Theoretical-practical courses to raise awareness of the culture of shamanism

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Shamanism in Nepal, as in other places, is based on an animistic belief that honours Mother Earth, elemental beings and respects the spirit that resides in all living beings. This universal worldview is vital in preserving the ecology of the land and in bringing harmony and universal brotherhood and sisterhood to all things tangible and intangible. Shamanic sources of power come from honouring the ancestors, lineage protectors, Mother Earth and the spirits of the place where the shaman performs his or her ceremonies. The shamans must call on the guardian spirits of Earth and deities who are all partners in the work. The hidden sacred language of the land is felt in the form of rhythms, vibrations, and warm and cold sensations in the physical body. Understanding this language, the shaman has to honour the spirits of the place and ask their permission.

Dhami/Jhankris (a generic term used throughout Nepal for shamans and healers, both male and female) are the ones people turn to reestablish harmony and healing. These shamans are the central figures in their communities for they are not only the healers but also the advisers, plant mendicants, soul conductors, storytellers, dancers, singers, artists, and musicians. They acquire these talents and their spiritual power and wisdom through their personal helping spirits, ancestral deities, elemental spirits, and guides. They can voluntarily modify their state of consciousness to heal individuals and bring harmony into the community.

Although Nepal is a small country, it is home to many ethnic groups with different traditions and cultures and is one of the richest in the world from a shamanic point of view. All groups practise the oral tradition, with knowledge transmitted through their ancestors, human teachers, and the spirits. The majority of the people still today visit shamans and other traditional spiritual healers before approaching conventional medical centres and hospitals as the most significant cause of disease and disharmony is considered to be spiritual disconnection or distraction. Once the spiritual aspect of the person is taken care of, then, if required, they proceed for further conventional treatments (shamanic spiritual healing practices don not supplement any medical therapies).

As we are part and parcel of all our ancestors, the ancestral deities are a reliable source of power and protection for the Nepali shaman of any tradition or group. Bloodline ancestors from the father's lineage and milk-line ancestors from the mother's side are equally important. Without the ancestors' blessings and help, not only would shamanic healing be challenging to accomplish, but the loss of equilibrium and imbalances would more likely arise in everyday lives. Our ancestors have left behind vibrant, deep-grounded, and authentic practices in the forms of lore, stories, sacred chants, songs, mantras, rhythms, dances, rituals, ceremonies, plant medicines, mineral medicines, sacred geometries, and geomancy that honour nature and her rhythms and changes.

My wife, Mariarosa Genitrini (Mimi), has been the most significant source of encouragement from the day we met. We started sharing and empowerment processes of Nepali Himalayan shamanic traditions in Italy in 1997. Soon afterwards, we broadened our mission into the European continent, North America and throughout the world. We did this to create a bridge connecting the ancient healing tradition with the modern world. We not only shared the wisdom to a broader audience through weekend classes, conferences, and retreats, but we also escorted groups to Asia and especially to the Nepal Himalayas so that participants could have direct experiential learning from different sources and teachers.

The shamanic practices were born through direct lineage transmissions from my grandfather and father, from both human and spirit teachers, from dream instructions, from my own transformative experiences, and directly from nature's wisdom and omens. All the closed group, public or individual ceremonies, rituals, and practices are adopted on places, situations and availability of local materials while maintaining the authenticity of our traditions. As shamanism is a process of empowerment and transmission rather than teaching, all weekend classes, retreats and individual support are for self-empowerment and deepening the knowledge through journeys, ceremonies, rituals, and healing processes. Shamanism, like myths, can be understood and perceived in different ways and forms. When specific supplies become unavailable, ceremonies and rituals can change, songs and chants can change, and the dances and rhythms can also change. The formation of sacred geometrical diagrams, items of offering, appeasement chants, and ways of conducting rituals can vary. So performing a healing ceremony can be done in many different styles and forms. In shamanism, there is flexibility on the part of the spirits and chants keep evolving and changing based on the intimate relationship between the spirits and the shaman.

For the Nepalese shamanic initiate, the calling to the shamanic path (Deuta-Aunu) can happen in one of four different ways.

  • The first method is the calling of blood, that is the ancestral call that comes from one's place in a shamanic family. In this case, an initiate may be taught from childhood by another family Dhami/Jhankri or develop shamanic gifts later in life by becoming possessed by a shamanic ancestor or an ancestral shaman's helping spirits.
  • The second calling is through a sudden and unexplained spiritual illness that overcomes the person receiving the call. This can occur anytime from childhood forward. The strange illness doesn't respond to treatment, and sometimes the initiates enter a kind of spiritual battleground in which they must choose to follow the path or succumb to their sickness.
  • A third path of becoming a shaman, and often the most common way to the path throughout the world, is by dreams and or visions from the spirits that lead a prospective candidate to seek a human teacher.
  • The fourth way of receiving the call is to be kidnapped by the primordial shaman, Banjhankri. (In the mountain regions of Nepal, Banjhankri is also known as Banaskhandi, "he who dwells in the plant kingdom-forest.") It is from this being that the term Jhankri–one of the most common designations for a shaman–is derived. (The Nepali shamanic worldview is so complex that there are myriad designations for a person we would refer to as a "shaman.") For the neophyte of family lineage call, the elder and shamans from the same lineage is a must. But for all types of calls, a human shamanic teacher is a must to accompany and mentor the aspirant to the conclusion.

Weekends, short, long retreats will introduce you to the traditional paths of the Nepalese shamanic trail. The active shamanic journey by playing the drum and singing sacred songs is a powerful skill used by our early ancestors to access wisdom beyond the range of ordinary senses.

Shamanism, like humanity's oldest spiritual healing practices, helps us to face past events, enriching the present moment and imagining the future. Universally recognized spiritual healing sustains our emotional and psychological health. Shamans for millennia have used their gifts and sacred tools to heal emotional trauma, alleviate anxiety and depression, reduce physical pain, and help the community live a full life with more confidence and confidence.

The different levels of transmission and enhancement help aspirants connect to deep power sources and harness the infinite potential of the soul. This opens up ways to solve today's challenges and help us feel more satisfied, safe, and joyful. Participants will also learn how to use this time-tested method to effectively receive guidance, visions, insights and healing tools for self-empowerment and help others through rituals, dances, sacred songs, active travel, mantra singing, etc.

All proposals for transmission and accountability are independent of each other. However, the necessary understanding and practices are essential to proceed to deeper levels of experience by participating in the Basic Transmission

We are ready to travel to any destination where there are people interested in discovering and immersing themselves in the experiential aspect of shamanism that is a living tradition of the people of Nepal to this day.

Our broadcasts are not limited to indoor practices, but we also do ceremonies and outdoor practices in nature. We also accompany aspiring hopefuls interested in deepening their practices in Nepal with shamans from different cultural backgrounds and long-lasting lineage carriers, both men and women.

Thank you and Namaste

Bhola Banstola
Mariarosa Genitrini

All the proposals

Introduction/laying the foundation to Nepali Himalayan shamanism: Transmission on five gross natural elemental spirits and our relationship with them; creation of a sacred shamanic space (Thaan) and preparation of ritual offerings (Chadaunu) according to the traditional methods. Transmission on active shamanic trance states by rhythmic drumming and sacred chants; invocation of Jala Devi(the water spirit) for self-healing and healing others; creation of a sacred healing mandala (Rekhii); group healing ritual; Bhumi-Devi (Mother Earth) empowerment, Protection and conclusion.

Tin-Tri Loka-Chaudhabhuvana: The magic of the three worlds, shamanic realms, spirits, characteristics and rituals (advanced level).

Kuul-Pitri-Istadeo: Ancestors, Lineage and Personal Teacher as sources of inspiration and spiritual growth (advanced level)

The primordial shaman, the source and beginning of Dhmi-Jhankri and Nature (advanced level):

Among different sources and ways of 'calling into the shamanic path', abduction by the forest-dwelling primordial shamanic spirit is one—the role and influence of Nature, ecology and environment on our spiritual evolution. Journeys, rituals, empowerment, group healing session and relevant transmissions.

Journey of the Soul and Mahankala (advanced level):

The journey of the soul represents the cycles and passages of Life, including rites of passages death and rebirth. A shamanic rite of Kalachakra or Khadgo Katne, a powerful ritual capable of removing the seven or more types of obstacles will be introduced, followed by group experiential ceremony. Participants will also have the opportunity to receive shamanic healing and learn how to work on others. Siir Uthaunu ritual to empower life forces and group dances.

Removing spiritual and planetary obstacles for growth and transformation (advanced level)

Participants will work with Ganyap one of the first archetypal shamans, the one who removes obstacles and bestows material and spiritual prosperity. The Nine planets and their role in our everyday spiritual path, health and harmony and important ritual to calm their adverse effects.

Through the spirit of fire, Agni Deo, participants take part in a ceremony to transmute obstacles in the path and ignite new energy and vigour. After the initiation of the seed syllables, activation, empowerment and raising the personal spirit, the retreat comes to an end.

The participants will learn the myths of the Kila, its manifestation as the world tree, grounding power and connector between the realms. The Kila is used to extract spiritual illness, subdue and pin down the disturbing forces, cleanse spaces, charge healing waters and impart blessings and more in shamanic work. Participants learn the sacred Kila mudras—the ritual handling of the sacred dagger—and how you can utilize this marvellous shamanic tool in your practice. Individual empowerment, protection, harmony, balance, and raising innate power concludes the gathering.

Role of serpentine power, Sacred Places and Earth Mother (advanced transmission)

Integrative Consciousness and the Sacred Serpent- Journeys to Nagas and ceremony to honour and petition them to bring balance within and without from Nepali Shamanic perspective. As the keepers of the land, water and subterranean regions and in-between spaces, their role in the well-being and balance between the universe and human beings is vital—transmissions on the importance of sacred places of Nature, spirit presences and our relationship with them. Group Naag Puja will be followed by visiting a sacred water source and natural power place/s for a particular invocation and petition.

Kali Ma-Vikhandana: Mother Kali, Dance of Dissolution and Dismemberment Process(advanced transmission)

In-depth wisdom of the powers of feminine deities honoured in the Nepali shamanic tradition with a specific focus on Mother Kali. Through journeys, stories, creation of ground mandala (Rekhi), sacred chants and rituals, participants accompanied to the realms of Kali through different paths. She is not only a devouring wrathful mother but is also a compassionate, protective and healing mother.