Bramble the Bear splashing in the water

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Bramble the grizzly bear could be a bit of a brat---except in this incident, it was also so cute. We hold many types of retreats here, from conservation to artistic to spiritual, in keeping with the belief that Life is not simple and we need all perspectives to help us make sense of it. Thus we were holding a four-day shamanic retreat, and it was the end of the last day. The leader, Rose De Dan, wanted to take the participants on a shamanic journey in the company of the animals, so we all went into the main compound and lay down on the grass. Rose began the journey, leading us along with words and using her rattle to pulse out a rhythmic beat to help us...

We had a particularly powerful workshop last October with Rose De Dan of Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing. According to Rose and other shamans who look at life from an alternative frame, Windwalker the cougar, near the end of his days, had hung onto life to be here through the last retreat of the year.  People had flown in from around the country to see him one last time. Rose made him the focus of the workshop with ceremonies honoring him and his courage and beauty of spirit. Paralyzed in his hind legs, he lay regally and greeted each participant with warmth and dignity, purring his way through the entire visit. People in turn helped him into his wheelchair, groomed him, lay with him in...

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