Blog: Inner Truth: Taking the Shamanic Journey
By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.
As we move deeper into fall, we are reaping the harvest of our busy spring and summer here at Sacred Stream. We’ve been collaborating with colleagues to create new platforms for carrying out our mission, and they’re changing the way we work to fulfill our mission. Our mission statement says, “We understand that there is a common source of wisdom that underlies all authentic spiritual, cultural and artistic traditions that informs and enlivens them. And while each tradition may take a different form, like plants along a riverbank, each is sustained by the same source. Each workshop we create, each artist or guest teacher we host, and each resource we post is offered to you with the intention of illuminating another way to deepen your own connection to this source, attain a broader perspective, and receive inspiration from it.” These collaborations will multiply our offerings, allowing more people to receive the inspiration and the perspective-altering wisdom of the classes we teach through the Sacred Stream.
At the beginning of October, we hosted a free online conference, Wisdom in Exile, with Embodied Philosophy and Tibet House US. This week, we are rolling out the fruits of another collaboration with Inner Truth, an online school for consciousness studies.
When my book Coming to Peace first came out, I was interviewed by David Newell, the founder of Inner Truth. David’s serious engagement with the material in our interview led us to a deeper level of sharing after our formal conversation ended.
I learned that David was on a path to find his own inner truth, having abandoned a career as a corporate banker in England. He’d had an encounter with the plant medicine, ayahuasca, in South America and had decided, as he has so eloquently put it, that “the pursuit of truth is and should be the highest possible virtue of your life.”
In order to follow his new value system, he launched the Inner Truth Podcast as a way of not only finding his own truth, but also helping others discover theirs. Out of the podcast came the idea for an online school for consciousness studies.
One thing led to another, and David asked me to develop a course about Applied Shamanism for his new school. It’s been an interesting path to set out on together, and in agreeing to work with him, I’ve had to alter the way I teach. With teaching, I’ve always thought it is important to let the curriculum evolve. However, David asked me to do something I don’t easily do; tell stories about my own encounters with the work as a younger person and let those stories illuminate the teachings about shamanic practice.
As a teacher, I have always sought to highlight the work of the Sacred Stream rather than focus on myself. The work is powerful, and I feel I’m simply a channel for it. For me, that has always meant standing back and letting the work shine, but David was clear that he felt the course would be best served by people learning about my own path of discovery.
I began to return to my first encounters with shamanic practice in a new way, and soon realized how indirect, yet utterly directed, my path has been. I think this is probably true for most seekers. When the work calls you, you really have no choice but to heed the call. You don’t know where the path will lead you, or even that there is a path, until you stop and look back. I have been learning so much from reflecting on the path I’ve taken to develop these teachings, and I’m excited to share them with you through our online course, Taking the Shamanic Journey.