Talking with Kevin

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Kevin Furnas was a Western shaman from San Francisco who had been training with ayahuasca and other plant medicines for over a decade. He dieted extensively with plants at the Sachamama Ethnobotanical Gardens retreat outside Iquitos for nearly two years, receiving knowledge and wisdom from the plant doctors directly. He was an ayahuasquero and vegetalista in the Amazonian tradition, performing healing ceremonies with ayahuasca and other plants.

Kevin died in Cusco, Peru, in late April, 2007. His ashes were distributed among the Sequoias and Redwoods of Big Sur, California.

This 24 page PDF interview is an excerpt from the forthcoming book The Ayahuasca Sessions, Conversations with Amazonian curanderos and Western shamans by journalist Rak Razam. An excerpt is below; click the attachment to download the full interview.

 

RAK> Kevin we’re here in Iquitos and we’ve been at the Second Annual Shaman Conference... And I guess your area of expertise in vegetal reality, or plant consciousness or plant spirits. So could you tell us a bit about how you came into this and what you’ve learned about the plants?

KEVIN> I originally came to South America looking for ayahuasca. I had read about ayahuasca many years back, however when I arrived in Iquitos I discovered there was a process, a process whereby human beings were trained by plants. It’s called the diet process. In the Amazonian system human beings are trained by the higher energetic selves of plants and trees.

Thus I entered this process, this process of shamanic initiation if you will, in the Amazonian system. I dieted with the plants for 20 months here in Iquitos.

RAK> And what do you think that dieting process was doing internally to your body, mind and soul?

KEVIN> This process, the diet process, this initiation process is very thorough. Basically the higher energetic selves, the spirits, if you will, of the plants, enter into a relationship with the student, the human student. They work on a physical level -- we have a physical body, but we also have energetic bodies associated with the seven major chakras in our body. So on an energetic level the higher energetic selves, the spirits of the plants come and heal us -- they remove
blockages. They clean our soul, if you will. They also prepare us, they organise the lines of our energy, the rivers of light that flow through our body. They untangle these lines and they help to open up these centers so that we have... we
have different abilities, for instance the ability to talk to plants and trees, or see different vibrational dimensions.

RAK> In the western perspective we see the external world and plants and the creatures within it as sort of products of an external reality, and as things that don’t communicate and aren’t “sentient”. How do you perceive [the plants] and how would you communicate that to a western audience what we’re calling spirits and what you’re calling essences to the western mind?


KEVIN> In the Amazonian system they believe that each plant has a mother, if you will, a spirit. What is a spirit then from a western point of view? Oftentimes we need an understanding, an explanation. So what is a spirit? Well to understand the spirit of a tree it helps to first understand who we are as human beings...


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