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  • The Creation of Takiwasi Center

    TakiwasiIn another trip, Jacques arranged a meeting with a senior officer of certain organization of the European Union based in Paris, in order to start the process of requesting a grant to establish a traditional medicine project in Peru. Jacques and José travelled to the meeting and to their surprise, the project was well received and shortly thereafter the grant was approved without major inconveniences. This project was for the creation of a rehabilitation center to treat drug addiction using traditional medicine plants. They named it Takiwasi Center. After a few months dealing with the required paperwork, the funding for the project finally occurred in September 1992 and the Takiwasi Center was born in Tarapoto. Takiwasi is a word in quechua language that means singing (taki) house (wasi) in reference to the many icaros that are sung in the center. Takiwasi was created as an experimental center to treat drug addicts using traditional Amazonian medicines. The idea was to apply the healers' art in a more systematic way.

    José was co-founder of the Center with Jacques and acted as Sub-director of the Center. Here he had the opportunity to develop and polish his curandero / shaman skills conducting hundreds of ayahuasca sessions to the patients of the Center.

    By modifying his state of consciousness with drugs, the drug addict looks for a meaning in his life and often for an unconscious access to their spiritual or divine nature. This method has always been used through the ages by every culture. The majority of today's drugs are made with plants (wine, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, marijuana) which are considered "sacred" in many cultures and for that reason are taken ritually. All the Amazonian healers or shamans explain that psychoactive plants contain chemical substances but also are living entities carrying genios or "spirits" which help and cure if they are respected, but kill if they are abused. Rediscovering the ritual is essential. The aim of Takiwasi was to help the patient to get over his addiction, teaching him that he can modify his state of consciousness without damaging himself and gain a more spiritual outlook on his life, giving him strength and faith.

     

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