Hollow bone – master hollowing out for true, Spirit-led journeys

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Reading time: 6 mins

BECOMING A HOLLOW BONE

To become a hollow bone means hollowing out, stepping aside from your middle-world stuff as much as possible, and from your own agendas and drives, beliefs and preconceptions, so the healing spirits can communicate and work through us without all that getting in the way.
 
Only if we can step away from our attachments to our identity – the middle-world constructs we think we are – can we genuinely experience being something else, such as Yew Tree, or Panther, or one of the Stone People.
This is what shamans mean when they say that to become a shaman, ‘the past has to die’, or that we have to ‘die to the past’. The middle-world stories have to go. Or at least, we need to be able to step away from them when journeying.
hollow bone

WHY IS BECOMING A HOLLOW BONE SO IMPORTANT?

The depth and extent to which a practitioner can hollow out determines the depth and extent to which they can do really spirit-led, truthful shamanic journeys.
WE ARE A COLLECTION OF STORIES
Remember, the ego is a collection of stories. Almost everything about who we think we are, about how we define ourselves, are just stories. Personal stories, family stories, ancestral stories, societal stories – all stories. These stories are what make our middle-world sense of self as an individual – our ego. This is what the ego is.
persona
EGO IS A MADE-UP THING
The more we hold onto the stories, the more tightly we identify ourselves with our middle-world ego construct. It becomes a habit, our default position.
 
We reinforce it by going over-and-over the stories in our minds, by telling them over-and-over again to other people, and by rejecting and denying anything that does not fit them, or that challenges the stories.
 
We think, ‘This is who I am’ and consequently we experience this as being who we are. This is what shamans mean when they say that ‘things are as they are because of the stories they are telling themselves.’
 
WE START TO BELIEVE STORIES ARE ALL THERE IS
The middle-world self is a mask. It is what the psychotherapist Carl Jung called the ‘persona’ (from the Latin for ‘mask’). It is the face we present to the world. The problem is that we come to think that the mask is who we actually are. To wake up to our real-self involves realising that this persona is, in fact, just a mask that a deeper self is wearing.
hollowing out

HOLLOWING OUT HAS TWO FUNCTIONS

1.) It’s a prerequisite for communication with true, wise guides.
In journeys, true power and wisdom come not from the practitioner, but from the practitioner’s ability to let greater, wiser spirits (their Guides) work through them. For this to happen, we need to hollow out and become a vessel, a ‘bone flute’, through which wiser spirits can act.
 
Compared to the wise, loving and transcendent beings of the Upper and Lower-Worlds, middle-world beings are vastly more limited. Some middle-world beings may have some wisdom and be loving, of course, but nothing like true Upper and Lower-World Guides do.
 
In the end, middle-world beings are bound by the same limitations as the rest of the middle-world. They have their own history, stories, habits, blind spots, opinions, agendas and so on.
2.) It keeps our stories from colouring our journeys.
If we are not hollowed out, we journey as our middle-world (ego) self and not as the Aware Self. We get so caught up in our middle-world identity that it gets in the way of our Guides, and they are not able to work through us.
becoming hollow bone

HOLLOWING OUT IS A MEDITATION PRACTICE

The practice and process of hollowing out are common to many spiritual paths and traditions, including shamanism (with meditation probably being the most ‘famous’ one).
 

The aim is to disentangle from what, in shamanism, we would call the ‘middle-world self’ — the incessant flow of thoughts, judgements, opinions and middle-world issues that concern us in ordinary reality — and become instead the  ‘witness’, the ‘Aware-Self’ who can watch the flow of thoughts whilst not being entangled in them. This enables us to watch the thoughts (the stories) instead, and not be entangled in them.

This takes practice, and it is never an end point that you ‘arrive at’, but something that you continue to get better at the more you do it. It is a process, not a destination. 

MASTERING HOLLOWING OUT

Want to learn how to hollow out appropriately? 

1. Take the First Steps and learn what you need to do shamanic journeys and hollow out properly.

2. Already a student? Master advanced hollowing out techniques in the Next Steps 1 course, where you will learn:

Reading time: 6 mins

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