Many shamanic traditions hold that the Earth is the source of the wisdom of their traditions. In many shamanic traditions, it is understood that the all the different forms of the landscape hold the spirits of those forms. For instance, a tree has its own spirit. A rock holds its own spirit. Each of these spirits has particular forms of wisdom to offer. Shamanic practitioners around the world seek to contact these spirits and request guidance and protection from them.
Similarly, certain locations are considered to hold certain types of wisdom by many different cultures. Many places of worship today have been built on land that was recognized to hold particular types of wisdom. All of the oracle sites in Greece, such as Delphi and Oropos, were recognized as having particular types of wisdom that were accessible through the oracles there. Temples, and later, even churches have been built at these sites to honor these spirits and as a place to receive inspiration. Jerusalem is such a place in Israel and Cuzco, the ancient capital of Peru is such as place.
There are many such places around the world. And each holds its own particular wisdom where wisdom traditions have been born, developed, and passed on.
In the Destination Studies Programs of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, we visit some of these places. We become students of the wisdom that is held in these places both by studying the wisdom traditions that have been held in these places through oral and written history and by listening to the land itself. The way we listen to the land is by clearing our usual ways of approaching the world and working with an interactive meditation process called the shamanic journey. See The Shamanic Journey for more information on the shamanic journey.
In this way, we access the wisdom of these places that has informed those who have come before us in ways that are relevant to our modern experience. The land itself becomes our teacher, and we receive insight through internally mediated transmission lines. We also draw on any relevant oral or written history from those who have gone before to inform our learning.
The lead instructor for these classes has personal roots in each of these places and has spent many years listening to the rhythms of the land and studying the oral and written traditions of the wisdom systems that grew in these places.
As in all the classes at the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, much care is taken to ensure that each participate finds his or her own pathway to the wisdom of these places and his or her own connection with these lands. We approach these places with respect for all.