No. 12857 - Anonymous - December 7th, 2009 - 9:58 PM
Interestingly enough, even though the skeptic within me recognizes that most "Shamanistic" books have nothing to do with genuine tribal practices, it's still the most effective psychological tool i've found for entering altered states. It may be purely psychological, but i've gone on some intense journeys and learned a lot about myself.
One in particular, using "Shamanic Journey" by Sandra Ingremann, did seem to have a little bit more to it than what could be rationalized away. I met a beautiful woman named Mara, who fought and then guided me, always coy and coquettish and staying just a bit ahead. I googled Mara to see if it referred to something irl, and came up with a demon that tormented the Buddha on his way to nirvana. I already knew I had a friendly relationship with death, but I had no prior knowledge of any 'Mara' before that. Plucked it out of thin air, apparently.
In short, I find 'active meditation' far more effective than trying to think about nothing. If you can, find a drum beat and drum along with it. It helps.