Nick Polizzi: Ayahuasca & The Sacred Science | 180 Nutrition

Blog

Nick Polizzi: Ayahuasca & The Sacred Science

Nick Polizzi Interview

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Guy: This week welcome to the show Nick Polizzi. He has spent his career directing and producing feature-length documentaries about holistic alternatives to conventional medicine. Most recently, Nick directed The Tapping Solution and co-edited Simply Raw – Raw for 30 Days. His current role as producer of The Sacred Science—a documentary about explorations in the Amazon to learn about traditional, healing practices—stems from a calling to honor, preserve, and protect the ancient knowledge and rituals of the indigenous peoples of the world.

Use Snapchat? Follow me at: GuyL180 or Click Here. 

Audio Version

Free Health Pack

 

Itunes logoListen to Stitcher Questions we ask in this episode:

  • What inspired you to make the documentary ‘Sacred Science’?
  • What is ayahuasca?
  • Western medicine encourages us to take a pill to fix the problem. Can we do this with indigenous medicines?
  • We are living in a world that keeps us constantly distracted. What impact is this having on us (not engaging in our own truth)?
  • You mention the “way of being” that is taught by elders in the Andes and Amazon. Please explain.

Get More Of Nick Polizzi

  • http://www.thesacredscience.com/

If you enjoyed this, then you’ll enjoy these interviews with:

Dr Mario Martinez: The Secret to Living Beyond a 100 Years Old (& being happier)

James Colquhoun: Why Food Matters & I’m Hungry For Change

My Date With Ayahuasca

180 – Turn Your Nutrition Around

Full range of products HERE.

Leave a Comment

Full Transcript

Guy

Hey, everybody. Good afternoon. Good evening. Wherever you are in the world, this is of course Guy Laurence of 180 Nutrition and welcome to another fantastic episode of The Health Sessions where we are constantly connecting with leading global health and wellness experts to share the best of the latest science and thinking, empowering people to turn their health and lives around.

[00:00:30] This week we are doing it with the awesome Nick Polizzi. Nick is a documentary maker and he is the man behind the doco, The Sacred Science. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s just a fascinating documentary and I’ll read the synopsis right now about it straight off the text.

[00:01:00] It says, “Witness the story of eight brave souls as they leave the developed world behind in search of deeper answers. Living in seclusion for one month in the heart of the Amazon jungle, these men and women take part in the powerful healing practices of Peru’s indigenous medicine men working with centuries old plant remedies and spiritual disciplines.” [00:01:30] It’s just fascinating. We get into Nick’s own personal journey as well. We discuss ayahuasca, which is something that I have done myself as well and that’s why it was just great to get Nick on and talk about this with him and Stu as well today. In this conversation I have no doubt you’re going to find this very fascinating. Now Nick has offered very kindly to all our listeners if you want to watch his documentary for free now you can go to a special link which is thesacredscience.com/free-screening.

[00:02:00] Just find the website. Thesacredscience.com/free-screening. Then you can watch the documentary for free. After you listen to this interview I have no doubt you’re going to want to go back and check it out. The other thing I will add I want to give you as well because talk about ayahuasca. I actually documented my own ayahuasca journey three years ago in blog posts. They are on the 180 Nutrition website so if you want to check them out as well, go back to 180nutrition.com.au. Go to the search field on the home page and just search for ayahuasca and that’s going to bring up the five blog posts I wrote.

[00:02:30] There’s little videos in there too and I document all of my thoughts, and feelings, and everything in there. It was a very personal journey for me and one I’m very glad I shared. I have no doubt you’ll find them useful as well. Anyway, so there’s two things for you there. We do discuss all of this in the podcast as well if you want to make notes. Of course the links will be on the actual blog post of this interview as well when it’s released. Anyway, let’s go over to Nick. Enjoy. Hey, this is Guy Lawrence. I’m joined with Stuart Cook. Hey, Stu.

Free Health Pack

 

Stu

Hello, Guy. How are you?

Guy

I’m absolutely great actually. Our awesome guest today is Nick Polizzi. Did I get that right?

Nick

Yeah.

Guy

Yeah, brilliant. Nick, thanks for coming on, mate. It’s the first time we’ve explored this kind of topic and I’m very much looking forward to sharing it across with our audience today. Just to kickstart the show, mate, if you were on an airplane flying to Australia right now, and you sat next to a complete stranger, and they asked you what you did for a living, what would you say?

Nick

Man, I’d ask them how much time they had? I guess they’d have a lot of time. What is that, a 15-hour flight?

Guy

Yeah. Exactly.

Nick

I guess I’d say I’m a documentary filmmaker, author, shamanic explorer, adventurer. Somebody who is constantly on their own evolutionary path. The medicine path I guess.

Stu

Yeah. What reaction would you get from that normally as well? What would that be?

Nick

I guess it depends on who we’re talking about? Are we talking about a suit or are we talking about a girl who just got back from Burning Man?

Stu

Burning Man. Exactly. Yeah, two very different conversations, right?

Nick

[00:04:30] Yeah, but I’m starting to find that there’s actually a pretty large cross-section of the population here in the States at least that are really interested in this kind of inner work. That kind of idea was something that even 10 years ago that wasn’t really being talked about very much. Yoga was a big deal. Yoga was this foreign thing 10 years ago or 15 years ago here in the States and now everyone and their grandmother does it. I think that we’re primed.

Guy

[00:05:00] It’s interesting you say that because plant-based medicine first came on the radar for me probably four years ago and I’d never really heard of it, or ayahuasca, or anything else. Now it seems that every person I bump into can have a reference and talk about it. They might have experienced it, but it definitely seems to be getting out there for sure.

Nick

[00:05:30] Yeah, absolutely. When I first made The Sacred Science, we had made two movies before that that were much more conventional alternative medicine if I can even say that. We made the first one with EFT emotional freedom technique which you tap on meridian points on your face and go through some talk therapy and it releases pain and stress in the body. That was something that was obviously a little bit less stigmatized than etheogenic plants. Then the next one was I was involved in the creation of a movie called Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes for 30 Days. That’s just the raw food diet, which some people thought was insane to do to yourself and after trying it myself, I was starting to kind of agree with that, but that wasn’t even close to saying, “Oh yeah, have you heard of shamanism? Have you heard of ayahuasca?” [00:06:00] Ayahuasca nobody knew even five years ago when we set out to make the movie people had no clue what ayahuasca was. Now everybody knows what it is. People make fun of it. It’s like this party drug now in LA. People just use it and it’s insane. It’s just crazy how these things are coming into popular culture.

Guy

[00:06:30] Yeah, absolutely. It’s fascinating. We’d all like to get a bit of background of the story behind the people we’re interviewing and obviously we’re exposing you to a new audience today. Can you share a little bit about your own background? You don’t seem to be the kind of guy that might be looking to dive down into the Amazon and look at all these different rituals. What exposed you to that in the first place and how did that journey evolve for you? Before we get into the movie because obviously we want to discuss that as well today.

Nick

[00:07:00] Sure. Yeah. Like I said, the first two films we made were also health and personal development related. The experts that we filmed, we filmed a lot of really cool people. Jack Canfield, Bob Proctor.

Guy

Oh, wow.

Nick

Pretty much half the cast of The Secret was in the first movie. It was interesting because I never knew if I was going to be able to talk to these people again after we’d interviewed them so I’d always ask them one question after each interview. It was simple. It was just, “You know you’re this big guru, but who’s your guru? Who are you learning from?” [00:08:00] A lot of people said people that you’d expect. Dali Lama or whoever it might be that we all know. A surprisingly large amount of people would tell me about these indigenous elders. At least five people that were in The Tapping Solution who I really respect mentioned that they were learning from someone who I had never met and probably never would meet because it was somebody who you really would never come across unless you were connected to them and knew somebody on the reservation or knew somebody in some area of the world that had access to these traditions. [00:08:30] I was like, “Wait a second. Okay, so these big authors and speakers, predominantly white males, they’re learning from people of color. People from different traditions which by the way are being exploited and destroyed as we speak,” so that’s very interesting. How come these people aren’t being spoken about? How come they’re not being feature, highlighted, honored for their wisdom, learned from? That’s when I was like, “Okay, so let’s find these folks,” and that was very hard to do and that’s what ultimately led me to shamanism, which is what the third film, The Sacred Science, is about.

Guy

[00:09:00] Yeah. Wow. When you first started hearing that, what was your experience like? In your head you must be going, “Okay, I’m going to go down the Amazon jungle. I’m going to drink this powerful psychedelic or whatever it might be and do these rituals.” Did you just throw yourself in? Was there a homework process behind it? What happened there because I know it’s a big deal to do that for the first time?

Nick

[00:09:30] Absolutely. We did a lot of research and I think the reason why I was so comfortable moving forward in retrospect was because there was a great deal of synchronicity in the process. The way I found the shaman, who ended up being one of the main shamans in the movie and is still a dear friend and a teacher to me, was through three different people who didn’t even know each other. [00:10:00] Two friends and then another resource fellow filmmaker who all said, “Hey, you need to meet this one person who I have met or who I’ve heard about and come through this way over once a year, twice a year, lives in the Amazon, occasionally is in the States.” I heard it from three different people over the course of one month that I needed to meet this particular fellow who was by no means famous, or had a website, or anything. It was just somebody who I must have been destined to meet. [00:10:30] When I met this person and realized that he was somebody who I could trust, I agreed to sit in the ceremony with him as part of the research. It just all unfolded from there. It something that doesn’t really make a lot of sense from a logical perspective but it was something that from a spiritual perspective which was a brand new thing for me when I set out to make this movie because the last couple movies, again like I said, were the conventional sterile, clinical sort of medicine. [00:11:00] This was like, “Wait a second. So this person got put on my path. Who is this person and how come as soon as we six months after we decided to make a film on shamanism, these three people point me to this one random person and I feel this kind of a connection to this person?” That was how the path started. I know it sounds a little woo-woo and definitely, like you said, it’s not really in my culture. I’m from Connecticut. 45 minutes outside of New York City.

Stu

The rainforests of Connecticut.

Nick

Exactly.

Stu

[00:11:30] For those people that are unfamiliar with the movie Sacred Science, when this came out, it was right up or down my alley. I jumped on it and I loved, but for those people that are not aware or it, can you give us the elevator pitch so they can fully understand what it’s about?

Nick

Sure. We took eight people from around the world suffering from a variety of illness including three different types of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, depression, drug addition down to the middle of the Amazon on the border of Brazil and Peru to work with indigenous medicines practiced by medicine men and women in that region of the world.

Guy

We won’t ask for the results because it’ll spoil the movie.

Stu

For 30 days. Yeah, absolutely. Don’t want to know the results because don’t want to spoil it, but when you say indigenous medicines, ayahuasca was very much the focus or at least the focus of the medicine there. Again, for those of our listeners that are unfamiliar with ayahuasca, can you explain on that a bit please?

Free Health Pack Nick

[00:12:30] Sure. I can also give a little bit of the results because we say it right at the beginning of the movie. Five people come back with real healing results. Two people come back disappointed and one person doesn’t make it back. ayahuasca is definitely a part of the film. [00:13:00] I’d say it’s one of those things that tends to be people tend to associate Amazonian healing as being the most substantial part of it and I think it’s probably not quite that way. It’s more of a baseline prescription for most illnesses that happens alongside a bunch of environmental factors and also a lot of straight up folk herbalism that happens down there because of the abundance of plant life in the jungle. [00:13:30] There’s over 65,000 species of medicinal plants in the Amazon. Less than 2% of which have been studied by modern medicine. It’s this gigantic natural medicine cabinet and for botanists whether we’re talking about really famous ones like Richard Schultes, Mark Plotkin, or some of the ones that are still making a name for themselves, they all agree that if the rainforest is an encyclopedia of medicinal plants then the indigenous folks are the index and table of contents because they’re the only ones who know them.

Guy

Yeah, of course.

Nick

[00:14:00] It’s simply too cost prohibitive to study these plants or else they would have all been studied. To properly study a plant it costs thousands and thousands of dollars. A lot times there’s a lot going on besides ayahuasca, but yeah, to delve into ayahuasca, ayahuasca is a plant brew that it varies from region but it consists of two main ingredients. [00:14:30] One is the banisteriopsis capi vine and the other one is a leaf called chacruna. They’re boiled together for hours and they’re reduced down to something that, if it’s prepared in the right way will produce a visionary ceremony, and psychedelic effects, and a lot of other reactions in the body. [00:15:00] The interesting thing about these two plants is they don’t grow anywhere near each other. It’s one of the name mysteries of the Amazon. It’s actually more than 65,000, but the conservative number right now is 65,000 species of plants in the jungle and these plants live sometimes hundreds of miles from each other. They don’t live in the same zone, so it isn’t like you have this here in the States if you get poison ivy there’s a plant that grows right next to the poison ivy that you can rub on yourself to get rid of it. [00:15:30] It’s not one of those types of situations. These plants somehow they figured out a long time ago to prepare these plants that don’t live anywhere near each other in a particular way and also add in other plants to that brew to produce other effects. It’s a pretty amazing medicine. Ayahuasca, it’s Quechua. Huasca means vine or rope and aya means death or soul. It literally means vine of death or vine of the spirit.

Stu

Wow. Crikey. I can see that as a marketing ploy on the ayahuasca teabags now. It’s the vine of death. Straightforward.

Nick

That really is part of it. Guy, you’ve mentioned that you’ve tried ayahuasca before and I think that there’s something very much to that idea of death or spirit.

Guy

[00:16:30] Definitely. I honestly came out a different person. It changed the whole direction of what [inaudible 00:16:25] through it. You can’t think of it on an intellectual level. You might understand it, and go, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” but until you go through it and feel it more here, it’s just one of those things you can’t explain. That’s a struggle. People ask me, “What happened?” and I say, “The only thing I can describe was it felt like I pulled a splinter out of my soul.” That’s the only thing I can say.

Nick

Nice.

Guy

[00:17:00] I’m interested as well to touch on ayahuasca tourism because clearly this is growing and from what I can see is getting quite abused and misinterpreted in certain areas. That’s just coming from a place of ignorance. Standing watching.

Nick

Yeah.

Guy

[00:17:30] When I did the ceremony it took me nine months to prepare. I was really scared of it. I was very respectful of it. I did many processes building up to the ceremony that in retrospect I learned just as much about myself as actually doing the ceremony because I started stripping back the things that I probably should have done for many years, but because I’d made the commitment to do the ceremony, it forced me to start actually looking at myself. I took the steps and I followed the diet leading in and I had a very profound experience just off one thing. I noticed there were other people there that probably hadn’t created it way and there was this thing, “Oh, if I drink this, this is going to solve my problems.” [00:18:00] I just want to get your opinion on that. How would you treat it and what you see that’s going on right now. I think there’ll be many people that here listening to this going, “Oh, should I do it? What do I do?” So forth.

Nick

[00:18:30] Yeah. I would say that the effects vary for people. I think that for me I’m extremely sensitive to it and it’s never an easy time for me. Ate some point there’s always a deliverance in the middle of the ceremony where it gets to become a lot more beautiful and there’s something pleasurable about it, but for me and a lot of other people that I’ve seen and I’ve worked with, especially if you have somebody who prepares it really strong, that extremely strong ayahuasca can be extremely disorienting.

[00:19:00] It can take up to two to three months to fully integrate what you’ve experienced and it shouldn’t be approached in a recreational way. I don’t believe it should be. It wasn’t conventionally administered that way. If you look at the way that ayahuasca was used traditionally, it wasn’t used just to have an experience. It was used as a pretty deep intervention for people who were really sick, whether it was physical or psychological. It’s something that I think people need to understand that it is not a joyride.

[00:19:30] I think a lot of people go down there wanting to have the experience and they come back with problems. They come back without the proper integration. Without the proper mentorship around it. I guess we could dive off into this. I don’t know if it’s something you guys talk about on the show or not, but some people might be tempted to associate this with other plant drugs like marijuana, or mushrooms, or things like that and it’s just not that way.

[00:20:00] It’s not the same as that. I know because I messed around with all manner of things in college and I thought that that might have helped me be okay in this experience was having those experiences. It’s just nothing at all like those things. It’s something that takes out the part of you that can give yourself positive self talk and positive reassurance in the middle of a bad situation. Sometimes it’ll drag part of you who would be able to understand who you are is taken away from you.

[00:20:30] You can’t even say to yourself, “Oh man, I just had a few too many drinks. I’m going to be okay. I’m just going to go outside and get a glass of water. I’m going to go outside and get some fresh air.” That kind of thing. You can’t talk yourself out of a lot of this stuff when you’re in the middle of this so deeply psychological, so deeply spiritual that however you want to look at it it’s something that you can’t really escape yourself during.

[00:21:00] It’s something that I think some people do find it torturous because it’s too much of the part of who they are they don’t want to see. I think most of us in the natural and the alternative healing world realize you need to sometimes look at those parts of yourself to clear those blocks. To allow yourself to heal. That’s why I think it’s a valuable medicine and I think, like you said, it’s being completely abused. It’s being turned into some sort of a tourist attraction and people are going down there and contributing to the big footprint that’s hurting the culture down there. The record needs to set straight for sure.

Stu

[00:22:00] In terms of the phrase indigenous medicine how best could we understand the broad spectrum of benefits for ayahuasca. Is this something that is going to be better for me emotionally and psychologically or is it something that I could utilize to say, “Well boy, I’ve got an autoimmune disease. Nothing’s working for me. I’m going to give this ayahuasca thing a go because nothing in the western world has fixed this?”
Free Health Pack

 

Nick

[00:22:30] Yeah. I think that I would only answer that the way I would think the shamans that I work with would answer it and it’s this baseline treatment. It’s something that you use to clear the mental clutter and get yourself out of the way of your own process. I think that, from a chemical perspective, yes there are compounds that are in ayahuasca that are really good for a variety of illnesses, but I wouldn’t want to go as far as to say, “This is what they are.” I know what we saw it work on, but I would say that a shaman wouldn’t necessarily say, “Oh yeah, try this for your diabetes. It’s great.” They would say, “Hey, all illness stems from the same basic problem. Disharmony within yourself. Disharmony within your mental, spiritual, and physical bodies.” [00:23:00] They don’t see much of a difference between the three so they would just say, “A disharmony in one means there’s disharmony in everything.” This is something that would go through like a roto-rooter and clear you out. Both physically purging out of both ends and also mentally and emotionally. It’s something that I think is a very powerful part of the healing process especially if you’re using natural protocols.

Stu

Are there any groups or types of people that you would not advise considering this ceremony for?

Nick

It tends to be avoided and not recommended for people who are bipolar and schizophrenic and also epileptic. I’ve seen what can happen when someone who’s bipolar and someone who’s epileptic works with it. I can be just fine for the first two, or three, five, six, seven, ten times and then there can be that one ceremony where there’s that one thing that happens. That one glitch that can be life-threatening.

Stu

Okay.

Guy

Do you think this is for everyone anyway?

Nick

[00:25:00] No. Definitely not. I don’t mean that it means that it’s only for people who are strong spiritually. “No, only if you’re as strong as me.” Not like that. I’m not saying it like that. I don’t know that everyone needs to have it. I don’t think that everyone needs to try it. I wouldn’t have worked with it myself if it wasn’t part of the research I had to do to make the movie.

[00:25:30] I think to the extent that some people say, “Oh, this is going to save the world. We need to put ayahuasca in the water table,” kind of a thing, I think it’s reckless. It’s a medicine and I think that to the extent that for me there has been an incredible spiritual openings during ayahuasca ceremonies, but there’s also been incredible spiritual awakenings during sweat lodges, and the use of other medicinal pants, or during the birth of my son, and hopefully during the birth of my next child. [00:26:00] I think that the idea that everybody should try this one thing, it’s just part of the American, Westernized, “Oh, you haven’t tried this yet? You’ve got to try it,” You’re called to do it. There’s something deep within you and again, getting woo-woo here, if you’re called to try it, then approach it with respect. Once you interview so many folks from the indigenous world and something that I’ve heard a few people say that really resonates with me is, “Most shamans don’t ever get to try ayahuasca.”

[00:26:30] Now I’m sure it’s changing because for business reasons you want to jump and start getting a cut of the pie of all these tourists that are coming in. Maybe you forego some of the protocol that used to be in place, but the older shamans, a lot of them have never tried it because they haven’t been given permission by the higher being or been given permission just by it hasn’t come to them in the way that they feel it needs to come. Even the shamans a lot of them are working with other plants. Now people in the jungle don’t just take it. It isn’t just ayahuasca [inaudible 00:26:47].

Guy

They’re not taking psychedelics every day kind of thing. Yeah.

Nick

[00:27:30] There are shamans with a variety of different plants and not all of them psychoactive. A lot of shamans specialize in anything. They call it dieting plants. You could diet schisandra and be like, “Oh. After a month of fasting and eating schisandra, I finally understood the spirit of this plat. I understand how it can be used to heal,” and that’s how a lot of shamans work. It’s not just ayahuasca. ayahuasca’s the new, flashy, headline-grabbing reality-splitting thing that’s so sexy and exotic right now. It’s defacing the idea of shamanism. Just the culture that’s blown up around ayahuasca.

Guy

[00:28:00] Yeah. Fair enough. It was the same for me. It felt right for me even though I was scared. I heard a calling so I just followed that. While we’re on this topic then, for people that are in Australia listening to this podcast and they’re curious and they think, “You know what? I want to explore this,” what advice would you give them first before they went and did it? It’s a bit like Fight Club I’m finding. There’s all these little underground places everywhere and you don’t even know what you’re stepping into. What would your advice be for anyone out there?

Nick

[00:28:30] I would just ask the person why. Why are you looking for this? Obviously that’s going to vary quite a bit from person to person and then I’d ask them what else they’ve tried. If it’s somebody who says, “Well, I want to try it because I heard it’s awesome,” then I would say you probably shouldn’t try it. If you’re a thrill-seeker, you probably are going to bump into difficulties if you start working with this based on just wanting to have a fun ride of some sort.

[00:29:00] If it’s somebody who said, “Listen, I’m suffering from Crohn’s Disease. I’ve tried this, I’ve tried that, and there’s something about just what I’ve read about and what I’ve seen, and your film, or other films. I’ve done a lot of research and I’m just really curious,” I’d say, “You know? If you feel called to do this and you’re really doing this for healing. You want to heal something within yourself. You’re not looking for …”

[00:29:30] What do they call it? The kaleidoscopic uterus. This idea of when you’re looking and you’re having some crazy trip or something like that. Terrence McKenna-type situation. If you’re looking for a good trip, then I would personally prefer you not to go down there and do it. You’ve got to make your own decisions about it. I think it’s probably not going to be good for you. It’s not going to be good for the people that you’re going to encounter. [00:30:00] If you’re looking to really heal yourself, and you’ve done a lot of research, and you’ve taken the time to ask permission, be patient, wait for the right moment, then just proceed with caution. Proceed with humility and keep your eyes open because there’s a lot of charlatans down there that women that go down there get raped all the time. People get killed, and robbed, shot by people who proclaim themselves to be shamans who will understand that there are people that will come in droves who are willing to pay money to anyone to take ayahuasca. It’s not just about the psychological and spiritual effects. If you get hooked up with the wrong people, then you could put yourself into a bad situation.

Guy

Yeah. It’s pretty simple stuff.

Free Health Pack  Stu  

That’s good advice. Earlier on you were talking about the elders in the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. You mentioned the way of being and I don’t know what that means. I wondered if you could explain.

Nick

It’s really hard to explain. You guys are probably going to roll your eyes and cut the podcast off at this point.

Stu

Give me the way of being elevator pitch.

Nick

I’m going to give you the elevator pitch. I’m going to try really hard . these traditions they’re referred to as a lineage of direct transmission. They’re referred to that because there’s no written language down in the jungle. In fact, there’s very little written language in most indigenous cultures around the world.

[00:31:30] There’s a lot of art and other ways of transmitting information, but this culture and a lot of indigenous healing cultures are lineages of direct transmission where it’s required for there to always be a teacher and an apprentice to pass it on. These practices are thousands of years old but they didn’t get passed on by someone uncovering some kind of a manuscript or scrolls. It’s been passed down word of mouth from shaman to apprentice for a long time.

[00:32:00] The way of being is something that can’t be read. Can’t be learned through a book. The way of being is the way that a shaman carries himself. Holds himself in every situation. The type of presence he holds, beside manner he has, interaction with the plants that he’s preparing, the interactions with the patients and his family that an apprentice is learning from just as much as the herbs themselves and the ceremonial rites.

[00:32:30] The way of being is the way of being. The way of holding yourself in the world. The way of being and I guess the similarities that most shamans, at least the ones that I know are effective and legitimate, have is that they have this quality of complete faith in the interconnectedness of all things.

[00:33:00] Meaning that they’re in the right place and the right time always, whether or not that place is comfortable or uncomfortable. That way of being is what I’m referring to. It’s that way of holding yourself in the world and the way of existing in this moment. Does that make sense?

Guy

Yeah, and bring those lessons back to our daily life because we’re so distracted. For some reason the movie Avatar popped in my head then with James Cameron with all the indigenous in the jungle. He must have drunk ayahuasca before he made that movie.

Nick

[00:33:30] Yeah. Totally. There actually might be some documents. I don’t know if there’s total proof of that, but I think there’s a bunch of people that have come forward and said that it’s very probable that he did.

Guy

[00:34:00] Yeah, right. Just that interconnectedness. The way that they live within the land and the respect. We come along and butcher everything basically. Incredible. I wanted to ask you, what was it? I was thinking. We live in a world of distractions right now. We’re constantly keeping ourselves distracted and you mentioned it was well, not engaging in our own truth. How can you bring these philosophies into our Western daily habits if that question actually makes any sense?

Nick

[00:34:30] It makes a lot of sense. It speaks to a component in the movie that I think sometimes people are shocked by at first and they forget is actually part of the healing process which is our patients had to go deep into the jungle and then once they actually got to this healing center they had to then go down this path into the middle of nowhere where they had their own secluded, they call it dieta hut where they sat in the one-room hut by themselves. [00:35:00] Surrounded by nothing but forest. With no interaction with anyone else besides the shamans that come to them maybe twice a day to give them the herbs and then every once in a while once of the apprentices would come out and bring them their food. They for 30 days had nothing besides themselves.

Guy

Wow. 30 days? Wow.

Nick

30 days by themselves. When we would try to find these people we had 400 applicants within 24 hours, which was really cool and when we were trying to find people who might want to come down and be part of the film, one of the things I did to whittle that list down really fast was to just reiterate that they were going to be alone for 30 days in the middle of the jungle.

[00:35:30] This wasn’t going to be like any of the other movies we had ever made because this is part of the healing practice down there is you have to be in seclusion. You can’t have any devices, you can’t have any books, you can’t have anything that’s going to be a distraction to you. Of course people show up even though we’ve told them this a ton of times before they came down, they still showed up with some things that they thought, “You must be okay with a mandala coloring book or a personal journal,” and we’re like, “Nope. Leave those here.

[00:36:00] They’re like, “I’m not going to be distracted. I need to be able to get my thoughts out.” Nope. You don’t get to have those distractions. It’s going to be you in the jungle for 30 days. Just speaking to what you had mentioned about distractions, and also I think what I was alluding to before which was ayahuasca is one part of the healing process down in the jungle. It’s something that’s the most headline-grabbing, but there’s other parts of that protocol that are just as important if not potentially more important.

[00:36:30] I think that the seclusion and the full immersion in nature huge. It’s huge. The breakdowns that we saw after ayahuasca ceremonies weren’t even close to the breakdowns we saw when people had to sit there with themselves for the first five days. They didn’t even get to sit in an ayahuasca ceremony until day seven and the majority of them already had really big breakdowns and breakthroughs just from those first five days and having to sit in there in a hut by themselves without anything cool or exotic happening.

[00:37:00] I think they might have thought that they were going to get here and be in the middle of some tribe that was dancing around them the entire time or something like that. No. You’re coming down here to be with yourself and also have some guidance for the local healers.

Guy

Wow, that’s cool. That’s just terrifying thinking about it.

Nick

[00:37:30] To your point, people don’t necessarily need to do that in general to get that experience. You don’t need to go down to the Amazon. Something that we’re always trying to say to eliminate this eco-tourism is say, “Listen. At least two thirds or three quarters of the healing benefit our patients got came from things that you can do right now. Here in wherever you live.”

Guy

[00:38:00] That’s just [inaudible 00:37:41] to me. 100%. I think of I have good friends that have done the [inaudible 00:37:44] and have gone and sat 10 days in silence and every single one that’s done it that I’ve met, they’re like, “Oh my God, after day six or seven there was this overwhelming peace that came over me and I want to hold onto that bringing it back into this.” Then of course time goes by. Even a good mate of mine sailed his boat from South America to Australia and there was one point where he had 30 days with no land around him or anything like that and he said he had a breakdown. He said, “I didn’t expect it. Didn’t know it was coming.” He said he completely lost it and then he said after that it changed him.

Nick

Oh my God, I’m sure. 30 days is a very magical period of time we’ve learned. 30 days is perfect for transformation. It’s incredible. There’s just something magical about that.

Guy

Yeah. Incredible. Do you see this indigenous medicine coming more into the Western culture and being brought in as a medicinal healing purpose or do you think it’s always going to be this taboo underground thing behind it?

Nick

[00:39:30] I think it’s only logical that it’s going to be brought in more and more as human beings are getting to want to know more about everything that is going into our bodies and everything that we’re experiencing. There’s a trend. If you look at a map of the United States and you see how many Whole Foods are spreading up across the United States every year, again, we can go back for 10 years. There was maybe one in New York, one in Austin, one in San Francisco, one in LA, and maybe a few other ones. You look at how many are springing up everywhere now, that’s substantial. I actually want to after we get off the call I want to find out what that number actually is, but the funny thing about Whole Foods is it’s like this Trojan horse that has an herb shop right in the middle of it. People think it’s, “Oh, cool. A cool new grocery store just went up.” I live in Indianapolis, but then right in the middle of every Whole Foods is this herb shop.

[00:40:00] There are these ancient herbs and indigenous medicines in every single one of them. I think that it’s just natural that as more and more people get to understand the value of these primal ancestral techniques, there’s going to be more open-mindedness and more curiosity about the underlying wisdom that goes along with it. It isn’t just as easy and I think this is me when I first got on my natural medicine path is I would have all these things.

[00:40:30] I would get all the reishi mushroom and I would get my green powder and I would take it unconsciously as one big smoothie. “Okay, cool.” Chug it all. Done. For the day. Great. As opposed to having some reverence for it or as opposed to understanding what maybe the spiritual practice is that might go along with taking the reishi mushroom, which by the way is the most sacred and valuable medicine in ancient Chinese medicine.

[00:41:00] I know there’s people who spend their entire lives trying to understand the spiritual significance of that plant. I think that’s something that is just bound to happen. When our own human curiosity is just trying to figure out hoe to maximize and go deeper with each of these techniques.

Guy

Yeah, right. Are you going to ask a question, Stu, or can I keep going?

Stu

No. You carry on, mate.

Free Health Pack

 

Guy

[00:41:30] I would try to tie everything back up and come back into this now as well. You mentioned there’s so many processes that can be done with the healing before you even get to a ceremony. Whether you even get to the ceremony or not, if there are things that are going to benefit our lives we should be looking at them anyway, shouldn’t we? I think. If you could distill it down to three things for the Westerners, what would that be, Nick?

Nick

[00:42:00] I would say one of the most powerful things … This may or may not answer your question, but if it doesn’t I’ll take another stab at it. One of the most powerful things that I’ve learned in the last five years is the definition of personal integrity. Personal integrity being this magical combination of when your thoughts, your planning, and your actions are in total alignment with your highest ideals in your personal integrity.

[00:42:30] Until I knew that, I thought personal integrity was just you need to be a good person and helping the old lady cross the street, but when it was given to me that way I was like, “Whoa, I am so out of personal integrity right now. My thoughts, my planning, and my action need to be in alignment with my highest ideals.” Being in personal integrity is a challenge that everyone should be holding themselves to.

[00:43:00] It’s something that is not as easy as, “Oh, I did a good deed. I have good karma.” There’s something much more existential and intricate about being able to say that you’re in personal integrity if you have to make sure those three things are in alignment with your highest ideals. I would say that was probably the biggest piece of it. I don’t know if that’s helpful.

Guy

It is. 100%. That’s just making me think of a couple more questions because I instantly think it’s almost like being on a lone and living your own truth. You know what that is and you’re always on track. [00:43:30] Then the question I would ask of that as well I that for a lot of us there’s all this fear wrapped around that as well because we might start self-sabotaging. We might think that we’re not worthy of living our ideals and because of the beliefs that we have around this as well which is then how do we expect to overcome that if the moment we start to try and align ourselves there’s all this fear wrapped around everything. That’s all too hard. I’d like to, but I don’t know if I can.

Nick

Fear of failure. There’s so much fear of failure. Again, I can only offer the little bits of wisdom that I’ve gotten. I think t hat a lot of my wisdom is funny. When I told one of the shamans that I work with, [inaudible 00:44:08] that my wife was pregnant about four and a half years ago, he was like, “Oh, man. You think ayahuasca’s medicine? Children are the strongest medicine there is.”

[00:44:30] I thought, “Oh, that’s so nice. That’s quaint. that’s a really nice thing for you to say, but ayahuasca I guarantee you is probably the hardest medicine I’ve ever had to take.” Not true. Being a parent and having responsibility for this life all the self-assessment and second-guessing you go into everything that you do whether or not it’s beneficial. It’s something that paralyzed me for a while and really worked on me until I realized the underlying lesson was just the one thing that you have to know about yourself is that shaming yourself and being ashamed of yourself and the way that you are, or second-guessing yourself isn’t necessary. It’s not a necessary part of that process.

[00:45:00] For a while I thought I had to feel that way and I had to have a fear of failure in order to keep myself in an open mind, but then I realized not being able to forgive myself was destroying any chance of me being the human that I wanted to be. I think this idea of constant self-forgiveness is something that really came through for me over the last four years and understanding that I’m always going to fail. There’s no way I’m not going to fail. I’m going to fail at everything that I try at least to some degree and I need to forgive myself for that failure and continue to try.

Guy

Great. Very nice. Very deep. That’s good.

Stu

You’re so right with the children as well. I think it was last week somebody said that, “My children are the reason that I’m here. This is my purpose in life. We’re on this planet because we need to become parents and teachers to our kids.” You don’t really understand that until you have kids.

Stu

Boy it makes you a very different person. I’ve got three young girls and just getting through the breakfast routine every morning it’s punishing and rewarding at the same time. I feel like I’ve climbed Mount Everest. At quarter to nine when they leave the house to get on the school bus I think, “Whoa. I’m a stronger person for that.”

Nick

Think about it. That goes right into the idea of why are chase medicine across the world from you when the human experience, if you have your eyes open, is more than enough medicine for you.

Guy

Yeah.

Stu

Exactly right. It’s so powerful. If you remove yourself from these situations as well and consciously ask yourself, “Wow. Look at this situation right now,” instead of being reactive to this. Like it said before, our house is just a madhouse but it’s interesting. [00:47:00] Every now and again I’ll step back and think, “Wow. This is a really interesting time. What’s happening here?” I’ll enjoy it more as opposed to just, “Pick up your mess, and stop fighting, and stop chasing the cat, and doing all this stuff.” It really is a lesson in life. Very rewarding when you can perhaps see it for what it actually is.

Nick

Absolutely.

Guy

Yeah. There’s lessons all around. They don’t all have to come yet, but later on.

Stu

Yeah. Absolutely.

Guy

Just getting towards the end of the show here Nick as well, we always ask a couple of questions one of them them being your non-negotiable. Whether it be daily practices what are your non-negotiables to be the best version of yourself? You might have even touched on a couple of these prior.

Free Health Pack

 

Nick

The one thing I try to do as much as possible unless I’m travelling is spend at least two hours at a time with my son. Which is simple. When that goes away or when I make compromises there, that’s when I start having a subtle dark cloud start passing over me. Yes, spending time with my family is huge.

[00:48:30] I think that maybe to broaden that a little bit, I think that’s something that we’re lacking a lot here in the Western world, at least in the States. I’m not sure how it is in Australia, but at least in the States there’s this new fad over the last 40 or 50 years where the dream is to move away from your family and your loved ones and ship your parents down to Florida or somewhere else after they retire so they can be with other old people who are lonely and trying to figure out what’s the meaning in their lives so they can all be together down there in some tropical area.

[00:49:00] That’s the ideal here in the United States. It’s something that I’ve seen in almost every one of the cultures that we’ve worked with in Central and South America is this really close-knit community and that’s comprised of a number of close-knit families that have three, four, five, sometimes even generations. Probably four generations that are still alive and living if not under the same roof then within very close proximity to each other with complete involvement in one another’s lives.

[00:49:30] I think there’s something that’s happening here that’s going to have to be righted and I think that’s family. It comes down to family and community and I think that tribe is something that definitely needs to be brought back.

Stu

[00:50:00] Absolutely. We’ve interviewed a couple of specialists as well who have studied blue zones and centenarians. One of the resounding factors from their longevity and health and happiness has been community. They are surrounded by the support of family and community and absolutely I completely agree. We’re very insular now and we’re living within digital communities which I think can be very damaging.

Guy

Yeah. I was going to say we had James Dolly who was a neurosurgeon on and he said the same. He said that loneliness is more damaging than smoking.

Nick

[00:50:30] Yeah. We’re isolated from each other. We’re isolated from our own loved ones. Some conspiracy theorists might say it’s some sort of intentional dis-empowerment of the people. I don’t know, but I feel like it is something that it’s pretty indicative of a culture that is sick and needs to do some rewiring for sure.

Guy

Yeah. We’re more connected than ever without the human connection and it needs to be fixed. Last question. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Nick

[00:51:30] The best piece of advice? I’ve been given a lot of really good advice, but I’ll keep it to just on the topic of shamanism. After the patient in our film passed away, one of the shamans had been sitting for a little while that next morning and we were talking about the misperception of what shamans are. He said that, “People think that we shamans we’re here to heal our patients. We don’t heal our patients. we simply dissolve the blocks that are preventing our patients from healing themselves.”

Stu

Right.

Nick

[00:52:00] That I feel there’s a lot in that and I think that it’s not even just about shamanism. It’s just about personal about responsibility for our own health. Responsibility for our own lives and our own happiness. The energy that we’re putting out into the world instead of looking to somebody else. I think that’s funny because people project on that on shamans. “Oh yeah, shamans are the ones that heal down there.” We rely on our doctors to give us all the advice. We rely on our doctors to heal us instead of taking some personal responsibility doing that. For me I think was a pretty jaw-dropping quote.

Stu

Yeah. Love it.

Guy

That makes sense. It really does. Anyone that wants to see that movie where do they go? What do they do? How can they watch it?

Nick

You can do a special free screening for your folks if you like. They can just go to thesacredscience/free-screening and that will take them to a free screening of the movie. They can watch it right now.

Guy

Brilliant.

Stu

Fantastic. Thank you so much.

Guy

Awesome. Well, we can link it as well if you like and make sure that they watch the film because it’s fantastic. I loved it and I love what you do. Any exciting projects for the future coming up?

Nick

[00:53:30] We’ve got a docu-series coming out next year. It’s probably the coolest thing that we’ve done yet. I’m not allowed to talk about it. It’s about natural medicine. It features patients who have recovered from some pretty life-threatening illnesses and it’s a deep-dive into the healing process that is going to be a tear jerker. It’s also going to be very uplifting and I think it’ll provide a lot of people with a lot of answers.

Guy

Wow. Promise to stop back on the show and share it with us when it’s released, okay?

Stu

Yes.

Nick

Yeah. Absolutely. Thank you guys for having me.

Stu

No problems.

Guy

Pleasure. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and your journey with us mate. That was fantastic.

Nick

Yeah. Happy to be here.

Stu

Okay. Thanks, Nick.

Guy

Thanks.

Stu

We’ll talk to you soon. Nick Bye.

Free Health Pack

  • free_samples_blog

  • Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

    Post a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>