September 20th, 2022

OF THE PSYCHEDELIC LEADERSHIP PODCAST

Episode #60

Walking In Right Relationship With Life & AYNI: Forgiveness, Integrity, Creativity & Humilitywith Claudia Cuentas

Laura Dawn drops in with Peruvian therapist Claudia Cuentas about Right Relationship, Sacred Reciprocity, and “AYNI”. 

Ayni is a word from the Quechua language. It’s more than just a word, it’s a living Andean philosophy and practice that points to an embodied understanding of our symbiotic relationship with all of life, and how to meet life with balance, harmony, and equilibrium of exchange and mutuality.

Being in right relationship has to do with being able to listen to what is around you and really take to heart what you're observing, and tracking. Being in right relationship means showing up humbly. It’s about being present, and vulnerable. Being in right relationship means acknowledging that we're always in a symbiotic relationship of giving and receiving. And that connects to Ayni directly, which is in Quechua, means sacred reciprocity. So how are we constantly acknowledging that life itself is in sacred reciprocity with life itself.
Claudia cuentas

Listen:

About This Episode:

Claudia Cuentas is a Peruvian marriage and family therapist, specializing in the treatment of healing trauma, trauma recovery, cultural identity, and decolonization of healing. 

In this episode, we explore the concepts of right relationship, sacred reciprocity and AYNI, a Quechua word that points to an embodied understanding of our symbiotic relationship with all of life, and how to meet life with balance, harmony, and equilibrium of exchange and mutuality. 

Right relationship, ayni and sacred reciprocity are powerful concepts that can be applied to all forms of leadership. 

In this episode with Claudia, we explore a range of topics, including: 

  • The importance of slowing down enough so we can return to our senses
  • How sacred plant medicines train our senses to tune into another dimension of reality we can’t perceive with our eyes, in order to perceive the multiverse. 
  • The importance of listening as a daily practice.
  • Nervous system regulation. 
  • How sacred plant medicines help to clear our channels
  • The power of forgiveness as a practice 
  • Curiosity as a mindset
  • The power of song as a modality of transmutation. 
  • How plant medicines inform and influence the way we show up to lead. 
  • Understanding what decolonizing the mind means, and exploring this topic through the lens of creativity.

Core Themes

Explored in this episode:
  • Exploring the Quechua word "Ayni"
  • Sacred Reciprocity
  • Right Relationship
  • Forgiveness as a practice
  • The power of listening as a practice
  • Nervous system regulation
  • Creativity
  • Song and sound as a healing modaility
  • Psychedelic Integration
  • Decolonizing the Mind

Links &

useful resources
  • ALMA Institute
  • FREE 8-DAY Microdosing course
  • How to Have a Safe Psychedelic Journey At Home

Free 8 Day Microdosing Course

PSYCHEDELIC PODCAST

Episode Transcript

Episode #60: Walking In Right Relationship & AYNI.

Laura Dawn: Well, it was so nice the first time that we met mm-hmm we were speaking together for EntheoWheel, which is so beautiful. And I knew I wanted to connect with you more and then just reading your bio. I honestly, I just can’t believe what an extensive background you have. it’s like really just so, so impressive.

Mm-hmm and you’re able to really hold, not only this lineage and Peruvian lineage, but you’ve done so much extensive training from art therapy and somatic experiencing and having training in MDMA therapy and ketamine therapists like, wow. And now you’re the cultural director of Alma Institute, which I’m really excited to dive into.

And I was just thinking maybe we could just start by you sharing your, your lineage from. Peru. And maybe from there going right into this core concept that we, we know we wanna explore in this conversation together around this, this foundational concept of I E that really comes from your roots and your lineage.

Beautiful. 

Claudia: Yes. Yes. Thank you. Thank you for the invitation. And, um, let’s see. I, I was born in Peru, um, and I’ve been here since I was 18 years old. I didn’t think I was gonna come to the states and live in the states ever in my life. I come from a family, the Ima Mati family. So from my father’s side of the family, come from the Ima region of, um, Juan can on the other side of the Pika lake, the frontier with Bolivia.

And that’s where the roots of my father’s lineage comes from. And, um, from my mother, I come from a. Which is also in the south a little bit Northern from Puno, but next to it. So my background is growing up with dance and music and song and coming together, many generations and being 30 or 40 people at my grandparents’ tiny little apartment all the time.

You know, people then actually, because I grew up in the city in Lima and eventually all the family from my, especially my father’s side of the family, migrated to the city to go to university, to do schooling and all of them, uh, connected to social justice. So I come also from a strong lineage of people that has fought for, uh, social justice worker’s rights, um, indigenous rights.

And, you know, my grandfather has been incarcerated. My father was incarcerated, deported Andile from the country many, many times. And, um, Growing up within a family of deep thinkers and, um, activists for me, it meant just always having this sense of community within and this sense of how do we, um, support each other.

How do we listen to one another? How do we come together over and over and over? So coming here to the states at H 18 was a big shock and I came to study music. I was a music student at the music conservatory in, in Peru, in Lima for, uh, all my high school years, as well as the years after high school. And, uh, I got a scholarship to come to the states to study music, and I came and I stay much longer than what I imagine.

And within that. Just many doors, open, many doors close, too. It was very difficult to be here as an immigrant 18. I didn’t know much English and, uh, I knew music as a language than I share. And, um, I continue my studies with music, which then took me to really pause and go, okay. So what is truly what I want to, to do, and the inquiry about healing and healing practices and the potency of music, being able to transform life and transform emotions and transform just going back to dancing at my grandmother, just and singing together, and the sense of belonging always and kind of got guided my work.

And from there, I started to inquiry about music and healing, expressive arts, art as a healing too. And then that took me to wanting to study more. Then psychology, because wanting to understand the mind then the energetic body, which then, um, took me back to my own roots, to study deeply with teachers from the Andes, which I have deep relationship with.

And, and now we’re here. I find myself in Oregon, Portland from all places being part of this, um, big movement of people, wanting to understand more on how to actually return to roots, to do healing work and you so needed, it make so much sense, but there’s also so much work to do there to, as we all say to make that happen in a good way, in a way where all of it is extended to an accounter for in a circle mm-hmm,

Laura Dawn: And so you’re the cultural director of Alma Institute. And so what does that mean to be a cultural, what it means director, I’m kind 

Claudia: of the person that does the liaison with all the communities, you know, that we’re working with. And in some ways I’ve been doing that for a long time, just happens to, you know, Alma Institute invited me to, to, to actually do it, uh, with the awareness, then this education desire to create a allyship between communities.

It was deeply connected also to communities, growth communities, remembrance, communities, health, and dignity. And so I am the person that are working with native communities in the area and informing and sharing what Alma stands for as well as the black and immigrant community here. So really it’s about building relationship and building trust amongst.

Our relationships, uh, relationships take time, trust, takes time to develop, and it’s a beautiful dance to be and to say, um, we’re here together. So also requires a lot of listening and in this, through Alma in this way, this stigmatizing planned medicine. So the communities have the opportunity if they want to, to return to their original ways of knowing for the wellbeing and the wellbeing of their circles and their extended, uh, families and communities.

Hm, mm-hmm . 

Laura Dawn: And for those who don’t know about Alma, I’m also just learning about the mission of Alma. And it’s actually a really incredible organization. I would love for people to check out the website, Alma training.org. And if you feel like just sharing a little bit about what the mission of Alma is before we start diving into some of these other topics of I E and reciprocity and community bridge building, maybe we could just share just a foundation of, of the mission of 

Claudia: Alma.

So Alma is rooted in, uh, reciprocity. It’s an organization is that is the only nonprofit, um, um, Institute right now that is offering training on psychedelic, excuse me, on assisted psycho. Um, and it is rooted in wanting to offer this training specifically for black brown and indigenous community. Uh, also for the G LGBTQ community, as well as communities then are, uh, neuro divergent.

So, uh, we are rooted in a desire to have equity and accessibility, other desire to acknowledge indigenous knowing and indigenous knowledge, uh, desire to be in reciprocity and good and right relationship with the land where we are and where the communities that we interact and to really highlight then healing is our birthright.

And in order for us to access our own healing, we have to also acknowledge that there is a decolonization process that has to happen in our own thinking or be. So we are committed to education, empowerment, solidarity, listening. And being in right relationship with the communities we work with, um, and, and, and be, and because of that Almas of course, uh, organism then continues to grow and change because to be in right relationship means listen in both ways.

So we continue to be, um, committed to this proposal, as well as humbly learning in 

Laura Dawn: the process. When you think of this concept of right relationship, how would you describe that for people? And is that deeply connected to being raised in a culture that embodied in knowing of this concept of, of Ayni. 

Claudia: mm-hmm being in right relationship, um, has to do with being able to listen to what is around you and really take to heart what you’re observing, and tracking.

Being in right relationship means showing up humbly. It’s about being present, and vulnerable. 

Being in right relationship means acknowledging that we’re always in a symbiotic relationship of giving and receiving. And that connects to Ayni directly, which is in Quechua, means sacred reciprocity. So how are we constantly acknowledging that life itself is in sacred reciprocity with life itself. 

And then for us, as we walk in life, we’re always creating ripples, no matter what we do, even if we don’t do anything, there’s some ripples happening. And if we can be aware and responsible for the ripples, then are being created as we move, as we think, as we speak, as we envision, as we collaborate, then we can acknowledge, then this symbiotic relationship is not just between humans, It’s between the plant kingdom, the mineral kingdom, the mushroom kingdom, um, is between earth and the sky and fire and water is between all the seasons. 

I mean, we can go from the micro cosmos to the macrocosmos and everything is in relationship to itself. So there is, um, unknown and an acknowledgement and being in sacred right relationship or sacred reciprocity with life means standing for life, generating life, defending life, protecting life, and allowing life to continue blossoming into new life, uh, with everything we do, uh, with everything we connect with and in everything, in everything we envision, which then I will tie it to is ultimately service – service to life.

You know, this concept of connects people deeply to the healing processes of, of, of we inviting people to consider and be part of, which is know yourself to heal yourself. To allow yourself to be aligned to purpose, to be of service that is, Ayni the reciprocal support and protection of life towards more life and more health.

When I say life, I mean health. 

Laura Dawn: mm-hmm . So it seems like they’re very interconnected concepts, Right Relationship and sacred reciprocity, but they are also distinctly different. 

Claudia: Yes. Sacred reciprocity Ayni need is happening at all times, regardless of us being involved in it, this, this is the way life moves being in right Relationship is being in right relationship with acknowledgement than that is happening at all times, and the conscious decision to say we are going to listen, we’re going to acknowledge we’re going to soften enough, slow down enough, calm the internal system enough. Acknowledged then there is something else happening besides what I can see with my eyes or here with my ears.

There’s some life moving through and to be in right relationship means acknowledged, then that is happening. And how consciously do I choose to be in that at all times or in connection to that life force at all times? Mm. 

Laura Dawn: I really appreciate that in my own experience, I’ve found that one of the, the gems and the wisdom teachings of sacred plant medicines is that they show us how to pay, pay attention, to subtlety, to energy, to slow down, you know, to tune into a different way of perceiving.

And I’m curious. If that’s been your experience, if there’s anything that you’d like to share about that related to sacred plant medicine specificall, and  to ceremony and how those experiences can actually train us to be in right relationship and really embody the understanding on a real somatic level of what it means to be in sacred reciprocity.

 

Claudia: When, being  in communal in relationship with plant medicine, um, what, what we have the opportunity to do is to allow something to soften so much in the internal mechanism in internal bodies, in internal somatic bodies than our senses grow so acute to other realms of reality. So when we talk about plant medicine, we can talk about the ability to, or not the ability, but the invitation to, uh, soften the valve.

So we can perceive the, what we call the multiverse or what we call. The different aspects of the different, um, eh, worlds that exist within this world and within many worlds. So the ability this medicine master plans have to soften us with them to be able to listen in a different way, to perceive in a different way, to sense in a different way.

As we, um, continue to, to study this and to learn about ourselves in the process, what we’re doing is we’re saying yes to sensitivities with it. And there’s people that has Studi this and continues to share this, you know, one of my dear teachers that centered and one of, or their students and teacher two Nalia has, is doing a complete beautiful study of how are senses, um, how in indigenous knowledge and indigenous traditions senses are the things that get trained from the beginning of life.

To actually sensorial awareness, acute sensorial awareness, to be able to walk through a forest or to walk, to walk through anywhere and perceive all those sounds and all those smells, all those scents, all those visuals and listen and being communion and relationship with that plant with a bird, with a tree without a stream.

So we have a beautiful opportunity and a huge responsibility because as we enter this realms and become, um, aware of them, then the concept of being in right relationship also applies. How are we in right relationship when the river is saying, come on, sing to me, sit next, comes next to me and sing to me.

That will help me. Or as we are coming out and there’s specific birds singing outside. I mean, these senses have been trained through millennia, you know indigenous and originals, people of the Earth’s the west and moves so fast that has forgotten. And all these, uh, acute, uh, gifts exist within us, especially to be in right relationship with everything around us.

Mm-hmm 

Laura Dawn: Hmm. I wanna connect a.here, um, between this development of the senses and understanding what it means to embody sacred reciprocity and, and right relationship and the nervous system, especially with your background of three years of training and somatic experiencing. And I sat with ayahausca last weekend and one of the core…just reminders was just tuning into the subtlety of the nervous system. 

And I noticed, you know, I just went through this really big move. I mean, I was only in Austin for eight months, but I had been living on the big island for 10 years. Wow. Outside and being in Austin in a city and just like noticing how much more upregulated my nervous system was.

And the medicine just reminded me around, okay. Time to breathe and down regulate. And this past month has been like packing up my, this apartment that I had and just, you know, getting everything dialed and moving and with, you know, seven checked bags at the airport, just like the whole move to make it down to Costa Rica was just a lot of go, go, go.

And the medicine was reminding me the importance of being in alignment in deep alignment with a frequency of prayer and clarity in my life, in my heart. That actually, it, it is very deeply connected to being in deep regulation with the nervous system. So I’m curious. So what’s, what’s your thoughts about that?

And what’s your own thinking process around that? 

Claudia: Studying the nervous system is just so fascinating because as I have moved through life and do all these in-person studies and wanting to know more about these different aspects, the nervous system for me is, uh, the glue that puts it all together. The physical body, the mental, psychological body, and the spirit body is this kind of like Unifier in the middle of it that allows all these three aspects to, to interact through an electrical current that happens through all of our bodies.

And it happens through all, everything that is alive. So, um, if we can notice our electrical system and in some ways it is the constant life force energy moving through us at all times, available to us at all times in healing processes. When we work with medicine, what medicine is doing, regardless of what medicine we’re working with, when we’re working with these master plans, what master plants are doing, they are unlocking and unblocking the channels where the life force energy, current passes through to align ourselves to health, to pure health.

So as you say, you know, you’ve been busy and moving through a lot and probably a sensitive person going through so many things without being necessarily able to process them or, or, um, cleanse them or move them through to sit in a medicine ceremony. And the medicine goes, okay, let’s just clean all the channel.

Let’s just open up again, all those channels. So then lifeforce energy can return to its most natural state of health. Um, and it’s a beautiful example because nowadays we need that practice so much. And in, in original communities in indigenous communities, people will sit with medicine in a specific moments where healing needed to happen, where, uh, maybe a birth baptism, a union, a death will happen and needed to be acknowledged when the community needed to resolve, um, a difficulty or, or come up with, uh, creative solutions to tend to intense difficult problems.

But then the practice of those teachings will be every. Or are every day. So the invitation is, so now we get this welding nugget sitting with our plant medicine and how do we practice and create practices in our everyday we call here now meditation, mindfulness, and ability to sit still, um, contemplate nature, um, because that will allow our nervous system to really reset to, uh, this natural state of health.

Especially we have a view of 360 degrees. There’s all these things that we know now, especially we are practicing without breathing. Just disability. We have to be resilient in the muscle mm-hmm . Um, and in the system, that is the nervous system, the fascinating nervous system. 

Laura Dawn: Yeah. Yeah. In ceremony, she was so specific.

She was giving me daily practice instruction and, you know, I have a, a pretty solid morning practice and all of that, but she was like 15 minutes every morning, wake up and lay on your back and breathe and relax into the feeling of home in your body. That was the, this very specific message. I was like, okay, check.

You know, and, and I also feel like. Just being in tune with the frequency of nature. And that was one thing, you know, contrast is always so, so valuable, you know, and being in, in the city, it’s the first time I’ve lived in a city in 20 years. So being in a city and then just recognizing just how, how much just simply looking at the mountains here from my balcony in shitty bow, just how much even just visually seeing beauty is such a, a source of, of replenishment and nourishment on such a cellular level and how much nature can just offer that beauty to us as a way of, of, of deeply recalibrating in our bodies, in our nervous systems.

And I think that so many people just haven’t had this experience in so many years that they it’s just like, we forget we need to like, remember to remember how much nature is medicine. Yes, very 

Claudia: much. I mean, We, um, in many ways, as we sit with a master plant, what we are doing is we’re becoming them. We’re becoming nature.

We’re becoming a plant. We’re becoming a, just a little flower on the side, you know, just simplifying the process and returning to the most simple one of my teachers always says returning to the most simple is the most pot taking a breath, looking at something beautiful, allowing the senses to really track nuances of color, nuances of temperature, nuances of sound, nuances of landscape breathing.

Again, it’s a humbling experience because when we are living in the west, there’s so much so fast all the time moving. Um, we lose track of these most important, simple things and our, our way to. Getting back home, which is our bodies, which is our centers, then, then allows us there to envision listen, um, contemplate understanding mm-hmm 

Laura Dawn: Hmm.

From your way of relating to sacred plant medicines, do you consider these medicines to be really high frequency energies? Just kind of curious of your thinking around that? Yes. . Yes. 

Claudia: Yes. They, they are, um, they’re teachers and teachers move in really high frequency ways. We talk about frequency specifically.

Um, they’re deeply connect with, uh, laughter and joy, which is ultimately help mm-hmm you listen to a child giggle and you just feel the help in that giggle. Um, regardless of, of, of, uh, maybe the, the, the situation, there’s something that happens in our human body, in our, in our experience. But we just remember, remember this, um, innate sense of laughter and giggle.

And those are very high frequency experiences when we’re laughing. We’re not thinking about anything else, but laughing when we’re enjoy, we’re not experiencing anything else. But so, so yes, these teachers are, I believe that’s why we call them masters because they do work in a very high frequency. Mm-hmm, , 

Laura Dawn: yeah’s so interesting that you just named joy, because that was such a, a strong frequency that was coming through that last ceremony too.

And actually I’m also, I’m, I’m falling in love with a new man in my life right now, and it’s such a, a sweet. Yeah, deep remembrance in my body and in the ceremony, there was this moment where I felt like the frequency of joy was just going through my meridians and like templating my energetic body at that frequency of joys.

Like I felt it, I was like sharing it with him. We, we sat together in the ceremony. So sweet. And there was just so much laughter and so much joy. And I was sharing that with him. After we closed the circle, it was like, oh my gosh, there was just joy moving through all the meridians in my body. I could like really feel it, but it was this way that it was like templating my body, you know, and offering this blueprint of how much can you open to goodness in your life?

How much can you open your heart? How much can you raise your frequency and be in joy in your life was really profound. that sounds 

Claudia: wonderful and beautiful. It’s like a whole recalibration of your whole system to have this template access access. So you do access this template, so, wow. Yeah. Yes. 

Laura Dawn: Yeah. Yeah.

I’m I’m curious to know what, what does your daily practice look like? 

Claudia: Mm-hmm uh, my daily practice, uh, it, it changes, it continues to change nowadays. Sitting and just beating Medi what I would call meditation or just releasing at the beginning of the day. So having a moment to enter my, my ceremonial space, light a candle, be able to breathe and just listen and listen to, you know, to the, to the different bodies, um, from a specific frame or prayers that I’m working with, you know, there’s like a few that I’m holding right now and maybe those change over time.

So from that lens, looking at the template, how is my template doing and what is needed? And then from the microcosmos, then extending that to the macro. So how, how after 15, 20 minutes and how is all these in the internal and internal world, then expanding towards the outer layers? Um, And then being able to envision and listening to the outer, you know, to what, what comes for the day?

What is, what is close here, uh, during the day, what is, um, needed to be tended to? And then I do specific practice of, uh, the traditional healing, which is specific, um, or, uh, I guess protection or ceiling then happens in the, and the traditional healing. Then we, we practice with, with one of my teachers as well, for many, many years, just to be able to

see clearly, you know, there part of it is may I be able to see and look here and listen, speak and talk, be able to actually see between the nuances of the realms when I am interacting with the world. So I can be of surveys in the best possible way to these changes and new times we’re living in. Mm-hmm and with integrity, 

Laura Dawn: a little, yeah.

Mm-hmm . Mmm. Last month. I was invited by grandmother jot and indigenous elders from the mother earth delegation to accompany them, to meet with the mamos and the Kogi in Columbia. And one of the elders that I was spending time with was Cody kindy, an Ecuadorian shaman, beautiful man, just heart of gold.

And on the last morning that we were there, he really just offered me just this sort of transmission and teachings for me specifically. And he said, You know, it’s time to Polish. You need to Polish yourself to, you know, go to this next level. And, and he said, um, I can see that there’s different ways that you’re, you’re leaking fear and that you need to enhance your protection.

And I, I asked him, okay, you know, I’m familiar with protection practices, but what does that mean for me? Like what, what do you recommend for me to engage in a practice that is about, you know, protecting my, my field and my energy and just without even skipping a beat. He said, when you trust in your path, you are protected.

Yes. And I just thought that was so profound. It’s like simple wisdom, but the depth of that, you know, I, I actually came back from Columbia, went to Austin and I did a, a solo sit with the medicine to actually just fully receive that, that core of that teaching, like into my body on a cellular level. And. I just so many layers of the profundity of that, that I really witnessed actually, you know, because mostly, yeah, I’ve been just experiencing this.

Mm, without going into too much detail with the launch of grow medicine have, have experienced yeah. Being a, a white woman leading something that is really engaging in this conversation of reciprocity and right. Relationship and indigenous led projects. And there has been these, these places within myself of like, am I okay?

Is this okay? Am I saying the wrong thing? Am I, you know, and it actually has just it’s it has impacted. on a, on a, in a certain way. And he just pointed that right out. Like it, it was just, it was something that has been present for me. And I had just come out on the other side of the launch of grow medicine.

And, you know, I’m usually someone who really trusts my path, but there’s a wavering in this, you know, mm-hmm and, and I’m so curious to actually hear your take on this, especially around these concepts right now that are so up in the psychedelic space, like reciprocity is such a big topic. And when I talk to people about it, there’s like layers of just like guilt and shame around the whole conversation.

And I’m like, oh gosh, we really need to template a new frequency, a new way of how we engage in these conversations without it being like throwing shit at each other, that’s just not helpful. So I’m, I’m curious if you have anything to speak to about that? Yes. 

Claudia: Um, In the process of healing. And this is, you know, I, I can tell you from a, from a different lens or from the lenses where I observe this being here for so many years, coming from where I come from, um, there’s so much repair that needs to happen within self, um, in this, uh, culture in the west, there’s so much that has happened, uh, with, uh, how indigenous communities were treated.

But even before that generations, before that over people has come from the concept of trauma, the concept of pain, the concept of generational trauma and how people has carried these generational trauma and pass on from generation to generation to gen to generation has to be something that we. Ignore to study open up and, and look at.

And when we look at something, then it’s painful the most natural, the most natural way to go about it, just like a child will do is to amount, to feel it, to release it. Because we do know then in the, in the am Indian traditional healing practices, emoting is healing. Emoting is feeling and when you feel something, you release it and when you release it, you hear it.

There’s no way to skip the steps. So as we. Our tracking. And I believe as we are standing and making pressure for integrity and to work with integrity, we’re tracking ourselves and not just ourselves, but different parts of ourselves develop and, and, and aligning in different ways because they’re connected to these multiverses of generations before then, how do we help and allow ourselves to be compassionate and curious and humbled in the process.

So we can tend to the parts that are still grieving, something that maybe happened generations ago, but there has to be a model or there has, there, there, there has to be several models to hold grief. Of the collective, because this is not just personal, it’s truly collective as we do, uh, work on generational trauma and more, uh, research.

We understand that the pain that is moving through us often is not just ours. It might be from our parents, grandparents. Great-grandparents great. Great-grandparents so we, in some ways have an ability to transmute and transform something that didn’t have the ability to be trans or transformed before.

So it is a wonderful opportunity and also a lot of work. So as we are aligning ourselves to integrity and asking all the parts of us to be in right relationship with themselves and with life, there are moments where we will need to, we will feel this, um, Ways in which we move then are uncomfortable and we can maintain curiosity within that because there might be something very important, important underneath it.

There’s so much need, um, there’s so much, um, healing needed in for, so for all of us and it’s not because, um, eh, oh, one of my teachers says, it’s not because there is something wrong with us, but it’s actually because there is a need to 10 to that, which is, uh, not quite at ease to bring it into ease. So if we take the time, we are curious, we have saved spaces and safe enough to enter would help.

Um, we can actually listen to what a part of self needs and tend to it. You know, as, as the medicine ceremony told you. Listen, and you will, you know, you do this practice for 15 minutes and your whole body will get used to this new way. This, this new blueprint you have access to it is a practice. It is a muscle it’s, it is a constant practice of compassion, humbleness listening, and, um, not taking yourself too seriously either.

Right. Mm-hmm being in that possibility of zooming in deeply, and then zooming out releasing it’s like same talking like contracting and releasing just like everything alive being hell and the Excel. But this, this, yeah, this theme about guilt and shame in the west is a big theme that it’s tend. And it’s, there’s so much that hasn’t been a knowledge.

So there’s so much grit that needs to move through for it to. Realign to help. So creating a spaces to hold the grief and the shame without judgment, but with compassion to allow that, um, health process to happen is one of the most important endeavors. So this times as well, we need everybody on board.

There’s so much work to do. 

Laura Dawn: yeah. I mean, that was really just so much wisdom shared there and just such a, um, framework and a recipe for moving through this time. Just reiterate, naming, creating safe spaces, bringing the medicine of curiosity. Of compassion of listening, of understanding of non-judgment. I mean, you really named quite a, quite a framework there of being able to hold it and then weaving in this other thread of nervous system regulation and noticing that when there is a lot of, of trigger and a lot of this, you know, guilt and shame, it’s like an upregulation of the nervous system.

And, you know, that was that message that reminder of like, okay, find that balance down, regulate, find that balance between your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. And that that’s actually unlocks a portal to healing and being able to be present, be with, listen, hold it, you know, hold it with with levity, you know, that’s the other piece, like not try to grapple with it, but just actually, how do I hold it in the center?

My, one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Pema Cho talks about, you know, staying on the dot. Just really staying on the dot, sitting in the center of it. And I, I do think that medicines really teach us how to sit in the middle of discomfort without bolting. There’s nowhere to go. I mean, you can go in your mind and, and, you know, resist in your mind, but how do we just actually learn to come back over and over and over again, which really is strengthened through daily practice and the practice of mindfulness and meditation and breathwork can help.

And, you know, even added added instructions from the medicine of like, just sit 15 minutes down, regulate your nervous system, come to come into alignment with the feeling and frequency of home in your body. That was this specific message I wanna acknowledge. You said something earlier. We need to decolonize our thinking.

You said we’re in the process of decolonization in our thoughts and our thinking. This might be a really big question to unpack, but what do you in particular mean by that particularly? 

Claudia: I mean, being able to stand in the dignity and the, and, and the clarity that it is or birthright to heal ourselves, I do believe then based on, on, on, on my studies and on teachings, and then we do have the ability to heal ourselves.

We do have the ability to make ourselves better, um, to heal our physical bodies or mental, psychological bodies or spiritual bodies. And there are specific practices. And specific, um, mechanisms as if, um, we were doing mathematics like with the ones and the zeros, there are specific ways in which we can align ourselves to help over and over and over and giving these memory, returning this memory to all communities on earth.

It is the most important thing to do because we must have our health in our house. So the colonizing means to me, really shifting the paradigm of how we perceive ourselves, how we perceive health, how we perceive each other, how we perceive problems and solutions, how we perceive creativity. Somehow it is dreaming a new dream within the dream we’re in.

So shifting paradigms, which means can we be, because we are, we are in this dream, the means has a colonizing, um, uh, aspect and has created so much suffering for so many communities on earth. And, um, there, there is right now, a desire and an, and a curiosity and, and a urgency to say, we have to return to our humanity, but we are still in this paradigm together.

So how do we dream a dream for dream within this paradigm? That is no acknowledging our humanity, but we dream within that a new paradigm that acknowledges what we stand for, which is dignity, which is reciprocity, which is humanity, which is also acknowledging we have the ability to heal ourselves and we have the right tools and the safe setting to do so.

So, how do we create safe settings for different communities and each person doing a little bit will do incredible work. I can just do the much I can do. You can only do the much you can do, but if all of us are committed to creating a different and to shift in the paradigm for health and for life basic principles and our indigenous principles and have guided humanity through millennia.

And now in the west, we are digesting and thinking about, and being inspired by and move by how do we shift or paradigm? So we are actually in a right relationship, but also sustaining health. So if we are. They colonizing health. I mean, I just spoke about the macro, right? I, I love this concept of going to the macro and then now we zoom into the micro.

So what that means in the micro education, empowerment, possibilities, safe settings, um, leadership that has integrity and even the MI more detailed. Microcosmos what reparations need to be happening here in this land. I am right now in UMMA, Chino territory. What does it mean for me as a one person coming as a guest to island and listening to communities and listening to the land and listening to what’s needed what’s needed in basic communities, the Wasco community close to.

They need clean water. They need, um, ways to remember their indigenous, um, uh, traditions to support and fight, um, addiction in the, in the, in the reservations. I mean, there’s very basic things that are needed. How could we support with that? How could we go and have a conversation? How could we go and listen, in which way could we support?

Could we be supportive so we can go to the macro and speak about it in the bigger sense of things. We can go into the microcosmos and really seeing how is my every step, your every step tending to these, um, need to return to. With dignity for everyone, everyone. So, yes, um, the colonizing means being able to have the muscle and that’s the macro cosmos view and the microcosmos view really well developed and then being able to, to be in our minds, uh, with creative, uh, with creativity, to resolve the problems we are presented with deeply connected with our hearts So we can truly continue being human in the process. So really medicine is about being more human and no losing the value of what human needing means like what being human means. So all this work we’re doing is to be a better human, a more human, and to not lose the value of what human means, which is, Which is preservation of life, continuity of life for the next seven generations to come and more beyond. 

Laura Dawn: Yeah. And it makes me think of this concept in Eastern philosophy of shared humanity, you know, weaving this in of like I, the more human I allow myself to be, you know, in integrity, standing ind in dignity, owning my worth, and also standing with humility.

It’s just, the more I give myself permission to really, you know, be authentically who I am, there’s healing in that. And knowing that we can create space for other people to stand in that as well, and that we are all the same and we are all different and that that’s okay. And we can celebrate those differences and also celebrate our shared humanity.

Mm-hmm 

Claudia: yes, yes. And we are all the same and we are all different and. in some ways, um, that differences is what sustains life, right? Mm-hmm just like, if you see, uh, the biodiversity of something is what allows that something to continue being alive. Mm-hmm um, so listening to our differences, making a space for them, acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses within that acknowledging, um, or brilliance within that.

And the pieces I need still tending within that is, is the most important, what a beautiful thing, the more so different, because the biodiversity will preserve itself forever and ever, and ever that’s how it’s happened through millennia mm-hmm and work together in it. So yes, so much to learn and listen and, and be with at the same time.

Laura Dawn: Mm. Yeah. In the last episode, grandmother, Jo T said, you know, diversity is part of the, solution’s let it is celebrate the diversity. It’s celebrated it a joy truly, right? The, the shift from cultural appropriation to cultural appreciation, like, yes, let’s celebrate all the differences of our cultures and respect them and honor them for the differences that they are and that they embody you previously said specific practices about when I asked you about decolonizing, the mind there was specific practices, you said, do you, can you name anything specifically just to plant seeds of awareness, plant seeds of possibility in people’s hearts and minds here right now of what’s possible.

Claudia: The basic practice across the, the world, I believe is our practice of breeding. For practicing in our ability to inhale through the nose and Excel through the mouth with sound, you know, in the, the untraditional healing practices, we do believe that as we are inhaling through the nose, the air then hits the follicles in our, on our nose.

Um, the follicles vibrate, the air to a high intense velocity then turns air into light. So as we inhale through the noses, we are actually inhaling light and we have the ability to direct the light, whatever we want in our system, whatever we are hurting, whatever it feels then is compressed. Whatever we feel is contracted and is released.

So we can inhale through the nose, direct the light, whatever in the body we will, we need it, hold it for a few seconds and then open ours, lift up your chin and make a sound for the, and the sound extend as much as your breath extend. And that. Exercising itself is like a little golden nugget. Then you can use any time anywhere to realign yourself again, to solve and to help.

So a practice of there’s a very simple practice of inhaling and excelling to allow your body to return to health. You know, like that when there are other practices, then allow us to heal ourselves, to realign ourselves. The ability to ode. For example, we do say, um, when we have tears coming to our eyes is the mirror over our soul.

So truly what we’re doing is cleansing our bodies. If we can feel something and allow ourselves to emote, cause we’re feeling it that relieves that cleanse that water, moving through all of our bodies is actually opening the channels again to standing good health. So instead of being in these, uh, very busy, upper realm, always finding ways to drop in, into the body, into the emotions, into the breath.

And from there allowing the body to guide the process to reorganize. I mean, our bodies are the most wise, incredible devices we have. We have this ability of just, if we tune to them, they know exactly what to do and how to they guide us perfectly to those points of decompression or release. Um, So tuning into the body with acute, with acute sensitivity is part of the natural healing processes we have available to us.

Different people does differently here, movement, dance, meditation, mindfulness, walking in nature, um, singing, doing art, um, playing music, uh, giggling laughter. Um, and of course, other ways in which original people of the earth have done it, like going to the mountain for the conation for several days, sitting with plant medicine and not just sitting with plant medicine, but giving one self time to integrate with one gathering that LA medicine ceremony mm-hmm so really a slowing down the process to return to our senses.

Um, yeah. 

Laura Dawn: You also mentioned indigenous principles, which we’ve been naming throughout this entire conversation, this understanding of health and sacred reciprocity and right relationship and listening and slowing down. Are there any others that you feel like naming that we could weave in here? So the 

Claudia: one I spoke about earlier, they know yourself to heal yourself, to align yourself.

To purpose, to be of service is, um, very strong, um, principle than, than is moving through the way I live life will live life for, for millennia. Um, also the principles of the pillars of forgiveness and gratitude, specifically the ability to acknowledge them as we are moving through healing processes, we have an ability to.

Being gratitude and also allow ourselves to forgive and forgive ourselves. Forgive the other, ask for forgiveness, you know, within that, within that, um, I guess indigenous from the end is this, this map will look like three different levels of forgiveness. We have forgiving the other when somebody has trespass, like truly being the work of releasing or forgiving the other, which doesn’t mean forgetting.

It means liberating oneself from the intensity of that experience. So one can free oneself. It also requires, or, or the second level would be asking for forgiveness in any moment and any time where somebody directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously in the microcosmos or macrocosmos in the visible or invisible worlds, um, when one has done damage.

For asking for forgiveness, and this is a daily practice as well. And then eventually, and the most important is forgiving oneself for any moment in which oneself consci you unconsciously directly, indirectly in the visible or invisible worlds in the microcosmos or macrocosmos cause one self harm, truly forgiving oneself.

And as our teachers say, forgiveness is a miracle that happens in an instant because there is nothing we can do to stop what already happened. We could use that as another example, the past already happened. It already happened. There is nothing we can do to travel back in time and return and prevent and stop to happen.

And the future is an EU. We’re always here thinking that the future is arriving tomorrow and the next day and the next day. And you and I, you know, checked in last week and we didn’t arrive to this moment and said welcome to the future Hora. Great. Finally, in the future. Yeah, we made it. That never happens.

The future is actually just an illusion. We never get there. The only thing we have is this present and it’s in this present moment and we have the ability to do the miracles that we need to, to shift and change our lives. So it’s in this present and now in this present and now in this present and now in this present forever and never, and never a consecutive moment and is the present moment where all possibilities are available and, and, and that principle, again, it is connected deeply with the self healing practices that we have.

We have the ability to remember. I may stay in that present to tend to man create, expand ambition, dream love, cry, feel at all times. Hmm. There’s 

Laura Dawn: so much there. The first one you shared really struck me as like know yourself to heal yourself and aligning with your purpose. There’s so much there. When I, when I was on my walk this morning, one of the things that came to me was this, this awareness or this understanding, and, and you use the word integrity a few times in this conversation, which I, I think of when I think of integrity as like a alignment, you know, when we’re in integrity, it’s like mind, body, heart alignment.

We align our thoughts, our beliefs, our words, our actions, and that’s where we’re our strongest mm-hmm and we’re in integrity. And when we. You were referenced actually leadership with integrity. And, and I think that when we are out of integrity in our lives and we go into ceremony and there’s this realignment that’s happening, this awareness around.

Oh, okay. Those are the places that I’m, I’m out of alignment and there’s energy that has to go into realigning, those dissonant energies into harmonious resonant energies. And that takes, that takes energy and time and focus. And it was this thought that was just a really simple awareness as I was walking this morning of like, when we’re out of integrity and we go into ceremony, it’s like, all this time is spent on like realigning and, and healing that, and, you know, bringing it back into alignment.

But when we are clear and we, we are actually embodying a way of walking in integrity on this earth, That there’s, that that channel is already open. And then it’s more moving into that clear, open creativity space of like, okay. And that the prayer is clear and clarity is arriving. And there’s like, there’s this, that, you know, continuum of not having to sort of focus all your energy of, oh, that’s out of alignment.

I gotta, you know, bring that back. But it’s more just that clear open channel. I’m I’m curious if, if this, you know, strikes a chord or brings anything up for you in that process. Is that something, I mean, it really just occurred to me this morning. It was simple, but yet it’s, it is something that I’ve experienced before many, many times.

Mm-hmm 

Claudia: yes. And, and it might be too, as you were, as you was, as you were sharing that, you know, many times what one can see with a planned medicine with a master plan, and it is very unknown, the experience that you might have. Sometimes you might feel, uh, specifically, as you said, that alignment, so clean and clear, and then it is all about being in that joy or being in that receiving or being in that envisioning.

Um, often it is a mixture of things going back and forth between, uh, different states. Um, there’s also moments too, where, as you said, a lot of energy has to go into the alignment, but the alignment in itself. And then speaking of the integrity that a tree has, the speaking of the integrity that the seasons of the year have the integrity of cycles of, uh, birth growth, life, death, just this integrity.

It’s not a linearal thing. It’s not like one thing. One point it is a point, but it’s also a multiverse within that point. Because it’s cyclical and Northern integrity, cyclical, integrity holds all these, um, nuances the way, the way, at least I I’ve, I’ve learned it and perceive it is there is this point and has all these nuances and it’s there are about cycles.

Um, so when we’re standing in integrity and when we’re feeling integrity in a, in a, in a ceremony, in a circle, what we’re feeling is really the wise plan, master plan medicine, realigning it all the, in the multiverse, right? It’s not just the consciousness, but it’s also the unconscious is the physiology is the spirit is the heart.

Or the, the, the love that you said is the motion, the psychology. So all these, uh, nuances. So yes, with integrity feels it is a constant learning and it’s a constant learning. Especially because, and this is interesting, especially because I believe one of the biggest, most challenging things for as humans is understanding how to stand in power and what power means.

Our relationship with power hasn’t been modeled in healthy ways. What is true power? So standing in power is standing in humbleness, but that concept in itself is not what we see in our everyday life, in this Western culture and, and everything that Western culture has touch. So how are we able to decolonize the concept to what power means when we are feeling it, when we’re in.

And you can feel probably, you know, you were just with the co community, those, those communities are the most pot and powerful communities. And you see them in the most humbling giving and forgiving and generous ways to the, to us, their older brothers, their younger brothers and sisters. So it is connected to that.

Like being in integrity is also being in this humble heart and ability to acknowledge that we are these little plants in these passports. And from there, we can do so much. And also there’s so much happening at all times at the same time. We’re time. Really. We are time, um, within that, you know, without minimizing our responsibility, but also acknowledging them.

It is really good to go and sit with the plant medicine and feel tiny. It returns us whole. It returns us to, um, our humble hearts being that’s needed to understand what to do when power or attention comes to us to be able to direct that in a good way to never forget that hard timing. Yeah. 

Laura Dawn: That is such a, a nugget of wisdom.

I just love interacting with your consciousness. I really say I’m like, wow. And just your, yeah. Just being exposed to how you think and your perception. I love this notion that, you know, being in your power is actually standing in humility really profound. Earlier you mentioned about yeah. Being in right relationship with the land.

You, you mentioned that around when you were talking about Alma specifically and yeah, I’m curious. What does that look like for you to walk in right relationship with the land you named the land that you’re on and any suggestions to plant seeds, you know, in people’s minds here around how can we orient in a better way to, towards being in right relationship to this earth that we walk on?

Mm-hmm 

Claudia: I will say no, the indigenous community and territories you stand on mm-hmm do an offering. Hello. Sometimes an offering is just going outside by a tree by a stream and saying, hello, my name is Claudia, and I’m here with a good heart listening and mean no harm. Um, if you go on, on nature walks, don’t just take things you.

Simple things like taking things just because, oh, that looks wonderful. I’m just gonna take it home and then forget where it came from. Actually be in relationship ask, listen. Um, but specifically I will say no, the native communities and are around territories where you are other history. And if you are able to extend, um, your curiosity towards a relationship with them, what are they doing?

What are they working on? What is the, the, if they could say what they need, what would they need? And in what way can you be of support? In what way could you be more educated to, to, again, not just go to the macro, oh, this is their name, but go to the micro customers and go, who are you? Where are they that territory who would say hello?

Are they having a, uh, a specific event they can be part of, or just at least go and. And and say, hello, um, also be involved with organizations and are wanting to create possibilities for health for those communities. You know, this is there’s so much need, um, right now, and so much awareness and, and desire of, of awareness in regards to how one can help, um, like the project raw medicine or the project Alma or the project then are really wanting to return from this energetic level two, all those economics and, and ability for those communities to decide what to do with these.

Economic wellness because the truth is we all need drinking. We all need to drink water. We all deserve good schools. We all deserve safety in our neighborhoods. We all deserve, um, programs for young men and women. We all deserve, um, uh, a system of health to support their physical, mental, psychological bodies.

There’s so much, um, uh, inequality that needs to come into balance. So what can we do to bring and help with accessibility and equality into the communities we’re in? And there’s so many possibilities to be of support in so many ways. Um, so be curious, be curious, get to know the territory you are in, make an offering, ask for.

Meaning you can go to a stream or a tree and say, I’m not sure how, but I would like to be in contact with the original people of this land. I’m gonna offer a little bit of tobacco or a small, or I’m gonna just leave a little piece of hair in a tree and say, if this is possible, please guide me to be in better relationship with the people around me.

We’re always learning and growing. There’s millions of possibilities and ways to, um, foster curiosity in a humble way, you know, to be able to listen and wanna know,

Laura Dawn: thank you for that. When I was in Peru, working with the Shabo grandmother, she said to me, the more you sing, the more, you know, and you’re a musician and I’ve been able to witness you play and sing. And it’s such a core foundation of ceremony and such a core thread that weaves throughout all indigenous cultures, mm-hmm and ceremony and working with different medicines.

Yeah. I know this is such a, a big area to unpack, you know, and I’m so curious, you know, the, the power of song as a modality of transmutation. 

Claudia: Yes. Yes. Um, sound has the ability to liquefy matter. So as to 

Laura Dawn: liquefy matter to liquefy matter, 

Claudia: so it has the ability to actually shift and change and transmute and transform, um, density into lightness.

Hmm. Um, in the, and the untraditional healing, the energy is not good or bad. It’s just dense or light conscious or unconscious. So, what we are doing with sound is bringing consciousness into unconscious energy. So you could use sound to do incredible healing work and the sound doesn’t come from you or me.

It just comes through the bigger, um, universal grandmother, grandfather, a consciousness. So when one does sound, one is a vessel that’s. That is why the more you see the more, you know, cause you are at you are, you are at the school, you’re singing, you’re opening up as a vessel. And that which is coming through you is really teaching you and, um, is just a incredibly beautiful way to way powerful way, Mr.

Way to work with energy or this electrical current that moves through everything and everyone. And as you said, nothing, um, Nothing leaves. Everything gets transformed. The ability to transform and transmute something into something else. Healing. Is that the ability to transform and transmute something into something else?

Um, it is not abstracted. It is not erase you, you don’t erase something, you don’t extract something. You can kinda struck something and shame change its composition. But, uh, truly what you are doing at all times is transmuting mm-hmm yeah. Qualities from one quality to another quality, from a quality that feels maybe not so comfortable to a quality that feels more comfortable.

Mm. 

Laura Dawn: One of the things that I learned about the Kogas is that they have songs for every living being. They have a different song for every living being I’m just like, wow, the, the breadth and the depth of their wisdom and knowledge is just actually unfathomable. 

Claudia: The Cogi are incredible, incredible teachers.

Poof, 

Laura Dawn: what an insurance and all about maintaining the balance, you know? Yes. All of that. And then how do we find that internal balance, which again, is like this core theme of like nervous system regulation. Yes. Like, 

Claudia: yes. You know? 

Laura Dawn: Right. It’s like the, yeah. And then, and then bringing in this topic of service and they have pimentos, you know, which is offerings.

Offerings is like, we take so much from this earth. And then how do we show up in a daily practice to offer, to be in service, to give, to give, you know, not to give back, but actually to give first. To be in that right relationship. Yes. You know, with, with, and, and, and really walk in a way that is embodying sacred reciprocity.

Claudia: Yes. At all times all the time. Mm. I love thank your brother, female, keeping to the earth, you know, and the practices of singing to the earth doing, uh, we call it dispatches, same like parliaments mm-hmm , uh, in different times of the year in different moments, just always constantly giving as a way to, um, acknowledge, um, the aliveness and the reciprocal relationship.

And as you said, too, the giving before giving first not giving because you gave me back actually giving first, like being in mm-hmm in that, uh, relational balance at all times all the time. Mm-hmm . 

Laura Dawn: Well, it was so nice the first time that we met mm-hmm we were speaking together for en Theo wheel, which is so beautiful. And I knew I wanted to connect with you more and then just reading your bio. I honestly, I just can’t believe what an extensive background you have. it’s like really just so, so impressive.

Mm-hmm and you’re able to really hold, not only this lineage and Peruvian lineage, but you’ve done so much extensive training from art therapy and somatic experiencing and having training in MDMA therapy and ketamine therapists like, wow. And now you’re the cultural director of Alma Institute, which I’m really excited to dive into.

And I was just thinking maybe we could just start by you sharing your, your lineage from. Peru. And maybe from there going right into this core concept that we, we know we wanna explore in this conversation together around this, this foundational concept of I E that really comes from your roots and your lineage.

Beautiful. 

Claudia: Yes. Yes. Thank you. Thank you for the invitation. And, um, let’s see. I, I was born in Peru, um, and I’ve been here since I was 18 years old. I didn’t think I was gonna come to the states and live in the states ever in my life. I come from a family, the Ima Mati family. So from my father’s side of the family, come from the Ima region of, um, Juan can on the other side of the Pika lake, the frontier with Bolivia.

And that’s where the roots of my father’s lineage comes from. And, um, from my mother, I come from a. Which is also in the south a little bit Northern from Puno, but next to it. So my background is growing up with dance and music and song and coming together, many generations and being 30 or 40 people at my grandparents’ tiny little apartment all the time.

You know, people then actually, because I grew up in the city in Lima and eventually all the family from my, especially my father’s side of the family, migrated to the city to go to university, to do schooling and all of them, uh, connected to social justice. So I come also from a strong lineage of people that has fought for, uh, social justice worker’s rights, um, indigenous rights.

And, you know, my grandfather has been incarcerated. My father was incar incarcerated, deported Andile from the country many, many times. And, um, Growing up within a family of deep thinkers and, um, activists for me, it meant just always having this sense of community within and this sense of how do we, um, support each other.

How do we listen to one another? How do we come together over and over and over? So coming here to the states at H 18 was a big shock and I came to study music. I was a music student at the music conservatory in, in Peru, in Lima for, uh, all my high school years, as well as the years after high school. And, uh, I got a scholarship to come to the states to study music, and I came and I stay much longer than what I imagine.

And within that. Just many doors, open, many doors close, too. It was very difficult to be here as an immigrant 18. I didn’t know much English and, uh, I knew music as a language than I share. And, um, I continue my studies with music, which then took me to really pause and go, okay. So what is truly what I want to, to do, and the inquiry about healing and healing practices and the potency of music, being able to transform life and transform emotions and transform just going back to dancing at my grandmother, just and singing together, and the sense of belonging always and kind of got guided my work.

And from there, I started to inquiry about music and healing, expressive arts, art as a healing too. And then that took me to wanting to study more. Then psychology, because wanting to understand the mind then the energetic body, which then, um, took me back to my own roots, to study deeply with teachers from the Andes, which I have deep relationship with.

And, and now we’re here. I find myself in Oregon, Portland from all places being part of this, um, big movement of people, wanting to understand more on how to actually return to roots, to do healing work and you so needed, it make so much sense, but there’s also so much work to do there to, as we all say to make that happen in a good way, in a way where all of it is extended to an accounter for in a circle mm-hmm,

Laura Dawn: And so you’re the cultural director of Alma Institute. And so what does that mean to be a cultural, what it means director, I’m kind 

Claudia: of the person that does the liaison with all the communities, you know, that we’re working with. And in some ways I’ve been doing that for a long time, just happens to, you know, Alma Institute invited me to, to, to actually do it, uh, with the awareness, then this education desire to create a allyship between communities.

It was deeply connected also to communities, growth communities, remembrance, communities, health, and dignity. And so I am the person that are working with native communities in the area and informing and sharing what Alma stands for as well as the black and immigrant community here. So really it’s about building relationship and building trust amongst.

Our relationships, uh, relationships take time, trust, takes time to develop, and it’s a beautiful dance to be and to say, um, we’re here together. So also requires a lot of listening and in this, through Alma in this way, this stigmatizing planned medicine. So the communities have the opportunity if they want to, to return to their original ways of knowing for the wellbeing and the wellbeing of their circles and their extended, uh, families and communities.

Hm, mm-hmm . 

Laura Dawn: And for those who don’t know about Alma, I’m also just learning about the mission of Alma. And it’s actually a really incredible organization. I would love for people to check out the website, Alma training.org. And if you feel like just sharing a little bit about what the mission of Alma is before we start diving into some of these other topics of I E and reciprocity and community bridge building, maybe we could just share just a foundation of, of the mission of 

Claudia: Alma.

So Alma is rooted in, uh, reciprocity. It’s an organization is that is the only nonprofit, um, um, Institute right now that is offering training on psychedelic, excuse me, on assisted psycho. Um, and it is rooted in wanting to offer this training specifically for black brown and indigenous community. Uh, also for the G LGBTQ community, as well as communities then are, uh, neuro divergent.

So, uh, we are rooted in a desire to have equity and accessibility, other desire to acknowledge indigenous knowing and indigenous knowledge, uh, desire to be in reciprocity and good and right relationship with the land where we are and where the communities that we interact and to really highlight then healing is our birthright.

And in order for us to access our own healing, we have to also acknowledge that there is a decolonization process that has to happen in our own thinking or be. So we are committed to education, empowerment, solidarity, listening. And being in right relationship with the communities we work with, um, and, and, and be, and because of that Almas of course, uh, organism then continues to grow and change because to be in right relationship means listen in both ways.

So we continue to be, um, committed to this proposal, as well as humbly learning in 

Laura Dawn: the process. When you think of this concept of right relationship, how would you describe that for people? And is that deeply connected to being raised in a culture that embodied in knowing of this concept of, of I E 

Claudia: mm-hmm being in right relationship, um, has to do with being able to listen to what is around you and really take to heart.

What you’re observing, tracking, being in right. Relationship means showing up humbly. To be present to be vulnerable being in right relationship means acknowledging them. We’re always in a symbiotic relationship of giving and receiving. And that connects to I directly, which is in the, in UA, in our indigenous language.

One of them, it means sacred reciprocity. So how are we constantly acknowledging that life itself is in sacred reciprocity with life itself. And then for us, as we walk in life, we’re always creating ripples, no matter what we do, even if we don’t do anything, there’s some ripples happening. And if we can be aware and responsible for the ripples, then are being created as we move, as we think, as we speak, as we envision, as we collaborate, then we can acknowledge, then this IIO relationship is not just between humans.

It’s. The plant kingdom, the mineral kingdom, the mushroom kingdom, um, is between earth and the sky and fire and water is between all the seasons. I mean, we can go from the micro cosmos to the macrocosmos and everything is in relationship to itself. So there is, um, unknown and an acknowledgement and being in sacred right relationship or sacred reciprocity with life means standing for life, generating life, defending life, protecting life, and allowing life to continue blossoming into new life, uh, with everything we do, uh, with everything we, we, uh, connect with and in everything, in everything we envision, which then I will tie it to is ultimately service service to life.

You know, this concept of connects people deeply to the healing processes of, of, of we inviting people to consider and be part of, which is know yourself to heal yourself. To allow yourself to be aligned, to purpose, to be of service that is, I need the reciprocal support and protection of life towards more life and more health.

When I say life, I mean health 

Laura Dawn: mm-hmm . So it seems like they’re very interconnected concepts, right? Relationship and sacred reciprocity, but they are also distinctly different. Yes. 

Claudia: Sacred reciprocity I need is happening at all times, regardless of us being involved in it, this, this is the way life moves being in right.

Relationship is being in right relationship with acknowledgement than that is happening at all times. And the conscious decision to say we are going to listen, we’re going to acknowledge we’re going to soften enough, slow down enough, calm the internal system enough. Acknowledged then there is something else happening besides what I can see with my eyes or here with my ears.

There’s some life moving through and to be in right. Relationship means acknowledged, then that is happening. And how consciously do I choose to be in that at all times or in connection to that life force at all times? Mm. 

Laura Dawn: I really appreciate that in my own experience, I’ve found that one of the, the gems and the wisdom teachings of sacred plant medicines is that they show us how to pay, pay attention, to subtlety, to energy, to slow down, you know, to tune into a different way of perceiving.

And I’m curious. If that’s been your experience, if there’s anything that you’d like to share about that related to sacred plant medicine, specifically to ceremony and how those experiences can actually train us to be in right relationship and really embody the understanding on a real somatic level of what it means to be in sacred reciprocity.

When, in 

Claudia: communal in relationship with plant medicine, um, what, what we have the opportunity to do is to allow something to soften so much in the internal mechanism in internal bodies, in internal somatic bodies than our senses grow so acute to other realms of reality. So when we talk about blood medicine, we can talk about the ability to, or not the ability, but the invitation to, uh, soften the valve.

So we can perceive the, what we call the multiverse or what we call. The different aspects of the different, um, eh, worlds that exist within this world and within many worlds. So the ability this medicine master plans have to soften us with them to be able to listen in a different way, to perceive in a different way, to sense in a different way.

As we, um, continue to, to study this and to learn about ourselves in the process, what we’re doing is we’re saying yes to sensitivities with it. And there’s people that has Studi this and continues to share this, you know, one of my dear teachers that centered and one of, or their students and teacher two Nalia has, is doing a complete beautiful study of how are senses, um, how in indigenous knowledge and indigenous traditions senses are the things that get trained from the beginning of life.

To actually sensorial awareness, acute sensorial awareness, to be able to walk through a forest or to walk, to walk through anywhere and perceive all those sounds and all those smells, all those SCS, all those visuals and listen and being communion and relationship with that plant with a bird, with a tree without a stream.

So we have a beautiful opportunity and a huge responsibility because as we enter this rooms and become, um, aware of them, then the concept of being in bright relationship also applies. How are we in right relationship when the river is saying, come on, sing to me, sit next, comes next to me and sing to me.

That will help me. Or as we are coming out and there’s specific birds singing outside. I mean, these senses have been trained through millennia. I know indigenous and originals, people of the Earth’s the west and moves so fast that has forgotten. And all these, uh, acute, uh, gifts exist within us, especially to be in right relationship with everything around us.

Mm-hmm 

Laura Dawn: Hmm. I wanna connect a.here, um, between this development of the senses and understanding what it means to embody sacred reciprocity and, and right relationship and the nervous system, especially with your background of three years of training and somatic experiencing. And I sat with iowaska last weekend and one of the core.

Just reminders was just tuning into the subtlety of the nervous system. And I noticed, you know, I just went through this really big move. I mean, I was only in Austin for eight months, but I had been living on the big island for 10 years. Wow. Outside and being in Austin in a city and just like noticing how much more upregulated my nervous system was.

And the medicine just reminded me around, okay. Time to breathe and down regulate. And this past month has been like packing up my, this apartment that I had and just, you know, getting everything dialed and moving and with, you know, seven checked bags at the airport, just like the whole move to make it down to Costa Rica was just a lot of go, go, go.

And the medicine was reminding me the importance of being in alignment in deep alignment with a frequency of prayer and clarity in my life, in my heart. That actually, it, it is very deeply connected to being in deep regulation with the nervous system. So I’m curious. So what’s, what’s your thoughts about that?

And what’s your own thinking process around that? Studying 

Claudia: the nervous system is just so fascinating because as I have moved through life and do all these in-person studies and wanting to know more about these different aspects, the nervous system for me is, uh, the glue that puts it all together. The physical body, the mental, psychological body, and the spirit body is this kind of like UniFi in the middle of it that allows all these three aspects to, to interact through an electrical current that happens through all of our bodies.

And it happens through all, everything that is alive. So, um, if we can notice our electrical system and in some ways it is the constant life force energy moving through us at all times, available to us at all times in healing processes. When we work with medicine, what medicine is doing, regardless of what medicine we’re working with, when we’re working with these master plans, what master plans are doing, they are unlocking and unblocking the channels where the life force energy, current passes through to align ourselves to health, to pure health.

So as you say, you know, you’ve been busy and moving through a lot and probably a sensitive person going through so many things without being necessarily able to process them or, or, um, cleanse them or move them through to sit in a medicine ceremony. And the medicine goes, okay, let’s just clean all the channel.

Let’s just open up again, all those channels. So then lifeforce energy can return to its most natural state of health. Um, and it’s a beautiful example because nowadays we need that practice so much. And in, in original communities in indigenous communities, people will sit with medicine in a specific moments where healing needed to happen, where, uh, maybe a birth baptism, a union, a death will happen and needed to be acknowledged when the community needed to resolve, um, a difficulty or, or come up with, uh, creative solutions to tend to intense difficult problems.

But then the practice of those teachings will be every. Or are every day. So the invitation is, so now we get this welding nugget sitting with our plant medicine and how do we practice and create practices in our everyday we call here now meditation, mindfulness, and ability to sit still, um, contemplate nature, um, because that will allow our nervous system to really reset to, uh, this natural state of health.

Especially we have a view of 360 degrees. There’s all these things that we know now, especially we are practicing without breathing. Just disability. We have to be resilient in the muscle mm-hmm . Um, and in the system, that is the nervous system, the fascinating nervous system. 

Laura Dawn: Yeah. Yeah. In ceremony, she was so specific.

She was giving me daily practice instruction and, you know, I have a, a pretty solid morning practice and all of that, but she was like 15 minutes every morning, wake up and lay on your back and breathe and relax into the feeling of home in your body. That was the, this very specific message. I was like, okay, check.

You know, and, and I also feel like. Just being in tune with the frequency of nature. And that was one thing, you know, contrast is always so, so valuable, you know, and being in, in the city, it’s the first time I’ve lived in a city in 20 years. So being in a city and then just recognizing just how, how much just simply looking at the mountains here from my balcony in shitty bow, just how much even just visually seeing beauty is such a, a source of, of replenishment and nourishment on such a cellular level and how much nature can just offer that beauty to us as a way of, of, of deeply recalibrating in our bodies, in our nervous systems.

And I think that so many people just haven’t had this experience in so many years that they it’s just like, we forget we need to like, remember to remember how much nature is medicine. Yes, very 

Claudia: much. I mean, We, um, in many ways, as we sit with a master plant, what we are doing is we’re becoming them. We’re becoming nature.

We’re becoming a plant. We’re becoming a, just a little flower on the side, you know, just simplifying the process and returning to the most simple one of my teachers always says returning to the most simple is the most pot taking a breath, looking at something beautiful, allowing the senses to really track nuances of color, nuances of temperature, nuances of sound, nuances of landscape breathing.

Again, it’s a humbling experience because when we are living in the west, there’s so much so fast all the time moving. Um, we lose track of these most important, simple things and our, our way to. Getting back home, which is our bodies, which is our centers, then, then allows us there to envision listen, um, contemplate understanding mm-hmm 

Laura Dawn: Hmm.

From your way of relating to sacred plant medicines, do you consider these medicines to be really high frequency energies? Just kind of curious of your thinking around that? Yes. . Yes. 

Claudia: Yes. They, they are, um, they’re teachers and teachers move in really high frequency ways. We talk about frequency specifically.

Um, they’re deeply connect with, uh, laughter and joy, which is ultimately help mm-hmm you listen to a child giggle and you just feel the help in that giggle. Um, regardless of, of, of, uh, maybe the, the, the situation, there’s something that happens in our human body, in our, in our experience. But we just remember, remember this, um, innate sense of laughter and giggle.

And those are very high frequency experiences when we’re laughing. We’re not thinking about anything else, but laughing when we’re enjoy, we’re not experiencing anything else. But so, so yes, these teachers are, I believe that’s why we call them masters because they do work in a very high frequency. Mm-hmm, , 

Laura Dawn: yeah’s so interesting that you just named joy, because that was such a, a strong frequency that was coming through that last ceremony too.

And actually I’m also, I’m, I’m falling in love with a new man in my life right now, and it’s such a, a sweet. Yeah, deep remembrance in my body and in the ceremony, there was this moment where I felt like the frequency of joy was just going through my meridians and like templating my energetic body at that frequency of joys.

Like I felt it, I was like sharing it with him. We, we sat together in the ceremony. So sweet. And there was just so much laughter and so much joy. And I was sharing that with him. After we closed the circle, it was like, oh my gosh, there was just joy moving through all the meridians in my body. I could like really feel it, but it was this way that it was like templating my body, you know, and offering this blueprint of how much can you open to goodness in your life?

How much can you open your heart? How much can you raise your frequency and be in joy in your life was really profound. that sounds 

Claudia: wonderful and beautiful. It’s like a whole recalibration of your whole system to have this template access access. So you do access this template, so, wow. Yeah. Yes. 

Laura Dawn: Yeah. Yeah.

I’m I’m curious to know what, what does your daily practice look like? 

Claudia: Mm-hmm uh, my daily practice, uh, it, it changes, it continues to change nowadays. Sitting and just beating Medi what I would call meditation or just releasing at the beginning of the day. So having a moment to enter my, my ceremonial space, light a candle, be able to breathe and just listen and listen to, you know, to the, to the different bodies, um, from a specific frame or prayers that I’m working with, you know, there’s like a few that I’m holding right now and maybe those change over time.

So from that lens, looking at the template, how is my template doing and what is needed? And then from the microcosmos, then extending that to the macro. So how, how after 15, 20 minutes and how is all these in the internal and internal world, then expanding towards the outer layers? Um, And then being able to envision and listening to the outer, you know, to what, what comes for the day?

What is, what is close here, uh, during the day, what is, um, needed to be tended to? And then I do specific practice of, uh, the traditional healing, which is specific, um, or, uh, I guess protection or ceiling then happens in the, and the traditional healing. Then we, we practice with, with one of my teachers as well, for many, many years, just to be able to

see clearly, you know, there part of it is may I be able to see and look here and listen, speak and talk, be able to actually see between the nuances of the realms when I am interacting with the world. So I can be of surveys in the best possible way to these changes and new times we’re living in. Mm-hmm and with integrity, 

Laura Dawn: a little, yeah.

Mm-hmm . Mmm. Last month. I was invited by grandmother jot and indigenous elders from the mother earth delegation to accompany them, to meet with the mamos and the Kogi in Columbia. And one of the elders that I was spending time with was Cody kindy, an Ecuadorian shaman, beautiful man, just heart of gold.

And on the last morning that we were there, he really just offered me just this sort of transmission and teachings for me specifically. And he said, You know, it’s time to Polish. You need to Polish yourself to, you know, go to this next level. And, and he said, um, I can see that there’s different ways that you’re, you’re leaking fear and that you need to enhance your protection.

And I, I asked him, okay, you know, I’m familiar with protection practices, but what does that mean for me? Like what, what do you recommend for me to engage in a practice that is about, you know, protecting my, my field and my energy and just without even skipping a beat. He said, when you trust in your path, you are protected.

Yes. And I just thought that was so profound. It’s like simple wisdom, but the depth of that, you know, I, I actually came back from Columbia, went to Austin and I did a, a solo sit with the medicine to actually just fully receive that, that core of that teaching, like into my body on a cellular level. And. I just so many layers of the profundity of that, that I really witnessed actually, you know, because mostly, yeah, I’ve been just experiencing this.

Mm, without going into too much detail with the launch of grow medicine have, have experienced yeah. Being a, a white woman leading something that is really engaging in this conversation of reciprocity and right. Relationship and indigenous led projects. And there has been these, these places within myself of like, am I okay?

Is this okay? Am I saying the wrong thing? Am I, you know, and it actually has just it’s it has impacted. on a, on a, in a certain way. And he just pointed that right out. Like it, it was just, it was something that has been present for me. And I had just come out on the other side of the launch of grow medicine.

And, you know, I’m usually someone who really trusts my path, but there’s a wavering in this, you know, mm-hmm and, and I’m so curious to actually hear your take on this, especially around these concepts right now that are so up in the psychedelic space, like reciprocity is such a big topic. And when I talk to people about it, there’s like layers of just like guilt and shame around the whole conversation.

And I’m like, oh gosh, we really need to template a new frequency, a new way of how we engage in these conversations without it being like throwing shit at each other, that’s just not helpful. So I’m, I’m curious if you have anything to speak to about that? Yes. 

Claudia: Um, In the process of healing. And this is, you know, I, I can tell you from a, from a different lens or from the lenses where I observe this being here for so many years, coming from where I come from, um, there’s so much repair that needs to happen within self, um, in this, uh, culture in the west, there’s so much that has happened, uh, with, uh, how indigenous communities were treated.

But even before that generations, before that over people has come from the concept of trauma, the concept of pain, the concept of generational trauma and how people has carried these generational trauma and pass on from generation to generation to gen to generation has to be something that we. Ignore to study open up and, and look at.

And when we look at something, then it’s painful the most natural, the most natural way to go about it, just like a child will do is to amount, to feel it, to release it. Because we do know then in the, in the am Indian traditional healing practices, emoting is healing. Emoting is feeling and when you feel something, you release it and when you release it, you hear it.

There’s no way to skip the steps. So as we. Our tracking. And I believe as we are standing and making pressure for integrity and to work with integrity, we’re tracking ourselves and not just ourselves, but different parts of ourselves develop and, and, and aligning in different ways because they’re connected to these multiverses of generations before then, how do we help and allow ourselves to be compassionate and curious and humbled in the process.

So we can tend to the parts that are still grieving, something that maybe happened generations ago, but there has to be a model or there has, there, there, there has to be several models to hold grief. Of the collective, because this is not just personal, it’s truly collective as we do, uh, work on generational trauma and more, uh, research.

We understand that the pain that is moving through us often is not just ours. It might be from our parents, grandparents. Great-grandparents great. Great-grandparents so we, in some ways have an ability to transmute and transform something that didn’t have the ability to be trans or transformed before.

So it is a wonderful opportunity and also a lot of work. So as we are aligning ourselves to integrity and asking all the parts of us to be in right relationship with themselves and with life, there are moments where we will need to, we will feel this, um, Ways in which we move then are uncomfortable and we can maintain curiosity within that because there might be something very important, important underneath it.

There’s so much need, um, there’s so much, um, healing needed in for, so for all of us and it’s not because, um, eh, oh, one of my teachers says, it’s not because there is something wrong with us, but it’s actually because there is a need to 10 to that, which is, uh, not quite at ease to bring it into ease. So if we take the time, we are curious, we have saved spaces and safe enough to enter would help.

Um, we can actually listen to what a part of self needs and tend to it. You know, as, as the medicine ceremony told you. Listen, and you will, you know, you do this practice for 15 minutes and your whole body will get used to this new way. This, this new blueprint you have access to it is a practice. It is a muscle it’s, it is a constant practice of compassion, humbleness listening, and, um, not taking yourself too seriously either.

Right. Mm-hmm being in that possibility of zooming in deeply, and then zooming out releasing it’s like same talking like contracting and releasing just like everything alive being hell and the Excel. But this, this, yeah, this theme about guilt and shame in the west is a big theme that it’s tend. And it’s, there’s so much that hasn’t been a knowledge.

So there’s so much grit that needs to move through for it to. Realign to help. So creating a spaces to hold the grief and the shame without judgment, but with compassion to allow that, um, health process to happen is one of the most important endeavors. So this times as well, we need everybody on board.

There’s so much work to do. 

Laura Dawn: yeah. I mean, that was really just so much wisdom shared there and just such a, um, framework and a recipe for moving through this time. Just reiterate, naming, creating safe spaces, bringing the medicine of curiosity. Of compassion of listening, of understanding of non-judgment. I mean, you really named quite a, quite a framework there of being able to hold it and then weaving in this other thread of nervous system regulation and noticing that when there is a lot of, of trigger and a lot of this, you know, guilt and shame, it’s like an upregulation of the nervous system.

And, you know, that was that message that reminder of like, okay, find that balance down, regulate, find that balance between your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. And that that’s actually unlocks a portal to healing and being able to be present, be with, listen, hold it, you know, hold it with with levity, you know, that’s the other piece, like not try to grapple with it, but just actually, how do I hold it in the center?

My, one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Pema Cho talks about, you know, staying on the dot. Just really staying on the dot, sitting in the center of it. And I, I do think that medicines really teach us how to sit in the middle of discomfort without bolting. There’s nowhere to go. I mean, you can go in your mind and, and, you know, resist in your mind, but how do we just actually learn to come back over and over and over again, which really is strengthened through daily practice and the practice of mindfulness and meditation and breathwork can help.

And, you know, even added added instructions from the medicine of like, just sit 15 minutes down, regulate your nervous system, come to come into alignment with the feeling and frequency of home in your body. That was this specific message I wanna acknowledge. You said something earlier. We need to decolonize our thinking.

You said we’re in the process of decolonization in our thoughts and our thinking. This might be a really big question to unpack, but what do you in particular mean by that 

Claudia: particularly? I mean, being able to stand in the dignity and the, and, and the clarity that it is or birthright to heal ourselves, I do believe then based on, on, on, on my studies and on teachings, and then we do have the ability to heal ourselves.

We do have the ability to make ourselves better, um, to heal our physical bodies or mental, psychological bodies or spiritual bodies. And there are specific practices. And specific, um, mechanisms as if, um, we were doing mathematics like with the ones and the zeros, there are specific ways in which we can align ourselves to help over and over and over and giving these memory, returning this memory to all communities on earth.

It is the most important thing to do because we must have our health in our house. So the colonizing means to me, really shifting the paradigm of how we perceive ourselves, how we perceive health, how we perceive each other, how we perceive problems and solutions, how we perceive creativity. Somehow it is dreaming a new dream within the dream we’re in.

So shifting paradigms, which means can we be, because we are, we are in this dream, the means has a colonizing, um, uh, aspect and has created so much suffering for so many communities on earth. And, um, there, there is right now, a desire and an, and a curiosity and, and a urgency to say, we have to return to our humanity, but we are still in this paradigm together.

So how do we dream a dream for dream within this paradigm? That is no acknowledging our humanity, but we dream within that a new paradigm that acknowledges what we stand for, which is dignity, which is reciprocity, which is humanity, which is also acknowledging we have the ability to heal ourselves and we have the right tools and the safe setting to do so.

So, how do we create safe settings for different communities and each person doing a little bit will do incredible work. I can just do the much I can do. You can only do the much you can do, but if all of us are committed to creating a different and to shift in the paradigm for health and for life basic principles and our indigenous principles and have guided humanity through millennia.

And now in the west, we are digesting and thinking about, and being inspired by and move by how do we shift or paradigm? So we are actually in a right relationship, but also sustaining health. So if we are. They colonizing health. I mean, I just spoke about the macro, right? I, I love this concept of going to the macro and then now we zoom into the micro.

So what that means in the micro education, empowerment, possibilities, safe settings, um, leadership that has integrity and even the MI more detailed. Microcosmos what reparations need to be happening here in this land. I am right now in UMMA, Chino territory. What does it mean for me as a one person coming as a guest to island and listening to communities and listening to the land and listening to what’s needed what’s needed in basic communities, the Wasco community close to.

They need clean water. They need, um, ways to remember their indigenous, um, uh, traditions to support and fight, um, addiction in the, in the, in the reservations. I mean, there’s very basic things that are needed. How could we support with that? How could we go and have a conversation? How could we go and listen, in which way could we support?

Could we be supportive so we can go to the macro and speak about it in the bigger sense of things. We can go into the microcosmos and really seeing how is my every step, your every step tending to these, um, need to return to. With dignity for everyone, everyone. So, yes, um, the colonizing means being able to have the muscle and that’s the macro cosmos view and the microcosmos view really well developed and then being able to, to be in our minds, uh, with creative, uh, with creativity, to resolve the problems we are presented with deeply connected with our hearts.

So we can truly continue being human in the process. So really medicine is about being more human and no losing the value of what human needing means like what being human means. So all this work we’re doing is to be a better human, a more human, and to not lose the value of what human means, which is.

Which is preservation of life, continuity of life for the next seven generations to come and more beyond. 

Laura Dawn: Yeah. And it makes me think of this concept in Eastern philosophy of shared humanity, you know, weaving this in of like I, the more human I allow myself to be, you know, in integrity, standing ind in dignity, owning my worth, and also standing with humility.

It’s just, the more I give myself permission to really, you know, be authentically who I am, there’s healing in that. And knowing that we can create space for other people to stand in that as well, and that we are all the same and we are all different and that that’s okay. And we can celebrate those differences and also celebrate our shared humanity.

Mm-hmm 

Claudia: yes, yes. And we are all the same and we are all different and. in some ways, um, that differences is what sustains life, right? Mm-hmm just like, if you see, uh, the biodiversity of something is what allows that something to continue being alive. Mm-hmm um, so listening to our differences, making a space for them, acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses within that acknowledging, um, or brilliance within that.

And the pieces I need still tending within that is, is the most important, what a beautiful thing, the more so different, because the biodiversity will preserve itself forever and ever, and ever that’s how it’s happened through millennia mm-hmm and work together in it. So yes, so much to learn and listen and, and be with at the same time.

Laura Dawn: Mm. Yeah. In the last episode, grandmother, Jo T said, you know, diversity is part of the, solution’s let it is celebrate the diversity. It’s celebrated it a joy truly, right? The, the shift from cultural appropriation to cultural appreciation, like, yes, let’s celebrate all the differences of our cultures and respect them and honor them for the differences that they are and that they embody you previously said specific practices about when I asked you about decolonizing, the mind there was specific practices, you said, do you, can you name anything specifically just to plant seeds of awareness, plant seeds of possibility in people’s hearts and minds here right now of what’s possible.

Claudia: The basic practice across the, the world, I believe is our practice of breeding. For practicing in our ability to inhale through the nose and Excel through the mouth with sound, you know, in the, the untraditional healing practices, we do believe that as we are inhaling through the nose, the air then hits the follicles in our, on our nose.

Um, the follicles vibrate, the air to a high intense velocity then turns air into light. So as we inhale through the noses, we are actually inhaling light and we have the ability to direct the light, whatever we want in our system, whatever we are hurting, whatever it feels then is compressed. Whatever we feel is contracted and is released.

So we can inhale through the nose, direct the light, whatever in the body we will, we need it, hold it for a few seconds and then open ours, lift up your chin and make a sound for the, and the sound extend as much as your breath extend. And that. Exercising itself is like a little golden nugget. Then you can use any time anywhere to realign yourself again, to solve and to help.

So a practice of there’s a very simple practice of inhaling and excelling to allow your body to return to health. You know, like that when there are other practices, then allow us to heal ourselves, to realign ourselves. The ability to ode. For example, we do say, um, when we have tears coming to our eyes is the mirror over our soul.

So truly what we’re doing is cleansing our bodies. If we can feel something and allow ourselves to emo, cause we’re feeling it that relieves that cleanse that water, moving through all of our bodies is actually opening the channels again to standing good health. So instead of being in these, uh, very busy, upper realm, always finding ways to drop in, into the body, into the emotions, into the breath.

And from there allowing the body to guide the process to reorganize. I mean, our bodies are the most wise, incredible devices we have. We have this ability of just, if we tune to them, they know exactly what to do and how to they guide us perfectly to those points of decompression or release. Um, So tuning into the body with acute, with acute sensitivity is part of the natural healing processes we have available to us.

Different people does differently here, movement, dance, meditation, mindfulness, walking in nature, um, singing, doing art, um, playing music, uh, giggling laughter. Um, and of course, other ways in which original people of the earth have done it, like going to the mountain for the conation for several days, sitting with plant medicine and not just sitting with plant medicine, but giving one self time to integrate with one gathering that LA medicine ceremony mm-hmm so really a snowing down the process to return to our senses.

Um, yeah. 

Laura Dawn: You also mentioned indigenous principles, which we’ve been naming throughout this entire conversation, this understanding of health and sacred reciprocity and right relationship and listening and slowing down. Are there any others that you feel like naming that we could weave in here? So the 

Claudia: one I spoke about earlier, they know yourself to heal yourself, to align yourself.

To purpose, to be of service is, um, very strong, um, principle than, than is moving through the way I live life will live life for, for millennia. Um, also the principles of the pillars of forgiveness and gratitude, specifically the ability to acknowledge them as we are moving through healing processes, we have an ability to.

Being gratitude and also allow ourselves to forgive and forgive ourselves. Forgive the other, ask for forgiveness, you know, within that, within that, um, I guess indigenous from the end is this, this map will look like three different levels of forgiveness. We have forgiving the other when somebody has trespass, like truly being the work of releasing or forgiving the other, which doesn’t mean forgetting.

It means liberating oneself from the intensity of that experience. So one can free oneself. It also requires, or, or the second level would be asking for forgiveness in any moment and any time where somebody directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously in the microcosmos or macrocosmos in the visible or invisible worlds, um, when one has done damage.

For asking for forgiveness, and this is a daily practice as well. And then eventually, and the most important is forgiving oneself for any moment in which oneself consci you unconsciously directly, indirectly in the visible or invisible worlds in the microcosmos or macrocosmos cause one self harm, truly forgiving oneself.

And as our teachers say, forgiveness is a miracle that happens in an instant because there is nothing we can do to stop what already happened. We could use that as another example, the past already happened. It already happened. There is nothing we can do to travel back in time and return and prevent and stop to happen.

And the future is an EU. We’re always here thinking that the future is arriving tomorrow and the next day and the next day. And you and I, you know, checked in last week and we didn’t arrive to this moment and said welcome to the future Hora. Great. Finally, in the future. Yeah, we made it. That never happens.

The future is actually just an illusion. We never get there. The only thing we have is this present and it’s in this present moment and we have the ability to do the miracles that we need to, to shift and change our lives. So it’s in this present and now in this present and now in this present and now in this present forever and never, and never a consecutive moment and is the present moment where all possibilities are available and, and, and that principle, again, it is connected deeply with the self healing practices that we have.

We have the ability to remember. I may stay in that present to tend to man create, expand ambition, dream love, cry, feel at all times. Hmm. There’s 

Laura Dawn: so much there. The first one you shared really struck me as like know yourself to heal yourself and aligning with your purpose. There’s so much there. When I, when I was on my walk this morning, one of the things that came to me was this, this awareness or this understanding, and, and you use the word integrity a few times in this conversation, which I, I think of when I think of integrity as like a alignment, you know, when we’re in integrity, it’s like mind, body, heart alignment.

We align our thoughts, our beliefs, our words, our actions, and that’s where we’re our strongest mm-hmm and we’re in integrity. And when we. You were referenced actually leadership with integrity. And, and I think that when we are out of integrity in our lives and we go into ceremony and there’s this realignment that’s happening, this awareness around.

Oh, okay. Those are the places that I’m, I’m out of alignment and there’s energy that has to go into realigning, those dissonant energies into harmonious resonant energies. And that takes, that takes energy and time and focus. And it was this thought that was just a really simple awareness as I was walking this morning of like, when we’re out of integrity and we go into ceremony, it’s like, all this time is spent on like realigning and, and healing that, and, you know, bringing it back into alignment.

But when we are clear and we, we are actually embodying a way of walking in integrity on this earth, That there’s, that that channel is already open. And then it’s more moving into that clear, open creativity space of like, okay. And that the prayer is clear and clarity is arriving. And there’s like, there’s this, that, you know, continuum of not having to sort of focus all your energy of, oh, that’s out of alignment.

I gotta, you know, bring that back. But it’s more just that clear open channel. I’m I’m curious if, if this, you know, strikes a chord or brings anything up for you in that process. Is that something, I mean, it really just occurred to me this morning. It was simple, but yet it’s, it is something that I’ve experienced before many, many times.

Mm-hmm 

Claudia: yes. And, and it might be too, as you were, as you was, as you were sharing that, you know, many times what one can see with a planned medicine with a master plan, and it is very unknown, the experience that you might have. Sometimes you might feel, uh, specifically, as you said, that alignment, so clean and clear, and then it is all about being in that joy or being in that receiving or being in that envisioning.

Um, often it is a mixture of things going back and forth between, uh, different states. Um, there’s also moments too, where, as you said, a lot of energy has to go into the alignment, but the alignment in itself. And then speaking of the integrity that a tree has, the speaking of the integrity that the seasons of the year have the integrity of cycles of, uh, birth growth, life, death, just this integrity.

It’s not a linearal thing. It’s not like one thing. One point it is a point, but it’s also a multiverse within that point. Because it’s cyclical and Northern integrity, cyclical, integrity holds all these, um, nuances the way, the way, at least I I’ve, I’ve learned it and perceive it is there is this point and has all these nuances and it’s there are about cycles.

Um, so when we’re standing in integrity and when we’re feeling integrity in a, in a, in a ceremony, in a circle, what we’re feeling is really the wise plan, master plan medicine, realigning it all the, in the multiverse, right? It’s not just the consciousness, but it’s also the unconscious is the physiology is the spirit is the heart.

Or the, the, the love that you said is the motion, the psychology. So all these, uh, nuances. So yes, with integrity feels it is a constant learning and it’s a constant learning. Especially because, and this is interesting, especially because I believe one of the biggest, most challenging things for as humans is understanding how to stand in power and what power means.

Our relationship with power hasn’t been modeled in healthy ways. What is true power? So standing in power is standing in humbleness, but that concept in itself is not what we see in our everyday life, in this Western culture and, and everything that Western culture has touch. So how are we able to decolonize the concept to what power means when we are feeling it, when we’re in.

And you can feel probably, you know, you were just with the co community, those, those communities are the most pot and powerful communities. And you see them in the most humbling giving and forgiving and generous ways to the, to us, their older brothers, their younger brothers and sisters. So it is connected to that.

Like being in integrity is also being in this humble heart and ability to acknowledge that we are these little plants in these passports. And from there, we can do so much. And also there’s so much happening at all times at the same time. We’re time. Really. We are time, um, within that, you know, without minimizing our responsibility, but also acknowledging them.

It is really good to go and see the plant medicine and feel tiny. It returns us home. It returns us to, um, our humble hearts being that’s needed to understand what to do when power or attention comes to us to be able to direct that in a good way to never forget that hard timing. Yeah. 

Laura Dawn: That is such a, a nugget of wisdom.

I just love interacting with your consciousness. I really say I’m like, wow. And just your, yeah. Just being exposed to how you think and your perception. I love this notion that, you know, being in your power is actually standing in humility really profound. Earlier you mentioned about yeah. Being in right relationship with the land.

You, you mentioned that around when you were talking about Alma specifically and yeah, I’m curious. What does that look like for you to walk in right relationship with the land you named the land that you’re on and any suggestions to plant seeds, you know, in people’s minds here around how can we orient in a better way to, towards being in right relationship to this earth that we walk on?

Mm-hmm 

Claudia: I will say no, the indigenous community and territories you stand on mm-hmm do an offering. Hello. Sometimes an offering is just going outside by a tree by a stream and saying, hello, my name is Claudia, and I’m here with a good heart listening and mean no harm. Um, if you go on, on nature walks, don’t just take things you.

Simple things like taking things just because, oh, that looks wonderful. I’m just gonna take it home and then forget where it came from. Actually be in relationship ask, listen. Um, but specifically I will say no, the native communities and are around territories where you are other history. And if you are able to extend, um, your curiosity towards a relationship with them, what are they doing?

What are they working on? What is the, the, if they could say what they need, what would they need? And in what way can you be of support? In what way could you be more educated to, to, again, not just go to the macro, oh, this is their name, but go to the micro customers and go, who are you? Where are they that territory who would say hello?

Are they having a, uh, a specific event they can be part of, or just at least go and. And and say, hello, um, also be involved with organizations and are wanting to create possibilities for health for those communities. You know, this is there’s so much need, um, right now, and so much awareness and, and desire of, of awareness in regards to how one can help, um, like the project raw medicine or the project Alma or the project then are really wanting to return from this energetic level two, all those economics and, and ability for those communities to decide what to do with these.

Economic wellness because the truth is we all need drinking. We all need to drink water. We all deserve good schools. We all deserve safety in our neighborhoods. We all deserve, um, programs for young men and women. We all deserve, um, uh, a system of health to support their physical, mental, psychological bodies.

There’s so much, um, uh, inequality that needs to come into balance. So what can we do to bring and help with accessibility and equality into the communities we’re in? And there’s so many possibilities to be of support in so many ways. Um, so be curious, be curious, get to know the territory you are in, make an offering, ask for.

Meaning you can go to a stream or a tree and say, I’m not sure how, but I would like to be in contact with the original people of this land. I’m gonna offer a little bit of tobacco or a small, or I’m gonna just leave a little piece of hair in a tree and say, if this is possible, please guide me to be in better relationship with the people around me.

We’re always learning and growing. There’s millions of possibilities and ways to, um, foster curiosity in a humble way, you know, to be able to listen and wanna know,

Laura Dawn: thank you for that. When I was in Peru, working with the Shabo grandmother, she said to me, the more you sing, the more, you know, and you’re a musician and I’ve been able to witness you play and sing. And it’s such a core foundation of ceremony and such a core thread that weaves throughout all indigenous cultures, mm-hmm and ceremony and working with different medicines.

Yeah. I know this is such a, a big area to unpack, you know, and I’m so curious, you know, the, the power of song as a modality of transmutation. 

Claudia: Yes. Yes. Um, sound has the ability to liquefy matter. So as to 

Laura Dawn: liquefy matter to liquefy matter, 

Claudia: so it has the ability to actually shift and change and transmute and transform, um, density into lightness.

Hmm. Um, in the, and the untraditional healing, the energy is not good or bad. It’s just dense or light conscious or unconscious. So, what we are doing with sound is bringing consciousness into unconscious energy. So you could use sound to do incredible healing work and the sound doesn’t come from you or me.

It just comes through the bigger, um, universal grandmother, grandfather, a consciousness. So when one does sound, one is a vessel that’s. That is why the more you see the more, you know, cause you are at you are, you are at the school, you’re singing, you’re opening up as a vessel. And that which is coming through you is really teaching you and, um, is just a incredibly beautiful way to way powerful way, Mr.

Way to work with energy or this electrical current that moves through everything and everyone. And as you said, nothing, um, Nothing leaves. Everything gets transformed. The ability to transform and transmute something into something else. Healing. Is that the ability to transform and transmute something into something else?

Um, it is not abstracted. It is not erase you, you don’t erase something, you don’t extract something. You can kinda struck something and shame change its composition. But, uh, truly what you are doing at all times is transmuting mm-hmm yeah. Qualities from one quality to another quality, from a quality that feels maybe not so comfortable to a quality that feels more comfortable.

Mm. 

Laura Dawn: One of the things that I learned about the Kogas is that they have songs for every living being. They have a different song for every living being I’m just like, wow, the, the breadth and the depth of their wisdom and knowledge is just actually unfathomable. 

Claudia: The Cogi are incredible, incredible teachers.

Poof, 

Laura Dawn: what an insurance and all about maintaining the balance, you know? Yes. All of that. And then how do we find that internal balance, which again, is like this core theme of like nervous system regulation. Yes. Like, 

Claudia: yes. You know? 

Laura Dawn: Right. It’s like the, yeah. And then, and then bringing in this topic of service and they have pimentos, you know, which is offerings.

Offerings is like, we take so much from this earth. And then how do we show up in a daily practice to offer, to be in service, to give, to give, you know, not to give back, but actually to give first. To be in that right relationship. Yes. You know, with, with, and, and, and really walk in a way that is embodying sacred reciprocity.

Claudia: Yes. At all times all the time. Mm. I love thank your brother, female, keeping to the earth, you know, and the practices of singing to the earth doing, uh, we call it dispatches, same like parliaments mm-hmm , uh, in different times of the year in different moments, just always constantly giving as a way to, um, acknowledge, um, the aliveness and the reciprocal relationship.

And as you said, too, the giving before giving first not giving because you gave me back actually giving first, like being in mm-hmm in that, uh, relational balance at all times all the time. Mm-hmm . 

Laura Dawn: One of the things that I’ve really learned about reciprocity through this experience of launching grow medicine and learning from people that I’ve had the privilege of working with at the indigenous medicine conservation fund, including Sutton king, is that reciprocity is relational.

It’s not transactional. It is. It’s really how we are in relation with everything around us. Yes. 

Claudia: Yes. And it is being in relationship that makes the most potent, um, possibilities for change and grow. Mm-hmm yeah. Mm-hmm 

Laura Dawn: I’m curious. This is we’re we’re getting close to wrapping up here, but I feel like I could talk to you forever.

We’re gonna have to have you back on the show for sure. There’s so much more, I’d love to dive into there’s this framework that I work with, you know, psychedelic oriented leadership development. And I think of it as. How we can weave ceremony into the way that we show up and lead ceremonially informed leadership.

And I’m curious, first of all, I’m curious to ask you what your core values are that you stand for in your life. And I’m curious to ask you how ceremony and how your relationship with plant medicines has informed the way that you show up and lead mm-hmm , whether it’s at Alma or in your personal or professional practice.

Mm-hmm , 

Claudia: um, it’s, it informs everything . It is, um, it is a beautiful, um,

it’s the most important reference point navigating these days and these times, um, What happens in a, when one is learning with a master plant and how things move within that real, there’s so much information there to understand how to be in leadership nowadays, because things will happen and, and community and people will will.

Um, and, and again, this, this team truly, it, it comes back to this team of how are we holding power and how is that power right now? I am in, in this territory where, um, assisted psychotherapy will become legal in January 20, 23 and all last year. And this year. Witnessing the different people coming to the forefront and moving through their own, um, learning processes regarding holding power.

And, and also then there’s this bigger picture of so much. So many corporations and organizations wanting to come in and bring in so much money to Oregon because people are unfortunately, many of them wanting to make a lot of money out of the health system and the health needs of our people. So then you have all these different layers and then all these different humans, people, therapies, researchers, doctors, community members, community leaders, and are in the forefront having to transmute and transform daily, all these, um, I will say all these, uh, greet in the forefront to stay in integrity, to why they’re doing what they’re doing.

So you can see it, um, for the last couple of years, and it’s been incredibly incredible learning, um, to just witness and to also be in the learning process myself like everybody else. And how do we return to our, the work of our teachers, the medicine, the ceremony, truly what happens in a, in a circle of healing and how you tend to that, um, those energetic nuances and are happening at all times to stay healthy, clear, and integrity, and in the heart of being human, because in the biggest picture, um, how do we return to the core values, the core pillars and sustain us.

You know, you know, mean the psychedelic movement, you have all these, you know, is it, is it, uh, that people wants to be seen? Is it people that wants to be famous? If people that wants to, um, has an agenda of their own persona, you know, people are diving into their own internal material, you know, am I good enough?

Not good enough? Am I in the forefront? What, there’s so many nuances, just like when you go to a ceremonial circle and you sit down and there’s so many parts of you just going back and forth going, oh wait. And eventually, hopefully there’s the quiet. There is the grief. There is the release. There is the unask scheme and there is the essence.

So hoping to hold the vision to return to essence is the most important one because regardless. Of who is in the forefront or, or what organization comes, you know, the last year I had the opportunity to work with many of these institutes organizations and I’ve chosen to do this project with speaks to the core of indigenous knowledge and acknowledgement of the wisdom of our original people and to be able to share that with different communities.

So they remember their original knowledge is really know about the medicine. It’s about healing. It’s about health. It’s about return. It’s about remembering. So yes, at all times, at all times just tracking things and how we move and then returning to simplicity, returning to trust, returning to prayer, returning to.

Really? No, no reactive. You know, when you are in a circle with medicine, you’re not reacting. You’re not, um, moving too fast. You’re not, um, you’re actually softening sensorial awareness. You’re breathing, you’re waiting. A lot of it is waiting. Cause at some point things were and something else more intelligent than you is moving through.

I mean, Oregon, right now we have the incredible plant ally that is way more intelligent than all of us together, moving through and trusting than this is, this movement is bringing, um, creating a network of MyUM underneath as all to support health, to return health, to return memory, to return, right.

Relationship and being in university. So we’re listening. No moving too fast. Not too slow. Just listening. Listen it slow and down. So yes, it does inform 

Laura Dawn: immensely, everything, everything I feel, I feel the same way. I’m curious. I mean, we’ve been talking about core values this whole, this whole episode, but can you name a couple of the core values that you really hold dear to your heart?

Claudia: There’s many. And I think I’ve mentioned them throughout, you know, um, a deep core value is the deep love and hope in humanity in our know, or mm-hmm in our possibility, which is in some ways, truly trusting and living in the, in. Because I believe trusting 

Laura Dawn: and believing in the invisible we has to do with yes, 

Claudia: yes.

This leap of faith towards humanity. I mean, if we, if I believe everything was lost, I wouldn’t be doing the work I’m doing. If I believe then we don’t have hope. I wouldn’t be doing the work I’m doing. Um, so I do believe in our possibility. I do have high hope. I do believe that this is a a time, then it will take us to the next time.

The next moment I do believe there is a paradigm shift. I do believe in, uh, we are in a new, Pachakuti a new cycle here on earth to acknowledge, to remember, to heal, to value life again and again and again, I do believe that love is more pot than our fear. So core values is deep trust in the mystery and deep trust.

In humanity. And with that, a lot of compassion, a lot of, um, zooming and zooming out as the most important muscle to have active nowadays to see the bigger picture and the smaller picture over and over and over in everything and everyone. So we can understand why and how things move the way they move and continue trusting in that force of, um, life within each of us and with everything that is a life.

And, and the truth is this is about life. No humanity only, and just, and life will continue. Life will preserve the elders. Talk about that all the time. We’re human momentarily, doing the best we can for the tools we. But life will continue, will preserve. And in this moment we’re here, how could we do everything we can do with the tools we have to support health for all our communities, the communities we belong to and the bigger communities around us.

Mm-hmm

Laura Dawn: that’s so beautifully put you, you really bring such poetry to the way you articulate yourself. It’s really poetic. It’s beautiful. Thank you. Just really appreciate just how you’ve cultivated your own mastery on your path. Just really seeing you and witnessing you and your just in your strength and, and in your softness and in your wisdom.

It was really. Just admirable. So thank you for that. Thank you. Always learning. I’ve, I’ve really learned a lot from you in this past hour and a half. And before we wrap up, I’m curious, I wanted to give you space. If there was anything else you wanted to share. I know at one point, uh, I read that you were supporting antit Floridas, a mass tech scholar, and member of the Jula community.

And I’m, I’m curious if that is still a project that you’re supporting, if that is something that you wanna share and does Alma, um, partner with different projects, you know, at different various times, anything that you’d like to speak to and rally support behind, I’d love to give you space to share whatever feels most alive.

Yes 

Claudia: we did. Um, on July 22nd was Maria Savina’s. And we pair up with Alma Institute pair up with the fungi foundation to do a fundraiser for a project that Flores has been, it Flore is in a scholar Alet scholar that, um, has been envisioning for a long time, which is preserving the archives. Then he has, uh, from the community and from Maria Savina.

So we were able to raise the money. We were able to raise $26,000 that day and the week before. Yes. And the project continues. And this is part of actively Alma being in being. In constant awareness, then the work we’re doing has to do with reciprocity and reciprocity has to do with going directly to the communities right now, for example, we’re working with Sal Sabin medicine is the medicine.

Then, then we are able to work with, and that medicine has been tended to by the Mati communities for millennia. In what ways can we be in contact with those communities and ask what is needed? So this is just a little piece of a bigger ambition in project where, um, in this leading this, this part of the project, where there is a desire to have a bigger, a bigger, um, eh, envisioning in a bigger conversation around what is reciprocity.

I mean, here in the west, we have all these different medicines accessible, similar to pro medicine. Like we have all these medicines accessible. How can we acknowledge the people and the lineages and have preserved these medicines for millennia? The reason we have access to them is because many of them went through intense life situations.

Many of them went through, um, uh, intense violence to preserve these medicines that are so potent and now. As we are here having access to them, it is only our responsibility to return to those communities and say, how can we be in good relationship with you? We are benefiting from these gift that cost you lives and generations.

How could we acknowledge that and support your health as well? Because health is needed everywhere with all of us. And I’m talking about again in the microcosmos in the smaller picture, clean water, education, and ability to feel safe in a community, women, feeling safe, children, making it to all their ages and no passing hunger.

So. What are the ways in which we can show up. So Alma, one of those ways was pairing up with the fan fungi foundation and supporting int and like that we will have other local projects as well. Um, but it was a joy to work with int he’s wonderful. And we are still receiving and all the proceeds went to when to support that project.

So people can find more information about fungi foundation in fungo fungi foundation or Almas webpage to continue supporting int. Um, and what int is doing is incredible. He is really committed to educating, uh, the world, but also invested in the LER community and the youth there for them to know and return to their ways of knowing and healing.

So empowering the youth to grow proud and, um, eh, curious about where they come from. What medicines were used in their communities because colonization has impacted everybody and everyone. And if you go to many of these communities, you know, the kids want to wear the Nikes and wanna go out into the cities and have cell phones.

And that is their birthright. There’s a birthright of curiosity, but at the same time, how can we continue educating and supporting education? So this knowledge continues to be preserved through generations without imposing, but truly asking what do you need to feel your living in dignity and health?

Hmm. 

Laura Dawn: Such important work. And one of the, one of the things that I’ve learned too, is that so much knowledge and wisdom is embedded within language and that the Maco language is now starting to go extinct. And that is also a, a real consequence of colonization. Yes. And so. Like the preservation of language is actually an embedded part of the preservation of sacred plant medicines.

And in part of biocultural diversity, you know, and the thriving of different cultures, that language is, is a core, a foundational part of that. Yes, language 

Claudia: is, um, a direct is directly connected to culture and culture is held through these ways in which we relate to concepts. So there are certain words and don’t exist in different languages.

And we have in English, I mean, we are shape by our, by our language. So we lose our language. We lose a whole pool of knowledge. That is, um, mm-hmm, what defines a culture. So, yes, mm-hmm yes. 

Laura Dawn: World views. Yes. Entire world views are lost when a language is lost. I know, I think about that. Like when a language has a word that we don’t have, and then learning that word actually opens up like a whole new portal of understanding something.

That’s like something that goes from the unseen bam into the scene, into the understanding yes. Into the knowing of it. Just because of a word. I know there’s something about that. That is just poof. Yes. Yeah. It’s amazing. Amazing. Well, please keep me posted on new fundraising campaigns, new projects that you’re supporting will also include links to, um, to that project that people can support as well.

And just anything I can do to support you Claudia, on your path as well. Anything at all? Don’t hesitate to reach out. I really just honor the work that you’re doing and the path that you walk. Thank 

Claudia: you. My student right now is going through a big fundraising phase because what we’re hoping is to have a next year, the first cohort of the students doing, uh, cell cyber assisted psychotherapy training.

And for that, we are committed to offering fullest scholarships, partial scholarships, stipends for people in the community. And the training is truly for. Community members that are already working in the health, um, with, with health teams in their own communities where especially wanting black, brown, indigenous community members to come and take this training.

And the, the idea is then they do the, they take this training and then they take it to their own communities and empower and support their communities in their healing processes. So the big commitment is we are wanting to create as many funds as we ha we can to then be able to give scholarships to the people that who need the work mostly.

Uh, also it’s already doing the work, but Alma training will help them. Get more solid in how they present this work and how they take their work in their communities. So we’re in conversations with indigenous communities here and immigrant community here, and we’re hoping that this will launch next year full on.

Uh, and again, we’re open to working with everybody and all the allies from all communities, but our focus is creating accessibility for underserved and, and represent communities in the psychedelic movement. 

Laura Dawn: Mm, what a powerful mission will absolutely include links to that and encourage people to check it out and to also donate and support that incredibly powerful initiative.

And cause thank you. Thank you so much. You are just, yeah. Such a joy to drop in with you truly just learn so much from you and just being in your presence is really just such a, a gift. So thank you. So Laura, thank you for the 

Claudia: invitation and yeah. The, to be in conversation and to be in relationship.

Laura Dawn: Yes 

Claudia: we did. Um, on July 22nd was Maria Savina’s. And we pair up with Alma Institute pair up with the fungi foundation to do a fundraiser for a project that Flores has been, it Flore is in a scholar Alet scholar that, um, has been envisioning for a long time, which is preserving the archives. Then he has, uh, from the community and from Maria Savina.

So we were able to raise the money. We were able to raise $26,000 that day and the week before. Yes. And the project continues. And this is part of actively Alma being in being. In constant awareness, then the work we’re doing has to do with reciprocity and reciprocity has to do with going directly to the communities right now, for example, we’re working with Sal Sabin medicine is the medicine.

Then, then we are able to work with, and that medicine has been tended to by the Mati communities for millennia. In what ways can we be in contact with those communities and ask what is needed? So this is just a little piece of a bigger ambition in project where, um, in this leading this, this part of the project, where there is a desire to have a bigger, a bigger, um, eh, envisioning in a bigger conversation around what is reciprocity.

I mean, here in the west, we have all these different medicines accessible, similar to pro medicine. Like we have all these medicines accessible. How can we acknowledge the people and the lineages and have preserved these medicines for millennia? The reason we have access to them is because many of them went through intense life situations.

Many of them went through, um, uh, intense violence to preserve these medicines that are so potent and now. As we are here having access to them, it is only our responsibility to return to those communities and say, how can we be in good relationship with you? We are benefiting from these gift that cost you lives and generations.

How could we acknowledge that and support your health as well? Because health is needed everywhere with all of us. And I’m talking about again in the microcosmos in the smaller picture, clean water, education, and ability to feel safe in a community, women, feeling safe, children, making it to all their ages and no passing hunger.

So. What are the ways in which we can show up. So Alma, one of those ways was pairing up with the fan fungi foundation and supporting int and like that we will have other local projects as well. Um, but it was a joy to work with int he’s wonderful. And we are still receiving and all the proceeds went to when to support that project.

So people can find more information about fungi foundation in fungo fungi foundation or Almas webpage to continue supporting int. Um, and what int is doing is incredible. He is really committed to educating, uh, the world, but also invested in the LER community and the youth there for them to know and return to their ways of knowing and healing.

So empowering the youth to grow proud and, um, eh, curious about where they come from. What medicines were used in their communities because colonization has impacted everybody and everyone. And if you go to many of these communities, you know, the kids want to wear the Nikes and wanna go out into the cities and have cell phones.

And that is their birthright. There’s a birthright of curiosity, but at the same time, how can we continue educating and supporting education? So this knowledge continues to be preserved through generations without imposing, but truly asking what do you need to feel your living in dignity and health?

Hmm. 

Laura Dawn: Such important work. And one of the, one of the things that I’ve learned too, is that so much knowledge and wisdom is embedded within language and that the Maco language is now starting to go extinct. And that is also a, a real consequence of colonization. Yes. And so. Like the preservation of language is actually an embedded part of the preservation of sacred plant medicines.

And in part of biocultural diversity, you know, and the thriving of different cultures, that language is, is a core, a foundational part of that. Yes, language 

Claudia: is, um, a direct is directly connected to culture and culture is held through these ways in which we relate to concepts. So there are certain words and don’t exist in different languages.

And we have in English, I mean, we are shape by our, by our language. So we lose our language. We lose a whole pool of knowledge. That is, um, mm-hmm, what defines a culture. So, yes, mm-hmm yes. 

Laura Dawn: World views. Yes. Entire world views are lost when a language is lost. I know, I think about that. Like when a language has a word that we don’t have, and then learning that word actually opens up like a whole new portal of understanding something.

That’s like something that goes from the unseen bam into the scene, into the understanding yes. Into the knowing of it. Just because of a word. I know there’s something about that. That is just poof. Yes. Yeah. It’s amazing. Amazing. Well, please keep me posted on new fundraising campaigns, new projects that you’re supporting will also include links to, um, to that project that people can support as well.

And just anything I can do to support you Claudia, on your path as well. Anything at all? Don’t hesitate to reach out. I really just honor the work that you’re doing and the path that you walk. Thank 

Claudia: you. My student right now is going through a big fundraising phase because what we’re hoping is to have a next year, the first cohort of the students doing, uh, cell cyber assisted psychotherapy training.

And for that, we are committed to offering fullest scholarships, partial scholarships, stipends for people in the community. And the training is truly for. Community members that are already working in the health, um, with, with health teams in their own communities where especially wanting black, brown, indigenous community members to come and take this training.

And the, the idea is then they do the, they take this training and then they take it to their own communities and empower and support their communities in their healing processes. So the big commitment is we are wanting to create as many funds as we ha we can to then be able to give scholarships to the people that who need the work mostly.

Uh, also it’s already doing the work, but Alma training will help them. Get more solid in how they present this work and how they take their work in their communities. So we’re in conversations with indigenous communities here and immigrant community here, and we’re hoping that this will launch next year full on.

Uh, and again, we’re open to working with everybody and all the allies from all communities, but our focus is creating accessibility for underserved and, and represent communities in the psychedelic movement. 

Laura Dawn: Mm, what a powerful mission will absolutely include links to that and encourage people to check it out and to also donate and support that incredibly powerful initiative.

And cause thank you. Thank you so much. You are just, yeah. Such a joy to drop in with you truly just learn so much from you and just being in your presence is really just such a, a gift. So thank you. So Laura, thank you for the 

Claudia: invitation and yeah. The, to be in conversation and to be in relationship.

 

Claudia Cuentas

BIOGRAPHY

Claudia Cuentas is a Peruvian marriage and family therapist, an independent researcher and an educator, specializing in the treatment of healing trauma, trauma recovery, cultural identity and decolonization of healing. 

She has training in MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy from MAPS and Ketamine assisted Psychotherapy from Polaris Institute. She holds an MA in Drama Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy; has completed her 3 years training of Somatic Experiencing, and holds a Trauma Inform Care frame of work.  She also has extensive studies for the last 15 years in Indigenous healing, from her native Aymara and Quechua lineages of South America, and has been given permission by her elders to teach and share her studies for health and wellness.

Claudia started her journey as an educator and advocate of art, as a tool for healing and liberation. In becoming a therapist at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Claudia focused on serving immigrant communities, families and children. She has worked with undocumented families, refugees, homeless population and women survivors of violence, especially dealing with PTSD. Upon arriving to Portland, Oregon, Claudia joined the team at Conexiones, a Multicultural Center for Trauma Recovery. She continues to participate in ongoing training and education on the intersectionality of generational trauma, plant medicine science, eco-informed therapy, nervous system healing and indigenous knowledge.

 

Claudia currently has a private practice in Portland, Oregon and collaborate with community organizations like NAYA foundation, Adelante Mujeres, and Milpa Collective, amongst many other, developing and implementing curriculum to support community healing from an indigenous perspective. She is committed to continue providing ethical, educational and integrated work to support indigenous, black, brown and immigrant communities recovering from trauma. Claudia is also a recording musician, a singer songwriter and the founder of the Canta Colibrí Project.”

Featured Music

Episode #60 of the Psychedelic Leadership Podcast features a song called “Cura Corazon” by Claudia Cuentas

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About Laura Dawn

Through her signature Mastermind Programs and Plant Medicine Retreats, Laura Dawn weaves together science with ancient wisdom. She teaches business and thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals how to mindfully explore psychedelics and sacred plant medicines as powerful visionary tools for inner transformation, fostering emotional resiliency and unlocking new depths to our creative potential.