Since ecoshamanism is the antithesis of the materialistic worldview, one of the ways that the shamanic world can start to appear in front of us is when we engage in activities completely foreign to the habitual modes of being imposed on us by modern society. The techniques of counterpractice that I have laid out so far have been some of the big ones that are aimed at deep levels of awareness. But there are also thousands of smaller forms of ecological counterpractice that, when combined, can create significant momentum and radical shifts in consciousness. Therefore…I'm going to list some small conscious-raising forms of counterpractice that can be performed during daily life. Keep in mind that I'm not considering all of these simple things to be shamanic practices, but when taken all together these types of actions, when done on a daily basis, can affect considerable changes in the way you perceive the world, and that is one of the main goals of the ecoshamanic project.
- Reclaim your mind and revolt against the brainwashing of commercial advertising. If you see a product being advertised, don't buy it. Seek out local products and those from small businesses that aren't mass marketed.
- Every time you see or hear an advertisement, state out loud what buttons it is trying to push inside of you.
- Try to never buy another disposable battery.
- Don't kill insects. Adopt a spider.
- In the summertime when people are watering the biotic desert they call a lawn, turn off their sprinklers that are running during the heat of the day, and adjust the ones that are watering more driveway and sidewalk than they are lawn.
- A sheet of paper has two sides. Use them both.
- Create something beautiful and then give it away to someone you don't know well and will probably never see again. While you are giving it you may feel regret, but you will learn that you need not possess something to own it.
- Read The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono, and then see how it feels to be like him.
- With the help of a friend for safety, blindfold yourself for twenty-four hours while still performing many functions of your everyday life.
- Spend a whole day exploring various tasks in a wheelchair.
- Walk backwards for half an hour each day for a week.
- Take a tape recorder with you and record yourself during various conversations and situations. Is that really you?
- Tell a total stranger a secret that you've never told anyone before.
- Tell yourself lies in front of a mirror. Tell yourself how great you are, how good looking, how intelligent, smart, funny, successful…after a while, the lies and the truths are all the same. Do it now.
- Read out loud all the ingredients of the packaged food you eat each time before you eat it.
- Put the specialness back into simple items—only use one plate, glass, fork, pair of shoes, socks, or underwear.
- Color your world without petroleum-based paint products.
- Never buy or eat anything that comes in Styrofoam. Tell businesses you currently frequent that you will go elsewhere unless they provide alternatives.
- Use a cloth rag, not a paper towel.
- Each time you flush three-five gallons of water go down the toilet, become aware of how wasteful it is to defecate into water that is made pure for drinking.
- Say "thank you" to everything. If you stub your toe, say "thank you" to the kid's toy that caused you pain. Before you start to eat, say "thank you" to your fork.
- We've all seen the "adopt a highway" signs. What about adopting something really important, like a stream or an old-growth forest?
- Revolt against helium party balloons. They always seem to end up where they don't belong.
- Make peaceful rebellion your church. Revolt against your own self-imposed limitations, and those put on you by society. If your rebellion feels uncomfortable, then you're doing it right.
- Adopt an endangered species.
- Don't put your groceries into anything but a reusable cloth bag.
- Don't speak for at least two days. Spend your time listening instead. Write it out if it's really that important.
- Just like a child who knows the world is still a mystery, ask the question "Why?" to everything and to everyone.
Excerpted from Ecoshamanism, by James Endredy