Reading Paulo Coelho's blog this morning in which he tells the story about how the nagual Julian found the warrior's path, I was reminded of my early years spent following a path detailed so beautifully by Carlos Casteneda in his books (several listed below) about his apprenticeship with Don Juan
I too, had a relationship with a nagual of sorts. His name was Natamenaha and he was not a Yaqui Indian (as was Don Juan) but of the Oglala Sioux Nation. He was a medicine man who took me on as apprentice for a short intense period during the seventies. As a result of my time with him, I gave away all personal possessions, including my name and traveled, homeless -free of any binding ties. A spiritual journey that took me far from my family and anything previously known. It was a powerful time of transition for me. Much of what I understand today came from the path of direct experience I walked during that time.
Reading Paulo's blog reminded me of one of the more powerful teachings of Don Juan (and Natamenaha)… those that instruct about the importance of walking with Death as our ally. This entails recognizing that Death sits, as friend and advisor, always present on our left shoulder. We are encouraged therefore to consult Death at every choice point in life. With an ever present reminder of Death, we are motivated, not towards morbidity, but towards living our lives fully, in the moment – right NOW. No time to procrastinate. Not knowing when Death may take us, we act – deliberately, with no regrets. Such is the way of the spiritual warrior.