrete block.

I was so thankful the block stayed put and no one was hurt, but tears started pouring down my face as my system registered the shock of the crash. I was shaking and people had stopped on the street in shock as well. I could barely speak but dialed the phone with with shaking hands.

I called AAA, my mechanic, and my brother, all while trying to keep my tears in check. It must have been quite a scene for the people on the street. After a few minutes, I got out of the car to wait for the tow truck to come and explained to the street cop and people who asked that my brakes had failed. 

It was not a scene I would want to repeat. After dropping my car off at the auto shop’s parking lot, getting a ride home, and calling the insurance company, the shock really set in. I collapsed in tears on my bed with my whole body shaking.

After a good bout of release with the tears, I recalled some of my shamanic training. I had learned that when we experience any sort of trauma, a susto (energy of shock/trauma) can get lodged in our bodies. It’s important to clear out the shock/trauma because it can create dis-ease for us, and it can also attract more similar energies.

This is why sometimes people will experience repeated incidents of similar traumas/shocks. Knowing this, I did a shamanic healing and felt some relief. We often need 24 hours after a shock to really clear things, so I knew I would have to do more work the next day. 

When I woke up in the morning, I felt quite out of sorts. That day, I went for a walk and sat  on the earth with my back against my favorite eucalyptus tree. This tree is huge, and I used to pass by it regularly on my walks when I lived in that area. I would always pause to say hello and touch its beautiful trunk. 

This time, I sat underneath it seeking solace, grounding, and healing support. After a few moments, I began doing Reiki on myself. I did Reiki for a while and let myself also soak up the healing energies of the sun shining on my body, the grounding energies of the earth, and the medicine of the eucalyptus tree.

After a bit, I felt myself come back to center. I could breathe easy again. It was an amazing experience that left a lasting impact on me. Later that day, I did schedule healing sessions with a colleague and one of my teachers.

And a couple of days later, I went back to the accident site to clear the area of the trauma as well, so it would not attract other similar incidents/energies. I must have looked quite interesting blowing tobacco smoke into the are, one a concrete planter, and surrounding area, but I’ve gotten used to that. :)

Having access to Reiki and Shamanic Healing practices and wisdom were such a saving grace for me during this time. It’s moments like these when I feel the power and magic of these healing ways that give me the desire and determination to share the magic and beauty of Reiki and Shamanism with as many people as I possibly can.

I feel so blessed to have opportunities to do through teaching classes and share bits of the magic through social media and my writings. Thank you for taking the time to read a bit more about my experience.

If you would like to learn the magic of these healing modalities for yourself, please see the Reiki classes and Shamanism classes pages for more information. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


With gratitude and blessings,

Parminder

Reiki, I Will Always Love You

Reiki Healing

I first heard of Reiki when I was in my mid-twenties. My favorite physician from my college days and a friend in my local community both told me they had learned Reiki and were practicing it. 

I remember not understanding what it was and being a little confused when they told me about it. And, to be honest, when my local friend told me about how amazing it was, I was more than a little skeptical and thought it was weird and couldn’t possibly heal in the incredible ways she was describing. 

Fast forward a decade, and I had my own out-of-this-world amazing spontaneous and very miraculous healing experience, which I wrote about in an earlier post titled How I Came to Be a Healer. Once I accepted that what I was feeling in my hands might be healing energy, I started to look for a healing modality to study.

Since this whole world of energy and spiritual healing was new to me, I had no idea what my options were. But I was paying attention to the signs the Universe was sending me, and one day, as I was driving, I saw a car to my right that had a Reiki bumper sticker on it.

I remember feeling a spark of excitement and curiosity. I did not remember at the time that I had heard of Reiki before, so I bought a book and searched for Reiki classes to learn about it. 

I took my first class in February 2011 and fell totally, madly, deeply in love! I absolutely loved the simplicity, gentleness, and beauty of the healing energy. It felt AMAZING…so incredibly relaxing, calming, and uplifting.

I then shared it with as many friends as were willing to come over and try something new. It was so much fun! And their feedback about how magical and good it felt was so exciting. I was completely hooked and took more classes and became a Reiki Master Teacher.

I have now been sharing the beauty, power, and magic of Reiki for 8 years. I cannot express what a blessing it is to share this healing goodness with clients during individual healing session, my monthly healing circle, and my annual Reiki classes.

In a subsequent post, I will share a couple of stories of the transformation I have personally experienced as a result of doing Reiki on myself. One story will talk about how Reiki helped me after the brakes on my car failed and I had to drive into a concrete block to get it to stop. In the other, I will share about how Reiki helped me heal a very old childhood wound. 

For now, I want to leave you with this super short and sweet video that I absolutely love! It was taken over a year ago after a Reiki class and shows the natural joy and delight Reiki brings out in us. If you have any interest in learning more about Reiki, you can learn about the benefits of Reiki and the classes I’ll be teaching this year at this link. Big hugs and blessings to you.

Autumn Meditation & Healing Guide

Grounding Tree Meditation

Autumn is associated with the direction of the West on the medicine wheel I work with. This is the season of shedding and letting go of what no longer serves us. It’s the time of the setting sun, of saying goodbye to the old and and making room for new visions and dreams.

Sometimes, it can be difficult for us to release and let go, even of painful patterns and energies. Consciously or subconsciously, we sometimes fear the unknown and find comfort in the familiar, even if the familiar no longer serves us.

I hope the guided visualization below will help you to release energies that don’t serve you and ground yourself to the healing energies of the Earth and of your own essence and spirit. (If you would like to receive a copy of the meditation recording, please feel free to email me, and I’d be happy to send it to you.)

Each season brings an abundance of blessings and some challenges. I have put together The Autumn Healing Guide to assist you in taking maximum advantage of the energies of this season to enhance your well-being. If you would like to receive a copy of it, please email me.

Big hugs and blessings for a beautiful Autumn.

A New Mama's Story of Reclaiming Her Power

 
Mama Receives Reiki
 

Friends, I am currently enjoying the beautiful blessing and joy of working with several moms and dads-to-be who are expecting their little bundles of joy by the end of this year. It is such an honor to be part of their process of preparing to welcome a new life into the world.

The process can be both beautiful and challenging. In addition to all the physical changes and challenges moms face during pregnancy, the anticipation of parenting a first or an additional child can create stress and stir up challenging feelings and thoughts for both moms and dads. So, it is very important to get good support during and after the process.

Here, I share Stephanie's reflections on how remote/phone healing sessions helped her during her pregnancy. Stephanie is a remarkable human being who has dedicated her life to promoting peace through education and activism. It has truly been a blessing and privilege to accompany and support her. 

"I had been a regular client of Parminder’s when I lived in San Diego. I now live in North Carolina, and when I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted Reiki and Shamanic Healing to be part of my care and preparation regimen, to nourish me and allow me to be a beautiful vessel for the life growing inside me, and to nourish her, too.

When I mentioned this to Parminder, she told me that we could do sessions over the phone, which worked out perfectly -- both because I was living at a distance, and because it was really convenient in my pregnant state to receive healing from the comfort of my own home!

I can’t say enough about how important and helpful these sessions were throughout my pregnancy, and how they allowed for a much deeper transformation and healing for me. An interesting aspect of pregnancy is that it can bring up issues that you thought you had long ago healed.

In one of our first sessions, I said to Parminder with some surprise regarding one of my old wounds, 'I thought I was over that!' She assured me that this beautiful blessing of having a baby was also an opportunity for healing at a deeper level. What a gift my daughter was giving me, and I was so grateful for that perspective and realization!

Towards the end of my pregnancy, our sessions helped me to overcome fears related to birth. For me, it was mainly fear of over-intervention by the hospital, but in exploring this with Parminder, I came to understand that I was feeling powerless and needed to feel more empowered (which has been an ongoing theme of my healing journey). 

In pregnancy, we are often told by medical professionals and well-intentioned friends (and sometimes strangers!) what we can and can’t, should and shouldn’t, do with our bodies. These messages can be very disempowering. I had forgotten that I had choice in the matter, and that I would have the power to say yes or no to any decision made about my body, my baby, my labor. I had the power to choose -- along with my baby, of course! -- how I would have my baby. Through our sessions, I was able to reclaim and rediscover my power.

This was incredibly helpful. I ended up needing to be induced (my little nugget was quite happy in her womb home and was not in a hurry to come out!), which earlier in my pregnancy, had been a fear. Rather than feeling afraid or disappointed, I felt like I had agency in the decisions that needed to be made. I ended up having an amazing birth experience -- even better than I could have dreamed. That would not have been possible had I not been doing this inner healing work with Parminder.

In addition to healing on a deeper level, our sessions also helped me to reflect on the kind of mother I want to be, and the example I want to give my daughter of living authentically and wholeheartedly. There is so much pressure on mothers to be perfect -- and like pregnancy, a lot of advice about what you should and shouldn’t do and what are the best ways to do things.

Through our sessions, I came to realize that what I most want to give my daughter is the space to be herself, and one of the best ways I can do that is to be as fully myself as I can be. One of the greatest parts of my healing journey with Reiki has been feeling more connected to my intuition, which I feel will be one of my greatest assets in motherhood.

My healthy, happy baby girl was born on June 7, and we just had our first healing session together with her out of the womb. I can’t tell you how special it was to have her sitting on my lap and breastfeeding while we both received Reiki love!

I am so grateful for the healing I continue to receive from these sessions, and am so excited to continue to share these experiences with my baby girl :)"

Daphne receives Reiki while on her Mama's lap during a healing session.

Daphne receives Reiki while on her Mama's lap during a healing session.

Look at those bright eyes. What a wonder the miracle of life is.

Look at those bright eyes. What a wonder the miracle of life is.

So much LOVE and JOY. May all babies everywhere experience this much love and joy.

So much LOVE and JOY. May all babies everywhere experience this much love and joy.

Stephanie is a peace educator and mindfulness practitioner whose mission is to "Embody Peace and Cultivate Joy." She is truly a beautiful soul, so if you would like to learn more about her and the wonderful work she is doing in the world, check out her website at http://stephanieknoxsteiner.com.