Finding Inner Peace in the Amazon Rainforest

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Last week I talked a little about my journey into the Peruvian jungle to work with a shaman. The things that happened while I was there have really impacted my life and how I view the world.


Not only was my body cleansed, but my mind and spirit were cleansed too. I’ll be honest, the cleansing was the whole reason for me going on this trip.


I had heard stories of people’s experiences and how it has helped them in their lives. I was at a place in my life where I needed some guidance. Things were changing. I was changing, and I needed to look deep inside myself to find the right path.

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The spiritual cleanse begins


When we first arrived to the jungle, I couldn’t wait to get started with the cleanse. I had heard the stories and was ready to go…..or so I thought.


Our first night was for us to relax and observe our new surroundings. No ceremonies. Just time for us to become acquainted with our new home for the next 2 weeks.


Once the sun started going down the next afternoon, we knew it was time to begin our first ceremony.


The group gathered in a large grass roof hut called a Maloca. Each person found their own space around the circle with the shaman at the head. It was time for the ceremony to begin.



The sky was almost pitch black as the ceremony began. The shaman gave his blessings and started to lead the group with his songs.


This first ceremony was a hard one for me. Everything started out fine, but as the night went on, I started to sink into a dark place.


Every bad feeling inside me came out. Sadness. Heartache. Anger. All of it was coming to the surface, and I had no way of avoiding it. There was something holding me there in the darkness with all this negativity. Something almost evil. I didn’t know what it was. All I knew was that I couldn’t move. I couldn’t get away.



I had to face these feelings and get past them, and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t ready for it. It’s hard to face yourself. As they say, “You are your own worst critic.” Now imagine facing that critic.


I don’t know how long I was in that dark place. I eventually came to lying in the middle of the room with the shaman looking over me. He was smoking a Mapacho, which is rolled sacred tobacco and blowing the smoke around my head. It’s said that the spirit is drawn to the smoke. Amazonian tribes will use mapachos to guide the spirits during ceremonies. I can say that it helped guide me.


After that first ceremony, I was done. This was not for me.

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I couldn’t believe what I had just signed up for……and there was no way out!


There was no way I was going to be able to leave the camp. Unless I was injured or severely ill, I was staying in the jungle.


The thought of staying there made me sick. I was terrified to go through another ceremony. What if it got worse? I couldn’t handle the first time!


I didn’t want to go through that awful feeling again, so I talked to the shaman the next day and told him I wouldn’t be participating in any more ceremonies.

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He understood how I could be scared if what had happened, but was concerned about me not finishing the cleanse. I was there to work past the blockages that I had been holding on to. That wouldn’t happen if I didn’t continue on. He asked me to think about it a little more before I made my decision. If I wanted to continue on with the cleanse, all I had to do was show up to the maloca the following evening.


Other members of the group also came to visit me. They knew I had a hard time the night before, and were there to help in any way possible. Most of them had been through the cleanse before, and some of them had even harder times than me.


Although I felt bad for the difficulties they had to endure, it was nice hearing that others had been through it…..and they were happier people for it!


I decided to continue on with the process.



Seeing the light inside us


That next night we performed the second ceremony. They all begin the same with the shamans blessing and songs, but we all go through many different experiences.


The second ceremony wasn’t too harsh for me. I was ready for whatever came at me this time. There would be no darkness for me. I was able to let go of some of the bad feeling from the first night. It was like a weight was taken off my shoulders. The dread had gone, and I was able to start trying to enjoy myself.

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One moment stands out to me about that second night. Our shaman had spoken about the light inside all of us. Some cover it from the world and others let theirs shine bright for all to see, but we all have it. People will sometimes find their light during these ceremonies.


During that particular night, I didn’t see my light, but I saw the shaman’s. He was standing over me singing and shaking Chakruna leaves. At first, I was bowing my head. When I finally lifted it up, all I could see was the outline of the shaman and a bright glowing light from his chest. I could see how bright his light was. I could see how he was able to guide so many people. It was beautiful!


The third ceremony is where I was able to let go of everything else.

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A final cleansing


One reason……because the shaman did individual healings on everyone. He attended to each person helping them wash away anything negative they were holding on to.


First he checked my head, and then my heart. Last he checked my lungs.


At this particular time in my life, I was a smoker. I had been smoking since I was a teenager, and there was definitely some damage that had been done. He stopped over my lungs……

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All of a sudden I felt the strongest gust of wind blow against my back. It was so strong that I was instantly thrown forward having to catch myself before I face planted against the hard wood. Again the shaman blew against my back as if trying to remove the impurities I had been collecting over the past 12 years.


He sat me back up and lightly patted my head before making a cone with his hand and blowing cold air through it onto the top of my head. Suddenly I felt a waterfall pour over me. It was washing away the harm I had been doing to my body for so many years.


I felt so clean! I saw beautiful untouched nature at that moment, and that is exactly how I felt. Pure. Clean. Unharmed. It was incredible!


That night I finally went to bed happy and content.

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Finding  inner peace


The fourth ceremony was my final breakthrough. I was still on cloud 9 from the last one. I felt so good there was no way any negativity was going to infiltrate me this time.


And it didn’t. This ceremony led me to the single best feeling I’ve ever experienced. I felt incredible from my head to my toes. My spirit was filled with inner peace, and for the first time in my life I was able to just be with myself. Everything just came together at that moment in perfect harmony.


Since then, I have found my inner peace in many other places. A lot of times life gets in the way and blockages go up, but I’ve learned to let things go easier. I’ve become a much happier person since that trip to the jungle. I hope someday I will get to work with the shaman again and see others from the group. They will always hold a place in my heart.


Have you found your moments of inner peace? What were they like?

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