The Stonemason Who Was Never Satisfied
Supplied to the Messenger by Michael Berman
Long ago there was a certain Chuang stonemason. He was famous for his extraordinary skill at his trade. One day a rich man needed some stonecutting done and sent for him. When he got there he saw that his employer lived in a great mansion, was dressed in silk and satin, ate all kinds of delicacies from oceans and mountains, and was waited on my maids and servants. Very envious, the mason gave up working, and wanted only to become such a rich man himself.
A fairy heard his desire and made him a rich man. The mason was deliriously happy.
Compiled during his more than thirty years of practice, speaking, and teaching, the stories in these pages are riveting, warm, and belief expanding. Their subjects include a girl whose baby brother helped her overcome anorexia, a woman whose cancer helped her heal by teaching her to stand up for herself, and a family that was saved from a burning house by bats.
A shamanic journey is one that generally takes place in a trance state to the sound of a drumbeat, through dancing, or by ingesting psychoactive drugs, in which aid is sought from beings in other realities, generally for healing purposes or for divination. A shamanic story has either been based on or inspired by a shamanic journey, or one that contains a number of the elements typical of such a journey. In this collection of fascinating journeys and stories, Michael Berman reveals the healing nature of shamanic practice.
As I said in another review, I love story-tellers. Michael Berman has captured a treasure-house of shamanic magic. The stories are discussed and illustrated to dig beneath the surface. This is a glimpse into a timeless civilization and culture.
The Essence of Storytelling
Foreward by Deena Metsger
Our Secret Territory is composed of revelations from the life of a world famous storyteller including extensive travel and projects spanning thirty years. It helps readers understand the power of storytelling as a profound and unique art form combining modern solo theater, spoken literature, spirituality, and direct oral tradition akin to ancient ritual. The book is shaped with stories and poems and a remarkable fairytale that weaves in and out of a life of experiences: rescuing ex-child soldiers from a devastating war; working with epic singers, Native American storytellers and Tibetan meditation masters; designing a playground; telling tales to Roma mothers and children; and saving a zoo in Northern Romania.
Publisher's Description: A boy and his dog, girls and their horses — the clichés click because they’re so often true. But some kids do more than play with their pets, and some animals do more than fetch and purr. These kids and animals love unconditionally, and through that love, the condition of each is transformed. This collection is for animal lovers of all ages — and for anyone who wants to smile or needs to heal. You’ll meet:
* Ricochet, the golden retriever who surfs in charity events to raise money for children with disabilities
* Casper, the rabbit who helps a boy sleep through the night in his foster home
* Sparkles, the Dalmatian whose fire-safety lesson saves the lives of a five-year-old and her father
* Snazzy, the black pony who helps a boy learn to talk
* Cocoa puff, the guinea pig who loves hearing children read
Everything shifts in the Caucasus, blown by some of the strongest winds on earth. Even the ground moves, splintered by fault lines. In early Georgian myths, it is said that when the mountains were young, they had legs – could walk from the edges of the oceans to the deserts, flirting with the low hills, shrouding them with soft clouds of love. (Griffin, 2001, p.2). But what about those aspects of life which remain relatively constant – the traditional practices of the mountain people, the practices that are reflected in their folktales and their folklore? It is these constants that this study concentrates on, in particular those that relate to shamanism.
If you are interested in ancient Shamanism, this is a must read. It is fascinating in its journey through the tales of Shamans and magic through Armenia, Chechnya, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.