The Comedy of Ayahuasca
Vanda Mikoloski, artist
As a writer and stand-up comic who has been writing jokes for 30 years, my journeys with the medicine have been, among other things, hysterically funny. It is as though the spirit of Ayahuasca has been accessing the library of my knowledge of jokes and joke writing and using that on me. I was so surprised that she was as funny as my awardwinning comedy friends. My presentation would be fun for the conference -part straight stand-up comedy about what I have learned in my ayahuasca journeys and part presentation about her ability to âspeak the languageâ of funny. I have nothing but reverence and awe for la medicina and her ability to speak to all of us.
Keywords: Comedy, Language, Funny, Reverence, Consciousness
Navigating Spiritual Experience
Mark Waking Light
This interactive session is an open invitation to share practical tips and techniques for navigating the realms of spiritual experience. Just as a good nightÊ¼s sleep and an empty stomach help to prepare us for receiving the power of sacred plants, certain qualities of attention and intention can be naturally conducive to opening ourselves to the grace and healing they may offer. As studied by Western psychology, psychedelic experience has most often been viewed in terms of set and setting, the internal state of mind and the external state of the environment, usually determined at the onset of the experience. However, this approach does not really address the actual challenge of deeply engaging with the experience under whatever conditions it is taking place. Illustrated through visionary art and poetry, this session presents a selection of practical techniques drawn from hypnotic, shamanic, yogic, and tantric practices. In this discussion, the audience is welcome to contribute the insight of their own spiritual practice. Topics briefly discussed may include: using mantras and mudras, words and gestures for directing energy; using breath and concentration for focusing attention inwards or outwards; imprinting with mementos, music, and visualization for reconnecting with past journeys; recognizing fear as the sheer intensity of aliveness present here; transmuting the euphoria of rapture into the stillness of bliss; entering union through letting go, surrender, and embrace. This session is based on Mark Waking LightÊ¼s over twenty years experience of working with transpersonal trance, induced both with and without sacred plants. Mark Waking Light is the founder of the Jam of a Lifetime, an ayahuasca ceremony celebrating the creative spirit through sacred music from across the world.
Keywords: Spiritual Practice, Spiritual Experience, Psychedelic Experience
'Yorenka Ashaka' â AshaninkaÂ´s tradition and shamanic knowledge supporting the rebirth of indigenous consciences in Brazilian Amazon
Ãrika Fernandes-Pinto (Presenter), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) & Benki PiyÃ£ko Ashaninka, APIWTXA Association, Brazil
In the colonization process of the Brazilian territory, hundreds of indigenous peoples have been exterminate and many of those who survived have gone through slavery and forced cultural disruption. In the fight for recovery of indigenous identities in Brazil, by the recognition of their territorial rights and by the construction of a different model of economic and social development, have emerged as fundamental the rescue of traditional knowledge and ancestor spirituality. This work aims at reporting the importance of shamanic rituals using ayahuasca in emerging processes of rebirth indigenous consciences and recover cultural elements (ancestral language, songs, dressings, body painting and handicrafts) in the Acre State, on the border of Brazil with Peru. In this region, the action of spiritual leaders of the Ashaninka Kampa River Amonia People â which has an ancient culture on the use of ayahuasca â among other indigenous peoples (especially the Kuntanawa and Puyanawa) has generated processes of rescue of indigenous cultures and their sacred values, from the construction of shamanic alliances, consecration of sacred sites and ceremonial centers, realization of cultural festivals and formation of networks for communication and exchange of experiences. These initiatives also strengthen the ecological awareness, reflecting on conservation and environmental recovery of various areas. Through the use of ayahuasca and the recognition of the sacred dimension of nature, these people transform their history, serving as an example for other traditional peoples and convey a message of hope for a better future for all humanity.
Keywords: Ashaninka, Brazilian Amazon, Indigenous Knowledge, Ayahuasca, Shamanic Rituals
Living with Drugs: 10 Wise lessons Given by Ayahuasca to an Ecological Approach on psychoactives
Isabela Lara Oliveira, PhD in History and Postdoctoral Degree on Social Psychology, University of BrasÃlia, Brazil
Humankind has always used psychoactive substances. The drive for mind altering substances is part of natural human needs. Even though, since the 14/15th century, drug use have been progressively demonized and proscribed all over the world. The consequences of this âWorld War on Drugsâ were devastating: increasing drug abuse, addiction and crime, dissolution of native knowledge and many other psychological and social problems. Nevertheless, during the 20th century, Ayahuasca use has spread from the Amazon to the world through shamans and Brazilian religions and is presenting humankind a new safe and health approach on drug use. What lessons does Ayahuasca use can teach us? How these lessons help us toward a new paradigm on drugs? This presentation will discuss some important concepts and review successful experiences with Ayahuasca that are helping contemporary society to build a harmonious co-existence with drugs. Some wise lessons learned with Ayahuasca: 1. Respect to nature, native knowledge and diversity; 2. Include culture and its practices as an essential part of defining and regulating drug use; 3. It is possible to have a healthy drug use; 4. Drugs can successfully treat drug addiction; 5. Drugs can help us understand and deal with multidimensional aspects of reality; 6. Reconnection with nature, increased sense of brotherhood and perception of interconnection of life; 7. A new successful regulation for drugs is possible and needs to be built with drug users; 8. Drugs can help building sustainable ecological communities; 9. The importance of informal social regulations on drug use; 10. Openness of mind and heart to change (even of traditional drug use contexts).
Keywords: Ayahuasca, Social regulation, Culture
Dietas with Master Plants in Shipibo Ayahuasca Shamanism, a North American Urban Field Report
Sitaramaya, Light of the Vine, Amazon Convergence
Healing with and learning from âMaster Plantsâ is a cornerstone of Shipibo ayahuasca shamanism. This talk reports on the use of dietas and other traditional Shipibo practices in urban North America including discovering and dieting Master Plants native or local to California. As stewarded by practitioners trained in the Shipibo shamanic tradition, using methods adapted from the native jungles of Peru, dieters have experienced physical, mental, and spiritual healing, clearing, alignment, transformation, and expansion. Specific results experienced by dieters across short-term and long-term timeframes include relief of physical conditions such as asthma, reproductive disorders, and clinical depression. Dieters have also experienced results that are less easy to characterize clinically including increased happiness, resolution of spiritual crises, and improved cognition. Results and examples are drawn from 46 dietas held over a period of five years by 21 individuals ranging in length from 28 days to a year. In working with traditional dietas and ayahuasca practices, a body of folk knowledge has been gathered, which has informed our ongoing adaptation and cultivation of traditional practices for contemporary communities. Our results offer many possible directions and access points for further exploration.
Keywords: Shipibo, Ayahuasca, Dieta, Master Plants, Shamanism
The Cosmic Serpent Meets the Rainbow Serpent: Explorations into Ayahuasca Use as a Catalyst to Enhanced Access to Transpersonal Domains and its Relation to Reawakening Knowledge of Native Science
Victoria Sinclair, Master, Personal Development Foundation and Middlesex University
Introduction: An overview of findings of research looking at correlaton between insights gained from ayahuasca use and concepts of consciousness, nature and spirituality found in Australian (ab)Original Native Science and IKS (Indigenous Knowledge Systems). Bob Randal, an Original Elder explains that Kanyini, the 4 dimensions of Original life are made up of Tjukrrpa â Creation Period/Dreamtime, Kururipa â Spirit, soul, psyche, Walytja â Family Worship, and Ngura -Land, home, space, Mother (including pre-birth communication). All of existence is based in totemistic systems â time is absolute- there is no linear time (in common to the beliefs of many African tribes).If plant medicines like ayahuasca are capable of taking us back to a more intrinsically connected state surely there may be a tangible link to be made between Australian Original viewpointsof consciousness, nature and spirituality and those of persons who take ayahuasca. Methods: This qualitiative study has gained its main body of data through coding interviews using Grounded Theory principles with participants in the Americas, Europe and Australia comprising a cross-section of ânovicesÊ¼, long term users, prominent entheogenists and practitioners made between late 2013 and mid 2014. The dissection points have been concepts of time, matter, space, relation to nature and land, death, family and the spirit world This has then be applied to a study of Original consciousness and spirituality amongst groups of Original elders and custodians of the ancient Ê¼loreÊ¼ during 5 monthsof ethnographic field work in Australia. Results: Fieldwork is still underway but already findings show that ayahuasca use broadens worldviews and transpersonal domains in a way similar to the âways of seeingâ of Original cultures. There is also evidence that ayahuasca use can assist Original people to re-engage with the Dreaming and toalleviate cultural trauma. Ayahuasca has proved to be beneficial to users in awakening relationship to nature, cosmovision and spirituality, and to alleviate cultural and body traumas for not just non-indigenous groups but also for Origine groups. Possible Derived Lines of Research: Future interdisciplinary works to deepen engagement with Native Science in the fields of postcolonial studies and transpersonal ecopsychology. Further study on the benefits of working with ayahuasca in cases of collective cultural trauma for both non-indigenous and Original groups.
Keywords: Native science, Transpersonal Ecopsychology, Trauma