This week we sit with Bill Pfeiffer – deep ecologist, shamanic guide, and spiritual coach – whose life carried him from nuclear protests on the US East Coast to citizen diplomacy to Russia, where he first encountered Siberian shamans and became immersed, over decades and dozens of visits, in their traditions of ecstasy and communion, with realms and intelligences deeper than the world of identity and politics. A friend of Joanna Macy’s, founder of the Sacred Earth Network, and leader of hundreds of spiritual ecology workshops, Bill has dedicated his life to being a bridge between Native American & Siberian cultures, between alienated humans and the wisdom of the Earth, between heart and mind, future and past.

About Bill:

About the Sacred Earth Network:

Read Bill’s Book, Wild Earth, Wild Soul:

In this episode, we discuss:

Reconnecting to nature, to the body

How political activism for nuclear disarmament changed his whole life and perspective

“I began to feel like I could make a difference…like you can make a difference…in how things play out here on Planet Earth.”

How Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs was appropriated from the Blackfoot tipi, and what we lost in the translation

“We’re all indigenous to land if we go back far enough in our ancestry, and we have a blueprint of a balanced existence.”

“Mystical experience is a birthright, if we’re open to it, or grace is there for us.”

Book: The American Replacement of Nature by William Irwin Thompson

How can we differentiate healthy and unhealthy solutions to our human need for belonging?

“There’s a lot of people who are spiritually inclined, and I’m like…I’m sorry, man, you gotta vote. It doesn’t mean you have to go crazy, it means you have to PAY ATTENTION.”

His journey from citizen diplomacy to Siberian shamanism, through connecting Siberians to Native Americans

What he learned about being human from the Siberians

Book: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

“To reclaim our power is to reclaim ourselves as cosmic beings, not just beings. It’s that big.”

“It’s not that I didn’t get rejected or that people weren’t angry with me at times, or copped an attitude because of what I was doing. But largely, I have felt embraced by both of those cultures as being a bridge, of serving a bridge-building function. I feel like I know how to love people, and how to receive love, and that is the currency that gets the job done.”

Episode 60 with Sean Esbjörn Hargens

Episode 65 with John David Ebert

The possible revival of a circumpolar shamanic tradition in the latter 21st Century after global warming

“I was an amateur futurist and then I just gave up, because there were far too many possibilities, and I was wasting my time getting afraid of imagining.”

What did he learn from the Siberians that were not lessons living in the Native American legacy he encountered?

“The relative success that me and my cohorts have had with native people is all about listening and respect. If that’s cliche, I want more of it.”

The ongoing resurrection of Native American ecstatic traditions

Book: Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler & Jamie Wheal

Joanna Macy

How to co-opt ecstasy for money, and how not to

One of Michael’s craziest sober experiences ever

Conscious sexuality

And more…

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