Nature-Based Healing Traditions

Jeff''s training included years of work with two wonderful shamanic healers, C. Michael Smith, PhD., and Sandra Ingerman, both world-respected practitioners, authors, and teachers. "Shamanism," the shared spiritual beliefs and practices of earth-honoring indigenous cultures worldwide, is experiencing a major renaissance today because people are hungry for  more meaningful lives that connect more deeply with the natural world.

Much of our modern culture, even modern religion, has lost that connection with nature. Many people live and make decisions as if the natural world was unreal, or basically unimportant, mere background scenery for the more important human activities of commerce and private industry. We behave as if nature were just a big vending machine, a giant superstore for extracting water, minerals, and wildlife to provide resources for human profit and recreation. Even the dominant religions in the west have been complicit in this view, focused on human sin, salvation, and the afterlife to the odd exclusion of natural world- originally considered paradise- all around us. The consequences of this deep indifference to nature are now being felt in foreseeable and increasingly painful ways for all creatures. Our current relationship with the living earth is unsustainable.

There are many paths to personal healing and spiritual awakening.  What traditional shamanism offers our modern world is not more religious doctrine, commandments, holy books, clergy, or spiritual gurus.  It offers something much more ancient and vital for today's world: a way of living that is aligned both to soul, and the living earth all around us.

Your ancestors - no matter where in the world they lived- believed that every created thing is alive and has a soul.  And that to be happy, strong and of service to the whole, humans needed to be clear on their particular gifts or "medicine," by getting to know their own hearts, their own spiritual nature.  Only then could individuals bring their unique medicine and purpose alive in the world, and live a joyful life in balance with the living earth.  

Jeff Manitou group 2010 copy2The programs here at Great Plains' programs help you do this. We help you find your way, using your own deep soul as a navigational guide, to conquer your current challenges and come more fully alive.

People who attend our programs are often facing a big decision, relationship or career change.  Others feel stagnant in their jobs or unsatisfied in their relationships.  Some are recovering from a loss, divorce, illness or past trauma.  Some aren’t sure what they are looking for, only sensing they are not living the life they are supposed to be living.  Many young adults have used our programs to get clear on their own heart, their future, their vocation or college plans.

People who do not know their hearts cannot know their purpose in life and will easily become overwhelmed and "taken over" by people with more power, or by unexpected problems, or by the unexpected challenges that come with human life.  This loss of vitality and direction is called soul loss.  Soul loss is common and can result from many things, including past trauma and our societal loss of meaningful connections with nature.

For our indigenous ancestors, the traditional “treatment” for soul loss was not to stay busy, go to psychotherapy or take antidepressants.  It was to get your soul back.  Which means getting one's power back.  This involves means embarking on a spiritual journey to find the parts of your essence that are lost, bringing your heart fully online, and living the life you were born for.  It means getting your unique gifts and power–your medicine–out into the world.

Some people know exactly what has been lost in their lives and the adventure begins there.  Others have no idea what is missing, or what their heart is, or what it longs for.  So we begin with practices that teach people how to identify and listen to their deep core for the first time.  Every person is different, and every path is unique.


“One of the changes I have experienced through Jeff is letting my heart lead in new directions.  I have even been writing some poetry.  I never imagined myself doing that a year ago!  I can sense your prayers and feel your sincere compassion and direction.   Thank you!”                      -Keith A., CPA