My thoughts re: the shamanic three worlds and Dr. Sue's take on there is only one world.
In an October workshop workshop with Dr. Sue Morter, author of The Energy Codes, she talked about how there are no other worlds. We are all here at the same time. Light and physical being all part of a continuum, a spectrum on the same plane. This idea is very much how I see the traditional three worlds of the shaman. Understanding that there is only one world and relating to it from the shamanic perspective only requires the ability to slide your perspective. It is how I have come to know the shamanic practice of having one foot in both worlds.
When you travel to one of the traditional shamanic three worlds, you are not going anywhere. You are simply moving into a lighter consciousness perspective. This helps you to go there at any time. Just move the meter to the lighter vibration. Move your awareness away from your physical plane toward your energetic plane. You are both at the same time.
For me, the shamanic perspective is one of sliding the ruler in order to bring healing, wisdom, clarity, all manner of things, from the light into the physical. The earthiness of shamanic tools and their deep connection to nature, ground the wisdom from the light plane into our physical plane. When I work with flowers, drums or rattles, I am allowing the energetic qualities of nature and the physical world to ground the healing into this plane. It is both at the same time. The physicality of the drum (sound vibration hitting my ears, the skin of the animal and the tree from which it was formed) can be used as a way to slide the perspective to the lighter plane while staying in the physical plane. You are in both at the same time.
We humans have been trained and we've become accustomed to perceive our physical being mostly, but our light being is here too. You can slide your awareness, back and forth between the physical and the light. Sometimes it's beneficial to be more in the physical plane - having sex, driving the car. Sometimes it's beneficial be more in the light plane - searching for truth, making life decisions. Sometimes you want to be in the middle of both - making love, parenting, healing with your hands. Neither is better or worse and it isn't an either-or proposition. The path of the Sacred Ordinary is about living with a sliding perspective.
An interesting related take-away from that workshop offers a perspective slide regrading the things you have been told are not real, e.g. fairies, Lemuria, giants, etc. Dr. Sue said, "What if you could allow both to be present?" I like that. What if there were two or more perspectives? What if your perspective was broader than where you are right now? It's about being able to slide your perspective. Sometimes from the physical to the light and sometimes from the fixed and known to the wider field of allowing and not knowing. Sometimes the slide isn't left or right as much as it is both--opening you to a broader perspective.
Prayer is our way of connecting with God, Great Spirit, Goddess. Our way of connecting with the depths of our gratitude and the heights of our dreams. I typically work with blessing prayers, love prayers and action prayers. The last one is the one most of us are familiar with. These are prayers for something: help, healing, intercession. They include prayers for protection, direction and courage. All of these require an action to come to us and they often assume a posture of helplessness or inability to do something. Perhaps of surrendering to a greater force.
With blessing prayers we simply step into a feeling of receiving blessings and connect with God on that. We feel our gratitude for all that we are blessed with in this moment and send it out to Great Spirit as if blowing a bubble skyward. Love prayers are also more "felt" prayers. Moments in your life where you are so filled with a feeling of being loved or love of some other that you simply can't help but send that love out to the world around you. For me, the "other" is often a beautiful sunset or a glistening ocean surface, love prayers wash over me often when I am in nature.
In my early years, I was taught to pray for something with my words and my brain. The best pastors, Sunday school teachers, and adults I had mentioned praying for it with all my heart. I have since learned a different way to pray. When a shaman prays, they become the action they are praying. The American author, Gregg Braden, describes going out into nature to pray for rain with an indigenous shaman. They arrive at the perfect prayer spot and the shaman prays rain. He doesn't pray for rain. He prays rain. The whole thing takes only a few minutes. Later the shaman would explain to Gregg that he saw the rain, he felt the rain falling around him and on him, he smelled the rain in the air, he heard the rain hitting the ground... He prayed rain as if it were truly happening in that moment. In a way, he brought it into this plane of existence, this reality. He made it possible by making it possible. By feeling the experience fully and completely, he brought it out of the field of possibilities where it was just waiting to be realized.
This way of praying takes a quantum leap on your part. It first positions it as a possibility, acknowledging that all things are possible. Second it lets you experience what that realized possibility feels like right now in this moment, removing all doubt because you can experience it. Third it speaks to the multiverse in a vibration that comes from belief that everything is possible and you are tuned-in and ready to co-create that reality with the help of the Goddess. That level of connection to Source is what is needed to pray.
So the next time you are praying for healing, don't just say "God please heal my broken ankle." Instead, sit quietly, connect with Great Spirit and feel your ankle healed. See yourself at the next doctor visit looking at an X-Ray that shows a perfectly healed bone. Feel yourself out for a run, the wind in your hair, the blood coursing through your veins as that ankle supports your every step.
There is a quantum leap between praying for healing and praying healed. Reach out into the Field and pull that which you know you can have into this reality. Become what you are praying. Co-create with Great Spirit from a place of divine fullness and possibility rather than a place of defeat and helplessness. Pray rain don't pray for rain.
There is often still an aspect of surrender in this type of prayer. You have to surrender to the action completely. Surrender your doubts, your fears, your feelings of not actually deserving it. You have to surrender the timeframe that you are trying to put on it, it won't happen in a week or in a month, it has happened and is happening in this moment. Surrender waiting for it and become it.
Sometimes there is a larger plan at work and our desire to control things blocks us from flowing with that. If you lost an arm or a leg in an accident and you pray healed thinking that it means you will regrow your lost limb, you are trying to control the process. Your limb probably won't grow back, maybe it will, but you will be healed. Pray yourself as whole and you will be whole. It might come in a way that surprises you, but it will come. Give it a try!