When I was not in India with these gurus, I was mostly in America, and would synchronistically always find myself under the teachings of Native American medicine people. As I am of Native American lineage myself (registered with the Cherokee Nation – my grandfather was full blood Cherokee, and my grandmother apparently had Native blood as well, including Arapaho, Shawnee and Pawnee), these teachings spoke to my lineage, and seemed a profound balance of sacred ‘earthiness’ and appreciating all things as they are, and helped me to accept my Native American heritage. I enjoyed learning the ancient and sacred ways. In the true Native American path, there are no shortcuts. One must dedicate many years of one’s life to this path. I liked the fact that it required dedication and discipline.
Some of the Native teachers I studied with along the way (from the time I was 17 until now), were Wallace Black Elk (Lakota); Ed McGaa (Eagle Man - Lakota); Buck Ghosthorse (Lakota); Gloria Two Feathers (Lakota); Brant Secunda,a Huichol shaman; Linda Ross, a profound Navaho medicine woman; Johnson Denison, esteemed Navaho medicine man; David Singing Bear (Cherokee); Rowanna (head of the Hopi medicine society for women); Uqualla (Havasupai ceremonial leader); Michael Harner (an anthropologist who studied shamanism with the Salish tribe in Washington); Sun Bear (Crow) and many others. From Native Americans, I learned, participated and led Sweat Lodge ceremony; Pipe ceremony; Sun Dance; Vision Quest, involving fasting and prayer; trance and trance mediumship; the use of masks; extractions; psychic surgery; shape-shifting; shamanic journeying; shamanic initiations, including shaking tent and Yuwipi; connection to totem animal and plant spirit medicine; drumming and chanting, and Native songs and prayers; Blessing ceremony; and many more things.
Due to my interest in shamanism, I have met over the past 30 years, shamans from Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal, Indonesia, South America, and Celtic, and studied with them, finding their paths resonating with the Native American path.
I also spent time in Hawaii and lived there on and off (in the 1990’s), and studied with Native Hawaiian teachers as well. I also met many other profound gurus of note, including Giridar, a Vipassana teacher. I was the kirtan walla for his ashram in Madya Pradesh, India.