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The Shaman & Ayahuasca: Journeys To Sacred Realms [Kindle Edition]

Don Jose Campos , Geraldine Overton-Wiese

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More and more Ayahuasca has come to the attention of the Western media. Used by the shamans of Peru , the rituals and practices around this psychoactive plant-based brew date back 50-70,000 years as evidenced by rock and cave paintings found the world over. Through their use of Ayahuasca, Shamans establish contact with the spirit world which they call upon to aid them in their healing practices, understanding of the cosmos, and how to live well in the world.
In The Shaman & Ayahuasca, internationally respected Peruvian shaman Don Jose´ Campos illuminates the practices and benefits of Ayahuasca with grace and gentleness, while expressing respect and gratitude for the gifts Ayahuasca has bestowed on him throughout the 25 years he has been a practicing shaman. He takes the reader on a journey through his own discovery of other worlds, other dimensions, ‘alien’ entities and ‘plant teachers.’ The Shaman & Ayahuasca gives an overview of an entire cosmology with the potential to benefit all of mankind. It is the perfect book to introduce readers to the profound experiences of Ayahuasca.


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33 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Accessible and readable book about Ayahuasca experience 17. Juni 2011
Von Tony Levelle - Veröffentlicht auf
I believe that The Shaman and Ayahuasca is unique in the ayahuasca literature. Don Jose Campos is a highly respected ayahuasca shaman, and he speaks directly and candidly about all aspects of ayahuasca. Trained in both Western medical and Peruvian Shamanistic traditions, Campos gives an engrossing account of the ayahuasca experience and the culture surrounding it.

I found this book the most accessible and easiest to read of several Ayahuasca books that I looked at. Michael Wiese traveled to Peru to research the book, and gained unprecedented access to Campos. The book describes the ayahuasca experience, its psychological and spiritual effects, and the culture that has grown up around ayahuasca since its recent and sudden popularlity. Campos's interview is the only account that I know of where a shaman shares intimate details of the preparation, culture and experience of ayahuasca.

Campos's background and education, as well as his extensive experience as an Ayahuasca shaman makes this book unique.

I recommend the book highly. If you read the book, watch Wiese's documentary film of the same name. (It is available on DVD) The documentary gives extra reality and depth to the voices, sounds and images described in the book.

I first learned about the book through my connection to Michael Wiese. His company MWP Productions published two of my own books on film making.
19 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Powerful spirit, incredible book 10. Februar 2012
Von Peter L. Clark - Veröffentlicht auf
Shadowy mysteries of the jungle spirit undulate through these pages...

Ayahuasca is a seduction of expansive consciousness, healing magic, and an opening of boxes that keep one enclosed...

Don José Campos is an Ayahuascero - a shaman who works with the spirit, power, and energy of two plants. Ancient family recipes are passed down from generation to generation, mixing Banisteriopsis caapi - bark of the ayahuasca vine; and Psychotria viridis - selected leaves of chacruna. More broadly, Don José is a vegetalista, or curandero - a traditional healer who works with the enigmatic powers of the plants of the South American jungles. This book tells his story, some parts of the stories of the publisher and editor who came to meet him and experience Ayahuasca first hand, and finally, this book introduces the reader to the complex Ayahuasca spirit her self.

Reading this text is like sitting around a fire and listening to the stories and experiences of Don José and his friends. The book in fact came out of a series of interviews and recorded conversations, so the words come off the page in the way of the spoken. The manner is informal and accessible, but nonetheless conveys the depth of experience well - as much as is possible without actually partaking of Ayahuasca in the physical. Indeed, though the physical experience of Ayahuasca is intense and powerful, one can also meet and work with this commanding and assertive spirit in the non-physical realm. After deciding to read this book and posting the article written by publisher Michael Wiese telling of his encounters with Ayahuasca and Don José, the very next morning when I awoke, I looked out a window in my bedroom and saw a jungle - not the usual Vermont landscape. I blinked my eyes to check if I was dreaming - I was definitely awake. The jungle - large broad leaves - was right up against the window. I got out of bed. Still I saw the jungle - no Vermont forest scenes. I took one step towards the window - the jungle remained. With the next step, the Vermont landscape returned. I knew that Ayahuasca was aware of me, and my choices. As I write this, I feel the electric current flow through me that tells me the spirits agree too.

In this book, Don José tells of his life, his path of becoming a curandero. He writes about his teachers, and we meet some of them in the pages. A small swathe of jungle life and history unfolds through his stories. As a healer, Don José works with the spirits of the plants and animals of the jungle, and it is through the intervention of these spirits that those who come for help are healed. But it is not a free ride to health. Sacrifice is required - those who wish to be healed must be willing to commit to the process - careful attention to diet, complete abstention from sexual activities, and dedication to following whatever other guidance the spirits convey. In the healing process, one must be an active participant, and often, Ayahuasca spirit does not offer a smooth and easy path on which to walk.

There is clearly a physical aspect to meeting and working with Ayahuasca, starting with the way one prepares to take it and the recipe used in the creation of the brew. The biochemical reaction within one's body is undeniably pervasive, though different people have extremely varied experiences. But the long term ramifications of following or not following healing directives given by the spirit(s) through the vegetalista illustrate the significance of understanding that there is more than a purely physical encounter underway. Don José makes it clear that this is a spiritual healing, a spiritual process:

It is important to understand that one is not ingesting a liquid, one is ingesting the spirit of the plant. One then acquires the mariri and one advances spiritually. With the plants, the process of spiritual advancement is accelerated. One enters the world of the spirit of plants, the world of the spirits of the animals. One enters the world of the spirit of the elements: Fire, Air, Earth and Water. Plants will accelerate one's understanding of these things. Yes, the plants will take us to this level. (page 7)

Though this book is credited to Don José, it is much more a book written by Ayahuasca herself - channeled through Don José and an entourage of connected humans. One beautiful part of the telling of this story by Ayahuasca is an entire chapter of the visions and experiences of those who commune with the plant spirit. Here is an excerpt of one of Geraldine's experiences:

I look further up through the maloca and see huge faces in the parting of the clouds. They look down on me and smile. There are men and women with fabulous jeweled headdresses. They have beautiful intelligent faces and they carry something like jagged spears. They are speaking to me, telling me they are the creator gods, Earth gods. And to punctuate their sentences, they fling out the jagged spears, THUNDERBOLTS! At the end of every sentence, POW! Over the cloud goes the thunderbolt, and we are all shaken in the maloca with the grandiose flashings and crashing. We cheer them on. More lightening! More thunder! We are all in this grand communion. We whistle, we sing, we raise our arms, and all the little birds sing too, and the chacapas of the wind, and the rain, and the thunder, in beautiful mutual adoration. Don José laughs, "Wow, Cool!" Artur plays his guitar and sings his wonderful songs, Alberto and Don José get out their instruments and play and whistle to the birds, and the birds whistle back. I feel I'm in heaven and close my eyes... (page 69)

A key part of the ceremony, the healing of Ayahuasca, is contained within the songs sung by the Ayahuascero. These songs are words and notes and melodies of the spirit herself. She sends her frequencies, her vibrations out through the vocal chords, lungs, and mouth of the shaman. These haunting, beautiful, almost indescribable songs are just as much the key that opens the door to healing and consciousness evolution as the psychotropic substance itself. These songs, these vocal expressions of the complex presence of Ayahuasca spirit, are called icaros. Don José writes:

My icaros do change over time. I want to explain what icaros means. Icaro, in the language of the vegetalistas means, "healing." With the icaro I'm going to heal you. With the icaro I'm going to make you sane. As you take the plants, you acquire the mariri, which is an inner power that when matured, and combined with a song, is what makes the icaro effective. (page 21)

One of the many highlights of this book is a visit with Pablo Amaringo, world renowned artist of Ayahuasca visions. Included in the text are images of some of his paintings. And we are treated to some of his stories and history. Earlier in his life, he was a powerful vegetalista healer. Not all spirit workers are healers - some get seduced by the power of non-compassionate spirits. They focus only on increasing their own power - through both the people and the spirits they associate with. This is often done at the expense of others. In Pablo's days as a vegetalista healer - an Ayahuascero, he came across some people who had illnesses that had been set into motion due to spiritual attacks. He helped these people, then received threats from those who had initiated the attacks. He was told that he must kill or be killed. The third option was to cease his healing practice. He made that choice, and instead found his artistic gift. Many might agree that he shape shifted his healing practice into a form not recognizable by the antagonists. He conveyed the message of the Ayahuasca spirit through his amazing paintings.

This book contains many more gems. It is a book about a culture and a spiritual practice, but mostly it is a delightful, thoroughly accessible, introduction to a most amazing spirit. The use of Ayahuasca is perhaps one way to get beyond the blocks and barriers that keep us from realizing our full human potential. There are other ways as well. The way of the jungle spirits, the way of Ayahuasca, is not for the faint of heart or the undisciplined. But it is way with a long history and set of traditions behind it. And these ways are experiencing a renaissance today. This book is a wonderful way to dip your toes in that expanding pool of consciousness, to taste a small sample of the Ayahuasca renaissance without flying to South America. You may be looking up airfares while you read it!
23 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen beautifully simple and straightforward 16. Juni 2011
Von Casey Machula - Veröffentlicht auf
The author opens this book by saying "The spirit of Ayahuasca will come to you through my intention, my energy, for this is what a shaman does, he transmits energy and healing through his songs, through his presence and with the help of the spirits who he calls upon through his icaros." He succeeds. Enough said.
16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen From the Heart 18. Oktober 2011
Von Joan Parisi Wilcox - Veröffentlicht auf
I am happy to see that don Jose Campos has finally shared his wisdom and heart with the public through this book. In my book, Ayahuasca: The Visionary and Healing Powers of the Vine of the Soul, I write about "don Luis," which, I can finally reveal, was a pseudonym for don Jose Campos. In my work with him I found don Jose to be a man of integrity and humilty while also being a gifted healer, and those qualities come shining through in his book. This is not a book for the head: it is not an ethnobotany of the vine, does not provide dazzling tales of ayahuasca journeys, and the like; instead it is a conversation between hearts, between a master ayahausquero and readers, one in which readers will discover, as don Jose says in the book, that "there is a relationship of teacher/student that is mutual. Sometimes there is a thread we explore together. We complement each other. What matters is that there's an equality in all of us doing this work and in sharing what we learn from the work. That's one of the features of good Ayahuasca use." It was with this spirit of sharing that I wrote my book about my work with the Mother of the Voice in the Ear and don Jose, and it is in this spirit that don Jose shares his story in this book.

Through don Jose, you will discover the best of ayahuasca, as the healing spirit that it is, as the giver of gifts both light and seemingly dark, as the keeper of a doorway to the Self and beyond. Don Jose says in the book: "Thank you to the plants. They heal us. They cleanse us. They make us aware of our own spirituality. . . . [Nature] is a garden full of mysteries. And the illnesses are also a mystery. Thanks to the illnesses themselves we become aware of where we are not well. And that is where Ayahuasca and the plants really help." I say, "Thank you" to don Jose, and to the translator and editor of this book, for offering us all such cogent reminders about our relatinship with the natural world and potentially with the Selves we keep hidden from ourselves.

Through don Jose's words you will also gain a sense of the simplicity, humility and groundedness with which he works with the vine. It is invaluable to hear such words from the ayahuasquero himself, for there has been so much hype and hyperbole written about ayahuasca that the reasons for working with the plant teachers can get lost in the media white noise. The message here is clear: as don Jose says, ayahuasca takes away defects and gives responsibilities. It shows you who you are. Through his book, don Jose reveals not only who he is but also what/who ayahuasca is. Both command our respect.
20 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Brilliant man and absolutely brilliant life 27. August 2011
Von Michael Blain - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I have been studying ayahuasca for nearly a decade now, and no book has come even remotely close to this in terms of practical realism in communication. When dealing with somewhat metaphysical subject matter it is easy to get lost in imagery, like Castaneda, but this work does not.
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