soul retrieval
 spiritual healing

Sounding the Soul


What I do is always evovling and growing. The basic intention remains the same, sounding the soul so that its music can sing in the circle of who you are. New ways of serving that intention spring forth as I continue to listen and learn. Below you will see dated entries starting with the most recent. Pictures old and recent. the photo above was part of a documentary filmed in late summer 2006 for the Danish version of HBO.

2008
I saw so many wonderful people this last year. Many of them from the Netherlands, Belgium and that part of the world because of an article published by Happinez Magazine. You can view a pdf file of the article.

2007
Gathering Soul Medicine

I have actually been doing Gathering Soul Medicine
for some time as a component of the Bare Bones Private Retreat , and frequently on sacred land journeys. I won't repeat what I have already said on the Gathering Soul Medicine page. I just want to speak of it because its an addition that will soon be part of any of the other sessions that I do, as a way of warming up to them. For people who function excessively in the "mental", it is very important for us to have a time of coming together to move into trust and give some additional aids they can take home with them, before embarking on either the Soul Journey session or the Healing The Dreambody session.

A few thoughts in summer 2003 before the interview of '98.

A lot has happened since the 1998 interview. Everything that I said in that original interview stands on its own. It is rather like viewing it from a different point in space than a different point in linear time. Perhaps the word is reinvision. I am seeing more. One thing I intend to do very soon here is to create a forum for those who have done sessions with me and those seeking help and advice. I have seen so many people take such beautiful leaps on their path and come away with their own truth and wisdom. I feel that they would have a lot to share with those who haven't arrived where they are. We are all walking the stepping stones of our journey. And I like to think part of it is reaching back and helping those who are just a few steps behind us. That's really what teaching and learning is all about. Part of the reason I do what I do is I get to keep learning, growing, exploring continuously redefining myself. If I had it my way I would slide out of this whole definition thing completely. Why do you think I am looking at you with a beard. I am letting the Celt in me have a little fun.

If I were to ask myself what the most significant addition or change was . . that's difficult. I don't know that there is a single thing. It is all part of the web of creation and allowing. The web? The Web of Life. That seems like a good place to start. I think it was around Christmas of 2000 that I began doing group soul journey sessions that I called the web of life.

The Web of Life Group Sessions

We are all connected. Our minds, our thoughts, our beliefs, our dreams, our visions of God and The Great Mystery, our joy, our wish to be happy and not suffer, and our pain, loss, torment, suffering, and yes our anguish on this journey of the soul. All this we share. Not only as a pesonal experience. Every word, thought, and belief resonates through this web forever. I can testify to countless experiences of this in the shamanic healing sessions I have done for people. Phrases that they have spoken in their minds and to others from childhood to adluthood, from past lives that they don't remember, from the cosmic home that they journeyed here from will surface in the dreamtime of the healing session. And these phrases carry an intent and choice of how they have chosen to relate to the energy of their pain. And believe me it is energy. It is a part of this symphony called the soul. A gifted song from the great one. So where is your song? "Can you hear it? Have you gone deaf my friends, my beloved sons and daughters? Deaf to the music of your soul?" These are the questions that start to call us home. Home is where the soul is singing its gifts.

But these notes, this music, moves on the wings of emotion, all emotions, from the leaping fire of anger to the falling tears of grief. E - motion, energy in movement. And so the painful emotions awakened on the souls journey, do we turn our backs on them or do we honour them? This is the choice that echoes in these phrases, that we release into our personal web and the greater web. Choices that reflect the abandonment of our pain, yes we abandon the children of our pain. On the wings of disowned anger we cast them out where they drift for lifetimes imprisoned in a phrase or choice we made that did not seem like a choice at the time,but a necessity of survival. And they come to haunt us like bats in the night of our dreams.

Only Yesterday I did a healing sesison for a man who had in the last year achieved great financial success in his work. But in the course of that year he realized he lost his life. Mirrored in the loss of his wife. He was miserable and full agnst for everything. He had a noxious thought for everyone he passed on the street. But he was not an unpleasant person. I could see that he was actually a very gentle man who was riding on the top of a lot of anxiety. He mentioned having a very abusive father. I never decide what is going to happen in the session. I don't sit down and say "okay we're going to work on this issue". I put everything in trust to those who know a lot more than I do and what wants to surface from the soul. So I fully expected that the session was not going to deal with this abusive experience directly. Well, there it was. He was on his knees as baby crawling around, gigling. And then at age 4 sitting on his bed chanting a mantra to himself, "I don't care, I don't care, I don't care, I don't care! I don't care! I don't care! I don't care that this house is empty, I don't care that there is no one here! I don't care that no one loves me! I don't care! I don't care! I don't care!" As I journeyed deeper and deeper into this phrase, letting the feelings of rage move through me so that he could breathe this fire energy back in, the exact reverse feeling of the phrase emerged. "I do care . . . I do care . .. and it was very painful. So this descion to put up a wall of not caring was put in place so he would not have to feel this great pain of not being love.

We all want to be loved and truly need to be as children. This phrase then becomes fixed within his own personal web like a coat of armor that brought him to a state of spiritual suffocation. And all the money in the world will not satisfy this hungry ghost, this child that was not loved will continue to hunger. And this chil /man will continue to try and not care. And so there is a great war within and we become torn apart. When we were done with the session he told me he had said that was indeed is mantra for 15 years. He spoke it to his parents and he said it in his mind.

Okay, now we are back to the Web Of Life. Very few of us make it through experience without feeling the pain of not being loved. This is a pain that is common to us, that is familiar. And the choice "I don't care" is familiar. So imagine that I have six people on the floor. I have taken them all into a deep deep state. there is music playing that I have specifically been directed to play to supoport the journey and I go from one to the other and dream for them. Sessions that will last from 20 to 30 minutes for each person. From this deep state everyone is encouraged to experience all the sessions as their own even though there will be unique and specific omponents to each one. It may be that is it someone on the other side of this human web of bodies that I have arranged who begins sobbing, as if they were the release valve for the group. Or perhaps several at a time. Or bodies begin to tremble with energy moving through an ancient block. so these stories that each person gifts to the group become everyone's story. Become a sacred healing. Each person receives six sessions that are woven in a fabric that flow from one to the other. This is almost impossible to describe. There is a shared intimacy (into-me-you-see)that most of these people have never expereinced before. this is a web of life soul journey.

Which by the way, I am in the process of renaming to avoid confusion with others that are using the same name. when we decide to heal the pain of our souls journey through expereince it becomes a Sacred Healing Journey. So my overall new name is Aleh-zon Sacred Healing Journeys. Aleh-zon is the Papago (O'Ohodam) indian word that is believed to be the origin from which the name Arizona came. It was the name of some deep springs located near the Mexican border. It is from surrendering to the deep, mysteriouss springs of the great spirit that we blessed with healing.

But it is really how we relate to our pain and loss that become the stories from which spring the great myths of all cultures that teach us of this human drama that becomes tragedy.

Earlier this year Stacey and I hosted several Tribal Soul Journey evenings. Having as many as 15 to 20 people experience the Web of Life which was preceded by an hour of movement and group energy work. I hope to to more of these.

Web of LIfe Sessions

What have I learned since 98?

A lot. First, I truly do believe that not only do teachings come through that are for me to absorb and gain wisdom from, but that in being willing to be the whole world of human drama, a resonating vehicle for all the energies to move through, that I am shaking up old stagnant areas within the being of my soul as well as those who I am working with. Tat does not b that my experience is the same as the receiver of the session. I have to function at 4 or 5 different levels at the same time. And I am very consciously bringing in a higher spiritual energy in which these other energies are held. Much of the teachings I share with people prior to their sessions have come to me thorough this multidimensional teaching. How we relate to experience can be the seeds of core issues. Core issues can then determine how we expedience. What comes first. What is there in the beginning of beginnings, perhaps in the original moment of separation from the source, or the separation of coming from a non physical body into a physical body?

If underneath it all is what appears like a void or nothingness. Then our issues must begin as the infinite self becomes finite, defined, the beginning of I am here you are there, and "where art thou"? If we come from the stars and wake up on the earth feeling loss and separation as new born babes in this world of emotion my anguish begins there. In the bitter forgetfulness of who I am. For life times we journey further and further away, struggling with the demons we have made of our pain. Until something happens to us and we step onto the path of awakening. So that instead of journeying away from our pain and who we are, it becomes a Sacred Journey of Return through layers of anguish and pain at whose center is the hearth throb of home, the great nothing and everything. The love that we yearned for so deeply in that original moment of separation. We step out of time and become a boundless space that breathes us as we breathe it. We are The Darkness Listening. This is a phrase that came out in the first session for my dear friend Stacey. Such a gift for me for that phrase marries darkness and light.



Interview With


"Somebody needs to crack open the
door and let the wind blow in."

by Star Prairie
"If what I'm doing is retrieving lost pieces of one's personal symphony, a spiritual healing which is commonly called soul retrieval, then my body has to be like an orchestra. I have to be able to shape shift from one instrument to another - - from a mournful flute to a booming drum to a triumphant trumpet. The images and emotions resonate in my physical body which are reflective of the person that I am working with -- the words are secondary to this resonance. What is being created is an inner musical landscape -- this is the uniqueness of my method and the personal training that has allowed me to do this. I have a physical, emotional and psychological flexibility and the ability to express it through my instrument."

August 11, 1998

Q: There was recently an article in the Minneapolis and Chicago papers in which they called you a shaman. What is that exactly?

CM: You know that was a nice article, but her use of that word in reference to me was self-serving. It made the article a little more dramatic and mystical. I never call myself that. She saw the back of one of my tour brochures that said, "Shamanic Counseling", and took the license from that. It's okay. I don't blame her. And it's even understandable. I consider shamanism to be an activity and not a state of being. I have no interest in defining myself as anything in particular. I do a lot of things. But I am not the things I do. Nor am I the things I have done. One of my given names is Windwalker. And that probably sums me up as well as any name. But since I have come this far with a particular name, Clay Miller, I might as well stick with it. And it's not such a far stretch to say that I am a miller and a molder of clay.

The Soul Journey work is one thing that I do so maybe I'm a soul journeyer, Huh? Shamanism for me is any healing or balancing activity where the person steps into the dreamtime or non-ordinary world for the benefit of an individual or community. This is not to say that some people don't do it for the benefit of themselves or toward some destructive end..

Q: How did you come to do what you do and develop the teachings that are part of the Soul Journey experience?

CM: You know I don't mean to be difficult. They are not really teachings--just suggestions for self-liberation. Everything and anything is mean to be overcome and surpassed. It's all about being present and unlimited and undefined. So there are no teachings. Just me sharing how I try to be present in life. Do I instruct during the counseling sessions? Yes. So allow me to be self-contradicting. Am I doing a good job of not answering your questions?

Q: Actually you are revealing who you are in a way that is non-ordinary; excuse me, but I find myself chuckling. It's like you don't want to take yourself too seriously. But can we talk about what you do?
CM: Sure. I journey into an individual's personal mythic soulscape, become it and live it out through my body and voice. I transfer the dynamics of soul speech, emotion and image into the visible tangible world. I resonate with it. Now I hear myself say that and I think: "Now what the hell does that mean Miller?"

Before I answer that I just want to say to those who are reading this that what I am doing right now in this interview is revealing one facet of my personality which loves to step out when I being asked to define. Read some of the other pieces in this site and you will get some of my other facets. Right now I just can't help myself. I feel a little flippant, a bit of the rascal in me, or the trickster if you will. And I'm sure that some of my friends and the people I work with will say, "Oh, yeah, he's like that sometimes." One of my friends takes great pleasure in calling me a brat.

Okay, so let's leave him behind for the moment. I'll go through what I do both from a step by step technical point of view and at the same time sharing with you what is going on with me..how shall I say it, internally, is the first word that comes to me mind. How about all that which I am experiencing but which is not visible to the onlooker.

Q: So this is your subjective experience of the process?

CM: Well I didn't really want to use that word either. Why don't I just talk. Which is what I do when someone first comes to see me. Most people I don't know a thing about them. I like to sit and just chat, have a cup of tea, relax, allow them to get a feel for me, establish a level of trust. I sometimes ask them to empty their cup.

Q: Cup? (I can't stop myself from grinning at the wry humor of his pun).

CM: No, not their tea cup, but themselves, their minds. But this whole thing of trust and belief--this is the foundation. Without it nothing will happen. And, in fact, above and beyond everything that I do, this may be the most important thing that I offer them: someone they can trust, perhaps for the first time in their life. Why can they trust me? The only answer I can give to that is that I try to walk my talk. Practice presence and becoming in my own life. And because I've been working with it a lot longer than most people I see, they sense this on some level, that I am fully here for them, that whatever they may think is some horrible part of themselves, to me it's no big deal. Why? Because I try to look at my own "horrible parts". I put that in quotes because I would never call them that. We're all wounded and scarred and that's really what makes us soulful when we own our pain. When we don't own our pain, we lose our soul bit by bit. I've been down on my belly in the underworld more than the average person. That's part of me. I know how the mind makes us suffer so we don't even want to stick around any more. So trust. If they don't trust me, then forget it. We're wasting our time. Yes, I do this for money, but I don't do it for the money. I don't need to do this and sometimes I don't even want to. But I do it because I get to connect with people in a truly deep and intimate way. I always acknowledge that I am healing myself at the same time that I am healing them.

I should also mention that the other necessary component is faith in the work that we are doing. The whole idea that if you own your pain, you're going to be more radiant and full of life is a strange concept for a lot of people who have spent most of their life running away from it.

So after a cup of tea and a chat, I have them lay down and start to breath. That's a big deal for a lot of people. Every little piece of soul that we lose we lose some breathe too. So having the intention just to breathe is like having the intention to fill yourself with soul. Then I select a variety of music to support the journey. I just clear myself and get a little nudge to play this piece of music or that one, very personal and different for each individual. I'm talking about selections from five different CD's. So in one session, you might hear Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Gabriel Roth's Totem, some Cajun music and a native American chant. Now I don't have to use the music. I can do the journey process without it. But it helps support the transitions in the Journey and is indeed music to the soul facilitating a very deep nonverbal integration. Sometimes when I am done with the actual work, I will let people lay in an altered state for some time. I believe a lot goes on in this unconscious state. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Sometimes even before I select the music I am filling up with emotion. I note it without trying to make any assessment of it. I am already picking something up on a nonverbal, unarticulated level. I don't say okay I'll pick this music because this is what I feel. It's very important to keep my mind and my opinions completely out of the journey session itself. Otherwise it becomes more of an interpretive act: my seeing the images and giving my opinion about them. The language of the soul is dynamic images of e-motion. They cannot be separated from this soulful world nor from the specific energies that they are the imaginal expression of. When I use the world imaginal, it does not mean that they are not real. This is soul speech. They are musical notes which I allow to move through me as if I were a musical instrument. And this musicality of what is reflected to the person I am working with is the most important aspect for them to let in and own. I invite them to let the dream interpret them. To let the energy of the image and the sound resonate as deeply as possible within them. Become it. That's what I am doing. I am becoming part of their mythic soulscape. My body fills with this soulscape and resonates in my voice as I describe what I am feeling-seeing.

Q: Aren't you afraid of getting lost or overwhelmed by these emotional forces?

CM: There is always a part of me that is detached. Because I do not fear or choose to deny my own soulscape, there is no resistance. In fact, my objectivity allows for a freer expression. There is a partial objectivity that is established through the descriptive act. But at the same time I become all the elements of this mythic soulscape.

Q: That's an interesting duality--objectivity and becoming. What are we talking about? What kind of images?

CM: Usually the initial feeling-image is a dynamic, or mythic expression of conflicting forces, or a contractual movement aborted or interrupted, a soulful force held captive by some other part of our personality. In the sense that this soulful aspect does not fit in with who we think we are, or because of its imprisonment does not present itself to us as something we want to reclaim. In fact it might be down right terrifying. One of the problems with trying to put this in words is that it sounds like a journey into hell. The truth is most people feel quite peaceful when we are done. A big component of the journey is an experience of freedom and nonseparateness and infusion of elemental forces that serve to quicken their resonance and supports the soul retrieval or reinstatement of soulfulness. Sometimes the journeys are quite cosmic and peaceful and don't seem to have much in the way of pain or conflict. But it is usually there in some form or another. It is as if what is being presented is what that person needs to experience at that moment. And sometimes what they direly need is some kind of affirmation of soul.

Q: You keep mentioning this contracted place. Are we all contracted?

CM: Oh, yeah, we all have buttons that get pushed that make us tighten up, that threaten our power or safety or value. But you just let yourself feel it, get underneath it, get to the hurt and the fear and they won't accumulate mass and drag you down and make you shrink from your natural radiance. I catch myself all the time thinking I am being an adult but underneath there's some adolescent maneuvering going on.

The contractual movement of our being is as natural as the expansive one. But we tend to have great attachment to the expansive cycle and great aversion to the contractual one because we associate it with suffering. What it is is pain and we create the suffering with our own minds. The contractual movement is a natural response to pain, whether it's physical, psychic or emotional. But as we go through life, this movement is being continually interrupted by our fearful minds. These interruptions accumulate a mass and create increasing inertia. Each one of these movements that is interrupted is a sacrificial act of who we are, of our own personal truth. In the face of pain, real or imaginary, which the mind turns into suffering, we make the decision to not feel and speak our truth, creating more and more immobility in this naturally expanding and contracting spiral. We lose our life.

Q: I feel your gutsiness in speaking your truth combined with deep sense of compassion. For me the Soul Journey experience with you was like a ray of lightning quickening, catalyzing movement. I felt this even through my initial resistance. My soul "got it", took in the resonance in a way beyond my mind's words.

CM: Yes, and when the spiral moves naturally outward, we let in the world around us and the world of feeling within us. Soul Journey is about reclaiming ourselves and re-establishing a rootedness in our soul so that we may have a radiant connection with the world. This is presence. It's about creating relationship with the disowned parts of our soul. It can't be done with the mind, since that was the instrument of disownment. It has to be done in the vibrant, gutsy, mythic language of the soul. Somebody needs to crack open the door and let the wind blow in.

Q: So we're back to Windwalker! Or a name a friend came up with for you is El Reyo que Illumbra la Sombre, the ray of light that illumines the shadow. But I don't want to try to define you, so I'll just say thanks for the journey Clay Miller!

 

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