February 18, 2019 — PLEASE READ THIS MESSAGE IN ITS ENTIRETY
In the next few months, I will be selling my home and leaving California.
Before I go, I want to plant seeds within your hearts and souls that will inspire you to heal yourselves and our world—both the natural world that existed long before us and will continue long after us, as well as the world that we ourselves have created. May the lessons and insights that you receive during our barefoot mindfulness hikes ignite a fire within you that you feel compelled to carry into the world and inspire great change.
Leading these barefoot mindfulness hikes has been a very important and deeply personal gift that I felt called to share with the Bay Area community after my second time with the Yawanawá indigenous tribe of Brazil deep in the Amazon jungle in December 2017. The Yawanawá are caretakers of roughly half a million acres of Amazon rainforest and carry an ancient tradition. Their tradition and their wisdom is ancient and deep.
What I have come to understand through my time in the jungle is that although we have in many ways improved our lives through technologies and other advances, we have done so at the considerable expense of our health (physical/mental/emotional), the Earth, and generations yet to come. We have created a world that is deeply disconnected and out of balance, and we see this manifested as the many various illnesses that plague us.
During my most recent ten days in the jungle, working closely with several of the Yawanawá’s powerful medicines (ayahuasca, kambo, rapé, and sananga), I connected deeply with myself as well as the energies of the forest, the people, the Earth, and with what exists beyond what we perceive through our limited senses. I discovered this sacred place and its people anew as my home and my family, and I deeply understand in every fiber of my being the importance of not only helping the indigenous people of the Earth survive but ultimately to thrive.
A few days ago I committed to donating $100,000 to the SOFIE Foundation to complete the production of The Spirit of Tatá, a feature-length documentary about 103-year-old Tatá Yawanawá, one of the oldest shamans in the Amazon Rainforest. The film follows Tatá’s final days—a historic and challenging time for the tribe as they confront the imminent loss of their beloved elder and one of the greatest living libraries of spiritual knowledge in the Amazon.
The remaining hikes that I will be guiding and the teachings that I will be offering through these gatherings will be inspired by the Yawanawá people and the forest that they call home. For each hike, I am also asking for a voluntary donation of at least $20—100% of which will go to the SOFIE Foundation in support of its projects for the benefit of the Yawanawá’ people.
For individuals who contribute $50 or more, I will offer an introduction to the powerful Amazonian medicine rapé, a dried and powdered tobacco snuff that clears and settles the mind and is very grounding. It is blown into the nose through a tepi—a blowpipe—and I will be using a beautiful one that I acquired during my latest trip. The rapé that I will be serving was made by Matsini Yawanawá, the spiritual leader of the Yawanawá. The rapé will be served before we begin our hike.
To make a donation, please use the following link ( https://goo.gl/46reeS ) or bring cash to the meetup. All donations are 100% tax deductible. If you provide the donation directly to me in person, please message me your full name, mailing address, and email address so that we can provide you with a donation receipt for tax purposes.