Way of the Bushman: Spiritual Teachings and Practices of the Kalahari Ju/’hoansi (Paperback)
The first comprehensive presentation of the core teachings of the Kalahari Bushmen as told by the Tribal Elders
• Reveals how the Bushmen are able to receive direct transmissions of God’s love for healing and spiritual transformation
• Explores tribal legends and teaching tales, the importance of dreams and animals, and the origins of their dances, rituals, and ceremonies
Step into the imaginative realm of one of the oldest continuous cultures on Earth, the Kalahari Ju/’hoansi Bushmen. Translated by Beesa Boo, a Bushman, and interspersed with detailed commentary from Bradford and Hillary Keeney, this book presents the core teachings of the Kalahari Bushmen as told by the tribal elders themselves. Decades in the making, it constitutes the first comprehensive work on the world’s oldest tradition of healing and spiritual experience.
Told in their own words, these teachings reveal how the Bushmen are able to receive direct transmissions of God’s love in the form of the universal life force, n/om. The individuals who are filled with this force describe it as an awakened, energized feeling of love that inspires a spontaneous and heightened ecstatic awareness that opens mystical perception. Having your heart transfixed by this force enables true healing and spiritual growth to occur. Experiencing the force in your entire being, through a vision of “God’s egg”, awakens deep spiritual wisdom and extraordinary healing gifts. Those who “own the egg” are blessed with the ability to have direct communication with the Divine, a “rope to God,” and can communicate with others for all “ropes” are connected.
Conveying the deep love that is the dominant emotion of Bushman spirituality, the book explores tribal legends and teaching tales, the importance of dreams and encounters with animals, the origins of their dances, such as the giraffe dance, and specific rituals and ceremonies, including puberty rites for boys and girls.
“As the elder teachers of the Ju’/hoan Bushman (San) people, we hold the most enduring traditional wisdom concerning healing and spiritual experience. This book is a testimony of our ecstatic ways. We happily share our basic teachings about spirituality and healing with those whose hearts are sincerely open.”
About the Author
Bradford Keeney, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned scholar, therapist, and shaman who has led expeditions throughout the world to study cultural healing practices. He is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Rock Art Research Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and is the author of Bushman Shaman: Awakening the Spirit through Ecstatic Dance, Shamanic Christianity: The Direct Experience of Mystical Communion, Shaking Medicine: The Healing Power of Ecstatic Movement, and the editor of the Profiles of Healing series.
Hillary Keeney, Ph.D., is a traditional healer, senior research fellow at the University of Louisiana, and distinguished visiting professor at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla in Mexico. She cofounded with her husband Bradford Keeney the Keeney Institute for Healing in New Orleans.
“Way of the Bushman is a powerful spiritual testament. The Kalahari Bushman elders provide a credible and extraordinary guide for the healing journey to radical ecstasy. This book will alter your consciousness and help you dance with the divine.”
— Carl Hammerschlag, M.D., faculty member at the University of Arizona Medical School and author of Th
“Rare ancient wisdom desperately needed in today’s world.”
— Robbie Holz, coauthor of Secrets of Aboriginal Healing and author of Aboriginal Secrets of Awakening
“First and foremost, Bradford Keeney has danced with the San (Bushmen) and met them at a kinesthetic level of understanding that is unparalleled in previous anthropological research. Having met the elder healers on their own terms, Brad developed a deep relationship that brought a new voice and insight to the representation and interpretation of their healing dance. Hillary and Brad have a very special physical and academic skillset and an exceptional dedication to research. This book reveals new depths in the beliefs and practices of San (Bushman) healing that will hopefully be as valuable for the San (Bushmen) as a record and guide in a fast-changing world as it is for the wider world to appreciate these extraordinary people.”
— Chris Low, anthropologist and physician, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford
“Other anthropologists had not succeeded in pushing through to the deep experience that is the key to Bushman spirituality. With Brad Keeney’s acceptance as a healer, hithero closed doors began to open. This work describes in previously unavailable detail how the Bushmen learn the techniques of transition and transformation,how they journey to the spirit realm, and how they climb the ropes of God. As we read the words of these Bushman elders, we can almost feel what it must be like to undertake such journeys.”
— David Lewis-Williams, Ph.D., founder of the Rock Art Research Institute, University of Witwatersrand
“Bradford and Hillary Keeney have broken through the dusty curtain that often separates anthropologists from the people whose beliefs and practices they want to understand. Instead of writing exclusively about their own impressions, they foreground the teachings of Ju’hoan Bushman elders from northeastern Namibia. Their parallel commentary shows how a form of circular interaction and change-oriented activities have kept the ancient religion and its practitioners alive and successful despite major social upheaval in their community over the past century or more. It is a poignant reminder that the opportunity to share the experiences described with rare insight in this ‘bible’ may never arise in the same way again.”
— Janette Deacon, Ph.D., archaeologist and authority on Bushman rock art