I’ve been to this place in the Jungles of Peru, where a wise one leads you on a journey Inward. Where the river boils and the trees grow big and strong. There is medicine in this place that cures the body and soothes the soul. In order to get there you must take a plane, a boat ride and trek deep into the jungle. But when you finally arrive… it feels a lot like paradise.
It was my 30th birthday when I first heard of this place called Mayantuyacu. A friend of mine told me about it. She described it as a direct pathway to the heart. I didn’t know exactly what she meant by that but I knew in that moment that I was going to find out. 3 years later and one heck of a journey, I found myself literally in paradise and uncovering what lies within my heart.
THE ROAD TO PARADISE ISN’T PAVED WITH GOLD
In this case it’s literally a jungle, full of insects, wild animals and plants that grow so dense that you can get lost without a guide. This is how it often goes with the spiritual realm as well. But when you ask, ye shall be given. My guide through the spiritual jungle was with a Maestro named Juan Flores Salazar, an Ashaninkan Shaman who’s knowledge of plant medicine runs deep within his ancestral lineage and can be dated back as early as 200bc. It is quite clear when you meet this man that power and sweetness run in his veins.
Maestro had found a place in the jungle where a river boils at 84 degrees Celcius. It was here that he choose to build his medical center. A peaceful place where people from around the world come to heal their bodies, learn about plant medicine and reconnect with spirit.
When you first arrive they ask you, what is your intention here? What do you want to heal? No physical ailment is too tough for the plants and Maestro’s smile is always reassuring. Cancer? Asthma? MS? Arthritis? No problem. The stories of healing that have come out of this place are incredible. Prostate cancer was literally dissipating from a man next to me as we lay there in ceremony.
You’ll be put on a strict diet and told to drink medicine that’ll make you queezy but rest assure you’ll be feeling the positive effects within a day. I was put on Tamamuri, to clean and purify my blood, as well as Came Renaco which rebuilds body tissue among many other things and is said to have healed Maestro when a bullet blasted his leg open nearly 30 years ago. A sign in the Maloca reads “La Planta del Came Renaco es Sagrada y Curativa Curo al Shaman” which means ‘Came Renaco is the sacred cure of the Shaman’.
The journey begins with a cleansing. A tobacco purge, which is a lot like taking that last tequila shot that you suspect will throw you over the edge. Sure enough I was vomiting within 5 seconds. This detox experience is both humbling and gratifying. With a bucket and a pitcher of water you pretty much squeeze out whatever crap you’ve been unhealthily indulging in for the last 10 years of your life… and then more. This can last for up to 4 hours. Like I said the road to paradise is not paved with gold and you’re not allowed to bring your crap with you.
THE JOURNEY INWARD
And then comes the wonderfully powerful, and always to be respected, mother of all plant medicine, Ayahuasca. A midnight journey with this special plant and you will never return to the walking dead. Ayahuasca is a blend of a vine and the chacruna leaf which contains dimethyltyptamin (DMT). This potent blend is well known for inspiring the spiritually curious as it is said to offer insight into questions that lead us down the rabbit hole.
Maestro and his league of illumina (apprentices) sing icaros, which are special songs that guide the medicine through your body and protect your spirit as it explores realms our conscious minds can not even imagine. Without the love and protection of a Maestro I simply wouldn’t suggest “playing” with this medicine.
And so my journey inward to the heart began. With visions flush with colors and sometimes even darkness, I was able to untangle my energy from beliefs that no longer serve me. And so I released the metaphorical chains that had my heart enslaved and I set my spirit free. Like a white owl flying through a dark night, I found my way back to the Tree of Life. I sat with her a while and we spoke of many things. She asked if I would help her, she has many sick children she explained, and I said “Of course my Love, anything for your beautiful planet.”
And so here it is, a knocking at your door. Should you choose to open, I’m sure you’ll find something quite magical.
“The call to Adventure signifies that Destiny has summoned the Hero.” – Joseph Campbell
Written by Lori Fast
For more information and to learn more about the work of Maestro Juan Florez Salazar visit: www.tonkiri.ca
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