Reviews & Interviews

Book Review – The Mother Mantra: The Ancient Shamanic Yoga of Non-Duality by Selene Calloni Williams

Book Review

The Mother Mantra: The Ancient Shamanic Yoga of Non-Duality

by Selene Calloni Williams

160 pages

The Mother Mantra: The Ancient Shamanic Yoga of Non-Duality opens a path for people interested in the exploration of “reality” as a dream, an illusion. It guides us through the process of “reabsorbing reality,” of examining our everyday lives and beliefs, and re-imagining who we are in a fresh way, more deeply connected to our full and true selves and to the wisdom of Nature.

Selene Calloni Williams has studied psychology with James Hillman and Buddhist meditation in Sri Lanka with a root teacher. She is an initiate of Shamanic Tantric Yoga and a Carrier of the Mother Mantra tradition. Using myth, deep ecology, philosophy and these other lineages in which she has trained, she has created a manual for self-initiation into the Mother Mantra tradition. It is also a guide to rediscovering and reclaiming all parts of ourselves and our lost connection to the to the web of life here on Earth.

The first two chapters of The Mother Mantra required close, mindful reading. Williams lays out in writing the esoteric philosophy behind this tradition that is usually transmitted orally. Her discussion of the soul-damage that has occurred in humans through disconnection from Nature is moving, as is her consideration of The Mystical Marriage – the meeting of light and dark, life and death, consciousness and The Shadow, the creative union of the masculine and feminine within each of us. I gathered from the way that she writes “around” certain topics that there are aspects which may not be disclosed other than to initiates. In fact, she does not disclose the Mother Mantra itself, as it must be received from a Guardian of the practice to have the full effect. Williams does reveal and explain two variants of the mantra, which “may be practiced with great benefits” by those who undertake the exercises in the book with intention. I re-read more than one section regarding the tradition’s underlying philosophy in order to grasp the ideas being conveyed.

However, the power of the Mother Mantra practice and its method of healing and reconnecting us to ourselves became clear in the chapters in which Williams introduces the two mantra variants and the yogic exercises. As someone experienced in advaita Vedanta meditation, I am familiar with envisioning “reality” and everything in it, including myself, as an illusion, a dream. But my experience is in meditation in which my awareness leaves my body. Williams helps us to physically embody the understanding of our own wholeness and health through mantra and the physical postures and other rituals including marma point massage (Ayurvedic equivalents of acupressure points) and the creation of an oracle based on your life. I have worked with the Egyptian Mantra and the Mystical Marriage Mantra and the physical exercises and have indeed felt a positive energetic shift in my sometimes stuck-in-a-rut negative thought patterns as well as my physical well-being.

Williams has provided in The Mother Mantra a good way-in to working with non-duality in an embodied way. If you are not a meditator – or even if you are – this perspective on working with “reality” as a dream and finding your own integration of consciousness and shadow will take you deeper into the alchemical process of self-understanding and healing.

 

 

***

About the Author:

Susan Rossi is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanic Arts. She is a long-time explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body, spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. Art, exploration of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of her practice.

Susan trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax. She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Susan Rossi

Open Channel Astrology www.openchannelastrology.com

Flying to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com