A few days back from our San Pedro and Yoga Retreat, the density of Iquitos contrasts with the open-aired, expansiveness of the mountain-hugged Sacred Valley. What strikes me this time after another dance with Huachuma is how artfully it slips into your consciousness and rearranges your interior furniture, for the most part without you knowing. One of my teachers has described this process in a similar way, and now it’s dawning on me what he meant.
After landing back home I find myself in a very different place, with new space in my mind. The usual fare of feeling more tranquil, with a forward-leaning and hopeful gaze for what’s next, as well as the characteristic groundedness the Andean cactus never fails to leave in its gentle wake; all of this is present – yet there is something else. An opening, like an old but familiar doorway that is quietly, imperceptibly swinging on its hinges to reveal that not only is there an outside, but that outside is endless…
I won’t further attempt to describe the feeling; I’m drawing the short straw when it comes to the proper words here. Make no mistake that this is a feeling medicine. The intellectualizations of energy and consciousness and transformation and spirit that have compiled over the years now seep into the realm of feeling, without flare or drama and seemingly without effort. It just flows. And in the feeling there is depth and meaning.
I recall a few of the participants from the San Pedro tour exclaiming things like: “I don’t know what just happened, but I know something did and it’s working.” Or, “It’s amazing to me how much purging is going on here.” As well as, “It’s work but it’s so peaceful!”
San Pedro is not without its growing pains. Though the creaks and cracks that it prods within you are also not without the right balm, at the right time. Good medicine.
Sitting here in Iquitos, as the sun sets, noticing the shifting shades around me, the world settles into place as this moment beckons the next.
Matt Toussaint has immersed himself in shamanic practice and exploration for the past 10 years. He currently resides in Peru where he serves as an apprentice shaman and facilitator at a plant medicine retreat center. Read more.