Ayahuasca and the Embodied Awakening

Human bodies have evolved in a harmony with the Earth's plants.

Seems self-evident and matter-of-fact, doesn't it?

Whatever spiritual or other traditions you honor, they have arisen in a context of humans like ourselves, homo sapiens,  and until just a few decades ago... for most of us, just one or two generations ago, we humans were all immersed in some natural community of species which included animals, but which, even for meat-eaters, derived all of its physical subsistence from local and familiar plants.

Now the "supply chain" is more complex, but we still depend on the plant kingdom to morph the Earth's elements, and the Sun's light, into the food our bodies need. And to put oxygen into the air we breathe.

But lately, largely since we've had a complex civil-social structure, humans have been thinking of their own divinity in terms of Something rather at odds with the Earth and the plants.  Complex social structures have chains of power and authority. Along with them has come a rarefied view of spirit, as not "of this earth". Condemning "the body", elevating "spirit" as distinct from body.  When we act on our natural impulses, we are often punished, and the pain of that "it's not OK to be me" is itself held and stored deep within our tissues.

Spiritual teachings that ignore the need to heal those wounds are just laying a thin veneer over them. That's why it's so hard to "be good" according to their definition. When "being good", or "being godly', or "reaching enlightenment" requires that we behave as if we were NOT carrying these deep wounds - when it even denies that we are acting from that wound-carrying bodily reality - it can get pretty frustrating, can't it?

If you've stuck with me this far, you are probably guessing there's a suggested alternative in here somewhere.

For several years we've been interested in "embodied awakening". This means, letting Spirit radiate in and through you, by working with the body rather than against it. It turns out we humans are really very well equipped to do this!  If we're willing to let ourselves feel what's happening in the body, especially when we notice that we're upset, afraid, sad, grumpy... any of those familiar signals, then we have the opportunity to interact with the wounds or patterns with care and intention, and help them to unwind and heal. Often that healing process is going to take some serious work; we need to learn to be solid and grounded, and be willing to surrender to the process rather than try to manage it. It isn't all easy or all filled with divine light. We love what psychologist John Welwood has taught us about "spiritual by-passing", the term he coined to refer to mis-using the notion that "it's all light", or "I am only That" to avoid working with the ways we armored ourselves early on as protection from the difficult experiences of this world. We're no longer infants! It's time to clean house in there, and step into freedom!

The shamanic "Earth-based" practices we've been studying and using are based in this principal of interacting with our own body, and the subtle-body field it coincides with, and
they also involve getting some help for the heavy lifting that is often involved. That is to say, we call in help from the rest of Earth's beings (remember, we humans
are part of that ecosystem), in effect our brothers and sisters here on the planet. This is where the plants come in. 

It happens that some of the humans who are still the most immersed in Nature, i.e., the least civil-ized, are those living in the Amazon jungle. These people still know which plants are useful for hundreds of needs. The Amazon basin is home to a very large portion of the compounds that modern pharmaceuticals replicate, and native peoples are the ones who've shown these to outsiders. In that milieu it is the vine Ayahuasca which is the most revered. In Quechua, "ayahuasca" means the vine of the soul, or the vine of transformation. And what ayahuasca gifts us is just what we describe above: it helps us to see the wounds, the old patterns of belief, even the source events that led to those. And it helps us to use our own power to release or heal those wounds. When that old stuff is gone, we don't have to be on constant alert for some imagined danger, and we cease to react to people or events that subconsciously remind us of what happened decades ago. In short, we start to step into a state of freedom. Freedom from these governing patterns and stresses, and freedom to live our full destiny, live in greater harmony with those around us, live out of conscious awareness of our deepest nature.

This is why we have been offering information about the sacred plants. Steve Beyer, author of Singing to the Plants, when asked how in the world this can work as it does, dropped all his neuro-chemical explanations and said simply "The plants love us."  These other species, with whom we've been living and co-evolving for so long, have gifts for us. Now, at the beginning of this new century, with the eco-system itself severely threatened, it's time to acknowledge that we have love to offer in return, to walk in service to one another and all of life. That is why we have started talking about these plant-strengthened processes, and taking people with us to the jungle.

We look forward to continued conversation with you. Our calling is to share the gifts we keep receiving, from the Munay-Ki, from energetic healing processes, from the these loving plants, and from the native experts who work with them.

If you have questions please
email: jeffreyandcielle@gmail.com