Since 1999 Jan Kounen has regularly traveled to the Peruvian Amazon to participate in ayahuasca ceremonies. At first only a curious filmmaker, over multiple trips he transformed from explorer to apprentice to ayahuasqueroand often found himself surrounded by other foreigners coming to the jungle for their first taste of ayahuasca medicine. Knowing how little guidance is available on how to prepare or what to expect, he naturally offered them advice. Part visionary ayahuasca memoir and part practical guide, this book contains the same step-by-step advice that Kounen provides first-time ayahuasca users in the jungle. He describes how to prepare for the first ceremony and what to do in the days afterward. He explores how to deal with the nausea and details the special preparatory diets an ayahuasca shaman will put you on, often lasting for months but necessary for life-transforming results and teachings from the plant spirits. He also explains how it is far easier to maintain these restrictions in the jungle than in the city. Detailing his own ayahuasca experiences over hundreds of sessions, including a trip in 2009 when he underwent 17 ceremonies in 25 days, Kounen describes how ayahuasca transformed him. He tells of his meetings with Shipibo healers, including Kestenbetsa, who opened the doors of this world for him, and Panshin Beka, the shaman to whom Kounen became an apprentice. He details the many other plants and foods that are part of the ayahuasca healer's medicine cabinet, such as toe and tobacco, as well as their icaros, or healing songs. A veritable "what to expect" guide, this book should be your first step prior to committing to ayahuasca.
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