Don Alejandro Jahuanchi
Even though he was an Ayahuasca medicine man, he did not teach much about the plant itself. Ayahuasca is a plant used to induce visions for healing purposes, but the essence of his message was broader than that. He spoke, with the help of interpreters, about many things, and did many healings, both during his stay and during our stay with him in the jungle. One area we discussed at length that deserves to be passed on, involves how we view the world. Regardless of religious orientation, his perspective can provide us all with a thoughtful way to view the world.
In a discussion about teaching spirituality to children, he explained that people of all ages need to learn certain basics. In modern culture, humans grow up in artifical environments, and once becoming interested in their own wholeness, become very focused on the goals of a spiritual path instead of the journey. A lot of time and energy is spent thinking about not only the future we envision, but also the techniques for how we want to get there.
Don Alejandro said that before we worry about techniques and even visions of what we should be doing or experiencing as "spiritual beings," that we must first find our grounding here on the planet. Without nurturing our innate nature first, we cannot develop our spirituality. His recommendation for all of us was simple:
- Experience life through your senses right now. Experience what you are tasting, smelling, seeing, hearing, and touching.
- Experience how you are "of the elements." How are you fire, water, earth, air? Find your external relationship to these elements on the planet and then, too, internally find how you are the elements.
- Experience "when" you are. Don't allow the repetition of daily cycles or seasons numb you. Become the morning, noon, evening and night...what is that to you? Become deeply connected to the spring, summer, autumn, and winter...how is that for you?
- Experience yourself in the center of the four directions...you always are. As you experience the east, become conscious of the morning and feel the spring. As you experience the south, become conscious of the noonday and feel the summer. As you experience the west, become conscious of the evening and feel the autumn. As you experience the north, become conscious of midnight and feel the winter. Feel your connection to the four directions, as you also feel your connection to nature's cycles. Know that you are in the center of the four as well as above and below.