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Strange, shamanic practices came to me unbidden, entering my life dramatically in February 1989, through an unexpected awakening of spirit. The source of that awakening was an Indian Yogi, dressed in a simple loincloth who I later discovered was known as ‘Baba’ and was the revered Saint, Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri. Even for a young, western, Catholic woman, with a propensity for traveling outside my body, this was radical and life changing in a way that could never have been anticipated.

When this dramatic opening of consciousness occurred, my husband and I were living in Nassau, the capital island-city of the Bahamas. Loving the beauty of our tropical home we were active and busy, yet I was unhappy. Challenged by chronic back pain, I knew deep down, that while I was searching for medical intervention, there was an inconsolable longing not being relieved in the outside world.

It was at this time I was invited to attend a nearby meditation center. I went, thinking it would help in alleviating stress and along with it, the pain. It did, but in a way that was completely unexpected. After three visits, I went home one night and had a lucid dream. In the dream, I entered a hall, to find a dark -skinned Buddha-like man, wearing only a white loincloth. Without uttering a word, he tapped me on the top of the head and from that simple touch a powerful energy began pulsating through the crown and into my body.

Focusing on the ingoing and outgoing breath, the energy built and built until I was forcefully drawn to waking and I sat up violently exhaling “Huuuhhhhhh.” In that moment, I knew my life had been changed forever. This impression proved to be true. The mantra “Om Namah Shivaya.” (I bow to the Truth within me) began forcing its way into conscious awareness and rising up in dreams, bringing me to illumined lucidity.

Exploring light-filled worlds, I suddenly found myself in the ecstatic company of Saints, Shamans and Enlightened Teachers from diverse paths. On one occasion, I walked along a dark corridor and discovered a graceful old man, with piercing blue eyes, white hair and a pointed, flowing beard. Dressed like a monk in a long orange, his presence was extraordinary. Looking deep into my eyes he told me,
“I Am You. You are me.”

Later, I discovered that the man was the Catholic mystic, Father Bede Griffiths who had created an ashram in India based on the study and unity of all paths and traditions.

On other occasions there were lucid dreams I was informed were ‘tests.’ In one, I was standing before double doors and was asked, “Are you sure you want to do this?” Answering, “Yes!” the doors flew open to reveal two rows of angry, hideous dark beings holding fierce weapons. Nothing was said, but I knew what had to be done. Stepping forward, I walked between them, allowing them to slit open my stomach, gouge out the eyes and break open the rib cage in order to tear out the heart.

Allowing fear to dissolve in the steady repetition of the mantra, once they were done, my dream body was raised up and eventually dissolved into light. Coming back to waking, I heard the message, “You have passed the test. You have overcome fear. Now you know you are neither the physical nor the dream body. You are Light.”

In other lucid dream ‘tests,’ my body was pecked and eaten by crows and in others, thrown into fiery pits. Many years later, I discovered that “Om Namah Shivaya” is the mantra of dissolution and that meditating on one’s own dismemberment and death are typical practices in the Tibetan Shamanic tradition. True to what these early initiatory dreams indicated, in later experiences, I found myself transformed into a Tibetan Shaman. Wearing ritual robes and armed with rattles and drums I was empowered to fly above groups of monks and lay-people giving initiation and healing.

The lucid dream state has also carried me to worlds inhabited by South American and Native American Shamans. In one, dream I found myself with Hopi Shamans, who drummed, chanted and shook their rattles before turning to ask me,
“Which powers do you choose?”
I replied, “I choose the gifts of prophecy and healing.”

With that, the Master Shaman warned,
“Be careful with these powers, they are dangerous.”

Understanding his teaching, I answered, “Yes I know. With grace, they will be used wisely and only when necessary.”

Over time, the touch of Nityananda has forced me to face what has most terrified me, both in the waking state and in the world of lucid dreams. As aspects of the shadow have been integrated and I have embraced my own light, I have come to experience the underlying Truth and Oneness of all paths and all traditions. When we truly know ourselves and unify all aspects of being, it is the most worthwhile work that we can do. And it is the greatest, most precious gift we have to offer the world.

About the author:
Julie is a natural intuitive, writer, artist and trans-personal hypnotherapist who lives on Grand Bahama Island. Her profound spiritual awakening and the unfolding of unity consciousness is detailed in her book, ‘An Awakened Life- A Journey of Transformation’ at:
Copyright-2010 Julie Hoyle


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Anthony K. - June 17th 2010 08:52:38 PM
Insightful and beautifully written descriptions of amazing initiation experiences. She has rich interior and exterior worlds.

Anthony K. - June 17th 2010 10:30:30 PM
The author has shared her light-filled journeying and the challenges of working with elemental forms. It is fascinating to read other Shaman's experiences and I am grateful that she has been willing to share so much. Thank you Julie.

Anthony K. - June 17th 2010 11:56:57 PM
Your words reflect the real you. Keep going.

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