About Ani Bima Circle

We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) Church and spiritual community dedicated to the preservation, study, and practice of Animistic Shamanism.

Cosmology and Worldview

The central cosmology and worldview of Animism is that individuals live in a conscious, living, sentient universe, wherein all things are interconnected and that non-human entities such as plants, animals, inanimate objects, places, the elements (e.g., earth, water, wind, fire, thunder, etc.) and cosmic phenomenon (e.g., stars, comets, planetary bodies, etc.) all possess a spiritual sentience.

Preservation and Practice

Our Community is dedicated to the preservation and practice of ancient rituals and ceremonies handed down to human beings from prehistoric times and preserved by indigenous traditions as a means of developing “Right Relationship” to all sentient beings, both human and non-human. We believe that individuals who engage in these practices can better understand what it means to be a human being and to gain the wisdom of living in respectful and harmonious existence in the universe and with all sentient beings, whether they be one’s neighbors or one’s long deceased ancestors, whether they be the spirits of animals and plants, or the primal consciousness of the very earth beneath one’s feet.

From the East Asian animist perspective, everything in nature is understood to have an intelligence or sentience to it. This intelligence is called “Qi,” which is considered the fundamental, whilst also impermanent, nature of all beings and things. All things and all sentient beings in nature (from ritual totemic objects to waterfalls) have Qi. The practice of shamanism is an investigation into the accurate perception and recognition of Qi, in order to deepen one’s understanding of how one can best and most appropriately interact with all sentient beings. It is cultivating the capacity to transcend barriers and enter into different levels and realms of consciousness. It is also the understanding of action and non-action with appropriate timing in accordance with the astrological cycles of the natural world. Animism encompasses the non-dual view of non-separateness (i.e., the essential oneness or unity of life) and this informs all aspects of a person’s experience as a human being in right relationship, innate connection, and oneness with all things.

“Forming one body with the universe can literally mean that since all modalities of being are made of Qi, human life is part of a continuous flow of the blood and breath that constitutes the cosmic process. Human beings are thus organically connected with rocks, trees, and animals ... By the same token, rocks are not static objects but dynamic processes with their particular configuration of energy-matter. It may not be far-fetched to suggest that, with this vision of nature, we can actually talk about the different degrees of spirituality of rocks ... By analogy, we can also talk about degrees of spirituality in the entire chain of being. Rocks, trees, animals, humans, and gods represent different levels of spirituality based on the varying compositions of Qi. However, despite the principle of differentiation, all modalities of being are organically connected. They are integral parts of a continuous process of cosmic transformation. It is in this metaphysical sense that “all things are my companions” ... To see nature as an external object out there is to create an artificial barrier which obstructs our true vision and undermines our capacity to experience nature from within. The internal resonance of the vital forces is such that the mind, as the most refined and subtle Qi of the human body, is constantly in sympathetic accord with the myriad things in nature.”

Tu Wei Ming
“The Continuity of Being: Chinese Visions of Nature.” Confucian Thought
New York. State University of New York Press, 1985. 43-44. Print.

Ani Bima Circle welcomes people of all faiths and creates a living, connected community in continuity wherein each individual witnesses her or his own growth and transformation together as part of a totality. We intentionally cultivate a community wherein each member’s daily life is not separate from her or his own spiritual and religious practice, but rather all things, places, situations, and relationships are considered to be themselves sentient, alive, full of Qi, and spirit, and therefore enriching all aspects of our understanding of the spiritual path.