Michelle Wood, 1

Interview with Michelle Wood


How were you first introduced to meditation?


I first became interested in meditation in 1991. At that time, I felt the calling to become a shamanic healer, working out-of-body. Without a shamanic drumming circle to assist, I needed another transcendental method, and that turned out to be meditation. It wasn't until a few years after that, when I started to meet people online, that I received some guidance in the types of meditation to practice to enable me to fulfill this calling.

Specifically, I started out using focused meditation which enabled me to realize the trance state I needed for journeying and healing. After a while, I progressed to the level where an object of focus was no longer needed, I could just sit and empty myself, with attention only on breathing, and attain that expanded state of consciousness.


Your response is full of various experiences and has brought up many questions for me. I wonder if you might share a few details as far as these experiences go. Can we begin with the calling in 1991? How did this manifest?


It was almost 20 years ago, so the details are a little fuzzy, but as I recall, this Calling would not leave me alone. I wasn't terribly interested in consciousness or metaphysics at that time, nor healing nor shamanism. In fact, I was working at becoming an author in the science fiction genre. The whole idea of healing just began popping up in my life. It started with different people sending articles or information on the topic, or getting into conversations about shamanism and healing.

I actually ignored it for a number of years, but the instances of this subject's appearances intensified until it seemed like once or twice a week I was receiving something about shamanic healing! The deciding moment was the day I received in the mail a big, beautiful book about healing that included info on shamanism from one of my cousins that just seemed to come out of the blue- we hadn't ever talked about it, it just arrived with a note that said she just knew I would love this book! So, I thought, "OK, there's a message here. Maybe I better look into this."

I contacted a friend of mine who had practiced shamanism in the past, and asked him to advise me. At that time, I wasn't positive myself if it was a true Calling. He suggested that I meditate on it and ask why I was Called. So, I did that. One sunny afternoon I went outside and sat in the sun and went into a very deep meditation. Although some time had passed, it seemed that all of a sudden I was alert again, and sitting in the rain of a summer shower, tears streaming down my face, mingling with the warm, sweet drops of rain falling from the sky.

I experienced an expansive feeling of love and compassion as though my heart had opened to embrace the universe. When I reported this to my mentor, he talked about Guan Shi Yin and the Tears of Compassion. Guan Shi Yin (aka Kuan Yin), whose name literally translates to Observer of the Worlds Sounds is the Chinese Bodhisattva of Compassion. As a Bodhisattva, she attained enlightenment but chose to remain on earth to rescue people who call upon her in their hour of need.

My mentor felt this was a true Calling, and that event became my first step upon the journey into shamanic healing. This opened the doors into the study of (which became devotion to) Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva- whom I had never heard of before this time. It also launched me into the study of Chinese philosophy, Daoism, the Yijing, and qigong which is the Chinese self-healing practice of using the power of the mind with intention to heal the body. Qigong is also a form of meditation, and qigong forms include both movement and stillness practices. The standing meditation I do is a qigong form called Zhan Zhuang which means Standing Pole or Standing Tree.

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