Ram Dass was the embodiment of devotion & prayer. At his retreats, you would often see him quietly chanting ‘ram, ram, ram’ whilst working with his mala beads. He would also give of himself tirelessly, despite the limitations of his body.
In a world mad with consumerism and technology, many people are searching for ways home to spirit. By addressing the “hungry ghosts” of the craving/ wanting energy inside us, and replacing it with a spiritual practice that involves prayer, devotion, and gratitude, we can wake up and create space for all life to thrive. Join traditional African shaman John Lockley in a down-to-earth chat about ‘Ubuntu’ teachings from South Africa. (Ubuntu means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’, indicating we are all products of our communities.) John will perform some live African trance drumming & chanting to get people into the devotional & prayerful zone. Join us for an African journey towards love & togetherness.
About John Lockley
“My journey is about reconciliation and part of my job is to help heal the past. When people are more connected with their own spirits, there is less of a desire to destroy or put down another. I don’t intend to bring Xhosa or South African shamanic culture to the West as such, but rather to use its essence – the techniques of prayer, dream work, and connection to nature – to help people connect with their own ancestors and spiritual traditions.” – John Lockley
John is one of the first white men, in recent history, to become a fully initiated sangoma in the Xhosa lineage of South Africa.
John was born in 1971, into a divided Apartheid South Africa, with the mark of the sangoma on his face – a band of white birth skin around the eyes. At 18, John was serving in the South African army as a medic (during the war with Angola in the 1980s) when he had a strong, prophetic dream calling him to train as a Xhosa sangoma. He immediately began to suffer from the thwasa, a severe period of ill-health that is inherent in all ancient shamanic cultures which can only be cured through apprenticeship to a shamanic teacher. Because of the restrictions of Apartheid (which ended in 1994) it would take John seven years to find a Xhosa teacher.
During the early days of his calling he trained as a Zen student under renowned Zen Master, Su Bong, completing an intensive three-month kyol che in a Buddhist monastery in South Korea. He was then invited by the Grand Master Dae Soen Sa Nim to join his “monk army”, but the strength of his sangoma calling drew him back to South Africa.
Eventually, post-Apartheid, John met Mum Ngwevu, a well-known Xhosa sangoma medicine woman, in one of the poorest townships in South Africa. She had foreseen his arrival in a dream and began his 10-year apprenticeship, giving him the initiated name Ucingolwendaba, meaning messenger or connector between people and cultures.
For the last 10 years he has been facilitating ‘Ubuntu’ (Humanity) and Way of the Leopard retreats worldwide, teaching people how they can reconnect to their Ancestors, Spirit and the Earth. His book ‘Leopard Warrior’ and audio Teachings ‘Way of the Leopard’ are both produced by Sounds True and available for purchase in most leading book stores.
For more on John and his work and teachings:
To learn more or sign up to join the Ram Dass Fellowship, please visit RamDass.org/Fellowship
To support these free offerings, please visit RamDass.org/Donate