Ayahuasca: A Plant for Healing the Soul

Ayahuasca: A Plant for Healing the SoulTrue healing puts into order the body, mind and spirit with the past, present and future. What kind of agent or method or formula or treatment can help to effect such sweeping, integrated healing? I offer for your consideration ayahuasca, a psychoactive potion indigenous to the Amazon rainforest. Made from the vine Banisteriopsis caapi (called caapi) and the leaf Psychotria viridis, (known as chakruna) ayahuasca is considered among natives in the Amazon to be a sacred plant medicine. Among those for whom the ceremonial healing use of ayahuasca is a way of life, the brew is referred to as “La Medicina,” meaning The Medicine.

Acid Trip. In search of the Amazon’s magical mystery cure

Acid Trip. In search of the Amazon’s magical mystery cureAFTER STEVE WITTE was laid off from his job at Pfizer last year, he decided to pursue a radically different approach to medicine. Swapping his New York apartment for a thatch hut near Iquitos, Peru, Witte, 44, set aside his squash hobby to become an apprentice under the master shaman Alfredo Cairuna.

Before Move-In Day, Evicting the Old Auras

Before Move-In Day, Evicting the Old AurasZiporah Reich sat cross-legged on her living room floor. As Judith Wendell chanted and burned incense that seeped into every crevice of the apartment, Ms. Reich meditated over an altar that included bowls of water with candles and wildflowers and a stack of brightly colored papers on which she wrote her wishes: finding her soul mate, starting a family and having more success in her career.

Samda: Jeju’s unique culture

Samda: Jeju’s unique cultureIt is often said that Jeju is culturally unique. While all cultures by definition have singular characteristics, Jeju is especially interesting in this regard.

At first glance, Jeju appears to be a mirror image of the mainland: the riotous chaos of shamanism as opposed to the hierarchical structure of Confucianism; a matrifocal culture in contradiction to Korean patriarchy; a laid-back island in contrast to the ‘ppalli ppalli’ (hurry, hurry) of dynamic Korea.

Discovering Jeju via photography

Discovering Jeju via photographyAn age-lined woman bursts head first from the ocean, mouth gasping for air, eyes shut in effort beneath the goggles of a full-body wet suit. Hikers trek up a snow covered Mt. Halla, a trail marked with wooden pegs and the deep trench of footsteps. The colorful hues of decorative fabrics are draped along an ancient shrine.