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    Alex Polari AYA2019 ayahuasca spirituality iowaska ICEERS World Conference

    Ayahuasca, Spirituality and Community Life



    Ayahuasca, Spirituality and Community Life


    Alex Polari, a respected leader within the Santo Daime, began his talk at the 2019 World Ayahuasca Conference by commenting on the importance of the event in relation to the study of consciousness and the human spirit.

    There’s a passage in the Gospel of John in the Bible that says: “Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed.” According to Polari, this teaching speaks to the importance of faith to the early Christians, particularly while they were being prosecuted. Today, because of research and conferences such as AYA2019, we are fortunate for to see what many generations that came before us supported through faith alone. Now we have proof, he said, and we do not have to have blind faith, the kind of faith that can nurture hatred and fundamentalism.

    “Who wouldn’t like to see in a clear and sharp way and also to feel the truths you always believed and knew intuitively?,” he asked. This is possible with ayahuasca, the sacred beverage that holds so many secrets. Throughout the centuries, this brew has opened the gates of our perception, opening us up to understand the mysteries of the creation of the universe, nature, and life.

    According to Polari, in order to recognize the mystery, it’s not enough to expand our consciousness only, we also need to expand our hearts. We need to push the limits of our psyche, going beyond the purely psychological level of so-called spirituality.

    Mystical ayahuasca spirituality

    It’s the quantum transfer between micro and macro, the whole and the part – what we could also call a legitimate mystical experience. “This sacred experience we get from ayahuasca is not limited to a certain religious creed or ritual,” Polari said.

    During the last 40 years of working with this plant in the Christian religious tradition of the Santo Daime, Polari has had the opportunity to see many things and to meet many interesting people from other believe systems who, through ayahuasca, were able to connect to their original faith. In his perspective, this is why ayahuasca has been considered as sacred and holy in our Western culture since the 19th century and what has motivated the research that has happened since that time. Ayahuasca is an instrument of culture.

    For centuries, this valuable heritage was in the hands of the peoples of the Amazon who protected it through times of cultural genocide and suffering.

    Polari pointed to a Santo Daime hymn to illustrate a key point: “There’s nothing covered that cannot be discovered.” It is this because of this that ayahuasca, the combination of two plants, was discovered. Ayahuasca is capable of many things – it elevates our minds, it heals our trauma, it boosts our love for ourselves and the others, and increases our ability to forgive.

    According to Polari, the gift ayahuasca provides is that of greater connection to our conscience, without which it would be impossible to find a way out of our current planetary crisis. This crisis that is endangering our biosphere and humankind is happening at the level of consciousness. Ayahuasca provides a path of transformation and we cannot wait long to save the world, Polari said.

    Spirituality and community

    Polari then turned to the topic of spirituality and community, paying tribute to the indigenous people of the Amazon and the Maestros of the Santo Daime, such as Mestre Irineu, who brought together the wisdom of ayahuasca and a new form of Christianity in the jungle, and Padrinho Sebastião Mota de Melo, the founder of ICEFLU, who brought this doctrine to the world.

    For Padrinho Sebastião, the community was a laboratory, where reflections and ideas about life could be shared, and that supported the inner work of each individual and thus benefits all. Institutions such as the Santo Daime, said Polari, can be part of healing the planet. It’s therefore important for the use of ayahuasca to be sacred, inside or outside of religious movements, in order to achieve a spiritual improvement and development of the planet.

    Within the experience of ayahuasca, according to Polari, we shouldn’t be just spectators but become the centre of the revelations, as only through transforming our behaviour can we learn from these truths. In this sense, visions are sometimes an alert about situations we are going to confront in our life, preparing us to choose the best path.

    The doctrine that Padrinho Sebastião shared was quite simple – his community projects were about living a simple way of life, eating together, praying together, living together in harmony, planting food, and drinking Daime in ceremonial contexts.

    “In current times, we feel more than ever the need for unity among all ayahuascero communities in order to defend the freedom of religion that we have struggled for,” said Polari.

    Padrinho Sebastião founded a community in the 1970s near Rio Branco. The community moved to Rio do Ouro in the early 1980s and in 1982 Padrinho Sebastião began the process of the legalization of ayahuasca in Brazil, which was finally regulated in 2010. In the 1990s, the community moved again, this time to Mapía, and the community continued to grow.

    This growth brought challenges that the community still faces and they currently focus on preparing new generations for social education and engaging with all other communities in the world. Yet according to Polari, despite these challenges, the dreams of Padrinho Sebastião are still alive.

    Conclusions: ayahuasca and spirituality

    “What conclusions can we draw?,” said Polari. In his view, ayahuasca is an important tool for transforming human consciousness. And, it is more powerful when it is embedded within a community where spiritual practices are followed. Our planet is in need of self-sustaining communities, where we cultivate the values of solidarity, altruism, compassion, and charity.

    “These are the best alternative we can pursue in this current value crisis we are facing as a civilization,” said Polari. Ayahuasca and Daime are significant, not just for the religious or individual growth, but for the growth of communities.

    As Thich Nhat Hahn suggests, the Buddha of the future may be a community, not just a person. Seekers of the world, unite!


    Categories: NEWS , Ayahuasca , AYACONFERENCE
    Tags: ayahuasca , Santo Daime , spirituality , community

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