As modern shamans, we know that if a person wants to be healed of disease and be truly free and enlightened, then it is essential to strengthen the feminine life force within. This requires fasting, prayer, and meditation, combined with the use of healing herbs and plants.
During my years studying with the shamans, I learned about their belief in the Divine Mother, which we each have the potential to discover in nature. This was not the bearded old man whose image I had come to associate with “God.” Rather, this was a force that infused all of creation, a sea of energy and consciousness that we all swim in and are part of. I came to understand that our Western notions of the divine are perhaps a masculine version of this life force that infuses every cell in our bodies, that animates all living beings, and that even fuels the stars. The shamans helped me to develop an original and fulfilling relationship with the power of Pachamama.
In 2006, on one of my yearly expeditions to the Andes, I met Dr. David Perlmutter. I had heard of David and his work over the years and was delighted to hear he was also interested in indigenous healing practices. As we talked, I mentioned the shamans’ notion of how important it is to restore the feminine life force, and his face immediately lit up. “Yes,” he remarked, “it’s the mitochondria.”
On hearing this, I nearly fell off my chair. Here was the link between the ancient shamanic practices and modern neuroscience. I remembered that our mitochondria are inherited only from our mother’s lineage. Here was the source, inside each cell of every living creature, of the feminine life force that sages speak about. The more we conversed, the more obvious it became to both of us that there are many elements of ancient healing and spiritual practices that can be described in modern neurological terms. The feminine life force of Pachamama could be found in our mitochondria.
I was overjoyed. Here was the missing element that had eluded me in the Amazon but that had been all around me during my days at the laboratory. Dr. Perlmutter understood how to repair mitochondria and restore the feminine life force. He knew how to prime the brain for enlightenment. I, meanwhile, had studied in depth, the shamanic and yogic practices that would help to switch on the higher order functions of our brain to help it heal from trauma and experience joy.
Brought together by Divine synchronicity in the Andes, we brought these methodologies together to help our students and patients help their brain, restore their health, and experience freedom from destructive emotions like anger and fear.
Looking back on your life, what Divine synchronicities brought you the person, place or information you sought at just the right time?
**By Alberto Villoldo PhD