I love to quote a Hindu teaching, “There are many paths up the mountain. The only one not getting to the top is the one who runs around and around telling everyone else they are on the wrong path.”
I saw this image on another site and it resonated with me. I was raised Roman Catholic, I was an altar person, a Youth Minister, and had considered even more. This was despite the RC Church not making me feel comfortable. I chose to be open to all paths and all journeys. This, I felt, would help me to understand and welcome others.
When I finally left the Church and decided to strike out to learn my own spiritual path, I felt drawn initially to the Druids. Being Irish, I felt that would be my first venture into a new spiritual path. I learned the many levels one could achieve.
My next venture was into shamanism. I took a course with one of the notable American Shamans, Sandra Ingerman. I learned a lot in a short period of time. As with the Catholic Church, I struggled as I thought I just didn’t get it. Sandra and I would have coffee each morning together and she advised me that I had a natural ability to shift into the spirit world. It is interesting that when I was learning to be a Youth Minister, I also felt the same difficulty. I remember crying in my bunk and one of the other trainees came in. He asked why I was crying and I told him that I just didn’t get it. He started crying too and told me that they all looked to me because I was the one who seemed to get it and made it appear natural.
I continued to learn shamanism and read volume after volume trying to understand. I read one volume that spoke of weather shamanism and the ethical ramifications. If you work with weather you have to ensure that you aren’t pushing a severe storm to someone else.
There was so much to learn.
The next venture into spirituality was to learn Native American wisdom and teachings. This is when I met Bear Warrior and Little Wren. I was welcomed into their midst and learned a lot. They noted that I was going out and learning and then bringing back to the group and teaching. It was then that they gifted me my Tsalagi (Cherokee) name, Unega Waya, White Wolf. In the Cherokee belief the Wolf is seen as a pathfinder and healer. I was honored to be given such a great name and sought to be the best teacher I could be.
I continued to learn and grow. I came across a great book, Seven Masters, One Path.
It brought together teachings from many great teachers. These days, I still embrace my Native American teachings as well as my Shamanistic teachings, but I lean towards Buddhism. I thought Buddha Guatama had a great teaching, “
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” ― Buddha Siddhartha Guatama Shakyamuni
For me, spirituality is fluid. I do not settle on dogma but allow myself to be free to flow. There are many great teachings out there. When we get trapped into a specific dogma it stifles our spiritual growth. I guess that is why the Nicene Creed never agreed with me.
I studied the Aztec medicine way of Curanderismo for a little while. I learned that in that path I was a consejera. I remember a book by Elana Avila. She talked of learning curanderismo and introducing it into the hospital. It was called Woman Who Glows in the Dark.
I continue to learn and grow. I hope you are inspired to do the same. I came to be known as a wounded healer. I embrace that as it allows me to be empathetic to others who are in pain.
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.