About Jaime Meyer
Jaime Meyer’s eclectic background includes earning a Masters' Degree in Theology and the Arts from United Seminary of the Twin Cities (1998) and studies with a variety of shamanic teachers since 1983. His book Drumming The Soul Awake is an often funny and touching account of his journey to become an urban shamanic practitioner. Since 2001 he has led popular drumming and ceremonial events around the Twin Cities including Winter Solstice ceremonies attended by hundreds of people each year.
Since 1983 Meyer has studied cross-cultural shamanism. For several years has has traveled to Peru every six months to learn from the Shipibo people of the Upper Amazon and learn about the Andean tradition with another teacher in Cusco, Peru. He has studied extensively with José and Lena Stevens of the Power Path, and is one of their approved healing practitioners. He has completed a two-year Celtic Shamanism training with Tom Cowan. He has also studied with Ailo Gaup, Martín Prechtel and Sandra Ingerman, among others. He is the president of board of directors of the international Society for Shamanic Practice.
For many years he worked in the theater world as a writer, director and performer. Twenty of his plays have been produced in various cities across the USA. He co-founded the first theater in the world for the Hmong community (a refugee population from Laos and Vietnam) and co-wrote, directed and produced nine original plays over ten years, mentoring dozens of new writers and scores of actors, and playing to 200,000 Hmong and non-Hmong people in various cities, including in refugee camps in Thailand. The Minneapolis Star Tribune called Meyer’s writing “…enormously seductive. It’s farfetched whimsy with thickly textured thoughtfulness. It’s like metaphysical cartoons on speed.”
A note From Jaime:
I have tried my best to create a place of safety and inspiration for people who are exploring their delicate (and often wounded) spiritual heart. I try my best to walk the delicate road of making my living as a shamanic healer in a culture that doesn't understand or embody the most important things on the shamanic path. I offer as many free or "pay what you can" services as I am able to. I don't turn away people needing healing who simply cannot pay. I offer drumming circles that welcome everyone, workshops for those who want to step in deeper, and an ongoing apprenticeship program for those who are committed to becoming healers. I conduct approximately 150 healing sessions each year for individuals. I'm telling you honestly that after every client or student leaves my house, I feel like dropping to my knees and weeping with gratitude over this weird, fiery blessing that was injected into me by Spirit - the call to do this work no matter what - and by the fact that the work has touched so many people.
How was I called to this work?
Thirty years ago I was an eager young playwright with some success. (My favorite quote from another writer: "I was very successful as a playwright! I made literally hundreds of dollars over those years!"). One night I had a powerful dream in which a spirit animal – what I came to call the Lion/Goat/Dog - came to breathe blue fire into the top of my head. It hurt and made me convulse. That started me on a seven-year journey of spending a truly unbelievable amount of time alone in my three-room inner-city apartment near Chicago and Lake Streets drumming, singing, dancing the Lion/Goat/Dog dance, weeping, dreaming, flying out of my body at night, and doing healings on my ancestors. All of this, I found out years later, is known in the world of shamanism as "being trained by the spirits." Truthfully, it was a long initiation on the threshold between sane and crazy. I'm forever indebted to the elderly Ed and Velma Fancher, who must have wondered many times what kind of nutcase they had rented their upstairs to. (May they be well-fed and healthy in the spirit world.) I did have a few human teachers during this time, including a two-year study of Celtic Shamanism, and that probably kept me on this side of sane. I also, for some reason, got a Master's Degree in Theology from a Seminary, where I was the charmingly weird non-Christian who totally loves Jesus. They sorta liked that my 110 page thesis didn’t mention Jesus even once but "goat" was in it fifteen times.
During the next stretch of years I became a father and the family breadwinner, and within these narrow, demanding boundaries I needed to find the way that the spirits could keep working with me (and on me). I established ceremonial drumming circles that welcomed drummers at any experience level. Thousands of people have moved in and out of these joy and wonder-filled circles over 18 years, including the large and wild Winter Solstice Blessing ceremony which, this year, will be #16. The drumming circles became steadily more ceremonial as the spirits continually pushed me out of my comfort zone and into new skills. Let be clear: I have never liked being pushed out of my comfort zone, and I bless the spirits for constantly pushing me out of my comfort zone.
in 2010, at age 52, I had a "cardiac event." It was mild but frightening. I was under a lot of stress and a great deal of unhappiness ruled my life. After the doctor said they weren't exactly sure what happened, I went back into life with a vague ongoing feeling that death could come any any instant. A few weeks later, during a drum circle, a new spirit teacher appeared to me and began teaching me strange new skills, like seeing people's energy body clearly, and being able to sing energies into people. Then he began eight months of very uncomfortable work on me in which every other night I twitched in bed for an hour before going downstairs to weep, cleanse, dream, pray and wake up at dawn with my face glued to the carpet by dried spit and snot.
At the end of this period, he guided me to conduct an initiatory ceremony in the wilderness. Three friends came along to help. During that experience, he laid on me some new responsibilities. He told me it was time to stop making so many self-deprecating jokes during drum circles and in my writing. People loved my self-deprecation because they felt it meant I was wasn't invested in being a spiritual woo-woo guru. But those jokes were also a form of me dodging the power and responsibility Spirit had been offering me. He also said it was time to start doing healing work on individuals. I fought this mightily – I absolutely did not want that much responsibility. Like always, Spirit's response was, "Too bad. Do what I'm telling you to do." Seriously, sometimes I don't know why we call them "helping" spirits.
At that same time, my wife's 15-year chronic illness lifted suddenly, the marriage evaporated, and I found myself in a life in which I had only two daily tasks: try to take care of my kids and try to survive in the urban world as a shamanic healer. However, I also had more freedom to travel to seek the advanced training that I could not get while in that "ordinary" work-family life. (So, yes, Spirit truly does work in mysterious ways!) I have been committing myself very seriously for these last several years, to get advanced training from my human teachers in New Mexico and Peru. In the work in Peru, I'm on a multi-year track to take on a series of specific plant medicines as allies, protectors and teachers with the Shipibo teachers of the Amazon, and I'm learning more about the mountain tradition of the Andean peoples with other teachers. Oddly (or maybe not) both of those deep plunges have helped to open a deeper understanding and bring more life to own ethnic Celtic tradition.
And so, I find myself currently melding my many years of being trained by the spirits, my grounding in Celtic Shamanism (my ancestral path), the work of the plants and of magical singing from Peru and the wisdom of the mountains (which are also the landscape of my birth, in Colorado) and all the various influences of poetry, art, music, storytelling and theology that have come my way through my life. I am in a fairly constant state of amazement, gratitude and awe. Seriously.
Gràdh-gheal nan reull
Gràdh-gheal na uraich cruinne-cè
Gràdh-gheal na cuan mor
Gràdh-gheal na Duileamh
Blessings of the love the stars be yours
Blessings of the love the the green earth
Blessings of the love of the great sea be be yours
Blessings of the creator inside Everything.
Contact Jaime at: firstname.lastname@example.org