Shaman John Lockley returns to the Mindrolling podcast to discuss the importance of preserving and reconnecting with the wilderness.
John Lockley began his journey as a young medic drafted into the South African military. He then trained under Zen master Su Bong from South Korea, and returned to post-Apartheid South Africa to spend 10 years in apprenticeship with MaMngwevu, a medicine woman from the Xhosa tribe. John now splits his time teaching in South Africa, Ireland, Europe, and the US. Find out more about John’s work learn more about his Mentoring, In-Person Divinations, Plant Healing and more at johnlockley.com.
Fighting for the Wilderness
Raghu and John catch up on the work that John has been doing for his second book. John describes some of his experiences and what he has learned while exploring and conducting research in the wilderness of Botswana and South Africa.
“My whole focus has been how to help the wilderness. The state of the wilderness is in a very serious place at the moment. Around the world and particulary in southern Africa. Poaching is through the roof. There is a war on in southern Africa against animals at the moment. Animals are being slaughtered, left, right and center.” – John Lockley
ReWilding Modern Man and Woman (13:20)
John shares the incredible peace and stillness that he experienced in the heart of the wilderness. He reflects on how we can connect to that same inner space of tranquility anywhere on earth. Connecting to the inner wilderness inside ourselves by shifting our awareness and realigning with nature.
“To be silent doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to become like Zen monks. To be silent means to go into the park and to watch the birds and the squirrels. Feel the wind going through the trees. To become more mindful of the other creatures, rather than just ourselves.” – John Lockley
Listening to Dreams (31:00)
What can plant medicines offer to expand our capacity to listen to our inner and outer world? John talks about the different non-halllucinagenic medicines that he uses to help others open the senses to remember their dreams and the connection to their soul. He and Raghu talk about the use of psychedelics in certain shamanic cultures, the importance of intention and the possibility for working with plant medicines in other ways.
“I have worked with hallucinogenics in a personal capacity overseas and in South Africa. However, as a sangoma we don’t work with it for public ceremonies and healings, for no other reason than it is not our culture. I hope people don’t misunderstand my message. I am not against the use of hallucinogenics and I can’t judge another person’s decisions on working with them as it is a private matter.
In terms of plant medicine I am suggesting that people are clear about their intentions behind using it because it is very sacred, both the plants and the cultures holding the medicine need to be respected. I am advocating a mindful approach. People need to be aware of their ‘hungry ghost’ energy or their wants and desires around working the plant medicine. The reason is because these natural resources are in short supply and spiritual tourism is putting undue pressure on the plants and the cultures supporting it. Western people have economic power, and they need to use it mindfully, this is our responsibility.
In terms of training our intuition; as sangomas we use dancing, chanting and plant medicine (non-hallucinogenic) to open the portal between worlds, where the dreamtime touches all of us, and time is immaterial.”