Maslow said there is “a single ultimate value for mankind, a far goal toward which all men strive … becoming fully human, everything that a person can become… a pressure toward spontaneous expressiveness, full individuality and identity, seeing the truth, being creative, being good.”
Central to the Shipibo shamanic medicine tradition lies a healing goal of Personal Freedom. A notion of striving for happiness and freedom within life, of full expression of beauty inside and around ourselves, of creating healthy, thriving relationships (and boundaries) with work, family, friends, our selves, with the Earth and with all that we come into contact with.
While Amazonian shamanic medicine can open incredible, divine states of consciousness, it is fundamentally distinct from many other spiritual traditions that hold a goal of Enlightenment or of “transcending reality”. For the Shipibo people, true healing and learning is pragmatically rooted in the day-to-day business of achieving happiness, creative fulfilment and freedom in one’s every day life.
Maslow also recommends a process for self-actualization of: “experiencing life fully and vividly, learning to know yourself, being honest and courageous in making choices, working hard on self-development, and breaking down the ego’s defences.” This too is closely related to the process of healing and learning with Ayahuasca and the master teaching plants. To know the self more deeply and honestly through the deeply reflective experience of Ayahuasca ceremony and master plant dieta; developing courage to confront and release inner fears; deconstructing the ego and mental control mechanisms; thereby opening to the wonder and beauty of the natural world and the cosmic reality within it.
Many who come to Shipibo medicine initially seek relief from physical, emotional and mental suffering – stress or sickness from life’s traumas, difficulties and contaminants. But as the Maestros work with the plants and their sacred songs to cleanse and purify the body, stabilize and elevate the mind, and reinforce emotional well-being, there is a natural blossoming of creative self-fulfilment within the individual – a process which continues over the years as healing becomes learning.
Ayahuasca awakens a profound appreciation of beauty in nature, connection with dream-states, the spirits of plants and animals and the mysteries of the cosmos. She rouses deeply buried memories of beauty within our souls, of what is going on in our bodies and hearts underneath the busy, controlling mind. She reminds us of the ancient truths of who we really are, and of what we already know of the patterns of the universe within our DNA.
With the other master teacher plants like Marosa, Ayahuasca fosters strong self-belief and self-love, with greater freedom from fear, in particular from not being accepted by others. The plants carry immense wisdom and can teach compassion of the highest order, for ourselves and for others, who may project their own insecurities and criticisms onto us. An important gift of the master plants is an increased resilience to negativity, and a restoration of connection with God or a higher consciousness, and in the process of life -all leading to greater courage for self-expression.
On the more practical side, the Shipibo medicine path ultimately results in better decision-making – greater prioritizing of self-care and time and space to develop the self, rather than suffering endlessly under old patterns of addiction, self-abuse, or sacrificing one’s own happiness for others or enduring abuse from others. There is a profound re-alignment of the psyche with better cycles of energetic activity and rest, self-nourishment, and care, and of shaping one’s life differently to allow the birth of all the works of beauty and expression lying within.
These, and many other wonderful benefits are the results of a deep healing journey with Ayahuasca and the sacred master teaching plants – when used with care, caution, skill and discipline as at Caya Shobo Healing Center, where we work only with highly experienced Shipibo master healers.
Little by little, step by step, we all may strive towards Maslow’s ultimate goal – of becoming everything that we can become.
We welcome you to explore this powerful healing journey and expansion of your creative self at our upcoming Visionary Art Retreat with Luis Tamani at Caya Shobo this May 12-22 in Iquitos, Peru.