Education as a solid foundation for plant-based medicinal work

As much as I progressed in the light of the plant-based medicinal work in the past couple of beautiful and very beneficial years, I think it would be an act of immature, if not perpetual ignorance to deny the dark side of the Ayahuasca boom and the growing dangers of the unregulated world of psychedelic tourism and, the role and impact of foreign visitors training themselves to be shamans, where the lack of understanding of the cultural frames and the substance we now gladly expose ourselves to is widely ignored or simply unstudied. Importantly, the danger a cultural theft, alongside many other not so “light-soaked” pieces of a larger image (sexual predatory), is often unmentioned.

People attend the burial of Olivia Arévalo, who was shot dead near her home. Ayahuasca has been used successfully to treat PTSD and drug addictions. Photograph: Reuters
That all creates a sort of cognitive bubble, that often brings misinformation or simply embroidered version of cultural heritage and medicinal work. The reality comes with a deeper understanding what the complex phenomenon of Ayahuasca is and its structure, and this can’t be fully experienced without a respectful approach to the indigenous traditions, who studied the forest for generations, the potency of the plant itself, that requires a solid preparation and solid maturity to interact with, or even to begin with, and the vast spectrum of the shamanistic phenomena that we permeate our western culture with at current.
That all strengthen me in a conviction that, when it comes to entheogens, an open, progressive and multi-layered education is critical.
Grounded psychological education as a solid foundation for plant-based medicinal workers.
The sad news from last week shared by many friends from Ucayali region and shortly after brought to the public space by numerous news sites and communities re-surface a set of extremely important questions – is Ayahuasca a tool that can be safely used by anyone? If no, how to create a set of valid health and safety procedures so patients aren’t abandoned in their own processes and receive a solid support after the main work is done? Should it anyhow be regulated and/or controlled? What are the psycho-emotional frames and conditions for us to be had in order to experience plant-based medicinal work in the most stable and beneficial way? And, amongst many other recurring questions, how to efficiently plant a seed of progressive and effective education related to plant-based medicinal work using various tools of personal expansion.
As much as this sad news shatters my heart into pieces and surfaces the above-mentioned questions, it also brings meaning to the work of all conscious healers, devoted educators and people-oriented individuals, who not only seek for high vibrational cascades of the jungle-triggered experiences but also pro-actively work on constructing solid informational, educational and cognitive foundations to help us adopt all those spectacular tools, brought to us by the ancient scientists, into our cultural, psychological and sociological landscapes.
To merge the ancient wisdom with the present in order to form a brighter future is an act of real and conscious progression and requires a real courage, an empathy-driven devotion and compassion. This is what I keep as the main mission for my growing educational project Pangean. This is how I see it growing and a profile of conscious wanderers I want to actively collaborate with.
Karol Liver / Pangean

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