Emaho is a Native American Indian man sitting right in the centre of transformative bonfire. The most striking initial first impression is how he holds eye contact with you; it’s as if he looks right through you but not in an intimidating way. My photographer and I had just arrived out of the blue at his annual event in Glasgow. There was not the usual well you didn’t make an appointment, no groupies dived in to ‘handle’ the situation he accommodated us totally himself. Openly. That common sense approach is the tone of his whole set up and is sadly missing in other spiritual circles.
He encouraged the photographer to take as many pictures as she liked, whatever she liked and however. There was to be no boundary probably because there is no boundary around an open heart and Emaho is a shaman who has just that. You soon begin to get a feeling that he has nothing at all to hide – nothing. Shamans or Medicine Men exist in all indigenous cultures. They have the power to heal, to receive messages and some might say journey to other worlds where parts of your soul may be.
The day’s events started off with a well groomed Emaho facing an audience of about 150 people. I was concerned that the event may be rehearsed and very evangelical. Those fears soon dissipated when Emaho started by connecting, through eyecontact, to every person in the audience – one at a time. Instantaneously the atmosphere became very intimate. The look has a knowingness, an acceptance and reminded me of the ‘Eye of the Beloved’ that Sufi poets so often write about. In that space with him two really become one and you realise the shamanistic principal that there is no separation. I am another you.
Initially I was suspicious that the place may be full of trophy wives in delirious states of infatuation. Well if they came with an infatuation for him it soon turned to his message or in Emaho’s case his transformative teachings and the power they have if heard. Each message that came was meant especially for someone in the audience. Whether their intellect realised it or not their heart soon would – the message found its way there and I witnessed the tears some people cried washing away years of pain and grief.
Our western world, dominated by scientific materialism and consumerism where citizens have now become consumers, has amassed extravagant wealth and religious structures to conceal a spiritual vacuum. But the profound enigmas of existence have not gone away and even greater numbers of people yearn for much more meaning in their daily lives and a sense of community that may no longer exist. At Emaho’s seminar you get a chance to connect again especially at the fire dance.
The highlight of his seminar for everybody had to be the fire dance. Emaho disappeared for a while only to return in a ceremonial costume. The drums were switched on and played through massive amps. All the participants including Grandmothers and children kicked off their shoes. Between the beats of the drum, the dancing and the spontaneous warrior cries you are transported to the plains of New Mexico. The drum beats from the fire dance will evoke the forgotten beat of your heart and your feet land on the earth with a new found determination. When was it you last had a laugh, a cry, a dance even if you didn’t know the steps?
He danced, they all danced, eventually I danced and for two hours during which every now and then he would take someone from the crowd to the centre. At the centre he had assembled a shrine where he placed two large white candles. Into the flames of these candles he put his hands at least over one hundred times during the ceremony. The shaman then placed his hands on the throat, mouth and forehead of whomever he had led to be at the centre. Sometimes he screamed into to the forehead – perhaps some need more waking up than others.
Men were well represented as were most spiritual traditions but the most notable observation was the attention and full participation of the children there that day with their parents. Even in the spiritual parts they were totally consumed by what was taking place. As children judge people from the inside and not the outside I took this to be a huge testament toEmaho’s integrity and presence and it is these not him that command respect.
His status and fame does not affect him. Emaho is imbued with an integrity and authenticity that is seldom seen now on the spiritual circuit. Someone who has attempted to purge the sadness and reignite the spirit of so many people must have developed a deep sensitivity along the way. How he remains so open and so fresh despite what obstacles he has had to surmount is an authentication to his own personal spiritual practice and path.
Ralph Quinlan Forde – CEO www.stargatenutritionvitamin.com the author and Holistic Medicine Consultant has contributed to the following publications over eight years, The Independent on Sunday, The Sunday Herald, IVENUS, Tescos Magazine, The Irish Examiner and The Sunday Tribune. He is also the founder of www.medicinebuddhafoundation.org. His book The Book of Tibetan Medicine is now in 11 languages http://thebookoftibetanmedicine.blogspot.com