Episodes:

Professor and author, Stephan Beyer, brings us a beautiful guide to mestizo shamanism in the Upper Amazon and the use of the sacred, plant medicine ayahuasca in his new book Singing to the Plants. Stephan holds doctorates in both religious studies and psychology, was a lawyer and a litigator as well as a wilderness guide, peacemaker, community builder. He has worked with ayahuasca and other sacred plants in the Amazon, peyote in ceremonies of the Native American Church, and huachuma in Peruvian mesa rituals; undertaken numerous four-day and four-night solo vision fasts in Death Valley, the Pecos Wilderness, and the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico; and lived in a Tibetan monastery. From these experiences have come books on Buddhism, Tibetan language and religion, and now, mestizo shamanism.

Stephan has long had an interest in wilderness survival in a variety of terrains, especially jungle survival. He explains that “as I learned more and more about the ways in which indigenous people survive — indeed, flourish — in the wilderness, it became increasingly clear to me that wilderness survival included a significant spiritual component — the maintenance of right relationships both with human persons and with the other-than-human persons who fill the indigenous world. Thus I began to explore wilderness spirituality, to learn ways to live in harmony with the natural world, striving, like indigenous people, to be in right relationship with the plant and animal spirits of the wilderness.” In addition to studying how indigenous peoples of North and South America survive and thrive, Stephen studies sacred plant medicine with traditional herbalists in North America and curanderos in the Upper Amazon, where Stephan has received coronación by banco ayahuasquero don Roberto Acho Jurama.