How to Use Shamanic Healing to Transform the Healing Process
Can (self) love conquer all?! Join Wana + Jonathan Hammond, master shamanic reiki guru and energy healer expert to learn how to transform the healing process through deep introspection
1. Tell us a bit about yourself: What do you do? How did you get into what you do?
Despite having a successful career for many years as an actor on Broadway and television (in fact, I am still paying back my student loans from drama school!), I’ve always had a rich spiritual life, which I originally thought was nothing more than something that helped me to “cope” with the difficulties of show business. Little did I know that those difficulties were the steps toward my true path as a spiritual teacher.
For me, the true art of acting lay in the ability to shift the consciousness of the audience; to get them to see the world through a different set of eyes. I now realize that the artistic process of merging my body, mind and spirit with a role was a form of “channeling”⎯allowing inspiration and spirit to move through me⎯which I still do as a shamanic healer, although in a slightly different way.
About ten years ago, I made the choice to stop acting. This was a real identity crisis for me, because from the time I was a child it was the only thing I ever thought I wanted. During that time, I had a series of realizations that made it clear that I was being asked by Spirit to move in an entirely different direction in my life, and that if I didn’t listen to this inner-guidance, I would lose my way.
Often, Spirit has other plans for us than those that we think we want or that make logical sense to loved ones or friends, and when the soul urges us in a certain direction, there are tremendous gifts that will come to us if we trust and follow that guidance,
In fact, when someone comes to me in my private practice who is experiencing extreme difficulties such as relationships breaking up, major career changes, illnesses, or the questioning of long-held values, I know that hidden gifts of the soul are contained in those hardships, and that a new dream (even if at first it seems like a nightmare) will bring the light of a new awareness to them. I may not tell them this at first, because they may not be ready to hear it, but I always think it because it is what happened to me.
2. What is an urban shaman?
The word “shaman” comes originally from the Tungstic tribes of Siberia, and while it is most often defined as an indigenous healer. Another esoteric translation is “one who sees in the dark.” For the shaman, the darkness holds the mystery, the answers and the healing.
The shaman’s domain is in the hidden and invisible realms; those in-between places and worlds that the shaman navigates to receive information, retrieve lost power, and commune with the spirits. I often speak of consensus reality being like the one small slice of an apple pie that you’re eating, and shamanic reality, the unseen, being equivalent to the entire rest of the pie. There is so much that doesn’t meet the eye.
A shaman creates correction and well-being by restoring things to rightness⎯by healing the relationships that we have with our mind and our body, with ourselves and others, with others and others and, finally, with everyone and the planet.
The shaman is part healer of the body, part psychotherapist, and part spiritualist, and it is in the combination of these roles that he—or she—steps into the ultimate role of steward for the Earth.
My Hawaiian teacher Serge Kahili King coined the term “Urban Shaman” – what he was getting at is that we need this work in the cities because that is where most people reside. When we hear the word “shaman” we think of nature, but it is in our urban centers where healing and returning to a right relation with the natural world is most needed.
3. What types of people and conditions do you work with most often?
My private practice attracts people from all walks of life and diverse cultural backgrounds. Because we each create our own reality with our thoughts, intentions and beliefs, there is no limit to what can be addressed in shamanic healing. Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sexual issues, phobias, money/career problems, and personal relationship dynamics are all things I might address with clients.
Many of my clients need a therapeutic relationship that often can’t be found in a psychotherapy. Many people are opening to a need to organize their lives in a context that includes spirit, energy, soul and purpose
My work also addresses emotional and spiritual aspects of physical illness⎯particularly auto-immune disorders and other chronic health issues that often don’t have a “traditional” medical or allopathic context. Every physical ailment that we might have had an energetic component that led to its manifestation, and to take a hard look at how mental/emotional/spiritual factors contribute or create illness is one of the cornerstone tenets of shamanic healing. Healing is real. It really can happen. But you have to make the choice that you actually want it.
4. What aspects of one’s life or journey do you find most important to explore in order for healing?
You must define your purpose. When I speak of purpose, I am talking about how your existence serves the collective.These are the questions that you need to ask yourself:
What are the individual gifts that you are to share with the world?
Are you well enough to share them?
Do you know what these gifts are?
Do you have the self-esteem or the sense of self that allow you to own your gifts?
Do you invest in your gifts?
Do you hide them?
What is the contribution that you are to make that will continue to exist long after you are gone?
When we get clear on our purpose and we organize our lives around that purpose, we move toward flow ⎯ the effortless living that we enter into when we live our individual truth and share our truth with the world.
Everything gets clear when you can name your purpose and start to live by it.
5. What are one or two practices one can do on their own in order to forward their journey towards wellness?
If I were to categorize the overarching methodology of my healing practice, I might call it something like “spiritual re-parenting.” When a client presents with a longstanding problem, pattern, or self-limiting story, we seek to find its origin together—where or when did the client first learn that they were unlovable, wrong, not good enough, unworthy? These entrenched patterns almost always trace back to childhood, and to go back to the source of the issue—attending to “the child within”—can be a transformative way of relating to oneself.
There are many Western terms for this kind of therapeutic approach, including “inner child work,” “reframing of the past,’ and “soul retrieval.” Ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian forgiveness process (which I cover in depth later in my book) is a simple and potent practice that achieves these ends with directness and efficiency; it’s a kind of “map” that demonstrates the magical alchemy of what love can do. To co-create our lives with support from the benevolent spiritual intelligences that want nothing more than to lovingly assist us back to our wholeness, is to practice Ho’oponopono.
In Ho’oponopono, four magical phrases ⎯ I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, and Thank you ⎯ become the building blocks to relating to yourself and the world with power, grace and wholeness; to step into the ecstasy that we feel when we create an individual self that is devoid of conflict.
In my book, I teach you not only how to do this practice but how to bring it into every aspect of your life so that you live it.
The Shaman’s Mind - Huna Wisdom to Change Your Life by Jonathan Hammond
To learn to think like a shaman is to attune yourself to a magical spectrum of infinite possibilities, unseen truths, alternative realities, and spiritual support. When a shaman likes what’s happening, they know how to make it better, and when they don’t, they know how to change it. The Shaman’s Mind is a book that teaches the reader how to align and transform their own mind into one that sees the world through the lens of the indigenous healers of old. Based on the Omega workshop by the same name.
About Jonathan Hammond
Jonathan Hammond is a teacher, energy healer, shamanic practitioner, and spiritual counselor. Before beginning his work in holistic health and spirituality, he had a career as an award-winning actor, appearing on Broadway and on television.
A graduate of Harvard University and the University of Michigan, Jonathan is an Interfaith minister and certified spiritual counselor. He is a Master Teacher in Shamanic Reiki and holds certifications in Cherokee Bodywork, Huna and Ho’oponopono. He is an ordained Alakai (leader or guide) through Aloha International. Jonathan teaches classes and gives lectures in Shamanism, energy healing, spirituality and Huna at the One Spirit Learning Alliance in NYC, the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies and other major venues around the world.
He has worked alongside shamans in Mexico, Brazil, Bali, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Hawaii.
Jonathan is in private practice in New York City. The Shaman’s Mind: Huna Wisdom to Change your Life is his first book.
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