A third-generation healer, Shaman Durek has made a name for himself as a spiritual advisor to wellness innovator Gwyneth Paltrow and other A-list clientele. Here, Durek speaks about what it means to be a shaman today, roadblocks to spiritual fulfillment, a nd where humanity is headed.
How do you start each day? A typical day for me involves getting up around 6:00 in the morning. I do shamanic exercises where I practice increasing my powers, raising certain frequencies in my energy, and opening certain aspects of my consciousness…[with] movements…that are used to open up gates of energy which we learn when we’re young, when we’re training as shamans. And then if I need to, I speak to my ancestors…or another type of person who was once living or non-living; make connections. Then I do what’s called spirit hacking. I go and basically change and regulate my body; I’ll burn fat in my body, I’ll increase my energy levels, I’ll change my brain chemistry, increase energy in my synapses. Some of it could be clearing out my chakras or increasing rotation of my electrons. It depends on what I need for that day. After I spirit-hack myself I do this thing called warding myself up, also called soul talk. What I do is I talk to [my inner] little boy, which is the creator, which is the source. And I tell him all the things that he is and that way I become those things. I’ll say, “I love how smart you are, I love how you’re always at the right place at the right time, I love how you’re always giving and supporting other people.” Then I usually work out before my assistant walks in and goes over everything we have to get done that day.
I understand that you are a third-generation shaman. Were these rituals passed down to you through your family or outside of your family? Being a shaman, I was chosen when I was about five years old, but my dad had very strict rules about it. He grew up in that world and so his whole thing was that he wanted me to have a normal life, not like what he had. He was like, I really want you to be well rounded and… [not] just be consumed in our family’s gifts because people are not going to relate to you. The moment you go in, you’re going to start feeling like an outcast and… becoming alienated… People are going to start to find you strange because you’re going to be able to do things that they can’t; so what I want you to do is to really consider this path… I started training at 11, which is a little bit behind, I should have started at eight. But he gave me a couple years to really grasp what was going to happen to me. So, at about 11 years old I started my training, and I learned these techniques from my elders, as well as from other spirits that would come in from the other side and teach me. And then from other shamans…and healers I met with along my journey.
I noticed some of these rituals revolve around child figures or childhood or being a child. Where does that element come from? In shamanism, we believe that your inner child is God. By loving that child, you end up loving yourself and realizing the component of all creation stems from the idea of creation. Just imagine that the child inside of you, the one that most people push away, is the creator. And every time you tell yourself something like, I’m not good enough, the creation creates it immediately. And so, the world is the way it is because human beings don’t know how to use their power correctly. They think incorrectly. They operate in fear or they play small. Creation is a childlike spirit, but it’s very powerful and wise and has limitless knowledge… And so, my whole thing is, if you really want to be enlightened, you don’t need to go to the top of the mountain in India and get food poisoning or go on a big fast one day and just do green juices for the whole summer. You don’t need to do these extreme things. All you need to do is laugh. If you just laugh and just keep looking at life and laugh, you will see everything revealed. Being a kid allows you to stay in that place of innocence where you can just see the truth without trying to add some kind of idea of genius. The whole purpose of life is to know you know nothing. That’s why I always tell people, don’t make your life so hard. It’s supposed to be easy. That’s when you see the magic unfold. But people overthink… because you have filters that were programmed by the world, and the school system you went through, etc., that set up this mental, masculine way of looking at life through logic.
What do you believe are some of the biggest obstacles that people today face in terms of getting in touch with their spirituality? I think the biggest obstacle is emotional intelligence, because when you don’t have emotional intelligence, you operate only from the masculine polarity of your being, which doesn’t allow the feminine polarity to come in and show you the parts that you can’t see. It’s like a big blind spot. And so, anything that affects you emotionally, you react instead of just observe. When you react, you basically create a firewall within your system that makes you disassociate from everything around you. You immediately become numb and you shut out all the visceral, all the kinesthetic, all the energies around you, and your body goes into fear immediately. And then fear shuts you down. People can’t get what’s really happening. They’re just reacting, and they go from one reaction to the next reaction. As those reactions begin to accumulate, it begins to become chaotic for them; then they need things…to cope with the fact that they can’t understand their emotional self—why they have anxiety, why they’re having problems and conflicts.
Do you feel a spiritual shift happening in the world right now? Yes. Right now, in shamanism, I’ve been told by my ancestors that this is the time of the great upheaval. In [this time], we’re in the [first] blackout period that lasts…15 to 20 years depending upon its cycle. And in that cycle, we have the great upheaval. That means that our leaders are going to be agitators to the people who have to be agitated in order to grow. We’re going to come face to face with the imbalances that we’ve created in society.