Author Topic: Hiah Park  (Read 1841 times)

Offline educatedindian

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Hiah Park
« on: November 25, 2018, 10:52:09 pm »
Got a request about her. She's briefly mentioned in a few threads.
Claims to be a traditional Korean shaman of an almost extinct tradition. Mostly ecstatic dancing into a trance, like the dervishes of Sufi Islam.
I don't know much about Korean shamanism except what I quickly found with a search. But if Wiki is to be believed, nothing that HP sells has any resemblance to it.

Not that most would know. She peddles entirely to Europeans.

And is pretty profit oriented, 300 Euro per person, 15 person minimum.

It's also pretty obvious much of what she teaches is not Korean but Hindu (bolded).

Transforming & Improving our Health and Life... cosmic energy, male principle, and female principle of cosmic energy in the human psychic. Here we learn how to sense and purify our auric field (energy field) and raise our vibration .
Transforming & Improving our Selves and the World...shamanic Trance Dance.
Mystical Aspect of Shamanic Trance Dance: "Body as Spiritual Tool"....
Power of the Mind: Escalating our Mind and Expanding our Awareness Mind & Energy. Mind & Healing. Application on Dreams. Kundalini, Gods, and Energy. Thoughts on Humility and Gratitude. Thoughts on Sexual Energy...
Power of Breath: Breath & Healing. Sound & Healing. We will learn effect of Shamanic Voices & Cosmic Rhythm...
Power & Energy: Theme on Inaudible Hearing - The Goddess of Speech...
Divine Union: Sakta(Siva) / Sakti:


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Re: Hiah Park
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 12:50:18 am »
From the book Perspectives on Korean Music, Volume 1, By Keith Howard :

Kim Kumhwa, born 1931 what is now North Korea, migrated to Seoul during Korean War.
"She is probably the most studied of Korean shamans."
Did performance work at tourist spots, museums, tv, theater stages.

In 1981, Hi-ah Park (birth surname Cha'ae), grad in music from Seoul National University, who had migrated to California, returned to Korea to train as a shaman under Kim.

She hoped to become, in her own words "the Carlos Castaneda of Korea".

She did not complete the full training, "preferring to return to California to pursue a career as a dancer with New Age leanings.".

There are many versions of Kim Kumhwa's name, including Kum-Hwa Kim - other versions listed here - and her nickname is Nami.

Hi-ah Park can be seen in some books as Cha'ae and Ch'ae. Public records have other variations also.

Shamans of the 20th Century by Ruth-Inge Heinze has information on "Nami" and "Ch'ae". Page 51 starts a chapter on "Nami, Ch'ae, and Oksun - Superstar Shamans in Korea".


  • Guest
Re: Hiah Park
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2018, 02:39:31 am »
Mina Otis Haft: You are a native Korean. How did you come to live in the United States?

Hi-ah Park: In 1963, I became the first woman to be admitted to the Korean National Classical Music Institute as a court musician and dancer. I was invited to the United States in 1966 to perform and lecture on classical Korean music and dance at the Asian Academic Institute of Northwestern Nazerene College in Idaho. Later, I was offered teaching positions - in the dance department at UCSD in 1984. These positions gave me the opportunity to teach sound and movement improvisation.

Mina Otis Haft: Were you trained as a child to become a mudang?

Hi-ah Park: Actually, I was raised in Korea as a Christian; I didn't become a mudang until long after I had moved to the United States.

Mina Otis Haft: Your initiation as a mudang sounds very complex and traditional. Is it necessary for your students to belong to the ancient Korean religion in order to work with you?

Hiah-Park: Not really. Although I was initiated as a mudang and have great respect for the tradition, I think of myself as a spiritual midwife and a global shaman. I believe that today we must look beyond the organized religions and the attachments of culturally prescribed spiritual practice. Traditional religions attempt to define and direct our religious experiences. In contrast, the essence of shamanism is to make accessible the indefinite and to explore realms that go beyond language and social organization.

Mina Otis Haft: Can you give us an example of how you function as a spiritual midwife?

Hiah-Park: Last spring, the Women's Alliance invited me to the Women's Solstice Camp in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I performed a ritual ceremony. Before I began, I picked seven participants and asked what they wanted to accomplish in the ceremony. One of them told me she wanted to cure her breast cancer. During the ceremony, as I was possessed by the warrior spirit, I went into the audience and grabbed this woman's hands, pulled her to the front, and then danced on her chest until she completely surrendered to the spirit.
A week later, the woman came to a workshop I was giving in the Bay Area. She explained that after what had happened to her at the Woman's Camp, she had gone to the hospital for an examination. Three doctors examined her, but none of them found any signs of cancer.
This woman was ripe for opening and ready to transform herself; that is why my psychic surgery was effective. My psychic surgery only works for those who are willing to confront their dark side and surrender to the primal spirit. When I say “psychic surgery”, I don't mean cutting into the person - my surgery involves cutting through the fear, stitching up the psychic tears in the fabric of mind, body, and spirit
Hiah-Park: My work as a shaman is not bound by any single set of theological, cultural, or historical limits,


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Re: Hiah Park
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2018, 04:09:32 am »
The video clip link this refers to is down. But especially because of the part I've bolded, I think the info here is important to keep in mind.

Hiah Park - Shaman Healer

A man walks in off the street into a gathering of shamans and finds himself spontaneously being drawn into a healing ceremony with Hiah Park which quickly renders him unconscious for a period of time. While his soul hangs precariously between the worlds, the situation grows very serious at one point and some of the shamans begin to fear that he may die. Eventually Hiah manages to bring him back with the assistance of one of the elders. When he awakens he finds that he has been rid of addictions which had been troubling his life. Some of the other healers present, especially the men, are shocked by the sexual expression involved in her healing. She has an interesting discussion about this with the other members of the group after the healing session is over.

In this video she appears to be attempting to do a healing of a man laying down on the floor. Seven people are standing in a half circle around her and the man. One of those standing is playing pan pipes.

A commentator is overlaid during part of the video, I don't know who he is. He states that many of her actions are wrong - "you never ever do that". This is while she is seen stretching her legs over the man on the floor. She then opens and closes her legs several times over him, it does look sexual. She drags her breasts over his face and then places flowers on his crotch.

Children are in the room as she screams and groans. Other "shamans" from other cultures perform assorted actions and also have their commentary added in.

At the end of whatever this is, people in the room applaud as if they are the audience.

Afterwards in response to criticism - she says that taboo is being discussed, and that she "always takes that risk" and breaks taboos.


Hiah Park about Kundalini

Offline Sparks

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Re: Hiah Park
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2018, 10:03:51 am »
There are many versions of Kim Kumhwa's name, including Kum-Hwa Kim - other versions listed here - and her nickname is Nami.

There is also another introduction to Hiah Park, and at the bottom six links to further articles in that domain:

Interesting quotes. The complete interview is also still at her own site:

Offline Sparks

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Re: Hiah Park
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2018, 10:58:35 am »
Not that most would know. She peddles entirely to Europeans.

Seems to be limited to German-speaking countries: Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.