The Formation Years – Page 4


In 1988 Jacques took him to the “ II Congreso Internacional de Medicina Tradicional ” being held in both Lima and Iquitos. In one of the symposiums of the conference in Lima, José offered his first lecture about medicine plants to a group of visiting scientists and scholars from around the world.

In the Iquitos part of the conference they met Don Solon Tello and organized an ayahuasca session to initiate about 30 international participants. After the event, José continued close to Don Solon with whom he took ayahuasca many times and learned key shaman lessons from him. He considers Don Solon one of his major mentors in his shaman path.

During the conference he also met Mackie Erdely, a medical doctor and acupuncturist from New Mexico who invited him to the USA, but they were unable to obtain the USA tourist visa for José. He stayed in Tarapoto with Jacques and people started suggesting him that he was prepared to offer ayahuasca sessions to others. He accepted. After consulting and obtaining permission from his teachers José conducted his first ceremony as a shaman in late 1988. Then another participant of the conference recommended him to a group of Brazilians and through them he met Kamal Benjelloun, the son of a wealthy businessman from Morocco. Kamal was very impressed with José and promised to get back to him in the future.

In 1989 he was contacted again by his doctor friend from New Mexico who this time was able to obtain a visa. José agreed to travel and met curious scientists that were interested in traditional medicine. He met Dr. Rick Strassman who was investigating the plants containing DMT a few years before he actually did his famous research and published his bestseller book “DMT: The Spirit Molecule”.

In May of 1990 he was invited again to the USA with Jacques and together they met Terence McKenna at the Esalen Institute. They participated in one of Terrence’s workshops at the institute covering the area of Amazonian medicine plants. Terence was an intriguing American ethnobotanist, philosopher, psychonaut, researcher, lecturer and writer on many subjects, such as human consciousness, psychedelic substances, the evolution of civilizations, the origin and end of the universe, alchemy, and extraterrestrial beings. Esalen Institute is a residential community and retreat center in Big Sur, California, which focuses on humanistic alternative education and devoted to activities such as meditation, Gestalt, yoga, psychology, ecology, and spirituality.

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