Sandra Ingerman is one of the respected leaders of the neo-shamanic movement here in America that has brought traditional cross-cultural healing methods and beliefs to the Western world.  She has been teaching workshops on shamanic healing practices for over 30 years. We met her in her home just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico where she was just putting the final touches on her eighth book.

Sandra shared with us her own struggle with depression and how she used the methods derived from the beliefs and practices of traditional cultures to create her sense of well-being. Sandra says, that even though shamanism has been practiced in cultures that seem to have little in common with our modern society, the underlying philosophy is timeless for its relevance to humanity. She states “shamanism is a way of life”. It reminds us that everything is alive with energy and that we are all connected to and inseparable from a universal web of life. She believes that so much of the mental illness we see today largely comes from our disconnection from nature.

I know, for me, my morning bike rides and hikes in the mountains help me remember the natural beauty I am surround with in the Pacific Northwest. How do you stay connected to nature in your day to day?

7 Responses to “Interview with Sandra Ingerman: Shamanism in Modern Culture”

  1. Bonnie Bell

    I stay connected by living in nature. My wonderful home in the desert allows, and encourages me to begin each morning with giving thanks as the morning sun rises. Being grateful for my eyes that see the colors of the sky, the trees, flowers, and mountains that surround me, my sense of smell to breath in the breath of life along with the perfume of the desert, my ears that hear the songs of the birds. I stay connected by being reminded not to disconnect. It is simple, and the gift of being where I am, I need only open and receive it. If I forget, I am blessed with quick reminders as it is what I am surrounded by.

  2. Teresa McLaren

    Hello, I have just come across this blog. Thank you so much. I have only in the past year began to reframe my own experiences of psychosis as spiritual awakenings. It’s nice to know I’m not alone as much as our dominant culture makes us believe we are. I still have much to learn and understand.

  3. Teresa McLaren

    Still going through all the work you have compiled here. Are you familiar with the work of Bill Plotkin? His book “Nature and the Human Soul” has been very influential on me. I would like to see his take on your project and what he thinks of Adams story. Thank you again for your work.

    • Phil Borges

      Hi Teresa,

      Indeed, Bill Plotkin, Ph.D., is a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and agent of cultural transformation hence we did have plans to interview Bill outside of Durango last fall but our schedules just did not allow for it. We agree with you that Plotkin’s work provides for a deepening journey of the nature based soul. Several years ago our field producer, Debra Thompson Harvey endeavored a vision quest with Animus Valley Institute and had first hand experience with AVI’s eco-psychology perspective. It is truly an authentic synthesis of Jungian studies, the Native American medicine wheel, and depth psychology all embedded in Plotkin’s nature-based stage model of human development . Thank you for your suggestion.


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