Naysha: My shamanic training

Some people have been interested in my shamanic training, so I will write a little about it. I have being dieting in the shamanic tradition for one year and a half year and I have trained for three years drinking Ayahuasca four times a week in the deep jungle of Iquitos. But the training never ends.

Before coming to Europe and before cooking my Ayahuasca I did diets alone in the mountains of the high jungle of my town Tarapoto, drinking Ayahuasca every night for 15 days to prepare myself. My teachers were two indigenous shamans; a Witoto man named Luis and his wife, a Yahuar woman. When you train as a shaman much of the knowledge is not talked about. It is up to the student to find the right questions and then the answers come.

My teachers were mostly silent and most of what I learnt was by observing and in our communication during ceremonies, where I could see and understand and then ask my teacher if my understanding was correct. The knowledge that you understand from the inside never leaves you. When you understand and you are able to explain it in your own words, then you have mastered the subject. All the information I share comes from the knowledge I got during my training and has been confirmed by my teachers.

During this time I also understood that the process of understanding is what transforms the student into a teacher. The process of waking the teacher inside of you takes time and the first part of the training to become a shaman is about self exploration and self destruction (we experience many small deaths during this process). Then we are reborn. We clean our lives before the training, our families heritages and our past life karmas.

After that you are ready to learn how to heal and help others, because you had done it with yourself. Because you had understood pain and mastered love, compassion and humbleness. Then you can help others.

Everyone has a calling to become a shaman, but few are ready to do the work.

But everything about my path with Ayahuasca started long before I found my teachers, which you can read about in my earlier article Ayahuasca brought me home.

Love and gratitude
Naysha Silva Romero

Photo: Naysha Silva by Jaško Jan

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What I learnt by fleeing Macau

When I landed in Macau, China, as an exchange student, I saw myself as quite the globetrotter. It is easy to suffer from hubris if you are a white, well-off European. One might even say that it is part of the role. My hubris was particularly severe with a super inflated ego.

If I had gone to Hong Kong, just east of Macau, I might have managed. There the British successfully ruled together with the local Chinese people, which gave a certain respect. Macau on the other hand was ruled by the Portuguese, and they imposed an apartheid like regime that systematically oppressed the Chinese people. The shoe now being on the other foot, the Chinese in Macau let the Whites know what they are worth. They ranked me lower than a dog.

I went to a shop.
In shops clerks usually dealt with me in one of two ways. Either they had me under constant surveillance, as if I were a thief. Or they would constantly move around in the shop to make sure to stay as far away from me as possible, which made me feel like a leper.

I went to a restaurant.
– I do not eat meat. Can I get vegetables? I stammered in beginners Chinese.
The waitress looked at me as if I was an idiot, turned away and began to fold napkins. I tried to attract her attention. She didn’t give a shit. Finally I went up to her and interrupted her napkin folding with sign language.
– Here, look, menu. My mouth, here. Need food. Give me anything. This. Please.
– Yawn, she gestured back and continued folding napkins.

I needed a taxi.
I went to the first in the queue. The driver hastily took off without me in the car. So did the next one. And the next. They obviously didn’t want me in their cars. The only way for me to actually get a taxi was to sneak up from behind, jump in and buckle up before the driver had managed to escape.

During one of the few lessons I actually took at the university in Macau I got to know the I Ching – a Chinese divination book. In desperate need of guidance I asked what I should do. It warned of the consequences of a panicky retreat.

It didn’t take more than a month before I broke down completely and fled in panic. That evening I squeezed aboard the boat to Hong Kong and then lied to get on board the first flight back to Europe.

My culture clash with Macau left me with a broken ego and zero self-esteem. I was annihilated. Worthless. Just as the I Ching had warned I fled instead of confronting my hubris, which left me a wreck.

The depression that ensued lasted for four horrible years.

Looking back I can honestly say that it is among the best things that have ever happened to me. If I wouldn’t have crashed I probably wouldn’t have been on the healing journey that I am on today. I would still have been super inflated.

Another thing that I learnt from the entire ordeal is that I am still a pampered European, simply because it is in my power to have such a panic reaction and flee. Others are less fortunate. They flee from their homes and when it gets too hard for them, when people are racist and cruel, they are not able to swiftly escape the situation. They are forced to remain in it, which often comes at a terrible cost. We should help refugees far more and far better than we do today. One reason why we don’t is that our Western society as a whole has a super inflated ego and hubris. We could all need a trip to Macau so that we can get our priorities straight.

Photo: Lift off… 3 by Simon Allardice on Flickr

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My greatest heart opener

I have opened my heart chakra in so many ways – with yoga, through meditation, with the help of visionary medicine, by falling in love and by challenging myself to love more. The experiences have been delightful, wonderful, feelings of immense love, gratitude and forgiveness. But there is one thing that has opened my heart more than any other.

Having children.

Having children is a possibility to open all new doors at the heart level, in ways that my friends who do not have children must have a hard time comprehending. When my daughter was born my heart grew tenfold. I used to have a one room apartment in my heart, just about big enough for me and whoever I happened to fancy at the moment. Now I have a mansion and I’m working on making it into a castle. It’s a feeling of ever growing platonic love.

Not everyone who gets children has the same conscious expansion at the heart level, but I think many parents can recognize what I’m talking about. Nowadays I often find it much easier to connect with parents, simply because many of them have access to the same rooms of love as I do. Even if we never talk about children I find that many of them have evolved emotionally compared to their friends who do not have children.

Photo: Lil’ Heart Just For You by Kasia on Flickr

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I do not promote the use of drugs

I have on a few occasions been accused of promoting drugs.

I want to be crystal clear about this.


By drugs I mean something one uses to flee from or numb oneself, without there being a good reason for doing so. For example, I have nothing against the use of reasonable amounts of painkillers to temporarily deal with pain. But if you start popping painkillers to get high or numb emotional pain that you should be dealing with, then I am against it.

Being against it does not however mean that I think it should be illegal. I do not think anyone should be persecuted or punished for using a plant or substance to flee from or numb themselves. People do so for a reason. They don’t have the tools to deal with pain in life. They are traumatized and hurting. They suffer from addiction, which they have often inherited. People should not be punished for trying to deal with their pain, even if they do so in ways that aren’t good.

All the effort that we are putting into stigmatizing, persecuting and punishing people should be re-directed to helping them heal. We should be giving them the best help we can and nobody should be afraid to ask for help, as people are under the current drug laws. Therefore I promote changing the drug laws radically, since they are causing enormous harm to individuals and to society as a whole.

I do promote the use of PSYCHEDELIC MEDICINE.

I am forever grateful for the healing and guidance that psychedelics have given me. And I have seen so much healing with such medicines. I have seen many breakthroughs that modern medicine could not describe in any other term than miraculous. But having worked with psychedelic medicine in the shamanic tradition I know that it would only be called so for lack of understanding.

Psychedelic medicines aren’t miraculous. They just provide healing that is beyond what many people can comprehend. That people can’t comprehend it doesn’t make it less real. It just means that they do not understand.

Our society is in desperate need of such medicine. We have so much healing that needs to be done. We need to reconnect with our roots, with all living beings, with mother Earth and with the Universe. We desperately need the guidance of the divine within ourselves.

That is what psychedelic medicine can do for us. Is doing for us.

I also promote every persons inherent right to THEIR OWN PATH.

People have free will. We all have a choice to make in every situation. Our choices, good or bad, create our life path and provide us with the lessons we need to learn in life. Trying to strip people of their inherent right to their own bodies, their own life, is the nastiest oppression. Trying to strip people of their free will is as evil as any Auschwitz, Gulag or Killing Fields have ever been. The fact that people try to do so under the pretense that they want to do good, that they want to help, and that they do so using law and state force does not make it any better. In fact it makes it so much worse, because they are unwilling to face and take responsibility for the pain and evil they are inflicting onto others. It is a crime against humanity.

Anyone with a kind heart and a sound mind should be disgusted and outraged by such laws.

So no, I definitely do NOT promote the use of drugs.
I especially do NOT promote the use of harmful drugs,
such as alcohol, nicotine, antidepressants and opiates.
I DO promote helping and healing
our fellow human beings who are in pain.
I DO promote the use of medicine,
psychedelic or otherwise,
that helps.
And I most definitely DO promote human free will
and every person’s right
to their own body and path through life.

Photo: Canopy by David Goehring on Flickr

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Don’t confuse what’s legal with what’s moral

Slavery was legal.
Apartheid was legal.
The inquisition was legal.

It is legal to poison children with sugar and fat.
Cutting down vast forests, eradicating whole species and threatening life on earth is legal.
Testing nukes, supplying dictatorships with weapons and bombing the shit out of people seems to be legal.

In some cultures it’s legal to stone homosexuals.
Where I live homosexuality used to be illegal.
Then for a long while it was ‘only’ considered to be a sickness.
Only recently has it become legal for homosexuals to marry here.

It is legal to make laws that discriminate and hinder people from living a full life.
And it is legal to use the laws to harass and persecute groups of people.
We don’t want to admit it, but we have plenty of laws that are racist, sexist and in other ways discriminating.

IMG_8649At the same time it is illegal to heal in ways that aren’t state approved.
It is illegal for you to smoke a joint for your pain or take LSD to release trauma.
And if your spiritual practice involves psychedelics you can still get in trouble in many countries.

The law does not grant you the right to your own body.
It does not grant you the right to your own healing and growth.
Your life is only yours within the limits of the law and if you deviate you can be fined, end up in prison for however long someone else thinks is reasonable or even be killed.

Do not confuse legal with moral. And do not imagine that you can claim a moral high ground because you follow the law. You can be immoral to the core, a liar, a cheat and an oppressor and still be a law abiding citizen. In fact, if you are a law abiding citizen your morals probably have quite a few weak spots. If you are high up enough in the political hierarchy you can legally get away with mass murder. The rest of us can wash our hands of blood and clear our conscience by simply voting for someone else to make the nasty decisions.

This is saying quite a lot about the legal system and our moral obligation to follow the law. If your moral compass is working you have no moral obligation to follow the law. Your obligation is to follow your conscience. The law is primarily for people who do not have a working moral compass.

If you put law before morals you are weak. If you are weak you should not try to claim the moral high ground, because it is not yours to claim. Lions like Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr get to claim the moral high ground. You are a sheep. Your place is with the law abiding herd. Baa.

Photo: Bomb by _Gavroche_ on Flickr

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A liar claiming the moral high ground

Before I ever came into contact with psychedelics I applied for a job as a prison officer at the Swedish prison Kumla. Before the interview I googled the place and found a freshly released report from the major labour union there. It told of an incredibly stressful workplace with remarkably high and prolonged sick leave rates, of staff being badly treated and not being given the support they needed. It was apparent that the work place was facing real problems and that the workers were deeply discontent with the administration and HR department. I printed a copy to read on my way there.

The interview went well until the HR person asked:
– Have you ever tried any drugs?
– Yes, I smoked some weed when I was travelling in Asia, I answered truthfully.
– Oh dear, he said, shaking his head seriously.
Then he gave me a short but harsh lecture on how it was morally reprehensible to have tried something that was illegal under Swedish law, how this reflected badly on me as a person and how the Swedish prison system must maintain very high morals. He really took his time to emphasize the immorality of my actions versus the high morals of the Swedish prison system.

After that it was my turn to ask questions.
– Is the staff here happy with their work situation? I asked.
– Oh yes, everyone loves it here. It is a great place to work. We are like one big family.
– Are there any complaints among the staff?
– None. Here we really care for each other.
He was committed to telling me what a splendid work place Kumla was and avoided every chance I gave him to acknowledge the problems I had read about and tell me what they were doing to turn things around. After having given him far more than a fair amount of chances I reached into my backpack, pulled out the report and without saying a word placed it on the desk in front of him. I then just looked at the man as he sunk through the floor, embarrassed beyond words. No lecture was needed.

Photo: Prison Window by Derek Key on Flickr

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