YOUNG educated men from New York City generally work their way into cushy corporate offices entombed in the steel and glass towers of multinationals. But for Sebastian Tapia, a mix of innate empathy for fellow humans and family background stirred in him a deep curiosity in shamanism.

Still in his early twenties, Tapia is a practicing shaman and has been one for several years now. Based in wellness resort Phuket Cleanse in Rawai district, Thailand, he travels frequently to conduct healing sessions around the Asia-Pacific region. He is also a Law of Attraction coach, and more recently, trained in Ajna Light Therapy, the stimulation of the third eye chakra (ajna) by means of an ajna lamp.

Tapia grew up in NYC and attended college there. His grandparents are indigenous folk originally from Bolivia. “But they have spent more years in North America than in South. I mean, I didn’t grow up in a tepee or anything like that,” he remarks, his quiet sense of humour revealing an honesty to dispel any fanciful notion about an exotic upbringing.

In his early years, Tapia’s grandparents enlightened him somewhat on the shamanistic traditions of South America as his curiosity grew. Later, he learnt from various teachers in North America, including Native Americans. “But it wasn’t until I came to Thailand and met a shaman who works with some specific modalities that my course in life altered. My apprenticeship with my teachers in Thailand had become, at this juncture, more like a doctorate degree.”

Tapia speaks to about shamanism, its relevance in today’s world, and the various modalities in spiritualism that he employs to heal and enhance a person’s focus in his life journey.

Describe shamanism and what a modern-day shaman can do to help in the wellbeing of self.

Tapia : Shamanism is the oldest spiritual practice on Earth. So you’ll find similarities around the world with what is done, and why it is done; the differences lie just in the resources that any particular group of people have available to them to work with.

Essentially, it is a way to remember your connection that exists outside of the world of the physical — everything that wouldn’t normally be seen, or is internal, and universal.  It is just an acknowledgement of the bigger picture that’s always going on around us, whether or not we are able to perceive it.

What the shaman does is to step into the unseen background of the energy of things and act as a bridge so that others may remember their connection back to the creative universal life force around them. Usually a person’s imbalance — whether physical or emotional — according to Shamanism, has a root cause that can be addressed energetically and solved energetically. The Shaman understands that no matter the different manifestations (of whatever is going on with a person), all have similar root causes. There are various approaches a shaman may take, so in a particular case, it might be a physical detox, or rehabilitation, or sound healing and so forth. There are several ways to help and progress someone’s wellbeing.

What kind of energies do you work with as a shaman? People in these types of spirituality practices often speak of ascended masters, ancestral spirit guides and angels.

It is about acknowledging and getting familiar with the many layers of the non-physical aspects of consciousness that you can tap into.

Someone we term a “master” may still be physically incarnated, and one can work with him. There is also the energy of ascended masters, spiritually enlightened humans who have left their physical incarnation. You can still access their energy however, some more easily than others.

But it is really all dependent on the particular karma of how exactly this non-physical being or energy has manifested. For example, in the Native American understanding of things, after a person has had enough lifetimes of being human, the next is as a soul teacher, a spirit guide to the people. Shamans can work with them in the energetic realm.

In the Tibetan tradition, there are different mantras and sadhana (ceremonial practices) to invoke different yakshini; the Indian and Himalayan version of what, in the West, we would consider angel or archangel. I think it is important not to focus on exactly what the differences are but what connects all of these, and what makes them work towards their common goal.

On the flipside to this, there is always a balance in the universe — as much positive as there is the negative. And for one reason or another, some people can actually have attachments or connections to very negative energies. So a shaman also learns the knowledge to deal with that — how to get into a state of balance within himself and the person he’s helping.

I’ll give an example of this: I study multi-modality shamanism from all over the world. In a lot of Balinese or Javenese homes where the more traditional spirituality is still in play, you’ll see scary-looking masks on the outside or above the door. The common perception is that it is a sort of representation of a demon or a very scary energy but the real shamanic root is that it is a helper, a kind of beneficial spirit guide that has disguised itself as something scary so that it can be scarier than the negative energy. This is a quick way to understand what it is like working with balance, illustrating that something on the outside could be perceived as a negative but when you understand the real story, it turns out it is actually beneficial.

How do you inculcate the Law of Attraction with shamanism and the activation of the third eye / pineal gland through Ajna Light Therapy ? Do these various modalities that you offer have common fundamentalities?

Traditional cultures have all understood the underlying principles, and the universality of energy in all things. The Law of Attraction as explained in The Secret is just in modern language. The shaman may not use the same vocabulary to communicate the same concepts of you being the creator of your reality. But all spiritual traditions have recognised this and that there are different pathways to achieving this higher awareness of a better way of being by tapping into powers greater than ourselves. I offer a combination of these paths, depending on a given situation and the needs of the person before me.

The end objectives are the same, to give access to your higher self, so that you are able to be present and work towards your life path. The Law of Attraction is not only about manifesting material wants and desires. Material will only come if the internal environment changes, from self-lack and self-doubt to knowing self worth and thence, mirroring the desires back to the external and materialising those things that will make you feel your best.

All modalities in spiritualism are different ways of drawing your power back to you. The ajna light therapy is just the icing on the cake, it allows you to receive a condensed version of an experience that takes a lot of practice and inner work and to benefit from it.

How should a client maintain this energy after a session, and what would you like him to take away from it?

I don’t expect a client to go away from a session feeling he would never have another negative thought or emotion. But what I expect a client will take away is his awareness of what it feels like to be in alignment, and out of alignment. And to know that at any given time, he has the tools to put himself back in a place that makes him feel his best.

Sebastian Tapia can be contacted for private sessions until November 23 at The Violet Flame KL.

9 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan. Tel: +603 2202 2888/ 

The content above describes holistic therapies and not to be regarded as a substitute for medical advice.


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