I do not know when I was first talking to plants, but I remember vividly when the first one talked to me. Or perhaps better said when I first started listening for a response!
It was an enourmous oak tree in Glastonbury. In the same town I met David Eastoe, who produces plant essences that I grew to love. My first healing session with his plant essences was so incredible that I did not dare tell anyone for a year, to not diminish the results.
Many years later, during a meditation in my shamanic training I was called by mother Ayahuasca, the crone of the healing plants.
It was very clear to me that she called me into her domain, which is an invitation I take very seriously. My presence and ability to navigate through our western world does not mean that I am not also connected to the spiritual world.
I took my time to find the right place and when I came across Javier Zavala Lopez and his center Hampichicuy in Tarapoto, I knew it was just right for me. I will introduce him later to you, if you are interested.
It was a terrifying experience! Mother Ayahuasca demands to let go, no control of anything. In her domain she is the queen and she gently stripped me from all those control mechanisms that I so carefully installed, while explaining to everyone who cared to hear, that I can let go, no matter what.
Taking Ayahuasca is a sacred ceremony, lead by an Ayahuasciero, Javier in my case. It takes about 4 hours, depending also on how much you are able to take and how your body reacts. It is not addictive nor does it leave you with a hangover. The next day I felt more alive and vibrant than before.
All the time in Hampichicuy I take a plant medicine that is not hallocinogenic. The drink is made of many plants and is given 2-3 hours after breakfast and 2-3 hours after lunch. I skip dinner there. The food is plain, very well done and really tasty – even without salt. The diet is based on plants only, no sugar, no salt and no spices. It sharpens the senses and prepares for the ayahuasca ceremonies.
When I prepare to go to Hampichicuy I make sure that my intentions are very clear. The second time there, the subject I had to work on, was the sadness that I felt in my grandparents and that ran in my famiily. It was then that I realised I was carrying it as well and I decided it should stop with me. On another occassion I went to heal my body, especially my lungs, that are badly damaged by Ambrosie. It was interesting as I was healing the damage that one plant did, with the capacity of a different plant.
The time I spent there working on the subject of healing my lungs, I stayed for a total of 3 weeks. During this stay I was exclusively fed this plant diet. It was a stressful time for me as more layers of stress and sadness came to unravel that I had not anticipated. If you would have asked me before, how I was feeling, I would have replied ‘I am as relaxed as possible!’, which would have been a lie. But luckily no one was around to ask me this and there was no reason to cover up my emotions. The solitude served as an arena that I used to dive deep into myself and let the plant work its magic. Eventually I let myself give into the feelings, I found a lot of strength and trust within me that I had never felt before.
The Ayahuasca ceremonies this time around were totally different than the sessions of previous years. The plant worked in my body with no halicinations, but by gently brushing off the layers of old conditioning and gently opening up to be ready for what is coming.
During my later journey to the Andean temples and altars, it was made abundantly clear to me that all is well and that when I trust the Universe and Mother Earth, everything can be light and the effort that needs to be made no longer seems impossible.
Journeying back home, back to Bucharest, back to the work I love so much, I find myself open and curious about what the future holds with a most grateful heart.
About Hampichicuy: Tarapoto is a little peruvian town at the edge of the
Amazonian rain forest and Hampichicuy is just outside town, right at the beginning of the jungle. It is not a luxurious place in the westen understanding, but you have everything you need and more. The plant world there is so rich, that I can never be bored watching. You have an occasional passing horde of monkeys and incredible birds. I love the black vultures the most, especially when they are browsing for food high over your head. This time when I took a picture of a hummingbird there you can actually recognize that it is indeed a hummingbird and not a smudge of black!
I always felt very well cared for, whether during ceremony, for the diet, or for feedback. The price is not cheap, but very sensible in terms of what you get.
About Javier Zavala
Heir of an ancient knowledge in which medicinal master plants were traditionally used with curative or therapeutic purposes. He was initiated in the traditional Amazonian medicine in 1993. “Vegetalist” with knowledges about Ethnobotany and university education in Psychology. He has a wide experience in the management of these knowledges that offers an alternative of self-examination very particular and quite assertive. He organizes seminars and national level conferences, and in South America. He participates in international events of “Native Healers”.