Water is life! There would not be any life on this planet without water. As humans we are composed of mostly water. Water reflects back to us our inner landscape and the beauty of our soul.
A solution to our current ecological crisis is working with the feminine principle of being versus doing. It is who we become that changes the world. For we can be a healing force through our presence.
My love for water led me to the study of Marine Biology. I thought I would be spending my life working through a scientific model to look at reversing pollution of the waters of the world.
Destiny led me in a different direction. And in 1980 I was introduced to the practice of shamanism. As I learned about the power of spiritual healing work I focused my attention on how we could use spiritual methods to not just heal the waters of the world but to reverse all environmental pollution.
From studying the practices of spiritual traditions I learned that everything in the outer world is a reflection of our inner world.
This is seen in the teaching “as above, so below; as within, so without.” This means that from a spiritual perspective the toxicity we see in our environment is a reflection of our own inner toxicity.
In recent times we have been experiencing severe drought in some parts of the world while other locations are experiencing extreme flooding. This is a reflection of how out of balance our inner world is. To support our environmental health the feminine principle of it is who we become that changes the world and not just what we do needs to be embraced. This means we need to learn to live a spiritual and conscious way of life.
Harmony within creates harmony without. Among the Salish people who live in the Pacific Northwest (of the U.S.), the word “skalatitude” is used to describe what life is like when true kinship with nature exists: “When people and nature are in perfect harmony, then magic and beauty are everywhere.”
The true work is learning how to change our thoughts, attitudes and belief systems. We actually have to work with “the alchemy of the soul” to really be able to change our inner environment as our inner state of being is reflected back to us in the outer world. The literal definition of alchemy is “working within and through the dense darkness inside.” This is big work and involves committing to spiritual practices that we must engage in daily and throughout the day.
In the practice of shamanism it is understood that thoughts are substantial things. It is also understood that words are seeds and have creative power. In its original Aramaic, the term abracadabra is “abraq ad habra,” which is literally translated as, “I will create as I speak.”
In indigenous cultures the difference between expressing problematic thoughts or emotions and sending them is well understood. In our Western culture, where we do not validate what is happening in the energetic and invisible realms, we often find ourselves filled with toxic thoughts and emotions that we then send to ourselves and into the world. Without realizing it we can end up sending “poisonous energies” to others, the planet, and even back upon ourselves. We often end up poisoning our water within and without as we are not conscious of the impact of our thoughts and words.
The key is to learn how to acknowledge the depth of our feelings. Experiencing fully a range of feelings from joy to anger is part of being human. We do not want to repress our feelings. We must acknowledge what we are feeling and then transform the energy behind our thoughts and words into energy filled with love and light. We must acknowledge when we feel angry and are triggered by someone or an event. Then we must transform the energy behind our thoughts that we attach to our feelings. In this way we can express what we are feeling while feeding ourselves, others, and the planet with love and radiant light.
Using our imagination is necessary in performing the spiritual practice of transmuting water pollution. We must be able to envision an environment with pure and clean water and which supports all of life. With our imagination we daydream and sculpt our world into being.
Many shamans say we are dreaming the wrong dream. As a culture, we have forgotten how to vision, so we have been thrown into the chaos of the universe, manifesting lives based on confused and troubled thoughts.
We have the opportunity to create a different reality by dreaming a dream that embraces love, harmony, connection to all of life, peace, equality, and joy for all of life.
To do this it is important to engage all your senses. You must be able to imagine fully living in a world where the water is fresh, abundant, and clean. It is important to be able see what the water would look like. Notice the color of clean and fresh water. In your daydream smell the fragrance of the rain, moist air, and clean water. Run your fingers through the water and feel its texture and healing power as you wash your hands in it. Drink some of the water and feel the clean fresh taste running down your throat. Listen to the wonderful sound of water in you daydream. You might listen to the sound of a beautiful river. Or you might hear the sound of ocean waves. You might listen to the sound of rain on the roof of your home. Fully step into the dream and live from the dream. Experience the dream as if it is here right now.
As we change our perception we change our reality. To change our perception to create a reality of a clean environment we must be able to see the beauty in all things. To see the beauty in all things we must live in a state of appreciation and gratefulness.
In 1997 I had a powerful dream in which the Egyptian god Anubis appeared to me and told me that the key to the spiritual work of reversing environmental pollution is transfiguration.
On awakening from the dream I had to look up the meaning of transfiguration and learned it means shapeshifting. I had heard stories from shamanic traditions about shamans shapeshifting into animals such as wolves and ravens. But I could not at first connect that practice to that of reversing environmental pollution.
An important insight about this came from my neighbor who was also one of my clients. Kathy was dying of liver cancer. One day we were sitting and chatting as friends. When I told her about my dream, she became very animated and started to share stories about Jesus. Being a fundamentalist Christian she knew quite well how Jesus transfigured where he began to shine with bright rays of light. While in this transfigured state of divine light he worked miraculous healings.
Now I understood Anubis’ message to me: light heals and transmutes. And my research into various spiritual traditions showed countless references to shamans, healers, and spiritual masters from different traditions transfiguring into divine light while performing miraculous healings. Since we are essentially spiritual light connected to all of life, spirit is who we are beyond our skin. When we drop all that separates us from our divine light, everything outside of us mirrors back to us a state of divinity, light, and perfection.
After I wrote my book Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins I started some scientific experiments to check out if the practices I wrote about truly transmute toxins. I have been working with intentionally polluting deionized water (pure water with no minerals in it) with ammonium hydroxide a common and dangerous pollutant in our environment. As ammonium hydroxide is a strong base it is easy to check its presence with the use of pH strips. I have worked with many groups of students at this point. With every group I have worked with, using the principles I wrote about, the water has changed a pH of 1-3 points toward neutral. After preparing ourselves for our ceremony the actual ceremony lasts for about 20 minutes. The pH changed within this time frame. From a scientific point of view this would be seen as impossible.
Since these initial experiments, I started using a gas discharge visualization (GDV) camera that allows one to capture the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energies emanating from a person, plant, liquid, powder, or inanimate object and translate those energies into a computerized model. In other words, this diagnostic camera measures and evaluates the energy of the auric field and integrates that information into a computer-generated report with pictures.
The camera enabled us to document the change in energy of the substances present in our circle. And time and time again we saw the field of light of the water in the middle of our circle increasing as we would experience and radiate our divine light. To see some of the photos visit http://www.sandraingerman.com/gdvcameraresults.html
The ceremonies I lead involve letting go of egoic states which separate us from our divinity, and from achieving a state of union with the power of the universe, the divine source of light and universal love. We worked with the understanding that water reflects back to us our state of inner harmony. As we radiate our light everything around us reflects back a state of health and luminosity.
When working in this way we perceive everyone and everything in the room in its divine perception. On a physical level there might be pollution being reported. But on a spiritual level we recognize the divine perfection of all of life. In this way we stimulate the radiance of the water to shine forth. In quantum physics it is said that a lower frequency entrains to attune to a higher frequency and not the reverse.
It is important to note that in our ceremonies we do not try to manipulate the environment. We do not pray for the water or send light or healing energy to the water. We do not focus on the water containers on the altar of our circle. We change ourselves by transfiguring into divine light, perfection, and oneness with the understanding that our outer world will reflect back to us the inner changes that we make. This way of perception goes back to the ancient and esoteric principle of “as above, so below; as within, so without”. We simply radiate our spiritual light as a star radiates in the night sky. When we allow our light to shine our outer world reflects back to us our divine nature.
When we are in the presence of a great spiritual healer healing just happens. These people do not use methods or techniques, they heal by the love and light they radiate.
Our body is mostly water. As we experience our divine light the water within us is transformed into a state of harmony and health. As we transform our negative and defeatist way of thinking and consciously work on our thoughts and the words we use throughout the day we heal our inner water as well as the waters in the world around us.
All life is made of light. We are all light. Everything is light. In remembering this we can transmute everything in our outer environment and what we take in to pure healing light.
All spiritual traditions teach that everything manifests on a spiritual level before manifesting on the physical. During a time on the planet where so many of us feel disempowered it is crucial for us to understand that where we have power right now to create change on the planet is by incorporating spiritual practices into our lives.
Bring simple spiritual practices into your life where you honor, respect and water. Understand that water is reflecting back to us our own inner state of pollution. Learn to transmute and transform the energy behind your emotions and thoughts to love and light.
Make it a daily practice to honor water. As you wash yourself, the dishes, etc. connect with water and give thanks for how water sustains life. It also heals and cleanses you. As you drink give thanks to the life and nourishment that water brings to you.
Whenever you drink water or visit a body of water, always see it in its divine light. Remember it is all in your perception. If you perceive the water as polluted it is polluted. Lift the veils between the worlds as shamans have done since the beginning of time. And choose to see the divine light and perception in the waters of the world.
Earth, air, water, and the sun sustain our life. We must not pollute that which gives us life. Honor water and all the elements that give us life. And they will honor us in return.
Find a body of water that you can sit by. You can travel to a beautiful place in nature or visit a nearby park that has a lake, pond, or stream. Sitting by running water such as a river, stream, or waterfall can help you be transported away from your ordinary concerns allowing your inner wisdom to emerge. Watching the waves in the ocean creates a state of opening so you can listen to the messages of your soul. If you sit by the ocean feel the waves welling up inside of you. While sitting by a river or stream drop into your sensory awareness of the flow of your inner water. A lake or pond might put you in touch with the stillness within you.
Listen to some music that you find relaxing and expansive. Lie or sit down. Close your eyes and hold the intention that you wish to experience the waters that run beneath and through the city where you live. Experience the waters and learn about the qualities of water that run through the land. Open to your sensory awareness and notice what you feel in your body as you do this.
Reflect on the people, trees, plants, animals, and other nature beings that live in your area. Meditate on how they reflect back the qualities of the water where you live.
When you feel you are finished return from your meditation. You can take some notes. Take a walk outside feeling the water running beneath the land. Even if you live in a city there is still water in the land where you live.
In some places the mighty rivers and oceans run strong. In some locations there might be gentle streams and still lakes feeding the land. And in some places there are deep pools of water beneath the land that sustains the life that grow roots deep enough to find the water below.
Merging with water is a wonderful way to experience becoming one with the flow of life. Water flows in a natural and graceful way. Water is a reflection of the divine feminine and water reflects the nature of our soul. We can learn about the power and nature of water by merging with it. When we merge with an element the teachings we receive go beyond mental understanding, but rather impact us physically as we become one with the energy of another living being.
Listen to some relaxing and expansive music. Imagine becoming one with a source of water such as a still lake, a river, a waterfall, the ocean, rain, mist, etc.
Go deep within and experience yourself losing your own boundaries and become one with this water source. Learn about water by becoming water. Open your sensory awareness noticing all the feelings in your body as you do this.
Relax into being water. This is such a powerful and regenerating practice.
When you feel ready disconnect from the water source you are merged with and gently come back to yourself and into the room you are in. Feel revitalized from your experience. Feel yourself grounded and present.
If you need some help with feeling more grounded after such an expansive practice imagine deep roots growing out the soles of your feet into the earth. Or imagine sitting with and leaning your body against a tree.
Listen to a piece of music that creates an expanded state of awareness. Set your intention to travel within to experience your inner light. You can imagine traveling within your body and merging with a star. A star does not try to shine, there is no effort involved. A star does not choose where it’s light shines. A star simply radiates light and brightens all of life.
Allow your divine light to nurture all the cells in your body. Absorb this light deeply into your cells. Soak it in and luxuriate in this light.
After about 15 minutes of experiencing your divine light return from this experience without disconnecting fully from your true spiritual nature. We are luminous beings.
Now drink a glass of water. And notice as you radiate and experience your light how smooth, fresh, and sweet the water tastes. It is the same water you drink each day. But as you allow yourself to experience and live from a state of light water will always reflect back your luminosity.
Be conscious about what you put into water and do not pollute it. As we give thanks and bless water for all it shares, water will also bless us in return.
Josephine Mandamin has walked more than 17,000 kilometres to raise consciousness of Great Lakes
She is known as grandmother water walker. In effort to raise awareness about pollution, laws and any issues that impact water, First Nations elder Josephine Mandamin has walked the shorelines of all five Great Lakes. That’s more than 17,000 kilometres of coastline and equal to nearly half the earth’s circumference. This week Mandamin left her home in Thunder Bay for southwest Ontario to speak at the 5 p.m. opening of Museum London’s Water Rights festival.
Before the opening, we spoke with her about her experiences. Here’s a portion of the conversation:
Q: Why did you set out to walk around the Great Lakes?
A:I think we need to raise consciousness. We need to be aware of the polluted waters we see. We are all of water. We need to protect this water as much as we can.
Q: Protect it from what?
A: The fracking, the pollution . . . the mining where waters are coming in. Corporations are selling off the water, prostituting our mother the earth. It’s the big corporations that need to be understanding.
Q:Where is the worst evidence of pollution and what did it look like?
A:In terms of looking at Northeastern Ontario there are a lot of small lakes in that area around the highways we walked on with green slime on the waters. The water is very still, it doesn’t move.
Q:What about the Great Lakes?
A: Lake Ontario . . . You could almost see the shimmering when you got to the New York side of it. We didn’t even touch the water, we usually take our shoes off at least and put our feet in. We swam in lake Michigan almost every day. But we didn’t touch Lake Ontario.
Lake Erie was brown. When we were on the U.S. side, it looked very dirty and very brown.
Q:How long did it take to walk around Lake Superior?
A: 32 days.
Q:What was your routine?
A: We’d get up at 2:30 or 3 a.m., and walk until the sun goes down. We’d have an orange or fruit along the way or juice. You have to walk with a pail as if you are walking with a water stream. It’s very important to keep the water moving because you’ve made that promise to keep it moving while you are walking. People would put us up in homes or if we had funds we’d stay in motels.
Q: What was the biggest challenge?
A: Our walkers were always having blisters but our feet got used to callouses after a while.
Q: Which Great Lake do you like best?
A:I think Lake Superior was the one we really respected a lot in terms of it’s majestic length and coolness of the water. It was very nice. You couldn’t swim in it because it was so cold. Lake Huron is my home water and I really have a lot of personal attachment to the water there. I’m from Manitoulin Island and Georgian Bay was pristine waters when I was there.
Q: What was your worst experience?
A: Lake Erie was a place where we were called down. On the American side, people were driving by saying ‘Crazy indians’ when we walked through Detroit, it was really scary. When we got back (over the Ambassador Bridge) to Windsor my son said ‘it’s good to be back home.’
Q: You’ve mentioned the pollution. Did anything give you reason for hope?
A:Lake Michigan is a beautiful lake and it flows into Lake Superior and there’s hope that we can still keep our waters pristine if we keep the motor boats and the gas out and get back to canoes. Where there are motorized boats, you can see the oil and gas in the water.
Q: What else?
A: One of the nicest things about people though was when they knew we were coming, people would come and help us out, they’d have supper for us, or give us money for hotel rooms. When we crossed (into Windsor) there was a committee of people and stopped and said the church was open for us.
If you go:
What: Water Rights Festival at Museum London, includes several documentaries about water
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday (film times listed at http://waterrightsfilmfestival.wordpress.com/)