Traditionally, indigenous people embark on a vision quest to reconnect to their spirit and intuition. Many modern folks use the vision quest to receive clarity about their life purpose. Others open to guidance concerning the next step on their life path. Still others seek to break free of old habits and patterns that aren''t bringing them true health and happiness. Like the native peoples, our courageous group is tapping into the raw vitality of Nature for counsel about moving through life''s challenges."This rock''s vibrating with playfulness," laughs Bob. "My stone," Julia bubbles, "is transmitting living with ease." Trish shares that her river rock is conveying freedom. Becky senses a connection to all beings from her stone.
As each person correctly identifies the qualities their partner had transmitted into the rock, I''m astounded. The experiment is working! At the same time, my doubting mind chimes in, "This can''t be happening. It''s impossible that every person is naming the exact vibrational quality their partner put into the rock."
So much for the accuracy of my mind!
Three days earlier, 16 of us backpacked into a pristine canyon outside of the mystical town of Sedona, Arizona. Another guide and I were leading the group on a vision quest.
Traditionally, indigenous people embark on a vision quest to reconnect to their spirit and intuition. Aborigines in Australia go on a vision quest-like "walkabout" that can last a day, a week or years. Many modern folks use the vision quest to receive clarity about their life purpose. Others open to guidance concerning the next step on their life path. Still others seek to break free of old habits and patterns that aren''t bringing them true health and happiness. Like the native peoples, our courageous group is tapping into the raw vitality of Nature for counsel about moving through life''s challenges.
Beyond Chocolate Mousse
Some of the backpackers were on our Day Hikes Vision Quest the previous year. On that quest we only stayed in the canyons during the day. At night the gang enjoyed the culinary delights of gourmet restaurants and slept in cushy motels. Not to be undone by three nights of "roughing it," the group carried into the canyon all the camping comforts and food delicacies, including inflatable seats and dehydrated chocolate mousse!
Our congenial questers came prepared for almost any eventuality. But they didn''t anticipate the knock-your-socks-off power of the "Talking Rocks." Neither did I.
Science Breaks New Ground
In startling research, scientists report that they can put information into rocks and later retrieve that same exact information from those rocks. The scientists'' findings are easily conceivable. Many rocks consist of compressed sand that contains silicon. And, silicon is the basic material used in computer chips. Since we use computer chips to store and transmit information that is downloaded into them, why not rocks?
I was game to try my own experiment. Could one of the questers "download" information into a rock and another retrieve that same information?
Opening to the Unexpected
For three days this gregarious group had been having fun with a variety of shamanic exercises. The purpose of each exploration is to give people a direct personal experience of the magic they''ve been reading about much of their lives: Nature''s power to enlighten. Recharging directly from the earth''s energy. Connecting with True Essence. Guidance from the sun, wind and water. Messages from plants and animals. Miraculous healings. Timelessness. Intuition. Oneness.
Rock Your World!
The moment is ripe! These frisky folks are open to frolicking outside the box of their limiting beliefs.
The experiment begins in the middle of a dry creek bed. Each person selects a rock they feel an attraction to. Then people pair up. Secretly, one partner decides on an energetic quality such as humor, honesty, kindness, compassion, innocence, integrity or flexibility. Then they vibrationally transmit that energy to the rock by deeply feeling the attribute within themselves while they are holding the rock. After the transmission, the person hands the "vibrationally charged" rock to their partner. The partner shares what they sense from the rock. Then the partners reverse roles.
To my delight and surprise, each person describes the exact quality their partner "downloaded" into the rock?often in precisely the same words their partner used! A total of sixteen people randomly chose sixteen different qualities. Sixteen accurate descriptions!
Gateways to Self Discovery
On other vision quests, people have discovered that rocks aren''t Nature''s only gateway for revealing hidden abilities and new possibilities for living richer lives. There are many portals that lead to a more exciting human playground here on Planet Earth.
Spin a Different Web
Often the actions of insects or animals demonstrate how people can make helpful changes in their lives. While observing a spider constructing its web, 50-year-old Mike realizes that it isn''t too late to spin a new web for his life. Mike sees that just as the spider re-weaves its web in order to catch new nourishment for survival, Mike can adjust?re-weave?the way he makes a living in order to catch new spiritual nourishment and thus, enjoy his work more.
Shift Limiting Patterns
Objects found in the forest can be gateways to peace and freedom. Sally shifts a life-long pattern of spending money on "things" she feels will make her happy. She''s engaged in a vision quest exercise of gathering items to create an artistic design. The exercise directs people to return feathers, stones, leaves and twigs to the place they found them. Sally describes the encounter leading to her breakthrough: "I stumble upon a fascinating-looking piece of wood. In fact, the natural sculpture is so breathtakingly beautiful that I begin imagining where the wood art will look best in my home. I crave that piece of wood. My emotions have taken over.
"To heck with the exercise! I find myself plotting how I''m going to justify to the group that I''m keeping this extraordinary wood sculpture rather than return the object to the forest. After a half-hour of self-induced anguish, I clearly see how my emotional pattern has formed an addiction. Throughout my life I find art, clothes, furniture, knickknacks?any item that I just ''have to have.'' After acquiring the object, the thrill eventually fades, leaving me to crave another ''fix.''
"Sitting quietly in the woods, a question bubbles up from my inner guidance, ''Will this enchanting piece of wood give me true happiness?'' I''m flooded with memories of my unsatiable hunger for ''things'' to fill up my life and make me happy.
"And then I have a revelation. These objects will never make me happy! What I really crave is the experience of happiness itself?not the objects that I think bring me the happiness!
"Realizing where my happiness truly comes from, I hit upon a new strategy: I can connect directly with the ''happy'' feeling I get when I acquire something new and allow the feeling itself to shift my mood. I don''t need objects to feel good. Anytime I want to feel better, I can draw directly upon the uplifting peak experiences of my life?my storehouse of good feelings. With this new approach to happiness, I''m finally free from the drive, the push and the relentless compulsion to buy ''things'' to make me feel better.
"When I leave my one-of-a-kind art treasure sitting in the forest, I also leave behind my addiction to seeking happiness through collecting ''stuff.'' I discover a source of peace and joy inside myself that has previously alluded me in my life."
What''s Your Vision?
Throughout the history of humankind, Nature has inspired people to unearth fresh options for living more prosperous lives. Canyons reveal insights that guide folks to more satisfying careers. Forests stimulate realizations that lead people to more joy. And Mother Nature provides other assistance?like talking rocks?that reminds us of unlimited possibilities! What gateways in Nature can you use to find the fulfillment you want in life?
Drawing from the wisdom of native and ancient spiritual traditions, Keith Varnum shares his 30 years of practical success as an author, personal coach, acupuncturist, filmmaker, radio host, restaurateur, vision quest guide and international seminar leader with "The Dream Workshops". Keith helps people get the love, money, and health they want with his F-r-e-e Prosperity Ezine, F-r-e-e Abundance Tape and F-r-e-e Coaching at http://www.TheDream.com