Sandra Ingerman is a licensed therapist and shamanic practitioner who teaches workshops around the world on shamanism and environmental sustainability. Her books include Shamanic Journeying and Awakening to the Spirit World. Read more about her work in our profile for The Living Spiritual Teachers Project.

Ingerman notes in the introduction to this practice-oriented resource that "although shamanism is an ancient practice, it is relevant to all of us today who are seeking ways to live a life filled with harmony, good health, and returning balance and peace back to our lives and to the planet." She is convinced that working with our inner vision and opening to new dimensions of life are imperative if we are to make the most out of the time we have left on the earth.

Ingerman immerses us in the details of the shamanic journey with essays on gathering your tools for the ceremony; making the most of power songs and altars; working with helping spirits, guardians, and power animals; accepting the healing powers of nature, and leaving offerings. She then moves on to discussing the visible and invisible shamanic community and healing for body, mind, and soul.

In sections on "Cultivating Your Inner Garden," "Empowering Inner Expression," and "Living in the Flow of the Sacred," Ingerman reveals all that can happen on shamanic journeys when they are animated by the light within. She believes that radiating the divine light is our nature. In the following practice she suggests how effortless it is to be a light in the world:

Journey to Merge with a Star

"Start with your preparation work so you can sink into the deep light within. Set your intention that you want to travel inward and merge with a star. You will learn about starlight be becoming starlight.

"You are a walking star in the world. Experience how far your light shines and how it is not limited. Notice your potential to light up all around you and how effortless it is to shine and radiate. Notice how a star does not choose where to send its light. It simply shines. Experience yourself as starlight. You are a being of divine light, and you shine your light as brightly as the stars above you. This is your destiny.

"Absorb this light into all your cells. When you feel ready to return, do not completely disengage from this starlight. Light is your true nature. Keep shining your light as you return to form, keeping that light flowing through you while managing it so that you can function in the world."