Death Of Distraction, Birth Of Awareness

By Nick Polizzi
Maloka Thatched Roof Hut in Jungle

A big misconception about shamanism and native medicine is that it’s a cosmic thrill ride into the spiritual realms that magically helps you overcome anything you’re struggling with.

Sometimes it can be. But the journey involves a lot more than reality-altering ceremonies.

In authentic Amazonian healing circles, every aspect of your existence is taken into consideration. When you show up for a shamanic retreat in these circles, you are asked to surrender just about everything you own at the door.

This means no cell phones, laptops, watches, jewelry, books of any type (yes, even the ones on shamanic healing and exotic herbs). You are then led deep into the forest to your very own dieta hut—a screened-in, one-room structure with a thatched roof, a twin bed, a hammock, a small rough-hewn desk and chair, and that’s it.

This is where you will be spending your one-week to six-month stay.

Yes, you can go on solitary walks through the jungle, and maybe even jump into the river. But the majority of your waking hours are spent in this thinly screened-off enclosure, far from anyone—or anything—else.

The only visitors you can expect are the shamans. They come by one or two times a day to administer herbs, prayers, and hands-on healing—or to guide you through the forest to the sacred maloka, or jungle temple, where you sometimes spend the evening in ayahuasca ceremony.

The idea is to remove any outside stimuli that might distract you from doing the deep inner work that is required for the healing to take place.

In the same way yogis use Vipassana meditation, sitting in utter silence for days to find lasting peace at a core level, the cultures of the Amazon use isolation in nature to dissolve the patient’s ego and bring up any shadows that need to be confronted and purged.

This isn’t always pretty.

We tend to indulge any externality that might give us quick comfort or excuse us from sitting in silence with ourselves and listening to what our hearts have to tell us. This can be as outwardly obvious as substance abuse or as subtle as workaholism, a noble-sounding trap that many of us fall into.

Everyone has a pacifier—and when you take it away, things tend to get real.

My question to YOU is this:

What device, habit or belief-system is your pacifier?

Remember, you don’t need to be in a jungle hut to work out the kinks in your life. In fact, the process of bringing this ancient way of being into your daily reality is where the true magic lies.

If you want to get down to some of the underlying thought constructs that might be holding you back from your evolved self, simply remove one of these pacifiers, then wait and listen to what comes up in your mind. When we get rid of our crutches, we begin to feel where the tender places are within us. Therein lies your personal work 🙂

A quick note: today’s bit of wisdom was actually taken from a page in my upcoming new book, The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World.  If you enjoy the emails I send you, I think this book will deeply resonate.

And for everyone who pre-orders their copy, I will be gifting you a free ticket (valued at $149) to an online Shamanic Dreamwork Workshop that shaman Roman Hanis and I will be hosting next month. It’s something that he and I have never done LIVE before and it’s sure to be a magical unfolding.

Click here for more details about the book and the workshop!

Stay curious,

Nick Polizzi
Founder, The Sacred Science

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4 Responses

  1. I recently discovered your documentary, watched it last night with great interest and fascination. Thak you for these thought-provoking posts. I greatly look forward to learning much more.

  2. Thank you, Nick. I just read your book. Well done! The Medicine path is powerful. I have a challenging time taking what I learn in the jungle and in ceremony into daily life in certain ways. Your book and this blog are very supportive!