Monday April 22, 2019

Ayahuasca: The Spiritual Journey Hollywood Is Talking About

The experience is deeply spiritual, intensely psychological and can be stunningly self illuminating

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Ayahuasca means “Vine of the Spirit” or “Vine of the Dead”. Ayahuasca tea is typically made by mixing Chakruna leaves and Ayahuasca vine. This is considered to have healing properties and is popular in South America. Image
Ayahuasca means “Vine of the Spirit” or “Vine of the Dead”. Ayahuasca tea is typically made by mixing Chakruna leaves and Ayahuasca vine. This is considered to have healing properties and is popular in South America. Image Credit: Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center

Everyone in Hollywood is talking about ayahuasca and, most especially, the Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat.

The retreat center is an eight day fully immersive program that include: meditation, yoga, workshops, ayahuasca ceremonies and other activities that finally allow one to confront repetitive behavior patterns to experience lasting life change.

Everything is designed to fully prepare people for the ayahuasca experience–and that includes a special “Spirit Vine” diet. While not a fast, it can be compared to the centuries-old tradition, allowing people to focus deeply and experience deep self-awareness–a spiritual purging, if you will.

“Ayahuasca is a therapy for the spirit, where we can discover the real cause of our problems. We go to places which are not commonly accessible, and it’s profound–so every element, including diet, is designed to prepare people to face their demons,” explains Silvia Polivoy, Ph.D,  founder of Spirit Vine Retreats.

Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center is situated in Bahia, Brazil
Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center is situated in Bahia, Brazil. Image Credit: Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center

Polivoy even recommends that people start their vegetarian/vegan meals–organic, free of gluten, salt, sugar, fermented foods and all additives and flavorings–a few days before coming to the retreat.

“This way people can be lighter and physically cleaner before they arrive. Ayahuasca makes people purge what is not good for them anymore–both physically and emotionally–so by detoxing physically, they can cleanse more deeply spiritually.”

She continued: “Some meat-eaters are a little apprehensive at first, but then discover how wonderful eating a meat-free diet can make them feel. In fact, some of them even decide to follow the diet permanently after the retreat.”

WHAT IS THE SPIRIT VINE AYAHUASCA RETREAT CENTER?

For thousands of years indigenous peoples living in the rainforest regions across South and Central America have used the powerful hallucinogenic brew or tea known as ayahuasca, the “spirit vine” or “vine of the dead.”

ayahuasca
Ayahuasca.

The Western World is taking note, and visitors now include Hollywood celebrities, actors, spiritual leaders and well-known authors.

Ayahuasca tea is made by combining two plants known in South America for its medicinal and visionary properties.

When brewed together, these plants produce a mind-expanding, modified state of consciousness that enables the participant to experience a deeper spiritual journey, receiving messages from soul wisdom that enables one to release fears, traumas and awaken to their real life’s purpose.

Ayahuasca tea is the center of the Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center of Brazil.

Silvia Polivoy, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist for, for 20 years, had her own private practice specializing in altered states of consciousness.

She studied in Mexico, spending time with the shamans there and decided to focus her efforts solely on the spiritual realm. “Everything is energy,” she says, “and even one’s dreams have meaning.”

Ayahuasca sends users into intense far-flung realms of an epic visionary quest. It offers intense introspection and piercing insight into one’s own deepest mind and essence.

The experience is deeply spiritual, intensely psychological and can be stunningly self illuminating.

Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center is situated in Bahia, Brazil
Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center is situated in Bahia, Brazil. Image Credit: Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center

A LIFE OF HARMONY

Silvia Polivoy Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist with more than 20 years experience as a therapist. She started as a psychoanalyst and moved on to transactional analysis and transpersonal psychology.

Deeply interested in the field of modified consciousness, her work led her to the investigation of the psychotropic effects of natural plant substance and their possibilities for exploring human consciousness.

While Polivoy doesn’t consider herself a shaman, she does draw from the relationship that exists between the invisible realms and the realm of ordinary life as we know it–by incorporating her experience as a psychotherapist she does employ many shamanic tools with hypnotherapy and altered states of consciousness.

Shamans, she points out, were considered the first physicians and are seen as diagnosticians, therapists, religious counselors, storytellers and performance artists.

“ The difference between them and conventional practitioners iis the way shamans manipulate energy to enter the invisible world at will through altered states while maintaining self-control as they move within and without.”

In 2004, Polivoy co-founded The Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Spiritual Center whose purpose is to bring this experience to the modern world. The eight-day fully immersive program includes yoga, meditation, workshops (such thing as past and future regressions, intuitive solutions, aligning with your higher self, and more).  A gluten free, additive free vegetarian/vegan/ organic diet, with the complete elimination of salt, sugar, and any fermented foods, is included. Alcohol, tobacco and drugs are prohibited and strictly enforced.

“Safety is our main priority, ,” said Polivoy, “and we’re not commercial–we don’t sell ayahuasca nor do we just give ceremonies. We don’t accept just anyone, but only take those who understand the value of this program.”

ayahuasca
Ayahuasca.

THE AYAHUASCA CEREMONY

While they don’t just give ceremonies, it is an important part of the program.

Polivoy and a highly-trained staff lead their participants through what is called “a spirit vine ceremony, what can only be called an intense spiritual journey and awakening of self awareness, developed through uncounted centuries of traditional practice, indigenous rainforest shamans guided their people in structured sessions.

Experiencers drink the tea. “But you can still have the ayahuasca experience without it,” says Polivoy.  “Often, participants will come to experience the program, but cannot drink the tea, whether for medical or other reasons. Of course it’s better to be free of all medications and chemicals, but if that’s not possible, you can still learn plenty of tools to help you get through life.”

As the subsequent powerful consciousness-expanding effects unfold, assisting guides and healers watch over them to facilitate the process.

“Some who come to partake in a Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat might be struggling with depression, addiction or some kind of anxiety disorder or phobia,” Polivoy said, “while others may simply be on a spiritual journey and want to find a doorway that can springboard them into a higher state of consciousness or enlightenment.”

She continues:  “They all have one thing in common; that is, they are seekers.  However, ayahuasca tea is powerful and should ONLY be done in a supervised setting.

The effect is long-lasting and Polivoy says it’s common for her to receive letters from past participants, such as one who said he was still experiencing sharp perceptions, such as brighter colors, more acute hearing, and peak performances in reasoning, weeks after attending a retreat.

“Just about everyone finds the Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat a profoundly transformative lifetime experience,” Polivoy said. “We constantly witness lot of peoples’ amazing transformations after only one week at our ayahuasca retreat.”

She continues:  “BUT I want to emphasize that success isn’t just coming from drinking ayahuasca tea, it is the combination of that with workshops, a special diet, yoga, meditation, group shares, etc.  We teach people tools to discover the cause of their behavioral patterns to they can understand, and integrate, the lessons after they go back home.”

Next Story

Oscar Nominees Furious Over Exclusion From Telecast

Rachael Stanley, the Executive Director of the Costume Designers Guild, lamented the loss of attention for her guild's industry siblings

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Hollywood filmmakers like Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro and leading craftspeople have condemned a decision by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to hand out four awards during commercial breaks in the hope of trimming the shows (Oscars) run time.

Nominees and their colleagues from the commercial-banished categories of cinematography, make-up and hairstyling, film editing, and live action shorts slammed the decision in interviews and via heated posts on social media, reports variety.com.

“I find it depressing that they are doing this. Hopefully it won’t be like the part of the show where they play clips from the Sci-Tech awards dinner. That always feels a bit sad, like they didn’t get invited to the real party,” said cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, a nominee this year for “Never Look Away”.

Deschanel is referencing the Academy’s annual Scientific and Technical Awards, held two weeks before the Oscars and typically hosted by a celebrity, which honours technical achievement in film.

Deschanel has been nominated six times stretching back to 1983’s “The Right Stuff”, but has yet to win.

Filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, a multiple-nominee for producing, directing, writing and cinematography for “Roma”, criticised the Academy’s decision.

“In the history of cinema, masterpieces have existed without sound, without colour, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without cinematography and without editing,” wrote Cuaron.

Three-time Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki called it “an unfortunate decision”.

Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro said he “would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but cinematography and editing are at the very heart of our craft”.

nasa
An Oscar Award.

“They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition. They are cinema itself,” del Toro said.

Drake Doremus, indie director behind the late Anton Yelchin’s “Like Crazy”, even called for a “boycott”.

In a memo outlining the changes, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President John Bailey said representatives from categories that were shunted off to the commercial breaks volunteered to have their award presented off-camera.

However, the board members who represent those crafts don’t speak for the unions or guild membership.

The show’s director, Glenn Weiss, will determine what emotionally resonant moments from the four speeches make it to air later in the broadcast, according to an individual close to the production.

Also Read- Sri Lanka May Soon Introduce a GPS Tracking System to Foil Human, Drug Smuggling Via Sea

The show will cut any comment from presenters, as well as any recitation of the nominees, said the insider. While Bailey said the speeches will air in their entirety, that may not be the case on the big night as broadcasters reserve the right to cut them, the source said.

“This decision could be perceived as a separation and division of this creative process, thus minimising our fundamental creative contributions,” said Kees van Oostrum, President of American Society of Cinematographers, in a statement on Tuesday.

“To find out so close to the actual awards that you’ll be in the commercial break, it’s disappointing,” Lee Smith, last year’s film editing winner for “Dunkirk”, said.

Rachael Stanley, the Executive Director of the Costume Designers Guild, lamented the loss of attention for her guild’s industry siblings. (IANS)