“Shaman” is a title that can conjure any number of ideas or images, but for most, it probably conjures a humble question mark. What, exactly, does a shaman do; and how, precisely, does one become a shaman?
Shaman Durek is an author, women’s empowerment leader, activist, renowned inspirational speaker and third-generation shaman with a focus on helping others flourish in the context of authentic happiness. We recently spoke with Shaman Durek and gained some valuable insight into how the ancient spiritual wisdom of shamanism can be relevant in our hectic modern age and how taking things too seriously is one of the greatest traps of all.
Organic Authority: How did you become a Shaman? Is it an inherited title?
Shaman Durek: Yes, it was inherited from my grandmother and her father who were both shamans in West Africa.
OA: You had a death experience, what was it like? What did you learn?
SD: To explain to you what it was like would take pages and pages. What I will say is this: What I learned from going to the other side is that we human beings take things too seriously. We are too hard on ourselves. Too many rules. Not enough joy, not enough love, not enough freedom of spirit. We suffer because we think incorrectly. We have a malfunction in thinking which makes us do things against our own kind, and destroy our own resources. We have the wrong understanding of creation which makes us have the wrong understanding of ourselves.
OA: How can you spot a real Shaman?
SD: You can spot a real shaman by the overflowing love and presence of love that they exude. Shamans are here to lift you up not put you down. They are not here to tell you-you're bad or wrong. They are here to give you guidance to come back to yourself to find your own power. They don’t open up doors in your consciousness without teaching you how to navigate it properly. They aren’t disappointed with you. They have a childlike spirit and are not afraid to walk you into the unknown and reveal to you your truth.
"We suffer because we think incorrectly"
OA: Judgment is the spirit killer- what do you mean by this?
SD: When you judge, you limit the quantum understanding of what you see and experience through your senses. You create a barrier within your perception, therefore, limiting you from the knowledge that would best suit you to be lifted in your evolution. When you judge you are only judging that perception you have. There are many other ideas and thoughts that can create an opening for you to come through, but when you judge you block yourself from seeing these pathways and react to only the ones you see. When that happens your ability to make wise decisions is no longer present. And when I speak of judgment, I speak of the understanding of classifying something as right or wrong. There is a natural aspect of humanity that must observe life and see its duality. I always say that a wise person is one who sees many pathways and an unwise person only sees one.
OA: In your experience, what is the most typical challenge being faced by individuals and how can a Shaman help?
SD: To not be a product of the system. The war that we are facing is not just the calamity that we see in other governmental systems, but it is the war we face with media and how it creates separation amongst people. Human beings have been so far removed from themselves that the bases of anyone recognizing themselves are only seen through material possessions, how many “likes” someone has on Instagram or Facebook or what social circles a person operates in. We have forgotten the fundamental principles of what it would take for us to truly sustain our species. My focus as a shaman is creating a new understanding of health and wellness through teaching people wellness cannot be achieved just through diet. True wellness is achieved through the lifestyle choices you have. It’s your mindset, emotional disposition and spiritual wellbeing that create your overall health and wellness model. I am also focusing on having women being put back as the cornerstones of society, men learning about emotional intelligence, helping the educational system to focus not just on academics but also the education of awareness and social integration as well as supporting the issues around racism, cultural beliefs, and sexual orientation, which are only the symptoms to the real issue. The truth is, our species destroys itself and poisons our resources and this needs to be at the forefront of our consciousness.
"I always say that a wise person is one who sees many pathways and an unwise person only sees one."
OA: For a first time client who’s never been to a Shaman, what can be expected?
SD: Well, it depends on each person of course because the variables of every person are different. However what I can say is that they will come in and I will read the information of their body, health, thinking process, what’s getting in their way, where it comes from, and why they are holding on to it. I will then proceed to make assessments based on their bloodstream, breathing, and use certain shamanic tools i.e. powers to extract false and limiting beliefs, toxins, and poisons from the body and awaken hidden gifts inside of them. Some treatments can be intense and physical, some euphoric, others rejuvenating and filled with joy. It all depends on what the ancestors ask me to do to support that person’s life.
OA: What is one piece of advice you live by?
SD: Never stop being a kid and don’t take yourself too seriously.
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