Tag Archive: LA Yoga Magazine

Ayahuasca – An Amazonian Journey

Written by Sam Slovick (from LA Yoga Magazine)

Vegetalismo is the indigenous Amazonian tradition of spiritual herbalism practiced in the Peruvian Amazon.  It’s an elegant and refind sacred science.  This LA Yoga Magazine story, “Welcome to the Jungle” and accompanying video was shot at a center called Espiritu De Anaconda near Iquitos, Peru.  The compound was founded by Shipibo shaman, Guillermo Arévalo (aka Kesenbetsa), whose objective is the protection, organization and diffusion of traditional Amazonian medicine.  The center offers traditional cures at the healing center site as well as training with traditional shamanic preparation in the isolated jungle.

Arévalo’s medicine name, ‘Echo of the Universe’ is a decidedly prophetic moniker.  His global vision of the ancient practice is rooted in the jungle and developed by his people, the Shipibo-Conibo, and has woven it’s way into the Western world and beyond.

Guillermo is recognized worldwide in the field of Amazonian indigenous medicine, from both western academic and indigenous organizations, and especially by his own people. Vegetalismo is conceivably the most evolved and sophisticated tradition of Amazonian Master Plant healing.

Arévalo is the subject of a documentary film (Other Worlds) by French film director Jan Kounen.

Ayahuasca, Shamanism And The Diets Of Healing

I’ll open your thoughts. By doing so I’ll fill you with joy. By doing so I’ll straighten your thoughts. By doing so I’ll straighten your body. now I’ll heal you to the depths of your heart. By doing so I’ll fill you with immense joy. By doing so I’ll return life to your body and to your thoughts. I’ll heal your being, your body, with the powerful essence of the tree and the universe. so you are joyous, remember my words. so you remember them, I will chant them. Though I’m small, I made your thoughts shine. The universe is in harmony.The word is and ever will be.

–– Shamanic Chants of Kestenbetsa (Echo of the Universe) From Jan Kounen’s Documentary About Ayahuasca, Other Worlds.

The Crystalline Grid

The crystalline grid global healing project launched by visionary Tiara Cumara. Thousands of followers unite for a group meditation simultaneously from locations all over the planet.

More here in The Crystalline Grid in LA Yoga and Ayurveda Magazine.

CrystallineGrid

The Crystalline Grid: Meditating with the Moon to transform planet Earth

Native American Church

The NAC – Native American Church is a Peyote religion. In this LA Yoga Magazine story on NAC Roadman Kenny Little Fish articulates the indigenous American church’s philosophy and practices. He also says, “I need the government to step up and say we apologize for the oppression and the continued oppression that we’re putting on you…

  • What: NAC is a religious denomination that practices Peyotism or the Peyote religion.  NAC originated in Oklahoma, and is the most widespread indigenous religion among Native Americans.  Peyotism involves the use of the entheogen peyote, a spineless cactus. Peyote was used in the territory of modern Mexico in pre-Columbian times both as a way to commune with the spirit world and also as a medicine. From the mid-15th century, the use of peyote spread to the Great Plains area of the United States primarily through the efforts of the Apache people. Peyotism is now practiced in more than 50 Indian tribes and has approximately 250,000 adherents.
  • Treatment: Correlated with its use as a religious sacrament and its presumed value as a medicine, Peyote renders all other medicines superfluous. The roadman (or shaman) may be asked to treat a patient. This procedure varies in form. The curing ritual is almost always simple, consisting of praying and frequent use of the sign of the cross.  Native Americans consider peyote sacred, a divine “messenger” that enables the individual to communicate with God without the medium of a priest.  For many peyotists, it is an earthly representative of God.

Ceremony: The ceremony is led by a roadman, takes place after dark and continues through sunrise.  The ceremony takes place in a tepee (which represents a mother’s womb) where an alter is constructed in the shape of a crescent moon. The shape represents the “road of life.”  The ceremony begins with smoking tobacco, after which, peyote or “medicine,” is passed around. Participants sing prayers to the accompaniment of a gourd rattle and a small water drum. Water is brought in twice during the night. Vomiting signals cleansing and purification. Members have visions and profound insights.

The Roadman: Native American ceremonialist who “carries the alter” from a specific linage or teaching and set of rules.  The roadman is in charge of leading the songs, initiating the prayers, and holding the space.  He does delegate some responsibility such as fire keeper and doorkeeper.

Participants: At the beginning of each ceremony, participants ingest peyote or “medicine,” and over the course of the night may experience purging, consciousness expansion, healing, purification, detoxification, and profound realizations.

Origin: Quanah Parker is credited as the founder of the Native American Church Movement, which started in the 1890s, and was formally incorporated in 1918. Parker adopted the peyote religion after reportedly seeing a vision of Jesus Christ while suffering from a near fatal wound following a battle with U.S. Federal Troops. Peyote is reported to contain hordenine and tyramine, phenylethylamine alkaloids that act as potent natural antibiotics when taken in a combined form. Parker was given peyote by the Carrizo Coahuiltecan Indians in South Texas. The Carrizo Coahuiltecan Indians healed him and showed him the proper way to run peyote ceremonies.

In return, Parker taught that the Sacred Peyote Medicine was the Sacrament given to all peoples by the Creator, and was to be used with water when taking communion in some Native American Church medicine ceremonies.  Parker created the “half-moon” style of the peyote ceremony. The “cross fire ceremony” (originally called the “Blue Moon” ceremony) later evolved in Oklahoma (initially among the Kiowa) and is due to influences introduced by John Moon-Head Wilson, a Caddo Indian who traveled extensively with Parker during the early days of the Native American Church movement. The Native American Church was the first truly “American” religion based on Christianity outside of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Chief Quanah Parker of the Kwahadi Comanche

What: NAC is a religious denomination that practices Peyotism or the Peyote religion.  NAC originated in Oklahoma, and is the most widespread indigenous religion among Native Americans.  Peyotism involves the use of the entheogen peyote, a spineless cactus. Peyote was used in the territory of modern Mexico in pre-Columbian times both as a way to commune with the spirit world and also as a medicine. From the mid-15th century, the use of peyote spread to the Great Plains area of the United States primarily through the efforts of the Apache people. Peyotism is now practiced in more than 50 Indian tribes and has approximately 250,000 adherents.

Treatment: Correlated with its use as a religious sacrament and its presumed value as a medicine, Peyote renders all other medicines superfluous. The roadman (or shaman) may be asked to treat a patient. This procedure varies in form. The curing ritual is almost always simple, consisting of praying and frequent use of the sign of the cross.  Native Americans consider peyote sacred, a divine “messenger” that enables the individual to communicate with God without the medium of a priest.  For many peyotists, it is an earthly representative of God.

Ceremony: The ceremony is led by a roadman, takes place after dark and continues through sunrise.  The ceremony takes place in a tepee (which represents a mother’s womb) where an alter is constructed in the shape of a crescent moon. The shape represents the “road of life.”  The ceremony begins with smoking tobacco, after which, peyote or “medicine,” is passed around. Participants sing prayers to the accompaniment of a gourd rattle and a small water drum. Water is brought in twice during the night. Vomiting signals cleansing and purification. Members have visions and profound insights.