For eons upon eons, people have been looking for answers to the big questions that elude mankind. Questions of spirituality and the meaning of life itself can be overwhelming but makes for a fascinating look into why those questions are asked in the first place. Those that are curious of such things may someday find themselves turning to alternative methods of receiving answers and could possibly even find themselves in a shamanic retreat. Shamanism, after all, holds the animistic view that energy and nature are intertwined and may be wielded by the experienced and wise. Those looking to find answers and instruction through the vessel of a shamanic retreat may not know what to expect. Though the environments and practices of each shamanic retreat is different and completely dependent upon the type of work being performed, there are a few things that one can certainly expect upon attendance.
One of the primary tenants of shamanic work focuses through the concept of intention. Working through and with the energies of the body and earth, it is through one's intention that change and healing occurs. This work can take on several forms including visualization, trance and meditation. Practices can be as subtle as sitting in a natural surrounding quietly and simply feeling the energy work through the body, or it can be as intense as a sweat-inducing dance performed to the rhythmic beat of a drum. Regardless of the method, the expectation of this work will be that whatever intention the practitioner has be completed through the aid of tools visualization and energy work. Intentions may range from personal improvement in diet, emotional healing from a traumatic event and more clarity to one's spiritual path among many others. The importance of self-care will also be a priority for those attending retreats. Focus on what can lead to a healthier mind, body and spirit will come into question and specifics such as what foods they eat regularly to what belief system they grew up with will come into scrutiny. Rather than this being an intrusive look into one's life, it is simply to help the practitioner release that which no longer serves them in mind, body and spirit. Gentle guidance through learning to trust oneself and also listening for answers within nature and the environment is also expected to be taught.
Though no one spiritual path may work for everyone, it is universally accepted that this desire for learning and innate curiosity is a human trait. To be bold enough to ask the hard questions and patient enough to listen for the answers will at the very least bring a sense of learned wisdom and peace to the attendee. Those hoping to someday visit a private shamanic retreat will walk away with a better overall understanding of the world around them and how such energies can be manipulated and guided through the proper techniques.