Updated: Apr 20, 2019
I’m writing you this letter from my little rickety wooden cabin on stilts resting in the only place of refuge from the blood sucking mosquitoes. My bed.
To give you a little background of where I am coming from while writing this...I am in a tiny village deep in the Amazon jungle which took 3 planes and two boats just to get here. I am working with the indigenous Shipibo Tribe. They are an ancient tribe from the Amazonian rainforest in Peru credited with holding the traditions of the potent entheogenic healing brew - Ayahuasca which apparently their culture have been working with for over 2,000 years.
I am doing a two week dieta with the Master Plant teacher Bobinsana. A dieta is a complex, sctrict and rigorous system of discipline through which a planta maestra (teacher plant) or plantas que enseñan ( plants and trees that teach) transmit protection, guidance and sacred knowledge to the student or “dietero”.
Bobinsana is a beautiful tree which bears bright pink flowers and grows by the river’s edge here in the Amazon. This plant has powerful heart opening properties and cosmic mermaid energy. In local communities she is known as the heart of the jungle due to her powerful heart healing properties and her ability to initiate feelings of oneness and unconditional love.
Robin (our incredible guide, translator, teacher and mentor) for this trip advised us that to receive the full effects of our master plant teacher it would be in our best interest to water fast for 4 days.
The whole village is flooded from the exponential rainfall over the last few months (global warming is a very real thing) so those beautiful huts on stilts that you saw in the photos prior to me coming have been downgraded to tiny box rooms that I share a wall with on either side. The wall doesn’t go to the ceiling so I can hear every movement of the people around me...and subsequently meaning they can also hear me especially when I watch silly videos of us and giggle to myself.
The mosquitos are not afraid to suck the life out of you and they have been doing so since the moment our boat reached the dock. Nothing like fresh white meat to feast on.
Everything is beyond basic. It’s “old school” as Robin describes it. Because of the floods 90% of the village is inaccessible unless you wish to swim through the water. This is the same water where they throw all their scrap foods, wash their chickens, pee, poop, and swim. I even saw a dead rat floating past me the other day. Yeah, my white girl immune system cringes at the thought, however the children play happily in the water while the sun is setting and after I can move through the gut wrenching visual of all the parasites it’s a priceless view seeing this village floating on water as the sun goes down.
I have made my tiny little box cabin into a home, set my alter up and draped it in fabrics and trinkets that make my heart expand every time I walk in the room. There is something so romantic about spending the night in front of my alter with just a candle illuminating the room in the middle of the Amazon jungle while praying.
My body knew that I came here for healing (feels like this has always been a part of the plan, and I’m just showing up for the show). Instantly when I arrived I got an eye infection and the rash I've had on my foot for months flared up. I had a moment of near breakdown as soon as I arrived. After the 48 hour journey getting here accompanied with my body flaring up I felt defeated, exhausted, itchy, hot and so far away from home. So, I did what I do best...I got on my knees and I prayed.
“Please Spirit, what ever it takes, please rid my system of this resistance, this rash, bacteria, infection, what ever it is, what ever it takes. I surrender. I trust. I hand it over to you."
Well...saying what ever it takes was taken quite literally as 48 hours later the wife of Papa Gilberto (our resident Maestro) was insisting in Spanish that I dip my foot in boiling hot bleach water. I had been marinating in the fantasy that she was going to give me some healing leaves that were going to miraculously heal my foot (I have watched Avatar one too many times). My fantasy came to an abrupt halt when I heard the word bleach.
My voice saying “What ever it takes” kept playing over as I plunged my foot into waters that would surely give me first degree burns. The warrior in me kept plunging my foot, over and over again, determined to get this thing off me once and for all.
Just before retreating to my room to nurse my foot the little Shipibo woman with silver grills smiled at me and said “tomorrow..... we do it again”.
What ever it takes....
There is something so mysterious about the people who have been here for months. They just sit on their hammocks staring into the abyss in full presence of the moment. Their eyes wide in the magic of what is means to be a human on this planet. You don't see this level of presence in the majority of people at home in the United States unless one is staring off into the distance of an I phone screen.
There is one man who has been dieting with Bobinsana for the past month and while walking past him on his hammock he softly said “Can I call you Bobinsana?” Of course I smiled and said “You can call me what ever you like”.
I have already sat in two Ayahausca ceremonies in the Maloka, a round hut with individual beds in a circle on the outside and three beds in the middle for the Maestros. I am also going into day three of no food, my body is weak but my mind is feeling stronger than ever.
I had no idea the depth of this culture and lineage. This medicine is no joke in the most heart expansive profound way possible. The taste is no joke either, holy shit, I think it's one of the most disgusting tasting things I have ever tried. The medicine sits in the middle of the Maloka all day fermenting in the heat. The Maestros chant icaros (Shipibo chants) all nights long speaking to every aspect of your being and cleaning you out on a cellular level. Papa Gilberto will spend 30 minutes at the beginning of the ceremony chanting to the medicine before we drink it and once it is in our system he speaks to the medicine and takes you on a full shamanic journey by guiding the medicine like a snake charmer with his chants.
I didn’t know how much energy I was holding until I wasn’t holding it anymore. The insights have been beyond what I could have ever imagined and the empowerment that has been born from seeing my true self without distortion will change my life forever. I will share more about my insights in my ceremonies in my following letters.
I am also on my second night of sitting with Bobinsana. She is expanding my heart and opening up my creative channels in ways that I haven’t felt since I was a child. The innocence, kindness, compassion, creativity and presence is palatable and with everyday I can feel more room being made in my heart for myself and everyone I come in contact with or think about back home.
I like to spend the first hour of ceremony with all the people I love the most in the world. One by one I visualize sitting in front of each person in our community and my family and wrap them in a bubble of white light, praying that where ever they are and what ever they are doing that they feel loved, supported, seen and heard in their truest expression. There is nothing sweeter in this life than giving others genuine love.
Bobinsana also activates dreams and is communicating to me through them. Mine have been multidimensional and otherworldly. As soon as I wake I write pages of notes to capture the lessons, insights and stories that submerge from my subconscious. Like a time traveler going through lifetime upon lifetime bringing back clues to understand myself and all the multi-dimensional layers that create me.
I am humbled at the power of the plant world and it's ability to heal our minds, bodies and spirits. One of my intentions coming here was "How can I be a voice for these plants?" and Bobinsana is whispering me the answers the more I can quiet my mind to listen. I will share my findings through the unraveling of my letters.
I think about you often and feel your beauty, gifts, kindness and heart and truly feel honored to be in your life, as your best friend, your lover, your muse and the cherry on top of your cake of magic.
I’m not sure how I am going to get this letter to you seeings as we have no internet and little electricity but it feels so good to write it all out and trust you can feel me in this moment feeling you.
The level of magic is going to new heights and I’m beyond ecstatic to be...well....me.
Trust in the process my love. We are right on time.
I will unravel more of my journey with you in my next letters,
With all the love in my heart,
“The key to all of your behaviors is hidden in a box that you can’t open using normal tools, your subconscious needs a different recipe than the one you’ve been using.” ― Gerard Armond Powell