Munkhzul Munkhjargal is a Mongolian journalist, researcher and director of The Institute for the Study of Mongolian Shamanism. Her quest is to bring greater awareness of our connection with the natural world and to help preserve Mother Earth. Mother of three, Munkhzul runs regular tours around her beautiful country for those interested in learning about the nomadic culture, cuisine and traditional Shamanism of Mongolia.
Together with her husband she will travel to Perth in November for the Conscious Living Expo where she will share her vast knowledge and direct experience of Mongolian Shamanism and wisdom for the first time with Western audiences.
A highlight of their visit will be the traditional Mongolian Yurt especially flown to Perth for the Expo, which will be furnished with traditional handcrafted furniture and will also showcase shamanic drums, costumes and other healing tools and handicrafts.
Mongolians have been Buddhists since the 16th century, following mainly Tibetan Buddhist teachings characteristic of Tibet and the Himalayan region. In the pre-revolutionary period, Mongolia was ruled by a series of Living Buddhas, or Jebtzun Damba. The eighth, and last, Jebtzun Damba was removed after the communist takeover. Traditionally, monasteries were centres of learning and power.
The tradition of shamanism
Anthropologists have identified shamanistic practices in tribal cultures, ancient and modern, throughout the world. Mongolian Shamanism goes back long before Genghis Khan’s time, but it was Genghis Khan who established it as a fundamental part of the Mongolian tradition.
The Mongolians were worshiping “Hoh Tenger” (blue skies) in this time. According to this belief the skies are the father, and the earth is the mother of all beings in the universe. As a civilisation totally dependent on the forces of nature, the Mongolians worshipped the various elements of nature, praying to their ancestors (transformed into mythical spiritual animals) to provide them with good weather, health and success.
Since the 1990s, shamanism has beenexperiencing a revival in Mongolia and is widely practised by women. A shaman interacts with many other worlds or universes and contacting the spirits is an important part of a shaman’s work.
World’s first eco-homes.
The Mongolian yurt, the ‘Ger’, is the national traditional housing for nomads. It could be described as the world’s first eco home. The Ger is a globe matching the shape of our planet and is fashioned from woollen felt and wooden lattice, natural materials which breathe and are designed to exchange air flow 500 times in an hour.As a result of living in Gers that have such special features, nomadic Mongolians are connected with sky, land and nature. At the same time, they are supported with sun, moon and sky energy and protected by the eternal blue sky.
At the Expo on November 4-6, Munkhzul will give talks covering several topics, including the lifestyle of the Nomadic Mongolian which relates to seasonal movement, taking herds (sheep, goats, cattle, yaks, camels, horses) to new grazing grounds. She will also talk about shamanism, how the spirit is called into the body, shamanic illnesses, why certain individuals become shamans, traditional healing methods, and specific ceremonies and rituals to offer prayers to connect with the spirits and to improve the energy and power of spirit.
She will also prepare two healing soups called Buuz (streamed dumpling) and a Mongolian version of the meat pie called Khuushuur, which is used for healing as well.