In the heart of the Amazon, a naturopathic doctor and an accountant experience life-altering epiphanies when they drink a psychoactive brew called ayahuasca, the "Vine of the Soul." Their dramatic encounters with the sacred medicine offer new insights into the nature of faith, mystical experience and self-healing through a heightened state of consciousness.
Is ayahuasca a doorway to direct knowledge of the divine or a path that leads to psychological trauma? Can it cure modern addictions to drugs and alcohol or is ayahuasca itself a possible substance of abuse? Some call it a medicine, others a sacrament; the Amazonian shamans say it is simply a "plant teacher" that tells you what you need to know.
Throughout the film, in-depth interviews with Peruvian and Canadian shamans, ethnobotanist Dennis McKenna, addiction expert Dr. Gabor Maté and scholar Kenneth Tupper speak to the increasing use of ayahuasca outside the Amazon and the potential benefits for Western medicine, personal spiritual growth and a new understanding of Nature.
Experts: Dennis McKenna PhD, Gabor Maté MD, Kenneth Tupper PhD
Curanderos: Guillermo Arévalo, Dave (Ronin Niwe), Francois (Metsa Niwue)
Participants: Dr. Kirsten Smith ND, Rob Mader, Colin Miller, Nina Fields
The DVD includes these additional scenes and interviews:
Dave (Ronin Niwe): Vegetalismo and Plant Teachers
Francois (Metsa Niwue): Icaros, the healing chants
Guillermo Arévalo: Shamanic training
Gabor Maté: Ayahuasca and addiction treatment
Kenneth Tupper: Ayahuasca and public policy
Other Encounters with Ayahuasca: Testimonials
Dennis McKenna Interviews: Topics include the pharmacology and origins of ayahuasca, DMT, biomedical applications, animism and consciousness, human/plant co-evolution and symbiosis.