THE SIREN’S RAPTUROUS SONG: shamanism and the healing of addiction

Please join us on Thursday, December 19th at 7:00pm for a special event in collaboration with City Lights:

Awareness of the remarkable efficacy of psychoactive plant medicines to heal addiction is growing. Takiwasi, a center for the treatment of addiction in Tarapoto, Peru, utilizes the traditional medicine of the rainforest, including ayahuasca, with a high degree of success. This presentation, inspired in part by the authors’ work at Takiwasi, interweaves two perspectives on the spiritual nature of addiction: An exploration of addiction versus shamanic initiation in the light of ancient Western texts, and a report on research into the shamanic treatments of addiction just conducted at Takiwasi, focusing especially on the lesser known vegetalista practice of the plant diet.

Robert Tindall, M.A. is a writer, classical guitarist, long-time practitioner of Zen Buddhism, and an inveterate traveler, whose work explores the crossing of frontiers into other cultures, time depths, and states of consciousness. He is the author of two books on shamanism, The Jaguar that Roams the Mind and The Shamanic Odyssey: Homer, Tolkien, and the Visionary Experience, along with numerous articles on themes such as pilgrimage along the Camino to Santiago, the medieval quest, and the indigenous prophetic and healing traditions of the Americas. Robert works as a professor of Literature, and divides his time between the San Francisco Bay Area and Peru. He occasionally co-leads journeys into the Amazon rainforest and to the Andean archeological site of Chavin de Hauntar to encounter the healing traditions there.

Susana Bustos, Ph.D., holds degrees in Clinical Psychology (1992) and in Music Therapy (2002) from Chilean universities, as well as a doctorate in East-West Psychology from CIIS (2007), where she presently teaches courses in Entheogenic Shamanism and Research Design. She is certified in Holotropic Breathwork and the Expressive Arts. Her work in Chile included the creation of psycho-educational programs, teaching, research, and psychotherapy. Susana’s long-term passion for indigenous cultures and their relationship to the natural world, along with her interest on the therapeutic potentials of non-ordinary states of consciousness, led her to the Peruvian Amazon in 1999. Since then, she has been studying Vegetalismo and other indigenous shamanic practices from the Americas. Her doctoral research focused on the healing function of the icaros during ayahuasca ceremonies, which is an ongoing area of study for her. The process of integration of entheogenic experiences in ordinary life became one of her main interests while working as a therapist and clinical trainer at Takiwasi (a Peruvian center for the treatment of drug addiction which integrates indigenous and Western medicine), where she recently worked as a clinical supervisor and researcher. Susana continues to focus on this theme in her private practice in Oakland, CA. Susana offers workshops and lectures internationally, and co-leads groups into the Amazonian rainforest.

More information can be found at

The Siren’s Rapturous Song: shamanism and the healing of addiction
Thursday December 19th 2013, 6:30 pm doors, 7 pm discussion.
The Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno St, San Francisco, CA 94133 (map)
FREE. Delicious complimentary food. Drinks by donation.

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