By my mid-twenties I was the youngest clinical professor at San Francisco State University. I was directing my own laboratory, the Biological Self-Regulation Lab, investigating how energy medicine and visualization could change the chemistry of the brain. We were able to increase the production of endorphins, the natural brain chemicals responsible for reducing pain and for creating ecstatic states, by nearly 50 percent utilizing the techniques of energy healing.
One day in the biology laboratory, I realized that my investigation had to get bigger instead of smaller. The microscope was the wrong instrument to answer the questions I was asking. I needed to find a system larger than the neural networks of the brain. Many others were already studying the hardware. I wanted to learn to re-program the system. Anthropological stories hinted that there were people around the globe who claimed to know such things, including the Inka in Peru.
A few weeks later I resigned my post at the university. My colleagues thought I was mad, that I was throwing away a promising career in academia. I traded my laboratory for a pair of hiking boots and a ticket to the Amazon. I set off to learn from researchers whose vision had not been confined to the lens of a microscope; from people whose body of knowledge encompassed more than the measurable, material world that I had been taught was the only reality. I wanted to meet the people who sensed the spaces between things and perceived the luminous strands that animate all life. I wanted to study with investigators who knew the energy side of Einstein’s equation E = MC2.
My own journey into shamanism was guided by my desire to become whole. In healing my own soul wounds, I walked the path of the wounded healer and learned to transform the pain, grief, anger and shame that lived within me into sources of strength and compassion. I was able to feel for another’s pain because I knew what it was like to hurt.
I went back to the roots of the Inka civilization itself to collect the vestiges of a five-thousand-year-old energy medicine that heals through Spirit and light. Scattered throughout the remnants of the empire were a number of sages who remembered the ancient ways. I traveled through countless villages and hamlets and met with scores of medicine men and women. The lack of a written body of knowledge meant that every village had brought its own flavor and style to the healing practices that still survived. I traveled to the Amazon and for more than ten years I trained with the jungle medicine people. Later, I trekked the coast of Peru, from Nazca, site of gigantic markings on the desert floor that depict power animals and geometric figures, to the fabled Shimbe lagoons in the north, home to the country’s most renowned sorcerers. In Lake Titicaca, the Sea on Top of the World, I collected the stories and healing practices of the people from which, the legends say, the Inka were born. What I discovered was a set of sacred technologies that transform the body, heal the soul, and can change the way we live and the way we die. They explain that we are surrounded by a Luminous Energy Field (LEF) whose source is located in infinity. The LEF was a matrix that maintains the health and vibrancy of the physical body.
Today, I have come to understand that the experience of infinity can heal and transform us, and that it can free us from the temporal chains that keep us fettered to illness, old age, and disease. Over the course of two decades with the shamans in the jungles and high mountains of the Andes, I would discover that I am more than flesh and bone, that I am fashioned of Spirit and light. This understanding reverberated through every cell in my body. I am convinced that is has changed the way I heal, the way I age, and the way I will die.