Ayahuasca is a powerful tool for transformation, that more and more Westerners are flocking to drink in a quest for greater self-knowledge, healing and reconnection with the natural world. This formerly esoteric, little-known brew is now a growth industry. But why?Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew that has a long history of ritual use among indigenous groups of the Upper Amazon. Made from the ayahuasca vine and the leaves of a shrub, it is associated with healing in collective ceremonies and in more intimate contexts, generally under the direction of specialist - an ayahuasquero. These are experienced practitioners who guide the ceremony and the drinkers' experience.
Ayahuasca has gained significant popularity these days in cities around the world. Why? What effect might ayahuasca be having on our culture? Does the brew, which seems to inspire environmental action, simplified lifestyles and more communitarian behaviour, act as an antidote to frenzied consumerist culture?
In When Plants Dream, Pinchbeck and Rokhlin explore the economic, social, political, cultural and environmental impact that ayahuasca is having on society. Part 1 covers the background; what ayahuasca is, where it is found, and its cultural origins. Part 2 explores the role and practices of the ayahuasquero in both Amazonian and Western cultures. Part 3 examines the medicinal plants of the Amazon, looking particularly at the ingredients in ayahuasca and their therapeutic qualities, covering the most up-to-date biomedical research, psychedelic science and psychopharmacology. It also covers all the legal aspects of ayahuasca use. Lastly in Part 4 Pinchbeck and Rokhlin question the future of ayahuasca.
When Plants Dream is the first book of its kind to look at the science and expanding culture of ayahuasca, from its historical use to its appropriation by the West and the impact it is having on cultures beyond the Amazon.
Yoga and the Sacred Fire explores the evolution of life and consciousness according to the cosmology and psychology of Fire, viewing Fire not only as a material but also as a spiritual principle. It shows how Yoga's deeper fire wisdom can help us move forward to an enlightened planetary age, where humanity and nature can again be one in a higher awareness.
Only once in the history of human consciousness, says Osho, has a thing like Zen come into being. In Zen: Its History and Teachings, the noted mystic explains that Zen has no rituals, no chanting, no mantras, no scriptures -- only short, evocative parables and teachings that make it ideal for the modern seeker. Using his characteristic humorous, encouraging style, Osho guides readers through the origins and development of this seminal spiritual tradition that is neither religion nor dogma nor creed. He provides a context for those who have not been born into the Zen tradition, introducing them to its timeless approach to existence. The book argues that the only preparation for fully experiencing Zen's power is meditative awareness, and Osho presents simple techniques to achieve this awareness. Stunning color photographs throughout offer further inspiration and illumination.