The hummingbird’s quality of stillness in flight is required to go beyond inspirational words or just thinking about how to solve problems, and enter into the stillness of your soul, crafting a vision of what you want your world to be.
Practicing beginner’s mind requires us to let go of our preconceived notions. Our lives become much simpler when we aren’t weighed down by the baggage of our stories and expectations. We stop being jaded, and instead open ourselves up to the opportunities presented to us. Innocence and spontaneity infuse our lives again, and we lose the attitude of “been there, done that.” Not that we forget our years of experience―we simply don’t confuse what we learned yesterday with what we’re discovering today.
Sit in silence and contemplate where you are weighed down by old stories, expectations and closets full of all the junk and collectibles you know you don’t need but have been reluctant to get rid of. Blow the old stories and expectations into a stick and release them to the fire. Then go and clear your closets and home of clutter that keeps you tied to the past.
You practice transparency when you stop hiding the parts of yourself that make you uncomfortable. It simply means that we allow others to see us and that we have nothing to hide. After all, it’s what we’re trying to conceal that’s actually the most visible to other people. When we see an arrogant man bossing someone around or bragging about himself, we clearly see that underneath all that bluster, he’s insecure about his power and importance.
But we hide more than our insecurities. Oftentimes we hide our beauty and power as well because we’re uncomfortable with them or fear the consequences of letting our light shine. Transparency means establishing congruence between who you say you are and who you really are. It means “walking your talk.”
Sit in silence and contemplate the parts of yourself that make you uncomfortable, your insecurities as well as your beauty and power. Blow them into a stick and release them to the fire.
You practice integrity by being true to your word and recognizing its power to create reality. In the Bible, it is said that in the beginning was the Word… and the Word was God…. That is, everything was created from the Word. In the same way, the quality of your creation is determined by how true you are to your word. What you say is more important than any legal document because it sets a selected destiny into motion—it gives the universe consistent instructions about the kind of reality you want to create.
For shamans there is nothing more important than being true to one’s word, so we are very careful about what we say. We believe that to utter a single negative syllable to someone is to cast a curse, and that to say something positive is to give a blessing.
Sit in silence and contemplate how true you have been to your word and where you may have fallen short or spoken negative words about someone. Blow them into a stick and release them to a fire.
When you practice living consequently, you’re fully conscious of the impact of each thought, intention, and action you have, and you take care to make them positive and healing instead of selfish and destructive. You recognize when you’re acting out of fear, and you deliberately choose to act out of love instead. You take full responsibility for all your actions, and the universe notices this, making your good (as well as your bad) karma immediate.
In this practice, we also become aware of the consequences of our behavior. The emotional wounds we cause to others can be so powerful that they can be felt not only over a lifetime, but for generations. In the Amazon, they refer to these as generational curses: The terror that a troubled mother inflicts on her daughters is felt by their daughters and their daughters’ daughters, and the harsh punishment a father exacts on his son is felt by many generations.
Sit and stillness and contemplate where you are acting out of fear instead of love and how generational curses are living in you. Blow them into a stick and release them to a fire.
Are you ready to embrace the way of the seer?
**By Alberto Villoldo PhD