Shamanic Yoga Institute

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The Visionary

In each direction of the Medicine Wheel, we encounter and learn from an archetypal guide. These aspects of consciousness act as mirrors of our own gifts, showing us the power and capacity of our being. An archetype is a collectively inherited model, idea or pattern that can be found universally present in all individuals, like the hero or the creator. In the map of Mountain Shamanism, we come into relationship with the collective forces of the healer, the warrior, the teacher, and the visionary that live inside of us.

This last month marked the final direction of the Outdoor Medicine Wheel in Squamish. We held the intent of clarifying vision and growing our capacity to see the multiplicity and hold multiple perspectives. In our opening sharing circle, we discussed the role of the visionary in our current world. Participants shared that they believed a visionary is someone whose dedication is unlimited by circumstances, a leader who sees what is needed and strives to bring balance and has the clarity to discern between where to put their energy and what to leave. And the visionary is the one can be in the listening–holding space before acting–who walks the path with authenticity and vulnerability, the one who can see the spaces between the patterns. The visionary is the change-agent, the revolutionary, the artist, the rebel, and activist who serves the collective.

In Sanskrit, the word vinaya means both to lead and the discipline of humility. This type of leadership requires a reverence for the work and is fourfold in nature. It begins with jñāna, spiritual knowledge or wisdom; a knowledge of the Self that is inseparable from the Divine and a lens of collective liberation. This wisdom supports the darśana: the direct vision or sustained intent without attachment. Next comes, cāritra, the capacity to set into motion that which is necessary and responsive to the needs of our culture. And finally, upacāra: the moment of access or the transformation of consciousness that comes from service. Humility is the practice that dispels power imbalances in leadership and asks us to question our motivations. Some of our work in the world will have revolutionary, visible effects, others will create unseen, but felt, ripples within our communities. Both are equally impactful. We can live out our visions for our own lives, and for the collective by engaging fully in the present with non-attachment to outcome and generosity of heart.

It is time to answer the call of collective reciprocity, of minka, in a way that only you can. Can you grow in your capacity to see what is beyond the scope of reason and protocol and build a stronger relationship with the visionary that is alive and awake within you?

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