As the year turns, here’s a story from the deep Amazon forest that brings us some old wisdom to create a new vision. This post is for the seeker in all of us.
We live in an age of information, mis-information and information overload. There are times when this can lead to confusion and lack of clarity. One may often find the mind caught in a whirlpool of troubled thoughts and unable to create a vision for our lives.
Can the forests show us a way out and help us in finding answers to important questions in life?
Lessons from the Amazon
The Achuar are a group of indigenous people of the Amazon Basin, currently numbering around 6,000. Their ancestral lands – nearly 2 million acres in all – straddle the modern borders of Ecuador and Peru, a remote area that has allowed them to preserve their way of life with little outside influence or colonization.
The wise elders and shamans of the Achuar have always relied on their ability to engage with nature to create a vision for their lives. This interaction with their environment plays a mysterious role in guiding their actions and influencing their decisions.
Here’s a short film on the uncommon wisdom of this enchanted world.
The shamans know that being in nature can give us a larger perspective of life. To solve our problems we must begin by asking the right questions rather than simply seeking answers.
Connecting with nature helps us get our priorities right. It makes us focus on things which are important and those who really matter. This results in a better way to evaluate our choices and leads to better decision making.
On a more practical note spending time in nature can help in calming us. The act of interacting with the outdoors, brings our awareness to the present moment. Our mind gets a much deserved rest so that it can apply itself with renewed energy and come up with surprisingly creative solutions.
The vision always comes from soul, and soul is an aspect of nature. If the vision is true and we embody it well, we embody our place in the more-than-human world. Doing so always serves the greater web of life. ~Bill Plotkin
- If you have never experienced this, give it a try.
A vision from the Achuar
Here’s an interesting example of how the Achuar have developed a new vision for their forests.
Since the early 20th century, individuals and corporations from the so-called “modern” world have sought to exploit Achuar land for its oil, disregarding its irreplaceable ecological and cultural wealth.
By the early 1990s, Achuar shamans and elders were having dreams of an imminent threat to their land and traditional way of life. From contact with neighbouring tribes, the Achuar knew that oil companies were poisoning the rainforest and steadily moving closer and closer to their areas.
The Achuar have found a bold solution to this threat. They have sought alliances with the world outside their forest. Partnering with environmentally conscious organisations, they have fought a long battle to protect the forests they call home. These initiatives have been successful in creating delay and in many cases holding back the damaging actions of the oil companies.
The Achuars and their alliances are finding new answers to these difficult challenges. By choosing to guard their precious forests instead of giving in, they are inspiring us with their wisdom and courage. The future is always uncertain but if our vision is strong, our path becomes clear.
To know more about their story and become a part of it visit.
Healing forest is a journey to explore fascinating forests and discover the healing powers of nature. Our aim is simple. Helping people heal. Helping forests heal.
If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to our monthly blog posts here. We are a small group of friends trying to help people reconnect with nature. To know more about us and join us as a fellow volunteer visit this link.