I’ve written in previous newsletters that you and I are incredibly blessed because we are part of the greatest revolution in history: The Consciousness Revolution.
This revolution has come none too soon. Because humans are navigating our fragile space station, Earth, towards disaster, it is imperative that we reboot our navigational systems – our consciousness and perceptions about what it means to be human on this planet.
Many years ago, as I’ve written in several of my books, my life was saved and forever changed by plants served by a Shuar shaman deep in the Amazon rain forest. I’d never heard of ayahuasca at that time. All I knew was that it had a profound impact on my consciousness. For me, the most important thing I learned that first night and many afterwards, as I trained to be an ayahuasca shaman, is that plants have a consciousness and they are insisting on sharing it with us humans.
Plants teach us to alter objective reality by changing our perceptions of reality, making the impossible become possible – to shapeshift. Just as a tiny seed breaks through cement, we can break through the ‘cement’ that has imprisoned us in destructive patterns – individually and globally.
In recent years, ayahuasca has become popular in many parts of the world. While I have deep appreciation for the plants that are used to concoct the tea that is ayahuasca, I also am concerned that many who partake are missing the real point: Plants – all plants – are our teachers. They do not have to be ingested or transport us to hallucinogenic states in order to teach.
Some plants teach us about art (roses, tulips). Some teach about nutrition (avocados, almonds). Some about healing injuries and diseases (aloe, turmeric). Some teach us respect for nature (poison ivy, thorns). Some about consciousness (ayahuasca, San Pedro). Every plant is a teacher if we are just willing to listen.
Plants, like the seed that breaks through cement, empower us to do what the Shuar and other indigenous shamans refer to as “touching the jaguar.” We confront our obstacles, our blockages, and use the energy of those obstacles to make the “impossible” become possible.
When I was in school, everyone I knew – except my parents and grandmother who were plant lovers – scoffed at the idea that plants had consciousness. The plants themselves have since shown us otherwise. A few of many examples:
Plants illustrate that energy, nutrition and everything needed for life can be created directly from water, air, and sunshine in the sustainable processes known as photosynthesis.
Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) discovered that plants in the wild medicate against pain by emitting methyl salicylate – a form of aspirin. (1)
Research published in the journal Oecologia conclude that plants warn each other against predators and potential enemies. A plant network receives external signals of impending danger and transmits it to other members of the network. (1)
Studies indicate that some plants emit chemicals that deter herbivores from eating them. (1)
Experiments have shown that plants learn to use musical scales and are able to make music with the use of a synthesizer. (2)
It seems that, during this moment in history when our space station is starting to spin out of control, the plants have stepped forward to help us save ourselves – and them. Our scientists are legitimizing plant intelligence and confirming that they not only have consciousness but can also help us touch the jaguars that have kept us caged in unsustainable life-styles. Plants are becoming our allies in making the transition into global systems that are themselves renewable resources.
This coming August, I’ll facilitate “Sacred Plants: Touching the Jaguar,” a course at the Omega Institute in New York. This experiential workshop will be held inside the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), a place where plants turn the used and dirty water of the entire campus into potable water. It is an example of transforming “it can’t be done” to “it is done” – through the teachings of plants.
In January 2019, I will guide people to plant shamans on a trip, “Raising Consciousness – Magical Plants in the Costa Rican Jungle.” Although I’ve been taking people to Latin American shamans since the late 1980s, this is the first time to this amazing place of enchanted plants, in one of Costa Rica’s most impressive primary forests. Participants will have the opportunity to experience ayahuasca and delve deep in plant consciousness.
Also, in January I’ll be teaching at Rythmia in Costa Rica, a healing center/spa where ancient traditions are combined with modern healing techniques. Ayahuasca is not only used as a sacred teacher plant but is also studied; statistics are kept about its impacts on participants so that records can be used in scientific studies.
I look forward to meeting some of you at one of these venues. We will employ shamanic journeys and other consciousness-raising approaches to help us communicate with and learn from the plants. For those of you who can’t do any of these or join one of my other trips, please take the time to get to know your teacher plants – inside your home, in nearby gardens, fields, or forests. Appreciate them. Learn from them. Let them help you touch your jaguars, rise to higher consciousness, and transform yourself and the world.
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