Interviewer: Can you tell me more about the world of shamans?
Greg: The word shaman is not one I have been totally comfortable with over the years. But it’s the general word most folks use to associate to what I do.
Interviewer: Can you explain what you mean?
Greg: In my tradition or lineage which is from the Northern Plains of the United States you would not hear the word Shaman used. They would say, Medicine Men or Holy People. The word shaman is really from South American indigenous cultures and Artic or Asian Tribes. I believe it originates from the Tungusic Turkish languages .
Interviewer: So you use it because it’s a word that the public understands?
Greg: Yes. For my book, “The Shaman & His Daughter,” I was in my wisdom about using the word Shaman. The insight I got was to reach as many folks as possible with the message. To let go of concerns about definitions. My brothers, the Holy Men, agreed.
Interviewer: Is that why I see in some of your writing the phrase, “the medicine path.”
Greg: Yes, the medicine path or the path of power would be another way of saying the term shamanism. You could say, “They are someone who walks the Medicine Path.”
Interviewer: Do you feel there is a misconceptions about people who practice shamanism or walk the medicine path?
Greg: Yes, but I don’t think it’s anything negative. And it’s one of the reasons I wrote The Shaman & His Daughter to show how shamanism ingrates into a real world life – like shopping at Safeway!
Interviewer: That was a great story. Could we say shamanism is about listening to yourself and the world at a deeper level?
Greg: Someone is reading my stuff! Yes, that is it exactly. To learn to listen from your Spirit not your mind. I talk about that very specifically in my first book, The Woodstock Bridge.
Interviewer: Can you explain that a little more?
Greg: When you quiet your mind down, it opens up the gate to a deeper seeing, hearing, and feeling of the world. There is magic happening all around you! The world and all its life-forces are whispering to you. To hear those whispers and act of them is the medicine path or shamanism!
Interviewer: In your Master of Studentship Video you talk about how to hang out with spiritual teachers, mentors, or shamans.
Greg: Yes, I really believe it’s the big missing piece of spiritual practices in the world. How to deeply listen to a teacher as opposed to what we could call prescription-listening. Which is listening to try and get something or listening to try and apply it to your problems. In the 20th Century I feel this happens quite a bit — the need to know.
Interviewer: I have been totally guilty of that!
Greg: I struggled with it too. I was thrown out of the Holy Men’s house so many times because I wasn’t listening from Spirit. With the admonishment of, “Come back when you’re not so full of yourself!” as the screen door banged behind me.
Interviewer: The Holy Men you mention in your books?
Greg: They were my teachers. I really feel like they were two fathers who raised me. But they consider me their brother and there is no greater honor for me.
Interviewer: I can see how much they mean to you.
Greg: No words, my friend.
Interviewer: Do you offer a shamanic studies course?
Greg: I have my Shaman Online Training Program and of course on site here in Sedona.
Interviewer: Does it teach Shamanic Healing?
Greg: It guides you how to find those healing gifts inside you — and they are there. People feel them, they just don’t know how to bring them out.
Interviewer: Can you talk about the “seeing” that shamans do? (catches himself). I’m sorry if I keep using the word shaman.
Greg: It’s okay, it’s what you are used to and you will see me use it because it’s the reference. Much of what I do is based on my “seeing” in the moment. This could be with clairvoyance, – audience or – sentiency.
Interviewer: What happens when you are “seeing?”
Greg: Wow, that’s a big question! It can be very dramatic, like suddenly I “see” a tiger in the middle of the trail. They have come through the veil to connect with me or the client. Or it could be I “feel” one of the Tree-People flow up energy telling me they want me to get closer.
Interviewer: That’s amazing. Some people call the other side of the veil, the Spirit World.
Greg: There are all sorts of definitions for that place depending on your belief system. My feeling is to refer to it in way that resonates with you. Sometimes I call it the Dreamweave which is a Native American expression.
Interviewer: Do shamans need to be in a trance state or altered states of consciousness to enter that place?
Greg: Not really. Those phrases were never used with my brothers. They would say, they traveled to the other side or journeyed there. We can just go there, we don’t need to get into specific state.
Interviewer: Are you leaving your physical body?
Greg: I would say yes but not in the way people think. I am projecting myself to another place but I am certainly still anchored to my body. Not sure that even explains it (laughing). Some of these stuff can’t be explained only experienced.
Interviewer: So be careful of asking for a step-by-step plan?!
Greg: (laughing again) Yes! But it’s not that I can’t show you how to create the way that it might happen. You know shamanism practitioners have been handing this down for thousands of years. So it’s always changing — meaning there is no right or wrong way to do this.
Interviewer: Can you expand on that?
Greg: My mission is to help folks find the original shamanism or medicine in them. Not a duplicate of what I teach. And this came from my brothers when I was writing “The Woodstock Bridge” when I kept checking with them about being accurate. Their response was, “Brother, what is traditional is what is in your heart.”
Interviewer: I’m getting that there is an openness to this world you live in.
Greg: Wow, that’s exactly right and I really appreciate you hearing that. The word shamanism or spiritual or medicine path are all the same! If you want to use, shaman spiritual, go right ahead — use language that makes you feel something inside.
Interviewer: That sounds freeing.
Greg: It is and indigenous people around the world have knowledge to help us live in this world which can be very challenging. We must honor them and all shamanic tradition. There are a number of foundations for shamanic study across the globe.
Interviewer: Do you work with clients or students who are part of organized religions?
Greg: Another great question! Yes, I do. I have found that shamanism is not only cross-cultural but cross-religion. That person’s religious practices never seem to inhibit learning about aspects of shamanism.
Interview: We’re back to that idea of freedom.
Greg: Yes, freedom to be you, the you inside. Shamanism is an ancient language of the soul and its speaking to that part of you — waking up your heart.