After all the travelling, hiking boots and clothes it is always such a pleasure to simply BE in the jungle. Stillness, hammocks, flip flops and the songs of the Amazon whether they are coming from birds and creatures or from our beautiful Medicalista, Edinson Panduro.
We were met with clear starry skies and hot bright days interspersed with lightening displays and the occasional rain shower. My group were newbies to Ayahuasca and all engaged with it beautifully, asking intelligent questions and really understanding the process. For me, since healing my relationship with her last year, it was the easiest process yet, beautiful and with a profound feeling of love and so much confirmation about where I am with myself, my energy and with all that has passed and what is to come. It was like total alignment, really amazing.
I had met the owner of the lodge Juan, a few years ago once at the office in Cusco, but he was in the jungle this time so I was finally able to connect with him properly. They are all so nice to me there, I love the connectivity and having a kind of jungle family.
Before the first nuances of dawn capture the sky, the jungle echoes with a creepy sounding rasping/roaring/grunting sound sweeping through the lushness and you lay there wondering what in the world is that sound? I already knew it was packs of howler monkeys swinging through the jungle! Miguel is a four month old resident howler monkey. He has two less personable brothers who also live there. Their mother was shot and they were taken as pets. Rodolfo, the wonderful manager of the lodge who is a biologist, stole them from their “owners” so they could be released back into their natural habitat. Eco Amazonia own Monkey Island where they rescue injured and sick monkeys and release them back into their natural surroundings. Miguel will have to be taken deep into the jungle with his brothers when he is a little older to start their own pack as howler monkey’s start to get aggressive when they are older. Miguel was very entertaining, charming and as cheeky as they get!
The day after any ayahuasca ceremony you are not feeling up for much action so one day we took a little boat ride up to the Gamitano river and luxuriated in head to toe mud baths, good for your skin, hair and mosquito bites! It had rained the entire day before so there was plenty of water this time so we could swim with the piranha’s, once the mud had dried.
Another day was an educational walk to Lago Apu Victor. Victor is the head guide and he has been there since the lodge opened about 17 years ago. On a jungle ‘walk-about’ one day he discovered a beautiful caiman filled lake so they named it after him. This time we were so honoured to see an amazing 18 foot anaconda curled up sleeping in the sun! We didn’t get too close in the boat because they can easily leap out and snatch their prey in one easy stretch. I have only experienced being anaconda dinner three times in aya visions and it is not an event I would ever like to become a real life adventure!
In the jungle it is rare to know what day it is. The river flows, nature sings and hammocks beckon. One night on the way to the Aya Hut we crossed paths with a giant tarantula moseying along, hanging out with the frogs. Ceremony ends around midnight and I was safely back in my hut, still feeling the affects and heard something gnawing on my hut. I looked out the window shining my torch to see what I could see, but it was pitch black. I was aware I did not have any food in my hut, but my vivd imagination was creating a jaguar of course! Eventually I had to open the door, cautiously to see what was making so much noise. There, right ON my door was a little mouse. I closed it quickly because I did not want to share my room with a mouse, and soon I heard him scurry away very quickly which made me wonder what else was out there?
We visited a native family and for the first time in years I finally was able to actually shoot the arrow off of the bow! I still missed the target, a papaya, but I was close. That was our last full day in the jungle when I began to come down with what is known as “El Gripe,” a 48 hour intense jungle flu with extreme fever and chills, a killer headache, body aches and well, the ayahuasca was already pouring through my system...
By the time we arrived in Cusco the next day after the nearly two hour boat ride up the river, the bus ride to the airport, the flight and taxi to the hotel, I was nearly delirious. In bed with all my clothes on under tons of blankets on my knees, holding my head and shivering ferociously, Roberto came in to help me spitting a lot of Florida water on me, praying over me and pulling off all that “gripe” energy.
Dawn and Paivi had returned to Cusco with me, extending their trip as long as they could. I absolutely welcomed that because they are both such wonderfully evolved spiritual soul sisters. They caught up with emails while I laid in bed doing tons of Theta Healing on myself and really praying for insight into my process.
The next day I was vertical, just, and we had a day of getting organised, laundry, copying music and photos and discussing our jungle process with Roberto. Plus, he took us to introduce me to the woman who sells the sweetest and most perfect coca leaves for offerings. He reminded me that when your vibration is elevating you are often in crisis and physically my body has been cleaned out from it’s roots. Understanding this has helped me through it much more easily. Emotionally I am in a very good space but my body is digesting so much new information.
Today he took us to the Temple of the Monkey at Sacsaywaman, a part I had never been to before. Wow. Away from the tourist trail, with reverence and barefoot we entered offering coca leaves. It is the Temple of Equilibrium. Monkeys fly through the jungle leaping from vine to vine with absolute confidence that they will catch the next one and that it will hold them. They have supreme balance, no limitations. No limitations, no limitations, No Limitations!! Whatever part of ourselves we are not allowing to be free, this is where we come to put things in balance.
Roberto speaks with such passion about his path of service, and his commitment and connection to our beautiful Pachamama is so pure. He has taught me a lot about giving everything without attachment. He is totally present in every moment and gives completely of himself in that moment and then, whatever it is, he lets it go. The practice is simple. He is not abandoning his homeland or his people like so many shamans and Peruvians are in search of a better quality of life. He invites his people to come to ceremony and into the mountains and to the temples so he can help them remember their connection to the earth. We were sitting on a hillside with the mountains all around us as he spoke of the beauty and abundance of our Mother Earth, that the closest thing we have to God is right here and we have to respect her, nourish and cherish her and take joy in all that she offers. It is hard to translate when tears of sublime joy and understanding are flowing down my face.
It is easy to connect to our beautiful Pachamama here in Peru in the sacred temples and away from all the distractions, and allow the huaca’s (power places) to do their work and transmit healing energy into all of our cells. All three of us were deeply moved at this Monkey temple and I have found a new most favourite place on earth. I received a deep healing there today, something released from me and the constant abdominal pain I have been experiencing for the past three and half days simply disappeared.
Afterwards we hiked up to the Temple of the Moon which has been hugely excavated since the last time I was there. First we sat at an altar on the top sharing our feelings about our travels and having an in depth discussion about basic limitations like time and food. People rule their entire lives by their next meal. People eat often not just for nourishment but because of boredom or to fill a void or escape. It is part of the reason why mountain people chew on coca leaves here because it not only gives you energy but it also reduces hunger. We all agreed that it was much more important to complete a process or experience than to cut it short to have lunch.
Later in the Temple of the Moon while we were inside meditating Roberto heard a group on the outside about to come in and he politely asked them to wait for five minutes. The guide was not willing to give us five simple minutes! Time is a sickness of the modern world and it causes no end of stress. Twelve years ago when I first returned to Peru since childhood I took off my watch and have never worn one since. Shaman time. The time is now. Go find a hammock, see what it is like to just be in that space with yourself, for now.
This has been the most profoundly enlightening trip yet which I am sure will affect all the rest to come in perfect abundant flow.