May 1, 2022
A purple zafu and zabuton, meditation cushion, sitting on a wooden floor.

Many years ago, and after I had returned home from being overseas for nearly 3 years, one of the first places that I stopped by was the local New Age store.  Despite the confidence that had grown from experiencing my newfound abilities at the time, I had spent the previous several months living in a culture with a distinct language barrier and with that comes an even more distinct barrier with any information that I could digest on these topics.

At first, I spent a lot of time online, reading about psychic phenomena and finding small New Age communities that I could shared these experiences with.  Then, with time, and from the messages that had been channeled from these experiences, I began to seek out other seers and readers in what would become the beginning of my spiritual inquiry and practice of shamanism.

At this store I consulted with an in-house psychic reader whose first piece of advice was, in fact, to practice meditation.  Meditation, she said, would help clear the channels, open chakras, and generally improve the psychic experience for a fellow medium on the path.  It was such a relief to finally hear someone say what I had been reading about.  Not only did she empathize the importance of meditation, as an awakened being of light, but she was also an important reflection along the path of self-discovery.

Up until that point in time, I, as many of you this will resonate with, was mostly coming from a place of intellectual understanding rather than any actual knowledge that had come to me firsthand.  Aside from the insight that I needn't compete with others as the military had taught me, I had been reading books along the lines of Dan Millman's classic Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and philosophical works like Jostein Gaardner's Sophie's World but I had no awareness of how to go about experiencing these things that I had been reading about.

Looking back, this period of my life could best be summed up as a series of otherwise cerebral experiences that were mostly informed from reading books that had been written from another person's perspective.  And it's not that these aren't great things, this is how most people begin their spiritual inquiry – by consuming mass media – it's that they weren't derived from my own accounts, yet.