7 Replies to “Tarapoto Mestizo Blues”

  1. So grand to read this update, dear brother. It eases my heart for you three, thought doesn’t lessen my missing you all! Please continue documenting your evolving journey and keep us posted on the book release and possibly – a book tour?

    hugs from the no less frantic North

  2. Querido Amigos, how wonderful to have happened upon your “acculturation” account since our return from Tarapoto. It served to bring back in sharp focus mental images of our short visit and the thrill of knowing first-hand of much of what you’ve described…your lovely house, monkeys in the garden, open-air rides on the “tuk-tuks”, the civility of pool-side dining, Sunday mass at the dojo at Takiwasi (so simple in ceremony but so spiritual in the happening), the trek to the chakra and my delight in seeing the pictorial presentations of the native medicinal plants which immediately transported me back to Hawai’i observing my mother utilizing her kahuna lapa’au knowledge of plants for medicinal purposes. And then there was Maitreya…animated, intrepid, articulate (her vocabulary in English and Spanish at 3.4 years is awesome! We only wish we could undertand our grandson who will be 3 this Saturday with his mostly one [understandable) word among some amazing babble!) and a delight to see in action. Muchisimas gracias otra vez for your hospitality. We are so much the richer in our memories of Peru this second time around.

    We look forward to hearing from you (now that you have all this unfettered time, Robert)…but most of all, we hope that we shall see you again in the Bay Area if circumstances permit. Keep us posted and especially how we can help in any way now and in the future.

    With much aloha,

    Eddy (and Don)

  3. So good to hear from you, Eddy! It was a privilege to host you and Don, with such good conversations and Maitreya flourishing in your grandparently presences! We hope the rest of your journey was a good one. Much love from us all, Robert

  4. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly delighted I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

  5. Greetings Robert,

    I can certainly relate and empathize with your initial hardships acclimatizing to life in Tarapoto. I am currently living upriver in Uchiza, which has her own wild history, and have recently been awakened by that dreaded sound of blowers fumigating for Dengue as well. Yikes, but anyway, glad to hear things are settling down a bit for you and your family. I look forward to reading your new book and maybe getting down to Tarapoto for a visit soon.



  6. As a healer who has 29 years ago in Mexico developed the Bio-Cosmo-Energy treatment (see http://www.alloneness.com/treatment) I was now in 2013 interested to know more about ayahuasca and its possible effect on DNA and a possible interruption of cell-memory in case of former accidents etc.
    This has brought me in connection with native ayahuasqueros in the region around Tarapoto.
    I had not looked for any center what works with ayahuasca at a big (and often expensive) scale; I looked for the original ways of the natives.
    To my surprise I heard about Takawasi as a center what seems to have strange practices: Its founder claims to get from the native ayahuasqueros, where he has originally learned everything about ayahuasca and gotten many plants for the biological garden of his Takiwasi-center for free, multiple kilos of collected plants without any payment, just for the payment for the transport to deliver them to him. Takiwasi-Center writes about itself in its website to be a place of “low costs”, but it charges adults for 13 days (without room and board) Soles 4000 = US$1480.
    That means in clear text: Takiwasi with its french-peruvian founder, Dr. Jasques Mabit, is a place where exploitation of the knowledgeable native ayahuasqueros is the practise while charging people who come for treatments to the center quite a high amount of money (= double exploitation). Above of it: Takiwasi writes about itself to be a non-profit organisation…..

  7. Hi Monika, I am not an apologist for Takiwasi. I occasionally find the center hide-bound by their ideology and dis-functional as an organization, and as an apprentice in a different lineage of curanderismo, I have my own critiques of their methodology. Yet there is also a cloud of misinformation and ill-will that circulates around Takiwasi that grieves me.

    Let me attempt to correct some of your misapprehensions as best I can.

    First, Takiwasi does not charge $1,480 to addicts in treatment. Many addicts receive their treatment there for free, or with a reduction to Takiwasi’s already reasonable rates. What you read was the cost of one of the intensive seminars that they offer to foreigners. A quite reasonable cost for what the seminarists receive, and it is a important source of income to support Takiwasi’s work.

    Second, while Takiwasi can have rocky relationships with indigenous or mestizo shamans in the region (sometimes for good reason), their sensitivity and respect for traditional medicine is profound. They have hosted numerous conferences, brought out excellent publications on traditional medicine, gone to court to defend therapists threatened with imprisonment for healing with ayahuasca, and were instrumental in having ayahuasca recognized as a cultural treasure of Peru.

    Third, native healers often co-lead ceremonies at Takiwasi. It was through Takiwasi I encountered my own maestro, the Ashaninkan Juan Flores, and during our last stint at the center a Taita from Colombia worked intensively in ceremonies.

    I could go on, but I might begin sounding like an apologist. In short, I have become intimately familiar with many aspects of Takiwasi’s work down through the years, and my respect for their work and integrity remains intact.

    I would urge you to go get some direct experience of the work of Takiwasi before passing too harsh a judgment.

    Best, Robert

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