In this BHNN Guest Podcast, get ready for some spiritual nourishment from John Lockley as he guides us in healing our hungry ghosts. After, he has a discussion with Jackie Dobrinska on devotion, ancestors, and other audience questions.
John Lockley is an international speaker, teacher, and healer. He runs shamanic retreats and uses the techniques of prayer, dream work and connection to nature to help people connect with their own ancestors and spiritual traditions. He is one of the first white men, in recent history, to become a fully initiated sangoma in the Xhosa lineage of South Africa. Find out more about John’s work by reading about his Mentoring, Zoom Sessions, In-Person Divinations, Plant Healing and Monthly Webinars.
Jackie Dobrinska is a beloved holistic health educator, wise woman pracitioner, yoga therapist, minister and author. Jackie has mentored with some of the world’s preeminent teachers, scholars and visionaries in mind-body health, weaving together wisdom traditions from around the world. She teaches regionally at universities, hospitals, studios, businesses, and national conferences and festival, passing on the tools that empower individuals in their own health and transformation. In addition to her wellness programs in wellness, yoga, herbs, healthy eating and women’s health, she is the founding director of the Greater Asheville Yoga Association and core staff for SE Wise Women. Learn more at: A Simple Vibrant Life
Get connected with the Ram Dass Fellowship community! Find local groups and check out the different and virtual fellowship groups available: ramdass.org/fellowship
Beccoming an Apprentice
Jackie Dobrinska invites us into the virtual community and introduces us to John Lockley. We reflect on our interconnectedness as John tells us his story of becoming a traditional shaman in South Africa. He had an illness when he was younger which is a signifier in South African culture of someone called to become a shaman. He experienced psychic awareness and prophetic dreams while he was very sick. After spending some time abroad in zen training during the apartheid, he found a Xhosa teacher. John became her apprentice and began his shamanic training.
“My physical body was getting weaker and weaker, and yet my psychic body and my spiritual body was getting stronger.”– John Lockley
Check out Ep. 25 of Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck for more on shamanism: Awakening Your Inner Shaman w/ Marcela Lobos.
The Illness of the Modern World (13:50)
The concept of Hungry Ghosts originated in Buddhism to describe souls trapped in the bardos. A bardo is a place between death and the next reincarnation. These ghosts have an endless hunger that can not be filled. Buddhist monks often offer their scraps to hungry ghosts so that someday they may satiate their appetites and finally move on to the next life. John Lockley applies this concept in a broader, modern sense to the way that hungry ghost energy can affect us and the environment:
“This hungry ghost energy is almost like the illness of the modern world – where you’re constantly consuming information, food, items of clothing, technology, and always thinking of what’s the next update. So there’s this voracious hunger to be filled inside.” – John Lockley
Healing Our Hungry Ghosts (22:55)
John Lockley gives us spiritual instruction on how to begin healing our hungry ghosts. He says that we must replace the bad and insatiable with something good and light-bringing. He gives the example of Ram Dass being so ill and bound to a wheelchair, but still utilizing his energy to give back to the world. Ram Dass was replacing the illness of his body with prayer and devotion. John plays us his drum along with a healing prayer for us all.
“This is what I am offering to all of us. To become aware of the craving inside of us, and then to replace it with some kind of spiritual practice. And then that in itself is going to make a huge difference on the world. Because I believe in the principle of the drop of water, each one of us listening right now can be a drop of water in the human race. It only takes one drop of water to turn a glass of water into a healing elixir.” – John Lockley
To learn more about ghosts, check out Ram Dass’ Here and Now: The Path of the Heart.
The Practice of Dreaming (47:45)
There are different types of dreams, but the dreams that wake us up, humble us, and connect us with life, are important. If you have a dream that shakes your world, consider writing it down and meditating on it. Through dreams, we may see a glimpse into the world of the great dreamer, the world of the gods. Sometimes, we may even get to meet spiritual teachers through our dreams and receive messages that we can turn into action. We simply have to pay attention and then recognize where action is needed.