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A basic practice for a firm foundation

One of the first things they showed before heading into the ceremony was the use of Mapacho (tobacco). It’s cultivated in the rainforest and is a product that specifically needs this tropical climate to become the beautiful and powerful plant that they call grandfather Mapacho.

To my surprise, tobacco had such a firm position in this holistic healing practice, that it was fairly easy to apply it and was very potent and powerful in the right hands. During the majority of my life I had a big level of anxious sensations during my daily life and this was one of the first things that I felt from tobacco when the local curandera was blowing smoke on me in ceremony. The tensions and difficult thoughts started to evaporate. Not that they were completely gone and would never come back. But Mapacho helped me to take back my energy field and silence this destructive and insecure voice in the back of my mind. I mentioned this type of practice in one of my previous blogs, it is called ‘soplar’.

Now I have to be careful here what I share, because this is deep knowledge and we are not supposed to share this unless it’s with someone that is walking his own path within this line and we would be drinking together, that would be a completely different story. Because this can also be applied to achieve reversed effects in inflicting damage on another.

Tobacco is an amplifier for prayers and intentions and is used like that. That’s why it can be very potent and powerful to use as a tool in energetic work. You know that plants don’t make a difference between good and bad, light and darkness,... They are just here and apply the full spectrum of a dualistic experience. This is where the tests come in for students, they will be approaching a student to determine their intentions and reasons for connecting deeper. Is it in ceremony or their dreams or during meditation, that’s for each individual a unique experience. So now, whoever is thinking of embarking on a journey with plants, things will get serious and once in there is no way out until you finish your ride. This takes a lot of courage to take on such an adventure!

To come back to the practice now and the depth that I discovered for myself is, that I can direct my intentions and clarify my thoughts, by doing this in a daily practice before I start my day. It’s like a tiny ceremony to focus myself on the things that need attention that day and ground myself at the same time to this in a healthy and efficient way together with my plants. Even though I only use one plant (Mapacho) and agua de florida, it allows me to call in my whole army of guides and plants that I developed a relationship with. It is as simple as that. The only tricky one is that you have to do this with confidence from your heart and essence. Faith in what you do, decision to bring the focus to where it is necessary and the will to execute the actions that are necessary to continue with my day. Praying into my Mapacho, light it up, soplar my body, blow it into my bottle of agua de florida and rub it all over my body. And that’s it, a brief meditation to open my space to start working on whatever needs to be done that day.

The thing is knowing this but applying it in a daily routine and practice demands discipline and dedication. I have been doubting myself for years. Living with one foot in conservative little Belgium where I could only share the bare minimum on my lifestyle and choices and with the other foot in the jungle city of Iquitos. where it’s normal that these things are practiced. And so it is easier to trust in what you're doing because your environment isn’t doubting and questioning every step and idea you try to cultivate or study. So one needs to be incredibly strong and secure to maintain work like that in an environment where they see holistic work with plants, spirits, energy as wooh wooh practices. I also came from a family of an atheistic philosophy, so I had to change my way of thinking, feeling and relationship with nature to arrive in a place where one believes in this bigger picture of reality. I understand that this can be very shocking for a person to go through such a transformation. Because you need to break down everything you used to believe and see as your reality to adapt to a completely new perspective through personal experience. And this is not something that you can ask another person to fix for you.

The danger in this is that a person might not have been aware of how serious this work is and they come in for an experience of recreation and get paralyzed by the things that come up in ceremony. When they come home there is nobody to talk to and they are left behind confused and incomplete. Because now they are back home, integration is about to kick in and they don’t even know what they have to do with this. And I totally understand that many centers don’t have the time and resources to do a close follow up on each person that comes and drinks. In my experience I could always get in touch with the places I drank. But in the end you still have to do it for yourself and you need to create your own community around where you live your life.

So one of the first things I started to do was a big cleaning in my social environment. Get rid of connections that are toxic and just stay in touch with people that lift each other up and don’t judge others for the things they experience and try to express. And so you have already one important key for self development and your blueprint for a healthy and procreative future. This is also a reason why many people are scared of these kinds of journeys, because they possess the power of powerful transformation that can change a person to its core essence. Rediscovering your own unique authenticity. The next step was dealing with an overactive mental space. Being lived by my thoughts instead of using my brain as the tool it was meant to be. Physical exercise and food are 2 simple and again powerful keys. They help to ground and channel blocked or oversized amounts of energy that need to flow or divide itself again to regain balance within one's system. In my case this was driving to work by bike and indoor climbing. Food for me was dropping back to 75-80% vegetarian food working with lion's mane and spirulina as supplements. Not that I was tight on strict, because I allowed myself to enjoy my life also. But there was an urgent demand of changing the biggest patterns in these basic things to find my balance again.

With Kung Fu training in the past I can explain a similar process of depth in teachings. First we practice our legs, to learn a firm stand to build up the energy to protect yourself or attack your opponent. Then the whole body comes in with the different ways of attacking and defending. And so you practice these things by conditioning them and repetition. So they will be stored in your muscle memory and become a natural way of moving and responding to your environment. But when we start to talk about deeper knowledge for further advanced levels. One would think they would learn all kinds of complex and crazy techniques, but no… Not at all, even the younger students wouldn’t have a problem adapting to more complex techniques, only they wouldn’t possess the key to the true potential of the techniques they practice. So I learned it is not about the complexity but rather on the insight and understanding of how all different elements implement each other and fortify their qualities into one specific focus. That’s why higher wisdom came through applying breath to the basic techniques we have been practicing before for such a long time. So you’ll see the knowledge changing into wisdom by understanding the deeper layers to it.

These are things that only start to come after years and years of hard work. They teach us that we have to cultivate a strong connection in our daily practices because this will create your foundation to continue building your knowledge into wisdom during the process of your life. Depending on your input you will discover more or less of this world. The power lies within each individual’s hands on how much knowledge you can transform into wisdom. I believe each individual has this power within them. That’s why I love what I do, because It’s so lovely to see people rediscovering their authenticity and burning with a passionate willpower to create the life they dream of. This is what gives me strength to continue doing my work and learning as much as I can within my lifetime. I really missed this in the jungle and discovered now that this is something that I can bring to everybody in the world thanks to our beautiful connection with the world wide web as intuitive coach with his foundation in holistic work with plants!

Love and gratitude to all of you, Thanks for being you! Nick

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