światosław / tales from the world

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November, 2017

the tides are turning

November 22nd, 2017

“I give tanx for life. Never will I be ungrateful.

I give tanx for life.  Even if my days are dreadful”






When the clouds come, there may be a time when it feels like you have nothing to share, that you can’t pour from an empty vessel. It ain’t never empty though, hard times also pass, patience pays off, and even when I don’t feel it, I chant the hardship away, like my mother did, like all the shamans do, it is that simple, keep on chanting. Zikr, remembering, when things are hardest, until time comes when one feels IT again.


Celebrate life, yo. You know what <3 is the solution.






There has been a lot of doubts on my path recently. About choices, about effectiveness. We left the jungle to see, after a year of sedentary lifestyle, if road will bring solutions. Less control for sure, that ever relapsing disease. Surprise, opening to something new. After continuosly working with Shipibos for such a long time I needed to step out of this beautiful but narrow format, to be able to open more again to intuition, less to tradition and routine. Routine, killer of joy, didn’t reward me in exchange with some extraordinary technique improvements, so I decided this ain’t a fair deal.

So we arrived in the mountains, into fairy land, some call it happy gringo bubble, but this time I came more mature, not as a seeker of illusionary unknown and rare, not as explorer who needs to go, with this characteristic modern western obsession, where “no one” has gone before, but as someone who acknowledges that he is a gringo and just wants to live. So free from internal obligation to produce images ( freed, in some extent, by their excess today, as well as eyes that are not of a young man any more, these small things that help to naturally shape fate, in the face of indecisiveness and hard letting go ), I was able to land in the Sacred Valley as in a substitute of home I am barred from. There is entertainment, there is more choice of food, more diverse characters to meet. Perhaps not so many as in London or Warsaw, but that is even better, not to go so straight from hermitage into supermarket. People are calmer and nicer than in my homeland, and so is the weather. Place to enjoy, to live. But of course as an addict of action, I decided to use the opportunity to continue a bit the photo / guide project, and when I saw post about ceremony with William Koroskenyi, a gringo healer I already heard about in Iquitos, I wrote to him. This was also symbolic, to break my time with the indigenous culture by drinking with a foreigner, as if I were back in the good old Europe. I came with the intention of being once again a documentalist, but shitty low light in the place and great medicine both ruled that my input and my experience will be of a different kind. So there are no great images here, perhaps, but the experience was a great one, and that is perhaps more important and another sign about the path to follow.





To drink in the mountains is a whole different game than in the jungle. In some ways, more challenging, as ayahuasca doesn’t really like the cold, but people not used to heat and mosquitos appreciate cold air one can sip when things become to dense inside. For me this cold breeze is also refreshing these days and brings back the scent of first ceremonies on the other side of great ocean. It feels fresh, it feels clean. I don’t think of sneaky spirits of the jungle, of devils and brujeria, I think about fast brother wind, that always was close to my soul. Sacred Valley is all about “hanan”, the high world, the Father Sky, condor and flight rather than snake and chtonic ambiguity of the lowland forest. I was always rather weary of these upward gazes, feeling they often conceal unresolved issues, smelling of priests, of religion, be it our own pious men in black, spiritual functionaries of Inca empires, or any other men of the high pulpit. I have always liked the doubt, the trickster, but trickster teaches the value of change, and I have grown weary of my doubts. So when I step into the maloca for ceremony with William, I don’t think it is a coincidence that I am walking the tree of life, from the trial of fire and snakes, towards the higher realm.






William works together with his partner Pamela. He has been studying Amazonian shamanism for years now, very thorough but also open to intuition, to being guided by plants and experience itself, rather than only dogma of the culture. Pamela seems to be more of a fusion of different healing modalities, of feeling, flow, touch and direct contact with people. William creates the space, the steady rhytm, upon which others can experiment, open up, and Pamela sneaks around with her energy. They complement each other in the performance, but more important perhaps, show the integration of this medicine, so necessary in this world of many gurus who claim to love the whole world because they are unable to hold balanced relationship with their nearest person.








There is a lot of setting up the space. Preparation, grounding, talking, explanation. Cleansing and calming.  Step by step, with no hurry, with all and each and every one in proper order. It builds the climax, it prolongs the session, it gives it added value, regardless of our belief about actual value of certain gestures, such as tobacco sopladas. This is good inspiration for me, often carried away by my impatience, by inner fire, dismissing the uncessary.  Ceremonial structure can teach about that – we can either slowly dismiss everything as superflous, superstition, just take our psychedelics with Brian Eno’s smartphone app and in doing so discard all tradition, all need for human presence and interaction. But by doing so we desacralize all world, bring everything down to utility and end up in the same loneliness and despair we tried to escape in the first place with aid of plant medicines. Yes, it is cheaper, maybe even faster to do our shopping in cashierless supermarket, but I enjoy wasting time with campesinas in mercado of Pisac. Yes, I could just get my potent brew online and drink it with unlimited diversity of Spotify soundtrack, doing away with mapacho smoke, but I want to feel William’s breath in the palms of my  hand. I want everything to have meaning. To appreciate. To live for the process, rather than just the outcome.







Not only with chill of nature around us I am closing sentimental loop to my first ceremony ever. Since we came from the jungle my sinus is blocked again, eternal problem since early colds of my youth. It subsided in the tropics, but here it is again, justifying ceremonial rape, medicine that likes a good reason for its use, and without it can easily turn into another mindless habit. A round is served, and we are ready to start.





Brew was very tasty, rare thing, but not impossible, when one knows how to cook. Mostly chacruna providing light, but some huambissa too, which I could feel, it is always more physical/medicinal in my experience. The first cup, full one, started coming up strong,  I purged, apparently trying to avoid harder work, and of course then regretted it as I sat just listening to icaros, feeling a little buzz. I was in a different position however then during most ceremonies of last year, when I had been in charge of the show and somehow responsible for it, this time as a guest I could really accept whatever happens. When the time for second round came, I was of course one of the few to take it.

William sings classical ribereno style, mestizo Spanish icaros, with rich, deep voice, long, stable, he walks around with his chakapa, sometimes sits down with a particular person. Pamela is more random, less predictable, her songs can go through different, sometimes unpleasant, sometimes touching, freaky registers, which for me is always more inspiring, closer to the primitive, improvised shamanism, far from mind and memory, closer to the moment. They asked in the beginning to keep silent, not to join them, which was a good lesson of patience and somehow allowed me to save breath for a right moment, when it came. Out of difficult time, as usually, out of sickness and crisis comes the best singing, always been like this, almost as if this was to teach something about paradoxes of life. And these icaros are from gift from the source, rare time when my plans disappear and my mind takes a back seat. It was a release I have been waiting for a long time, maybe even months of routine and rising feeling of resignation and pointlessness. It was also a powerful lesson in gratitude, some hints about healing with it my greed, all these things I know from my path, all these humble-yourself-and-jah-jah will-guide-I, that I keep losing, in my hunger for more. Make amends, ask little, and the right times return, in fact they are here already, just wake up to it, Mundo.







There are challenges ahead, but this kind of ceremonies gives strength to continue. Giving thanks, not only to the captains, but to all the crew who participated, co-created, even just by their presence, more so by kind words, smiles, gratitude. It all builds the house we want to live in.


The spirit is back.






You can find William and Pamela mostly in the jungle, not far from Iquitos, Peru, where they run Avatar centre ( https://www.eywainstitute.org ), hosting retreats and dietas, and where, is Jah permits, I will be able to visit, to develop this one night stand into something deeper.





( “Risques et potentialités thérapeutiques du transfert culturel de l ́Ayahuasca”, dr Jacques Mabit, médecin, fondateur du Centre Takiwasi )

( Fragment z “Zagrożenia i potencjał terapeutyczny transferu kulturowego ayahuaski”, autorstwa założyciela Centrum Takiwasi, dr Jacques Mabit, tłumaczenie Światosław Wojtkowiak )



“(…) Il y a eu le mythe de l’amour grec, par exemple. Là, maintenant, on est en train de tâtonner par rapport à la liberté. Dans cette quête de la liberté, comme pour l’amour, on croit transitoirement que la liberté annule l’amour, parce que, pleinement dans l’amour, on se croit complètement prisonnier. On se rappelle quand même que les mystiques se disaient, tous, esclaves du maître, de Dieu. Est-ce qu’on a envie d’être esclave ? Ces gens-la sont-ils libres ou prisonniers ? Et pourtant se livrer totalement, c’est être libre. C’est la même racine.

Mais à quoi se livrer ? Si on se livre à l’autre, à son pouvoir et à sa domination qui nous écrase, on ne se sent pas libre. Mais si on se livre à ce qui nous habite et qui est notre aspiration profonde, alors on est pleinement libre. C ́est-à-dire que la liberté n’est pas dans le choix multiple : la liberté, c’est quand on n ́a plus le choix. Si toutes les femmes vous attirent, vous n’êtes pas libre parce que c’est épuisant et il faut sans arrêt passer de l’une à la suivante, il y en a plusieurs en même temps… Mais si vous avez trouvé l’unique pour vous, les autres ne vous intéressent plus du tout. Dans celle-là, vous allez trouver toutes les autres. Vous êtes livré complètement à cette personne, vous êtes prisonnier ou prisonnière de cet autre. Et vous êtes pleinement libre.



Istniał na przykład mit greckiej miłości. Opowiada on poszukiwaniu wolności po omacku. W tej krucjacie jednak za wolnością, jak i za miłością, wierzy się przejściowo, iż wolność niszczy miłość, bo ktoś kompletnie zakochany ma się całkowicie za więźnia. Pamiętajmy jednak, że mistycy sami określali się zawsze jako niewolnicy pana, Boga. Czy chcemy być niewolnikami? Czy ci ludzie są wolni, czy też są więźniami? A jednak, całkowite oddanie się oznacza wyzwolenie. Te słowa łączy wspólny rdzeń [ nie w polskim języku, niestety ]

Ale czemu się oddać? Jeśli ktoś oddaje się drugiej osobie, jej władzy i dominacji, która go miażdży, nie czuje się wolnym. Ale jeśli oddajemy się temu, co żyje w nas i co jest naszym głębokim dążeniem, wtedy jesteśmy całkowicie wolni. To znaczy, że wolność nie leży w możliwości wyboru spośród wielu opcji : wolność jest wtedy, gdy nie mamy już wyboru. Jeśli wszystkie kobiety cię przyciągają, nie jesteś wolny, ponieważ jest to wyczerpujące i musisz zamieniać jedną na drugą, jest ich kilka w tym samym czasie … Ale jeśli znalazłeś wyjątkową dla ciebie, inne już cię nie interesują. W tej jednej znajdziesz wszystkie pozostałe. Jesteś całkowicie oddany tej osobie, jesteś więźniem tej jednej. I jesteś całkowicie wolny.






On cherche tous cela : l’amour unique, le grand amour ! Si on a trouvé sa vocation professionnelle, et qu’on ne peut faire autre chose que d’écrire ou d’autre chose que faire de la musique ou que de soigner, que d’enseigner, parce que si on ne fait pas cela, on est pas bien, alors livrons-nous entièrement à notre inspiration si elle est vraie et on trouve notre liberté. Ca n’est pas intéressant du tout de ne faire que du jardinage si on a une inspiration de musicien. Et vice-versa. La quête de la vocation, la quête de ce dont on est porteur, la quête du sens de notre vie est ce qui nous donne notre liberté. Au fur et à mesure que l’on progresse vers le sens de cette vocation, vers ce qui nous appelle ou nous habite, vers ce dont on est porteur et qui doit s’épanouir en nous, les possibles se réduisent de plus en plus.



Wszyscy tego szukamy: jedynej miłości, wielkiej miłości! Jeśli ktoś znalazł zawodowe powołanie i nie może robić nic poza pisaniem lub innej rzeczy niż robienie muzyki lub uzdrawianie, nauczanie, ponieważ jeśli tego nie robi, nie czuje się dobrze, zatem oddaje się on całkowicie swojej inspiracji, jeśli jest prawdziwa, i odnajduje swoją wolność. W ogóle nie interesuje cię praca ogrodnika, jeżeli twa inspiracja to muzyka. I odwrotnie. Poszukiwanie powołania, poszukiwanie tego, co nosimy, poszukiwanie sensu naszego życia jest tym, co daje nam naszą wolność. W miarę postępu w stronę tego powołania, w kierunku tego, co nas wzywa lub żyje w nas, w kierunku tego, co w sobie niesiemy i co musi się w nas rozwijać, możliwości stają coraz bardziej ograniczone.







C’est ainsi que je comprends la liberté: c’est la réalisation pleine de sa vocation qui ne peut être que de l’ordre de l’épanouissement spirituel, c ́est-à-dire qu’elle ne peut se trouver que dans les manifestations de l’air, les éléments d’air. C’est pour cela que nous sommes dans le « liber », dans le verseau, c ́est-à-dire un signe d’air. La liberté ne peut être que spirituelle, or nous qui sommes des matérialistes, nous avons la tentation de revenir un peu en arrière, c ́est-à-dire à l’ère du capricorne et d’être dans la « caper », dans la matière, dans le caprice.

Et notre liberté, c’est de faire tout ce que je veux, voir tous les films que je peux, lire tous les livres que je peux, rencontrer toutes les femmes que je peux et bouffer toutes les glaces que je peux. La liberté serait d’accumuler le plus possible et de s’en remplir le plus possible et on retrouve la typiquement le symptôme toxicomaniaque de notre société. (…) ”



Oto, jak rozumiem wolność: jest to pełne urzeczywistnienie powołania, które może  pochodzić tylko z porządku duchowego spełnienia, to znaczy, że można je znaleźć tylko w manifestacji powietrza, żywiołu powietrza. To dlatego znajdujemy się w “liber” [ gra słów lib(air) ], w erze Wodnika, to znaczy w znaku powietrza. Wolność może być tylko duchowa, ale my, którzy jesteśmy materialistami, mamy pokusę, by cofnąć się nieco, to znaczy do epoki Koziorożca i pobyć w “caper” [ gra słów : koziorożec=capricorn ], w materii, w kaprysie.

I naszą wolnością jest zrobienie wszystkiego, co chcemy, oglądanie wszystkich filmów, jakie się da, przeczytanie wszystkich książek, które można, poznanie tylu kobiet, ile się da i zjedzenie wszystkich lodów, jakie da radę. Wolnością będzie zgromadzenie jak najwięcej i wypełnienie się jak najbardziej, i znajdziemy w tym typowy objaw uzależnienia naszego społeczeństwa. (…)”




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