Shamanism, orgasm, lesbianism, and what else?

My latest book is out!  Life, Lies, and Sex: a User’s Guide to Being in a Body, is now available. You can order it here.

This book is a milestone in my work. Here are a couple of testimonials:

“Mikaya Heart leaves no stone unturned as she explores what it means to live, feel, believe and pleasure in this human form. Life, Lies, and Sex is a courageous look at the big questions we all innately desire to ask. Sit back and enjoy as you take a personal journey of life’s handbook where you are sure to find a message written just for you.” Jean Slatter, author of Hiring the Heavens.

“Mikaya Heart has done it again. She has engaged a quantity of tricky, esoteric subjects (life, lies, and sex) and speaking from the Heart words of truth with brilliant, yet simple clarity, enables readers to embrace truths of their own.” Dayana Jon Patterson, Senior Minister of Holistic Health, Matrix Energetics Practitioner, Laughter Yoga Teacher, and Spiritual Mentor.

I’m really excited about this book, but let’s get on with the regular website stuff:

As an ordained Minister of Holistic Healing, I recently officiated at the wedding of a friend: setting a circle, calling in the directions and guides, overseeing the exchange of rings and vows, talking about love, and singing a closing song of gratitude. Afterwards many people, from aged grandparents to macho lads, were complimenting me, saying they found the whole ceremony deeply moving. It made me realize that if I could do this kind of thing once a week for the rest of my life, I would feel like I was truly making a useful contribution to this planet. So, if you want someone to set up a sacred space for a wedding, a memorial service, a coming-of-age ceremony, welcoming a newborn into the world, or anything else, please contact me! I am happy to go where I need to go, and will only require money for travel costs.

I believe that my ability to do this kind of work stems from my willingness to be absolutely present on every level. I’ve been studying the nature of reality from many angles since I was very young; my writing and my teaching reflect what I have learned. That can be summed up very simply: we need to operate from a place of trust instead of fear. When we approach life with the openness that is enabled by being in a place of trust, we find that an infinite array of possibilities is available to us, and that there is an infinite source of guidance waiting to assist us. I help people to access that guidance by leading prayer and healing circles for all who feel the need. My key tool in teaching is the shamanic journey, which is an opportunity to get in touch with what I call the vastness of being: the existence of infinite other realities beyond this planet Earth. Most people experience a deep sense of peace and relaxation when they open to that, even if they have no words for it. This sense of peace (which might also be called love, beauty or joy) exists beyond duality, and when we can bring it into our lives on a daily basis, everything becomes easier.

I am leading a number of shamanic journeys in northern Ca in May and June, check my upcoming events.

I love being able to facilitate this experience for others. I feel like that is the work I was born to do. Please contact me if you want to host a journey on in your area. I am usually on the West Coast of California the northern hemisphere summer, and in Australia and/or Africa in the southern hemisphere summer, with brief forays to the UK in spring or autumn. I am always open to traveling to new places to do this work. Contact me if you would like to host a journey.

I act as a mentor for others who are on this path. One of these is Florian Kroll at vajra shamanics in South Africa.

Listen to a recording of my invocation and shamanic journey, and go to the page about me to read about my own personal process of learning and studying.

All my writing–which is frequently called inspiring and empowering–is about enabling the reader to adopt a broader perspective on reality. My latest book, The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women, out last year from Cleis Press, is about learning how to utilize flows of energy through the body. Allowing energy to flow freely is the basis of the art of manifestation, and sex is a very delightful way to learn how to do that.

I’m working on publishing Life, Lies and Sex: A User’s Guide to Being in a Body. It’s  a study of the nature of reality, and how we can learn to choose what we get and get what we choose, which is the art of manifestation. Some people might call it a spiritual book but I am very leery of that word, “spiritual.” There is an awful lot of b-s around it. You can read the first chapter here.

I’m also working on a book about an English commune where I lived in my twenties, which I am writing with one of the men who lived there at the same time period. The last chapter is my version of what the future of this planet could look like. I feel very positive about it, but I see us being held back by the limits of our vision. If there is one thing I would like to achieve in this world, it would be inspiring people to think beyond that box, to expand our horizons. I believe our potential is truly incredible. So take off your dark glasses, remove your veils, let go of your cynical scepticism, and be willing to enter into an absolutely new way of thinking. What harm can it do?

To read my regular blog/column on sex and relationships, as well as other fascinating stuff, go to Dangerous Lee’s website. It’s been called “wonderfully insightful.”

My Sweet Wild Dance is the story of my personal journey from anger to joy, and it has been described in Edge Magazine as “soul refreshment of the highest order.” It won a Golden Crown Literary Award. If you think I am an interesting person, you’ll love that book. It’s an adventure story.

And With the Sun in My Eyes, which is the true story of a shamanic practitioner from Seattle, can be bought here.

Sex is an unparalleled opportunity for allowing life-force to flow through us, which enables us to experience ecstasy in our daily lives.

Sex is a metaphor for life. I started studying shamanism in the eighties, and have come to understand that sex is a very shamanic activity, in the sense that it is all about allowing energy to flow through us. That is what leading a full life and being oneself without apology is all about. From a young age, most of us try to block flows of energy so that we don’t get “carried away;” so that we will fit in, do the right thing, and be good people. Sex is the easiest arena in which to learn to let go into an energy flow, and allowing that energy to flow without resistance is what we experience as an orgasm. We can have the same experiences in our daily life. I have written a series of articles explaining how and why, which have been published in venues such as cherrygrrl.com and Kissed By Venus.

I am offering workshops all over the world, specifically on orgasm and more generally on how we take what we learn from the experience of orgasm and apply it to our daily lives. Yes, we can learn to live in a state of bliss, delight, and joy. It’s a matter of letting energy flow through us freely, which is not always as easy as it sounds. Click on the workshops tab above for more info.

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Mikaya on YouTube


From YouTube:

Author Mikaya Heart (www.mikayaheart.org) talks about the experiences that led her to choose a lifestyle where she is motivated by trust, rather than by fear: how she met the vast, all-powerful being who is her higher self; how she faced death, and understood about being in a place of joy; how she entered a state of oneness and found inner peace. Her memoir, My Sweet Wild Dance, tells the full story of the adventures she went through to get here.

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From Activism to Shamanism

From a very young age, I was aware that there are many things wrong in this world, and I wanted to change them. I was politically active by the time I was eighteen. In 1973 I became an environmental activist, before the average person on the street had any idea that there were serious environmental problems. In 1977, I came out as a lesbian, and I was on the front lines of the feminist movement in England for a number of years, involved in a militant campaign to undermine male chauvinism. I was angry.

Now, in my mid fifties, I call myself a marveling mystic. Although I am still a passionate person, I am rarely angry. I don’t turn up for any kind of demonstration that is against anything, because I believe that whatever we resist persists. I am a Minister of Holistic Healing, active in Earth-based spiritual practices that are intended to empower the individual. I teach shamanic self-growth work. My favorite activity, which I find profoundly zen, is kitesurfing.

What happened?

Continue reading

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The Pitfalls of Healing

A few years ago I was ordained as a minister of holistic healing. Since then, I’ve stopped using the word healer to refer to myself because I found that lots of people don’t really want to be fixed, and although I may be certain that I know what someone needs to do, that does not necessarily translate into being helpful. And wanting to be helpful in itself is questionable, since it often stems from an ego need. The truth is that I don’t know what will work for someone else. Sometimes people who read my books and articles get quite a different idea than that which I intended. I’ve learned to trust that they are getting what they need, and it’s not my job to put them right.

This brings me to the question, what is healing? As the Earth shifts into her new way of being, we are presented with a different paradigm. At its most basic, in the old paradigm, healing is simply alleviating discomfort. At the other end of the spectrum, in the new paradigm, I would say that it is about whole-ness, which means being in alignment with all-that-we-are. From that perspective, health is not about overcoming discomfort, because even while we are railing against it, we may (in truth) want to experience discomfort so that we can experience end results which our limited human perspective is incapable of grasping. From the perspective of all-that-we-are, discomfort (even extreme pain) is not a bad thing. In fact, from that perspective, there is nothing the matter with anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m into alleviating discomfort — I don’t think it does my body any good to be in acute or chronic states of pain. But whether or not you treat the symptoms, it is necessary to address the cause. Pain is usually a messenger.

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Pele Pouring into the Ocean: Hawaii

In 1982, a fairly copious lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii covered several miles of the road that used to go along the coast, and extended the coast line of the island by many acres. The same flow has continued almost un-interrupted since then, although considerably smaller, and often underground so that it’s not visible except where it exits into the ocean, and sometimes not even then. There are various spots along the coast where visitors can sometimes see it. You can approach those places from Volcano National Park, or from the other side, which is not part of the Park.
The local authorities want you to spend your money in the Park, so it’s not advertised that you don’t have to do so, but the other route is fairly easy to find – I went south from Pahoa for a few miles until I came to a road that veered off to the left. Although a little overgrown round the edges, it looked like it was going to be a good road until I suddenly reached the first lava flow, a solid black mound about two feet high. A sign told me: ‘Road Closed, Only Residents Allowed.’ Clearly people have been driving that way, though it’s very rough. I drove slowly for several yards and all of a sudden there was the paved road again. Quarter of a mile on, it once more disappeared under lava, then there was another nice paved section, and so on, until finally the paved road was buried forever. A large area of the lava had been flattened to create a parking lot. To the left is the dark blue line of the ocean. After dark is the best time to see the orange strips of flowing lava, or, on the hill to the right, the glow of Pu’u O’o itself, the vent which is giving birth to the lava flow. In daytime it is only distinguishable from the rest of the mountainside by clouds of smoke pouring upwards. There are frequently several cars carrying sightseers in the parking lot at dusk, but the first time I went, in the middle of the day, it was empty expect for another little Toyota Tercel, just like the one I was driving. The owner and I congratulated each other on having great cars, and I asked him, “Are you here to see the lava?”
He glowered, replying tersely, “No, I’ve seen enough of that, I’d just finished building my house when the eruption started in ’82.” He pointed up the hill, and I saw a tiny white square in the distance, in a patch of green, an island surrounded on all sides by fields of black lava. “I’m thinking of going there now, I’m just checking the weather. It’s a little wet.” A thick drizzle was falling.
“How do you get there?” I asked. It looked like a very long walk over this terrain. “Motorbike,” he answered.
“Motorbike!” I was appalled. Continue reading

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What is a Marvelling Mystic?

I am a difficult person to categorize, since I have led a very varied life, but one of the phrases I have used to describe myself is ‘marvelling mystic’ (or marveling mystic if you insist on American English). What does this mean?

I grew up in Scotland, and lived for twenty years in California, where I built my house from recycled lumber. I consider that one of my greatest achievements. An inveterate traveler and a prolific writer, most at home in the wilderness, I’ve had adventures all over the world. I’ve been a waitress, a hippy, a political activist, a pig farmer, a car mechanic, a tree feller, and an organic market gardener. My favorite activities are kiteboarding and horse-riding, which have both left me with scars. Eight years ago, at the age of fifty, I had an epiphany and sold everything to take off on a life of travel. I’m ready to stop for a month or three or four, though I can’t quite work out where.

I have several published books, I’m ordained as a Minister of Holistic Health with the Awakenings Institute, and I have had many unusual adventures. I’ve been held up at gunpoint five times.

Within the above words lie many exciting and fascinating tales, some of which I will post here. In fact a couple of them are already available for your entertainment. They’re all true. The title usually includes the name of the country where they occurred. Feedback is welcome.

But I hear you ask – what is a marvelling mystic?

Perhaps the first thing I would say about a marvelling mystic is that she (or he) is indefine-able. Hence the strangely mystical label. I don’t really relate to the word ‘god,’ since the only definition of god must include everything and everyone, but sometimes it’s useful, so I am going to use it here. I have heard a mystic defined as someone who sees the actions of god. Most people only see the consequences of the actions of god – people dying in an earthquake, a fire consuming a house. I tend to perceive the world in general from a much broader perspective. Therefore I usually perceive that all is well, even when unpleasant things are occurring. Occasionally I forget, and get caught up in dismal doom-saying and fearful anticipation of the future, which motivates so many people. I’m most certainly not perfect.

Anyway, about the marvelling bit – yes, I do marvel fairly constantly about this extraordinary and delightful Earth. What a remarkable and wonderful opportunity to experience limitation – having a physical body, and forgetting that we are god. We have really set ourselves up to play an extremely complex and varied game. We would congratulate ourselves constantly except that we must carry on forgetting that we invented it because that would spoil it. Imagine if the football players, the referees and the audience all knew that they could get together, change the rules whenever they wanted, and orchestrate exactly who would win! In fact we are doing that all the time, only we don’t remember, and if we did, it would be a very different kind of life – exciting, yes, but different. The way we’ve set it up creates much more of an opportunity for the experience of being an individual with the ability to develop personal empowerment – which necessitates the awareness of oneself as connected to all-that-is. Personal discovery of the ability to choose (the ultimate empowerment) is perhaps the art of being human. I want to teach workshops about that sometime. Life is so much easier and more relaxed when you’ve worked out how to choose. It can be difficult, of course, especially to begin with – because you can’t do it unless you are already relaxed and at ease. Ah, the paradox of being in human form . . . the most marvellous and terrifying choice of all.

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An Encounter with Luna: British Columbia

Vancouver Island is huge and very convoluted round the edges. There are only a few places where the rocky terrain allows easy access to the water, with a road to take you there. So we drove for several hours on a wide dirt track, through the endless forests of Douglas fir, to get to Nootka Sound. We’d picked it out on the map, because it looked remote enough that we would be able to get away on our own.
We drew up finally at a small wooden pier, a very small beach and several small houses. One of them was a store, selling mostly fishing equipment and cans of food. Several cars were parked around the area, and a couple of guys were getting ready to take off in a motorboat, their fishing rods sticking out over the stern.
Unloaded the kayaks by the beach, we sorted what we would need for the night: sleeping bags, warm clothes, cooking equipment, some dried and canned food. I had a sit-on-top, a kayak that is very stable but does not keep you dry, so I donned some waterproof clothes, and stashed my luggage in big plastic bags. Jo had rented an ocean kayak, the kind you sit inside, with a skirt that prevents the water coming into the vessel. The first time she’d got into it, she promptly tipped over sideways, but by this time she was used to distributing her weight with care. If either of us capsized, our luggage would get soaked, but the sea is generally very calm around there, because there are countless wandering inlets dotted with islands, intercepting the Pacific Ocean’s waves and swells. It was a sunny day – with any luck the weather would hold out for us.
We were ready to leave, when an older man with white hair and a slight limp wandered down the path. I saw him coming and thought, he’s got something to tell us. He addressed me with a bemused smile, “You going out into the bay to see the orca?”
I raised my eyebrows in surprise. “I’d love to see an orca, I didn’t know there was one out there. I thought they went around in pods, and stuck to very specific routes.”
“This one’s lost his pod. We just got back from petting him, he’s right out there.” He waved at the bay. “His pod’s gone back to the ocean and they left him here. He’s real friendly!” His tone held a sense of wonder.
“Well, maybe we’ll see her!” We smiled at each other and he departed. Meanwhile Jo had been reading a notice board on the edge of the pier. When she came back, I said, “That guy just told me there is a lone orca out in the bay.”
She nodded. “Yes, there’s a sign about her on that board. Apparently she’s a teenaged female, and they’re hoping the pod will pick her up again when it comes back through the sound. They say you are not to feed her or approach her, they don‘t want her to get used to being with humans.”
“Hmmm!” I grinned. “Well, it would be a treat to see her, anyway. That guy told me he’d been petting her. It was obviously a pretty big experience for him, he’ll be telling his grandkids about it for years to come.”
“Cool! I hope we get to see her. Maybe she will approach us, then we won’t be approaching her!”
We put the kayaks in the water and set off paddling. I always appreciate that feeling of space you get out on the water, it’s such a different perspective from the land. The view was the same – forest covered hills on all sides with stretches of water in between, but somehow the sensation of the water carrying us, and the experience of looking back at land instead of looking out from land gave me a sense of freedom. Continue reading

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