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Visionary Ayahuasca
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Since 1999 Jan Kounen has regularly traveled to the Peruvian Amazon to participate in ayahuasca ceremonies. At first only a curious filmmaker, over multiple trips he transformed from explorer to apprentice to ayahuasqueroand often found himself surrounded by other foreigners coming to the jungle for their first taste of ayahuasca medicine. Knowing how little guidance is available on how to prepare or what to expect, he naturally offered them advice. Part visionary ayahuasca memoir and part practical guide, this book contains the same step-by-step advice that Kounen provides first-time ayahuasca users in the jungle. He describes how to prepare for the first ceremony and what to do in the days afterward. He explores how to deal with the nausea and details the special preparatory diets an ayahuasca shaman will put you on, often lasting for months but necessary for life-transforming results and teachings from the plant spirits. He also explains how it is far easier to maintain these restrictions in the jungle than in the city. Detailing his own ayahuasca experiences over hundreds of sessions, including a trip in 2009 when he underwent 17 ceremonies in 25 days, Kounen describes how ayahuasca transformed him. He tells of his meetings with Shipibo healers, including Kestenbetsa, who opened the doors of this world for him, and Panshin Beka, the shaman to whom Kounen became an apprentice. He details the many other plants and foods that are part of the ayahuasca healer's medicine cabinet, such as toe and tobacco, as well as their icaros, or healing songs. A veritable "what to expect" guide, this book should be your first step prior to committing to ayahuasca.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Alejandro Jodorowsky Ayahuasca: Illegal Drug or National Cultural Heritage? Introduction Inner Journey Notebooks August 1999-November 2010 Credits Prologue Yarinacocha Quarter Welcome A Good Drink, Peaceful Houston, Do You Read Me? A Whiff of Love Does You Good That Kounen, He's Really Wacky Dying Over There Blueberry Madness (Part One) Blueberry Madness (Part Two) The Return of the Sierra Cactus Nausea Under the Stars Mystic Terror Tonight, Some People Will Encounter Fear The Wages of Fear Faced with a Breast The Serpent Breathes Out Twin Towers La Cucaracha Ayahuasca Movie at the Cannes Festival Star Wars in the Maloca Remembering the Closing Diet I Wanna Go Home Epilogue Ayahuasca Medicina, A Manual Forty Questions and Answers The Basics Ayahuasca Medicine, Diets, and Songs Preparing for Ayahuasca Mind, Ceremony, and Intoxication Visions Advice for Encounters with Scary Serpents and Talking Plants Songs Receiving the Icaros After the Ceremony Determining if This Medicine Is Right for You Choosing a Healer Healer Recommendations and the Ethics of Paying for Treatment Treatments and Contraindications Receiving Plant Healing Safely Practical Preparations What to Bring and When and Where to Go Glossary of Plants A Small Shipibo Lexicon Four of Kestenbetsa's Icaros Bonus Track 1: My First Ceremony with Guillermo Bonus Track 2: My Final Ceremonies with Guillermo A Big Thank-You

About the Author

Jan Kounen is a filmmaker who has created a number of films and documentaries, including 99 Francs, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, and the celebrated Blueberry. His interest in Shipibo culture and shamanism developed during his trips to Peru to shoot music videos, leading to his apprenticeship to an ayahuasca shaman. He lives in France.

Reviews

"A veritable what to expect guide, this book should be your first step prior to committing to ayahuasca. This book is overflowing with helpful information, facts, and personal accounts of what you can expect from your ayahuasca experience." * Common Ground, Jackie Cassidy, December 2014 * "In Vistionary Ayahuasca, 10 years of experience with ayahuasca medicina is laid out beautifully. It has lots of information for anyone considering going down the ayahuasca trail. Don't leave home without it!" * Alan Shoemaker, author of Ayahuasca Medicine * "Jan Kounen's descriptions of his experiences with ayahuasca are informed, poetic, and at times authentically visceral. This book provides excellent insights into the discipline and the rigors of the traditional plant diet as well as the underlying relationship between human and plant consciousness. This is definitely a book for both the person considering working with ayahuasca and for those with significant experience with the plant. It was a pleasure to read this book." * Howard G. Charing, coauthor of Plant Spirit Shamanism * "A rich, honest, informative testimony based on numerous courageous acts, this book is both extremist and full of good sense--outlandish and matter of fact. A filmmaker's guide to the cinematic world of ayahuasca." * Jeremy Narby, anthropologist and author * "This is a great book for anyone who is planning to attend an ayahuasca ceremony. It is packed with useful information, observations, and relevant facts providing a valuable guide to what you can really expect from the vine of souls." * Ross Heaven, author of Plant Spirit Shamanism * "This is the first book that anyone thinking about taking ayahuasca, or taking it again, must own. The manual section is honest, revealing, invaluable, and packed with everything, including how to find a safe and sane teacher, how to sit during ceremony, what kinds of clothes to bring, and why dietas are necessary for real healing. Jan's own journal of his progress is unusually candid in disclosing the obstacles and difficulties that arise even as your commitment to this path deepens." * James Fadiman, Ph.D., author of The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide *

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