The role of shamanism in the modern world

Sitting down in preparation for my discussion with world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, I pause and wonder to myself when shamans took to Zoom.

When I stop and think of shamans, I think more of the images used on Rudá’s website; hazy images of him journeying through trees clad in a thick cape with a pipe held between his lips.

For many of us sitting at desks in cities worldwide, the idea of catching up with him to discuss his views and profession seems a world away, unless you too have a rainforest in your back garden.

Yet, as he sits opposite me through a screen, wearing a t-shirt and waving cheerfully, the ancient world and origins of shamanism seem less distant than I at least assumed them to be.

A large portion of Rudá’s teaching is dedicated to bringing shamanism into the modern world and securing its place at the table.

Still, he acknowledges that he might not have kept up with modernisation and bringing his teachings to online platforms had the rapid evolution and demands of modernity not called for it.

“The world we live in is crazy”.

It’s no secret that perfection sells and is pushed our way at every corner.

Whilst we do more and more as a society to expose editing, airbrushed, and falsified lifestyles, we can still often struggle to see beyond this idea of perfect lives that bait us onward.

A bit like a donkey chasing a swinging carrot on a stick.

Work longer hours, buy more possessions, and lock yourself into a 50-year mortgage.

This is all what we universally believe to be the key to happiness. It’s the fairytale which we grow up believing to be the ultimate dream.

But Rudá shakes his head and explains that chasing this idea of perfection is not only unattainable but actually detrimental to achieving a realistic sense of fulfilment from life.

“It doesn’t make sense. We believe in this idea of perfection and in the myth that if you follow the rules, you will find your happiness in the fulfilment.

I’m not telling you not to follow the rules. But what you do need to have is your own standards.

In the end, you must find within you:

There are so many traps in the way the system has been built to catch and ensnare us.

It traps our time, our effort, our dreams, and illusions. It makes us work, work, work and consume, consume, consume. All the while taking pictures where we must constantly smile, to then upload to Instagram.

It doesn’t matter how sad it makes us; we must play these games. Even having fun becomes a thing you must do.

Because according to the rules, you must travel and you must do amazing things.

That’s what everybody who is successful and who is happy is doing.”

In chasing this “perfection”, you lose sight of what really matters.

You spend so long editing a picture of the sunset, you forget to actually appreciate it with your own two eyes.

You ignore the person you claim to be the love of your life because you’re too busy tapping away at a minigame on your phone.

You spend so long curating a perfect-looking plate of food that it grows cold and moist, shortly before it ends up uneaten in the bin.

Rudá acknowledges that this pursuit of perfection leads to no good ends, and is in fact the contributor to many of our woes.

“We are missing the connection with ourselves with the inner rhythm we have.

Instead, we are just running and running and running to these things that we think will make us happier – something that at the end is just an illusion.

There is only frustration at the end of this path.”

Looking to the future.

When I look around me, I’m at times overwhelmed.

The world has changed so much in the last 20 years, to a point where I’m personally left feeling lost and confused.

I sit at a dinner table with my close friends and half-listen as one tries to explain to me how profitable working as a stripper in the Metaverse is. Or assuming the role of an NPC on TikTok.

She shows me these videos and giggles, whereas I’m left staring at these bright figures on my screen feeling like I’m the odd one out.

Yet Rudá states that it is not the world itself which is complex, but the people in it.

We have after all paved the way for the creation of every new and bewildering job, weapon, phenomenon that now scares the living daylights out of some of us.

“We live in a moment that is absolutely different to 100 years ago.

We have faced a technological revolution.

We have seen the internet come into existence.

We have faced a pandemic and now we are living in the age of social media and virtual reality.

It’s a completely different reality and it has huge consequences on the way we see ourselves and the way we see the world.”

We are more than a product of our culture.

Rudá does not dismiss the present, but he turns to the lessons that the ancient world has to teach us to help navigate through the challenges modernity brings with it.

There is something ancient within us.

Something that is not impacted by this culture nor is it a product of that.

Although many of us have yet to unlock it, there resides this ancient voice and this power and wisdom in our DNA.

The function of the shaman is to bridge this internal reality with the times where we live now.

We cannot only talk about shamanism inside tribes and amongst these ancient cultures; we must bring it to our current times and to our modern cultures.

It cannot be just about reproducing ancient rituals. We must reinvent new forms and create a way to have a relationship between this ancient matter within us and the modern world in which we reside.

It’s from this relationship that can even push our society and create meaningful impact that can positively improve the world where we live.

How do I unlock my ancient wisdom?

The big question we are all left with is how do we tap into these ancient sources?

And as with everything good for us and worth our efforts, this does not come easy. Yet this makes it no less worth our time and labor.

In fact, the best things in life are often the hardest to come by.

If you’d like to listen to more of Rudá’s teachings, I suggest starting with this eye-opening video.

When it comes to how you position yourself in the modern world, you might well be letting toxic habits hold you back from giving more of yourself to your own spiritual journey.

These habits will look different for everyone. Maybe you don’t even notice your subconscious desire to be positive all the time, even when you feel miserable.

Maybe you don’t realize you’re living most of your life through a screen or for the cameras.

A lot of what we see through our screens and digest can also do us more harm than good.

The end result is that you end up achieving the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. You hurt not only yourself, but even hurt those around you.

Spirituality should be about empowering yourself.

Not suppressing emotions or rejecting every bit of what the modern world brings.

Not by judging others for their choices.

Instead, what we want to focus on is you, forming a pure connection with who you are at your core.

If this sounds like what you’re working towards, click here to watch the free video.

Even if you’re well into your spiritual journey, it’s never too late to unlearn the myths you’ve bought for truth.

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Most of us struggle with balancing the demands of modern life. And get trapped reacting to external pressures rather than intentionally shaping each moment.

But there is a way to step out of survival mode and into mastery over your own energy and emotions.


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In just 80 minutes you’ll discover:

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  • Specific breathwork methods to instill deep relaxation and presence
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Make your breath the key to profound healing and spiritual awakening.

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