This week, on Mindrolling, Nick Polizzi joins Raghu to discuss Nick’s inspiring documentary on Shamanic medicine and what it has to offer the West.
The documentary, Sacred Science, brings together eight patients whose illnesses Western medicine could not cure. Nick and Raghu talk about the movie, the medicine, and the future of this practice which has so much to offer the world.
Sacred Science (Opening) – Nick describes his documentary which introduces eight people from around the world, who suffer from serious illness, to shamanic medicine ceremonies. The goal is to see if these medicinal practices can succeed where modern medicine has failed.
In the film, we first meet a Shaman from Moldova named Roman Hanis. Roman and Nick built a compound especially for the film which featured longhouses, ceremonial maloca, and personal huts for each person being treated. The patients spent the majority of their time inside these huts in seclusion as part of the healing process.
The Work (22:00) – Nick and Raghu reflect on the reality of both the benefits and potential abuse of ayahuasca. This misuse is something Nick has witnessed first hand. While a powerful tool to heal the mind and body, ayahuasca has the potential to be used in ways that are neither sacred or medicinal.
Nick believes that those who might be misusing the medicine are not putting the wisdom they receive into practice. The ayahuasca experience is about the work that you perform afterward. No one else is going to do it for you. Taking the medicine habitually will not provide more healing, only putting in the work.
“These medicines, these plants, were well known in ancient times. They let you go into the room with Christ, but you can’t stay. You can’t stay.” – Neem Karoli Baba
Unsure Future (38:00) – This transmission of knowledge is passed down from generation to generation. However, the current generation of shamanism is facing a crisis, because many of their children are not interested in inheriting the practice. A goal of making this documentary was to bring awareness to this shortage of individuals willing carry the torch of knowledge to the next generations. These practices are not written down and require hands-on teaching. If the next generation does not learn them, the wisdom may be lost entirely.
Methods (41:00) – Beyond the physical healing that these medicines provide, the treatment focuses just as much on the spirit. In Sacred Science, there is a diversity of spiritual methods practiced. There is chanting from different traditions, meditation, and the maloca ceremonies themselves which focus almost entirely on the soul. The medicine is the lynchpin of the practice. While all other aspects of practice have unique benefits inside and outside of ceremony, ayahuasca unifies them and amplifies their healing.
Integration (45:30) In addition to his films, Nick also produces insightful blogs on the Sacred Science website which caught Raghu’s attention. Recently in a blog titled, “The Death of “Am I Good Enough?” Nick describes his experience meeting life coach Laurie Gerber. Laurie’s gave Nick great insight on how he can walk his path in the jungle, while also living up to his responsibilities to his family and business.
Click here to watch Sacred Science for FREE! To bring wisdom from the jungle into your home, be sure to check out the Sacred Cookbook and more here.
Photo via Third Monk