Music: A Soul Walk Through Tuva

Take a moment to enjoy a shamanic soul journey.

I created this meditation soundscape with the amazing synthesizer, the MicroKORG, and added in some effects through the sound editor Audacity. I feel it represents a soul journey through Tuva, as I have included my own attempts at Tuvan throat singing (modified electronically) and a Tuvan drum beat as well.

Please enjoy and tell me what you think!



Waiting for Spirit


Often in life we must wait, without forewarning or a timeline, for spirit. When you are walking your own path you might wish that everything would come together at once, and that you would have a full practice right from the start. But this isn’t how it works. We must honour the movement of time, and allow spirituality to develop at the right pace.

I have been waiting for spirit to show me how to pray, and this has been revealed to me at last. I am so happy and nearly addicted to this manner of praying, which feels utterly sacred to me.

I am still waiting for many things, one of which is for spirit  to show me how to use my drum and rattles. I adore my drum. I bought it on a Six Nations reserve and it makes beautiful sounds. I have made several of my own rattles and have a little palm-rattle that I adore as well. I can make but limited use of them in my current living situation, due to noise concerns, so I wait for the day when spirit introduces my drum to me.

What does one do in the meantime? Hold on to the desire, adoration and respect for that which you are waiting for. Research and try new things, playing on the general theme of what you’re waiting for, but be patient. Also,do not worry about identifying spirit’s eventual message. If spirit sends some message or sign to you, spirit will help you recognize it. When spirit showed me how to pray, it was stunningly, immediately clear, like love at first sight.



Tuvan Shamanic Prayer

Despite being a writer, I find speech difficult. I don’t think in words or pictures, but mostly in silent abstract ideas, which I must clumsily translate into words. Give me time to write, and I will find poetic ways to honour these abstract ideas. But in daily conversation, I am lost, unable to quickly translate what’s on my mind.

I have long loved to whisper in a ‘nonsense’ language, improvising speech and imagining that it means what my heart is saying. This is how the Tuvan shamans pray. Spirit knows the language (spirit knows what your heart is saying), and the sounds help to focus what you are thinking and praying.

It is my new morning ritual to sit outside and whisper improvised non-linguistic prayers to spirit, giving blessings and asking for blessings. It is better than anything else I have tried — the sounds are alive with energy, coming straight from the heart, not stilted by “trying to sound beautiful” — they simply are what they are.

Sound in Tuvan shamanism is very powerful. I have found that some things I enjoy — overtone singing and wearing so many charms and trinkets that you clatter when you move — is part of their tradition. I am still waiting for Spirit to show me how to use my beautiful drum, which I have kept reverently and patiently. I also love making and using rattles. These instruments speak for me, speaking directly to spirit in the most honest way possible.