Sacred Earth Medicine
Our Spirit Meditation Ceremony works with the sacrament of plant medicine to instill a remembering that we are embodied forms of powerful divine Energy. Remembering who we are often requires a greater awareness of our conditioning, traumas, and stagnation in our bodies, hearts, and consciousness.
Lumi holds a non-judgemental, compassionate and safe space in ceremonies. Above all, she believes holding a loving presence is among the highest of priorities in ceremony. During this time, it is the spirits of the elements, animals, ancestors, stars and plants who join us in ceremony - showing us what we need to see. You can learn more about Lumi's story and study with the Shipibo people here.
These ceremonies are deep inward journey that are run without talking. The ceremonies begin late in the evening and last about 4-5 hours. During the ceremony, Shipibo icaros and other medicine songs and sound healing instruments are played.
Ceremonies are held in various locations, and can be facilitated for pairs, private group, or community setting.
Participation requires a special preparatory diet and completion of a health form.
Chiapa Rao is a non-profit visionary church and spiritual practice community that works toward collective and embodied remembrance of wholeness the inherent joy of living a life connected with all living beings. Our primary path is through inward-exploration and awareness cultivation within community support.
We help people weave an animistic perspective of the world into their everyday life, remembering other-than-human kin as important co-creators, collaborators, and beings to consider: the plants, rocks, trees, animal beings, sky, ancestors, soul guides. In relationship with all beings, we remember our true worth, the true worth of ALL life, and the interconnectedness that exists between.
Chiapa Rao was formed in the lineage of the Shipibo-Conibo tradition.
Chiapa Rao can be translated as Rainbow Medicine, Rainbow Master Teachings.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE OF EUROPEAN DESCENT AND CARRY AMAZONIAN MEDICINE
Rono Lopez (pictured above with his family) and his brother, Enrique Lopez, have so generously given me and many others the gift of incredibly deep healing and transmissions of their oral traditions: icaros (sacred songs), language, and knowledge of their native master plant teachers. I have sat with them for several dietas over the course of the past couple years, which is a period of time to be in sacred communion with a plant that entails ceremony, fasting, and periods of silence. Dietas are an important part of the journey into becoming a curandera or curandero.
Throughout these blessings, I've been in constant inquiry of what it means to be a foreigner, a white person, learning these sacred ways from an Indigenous group that has seen great harm from European invasion, colonization, white-washing, capitalism, and now - western visitors and Ayahausca tourism.
Why have they decided to teach me and people like me? Is it okay? What about the environmental impact and carbon expenditure of my travel? Can the rainforest sustain the impact of my living there for weeks or months at a time? How can I honor my teachers, their ancestors, the plants and this unbroken oral tradition that dates back hundred, if not thousands of years? I am not a Shipibo descendent, yet I am being trusted with these ways. The way I hold ceremony will inevitably be different as I am not indigenous to Amazonian land - how do I do this with incredible respect to the spirit of the plants and the Shipibo ancestors?
These are but a few of the questions that I have committed to be in relationship with. The answers sometimes change, as I receive new teachings and invite new perspectives, but the key for me is always to be inquiry - with myself and in with others I facilitate with.
When talking to my teachers about these questions, and why they have decided to teach Westerns... they have told me that this world is in desperate need of more healers. That this [Amazonian] medicine needs to reach more people. The plants have told them to teach their traditions of spirituality and healing so that the ceremonies can be held in the right way - teaching healers how to call in the spirits and open new worlds with our songs, with the language of the plants, to create the transformational experience needed to shift our inner landscapes.
Rono and Enrique mention that most of the Shipibo younger generations are not as interested in learning the ways of the curandero. They want to leave the jungle and live in the cities. This is another complex issue of modernization that has many facets and is worth exploration.
The influx of Westerners into the Amazon Jungle have many aspects that are incredibly beautiful to all this: more non-profits and donations are flowing in to support the Amazonian eco-systems. The growing interest in Shipibo language has allowed more preservation and classes to become available, unlike so many Indigenous languages that have become or are in grave danger of being lost. The original textile handwork (hecho a mano artesanias) of the Shipiba women are being taught to younger generations as this provides a meaningful amount of income from tourists. The unique kene tapestry work from the Shipibo people is an artform that is able to be preserved.
However, there are troubling aspects too. Capitalism has found it's way into the Jungle. Just like how many Western doctors get into the healthcare field for the wrong reasons, more people in South America and throughout the world are becoming Curanderos/as (Shamans) purely for financial or power-dynamic/abusive reasons. When traveling to Peru to seek healing, it's incredibly important to find a refutable curandero/a through personal recommendations.
The conversation is important to engage in. I believe it is up to all of us non-Indigenous who decide to carry this medicine to find ways to give back to those who have stewarded the land the medicine originates from, and to those who are who are continuing the traditions in a good way.
In addition to maintaining an ongoing inquiry, I commit to giving 5% of any earnings from sacred ceremonies back to support the wellness of the Amazonian ecosystem and Indigenous people.