Charles Lawrence (Part 2) – Everything is Sacred: Native American Wisdom on Following Your Destiny, Living Joyously, Dying Fearlessly & Dancing in a World Beyond Everyday Consciousness

Native American shaman Charles Lawrence

With extraordinary joyfulness and verve, Native American shaman Charles Lawrence tells the inspiring and fascinating tale of how as a young man, he left psychology, religion, and the white man’s domesticated world in the dust when he became initiated on his journey by mythologist Joseph Campbell, and a paranormal world opened its doors. “If you have a destiny, you better go gracefully, or you’ll get dragged by your heels,” Campbell told him. Indeed, to this day, now in his late 80s, Charles follows the call to ceremonies and Elder Councils all over the world, sharing his sacred shamanic energy and wisdom in blessing and benefit for all. Part Blackfoot by origin, Charles was baptized by traditional Hopi Elders, adopted by elders of Lakota and Coast Salish (Musqueam band), and acknowledged and accepted by Native American tribes and Indigenous Peoples near and far. Here, Charles transmits his love of life, his fearlessness around death, and his easy familiarity with the multidimensionality of existence, the limitlessness in every moment. “Is there joy in this moment in time?” he asks. “If not, why not?”

In regard to our collective future, Charles tells us that solutions await us beyond our normal consciousness; in relation to our personal yearning, he describes the transformative power of being seen, being witnessed for who we are at the deepest level, to free our souls and break out of the box. He urges us to sing, to dance, and to “cry our own cry.” (“Nobody has your cry, your experience. You’ve got to cry your own cry.”) Charles also shares his liberating approach to death (“Dying is simple, just pull out the clutch and go into neutral!”), about how he acquired “death medicine,” a wonderful ability to help people make the transition, and his own death medicine practice. One cannot help but be thoroughly inspired and reinvigorated listening to Charles—as Roger wrote him afterwards, “You left a legacy of joy in all of us. I will sing and laugh more and open the door wider to Mystery because of it. And try to practice my last 10 breaths.” Recorded June 1, 2023.

I live by deliberate intent, my default place is joy, my ultimate place is ecstasy.”

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Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2

  • Solutions are already waiting for us beyond the average consciousness (01:17)
  • Being a hollow bone and how opening to the Mystery is an ongoing practice (03:42)
  • Stepping over the threshold, you are not the same person coming out: how are you different now? (04:56)
  • Once you have been witnessed, you are forever changed (07:10)
  • Raisa Gorbachev, Grandmother Carolyn, a trip to Russia in 2001, and on to South Africa with the Bush people (11:18)
  • Why buy death by default? Die individually and make it a glorious journey, take your last 10 breaths as a practice (14:30)
  • What is death medicine? (17:05)
  • Everything about the journey is sacred, everything is wakan, and some of us are wake-makers (18:47)
  • Grief is one of our biggest teachers (20:14)
  • What is it that’s just waiting at any moment to burst out of us in joy? (22:29)
  • Singing and dancing: your joy is essential to the emotional well-being of the village (25:31)
  • The multidimensionality of existence and the shadow issues of Western culture—but it can be win-win-win, a benefit for all beings (32:11)
  • I live by deliberate intent, my default place is joy, my ultimate place is ecstasy (34:21)
  • Charles sings a Wallace Black Elk song (36:18)
  • Transpersonal spontaneity (37:56)

Resources & References – Part 2

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The Personal Reality of Charles H. Lawrence

Native American shaman Charles Lawrence

With a flash or two of lightning, a personal reality is shattered! Synchronously, the doors of perception open wide enough for a “guardian at the gate”—Joseph Campbell—to introduce Charles H. Lawrence to having a destiny that MUST be followed, or be dragged to: From rejected to chosen, from the very limited (Western) perspective of life to the astonishing expansive spectrum of Indigenous Intelligence and intimate personal—far outside the box/cage relationship with all Existence. From prescribed, programmed, “follow-the-leader Western societies’ rules to discovering the command to “find one’s own way through the darkest part of the forest” (The Hero’s Journey). The endless, constantly evolving, transforming experience of being but a small yet significant part of a greater story, and assisting the unfolding of New Myths that are waiting to happen.

Discovering that one had been predicted to show up—at least a hundred years previously (Coast Salish/ Musqueam). Learning the difference between being a “seeker” and “one who was sent.” Being a deliverer of long-cried-for assistance in far off reaches of the Earth (South Africa). Seen by a Peruvian Shaman as the one to assist in creating a Healing Center deep in the Amazon jungle. Being acknowledged as a visionary (Alta messiah) by the Quero of the Altiplano of South America. Recipient of a glimmering (NW Indigenous term) that created, decades ago, a Ceremonial Community that continues to evolve and transform into “Circles/ Communities” that serve the “Cries” of today. This, and much more!

Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell

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