Chris Lamanna is a plant medicine facilitator, somatic practitioner, and good friend of ours who we had the honor of getting to know and work alongside as managers of an ayahuasca retreat center in Ecuador. Chris discovered psychedelics and entheogens after a somewhat troubled youth that persisted into early adulthood. After a handful of profound psychedelic experiences both heavenly and hellish, he found his way to the Peruvian jungle to drink Ayahuasca.
In today’s episode, Chris shares about overcoming a traumatic event with mushrooms where he was assaulted by police and left to spend the rest of his trip in the hospital. Ultimately, it was this experience that awakened him to the possibilities of healing and growth with medicines. And led him on a lifelong quest to connect with the traditions and teachings that give true power to plant medicine work.
Since that first ceremony, he has spent a considerable amount of time exploring psychedelics, plant medicines and indigenous healing practices in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, as well as his home in Detroit, Michigan. Chris also studies traditions and practices from a variety of other sources from around the world. He is a true spiritual seeker on an ever expanding path of growth and learning as a facilitator and psychedelic visionary. His hope is to be a resource for others on the path of healing and self-exploration.
You can connect with Chris via his website here: https://ahawarrior.com
In this episode, Chris shares about:
- His early experiences as a young teenager experimenting with substances and having his first psychedelic encounter at 14
- How rebellion with drugs and subsequent legal troubles led to a turning point of finding “the path”
- A dark and traumatizing mushroom journey that ended up with Chris being tased and pepper sprayed by police, detained, and left to come back to himself while hospitalized
- In the aftermath of this experience, Chris came to understand that there is a path that requires discipline and study, and found his moral compass to lead him forward
- He began seeking an initiation into the metaphysical mystery school that is the psychedelic path and studying esoteric and energetic alchemy – The Great Work, of making the unconscious conscious
- Chris began putting himself in positions outside his comfort zone – getting yoga teacher trained to overcome fear of speaking in front of people, booking a medicine retreat while having night terrors
- Chris was ultimately seeking connection with friends and community
- He went to Peru to sit in a 7 day retreat with a Shipibo shaman, and tradition that exists with these medicines spoke to him on a soul level
- Chris really resonated with all the plants that were offered for healing and was feeling very called to work with ayahuasca
- Over the next few years he returned to Peru a few times, eventually attending the 10 week facilitator initiation course with the Ayahuasca Foundation
- Connecting with plant spirits, understanding and deconstructing the worldview of our logical mind, seeing the Earth as a living being
- The importance of preparation, a steady meditation practice, and receiving the teachings from the medicines and indigenous leaders
- The power of song, singing, fasting, and the natural attunement of healing with nature
- The importance of healing and service work, bridging the gap between psychotherapy and shamanism
- Being part of Psychedelic Therapy Training inside a 3 year program with AWE Foundation
- You can only take somebody as far as you’ve gone yourself, your healing work is priority, and there’s no rush
- If your heart’s not open, the medicine has nowhere to land
- Nourishment and embodiment
- The psychedelic scene in Detroit, Psychonautic Academy of Detroit, Detroit Psychedelic Society
- Breathwork, Qi Gong, yoga, and other integration tools
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