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Why We Firewalk

The Practical Reason

When I began my Firewalking Instructor career I adopted the philosophy of my teacher Tolly Burkan. That philosophy was "Please serve me by allowing me to serve you".  I wanted to share what I had learned from Tolly and his training in Oregon with the people of Texas and others around the world.  As I worked with Tolly as his assistant for many years one incident influenced my thinking and shifted my point of view dramatically. 

At one of the Firewalking Instructor Trainings a fellow assistant shared with the group about his experience of being in a life threatening car incident.  He was trapped in the car, fighting for his life and as they cut him out of the car with the jaws of life he heard a voice that said, "This is just another Firewalk!"

Who would have ever guessed that several years later on the 4th of July that I would fall off a roof and severely fracture several vertebrae in my back.  I "broke" my back that day on a fall from 12 feet in the air landing on an upright 4x4 fence post covered with barbed wire.  The sound of the bones breaking still haunts me until this day.

As I lay on the ground attempting to deal with the intense pain and not knowing in that instant if I would ever walk my mind I too heard the voice..."This is just another Firewalk!"  I knew in that moment that I had to make a choice between fear and healing.  I had to make a choice between becoming a victim or taking personal responsibility and beginning the healing process. 

Once I chose healing I knew that I was unable to think clearly due to the intensity of the pain.  I realized that one of the other experiences that I had learned through the Firewalking training could be used.  The Inipi, or Stone Peoples Sweat Lodge", ceremony had taught me how to transfer my focus around my body.  In the sweat lodge it becomes so hot that you can almost feel the steam bubbling on your face.  The intensity of the lodge is overcome frequently by changing one's focus from the heat on one's face to the feeling of the cool earth below on one's hand.  In the lodge you pray hard so that you can endure four rounds of prayers, about one and one half hours of heat and steam in a very small, crowded enclosure far beyond any sauna experience.

As I lay there on the earth after breaking my back I knew that I must somehow transfer my focus from the pain in my spine to the cool wet earth under my hands.  I was able to do so by telling myself that all things happen for a reason, that I must take charge of my healing process, and that "This experience was just another Firewalk!"

My healing was rapid and could not be explained by the attending physician.  I attribute the entire remarkable healing experience to what I learned from my many years of Firewalking.  I have shared this story of healing with many of my students and have received several reports back from them about how they used my broken back lesson to also overcome severe personal challenges, both physical and psychological.

Copyright 2004 by Eagle-Heart. All rights reserved.

The Reason for Overcoming Fear

Many years ago I studied the Holocaust of World War Two.  I traveled to Poland and Germany.  I read many books about this terrible time in human history.  One particular book troubled me greatly.  It was called Shiviti.  It was an extremely dark book about human atrocity and it was difficult for me to finish the book. 

 However, I did finish the book one afternoon and as I closed it I went into a deep meditation to contemplate upon what I had read.  When I was complete with my meditation the phone rang and it was my son.  He and I had previously had a conversation about anagrams and related psychology. He was calling to tell me that when he left some new information for me.

When he asked what I thought of the artwork I began to get extremely angry with him because of the horrible picture of dark demons.  I ranted after him and asked why he left such a horrible thing for me.  Once I was finished he gently asked, "Can't you see the angels in the picture? Its an anagram!"

The dark, dense experience of reading about the horrors in that book and then meditating upon them had so influenced my perception that I could only see demons and experience evil energies. 

So it is with fear.  We can become so familiar with our fears, so compensating of our fears, and so resistant to receiving a more empowering and fearless vision that our ability to dwell in the possibility of light and love is all but extinguished.

One of the major lessons that I teach in my Firewalking seminars is how to reclaim true vision.  A simple example of that process is to consider that when we look at red, hot 1400 degree coals we do not envision any possibility that they could be "ice cold" and that a safe pathway across exists.  However, if we choose to change our focus from the "red" hot coals, instead focusing on the space of possibility...the black space between the red coals.  When we focus on that black space, the void where all possibility exists, then and only then can we see with true vision.  Then we can see the energy fields created by the pulsating, decomposing wood coals.  Then we can learn how to "become one with the fire" and walk safely across...or as with some in our Eagle Heart Core group...stand on the coals and ride the waves of energy present awaiting us upon the coals. 

Copyright 2004 by Eagle-Heart. All rights reserved.

The Spiritual Reason

Firewalking is like smelling the fragrance of a rose before we see it. It is like embracing the essence of the Divine before we have a direct experience of that Great Mystery. Firewalking is like sensing a Power so great and recognizing that Power without having to know how we know what we known of that Power.

It seems that for many of us the initial spark of awareness begins to ignite when we first confront our primal fear of having a relationship with fire.  We humans are the only creatures on earth who have this relationship with fire and look where it has taken us thus far.

We would possess little of the modern technology of today without a relationship with fire. Physicists study the nature of the universe and they speak of the fire within virtually everything. From the technological point of view we have fire in many forms from lasers to the simple bonfire to the massive volcanic activities around the world.

Fire is a purifying element. Perhaps that is why so many people are afraid to even discuss Firewalking. Equally, in today's world of rapid change, this is why the Firewalk Experience has become such an effective teaching metaphor for dynamic business, professional, and governmental organizations.

Purification equals change, and change can be far too fearful for many individuals to face. Yet what we think we cannot face...we must, because what we resist persists.  Our fears which many people choose to bury alive...never die.  These buried fears merely await the most opportune moment to bring up inappropriate behavior patterns and feelings of fear, dread, disempowerment, and guilt.

When we Firewalk we must learn "to expect the best" in order to safely cross the coals.  This important ability "to expect the best", once integrated through the Firewalk experience, can then be effectively applied to virtually all forms of uncertainty.  This is one of the most important lessons of the Firewalk. Firewalking is similar to a rehearsal for facing the greatest mysteries of life and the business world and learning how to develop new strategies for success that lie just outside the lines of comfort.

A sense of grace is the reward experienced by many of our regular Firewalkers. Walking or standing on the fire with "humility" as our partner opens us to experiences that cannot be explained with words.

Feeling connected to everything in the universe, with no sense of separation, is a marvelous experience. It  teaches us how to "partner with our fears" and allow them to help us create extreme focus once those fears are embraced.  And from this experience of extreme focus what John Maisel calls "Uncommon Certainty" is born.

Fear and excitement are the same energy...the simple difference is that fear most often is intimately associated with judgment of self or others. It is only when we judge ourselves for being fearful that we feel disempowered and thus lose our sense of self confidence.  It is our choice to be excited or fearful...merely a choice.

The Firewalker's relationship with Fire magnetizes us to higher realms of awareness and enhances our ability to manifest thought into useful form. Once we learn how to work with our fear we are able to establish a far greater sense of unity, clarity and a willingness to become fully self expressed and empowered.  This is multiplied when groups of people share the experience simultaneously at Firewalking seminars that are held by properly trained and certified instructors.

Firewalking is a wonderful path through life's journey which awaits those willing to acknowledge their fears and limiting belief systems, and  then move forward toward their destiny with Uncommon Certainty as their partner.

 John Maisel 6-24-06

Firewalking is a form of Spiritual Alchemy

It sparks an inner wisdom into a burning desire for truth and full self-realization. When one takes that single step into the unknown, transcending the most primal fear, they begin a journey of enlightenment with faith as their partner. Unseen spiritual guides are empowered and a channel is permanently opened for the inner voice within to clearly address an awakened mind that has chosen awareness as its path. From this single step a whole new realm of possibility is created that lies just beyond all fears of the past. They smile, for a Firewalker's journey is alive, based upon an uncommon certainty known by few, but recognized by all.

Most importantly, only human kind, among all the life forms that exist on this earth have been granted the privilege of communion with the elemental of Fire. Firewalkers are among the few who can approach the fire with a feeling of gratitude and in a state of humility. For it has been through their relationship with the Fire that so many have experienced a sense of grace and empowerment beyond words.

 J. Maisel    2-22-1999


Copyright 2004 by Eagle-Heart. All rights reserved..