A reader’s experience with shaking medicine

I’m feeling very blessed to have recently had two readers of this blog respond to it in depth, either by sending me a personal email with questions or by leaving a lengthy comment on a post and sharing their experience.

Readers, you are welcome to comment on anything you read that so moves you. You may also email me privately with questions. I love the personal connection.

My theory is, if you take the time to ask your questions or share your comments, there are at least 10 people behind you with questions and comments, and I’d like to share them publicly, disguising your name to preserve your privacy unless you explicitly give me permission to use it. This is one of the great strengths of blogging — the community aspect of it. I’m currently getting about 50 views per day and one or two new subscribers a week. This blog is reaching and speaking to people interested in at least some of the things I blog about — people who want to come back. I’m really tickled about it!

Jose Luis shares his experience with shaking medicine, and his experience is worth sharing in a post

Hi Mary Ann,
just a sharing… Shaking Medicine emerged in my life spontaneously during a series of Holotropic Breathwork workshops I attended years ago…and then 12 years ago, I found Brad Keeney’s work: everything fitted… Brad Keeney’s “The Energy Break” is a nice, friendly-user introduction (you can begin inmediately!). Amazing medicine! Finally I could attend two three-days-gatherings: As-toun-ding! It’s a deep mystery, but this I know: It’s heart medicine, for sure…and it keeps “cooking me”…

“Bushman knowing is inspired by feeling love rather than thinking ideas. The more they feed love – loving the loving in a recursively spun positive feedback loop – the more they amplify its presence and impact on their body. It causes them to tremble and shake, an indication to them that they are awake and in the only state worthy of trustworthy knowing. For them, thinking should serve authentically experienced love rather than the latter being an abstraction for intellectual word play. Bushmen seek to make their “ropes” (a metaphor for relationship) strong. They do so by shooting “arrows” of amplified love into one another. You might be tempted to say that they are “cupid scholars” who hunt for “n/om” (the soulful life force). They work to make themselves “soft” through absurd play and open hearted expression so that the arrows and ropes that enhance relational connectivity may pierce and join. Bushman stories emphasize changes that surprise and trip you into being off guard with any convenient category of understanding. In effect, Bushman knowing is all about letting yourself out of any and all typological grids of abstraction so that the Heraclitean movement of spirited love can dance you into ever shifting relations with life.
A group of elder women n/om kxaosi were asked what made them so strong in matters of n/om (Keeney 2010). They replied, “we are this way because of the tears we have wept for the ancestors who have passed on.”  The deepest longing human beings experience often comes from the loss of a loved one. Rather than trying to emotionally get over it, these Bushman elders keep the longing alive, feeding it until it breaks their hearts wide open in an awakened way, bringing them inside a more expansive and intimate relation with their ancestors. In this connection tears flow along a channel that keeps their relationships strong and permits a never-ending expression of love and soulful guidance.

Another intense form of longing is familiar to all lovers who fall deeply in love. In this infinite ocean of Eros we find there is more than simple love. There is loving love. When we become lovers of loving, the ropes are inseparable from us and carry our hearts into the highest realms.”

Nice interview with Brad here:

warm regards
Jose Luis

PS (Peter Levine speaks briefly about the connection between trauma and spirituality at the end of his latest book…in fact he is writing a book about the spiritual experience…)

Thank you, Jose Luis. I took the liberty of making bold some things that popped out at me.

I’m adding Brad Keeney’s The Energy Break to my next book order. I love what he has written about love in the Bushman culture. I’m still reading Shaking Medicine and recently got Shaking Out the Spirits.

I would so love to know about these gatherings! Please email me about these.

Love is embodied experience. It does mean opening to our own softness and letting down our defenses, which once protected us but often become habitual. I thank healer and bodyworker Fran Bell for showing me the difference.

The intent of Bushman storytelling seems very Zen-like.

What you shared about Bushman grief expanding the heart came just in time for me to share with a friend who recently lost her mother and is grieving deeply.

Peter Levine’s latest book, In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, has been highly recommended to me by others as well, and it’s now on my list. His book Waking the Tiger changed my life. One of my friends just got certified in Somatic Experiencing.

Thank you for the link to the interview. Thank you again for sharing.

6 thoughts on “A reader’s experience with shaking medicine

  1. I would also be interested in finding out about gatherings!

    PS I’m concurrently reading Shaking Medicine and a couple of Levine’s books. I SO appreciated that Peter Levine tied it into the spiritual!


  2. Hi MaryAnn!
    Thank you for your kind words.
    I attended two gatherings in Portland,but the thing ended. I know two possibilities now: One is going to New Orleans for some good mojo… ; )

    ..the other is joining two beautiful souls that have studied with Bradford Keeney:

    I just want to add that “shaking” can include a vast kinetic vocabulary, including spontaneous taichi-like movements, spontaneous toning, wild laughter, etc.etc…(the expansive, blissful feeling is a-ma-zing…you begin to feel like you are “cooked” by the heat of an amazing love…) the beauty of all of this is the mystery, the unexpected, being moved by the Lifeforce, for the lack of a better term….
    Another scholar/practitioner Stuart Sovatsky, has written about this unending Mystery from the perspective of being a kundalini yogin/psychologist…
    Kundalini and the complete maturation of the ensouled body:

    A big hug
    Jose Luis


  3. Jose Luis, I posted your comments in a regular post so more people will read them. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and knowledge and links.

    I’d love to hear more from you about “being cooked”. I imagine it’s rather undescribable, but perhaps your words can be fingers pointing to the moon.


  4. Does anyone not notice that Keeney claims to be the top level shaman, healer, elder in any of the seven cults cultures he has alledgedly studied. Just to be accepted as a white man takes years, let alone being promoted to head mojo man, healer, threrapist for all seven? Also spending 40 years just studying seiki jutsu? Come on folks this guy is a scam artist & con man of the first order dispensing nothing but new age hot air. This is all he has & is the reason he never references any other source(s) because he refuses to acknowledge any one else in the field. Bad research methods.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t recall reading anything with Keeney claiming to be the top shaman in any culture. He came across to me as quite respectful of indigenous shamans, healers, and elders, and eager to learn from them. Are you sure you’re not reading something into his work that isn’t there?


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