"It's an encyclopedia of beauty...like some poem of Neruda's, it is a treasure house of language, in service to life."
—Robert Bly, author of The Night Abraham called to the Stars
"Friend, if you have picked up this book, hold it. Don't set it down. Let it call. Let it enter. Let it undo the latch of forgetfulness It is not an academic study, nor event the personal account it at first appears. It is a hymn from the living heart of the universe, echoing in our being with praise and remembrance of that we didn't know we remembered."
—Paul Weiss, Director, Whole Health Center, Bar Harbor, Maine
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Martin Prechtel was raised on an Indian reservation in New Mexico but lived for many years with the Tzutujil people of Santiago Atitlan in Guatemala. he was apprenticed as a Mayan shaman and eventually rose to become the Najbey Mam. First Chief of the village. His powerful and moving story captures the magic and mystery of a wise and magnificent people. Their eloquent poetry resonates throughout the book with a rhythm which reinforces the vitality of this vanishing culture. It tells of the importance of initiation in the flowering and maturation of a new generation as they become the "ripe fruit" of the village. "When we lose a sense of belonging to something greater than the individual", says Prechtel, "people are left with ghosts of hatred that posses generation after successive generation. But, deep in our bones lies a memory of community, of belonging, that needs simply to be sparkled. This book is both a personal memoir and a portrait of the importance of community identity.