Forest of Visions: Ayahuasca, Amazonian Spirituality, and the Santo Daime Tradition

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9780892817160: Forest of Visions: Ayahuasca, Amazonian Spirituality, and the Santo Daime Tradition

The story of Santo Daime--a new religion that blends elements of  Christianity with older Amazonian indigenous spiritual practices--and the ecologically sound and spiritually centered utopian community it has inspired 


· A true story of a classical spiritual encounter, as well as an intimate account of the genesis of an important religious tradition that continues to grow worldwide 


· Edited and Introduced by Stephen Larsen, author of The Shaman's Doorway


Alex Polari de Alverga spent years as a political prisoner during the rule of the military junta in Brazil, enduring torture, brutality, and deprivation. On his release from captivity and in search of something to restore his spiritual connection to life, he had a transformative encounter with one of the two revered founders of Santo Daime, Padrinho Sebastiao Mota de Mela. Santo Daime--an Amazonian religion, born out of jungle entheogens, mediumship, and healing, that is a potent and unique synthesis of Christianity and indigenous practices--provided Alverga with an alternative to his disillusionment with modern society. His quest for spiritual initiation eventually led him deep into the heart of the rainforest to Mapia, one of the spiritual centers of Santo Daime, where he became a teacher and leader of the Daime community. 

Forest of Visions is a story of a classic spiritual encounter comparable to the Tibetan Saint Milarepa's search for his teacher Marpa. It is also an intimate account of the genesis of an important religious tradition that from modest beginnings in Brazil has now spread throughout the world and continues to grow. It provides an inside look at the spiritually centered village of Mapia, a model for communities in the 21st century. 

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Review:

Part biography, part document of spiritual wisdom, Forest of Visions is a fascinating story that satisfies on many levels. Author Alex Polari de Alverga spent years as a political prisoner during military rule in Brazil. Here he recounts his spiritual transformation after release under the tutelage of Padrinho Sebastião Mota de Mela, one of the founders of the Santo Daime religion. Forest of Visions is also a study of the inner workings of the Santo Daime utopian community of 500 in the heart of the Amazonian rainforest. The Santo Daime is a Christian-indigenous syncretic religion that centers around the drinking of a sacramental psychedelic tea called Ayahuasca as a shortcut to spiritual revelation and growth. After years of study, the Brazilian government decided that Ayahuasca positively benefited society and church members, and declared it legal. Approximately 50 Santo Daime churches now exist around the world, including in the U.S., Japan, and Holland, with various legal statures. The forward by Stephen Larsen, author of The Shaman's Doorway, and the preface by Jonathan Goldman provide an informative transition from our world to the realm of this mysterious and unique Amazonian cult. --P. Randall Cohan

About the Author:

Alex Polari de Alverga is currently a padrinho in Mapia. Forest of Visions is the first of his books to be translated into English.

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Alex Polari de Alverga
Editore: Park Street Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 089281716X ISBN 13: 9780892817160
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Descrizione libro Park Street Press, 1999. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P11089281716X

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