Ayahuasca – Medicine for the Soul Part 2

Ayahuasca - Medicine for the Soul Part 2The second part of an article which explores this fascinating plant brew from the Amazon Rainforest. Ayahuasca is the jungle medicine of the upper Amazon. It is made from the ayahuasca vine ( Banisteriopsis Caapi) and the leaf of the Chacruna plant (Psychotria Viridis).

How can we enter into a communion (in the true sense of the word) with the plant consciousness or soul? This can indeed be difficult, as we in our culture have long forgotten this understanding and body of knowledge. However we can learn from those peoples who still live within a paradigm that our physical forms are illusions, and beyond that we are all connected and no different from all things. Modern physics which recognises the underlying nature of form and matter as an energy which pervades and informs the universe is saying the same as the ancient shamans, “reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one” Albert Einstein (Alice Calaprice. The Expanded Quotable Einstein. )

These are the peoples referred to by the Alberto Villoldo as those who were never ejected from the Garden of Eden (unlike us). It is clearly a good way to learn and study from the shamans of the Amazon rainforest where this knowledge is still alive and from those who still live in the mythological Garden of Eden. One of the great plant teachers is Ayahuasca, also called the ‘Vine of the Soul’.

Ayahuasca is a combination of two plants (although other plants are added to elicit certain visionary experiences or healing purposes). This mixture of two plants the Ayahuasca vine and the Chacruna leaf, operate in a specific manner with our neuro-chemistry. The leaf contains the neuro transmitters of the tryptamine family (identical to those present in our brain) and the vine itself acts as an inhibitor to prevent our body’s enzymes from breaking the tryptamines down thereby making it inert. Science defines this as the MAOI effect (Monoamine Anti Oxide Inhibitor) and forms the basis for many of the widespread anti-depressant pharmaceutical medication such as Prozac and Seroxat. This MAOI principal was only discovered by Western Science in the 1950’s, yet interestingly this very principle has been known by the plant shamans for thousands of years, and when you ask the shamans how they knew this, the response is invariably “the plants told us”.

The Sacred Doorways to the Soul

The plants have in my subjective experiences have been a doorway to my place in the great field of consciousness. I am aware that subjective experience is not regarded as scientific, but at the end of the day, all our experiences are subjective and reality is not always that consensual as we believe it to be. It is somewhat of a paradox that the leading edge of modern science, Quantum Mechanics has also arrived at this conclusion and describes a mind-bending reality in which we are all both alive and dead at the same time. Quantum particles (the very basis of matter) exhibit the properties of bi-locality i.e. exist at different locations in the universe at the very same time transcending vast distances of many thousands of light years.

With the visionary plant doorways opening to the wider field of consciousness my experience and personal revelation is, that I am a discrete element in this great field, a unique frequency or wavelength amongst infinite others and that all these are vibrating in a vast wavelength of ecstatic harmony. I understand the purpose of my human existence is to be just simply human, and embrace the unique experience of human emotions and feelings. I have learned that my soul is not separate and is integral to me. Expressed differently, I am part of this soul, which has the appearance of form. My soul is outside of physical time, space, and itself a component of an ineffable and indescribable existence in infinity.

Visit the website for info about our Andean & Amazon Ayahuasca Yoga Retreats

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About Howard G Charing

Since the late 90's I have organised journeys with Peter Cloudsley to the Amazon Rainforest and the Andes to work with the shamans and the sacred 'jungle doctors' (healing and visionary plants) of this area. I have written numerous articles about the Amazonian plant medicines, and have worked with some of the most respected shamans in the region. I was baptised into their tribe by the Shipibo Indians in the Amazon, and was initiated into the lineage of the maestros of the Rio Napo in the Upper Amazon. Co-authored the book Plant Spirit Shamanism, published by Destiny Books (USA) with a foreword by the great visionary artist Pablo Amaringo. Co-authored the book 'The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo', published by Inner Traditions (USA) April, 2011, presents a collection of never-before-published paintings by Amaringo. The book illustrated the evolution of Amaringo’s intricate art with 48 full-color reproductions, including detailed explorations of the rich Amazonian mythology underlying each painting. Now available - Fine art giclee prints and reproductions of Pablo Amaringo's beautiful work featured in the new book 'The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo'. http//ayahuasca_visions.imagekind.com

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