There are stimulating herbs such as guayusa, tea, mate, etc. Consumption of these herbs is widespread in different cultures. In our days, due to globalization and free trade, we can get its benefits in different parts of the world, though the consequences of inappropriate use also occur.
Some of these products are really healthy, facilitating the kidney access routes, some even strenghtening them (ginseng); others are not so healthy, because they only produce a stimulation that consumes our store of long-term vital energy resources (coffee, stimulating and synthetic drugs, etc.). First we must understand that the energy that allows us to enjoy these products does not come from the product itself, but from the very opening of the kidneys, who thus release the reservoir of energy that is used in the present. The body is wise. It maintains a balance of that energy that our parents have bequeathed to us to enjoy a long and healthy life. Life is transmitted through our parents, but our organism is also a fusion of its conditions. The more consumption we make of that stored resource, which determines our longevity, the more we will shorten, in principle, the quality of our days, and, subsequently, our years on earth.
Increasing stress with stimulants becomes a long-term danger when the wear and tear of our body is considerable. It's like tightening an old rope until it breaks. The liver can always be more tense, but the kidney, at a certain point, can no longer withstand the natural balance of tensions and break up as the sky (heart) separates from the earth (kidney). The sacred touch, which flows from the kidney, has cushioned our body in a state of pleasure, gives us strength, recovery and well-being. It awakens us in the morning alive and makes us see, smell and hear even the distant sounds. It's easy to understand that if we consume his caress in the present, with selfishness, the flame will be extinguished with disastrous consequences in time. Sometimes we are too far away from him to realize what is happening, and we need stimulation to compensate, on a daily basis, our lack of vital energy.
Secondly, it is crucial to observe that an over-stimulation only takes us out of the delicious union with the sacred touch in our inner feeling, towards an excessive extroversion to the service of an "I"; of its vulgar purposes and possibly to the service of others, for whom we would only be instruments at the service, more or less useful.
Third, remember that live with greater tension than that in which we have been tuned by the Great Song of Life, will bring us a state of electrical disruption, nerves, tension, spasms, restlessness, anxiety, etc. In that way we will make our journey without being fully ourselves, with deep dissatisfaction and lack of peace.
These are precisely the most disastrous conditions to approach the practice of Shamanism. It hurts me to see people executing these erroneous practices in front of me before a ceremony. Consuming an entheogen in this state can be a considerable disaster, from which no one is responsible except the person himself, who of course will later cry and regret asking for help from the teacher because he does not understand what is happening to him. They are very intense effects that can not be attenuated due to the hours of stimulation, tension, spasms, anxiety, lack of relaxation and the impossibility of finding a minute of rest or peace. If this were used, during the trance, by the shadow of the individual, it would burn for hours in a hell thrown as the worst storm.
- Moderate the taking of stimulants in everyday life. Try to feel honestly what you are doing. In my case, for example, I drink mate two or three days in a row, resting at least one; without much heat and following a low caloric diet, that ensures a correct feeling and care.
- Think about what we are doing with that energy that we awaken in us. Be aware of why we are consuming that sacred touch, of what we call it for.
- Keep these substances away from the ceremonies and the entheogen intakes. This should not apply to teachers or mature people, who are experienced and master their arts. They have their own refined and trusted criteria.
- Follow a careful sexual practice.
- Live your life with heart and deep sense.
- Be close to nature.
Question: Those who live in Siberia, for instance -where not many plants can be cultivated-: How should they feed themselves?
They have to eat meat. Anyway, if I lived there, I would try to eat more fish. As we’ve already said: in the diet, it's important to minimize the damage that we can make to the body. If the dilemma is between eating fish or bird, it would be interesting to ask ourselves the following question: what is simpler for us? Is it better to kill a bird… or a fish? When we take Natem: Do we become a fish or a bird? Maybe we’ve not had visions yet, but fish is usually a lot further from our consciousness. I prefer not to kill fish: I got used to feeding myself with plants and seeds. I learned to keep the Arutam, with all its sacred touch, and I’ve also learned not to waste it.
It’s important to remember: eating no meat at all requires a lot of experience, strength and energy. Much of our sacred touch. Sometimes it’s better to continue eating meat. In my judgment a vegan cannot live as such if he doesn’t learn to be very careful with his sex life. Because he really needs that energy. We must use our energy to keep the sacred touch. We cannot be constantly losing it. That would require for us to be constantly killing animals to provide ourselves with its flesh.
The majority of those who currently consider themselves vegetarians are just following a fashion. Many of them may have, for that reason, health problems. Or maybe they are weaker than those who eat meat.
Question: Can practices and Taoist exercises be useful for managing sexual energy?
I wouldn’t say that. If we want to have a good management of our sexual energy, I would say that the key is always a full love. When there is love in us, we don’t need any doctrine -Taoist, etc.- to explain how to take care of ourselves. Love itself knows very well how to take care of us. Our feelings, in that case, go well beyond the physiological act we associate with ejaculation.
We should never judge. We should never prefer one thing to the other. We should never choose. In Shamanism, we have to pay attention to anything that could happen. Because in the experience of Shamanism, nothing is free; nothing that we see in the ceremonies can happen by mistake. Anyone who cannot find that way, should not practice Shamanism. Because there is a risk: to transform Shamanism into a training to be more resistant to those visions, to strengthen our own justifications, our self, our identity. All those dark spirits. Some people practice Shamanism and follow a spiritual path to justify themselves even more, to poison themselves more deeply. As my elders used to say, that is a form of witchcraft, a form of enchantment - a form of immersion in a dark enchantment - in which we could boycott our own life and our own mind. And something even worse: we could to contaminate others. Because that strengthens our own ego: something dark and resistant that is nested in us. Something that carries the fake label of "spiritual." That is why it seems healthier for me to teach beginners: those who are not yet "spiritual."
Question: During my sessions, during the night, I had visions and denied them. Logic would not allow me to accept them.
Very bad. We must not judge, we must not choose, we must stand firm and learn from that which springs within us, from that which is enlightened, from that things we become aware of at the moment of vision, during the sacred ceremony.
One of our main problems, when we begin our spiritual journey, is that we don’t even know what we are looking for. We don’t know what is happening to us. We don’t know where to look for. Which are our tendencies? Which are our problems? The ceremony gives us a chance to look deeply within us, and therefore we are very fortunate. If there was something we didn’t want to see, something we resisted, something we wanted to cover up, to hide or to justify, it was surely something we really needed. It was something we had to work on. It’s always worthwhile to acknowledge these kind of visions. Everything we see and ignore, and then forget, is something that, over time, we forger. And our opportunity to understand it thoroughly is finally lost. That is why we must take advantage of that special moments in which a soft and gentle light is turned on: that moments are Arutam’s gifts.
Question: On the second night, after taking medicine, I had the feeling that there was a lot of fluid in my stomach. I drank too much, then vomited and I couldn’t’ keep medicine in my body.
If we’re too sensitive before the ceremony, we may have more liquid segregation than necessary. The body reacts as if it we had an excess of it. Do not worry, it's OK: after vomiting, wait half an hour. Then take a small drink, which your body will easily assimilate. It will allow you to reach a deeper trance.
It’s preferable - although it’s not the most advisable - it is better to expel all excess fluid from our body from the beginning. In this way, medicine, once ingested, is no longer lost, and thus its properties can be fully incorporated.
In one of my personal experiences, during a last day of ceremony, I expelled my first glass of medicine. This occurred a long time after drinking it, because it had exceeded the proper dose. I waited half an hour. When I noticed that I lacked vibration in my singing, during the ceremony, I drank another dose. Since I no longer had any liquid in my body and there was no more weight in my stomach, I was able to retain my drink. Two or three hours later I realized that the previous times, I had expelled the Natem because its effect was too strong. This time I could not expel it, and I could no longer continue to lead my group. I remained at rest, in a state of complete immobility. Everyone began to wonder: Where is the teacher? I had to find a way to react, so I could finish the ceremony and support my group. So I went out for some air, and then I had to take more than a quart of water to add some substance to my stomach. I just vomited about 20 minutes later.
Question: What do we do when we have drunk more than we want, and we begin to feel, alternately, cold, heat, nerves and fear?
The most important thing, in these cases, is to seek solitude, to be close to nature, close to the Great Spirit. Anyone who has drunk too much Ayahuasca, can usually expel it from the body without major inconveniences. But if we can’t do it, it’s because there is some inner resistance in ourselves. Some very strong inner darkness, which we must face immediately. In these cases I recommend a purge with water and tobacco. Once this operation is completed, or in case of need - if a really serious situation occurs - the Shaman can blow, suck or fan. This usually only happens in extreme cases, as we must usually overcome that state by ourselves.
There’s a particular case. It happens when someone willingly surrenders to a capricious game, while playing with their own shadow. In that case, the Shaman should not come to his or her aid: the Shaman simply lets him play, just to see if he learns, if he likes it, and for how long he wants to continue playing with it. Whoever can have visions, whoever can decide wisely and learn from himself -without anybody's help-, is well on its way through Life.
Question: is it advisable, in these cases, to remain alone, in nature?
The first thing is to stay alone. Then you lament before the Great Spirit. And you wait for your body to react alone and purge itself. Let it recover itself, with its own strength and its own repentance. Whoever gets that, will have my respect, and will always get my support. If you need a little help, because you are in a state of greater weakness or incapacity, you must intensify the sacred touch with Tobacco, in the crystal of Life, in the water, in the skies. After vomiting like this, affected people should be fine after fifteen or twenty minutes. If they still need help, the shaman blows them, fans them or sucks them, depending on each case’s requirement, or the healing requirement of each patient. If some people want to continue playing capriciously with their shadows, in a state of solitude, we must leave them, so that they learn through time, through pain, although they must be supervised from afar, to prevent them doing some nonsense. If, after such experiences, they don’t want to learn, maybe they won’t come back. But they’ll know what they are staying with. They’ll know what they’re living with. At least, even if they don’t return, they will know.
Question: What dies inside a person who feels he is dying? What dies inside?
Each case is different. We can cite several experiences of death during those visions. There is a vision of death that manifests itself through weariness and weakness. That happens when we’re so tired and we’ve suffered so much, and this experience is so strong that we want to die. We want to give up. We want to reach a state of peace that we can no longer find in our own lives.
There is another issue: it’s about the shadow and its blackmail. When we’ve managed to corner that shadow, but it’s very well anchored in our interior, with its spider legs, through the manipulation of identity, of the self, it will make us believe that it is Life, that it is Arutam. I'm dying! Death! He who feels it within himself often believes: “I’m the one who dies; it’s my Spirit that is dying”. That is a blackmail. That is manipulation: every day we do that to ourselves.
There are several examples of death, during the visions. Sometimes we feel that a part of us is dying. But a part of us begins to say "enough: I’ve felt this sensation so much, I’ve lived the ceremonies so much, that I am sure that it’s not true". And we let it die, with all the fear of falling, in that state of deep relaxation. And once we are in that deep blackness, we fall into the coldest and deepest depths, to return to the brightness of light. Because, ultimately, everything in this world is a Great Perfection. Everything, absolutely everything, finally comes back, and it turns to us and is transformed. And even the deepest fear, once frozen, then gives way to light. How could we avoid, during that process, that we die? How not to feel that sensation, those of us who have had the will to discover such intensity?
That’s why we have to do it: we have to die. That’s the way to experiment the wealth of being part of everything. I’ve given you just three examples of death.
Question: I was able to "see" that the intense pain I felt during the ceremonies -I didn’t know where it came from- was the mourning for all those beings who hadn’t been born, after numerous abortions in my family. How to deal with this situation? I feel I need to share this experience: is it advisable to do so?
The important thing, in these cases, is to take advantage of the pain, or more precisely the experience of that concrete pain, to guide one's life. In principle, not to make those mistakes, and to be able to advise with wisdom to all those who go through these kinds of situations. Those who have "seen" are the most appropriate to share those experiences.
Question: Before attending the ceremony I was afraid to take Natem. Now I’am afraid of facing everyday life. I'm afraid to get hurt.
You have done a good job. It’s a perfect blend of strength, character, concentration and heart. Sensitivity. You have full receptivity to medicine. The truth is that, by taking such a pure Natem, you have grown rather than cringe. You've grown to the point of saying: I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to make the same mistakes. I don’t want to get caught up in confusion throughout my entire life, like most people do.
The wealth that lives within you, the feeling of perfect bliss in which we were born: it remains forever and cannot be changed by the evil that the dark spirits could have made us. But now you have a very specific reference point. A state you hadn’t perceived so intimately before. You’ve come closer to Arutam. Based on feeling, as every human being should feel, you can take better decisions. Anything that could help you to free yourself, in the depths that you’ve achieved tonight, is beneficial. Otherwise, it would be reoriented or replaced.
Before this experience we had no idea about the depth of our soul. Out of stupidity, or not to oppose other patients, we did what we wanted, forgetting the high cost that we should pay for it. Now we know: it would be a sin to go back. Therefore, we can say that now we’re starting to live for real. We have a record of every feeling we’ve reached during the ceremony. We remember feelings, a path with feelings, a path with heart. Our heart’s presence is like a great lake held on stones. It’s a piece of heaven on earth, felt in full loneliness. Where life is born, where fish are born and animals come to drink. Vital instincts arise in our heartbeat, during the course of our journey. That feeling, well fed with Tobacco, will strengthen and clarify the light of feeling. In that way, we can no longer betray ourselves. If we make mistakes, we will feel them as well. And so, through an exercise of balance, we’ll find the light. Peace.
Question: can we predict the future under the influence of Ayahuasca?
This outcome is produced chiefly through the use of Tobacco and Floripondio. Drink Tobacco in the Waterfall. You can also use the ritual of Floripondio. We have to understand that we’re a perfect pressure of Arutam's feeling, who pulsates like the stars, within our hearts, inside our arteries. We’re a great trend. A great song.
There are trends that show us, an approximate trajectory. For instance: when we throw a ball, or an arrow, we have a sense of the time and the place of the fall. We’ll see the future through those arrows that have already been thrown. But if these have not yet been launched, we cannot see the future in any way. We may have a strong desire to see it, but that form will never appear before our eyes. Only the arrows that are already in motion will be presented, in our vision, and through their whistle, we’ll be able to understand (to see) the distant consequences that those arrows, somehow, refer us.
Natem is less powerful in that sense, because it produces a much smaller anesthetic and relaxation effect. If we pay attention to its effects, Natem is more instinctive, more agile, faster and more animal. It’s more connected to the present, more directed to the goal of producing the union with Arutam. But Natem also allows us to see those arrows. However, both Tobacco and Floripondio - because of their relaxing and numbing effects - offer us a more convenient distance and a more adequate slowness to observe the path taken by these trends.
With the use of Natem we arrive to a state of understanding, of a realization. It’s something that we feel, both in the body and mind. It’s something that perhaps can torture us a little, and force us to think about the reality of that foreseen future, so that we can make something about it. With Tobacco, however, we are in a state of such numbness that the messages arrive to us in a completely crystalline way, as if they were an enchanted world, as if they were an advice of Arutam. The visions that can be observed appear before our eyes with enough fidelity if we compare them to the later events. But Floripondio presents us some whistles or tendencies that are almost exactly the same as later events: the same people, the same situation.
The use of the Floripondio for this purpose can be a truly traumatizing experience. It is not recommended, in general, except for those who have an intense training in its use. People are not prepared, in general, to see the consequences of their tendencies. At least not in such an immediate way.
Following these practices, people can learn very quickly to see through their dreams, as well as to hear the whistle of the tendencies in their daily life, by being surrendered to their own instincts. Wisdom is a perfect balance between experience and instinct. It's a long affair.
This is the approximate path of divination in shamanism through its traditional resources.
Shamanism is a way of life. It’s a way to spend our years of life in a state of union and with a strong sense of existence. It’s the possibility of simply breathing, without spoiling the moment with no intention: just fused in the crystal of Perfection. It’s a crystal that contains all existence with its powerful feeling. It’s something that flows in a sacred pressure through our veins, to throbb its sacred touch in an immeasurable delight and to brighten our flesh and bones. It is the true force that flows through the structure of all beings.
Shamanism brings the individual closer to his deepest feelings, through the essential teaching that He is the answer to the concerns of those who have forgotten. It shows that peace is the rest of certainty; Its faith, which lies in the backwater of ultimate realization. It uses plants as a way to reach the interior, to the origin of feeling, to Life: the source that gave us birth. It uses plants so that we return and remember that place where Nature -embedded in its own grace- can manifest in all its perfection.
That feeling is not something that contributes - or distorts - a substance; It's something within us, and it is through the influence of this plant, that we are putting ourselves in balance, in the right place, as children of heaven and earth, who let life (Arutam) travel within them with increasing intensity.
There are really few plants that help us in such a way, every culture had a few of its own, and were always in the hands of the Master. It is true that there were many others, which produced similar effects, but in the end –sometimes too late-, the participants discovered the damage infringed by its use.
Shamanism is an ancestral path that goes back to the origins of humanity - and of knowledge - passed down through generations. It is a way to walk a path when you are lost in pain; a way of looking back that requires you to look at those ahead of you, just in case.
The ancients did not consume substances because they were not trapped and repressed - like many of our contemporaries - in a limited identity frustrated, circling, doomed to pain and failure. They were not dark souls who felt sorry for themselves. They did not live with dementia, nor did they share poisoned smiles with one another. They did not feel they needed anything, except to take care of the Great Feeling from which they were born. And if they hardened and tightened too much, they asked their elders - whom they respected and considered worthy examples - as the way to become flexible again to Life; They tried to be like them to use the art that they inherited and that survived the passage of time and difficulties.
It goes without saying that nothing new was ever invented: it was always more or less the same, for centuries, in ancestral cultures. Each Master had his peculiarities, but in any case he transmitted the Great Feeling of Arutam with special care. In such a way it was possible to heal, and to remember, and to fill with the sacred touch; And balanced, in turn, any feeling of weakness or oblivion. Ayahuasca (Natem) was the key to that definitive beginning, but the Master was the main element of these ceremonies, and for that very reason he was so difficult to find.
We take Natem, we strive for him with an untiring will, we take care and we fast to keep the sacred trance intensely, at least 14 hours, to defeat the resistance of the "I", and clear away his rancid shadow. Too much time is required to balance our feeling in Perfection and to stay within it naturally. It takes a lot of time to renew the flow of Life within us, and get the body to remember where it came from, how it was at birth and how it should continue its remaining life according to the Great Song of Arutam.
Once the man reached his last Union and, with the passage of time, and balances within it, he takes care of it with Tobacco. A living book written by Arutam's own hand, the realized man is able to fuse, for a few moments, with all of existence, just by breathing a few dark drops of his strong nectar.
The life of a Shaman remains untouched, flooded and protected by the spirit of Tobacco (Tsaank). The memory of feeling can no longer be easily betrayed, and sensitivity is a place where instincts return, to bring the strong beat of Arutam to the entire world.