The purpose and intent of our second journey was to travel to the Upper World to meet our Spiritual Teacher. These teachers usually appear in a human-like form, rather than animal.

Here are the details of my Shamanic Journey to the Upper World:

Again I found myself at my childhood home, and again my first instinct was to give my dog, “Muffy”, a visit at the doghouse and ask her where I can find the portal to the Upper World. On my second visit, I suddenly remember that my father had originally purchased the little playhouse for me when I was a small boy, and that we gave it to the dog when I eventually outgrew it. Dad even had a little wooden sign custom engraved with the word’s, “Mike’s Castle”, and it’s still there hanging above the door but so faded and rotted from the years that it’s almost unreadable.

Next to the doghouse is an old apple tree in which I had build many tree forts as a kid. Now, though, the trunk of the tree is silver, it’s wrapped in a stainless steel wrapper, and there’s a little steel door at the base. Clearly, this is the way up, so I open the door, I get very, very small, and I step inside.

It’s hot inside. Randomly stacked all around me, from floor to ceiling, are gigantically huge fluffy pieces of perfectly popped popcorn. A greasy, brown cardboard sign is impaled on one of the nearby pieces with a little silver butter knife.  On the sign, scrawled in reddish-brown crayon it says, “This Way Up”, with an arrow pointing to the ceiling (which I can’t see with all of the popcorn in the way). I start climbing.

The climb is relatively easy, more like walking up a steep mountain trail than actually mountain climbing. Occasionally I do have to traverse a piece of popcorn or two to keep on the path. In those instances where I actually do have to climb over one, I can feel the popcorn’s flesh give way to my fingers so that I can get a good grip for leverage to lift me up and over so I can continue. While I have a feeling of being very, very high up in the air, miles even, I’m not scared. Looking down all I see is popcorn, so I don’t get that sense of vertigo you usually get when you can actually see the bottom, which tends to remind you how high up you are.

I reach the top and it’s really, really hot now. Above me is a crinkled silver ceiling with a pattern that suggests a curved arch but I can’t see where the arch pattern originates, I can’t see where the center is. I place the palms of my hands together in front of my chest, fingers pointed upward, like in a praying position, and then I quickly lift my arms up and easily poke a hole in the tinfoil ceiling. I shoot up and out, and now I am standing on what appears to be a roof.

It’s cool now. And it’s quiet. I mean spooky quiet. I can’t even hear my own breathing (or the Shamanic drumming that is presumably still happening in the background.). Looking around, I am standing on a silver metal rooftop that continues on in every direction as far as I can see. There’s no sky, just black. No stars. Just black. There must be a light source somewhere because I can see for miles in every direction, yet there is no sun.

I get focused, and start thinking about my intent, which is to seek out and find my Spiritual Teacher. I’m keeping this thought, holding it tight, but I’m still alone. I wonder to myself if I’ll meet the Buddha. Then I wonder if that was an arrogant thought. Looking around, still nothing. I’m starting to get nervous. I again focus on my intention. I see a man walking towards me. It’s a slow confident walk, almost a swagger. He’s a handsome man, maybe in his early 30’s, wavy, not-quite-shoulder-length hair, and he has a smirky smile on his face. As he gets closer, I recognize him as Jim Morrison, the deceased rock star. Jim keeps walking towards me, and as he passes, he says, “Just kiddin“ and walks on by. I turn around and he’s gone.

Okay, enough with the comic relief, where the hell is my Spiritual Teacher?! A minute later, a small fawn appears and walks towards me. She gives the top of my hand a single lick and then disappears.

I now hear the drumbeat; it’s changing and getting faster. Time to go home. Better luck next time, I guess.

On my return to ordinary reality, I realized that I was just inside a larger-than-life Jiffy Pop popcorn. And I noticed that I don’t seem to have a sense of smell in the Upper World…I definitely would have remembered smelling all that popcorn!