Jason Shulman Interview
I recently caught up with Jason Shulman and asked him about his latest book, The Nondual Shaman, A Contemporary Shamanistic Path & Thoroughgoing Training for Awakening the Self
Q: Kimberly Burnham: Jason, let's start with who you are and why you wrote this book.
Jason Shulman: So let’s start with who I am not. I am not a Bolivian or Peruvian fellow and have not lived among the ancients in the forests of Columbia. I am not from Siberia nor am I a Native American though a First American was once my dream teacher. In this life I am not Tibetan nor Indian nor a member of a secret sect. I am not from Long Island or San Francisco or Rio or Beijing. I am, however, from Brooklyn, and proud of it. I am a student of Kabbalah, Advaita and Zen, especially the Jodo Shinshu or Pure Land sect. I have sat and meditated most all of my life but do not consider myself a traditional Buddhist per se, though I have had several Buddhist teachers and hold an abiding place in my heart for each one of them.
Still, I am a healer and a nondual shaman. What that is exactly, and how I can be a shaman (or “voyager” as I will call it later) without being from a traditional society is the topic of this book.
KB: How is this book different than what other shaman's are writing? What makes it unique?
Jason Shulman: Traditionally, shamans are people who have learned to enter into altered states of consciousness for the good of their society, either through the ingestion of psychotropic drugs or through long periods of trance-inducing dancing, drumming or ritual (as examples) in order to access non-ordinary states of reality that allow them to bring back knowledge and acts of healing to those they want to help. Often, they are also experts at the pharmacological use of plants as medicine.
The neo-shamanistic and core-shamanistic movement of recent years has sought to create a form of shamanism that is no longer tied to indigenous cultures but instead tries to find the essential ingredients in traditional shamanism and mold them for modern cultures that are no longer tied to the forest or field.
My approach is not neo-shamanistic, which is to say, it is not a modernized version of traditional shamanism, which uses tools that were originally used in the context of a traditional society and environment. Nondual shamanism also does not attempt to duplicate the look and feel of indigenous healers—although, like the shamans of old, it does see being a shaman as involving the totality of one’s life and not so much as a series of special acts. It is a way of living. It recognizes that the intercourse between heaven and earth, between dimensions and worlds—responding to the eternal need for healing in light of the larger view of the full scale of possible human consciousness—is not the province of traditionally-schooled shamans alone, but of all human beings who are willing to undergo the rigorous and exhilarating training it takes to become this type of voyager in our time and place.
KB: How do you help shamans, healers and coaches?
Jason Shulman: In this form of shamanistic healing, the healer is the main object of my attention since the healer must be “made new” in order to accomplish the work of voyaging. This book seeks to help healers have a new paradigm with which to look at themselves and the world, one that both includes and goes beyond the psychological framework. In this new perspective, we are also interested in healing the paradigm maker, the inherent storyteller, which is to say, our ego itself and how it functions within our emotional and psychic environment.
We have come to a time and place in the world where our narrative-making machinery itself must be healed, because—unhealed—it is not a reliable guide for what reality is and is not. It is buffeted by fashion, the political moment, nostalgia for an imagined golden age and rebellion against the current one. Unhealed, it can be a destructive force. But gathered up in insight and tenderness, it is a force for wholeness—another part of our true nature.
KB: Say more about insights, tenderness and a force for wholeness.
Jason Shulman: We could say that in order to see reality clearly, and with that clarity, begin to have conversations with the sky and earth, we must heal the healer on a profound and thorough level. We must understand why and how our narrative-making egos work the way they do, and—understanding their hurts—heal them so that they might heal others without passing along unspoken suffering and obstacles to living a truthful and healed life.
The nondual approach, as I outline it here, is the best possible approach I have found to this problem. But, unlike traditional nondual approaches, we do not seek to exile the ego as illusory, useless, or an eternal inhibiting obstacle. Instead, with an abiding belief in nonviolence, we try to heal it so that its true function can be free to operate for the good of all. We include the ego, as well as our imperfections, in our work, mixed with the kindness we need to see this journey through. This is a path of flesh and bones, the hard and the soft. A human path. This is the foundation of the journey, the beginning and end as well.
KB: How do you see the role and journey of the shaman?
Jason Shulman: The work of the nondual shaman or voyager does not concentrate on appearances or methodology in any way that overrides or substitutes for the inner journey we must go on in order to be authentic instruments of healing. It seeks to find a new way, one that emerges from within and not from any concept mirrored from the outside. It seeks a model that respects all healing modalities and techniques but is most interested in what is happening in the healer: the state of consciousness, the degree of wholeness, the readiness to open wide the heart and mind.
It says, in essence, that healing takes place from the truly nondual state, a consciousness that does not consider the absolute perspective to be what nonduality is about, but one that combines the impersonal and the personal, the absolute with the relative—one that does not reject the ego because it is troublesome and inconvenient, but rather seeks to heal it so that it can take its beautiful, rightful place in the constellation that makes up each sentient being.
KB: Anything else you want to add?
Jason Shulman: As we come into awareness and union with the totality of our being, we heal. We heal psychologically, culturally and, because we are no longer expending energy to keep illusions alive, we heal physically as well. And because our healed or true nature is now more available to us, we heal others directly if we choose, through our chosen profession as healers, and indirectly, by our very presence in whatever work we do.
If we add to that the very detailed and explicit knowledge of being a nondual voyager, the methodology that does not replace self-awareness and awakening but is its foundation, we have the opportunity and grace to help in a focused and ongoing manner and to reduce suffering in both small and mighty ways.
This work is shamanistic because—taking a cue from the “old ones”—it teaches us how to dive beneath the appearance of things to find how the appearance of things is really the most divine, whole, or healthy thing we could imagine. It trusts the surface of things as the holographic mirror of even the deepest parts. We are explorers of this single thing, in all its facets and dimensions, diving deeply into the ocean of being.
It does not discriminate between various supposed worlds but uses them all to heal the body and soul and, finally, because this is the true object of all healing in this temporary, lightning-quick world, to make a human being who is healthy enough to love.
The Nondual Shaman: A Contemporary Shamanistic Path & Thoroughgoing Training for Awakening the Self (Sep 20, 2018) by Jason Shulman
Data for Sept 2018 (published) - Dec 2018 40 ebooks, 155 print books and 1201 pages read as part of an Amazon promotional program.
Kindle eBook $9.99 USD ASIN: B07HKQ7WVQ
Paperback $39.99 USD ASIN: 0997220139
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,817 Paid in Kindle Store
#94 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > Earth-Based Religions > Shamanism
#332 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > New Age & Spirituality > Shamanism
#639 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > New Age > Meditation
The Kabbalah Monographs includes four works: The Work of Briah, The Set of the World, The Master of Hiddeness, The Configurations. These monographs, which in a sense trace Jason Shulman's thinking about Kabbalah over a period of some twenty-five years, are all meant to help us make this planet our home, to make this fleeting time allotted to us useful and beautiful, to make the most vaunted spiritual discourse point us in the direction of what is really important: the love of everything we were born into. They are meant—for those of us who find an earthy fragrance in words about ideas—to encourage all of us to be strong and flexible, to never give up, in the words of another sage, Reb Nachman of Breslov, and to concentrate on being the love we so long to receive.
These monographs, which in a sense trace my thinking about Kabbalah over a period of some twenty-five years, are all meant to help us make this planet our home, to make this fleeting time allotted to us useful and beautiful, to make the most vaunted spiritual discourse point us in the direction of what is really important: the love of everything we were born into. They are meant—for those of us who find an earthy fragrance in words about ideas—to encourage all of us to be strong and flexible, to never give up, and to concentrate on being the love we so long to receive. This is essentially a facsimile edition, which collects three of the monographs and adds a new one on the Partzufim, written in 2017. May they inch us toward understanding our true nature.
"Jason Shulman is a true adept of the inner teachings. He offers a very sophisticated and dynamic account of what happens between the Kabbalah and the great, luminous transparency. To engage with Jason Shulman’s mind is to enter into the reality where true healing can occur."
–– Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement
About the Jason Shulman Library
Over the past forty years of teaching, Jason Shulman has worked to reconcile the deistic or relative paths of liberation with the consciousness of Buddhism and other non-theistic paths to create a truly nondual path of healing that does not exclude any aspect of reality. His work emphasizes the healing of the personal ego and its rightful place in any path that seeks liberation from ignorance and the awakening of compassion. His work also seeks to bring the truly human world, with its imperfections, into alignment with the realization of transcendent awareness. More about the Library and Jason’s work and outreach can be found at the Foundation for Nonduality website: www.nonduality.us.com
“A Dharma teacher and Kabbalist, Jason Shulman has succeeded in creating a down-to-earth guide which makes the quest to find God into a realizable possibility.” –– Deepak Chopra, M.D., author of Life After Death: The Burden of Proof
“Beautiful lessons and brilliant insights on the divine nature of humanity and how we connect with God and ourselves. Enlightening and inspirational.” –– Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
“The Instruction Manual for Receiving God contains exactly the type of common sense wisdom required for a person to live a good oldfashioned grounded life in a society that encourages us to do things faster while multi-tasking. This book is a magnificent breath of tranquil air.” –– Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit and Sacred Contracts
“Jason Shulman offers us a profoundly simple guide to the obviousness of awakening to our deepest Self. Lucid, contemporary, and most of all kind, this is a beautiful book which goes to the very heart of the human condition, by encouraging us to embrace both the impersonal oneness of all things and the richness of the personal life.” –– Timothy Freke, author of Lucid Living
"Jason Shulman is a true adept of the inner teachings. He offers a very sophisticated and dynamic account of what happens between the Kabbalah and the great, luminous transparency. To engage with Jason Shulman’s mind is to enter into the reality where true healing can occur." –– Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement
Jason Shulman is an American spiritual teacher whose original work springs from his Judaic and Buddhist background. He is the founder of A Society of Souls: The School for Nondual Healing and Awakening, based in the United States and the Netherlands. There he teaches the distinctive body of nondual work he has developed to awaken the human spirit: Nondual Healing, Impersonal Movement and the Work of Return. Jason’s main concern has been to develop paths of healing the mind, body and spirit based on his own understanding of the difficulties inherent in the human condition. Through his studies and practice, Jason has developed a unique perspective on human consciousness and the nature of existence. His work seeks to translate this perspective into a replicable and clearly-delineated path for other seekers of truth to follow. He has been especially interested in applying personal spiritual work to methods of transforming society at large. To that end, he has created the MAGI Process, a nondual method of working with conflicts between people, institutions and governments. He is the author of numerous monographs and books, and several albums of his work as a singer and songwriter. More about his work can be found at www.societyofsouls.com
Of the new breed of spiritual teachers active in the public eye today, few are as inclusive ' or as provocative ' as Jason Shulman.
His work defies labels and any attempts at simple definition. He is one of the most highly respected serious exponents of Kabbalah today. At the same time, he is a Buddhist teacher and Dharma lineage holder in the Zen tradition.
He is dedicated to holding both of these ancient traditions in his work. Shulman's teachings are equally God-inspired and nondual. This uniquely open-hearted and spacious ability to span many positions and perspectives is the hallmark of the new spiritual paradigm he proposes for our world today.
From his long grounding in the traditional spiritual training of Judaism and Buddhism, Shulman offers a fresh interpretation of the ancient paths to enlightenment and God-Realization. The new territory he unfolds with poetic eloquence includes both God and Boundlessness; the personal self and the Transcendent Self.
Rather than speaking about enlightenment or God-realization as some sort of state or thing, he prefers the term 'awakening': a continuous moment by moment process that never ends.
The path that Shulman offers is exceptionally well-suited for our life in the 21st century. He calls for commitment to being awake to Reality and to being fully human. At first glance, these might seem diametrically opposing aims, but in Shulman's map, they are the same destination, where living in the world and being with God are identical things seen from different standpoints.
In Shulman's masterful and seamless integration, what initially seems like contentious spiritual or theological territory unfolds as a panoramic landscape. This level of development or awakening is what draws students from around the world to Shulman. Though many are new to spiritual work, most are long-time practitioners who come to learn how to work with their most profound spiritual questions and deepest longings.
People also come to Shulman with the suffering of their everyday lives ' illness, chronic difficulty in relationships, lack of fulfilment at work, a longing to be of service to the world; sadness, loneliness, anxiety, fear and rage. His work is particularly helpful in this regard. The programs he has developed for A SOCIETY OF SOULS are specifically designed to bring together the spiritual heights of revelation and Ultimate Reality with the small and great trials and tribulations of contemporary human life.
Shulman's work as a spiritual teacher is his primary, but not his only calling. He is dedicated to the process of healing and much of his spiritual work today is centered around teaching the powerful modalities of Integrated Kabbalistic Healing and The Work of Return, both of which he has developed.
Alongside his spiritual and healing career, his earlier passion for music has remained undimmed. He is an accomplished singer and songwriter. Music for Shulman has always been a powerful way of expressing his personal knowledge of human suffering, longing, courage and joy.
Currently, Shulman has two CDs of spiritual music. The first, 'The Great Transparency' was released in 1998 and his second, 'Buddha-Cloud' in 2005. Buddha-Cloud' is available online through omstream.com
A new CD, 'Songs and Chants for Receiving God', will be in the music stores at the end of 2006. Produced by Gary Malkin, these chants and songs composed by Shulman contain in music the essence of his teachings.
The Kabbalah Monographs (Apr 9, 2018)
by Jason Shulman
Kindle Edition $9.99 Paperback $16.99
The Foundation for Nonduality
and Jason Shulman Library
Not Taking Advantage of Your Amazon Author's page?
Kimberly Burnham helps authors get their books out into the world more broadly by improving their free Amazon Author's page and book pages, posting a book review on her blog and on her LinkedIn Pulse blog (over 12,000 followers) Promotion packages start at $50. Contact her at NerveWhisperer@gmail.com. See her Amazon Author's Page.
See her list of publications including her latest book of brain health meditations, Awakenings: Peace Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program.
Designed to enhance memory, creativity, and inner peace, Awakenings: Peace,Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program is available free of charge as a Kindle eBook on February 14-15, 2019. [Click Here].
Please share and write a review on Amazon.
I am looking for guest blog opportunities and a position as poet-in-residence. My current project is writing dictionary poems using words in different languages for the English word "peace." You can read some of my poems on Poemhunter .
As poet-in-residence I would write poems on different words in different languages and broadcast them throughout the social media blogosphere. Each poem would link back to your site where the word or language appeared.
I would expect some sort of stipend and a six month to one year placement. Please contact me for details if your organization is interested in having a poet-in-residence to help get your message out. Nervewhisperer@gmial.com
Buy the print or eBook, review Awakenings then contact Kimberly for a free 20 minute brain health consultation. Email or Phone
(Regular rates $120 per hour or 10 sessions for $650.)