One effective way for accessing what I call the shamanic realm is long, repetitive walks. It takes a while to develop a shamanic walk. You must walk the same walk with only some slight variation at least four times a week for a couple months before it can get to the point where you can begin to listen. In walking the same path everyday for an extended time, the environment, the way, the rhythm, become second nature so that there is nothing unexpected to worry about, no unknowns to wonder about, allowing you to relax and be deeply present to what is there, without and within.

Walking in your local environment every day allows you to become part of the ecosystem in a more integrated way. It allows you to develop an authentic relationship with the place in which you live. It becomes a meditation. You become observer of yourself, the thoughts that come and go, observer of the place. In this state of the observer, images take on extra meaning and potency. It becomes a ritual. You are by yourself but never alone.

The shamanic walk can work everywhere, not just in rural settings. I have done this for twenty years now while living in a very rural setting in Vermont, a busier town in California, even on a busy street. It is more about the repetitive walking in the same place, the rhythm, even the same time everyday, and the intention.

In walking the same path everyday, you begin to see and get to know the animals that live there. When there is suddenly a different animal showing up it may be a significant message. Walking the same place everyday allows you to become familiar with the shamanic—the simultaneous dimensions—of that same path. The beings and energies from these other dimensions begin to make themselves known. They in turn become accustomed to the human presence walking there everyday. The walk becomes interactive and participatory. A conversation begins. A daily Shamanic walk is what began my now long-term relationship with the trees. The walk itself was the teaching.

~Theresa C. Dintino

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Theresa C. Dintino is an ancestral Strega (Italian wise woman), Earth worker, and initiated diviner in the West African Dagara tradition. For more than 20 years Theresa has studied and practiced an Earth-based spirituality. She currently helps others reclaim their personal lineages through her divination work. Theresa is the author of seven books which include her Tree Medicine Trilogy. Learn more about her books here.