click image to enlarge

The Jaguar That Roams the Mind

An Amazonian Plant Spirit Odyssey
By: ,
Contributor Role: 
By (author)
Contributor Sequence Number: 
Contributor name: 
Paperback Book
Inner Traditions
October, 2008
In stock now: 
$18.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Here be page-turning adventure into the heart of the jungle, the heart of vegetalismo, and the heart of human experience. You can almost smell and taste the earthy brew.

The Jaguar that Roams the Mind is a journey into the vanishing world of Amazonian shamanism—an adventure of initiation and return—that explores the unique reality at the heart of the healing system. Robert Tindall shares his journeys through the inner and outer landscape of the churches of ayahuasca and with the Kaxinawa Indians in Brazil; his experiences at the pioneering center for the treatment of addiction, Takiwasi, in Peru; and his studies with an Ashaninca master shaman deep in the rainforest jungle.

The plant, in short, had taken me through a catharsis and a spiritual awakening that decades of therapy, churchgoing, or meditation might have never achieved.

Moving beyond the scientific approach to medicinal plants, which seeks to reduce them to their chemical constituents, Tindall illustrates the shamans’ intimate relationships with plant spirits. He recounts many sessions and scenes, marveling at the varied skills of experienced guides.

The songs of the curanderos work inside the body, calming, directing, and mediating between the extremely powerful effects of the plant and those seeking healing, helping to translate that power into something possible to digest, control, and navigate through.

Tindall explores the three pillars of Amazonian shamanism: purging (drawing disease out of the body), psychoactive plants (including the ritual use of ayahuasca), and diet (communing with the innate intelligence of teacher plants). Through trials and revelations, the subtle inner logic of indigenous healing unfolds for him, including the “miraculous” healing of a woman suffering from a brain tumor. Culminating in a ceremony fraught with terror yet ultimately enlightening, Tindall’s journey reveals the crucial component missing from the metaphysics of the West: the understanding and appreciation of the sentience of nature itself.

Included is an appendix by Susana Bustos, “The Verse of the Plant We Follow,” that explores how icaros, the musical songs of the shamans, work and heal.


Publisher’s Description: 

Robert Tindall shares his journey through the inner and outer landscape of the churches of ayahuasca and with indigenous shamans in the Amazon. He explains the three pillars of Amazonian shamanism: healing through purging, the ritual use of ayahuasca, and communing with the innate intelligence of plant teachers."A journey into the deeper workings of indigenous healing in the Amazon"--Provided by publisher.

Community Reviews

Login or Register to post a review