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The Jaguar that Roams the Mind

The Jaguar that Roams the Mind

An Amazonian Plant Spirit Odyssey

Foreword by: Mark J. Plotkin
A journey into the deeper workings of indigenous healing in the Amazon

• Explores the three pillars of Amazonian shamanism: purging, psychoactive plants, and diet

• Shares the experiences of apprenticing with an Ashaninca master shaman

• Reveals the intimate relationship between shamans and plant spirits

The Jaguar that Roams the Mind is a journey into the vanishing world of Amazonian shamanism--an adventure of initiation and return--that explores the unique reality at the heart of the Amazonian healing system. Robert Tindall shares his journeys through the inner and outer landscape of the churches of ayahuasca and with the Kaxinawa Indians in Brazil; his experiences at the pioneering center for the treatment of addiction, Takiwasi, in Peru; and his studies with an Ashaninca master shaman deep in the rainforest jungle.

Moving beyond the scientific approach to medicinal plants, which seeks to reduce them to their chemical constituents, Tindall illustrates the shamans’ intimate relationships with plant spirits. He explores the three pillars of Amazonian shamanism: purging (drawing disease out of the body), psychoactive plants (including the ritual use of ayahuasca), and diet (communing with the innate intelligence of teacher plants). Through trials and revelations, the subtle inner logic of indigenous healing unfolds for him, including the “miraculous” healing of a woman suffering from a brain tumor. Culminating in a ceremony fraught with terror yet ultimately enlightening, Tindall’s journey reveals the crucial component missing from the metaphysics of the West: the understanding and appreciation of the sentience of nature itself.
Choose a format:
  • Park Street Press | 
  • 296 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781594772542 | 
  • September 2008
List Price $18.95
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Read an Excerpt


Fear No Spirits

I was taken to drink. A very ample cup was poured for me. I tossed it down and went and sat, feeling some resistance but not yet clear what it was. I watched the little children of the Forteleza, who danced in their own sections, singing the hymns from memory, and then ran off to play together. Attempting to follow the music, to surrender myself to the experience, I found the reverse was happening.
The monotony of the singing, the concrete, the florescent lights were all becoming unendurable. Why can’t they use natural lights? I complained. It is impossible to travel through florescent lights.... see more

About the Author

Robert Tindall

Robert Tindall is a writer, classical guitarist, and inveterate traveler who has lived in England, Argentina, Peru, and Mexico. His work explores themes of pilgrimage and the crossing of frontiers into other cultures and states of consciousness. With his wife, Susana, he leads groups into the Amazon rain forest to encounter the indigenous healing traditions there. In addition to The Jaguar that Roams the Mind, he is the author of The Battle of the Soul in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.




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