In June 2014, Saybrook University School of Mind-Body Medicine PhD candidate, Teresa von Kerckerink and MBM faculty member Dr. Lisa Kelly collaborated in presenting a 90 minute seminar on the lived experience of shamanic healing at the International Society of Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine conference titled: Seen and Unseen Realities.
Teresa began the workshop by presenting the findings of her first person Hermeneutic Phenomenological pilot study on the lived experience of the use of the shamanic sacred plant medicine, San Pedro. A lively discussion followed, where participants asked numerous questions and the group discussed the role of altered states of consciousness and energy medicine in shamanic healing. Following this discussion Dr. Kelly presented an overview of her experience with shamanic healing in Peru, and then together Teresa and Dr. Kelly facilitated a shamanic healing ritual with the attendees.
The shamanic ritual was moving for the participants, and included the following components: 1) the creation of sacred space through chanting, imagery and prayer, 2) smudging to release heavy energies, 3) entering into an altered state of consciousness through shamanic drumming, 4) the creation of a despacho (offering) to Pachamama (mother earth) and Tayta Inti (father sun), 5) the recitation of personal prayers into leaves, 6) the offering of these prayer leaves (along with gifts of sweets, nuts, and dried flowers) to these great spirits, and 7) finally a joint prayer of gratitude.
After the ceremony was over a number of participants shared that this ritual was the highlight of their conference experience. Dr. Kelly took the despacho home with her and burned it in a bon fire at midnight to release the prayers.