Place of origin: Arcturus. Role in human experience: shamanic initiate, healer. Loves the Beatles.
David Lagunas is a personal trainer in Chicago who also leads meditation workshops where he teaches how to use Universal Life Energy. As a descendant of the Toltecs, he freely shares the wisdom his grandmother bestowed upon him. Gracious, wise and loving, David agreed to sit down with us and tell us things he learned as a child and how this knowledge can transform the world into a veritable paradise for all who want it. The wisdom, once granted, can transport you into a completely different reality. Staff writer Merrick Jacobson had the opportunity to sit down with David and ask him questions about his heritage, his ancestors, and how he brings that into modern day. David also has a message for all Western shamans. The time has come for unity and we must work together so that this ancient spiritual practice is not misused. The Toltecs have survived by making themselves invisible and with this revelation, Merrick's journey into understanding the wisdom of the Toltecs began.
Historians can't really say what happened to the Toltecs. They have theories, of course, ranging from succumbing to drought or to being conquered by surrounding tribes. All scholars can tell us is that Toltec culture eventually became incorporated into Aztec and Mayan civilizations. But as ludicrous as it sounds to those currently stuck in the matrix of this 3D time space reality, David reveals that his ancestors simply moved to an unseen dimension. According to him, they would never allow themselves to be conquered. And they peacefully retreated to a hidden paradise full of abundance, peace, and harmony.
The Toltecs promoted universal love and expressed it in the way they lived their lives. During the Toltec period many innovations may have taken place, such as writing, medicine, and metallurgy. Even some of their religious beliefs and customs were inherited by civilizations that followed them. For instance, the Aztec expression Toltecayotl means "to have a Toltec heart", being worthy and excelling in all things. While in today's world, the Toltecs might not be physically seen, David says they are returning, or have returned, or will return, or never left. See, if at this point you're thinking that time is linear, then just a few minutes in David's presence might have you rethinking everything you thought you knew.
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Everyone is already familiar with the 1999 sci-fi action flick "The Matrix", where Morpheus offers Neo the choice of a red pill or a blue pill, leaving the decision to Neo to discover just how deep the rabbit hole goes. Seeking to understand the wisdom of the Toltecs is a lot like facing a choice such as that. The knowledge is presented in an easily digestible form. A pill. A glass of water. But, a gentle warning. Once you take the red pill, you will see through the illusion of reality, and your life will never be the same.
It was pretty clear that the Universe connected David to us here at The Urban Shaman. We discovered him at a barely publicized meditation workshop. Or, did he discover us? Coupled with our clear mission to help unite shamans in the west, allied closely with his desire to share the wisdom of his ancestors, it seemed as if all of this had been orchestrated by Universal forces. I'm not being grandiose here. You don't just accidentally meet a descendant of the Toltecs, nor does that descendant run across a collective of shamans, shamanic practitioners, and other spirit workers dedicated to what we're doing here as a coincidence. But once we were in the same room it all unfolded as if this had been planned thousands of years ago. Words alone cannot express the energy I felt when I was interviewing David, but I will try.
Imagine this: You are lost in a desert, dehydrated, slipping in and out of consciousness. Thirstier than you have ever been in your life. In the distance you see a shimmering pool of water. It beckons you. An oasis in the desert? Your logical mind tells you that its an illusion. A mirage. The interplay of sunlight, sand, and perspective is playing tricks on your mind. Even though you know the science behind such phenomena, your spirit longs for the water to be real. As you stagger towards it, you see the illusion vanish. You are out of options, and out of time.
Suddenly, a unicorn appears to you in the middle of this dry and sandy desert. You rub your eyes in disbelief. You reach up to it to pet it, to confirm the fact that this unicorn is real. It bends its neck down, allowing you to brush its silvery mane.
Ok. So you’re thinking...how did a unicorn end up in the middle of the desert? Unicorns are supposed to be extinct. Where did this one come from? The unicorn looks at you and suddenly you forget that you’re human. Are you a unicorn too? Surrounding the unicorn is an aura of unconditional love. And then consciousness leaves you.
According to Universe of Symbolism, having unicorn as a totem means opening up the infinite possibilities surrounding you. Unicorn can shift through the visible world and the invisible world easily. In shamanism, unicorn is a totem of success, unexpected outcomes, and divine intervention.
You regain consciousness to discover that the sun has slipped closer to the horizon. The unicorn is nudging your body with its nose, urging you into action. Using the last resources of your energy, you sit up to discover you've been delivered to an actual oasis in the desert. Replete with palm trees and surrounded by beds of verdant grasses. You look back at the unicorn, and it nods its head in the direction of the water, giving you permission to drink. His eyes say to you, that yes, this is real. You crawl towards the waters' edge, eager to test the illusion. You greedily drink the water. Rejuvenated, you fall back onto the grass.
If you dream that you're searching for an oasis, this means your inner fears, insecurities and overwhelming life circumstances are taking control. In dream symbolism, seeing an oasis in a desert represents specific things in your waking life. A dry sandy desert generally means opportunities are lacking for you, whereas seeing an oasis means those opportunities are well underway. Being able to rest at an oasis in your dream means fertility and that you're hard work is finally paying off.
David’s first bold statement kicked off our interview: “For the first time in history, humankind is in big need of wisdom and tools to help them to be able to transcend from this vibration to the next one.” We live in very strange times. Intense poverty, extreme violence and skyrocketing crime (at least in some of our larger cities), has led humanity to cry out for assistance. It won't take trillions of dollars to truly fix what is perceived as the problem. It may come down to simply changing your mind, ridding yourself of some strongly held beliefs and dispensing of having opinions altogether. When everyone has to be right, no one wins anyway. If you knew you were playing a game you couldn't win, would you even bother?
David told me about his childhood, growing up among a supportive, spiritually evolved family and community. I really loved hearing about David’s great grandmother and their 4 am nature walks. They would walk through the forest before sunrise, and he was passed down so much wisdom about life, spirituality and how making big changes in an external world often comes from within. Talking to David, one feels his grand, grandmother passed this wisdom onto him, not solely for the sake of his own life, but primarily to share with all human beings living in the world around him. I sat there wondering what got him to a big city like Chicago, all the way from the mountains. He says that, “In a way we are all connected, but we’re not aware [of this].” This universal connection is what brings us all together.
"Once we are connected to who we truly are," David says of his meditation practice, "our learning experiences are a lot easier – we can master them instead of them mastering us.” Some ideas of meditation are centered around clearing our minds and trying to view drifting thoughts as insignificant conjurations. Thoughts that we might want to detach ourselves from, especially if they are causing us any degree of suffering. David expresses that meditation is about processing experiences, pleasant or painful, rather than dismissing them. I’ve heard before that everything that happens to us in our waking human experience is a lesson for our true selves. If this is the case, then no ideation your mind creates is worthless.
He says that in the way he remembers his learning experience, that it all felt like a game. Traveling to and from different dimensions, while also living in two distinct worlds. A collision of past and future, modern and ancient. If everyone could have access to a magical experience like David has with his life, why would anyone choose to focus on negative aspects? “You have to cope with your human existence," he says. "As a human, you still have to go to school; you still have to get educated. You still have to have your normal life. And on the other side, there is the other side that is spiritual – that is very different from what people know. And there’s a moment that people notice that. That you are different. That you are not like the rest.” I wonder how many among us can relate to that?
Meeting David Lagunas was like running into an old friend. There was no period of getting to know each other, no awkward silences, just brief introductions and then getting down to work. David says the Toltecs are returning. I was lucky to be able to glimpse just a portion of the unseen dimensions that the Toltecs may have escaped to. If I can see into their world, then surely they can see into ours. I come away from this experience completely changed. Calm, clear, serene and focused. And I look forward to applying the things David taught me in the experiences I share with others. We are all teachers and we are all students. And what we learn in this life is carried over to the next. Nothing is insignificant or meaningless. And even a chance meaning can turn into the thing that completely transforms your life, even if you are not looking for it. Especially if you are not looking for it. And you thought unicorns were extinct.
Here is a portion of our interview with David: