The Ten Best Ayahuasca Resources on the Web
Most of my posts fall into one of the following four categories: accounts of personal experience with La Madre Ayahuasca, reviewing relevant books and other material, philosophical and psychological reflections………. and lists.
Conventional blog wisdom is that writing lists drives traffic to your post and it is true that my most consistently popular post is seven ayahuasca related movies.
It’s a while since I wrote a list and it occurred to me that it might be useful to write a list of the ten best resources about ayahuasca available on the web.
I’m not pretending that what follows is by any means comprehensive or exhaustive. As the vine grows throughout the world, there is an almost exponentially increasing quantity of aya-related material available. What follows is a personal and partisan selection that I have stumbled across, divided into somewhat arbitrary categories, rather like the Oscars.
1. Best overall ayahuasca site
Good, basic, well-laid out information about ayahuasca can also be found on the site for the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEER). You can find a 286 page downloadable document summarizing the scientific studies on ayahuasca dated 2012 by clicking on this link here.
2. Best article about dieta
This article about dieta by Morgan Brent on the ayahuasca.com site is excellent. I’ve cited it many times before in other blogs.
For a gritty, personal account of what it really means going through a dieta, I recommend my friend Ian’s writing. He has written a series of nine blogs about his experience of a ten-day dieta. You can read the first one here.
3. Best article about ayahuasca appearing in the mainstream media
After an appalling fast sentence that – “In our culture of downward-facing dog, juice fasts, and silent meditation retreats, a hard-core hallucinogen from the Amazon is fast becoming the next therapeutic fad” – an article which appeared in Marie Claire on February 18th 2014 actually does a reasonable job in describing an ayahuasca ceremony near Los Angeles and references some of the key people who have helped promote a responsible use of the medicine.
4. Best article about ayahuasca and cannabis
I recently came across this article called “Giving up the Green: Reflections on Cannabis, Ayahuasca and the Mystery of Plant Teachers” by Graham Hancock, which I found compelling, largely because Graham Hancock is a very good writer and I think he has something interesting and important to say based on his personal experience.
5. Best article about your first ayahuasca ceremony
This is another article I recently came across called “Ten Tips for getting the most out of your ayahuasca ceremony” by Guy Crittenden. It gives good, basic, practical, sound advice for people contemplating their first ayahuasca ceremony.
6. Best Youtube video
Given the range and wealth of videos available on YouTube this is an impossible category. Some personal favorites include:
i) Scenes from the psychedelic western movie ‘Blueberry’ by Jan Kounen, which do a reasonable job of conveying something of the visual experience through the medium of film.
ii) Jan Kounen’s ‘Other Worlds’ documentary, which was one of the first documentaries about Shipibo shamanism
iv) A good twenty four minute documentary called ‘The Ayahuasca Experience’ with entertaining visuals and some very lucid comments by Joe Rogan, Terrence McKenna and Graham Hancock.
7. Best Scoop-it site
I find this site, curated by Jerónimo M.M. to produce consistently good, interesting and and wide-ranging articles about ayahausca and related matters.
(Incidentally there is a very good forty five minute talk on YouTube by Jerónimo M.M on the theme of Westerners discovering ayahuasca in Peru, given at the Third Amazonian Shamanism conference, entitled “Ayahuasca, tourism vs tradition”. There is a ten minute summary of the talk here.)
8. Best site to choose a center to take ayahuasca in
Actually as far as I know there is only one site specifically dedicated to this called AyaAdvisor which puns nicely with TripAdvisor.
(I have read that it is subject to the same criticisms as TripAdviser in that it can be rigged, and that reviews are censored, but if you are thinking of going to an established center to drink ayahuasca, then, like TripAdviser, it can be a useful starting point. But nothing really beats personal recommendations from friends whose judgement you trust.)
9. Best forum about ayahuasca
The best and most comprehensive forum I have come across with a good search function and which was started back on the last century in 1999 can be found on the ayahuasca.com website here.
10. Best Facebook site
Looking at many of them, none of them really inspire me. Many have some good resources but they are buried in a lot of dross.
I am sure there must be other good resources out there. Please add your own nominations in the comments section and, if you can, your reasons for recommending them.
PS After posting the link to this blog on the FaceBook page “Singing to the Plants”, Steve Beyer – who set up the page and who wrote one of the best books about ayahuasca, also called “Singing to the Plants” – made the following comment:
“People might want to check out my blog at http://www.singingtotheplants.com/blog/ and my ayahuasca Pinterest board at http://www.pinterest.com/svbeyer/ayahuasca/. Some videos of my talks on ayahuasca are at http://www.pinterest.com/svbeyer/videos/. And of course there is this very Facebook page, which is filled with interesting and helpful comments, links, videos, photos, and posts by lots of helpful people, including Paul Roberts.”
Steve’s blog is always thoughtful and meticulously researched. He does not publish that regularly but what he publishes is always worth reading. His last post is on ‘visionary experience’ and can be found here.
PSS AFTER WRITING THIS BLOG I FOUND A FURTHER THREE INTERESTING RESOURCES ON THE WEB WHICH I HAVE PUBLISHED IN A LATER BLOG ON 8 NOVEMBER: