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John Perkins Shares Indigenous Wisdom and Urges us to Live from Both the Heart and the Mind

By Mary Serphos
Certified Health Coach and Licensed Psychotherapist
photos by Adam Dietrich

John Perkins, a teacher, founder of the Pachamama Alliance, and shamanic leader opened his evening lecture at The Yoga House on Monday January 23rd with enthusiasm and enlightenment. Literally, he lit up the sky.

After taking a generous swig of rum, lighting a match, and blowing forcefully above the seated audience members, he created a fiery burst much like the quintessential dragons breath of fire. This brave demonstration, know as “kamay” or “to breathe life into” which Perkins learned from the Quechua tribe in the Amazon drew quite a vocal response from the crowd.

Perkins explained this significant shamanic and tribal act is a way to to induce healing by unifying all living things. The term is also described in the literature as “an act of spraying a fine mist from the mouth in order to clear energy or to restore balance.” When he successfully showered the crowd with his kamay which was more like a heavy mist versus a fine one, he was quick to warn the audience not to try this feat at home.


After those in the front of the space dried themselves off, he explained that the symbolic meaning of this ceremony is to honor Chinese new year and the lunar new year and will be an ongoing theme of the evening.

Throughout the lecture, Perkins shared numerous suggestions about how to live a meaningful life. Since 1968, Perkins has been studying cultures in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas, especially the Amazon region in South America. The information that he has gathered from these cultures helps him teach the rest of the world about powerful techniques known as “shapeshifting” or transformation. By transforming we become more aware and can find a new meaning in life, Perkins suggests.

Shapeshifting was one of Perkins favorite words throughout the evening; a term that is also the title of one of his books. Essentially, the word describes the changes currently taking place during this specific time period in history, according to Perkins.  By shapeshifting, we are collectively moving toward a time of greater peace and happiness through conscious action.

“This is a time of tremendous transformation.” Perkins preached as he proceeded to explain why this is the perfect moment in time to bring the heart and mind together in order to live successfully. He taught the audience about the prophecy of the eagle and the condor; the eagle known as a symbol of stereotypical male characteristics such as productivity, science, and industry versus the condor known to symbolize feminine traits such as intuition, emotion, and spirituality.  Perkins suggested that merging these two qualities in leadership and on an individual level is a the key to successful future, a cleaner planet and healthier people.

Mr. Perkins incessantly urged the audience to take care of our natural resources. His request was followed by the words “we must take care of every single being on the planet.” A lofty but inspiring request that aligns with the mission of his organization, The Pachamama Alliance. Their goal is “to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.”

At the end of the evening Perkins led the audience through a simple and valuable guided meditation to facilitate getting in touch with our passion and mission in life. Ultimately Perkins left us with encouraging words of wisdom to help us lighten our spirits and guide us to embrace life fully: “a successful life is one where we have fun and try not to take life too seriously.”

The Blue Spirit Retreat Center lecture series are hosted by The Yoga House in Guiones every January and February Monday


More Health News

Three Spiritual Teachers Offered a Blueprint for a Successful Life

The Blue Spirit Retreat Center lecture series hosted by The Yoga House in Guiones began Monday January 9th at 7:30 pm with teachers Joan Borysenko and Gordon Dverin. The second in the series was on Monday January 16th with Richard Leider.

Optimal Health Tips to Help You Get Back In Shape After The Holidays

Although the holidays are a festive, celebratory time of year, many of us have been pushed to our limit with packed schedules and social obligations. The endless gatherings which inevitably mean endless plates of food and sweet treats can leave us feeling ready for a whole body detoxification.

Video Games Are Not Simply Games! For the first time, a study shows that violent video games affect brain regions associated with emotional control and aggressive behavior.

January is just starting and with it, the long awaited summer break for children and teenagers who after a year of studying, only want to have fun and enjoy their free time. However, it you think that video games are a healthy and entertaining way of spending time during this school break, think again!




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