John Lockley is one the first white men in recent history to become a fully initiated sangoma (healer and shaman) in the Xhosa lineage of South Africa, having spent 10 years in apprenticeship with the tribe of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. His remarkable journey from the South African army to Zen Buddhism, to sangoma apprenticeship, through the constraints of personal illness and the devastation of Apartheid is a testament to the human spirit and the power of forgiveness and reconciliation. Based in his unique experience, John leads westerners through self-exploration using traditional African shamanism and heartbeat-centered mindfulness meditation.
“The hunger in the Western World for meaning and a sense of rootedness is profound. John’s teachings of Xhosa spirituality contribute yet another soothing touch to this hunger,” says best-selling author and West African elder Malidoma Somé, PhD. in his forward to John’s upcoming memoir. “We must dream the impossible, seek the beauty of sharing wisdom through the cracks of our longing, and usher into reality the possibility of a world village glued together by a concert of wisdom. John is an artisan of this and more. His work deserves respect and reverence.”
With the growing popularity of personal spiritual practices like mindfulness meditation and yoga, westerners are seeking ancient spiritualities to balance the hectic, largely artificial modern world. It is no surprise seekers might look to African shamanism for ways to re-connect to a deeper level of life–these spiritual traditions are unbroken since pre-history. Through shamanic practice, dynamic mindfulness and honoring ubuntu (humanity) Lockley promotes positive change in the West. Humanity descended from one tribe in Africa at the dawn of time and Lockley attempts to bring authentic healing from this cradle of humanity back into the West, to translate it to an American audience.
“John bridges the gap between African spirituality and Western culture sincerely, impeccably and with humour and a simplicity that nourished my soul.” – workshop participant
Lockley tours the United States this fall, with events in New York State, California, Colorado and Oregon.
Lockley says, “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.”
For more information please visit the web site at: www.johnlockley.com