Plant Medicine & Yoga

The Queen of the Forest & the Wish-fulfilling Jewel Flower

by Sharene Shamana Ma

"Rei Jagube e Mamae Rainha - From the Forest across to the Sea.

I am the Flower of the Waters and all wishes fulfilled through me."

I have never been to Brazil or Peru, yet I first did Ayahuasca 25 years ago. Back then, people only whispered about it and it was not commonly known about as it is today. Generally then it was said that once you had heard about it three times, she, the grandmother spirit "Queen of the Forest" was calling you. I hadn’t been “called” to do it the first few times I had heard of it. It wasn’t until I had a serious ‘health opportunity’ that I said yes and took the dive.

In this first medicine  journey, I was taken up to higher vibrational realms, up to the Fountains of Bliss & the Flood of Ineffable Light, through powerful shockwaves that ripped through me as I vibrated and spoke a different language.

In these higher realms, I found the Source Creation Light that I had been in Soul Communion with several years before in my Near Death Experience(1989). Except this time, (differing from my NDE) instead of being fully immersed into the full body orgasmic(x1000 voltage) heavenly light from crown to toe, blinded and bathing in pure light by the Absolute, this time in the medicine journey I could open my eyes into the light and see into the most wondrous visions that I had ever hoped to behold.

I gasped. I shook. I wept tears of great joy as I communed with the Light once again. I was shown indescribable beauty and color. I longed to stay in this place and never leave. I received ineffable transmissions of Holy Love.

I would then be suddenly brought back to the place where I began, the human perception plane that I had come to know, and it seemed a shadow realm by comparison.

I would plead to be brought back “up”, and I was told that I must imitate the ecstatic energies, the breath and sound that had ripped through me to bring me up before. I was told I must vibrate “like a Hummingbird”.

So I did. I gasped, energetically convulsing by body in wave-like motions, heaving my chest upwards, breathing a very particular way and imitating the strange soul language that had come thru me before…and I ascended back to that plane. This happened again and again and again.

So I continued down the path of Ayahuasca, hand-in-hand with the Queen of the Forest the plant medicine’s Queen Teacher, for many years and over a hundred journeys. She was in me. She is in me. She is a part of my deepest Soul. She is encoded in my cellular DNA.  She is the true “Mother/Mama” in me.

As I have many Soul parts, it was she who I had needed back in place in my field, that I may truly live and feel alive and in joy. Truly now, “I am at play in the fields of the Goddess.”

She taught me Yoga, pranayama, mudras, asana, Soul Language, healing modalities, deep prayer and patience.

She offered me visions and transmissions as she brought me to the Holy Love Source again and again.

When embarking upon my first Yoga Teacher Training in 2003, I realized, “Oh, you call this that I am doing ‘pranayama’ or ‘this is what you call mudras’ and ‘this is what you call kundalini yoga’ and so on. The outside world already had names for that which she had already imparted upon me.

I learned that makes perfect sense because at the base of the Tree of Yoga, where all schools of yoga and their modern day branches emerged from is Stone-age Shamanism.

That means, once upon a time, people just like us, ate & drank the plant medicines and their eyes were opened, their souls revealed. They also had deep Tantric and Yogic transmissions showing them the ancient ascension ways to reach the stars and heavenly realms. These Stone-Age Shaman & Shamana transmissions would be passed on orally and then written down and passed on. All fruit of the Tree is for our timely understanding.

We explore the Shamanic Roots of the Tree of Yoga and also embody practices that have been received from medicinal past ceremonies and transmissions. Those interested in partaking in Shamanic Ceremonies (private weekend workshops), should send an application with their interest and experience with such.

I wrote this piece fresh out of a medicine ceremony:

The Universe is my Temple and the whole of existence, my church. In each breath I give thanks and with every beat of my heart I am driven by Truth. In fear and with desire, in agony and in ecstasy, I am inspired by the magnificent brilliance of Being.

I honor my body as a vessel for Cosmic Christ communion, Shiva-Shakti Union, experiencing my sacred reality granted me as a gift. Bit by bit, I clean and shine the many facets of my diamond, that I may radiate and sparkle in divine perfection.

I choose for Existence to use me in whatever ways serve my highest alignment. I am available. I am here to learn. With humbleness I pray to be of purpose, to live a life that is justified.

I pray to illuminate and create through me pure love, that I may be worthy to sit at thy lotus feet of the Mother, to drink the nectar of her compassion and be immersed in the well of living waters.

I free myself of my past that I may press “pause” and slip out of time awareness into the larger vastness of divine truth, into the majestic oneness of all that is eternal.

I surrender up myself to this Light which burns a holy fire in my heart: guiding me toward divine union, Holy Love.

I give credit to the Father of Creation, to the “Pa”, I honor him.

Grandmother I drink your medicine, the vines with the tender grape, and I heal myself. I reclaim my innocence. I reclaim my inner sense. I accept myself as pure and whole forever. I embrace Bodhichitta, the excellence of the awakened heart.

The time of the singing of birds is come. We, children of the divine tree, children of the Sun and of the stars, are converging to call together our tribe under the Universal umbrella of Holy Love. We are all Love recreating itself.

I listen to all the members of my divine family tree.

The answers will come. I must not rush. We are here, after-all, in Eden. The petals of the flower open slowly. Fragrant, full of mystery from the dark depths of which that flower was seeded. All people have divine beauty seeded in their flower. We must be good gardeners.

In the infinity of space where the presence of God vibrates on Hummingbird wings, the divine beings illustrate through the visions as I am shown to live in the heart, not mind. I am shown to look in all directions.

I am a part of the infinite I am. I create my fate through the irresistible power of divine magnetism. With the silent vibrations of my mind, I invite the Master Light Current to carry me in a Holy Ark toward the manifestation of my highest dreams.

Let whatever needs to come come, give and be given, take and be taken, that I may realize my existence.

Rei Jagube e Mamae Rainha - From the Forest across the Sea.

I am the Flower of the Waters and all wishes fulfilled through me.

I look forward to exploring the shamanic-tantric-yoga connection with you very soon!

In Holy Love, Sharene Shamana Ma


I stumbled across the article below which I feel conveys my feelings around the relationship between Yoga & Plant Medicine...

My intention in writing Yoga & Plant Medicine is not to graft ayahuasca or psychedelics onto the tradition of yoga as another limb. Rather, I wish to illuminate and bring forward an aspect of yoga that’s been there from the beginning but has been largely suppressed due to cultural puritanism in both India and the West.

Plant medicines have always been considered a valid method for healing and self-realization within the yoga tradition, and because of this, I feel that yoga offers the perfect context for working with psychedelics like ayahuasca. Likewise, psychedelics can be utilized by the sincere yogi to gain insight and help move the healing process along.

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali (c. 500 BCE), the most definitive and arguably most important text on yoga, says that siddhis, which are deep insights into the nature of reality, can be obtained not only through meditation, austerities and chanting, but also through the use of medicinal plants, which Patanjali calls aushadhi. The term aushadhi (alt. oshadhi) refers to a plant or herb that is used to cure diseases of the body and mind, and maintain physical, mental and moral health.

Digging into the etymology reveals that another quality of aushadhi is “to make known, or reveal something that is surprising.” We could say that another word for aushadhi is “psychedelic,” a term coined by Dr. Humphry Osmond in the early 1950s to describe substances that reveal hidden aspects of the mind or psyche. So, while the term aushadhi is usually translated simply as “herbs,” it seems to point more specifically toward psychotropic plant medicines like ayahuasca.

The Sanskrit root of aushadhi is osha, which means “light bearing” — a term that draws another parallel to ayahuasca. The ayahuasca brew is traditionally made by combining two plants, the ayahuasca vine itself (banisteriopsis caapi), and the DMT-containing chacruna leaf (psychotria viridis), which the ayahuasqueros say brings light to the visions. The Santo Daime tradition says that the vine is the force and the leaf is the light.

Going back even further than the Yoga Sutra to the most ancient text of India, the Rig Veda (c. 1700 BCE), we find many descriptions of the use of Soma, a sacred drink concocted from plants that had curative and revelatory properties.

Interestingly, the preparation of Soma involves pounding or crushing the stalks of a plant, similar to the preparation of the ayahuasca brew in which the tough, woody vine must be pounded before boiling to help extract the active alkaloids. Furthermore, like ayahuasca, Soma was both a healing medicine and a spiritual sacrament. In the Rig Veda we also find references to Soma as a “light-bearer” which connects it to the aushadhi mentioned in the Yoga Sutra.

These passages from the Rig Veda describe the qualities of Soma as both a sacrament and a healing elixir:

“Pay reverence to King Soma born the sovereign Ruler of the plants. We have drunk Soma and become immortal; we have attained the light, the Gods discovered. These glorious drops that give me freedom have I drunk. Let the drops I drink preserve me from disease. Make me shine bright like fire produced by friction, give us a clearer sight and make us better.”“Bruised by the press-stones and extolled, Soma, thou goest to the sieve, giving the worshiper hero strength. This juice bruised by the pressing-stones and lauded passes through the sieve, slayer of demons, through the fleece.” “He (Soma) covers the naked and heals all who are sick. The blind man sees; the lame man steps forth. Let those who seek find what they seek: let them receive the treasure. Let him find what was lost before; let him push forward the man of truth.”

There has been much debate about the identity of the plants used to concoct Soma, but as Ayurvedic doctor and scholar Robert Svoboda says:

“People used to ask (my teacher) Vimalananda: ‘Where can we find the Soma that’s mentioned in the Veda?’, and he used to say that you’re never going to find Soma, because you can only locate it if you are already immortal, because it’s immortal already. So forget it. What you can do though is you can find something that is not Soma but will have a similar effect inside you. And then you can use that. It will not transform you the way that Soma does, so completely and totally, but if you work with that, it will progressively transform you as much as you can be transformed. For him he used whiskey, for me I like very much ayahuasca, taken with some other things to alter the effect slightly. Different people have different things that they use. Some people will use cannabis; some people will use other substances.”

While at least one scholar has argued that Soma could have been ayahuasca (or at least an ayahuasca analogue), it is perhaps more accurate to say that ayahuasca can be Soma because, in the right context and with the right intent, it can fulfill all the promises of that mythical elixir: clearer insight, physical healing, divine knowledge, spiritual freedom and a taste of immortality. For the yogi, using Soma or another aushadhi is just one way to achieve these siddhis.

It’s worth noting that in the Yoga Sutra the use of sacred plants is seen as a less preferable method than meditation, because ultimately, the goal of yoga is total freedom and relying on a plant or other substance to achieve a state of wellbeing or gain spiritual insight is considered a hindrance. While a psychedelic can give us a temporary taste of the freedom that’s possible, it can easily become just another way to escape reality and avoid dealing with the psychological issues that keep us from experiencing greater freedom on an ongoing basis.

A Shipibo shaman’s pipe from the upper Amazon and a carving of yogic sage Patanjali, both depicted as half man, half serpent. The serpent is a symbol of creative life energy and transformation that is found in many cultures around the world. (Illustration by Debbie Stapleton.)

A Shipibo shaman’s pipe from the upper Amazon and a carving of yogic sage Patanjali, both depicted as half man, half serpent. The serpent is a symbol of creative life energy and transformation that is found in many cultures around the world. (Illustration by Debbie Stapleton.)

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