Back to the Jungle

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‘We have to learn to come back to serve the nature, cherish and sustain the fertility and diversity of the nature, look with humor at our place as biological beings, as part of the cycle of life. We can learn how to take care of each other’ Dennis McKenna
<Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis Caapi) and the leaf of the Chacruna plant- the two make a potent medicine which opens the door to the energetic world the underlies the world of everyday. Named after two Quechua words- ‘aya’ which means spirit, and ‘huasca’ which means vine, rope- therefore the vine of the souls. It is also known as yaje, Caapi,natema, pinde, daime. It plays a central role in the spiritual and cultural traditions of the indigenous peoples of the upper Amazon, Orinoco plains, and the Pacific coast of Columbia. >

I got to Pucallpa – Santa Rosa de Dinamarca-in the middle of the peruvian jungle on 24th of December where I was warmly welcomed by the family of Don Antonio Velasquez. The Shipibos are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Peruvian Amazon (they currently number 20,000 people) they are spread in the Pucallpa/Ucayali region and highly regarded as being the masters of ayahuasca.

Before I got to Peru I felt I had like a thirst at the physical and emotional level, something that was missing and even if I knew the answer was there, in front of my eyes, I couldn’t t see it. I had questions and doubts, problems that I thought I have sorted in my head- however I do recollect a lot of moments in my everyday life when I sensed that I am still the product of my ghosts- those tiny little problems can get bigger and bigger and start haunting you. Therefore, I had to clean myself in a way or another. Find peace with myself.

I found out about ayahuasca through documentaries and yes- the shamanism, the mysticism, the opening of the mind – attracted me. It all seemed to be like a type of knowledge that doesn’t t reveal itself so easy and it’s not accessible to everyone. It is not easy but if you really want it, if you are opened to whatever its new, you give up prejudice and expectations – each and every one of us can see what is over there.

The first ceremony – the night revealed surrealist sounds coming through the almost a tent-like accommodation called ‘maloca’- the round place where the ceremonies take place. The strong metallic smell and taste of the ‘purga’- the ayahuasca drink- combined with the tobacco and the smoke that was taking amazing forms in the candle light- but most of it all- the ‘Icaros’ (songs of the shamans) that seemed to be outside of this world -made me envision a world long forgotten but to which we are strongly knit. All these consist of some initial memories that always connect to a specific state of distress, of struggle and release.

I had a lot to put up with all the obstacles and labaerints of my mind that’s why in the first session I couldn’t t concentrate properly. Obviously I was analyzing too much- thinking about what was supposed to happen and didn’t, what I wanted to see, and as I will found out later on – the plant is not at all predictable- sometimes it’s very powerful, sometimes very subtle. The important thing though is that you have to get the message, to see beyond images and symbols, flashes and memories from your childhood- or generally through any kind of way it is transmitted to your body. You have to acknowledge and let go of all the negative coming out of your past.

During the following days I understood that what I was going through was a complex process of desintoxication- psychologically and physiologically- apart of the bioenergetical unblock- where all these visionary experiences come from- memories from childhood, visions related to molecular and organic world- and later on- access to other dimensions.

It was simple to liberate myself and what seemed to be a barrier between the conscious and unconscious- now was demolished and I was able to see.

From the third ceremony on- I realized that something was different about me, that I have changed and I started to take my notebook with me so that I can write the words that I felt like spitting and letting out. I felt easy and light again. I cried for three hours and when don Antonio finished singing I got out in the jungle, sat and listened to the other song- the song of nature, the song of aliveness and of freedom, the song of everything. I felt an infinite peace and a primordial harmony all around me and just being aware of this sensation made me part of it all. It is so easy but unfortunately too far from this civilized world.

For the first time I was vibrating with nature and even the last of my pores felt happy and connected with the universe. It was then when I understood the words of the well known Dennis McKenna -‘ we need to wake up to what is happening to this planet. We have disconnected spiritually and we have been seduced by the impression that somehow we are important  in the picture- but we aren’t!’

The sessions ended and although it was intense- I did 8 ceremonies in 10 days- I am still learning to this day and I can only say I will always repeat the experience. That long forgotten place really got to me.

Now I understand a lot of things and I continue this cleansing. I understood that we all have the answers deep inside us- there’s this old room, dusty and with dim light with a lot of drawers and secret passages where only our inner pure child has access. I understood that there are a lot of bad habits that control us without realizing that we live mechanically, almost robotic and we forget about our true essence. Furthermore, I understood that instead of denying what’s bad or negative we can take our time to be present and accept ourselves as for who we are and who we can become. I understood that the ayahuasca experience opened up my horizons and that besides investing in ourselves, we should also take care and cherish everything that surrounds us.

Unfortunately, we forgot where we are coming from in this long journey we call progress. The unfortunate ‘drunkness that we call human history’- kept us busy but the truth is there we just have to see it.  We only need to open our eyes and be present..

I will conclude here not before I leave an open space for all the inexplicable and impossible to put in words- since such a personal and out of the ordinary experience it’s  difficult to describe thoroughly. The bottom line is that ‘ if you want to change the world you need to start from yourself’.

Are you there yet?

Isle of Pines, New Caledonia

I am a spiritual person and I have always been keen in discovering new ways of unraveling myself – of finding who I really am. Everything that surround us represents something we could connect with- something we could experience and learn from. And it is through experience that I think that we all want the same in life. Love, peace and joy. However, while we’re all part of this dance of humanity, very few understand and even less know it.

Thing is, what we sometimes forget is that we aren’t here to compete, we are here to collaborate, to learn from each other, to encourage and support each other’s growth. The whole idea of growth – outwardly  and inwardly – is merely related to connection with others and with your own self. And how do we better connect than when we’re traveling? It is then when we’re out of the comfort zone, out in the open, vulnerable and authentic, with no masks and no roles to play.

The unknown always excited me and I’ve always had a predilection to surpass my limits, to reach for more and for the unusual. Traveling for me is almost like a condition, a disease that helps me hope and want to be better each day. Seven years of traveling and still I haven’t found peace ( far from it)! It’s going to last for life this sickness of mine.

Now you might be one of those that say – you don’t have to travel to know yourself. Silence, introspection and maybe a bit of discipline can do the trick even at home – but as for what I am concerned, it is the best way to befriend, embrace and forgive yourself.

You need to lose yourself so that you find who you truly are. And how can you love yourself properly if you have a job that keeps you in distress 5 days out of 7 or if you have to constantly think about paying your bills and pleasing others. Been there, done that! I never had time for myself. Eventually, I kind of wanted to lose myself even more, ironically to forget that I am not who I wanted to be but what society made out of me. A comfortable, predictable and average life.

The outcome is that we forgot to search for the mystery, for the unknown, for the beauty that always lies in the small details – we forgot to live in the present. To be grateful. To say I am sorry. To give before asking. We forgot we have a mission. To be true to our own selves and how can we be true to ourselves if we have no clue who we are or what do we want from life?

Who are you? Do you still see that innocent child that lies within! Do you still listen to his voice and fears and needs? Being innocent means not only being vulnerable but also implies great honesty and conviction. I have a goal, a place to reach, a mountain to climb or a sea to cross. Then from the moment I set foot for this purpose ’till I arrive it’s magic.

People, places, tastes, smells, novelty and change, sacrifices and desperation, innocence- it’s basically going nuts and coming back all zen at the same time. It’s an art to control them both and have a balance.

It’s the intensity of life that always makes me wanna hit the road again. The fact that today I can be sitting in a restaurant, reading a newspaper in Bucharest and the following day I am in the southernmost part in India, drinking masala tea with a stranger that I feel I know for ages.

Now I do understand we’re not all the same- we weren’t all born to travel.
Fair enough. Imagine how would that look like? Crazy stuff! What I am saying is that there still should be a form of search, a wonder and a thirst  for fulfillment- and this is me reminding you to start now. To live fully, consciously, to be present. To smile at life and be grateful for its harmony. Last but not lest, to love. We attract what we are. Be love and you’ll get love back. Give and you’ll receive.

Never forget about yourself. You are unique- limited edition- so don’t listen to what others expect you to be. Just be the person you wanted to be when you were a kid. Be happy with yourself and you’ll make a friend for life. Be your partner not your enemy. From now on- you are in control.

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