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Wisdom of the Body

Jan 29, 2021

Rak Razam is an experiential journalist whose works include two books on Ayahuasca and the documentary Shamans of the Global Village. In this episode, Rak discusses what shamanism is and describes the plants that are central to the shamanic journeys of Peru and other South American countries. He shines a light on the history of shamanism in the world, why so many today are chasing the visions, and the role of the shaman now to heal the global village.

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • Ayahuasca, a sacred jungle medicine that grows all over South America that is mixed into a brew that acts as a purgative that can create not just hallucination, but also very deep visionary experiences, when used in particular kinds of sets and settings for healing.
  • Ayahuasceros – the people working with Ayahuasca.
  • Lisa Ling’s third-party reporting on Ayahuasca.
  • The different names of Ayahuasca in certain regions. For example, the Columbians call it Yagé.
  • How people report that it feels like 10 years of psychotherapy in one night.
  • What a shaman is, as well as any potential connection between the Sanskrit word śamana and the western word shaman, which was coined in the Western world by the book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy from the 50s by Mercea Eliade.
  • How psychoactive plants are part of every landscape.
  • The theory that you can’t serve the people unless you’ve been served.
  • Curanderos, from the Spanish word “to heal”, and the science of curanderismo: 
  • Ayahuasceros specialize in Ayahuasca.
  • Vegetalistas work with plants.
  • Tabaqueros work with tobacco for divination and healing.
  • Shamanic training in which you have to do a dieta: a purification process (give up sugar, oil, salt, meats) to increase sensitivities.
  • The book Thus Spoke the Plant by Monica Gagliano.
  • How Gabor Mate used to lead people to Peru for Ayahuasca.

Rak Razam is an alchemical storyteller with his finger on the pulse of tomorrow and the heart of today. A screenwriter, documentary filmmaker, author, journalist and culture maker, his focus is on the new cultural paradigm birthing in this brave new world. His works include the books Aya Awakenings: A Shamanic Odyssey and The Ayahuasca Sessions: Conversations with Amazonian Curanderos and Western Shamans, and the documentary Shamans of the Global Village 

Heather Grzych is the author of The Ayurvedic Guide to Fertility and the host of the Wisdom of the Body podcast. A board-certified Ayurvedic practitioner, she bridges the worlds of conventional and alternative medicine to help women and men heal their physical and emotional lives. Heather is on the board of directors for the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) and has consulted with doctors, governments, and insurance companies. She offers virtual consultations and programs worldwide.  

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This podcast is for educational purposes only.