watched the incense smoke wander around the room like weightless leaves
in the breeze. Then Fernando asked me to close my eyes. I had no idea that my "self" was about to shatter into a million pieces like broken glass.
We brewed several pots of San Pedro, but the substance chose to show us
nothing we couldn't see with our own eyes. This was a site meant to be experienced by humans using their own
[The Ayahuasca Monologues] • In the summer of 2004, I was set to travel to South America for a ten day Dieta to work with the plant medicines Bobinsana and
Ayahuasca. Prior to departure, my father died a harsh and tragic death. A
new phase of my life began with these two seminal events. I found my
understanding of this earth to be changed utterly, and a terrible and loving
beauty was born.
We have come seeking the healing the earth offers through her sacred medicines. These mushrooms
are legal for a 30-kilometer radius around the village of Huautla. Baskets of mushrooms are
painted on the outside walls of the church. Here the mushroom is another
image for Christ.
As a writer on ayahuasca shamanism, and a leader of small groups down
to the rainforest to encounter the practice of traditional medicine, I
have watched the rising of the phenomenon labeled "ayahuasca tourism"
Any tradition with a rigid, circumscribed, dualistic, dogma-based identity is, in my opinion, inadequate and inappropriate for the present conditions we face as a planet. I could not stand to have my beliefs handed to me. I had to construct them from the ground up for and by myself.
Unconditional love and forgiveness of others is not only for saints and Buddhas. It is essential to the success of all the major activist adventures in our world.
There are at most ten people in Turkey who have ridden with these wild horses, and I am without a doubt the first woman. I couldn't help but feel a sense of purpose in doing this.
There are seven stages of discovery, walking the path from the old world to the new. It is a journey fraught with peril and hardship and breathtaking realizations, a journey irreducibly unique for each of us. I think you will recognize some of the major landmarks in your own journey.