“I started out in the brain laboratory at San Francisco State University – literally surrounded by hundreds of formaldehyde preserved brains. We were studying how we develop psychosomatic disease, and how we could create psychosomatic health.
One day I realized that I had been looking out of the wrong end of the microscope, becoming caught in the minutiae of neurons and brain chemistry, and missing the larger picture of the mind. I decided to leave my lab and traveled to the Amazon, to work and study with medicine men who had no MRI’s and brain scans, only the power of the mind and local herbs to heal their patients.
For twenty-five years, I apprenticed with extraordinary shamans and healers, and learned the use of the fabled vine of the dead, ayahuasca. My new documentary film, Amazonia: Healing With Sacred Plants is the product of my decades of study among the jungle shamans, and explains the levels of non-ordinary reality that one enters during the heightened state of consciousness that ayahuasca affords. It presents the rigor and discipline that the shaman undergoes as part of his training, and the dangers and cautions westerners must have when exploring these domains.