My First Workshop:
About thirteen years ago I came across Hank Wesselman’s book, Spiritwalker, the author’s account of how, as an anthropologist who had recently taken up residence on the island of Hawaii, he began to have spontaneous altered states that opened up another world. He would find himself in the mind of a man five thousand years in the future postapocalyptic world. Both his host and he were undergoing a shamanic initiation. Hank’s scientific worldview suddenly underwent radical adjustment. So did mine. And mine had never even been all that scientific. I had never read anything like this. To my further amazement, I discovered he was giving a shamanic workshop in nearby San Diego, and, in the throes of disengaging myself from a long, dark classic cult experience, I went to it with the giddy exhilaration of a bird being freed from a cage. There was one more workshop a year later, and that was it. I went to Maui and never saw him again.
Until last week. We passed a fist-sized broken rock around the circle. These stones are found in ancient sites along with scoured bones. Our ancestors used them for scraping off the meat. Animal protein resulted in bigger brains, and the rest is history. Hank has been working on the digs in East Africa for decades. The missing link predicted by Darwin has recently been found, half human, half ape, four and a half million years old.
Kahuna Hale Makua, full-blooded Hawaiian and high priest of Polynesia, effectively appointed Hank, a white man, as his heir before his passing. Anyone who takes seriously the concept of the planet as a living being might find this of interest.
My Second Workshop:
Maybe I’m eclectic, or maybe it’s the Great Mystery, but contradictions intrigue me, and while much of what Hank teaches is in direct opposition to my religion, I only find myself enriched. The age of the guru is over. You must never kill your ego. Tantra or sex is a perfectly valid means to spiritual awakening. The best teacher you will ever find is yourself. You can access God or your own oversoul at any time.
And this from a man who contacts Christ, as does his wife, Jill, in their shamanic states from time to time, to say nothing of the myriad of other animal spirit helpers, guides and great masters, when they are doing their healing work. At the end of the workshop Hank paired us up for some healing excercises. First he showed us how to access power through the top of our heads, drawing it down to the solar plexus with the breath to charge the energy body, and cueing the somatic memory with a mudra. The woman I was working with placed one hand on my bad arthritic hip and the other on my head, and did the exercise. I was in no small amount of pain. It was gone, completely gone, for many blessed hours. We did a harmonizing exercise together, facing each other cross-legged, hands together, left palm up, right palm down. Suddenly I was aware of this woman as a lovely, sweet spirit. I was utterly amazed. You don’t see what’s right in front of you. She was naturally gifted for this work. She had the vision of spirits around us while doing these exercises.
There was so much more. Hank spoke of his great friendship with Hale Makua, whose extraordinary assertions uncannily matched scientific chronology. “How far back do you go?” Hank asked him. “Eighteen and a half million years.” Hmm. Let’s see. The planet was covered in vast forests … and the first anthropoids emerged. Okay.
Hank also is an Elder. This is no slight matter. Karmic predisposition or even predestination does not alone confer that title. It comes with a titanic struggle. We’re talking mavericks of the uncharted domain.