Resources

Contemporary Masters

  • Bhagavan Das — he was born in America but went to India in his 20's and met his guru Neem Karoli Baba. He (along with Ram Das) then brought some very deep teachings back to America.
  • Kat Courtney — Kat dedicated a large portion of her life to training as an ayahuasca shaman. She then discovered that her true purpose was to leave the ayahuasca community and help integrate ayahuasca teachings into the wider world. She helps people who are going through that integration, as well as navigating dark nights of the soul. Read her blogs or schedule a session. You won't be disappointed.
  • Paul Levy-- Paul has written several books on the dream-like nature of our reality, and the interconnectedness of our shadows and trauma.  He also facilitates small groups with the goal of helping people wake up.

Historical Figures

  • Maria Sabina — Maria was a very profound healer, an indigenous curandera from Mexico who used mushrooms to treat her patients. She introduced the sacred use of mushrooms to the wider world and her work and knowledge is a foundation for anyone in Western culture using plant medicines for healing.
  • Chavela Vargas-- Chavela was born in Costa Rica but spent most of her life in Mexico.  She was a contemporary of the artist Frida Kahlo.  She sang ranchero music, at a time when singing those songs was reserved specifically for men.  She was also an out lesbian and dressed in men's styles in a culture where gender roles were very strictly defined.  Her songs are very emotional, very passionate, and describe love and heartbreak in a deeply personal way.  Her voice has been called "the rough voice of tenderness."  To me, Chavela exemplified the highest form of bhakti yoga because of her commitment to love, her devotion and the way she transmitted intense emotions through her singing.
  • Teresa de Cabora — Teresita was a mestiza healer from Northern Mexico. She is regarded as a saint by many people in Mexico and the southwestern United States. Her work and life encompassed many themes still resonating today-- indigenous rights and oppression, female empowerment, and corruption and systemic abuse of power. Read The Hummingbird's Daughter, an amazing book written by her great nephew.
  • Krishnamcharya — he is almost single handedly responsible for bringing yoga out to the world. He learned his yoga the old school way—by walking to the Himalayas and studying in a cave under his guru. If you do yoga today, you owe a debt of gratitude to this man.
  • Mestre Bimba-- Mestre Bimba created the martial art that I studied (Capoeira Regional).  He rose to prominence in the 1930's in Bahia, Brazil.  Capoeira before Mestre Bimba was not systemetized-- and Mestre Bimba figured out what worked, what didn't, and what was important.  He was also a major figure in the legalization of capoeira.  Before his time, practicing the art was illegal.   

Books

  • The Aghora Trilogy-- The Aghora are the most extreme sect of tantric practitioners.  I won't go into all of their practices here, but I will say that their practices will appear bizarre, confusing, or maybe even disgusting to our modern sensibilities.  But the goal of their practice is to work through all of their shadows-- all of their darkness, fear, shame, disgust... anything that blocks them from experiencing God in each moment.  Of course, kundalini mediumship is based on the same idea.  If you're interested in real life practitioners of this sect, read the Aghora trilogy!
  • Secrets of the Talking Jaguar-- This is a tremendous resource about indigenous Mayan healing.  It was written by Martin Prechtel.  He's half white and half Navajo but never fully connected to either tradition.  He found himself in a Mayan village in Guatemala and completely immersed himself in their language, culture and healing.  This book has many profound truths about finding meaning and purpose in life.