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Aya: Awakenings

AYA: Awakenings is an audiovisual journey into the world and visions of ayahuasca
shamanism produced by the Undergrowth collective. Adapted from the book ‘Aya: a Shamanic
Odyssey’ by Rak Razam (Icaro Publishing), this experimental documentary has evolved from a live audiovisual performance created as part of a book tour in California in late 2009 which blended spoken word, atmospheric sound design by Buttons Touching and hypnotic psychedelic visuals mixed with documentary footage and photography by video artist Tim Parish (Verb Studios).  After two popular performances, it was also invited to perform at the Evolutionary Temple at Burning Man Festival 2009 in Nevada. In 2010 an early version of the documentary was performed at the Cairns Winter Solstice festival in Australia.

The final “video book” (“vook”) merges narration gleaned from select chapters of the book with interviews and innovative sound design, taking the audience on a journey into the jungles of Peru, where the practice of traditional shamanism has an unbroken lineage to the present day. The documentary utilizes interviews with practicing curanderos, and incorporates traditional icaros or magic songs, photographs and video recorded in Peru, mixed with traditional patterns to reproduce the visions seen through the ayahuasca trance.

The project is aimed at funding six high-definition final short videos, already roughly assembled from the tour, which need final animation, sound and video editing mastering, to complete a 90-120 minute “video book” (vook) / DVD, which will also be available as discreet clips for the iPhone and iPad in 2012.

The first two clips are draft completed and were video shorts before the recent Mitch Schultz “Spirit Molecule” documentary tour Down Under in Dec 2010, see http://undergrowth.org/spiritmoleculetour ) and are breathtaking works. Unlike the plethora of indy ayahuasca documentaries coming out, these show the experience from the inside out, alongside a memoir-narrative that guides you through the journey into Peruvian shamanism and helps make sense of it.

http://www.pozible.com.au/index.php/embed_iframe/project/242/4411

To read the critically acclaimed book the video series is based, on, please visit:
http://www.ayathebook.com

And to view some of the video editor’s work (Verb) visit
http://www.undergrowth.org/fiat_lux_evolutonary_vision_words_by_hugo_video_by_verb
http://www.undergrowth.org/time_waits_written_and_directed_by_timothy_parish_verb_studios

Interview with Rak Razam

Interview with Rak Razam.

Australia’s experiential journalist speaks out on entheogens, ayahuasca, salvia, and global psychedelic culture.
Interview by James Kent

Self-described “experiential journalist” Rak Razam is a busy man: Two wives, two kids, and two new entheogenic books to promote. Editor of “The Journeybook: Travels on the Frontiers of Consciousness” and author of “Aya: A Shamanic Odyssey”, Razam has his finger on the pulse of the Australian entheo scene and the global awakening. He graciously took the time to answer our questions for this exclusive DoseNation interview.

Singing to the Plants: Extreme Celebrity Ayahuasca

Singing to the Plants: Extreme Celebrity Ayahuasca.

From Steve beyer’s always fascinating blog...

Extreme Celebrity Ayahuasca

Three celebrities

It’s actually not a bad idea for a television reality show. Get several very minor celebrities, pack them off away from their home comforts, and subject them to a range of programs that claim to enhance inner peace, happiness, and understanding. That at least was the premise of a short-lived BBC program called, naturally enough, Extreme Celebrity Detox, on which the guest celebrities performed t’ai-chi exercises in the Slovenian Alps, practiced Taoist sexual yoga in Thailand, did body-cleansing hatha yoga in the Himalayas — and drank ayahuasca in the Peruvian Amazon.

Psychoactive Compound Activates Mysterious Receptor

Psychoactive Compound Activates Mysterious Receptor.

ScienceDaily (Feb. 13, 2009) —  A hallucinogenic compound found in a plant indigenous to South America and used in shamanic rituals regulates a mysterious protein that is abundant throughout the body, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have discovered.

The finding, reported in the Feb. 13 issue of Science, may ultimately have implications for treating drug abuse and/or depression. Many more experiments will be needed, the researchers say.

Scientists have been searching for years for naturally occurring compounds that trigger activity in the protein, the sigma-1 receptor. In addition, a unique receptor for the hallucinogen, called dimethyltryptamine (DMT), has never been identified.

Read the full story

Psychedelic Thinking and the Dawn of Homo Cyber

I strongly recommend reading this speech by Lawrenzo Hagerto which he gave to the psychedelic conference Mind States back in 2001:

The talk underscores what I believe is the key lesson to be learned in the 21st century: that we must birth a new kind of Mind, a collective intelligence, group mind, global brain, Gain Mind. The Internet will eventually become a new kind of sentient being uniting the planet and allowing us to bring this mess back in balance. That is really our only hope of avoiding a collapse of civilization, a massive die-off and a new Dark Age ruled by ignorance and fundamentalist survivalism.

Psychedelic Thinking and the Dawn of Homo Cyber.

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