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Visionary Ayahuasca


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Alejandro Jodorowsky

Ayahuasca: Illegal Drug or National Cultural Heritage?

Inner Journey Notebooks

August 1999-November 2010

Yarinacocha Quarter
A Good Drink, Peaceful
Houston, Do You Read Me?
A Whiff of Love Does You Good
That Kounen, He's Really Wacky
Dying Over There
Blueberry Madness (Part One)
Blueberry Madness (Part Two)
The Return of the Sierra Cactus
Nausea Under the Stars
Mystic Terror
Tonight, Some People Will Encounter Fear
The Wages of Fear
Faced with a Breast
The Serpent Breathes Out
Twin Towers
La Cucaracha
Ayahuasca Movie at the Cannes Festival
Star Wars in the Maloca
Remembering the Closing Diet
I Wanna Go Home

Ayahuasca Medicina, A Manual
Forty Questions and Answers

The Basics
Ayahuasca Medicine, Diets, and Songs

Preparing for Ayahuasca

Mind, Ceremony, and Intoxication


Advice for Encounters with Scary Serpents and Talking Plants

Receiving the Icaros

After the Ceremony

Determining if This Medicine Is Right for You

Choosing a Healer

Healer Recommendations and the Ethics of Paying for Treatment

Treatments and Contraindications

Receiving Plant Healing Safely

Practical Preparations

What to Bring and When and Where to Go

Glossary of Plants

A Small Shipibo Lexicon

Four of Kestenbetsa's Icaros

Bonus Track 1: My First Ceremony with Guillermo

Bonus Track 2: My Final Ceremonies with Guillermo

A Big Thank-You

About the Author

Jan Kounen is a filmmaker who has created a number of films and documentaries, including 99 Francs, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, and the celebrated Blueberry. His interest in Shipibo culture and shamanism developed during his trips to Peru to shoot music videos, leading to his apprenticeship to an ayahuasca shaman. He lives in France.


"This is the first book that anyone thinking about taking ayahuasca, or taking it again, must own. The manual section is honest, revealing, invaluable, and packed with everything, including how to find a safe and sane teacher, how to sit during ceremony, what kinds of clothes to bring, and why dietas are necessary for real healing. Jan's own journal of his progress is unusually candid in disclosing the obstacles and difficulties that arise even as your commitment to this path deepens." * James Fadiman, Ph.D., author of The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide *
"This is a great book for anyone who is planning to attend an ayahuasca ceremony. It is packed with useful information, observations, and relevant facts providing a valuable guide to what you can really expect from the vine of souls." * Ross Heaven, author of Plant Spirit Shamanism *
"A rich, honest, informative testimony based on numerous courageous acts, this book is both extremist and full of good sense--outlandish and matter of fact. A filmmaker's guide to the cinematic world of ayahuasca." * Jeremy Narby, anthropologist and author *
"Jan Kounen's descriptions of his experiences with ayahuasca are informed, poetic, and at times authentically visceral. This book provides excellent insights into the discipline and the rigors of the traditional plant diet as well as the underlying relationship between human and plant consciousness. This is definitely a book for both the person considering working with ayahuasca and for those with significant experience with the plant. It was a pleasure to read this book." * Howard G. Charing, coauthor of Plant Spirit Shamanism *
"In Vistionary Ayahuasca, 10 years of experience with ayahuasca medicina is laid out beautifully. It has lots of information for anyone considering going down the ayahuasca trail. Don't leave home without it!" * Alan Shoemaker, author of Ayahuasca Medicine *
"A veritable what to expect guide, this book should be your first step prior to committing to ayahuasca. This book is overflowing with helpful information, facts, and personal accounts of what you can expect from your ayahuasca experience." * Common Ground, Jackie Cassidy, December 2014 *

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