You may have already heard about Ayahuasca, but unless you’ve experienced it first hand, you won’t fully appreciate its healing wonders. Tanya Memme met Carlos Duran in 2022 when she decided to dig deeper within herself spiritually and partake in a two-night Ayahuasca journey in Rosarito, Mexico, led by Carlos Duran and his team. Tanya talks openly about her personal experience with this beautiful yet often misunderstood medicine, while Carlos tells us how he became a healer and leader in plant medicine and healing.
Born into welfare in NYC and raised in an environment filled with physical, sexual, and verbal abuse, Carlos shares his story about how his life drastically changed once he was introduced to plant medicine and healing. It wasn’t the most accessible road. From NYC to living in the jungles of Columbia, Carlos studies with one of the most well-respected shamans, Taita Juanito.
Carlos Duran is considered to be the most notorious spiritual gangster alive today. When you want to live a life of raw authenticity, ultimate fulfillment, and mega wealth, Carlos Duran is the man you see. By offering you guidance based on his unique blend of spiritual experience and entrepreneurial success, Carlos helps you break past all the mental and emotional B.S. which has kept you from living your true and highest purpose. Carlos opened the eyes of thousands of seekers. They want to define who they are by the quality of their actions and the depth of their legacy. Not by the number of dollars in their bank account. Mega wealth is represented in the highest states of health and abundance for your mind, body, and soul.
Carlos Duran is not for everyone. If you prefer to live a lie or accept mediocre results, run when you see him coming; his medicine is only for the brave who are ready to tear down their facade and embody the brilliance of who they are. No matter how much you have accomplished or acquired in your life, if you are not waking up every day in pure joy and ready to seize the day. But wish you were and you are willing to strip out your ego to achieve this state of personal empowerment, then you are ready for Carlos Duran.
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Plant Medicine: The Healing Wonders Of Ayahuasca With Carlos Duran
Carlos Duran Is Considered To Be The Most Notorious Spiritual Gangster Alive Today!
I have someone on the show, Carlos Duran. You are known as a spiritual gangster. His whole world was opened up to me when I met Carlos. It totally blew me away. My family adores you but I have to read to you, guys, his bio. We are going to dig right in because you are one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. Your story is awesome. Everything from, you were part of a gang at one point in Jersey or New York on the East Coast. Now, you are in ayahuasca, healing people and devoting your life to healing.
Carlos Duran is considered to be one of the most notorious spiritual gangsters alive. When you want to live a life of raw authenticity, ultimate fulfillment, and mega wealth, Carlos Duran is the man you go see. Offering you guidance based on his unique blend of spiritual experiences and entrepreneurial success, Carlos helps you break past all the mental and emotional BS which has been keeping you from living your true and highest purpose. This is all true. I know Carlos.
He does walk the walk. Carlos has opened the eyes of thousands of seekers who want to define who they are by the quality of their actions, by the depth of their legacy, and not by the number of dollars in their bank account. Mega wealth is represented in the highest states of health and abundance for your mind, body, and soul.
Carlos Duran is not for everyone. If you prefer to live a lie or accept mediocre results, then run when you see him coming. This medicine is only for the brave who are ready to tear down their own facade and embody the brilliance of who they are. No matter how much you have accomplished or required in your life, if you are not waking up every day to pure joy, ready to seize the day but wish you were, and you are willing to strip out your ego and achieve the state of personal empowerment, then you are ready for Carlos Duran.
What I love about it is that I know you well enough to know that everything is true about you. That is what you are all about. First of all, I want to talk about a little bit, and then we are going to go back into your life path and how you became a healer. When you say here in your bio, you say this medicine is not for everyone, I know what you are talking about. What are you talking about?
Personally, I know from my own experience that I’m not for everyone. Life is full of flavors, opportunities, and paths. There are all kinds of spiritual pillars and healing support systems and people in our lives that we can use. There are people that feel more comfortable with my level of raw authenticity and unfiltered speech versus people that are more comfortable with a softer approach, which is fine. I’m honest. My approach is compassion, but compassion in a spiritual spectrum can be applied in a few different ways. I find that the compassion that’s born in my heart is for a specific type of person that’s looking for more raw healing. It’s the medicine that I applied to myself.
I went to Mexico because I wanted to change my life, and I’m working on some personal things for myself. Always, I’m a self-seeker of personal advancement. I met Carlos, whether you want to call him a shaman, a healer or a seeker of healing but he was leading a two-night ayahuasca retreat in Mexico, and I had to go. I was introduced to you and Taita, who is someone that you work with as well.
I was introduced to your medicine. I know what you mean if you are ready to tear it all open and get rid of the ego. You do it all the time but if you were to dive into the people who are wondering about ayahuasca, how would you even explain or begin to explain like someone comes up to you and says, “I want to work on myself. I’m interested in it?” Where do you begin? People say this to me now all the time because I’m openly talking about it. How did you get into that world?
It starts with your heart. I will share what I have been able to understand from the teachings of the grandparents to the yajé path, knowing that yajé is only one path within the ayahuasca path. While there are many spiritual paths, even within each branch, there are other paths within it. In the ayahuasca community, each tribe and region have its own secrets, connections, and technology. To put it in modern terms, it’s plant technology.Life Masters Podcast - Carlos Duran - growing up on welfare and severe abuse to living in Columbia, studying with one of the most respected Shamans in the jungle. - Plant Medicine - What is Ayahuasca and how it changed my life. Click To Tweet
It starts with the heart. If you have a curiosity about any plant medicine, and it’s born from your heart, more than intellectual as the grandparents teach, it could be that from this intellectual curiosity, something is born in their heart. The grandparents say, “Maybe feel it in your heart, then you are ready to come to receive it.”
It’s really that simple. When it’s born in your heart, you come. The technical aspect of getting there wherever you go receive plant medicine, you want to make sure it’s a place that’s recommended. You want to make sure it’s a place where the space is being held correctly. It’s safe. It’s done with a tradition. You want to be able to know who is the leader and what’s their reference.
Hopefully, you go to a place that you already know, someone that’s gone, they can recommend the experience. They can recommend the team that’s there. For something like ayahuasca, I would recommend the places where I visited. I go to Rythmia. I go with my teacher to Ambi Wasi in Columbia. I go to Mexico with our people and other parts of maybe Costa Rica or other parts of Columbia.
I would recommend that but maybe you have a friend that you have a calling for different climates. Here’s the thing. If you feel the calling in your heart and you open, say, “I feel it,” and then you ask the universe to connect you with that physical manifestation of that calling, it will happen at the exact moment. If you take it seriously, what I mean by seriously is now you have to become indoctrinated by it. You take that calling with respect and reverence. From the moment you feel that calling to the moment it manifests, that time will be a preparation for you.
You will be preparing to come into that encounter. Why is that preparation so important? It’s one of those things like, “I wish somebody had told me.” From that moment forward, from when you have that plant encounter forward, everything in your life will change. Whatever plant it is, whether it’s cacao, sacred mushroom ceremony, sacred peyote, ayahuasca or a connection with Bufo, there are many sacred plants available.
That’s a whole another story where that’s happening. From the moment you come to that sacred connection with nature, for the first time in this lifetime, your old life dies away. It passes away. Everything that’s leading you up to that moment, whether you know it or not. It’s preparation because it will never be the same after that day forward.
I totally agree with you. I have been involved with eight ayahuasca ceremonies now. The first time I started was years ago. I’ve never talked about this publicly either but I was in a dark place. I was struggling. I was suffering from a lot of depression. A lot of losses happened in a short time. The first time that I had ever tried it, literally three months after that, within three months of my entire life changed. I’m not saying that that’s not a wonderful way.
It was crazy, the things. My career came back. The abundance level skyrocketed. I met OT during that time. You realized what you want in your life or what you don’t. It’s interesting. You have to approach it with respect and a little bit of reverence. You can’t take it for granted. It’s a whole thing. How did ayahuasca come into your life?
I have a memory. I was in sixth grade. I remember thinking that I wanted to go to Brazil and live in a tree house.
What was it like in your sixth grade? Where are you living, your parents, your family?
I was living in a Section 8 neighborhood in Union City, New Jersey. Section 8 is the government code for welfare neighborhoods. I grew up in the city. I had that memory. I don’t know where this ayahuasca came from. I don’t know where I heard it. By sixth grade, I was watching HBO and National Geographic. There was something from somewhere.
I grew older. I honestly had an amazing encounter with drugs. I picked all the best drugs and had a great time doing them. I would’ve done a little bit less MDMA. After that one time, it was a thought, “I’m going to move to Brazil and live in a tree house and drink ayahuasca.” That was thought, and then life moved on. I was living that dream. Long story short, I’m in Costa Rica.
You went to Costa Rica for what reason?
I will give you a summary because each part leads to the other part, which leads you to the ayahuasca. As a kid growing up in Jersey, I grew up in a violent home. My parents were Cuban immigrants. I was raped for years as a child by a family member inside our home who lived with us. When I say with us, this is my mom, dad, and sisters. My dad was an entrepreneur and worked hard. A grinder, eighteen hours a day. He had a distributorship. They had inventory in a warehouse, trucks, drivers, and routes. Eventually, he had two big fires that destroyed two of his companies. He became what you would call a white-collar criminal.
He took all that grit and all that grind. Not intentionally but as it worked out, he built a pretty large empire, worth over $100 million, with operations in the Caribbean and up and down the Eastern seaboard of the US. I’m sixteen and coming into this world. When I was eight years old, my dad was beating my mom and being violent and abusive towards my sisters and me. We grew up in torment. We would have an emotional and physical reaction to knowing that the garage door was coming up or he was coming into the front door.
My parents separated and got divorced when I was eight. I spent many years away from my dad. We reconnected when I was about sixteen. I had moved out of my mom’s house. I came into his world, which was a different world than the way that I left him. I became enamored. I was enchanted by this world. I was sitting at blackjack tables at sixteen years old with gold chains, gold bracelets, money to play, and a rum and Coke in front of me and one escort or another. I sleep in my own room in the hotel. You get drunk on that, especially when you are young and a young man. Some Christmases, there was nothing.
One Christmas was a pair of socks. One Christmas was nothing. It was an amazing life while it was amazing. When reality sets in, eventually, the Federal Government comes, and things start going bad fast. My cousin was a life-long brother of mine who went to jail for many years. His wife went to jail. My dad had to leave the country. I had a psychic break. I couldn’t even testify at trial. The psychological impact was strong. In the middle of a deposition, I broke down in tears. I couldn’t process what was happening. Eventually, that journey led me to meet an amazing man in Gary Halbert.
Gary Halbert is a direct response marketing mastermind. He’s a master communicator. He found me folding towels in a gym in Miami, which is funny, which is where I’m now. Miami is where I find myself. Gary brought me on as an apprentice. The school that I received with my dad was a massive entrepreneurial school. Gary put all the fine details on what marketing is and how to master salesmanship, how to master the art of communication, and the art of social engineering.Some people feel more comfortable with the level of raw authenticity and unfiltered speech versus people that are more comfortable with a softer approach. Click To Tweet
Hold old are you about this time?
I was about 22 years old. With my dad, everything is going cooking from about 16 to about 22. I have a strong six-month break down then I decided that I wanted to become a personal trainer. I had ballooned up to 285 or 275 pounds. I got back down to 185, and then that’s when I became a personal trainer. That’s where I met Gary Halbert.
I was about 22 years old, maybe on the verge of turning 23. I had an amazing couple of years with Gary. I came to a realization. I was like, “This has been great.” Through fate, I ended up going to The Kabbalah Centre. I had an amazing experience at The Kabbalah Centre. Now I’m somewhere in my late 20s, maybe mid-20s, 26, 27. I moved to Costa Rica in 2005. I’m at The Kabbalah Centre.
There, I have my first son during that time. We were supposed to move to Costa Rica together. A friend of mine had started a test bed, financial risk hedging instruments in the sports industry, sports derivatives. He started that in Costa Rica because doing the test bed was legal in Costa Rica and wouldn’t have been legal in the US. Eventually, right around 2007, we had a clear path to entry into the US.
While I’m in Costa Rica, I’m getting a lot closer to the Earth, learning more about farming, and so forth. In 2008, we had this major financial implosion. Long story short, I ended up studying with an indigenous elder in Costa Rica about plant medicines. He lived by a river. I start an organic delivery company. I start farm to table.
The first network in Costa Rica, connecting organic farmers with a delivery mechanism to people’s homes, which was amazing because it literally changed the economy of the family farms in Costa Rica. The business model that I created is still being used now. Long story short, these other things happen. I had a strong encounter about a month before I found these mushrooms on my land. I make tea and have a twelve-hour journey where I’m torn apart physically. The pain is immense. I’m alone on the side of a mountain.
Your friend is saying this, or you did this?
No, me. This is before I meet Juanito.
You knew what the mushrooms were?
I knew what they were, and they were on my land. I knew how to prepare them. The journey opened me up in a way that I had never experienced before. A few weeks later, my friend had a stand in a farmer’s market next to me and asked me if I wanted to join him in a peyote ceremony. I said, “Absolutely. When is it?” He goes, “This weekend.” I said, “Great. Let’s go.” We finished our fruits and vegetables in our stand. I had trucks that did deliveries. We finished the day off. We had an amazing week with the Huichols that came from Mexico.
This is with the authentic people in?
The Huichols are from Mexico, and they came to visit Costa Rica. I happened to be in that one little town in the middle of nowhere, where I lived on a Caribbean Coast, when they came to visit for that one weekend.
It’s amazing how that happens.
About a month later, same farmer’s market, the same buddy says to me, “Do you want to come to an ayahuasca ceremony?” I said, “Yeah, bro. Absolutely. All my life. When is it?” He goes, “This weekend.” I said, “Who’s serving it?” He said, “A shaman from Columbia.” I said, “I don’t know. Shamans are dangerous. The snake oil salesman. They might want to rob him.” I’m scared that he’s like, “No. This guy has a good reputation.” I’m like, “I don’t know, but I will go with you. I’m only going to go for one night. We will see.” I had brought everything that I needed to be there for two nights. I had read enough to know enough to hurt myself.
After several years on this path, I can tell you that yet my fears would have been substantiated but on a 2%, 3% chance of happening. Depending on who you are, where you are at. My fear was, “They are going to drug me. This is going to be horrible. They are going to take my money. What’s in this stuff?” I had the most amazing experience. I stayed for a second night. Long story short, the Colombian shaman that was there, my spiritual guide, Juanito. He’s the guide that I have been studying this path for the last several years.
You’ve met him that night, and you have been by his side since. I know quite a bit about Taita but I’ve never met him but I’ve met the people that surround him because I got back from Rhythmia. I know you and Eriesali.
Also, my brother, Mitra.
It’s interesting. What was it about the medicine that two nights that you were like, “This is my home. This is what I need to be doing. This is it?”Plant medicine gives clarity and patience. It allows us not to make rash decisions and eventually sustains everything with a deeper understanding. Click To Tweet
Let’s give a little bit of context. I was 21 or so. I drive an Infiniti J30, pearl on the cream interior, a 359 black and cream interior BMW convertible, and some Cadillac. I don’t remember, and the Jag, an XK candy apple red on white interior. My dad has an apartment in the Doubletree Grand condominium in Downtown Miami, which is right over the beach. I live on a 1/4 acre of land in a 3 or 4-bedroom house with a swimming pool in South Miami. I had $40,000, $50,000 in the safe to fuck around money. Needless to say, the excess was excessive. At the end of that, I ended up shaving all the hair off my body and covering all the mirrors in my house.
I went into the deepest, darkest, and longest depression. There’s a joke about Harrison Ford. A guy says, “I want to be rich and famous like you one day.” He says, “Try being rich first and then famous.” When people say, “I want to be rich,” try being happy first, then worry about making money. I had all the money and none of the happiness. It was a terrible experience.
It was a bitter cup. I learned the value of dirty hands and clean money. It’s far better than having clean hands and dirty money. It doesn’t exist. That breakage within me brought me the desire, “What is it?” We are not here to make money. Growing up broke in a hostile environment, I thought, “You’ve got to make money to be happy. That’s how you do it.”
I was like, “No, what is it?” I began to search then and there. The universe brought me Gary Halbert, the first true soul warrior that I ever met. It brought me to The Kabbalah Centre. From there, it brought me integrated into Costa Rica. From there, brought me to organic farming. From there, it brought me into plant medicine slowly. I have to recognize that marijuana, for me, has been a savior. That’s the first plant medicine. The Holy Mother, as we call her. It’s the first plant medicine that came to save me when I was sixteen, growing up in New Jersey.
That medicine carried me through. It gave me clarity and patience. It allowed me not to make rash decisions. Eventually, everything was sustained. I came into the world of ayahuasca and yajé and had a deeper understanding. The curiosity was being woven little by little, the desire of the heart to receive it. If it would’ve happened sooner, the pieces weren’t there.
My big curiosity for spiritual service started at The Kabbalah Centre. That’s where I became curious about how do you serve the physical world through a spiritual lens or spiritual plate and help people connect the physical with the spiritual, so they have a deeper, more intimate relationship with their creator. That’s when that started for me.
I know you know a lot about plant medicine, especially ayahuasca and yajé. What can and what does it do for people and society? It seems to be this growing thing. Everybody is starting to talk about it.
That’s a beautiful thing. When you think of the opportunity, it’s a vine and a leaf in the most traditional sense and in the majority of places. You are boiling to simplify the actual processes. It’s labor-intensive because you have to smash the vine, these are thick vines, into almost like a paper-thin sheet. It’s a Millennial culture. I love the way it sounds in Spanish, la cultura Milenaria. It is a culture that has been around for thousands of years. In our tradition, we say 5,000 years. I don’t know if that’s 4,700 and they said, “We will call it 5,000 or 5,200.” I don’t know but they say 5,000.
How did they figure that out of all the trees, the plants, and this in the Amazon and in Columbia, there are thousands of them? How did they figure to mix those two together and crush the bark of one or the root?
It’s the leaf of the other, and you boil it. That story changes from region to region. There are a lot of amazing stories. There’s a great book called Ayahuasca Reader that does a great job of documenting the stories of the Colombian region in a simple way. The way that the story has been told to us is that in a dream, it was seen that there were these little people walking up and down a vine. They were eating the vine. The man that had the dream went, took the vine, and ate it. When he ate the vine, he saw that it had to be mixed with the leaf. There’s another version of that explains that it wasn’t a man. That was a woman that had the dream.
Ultimately, there’s a predominant story outline where the women do receive the secret of the medicine first. It comes through the woman. In this story, where the man gets the vine and the leaf, when the woman drinks it, she’s the one that explains to him how to use it. No matter where the story starts, the culture shares that the woman is the one that is guiding the man in medicine. It’s also in Kabbalah. It’s interesting. The reason for that is the unit design of the female, the spiritual design is more advanced. The female is more connected. Part of her role is supporting the male in reaching that stage of connection as well.
One of the ways that we see this is through the moon cycle. The woman, when she releases her moon, that’s a natural cycle. Men can’t do that. Men don’t have that natural flow that they release and connect with like the moon is connected. That right there shows that this design has something different. This design can give milk. It gives life. There’s something different. In our culture, the observance is important.
When we see something that same different, why is it different? There’s a reason. Nothing in the culture happens by mistake. In the study, what they say is, “She’s different because the frequency is higher.” It’s a different design because it’s coming from a different frequency. It’s coming from a space where it has more advanced technology and design. That’s where the culture gets to us, having the medicine.
I know you have been through a lot of traumas in your past. What has ayahuasca done for you?
That’s funny because you shit and you vomit but you don’t always shit and vomit. I am not going to lie. “I don’t want to shit and vomit because I get sick.” The thing is, you are sick now. The human body has suppressed symptoms to such a degree that we are numb to the conditioning that we are carrying, the limiting belief systems that operate. We are a hardware and our day was programs. Now it’s apps but whatever you want to call them, they are not you but they are running the show.
Like fear and limiting beliefs. All that stuff that’s holding you back.
Fear is the most downloaded app in human design. We run with fear like it is gas in the tank but no. It’s wax on the road. Running with fear is running with an unnecessary load. We have so much more opportunity. A life beyond fear is not that hard. The hard part is being willing to let go of that fear. We get so used to it. It becomes our well-being.
What does ayahuasca do? It tears those things out of your life. You can have them over but it’s coming for them. Ultimately, the plant has consciousness. It has a job and function. It knows what it’s supposed to do. In some cultures, they teach that the vine itself witnessed the creation and that it holds the primordial story of creation in her memory.Observing is very important. When we see something that is different, there's always a reason. Nothing in the culture happens by mistake. Click To Tweet
We always see the yajé vine as a female energy, an energy that gives life. This is what she does. She gives life. Sometimes to give life, we have to tear away old anchors, hooks, energy patterns, belief systems, and ways of reacting and learning the ways to respond. They say that one night of ayahuasca is equal to 100 or 1,000 hours of talk therapy. I agree with that, whether it’s 100,000, I don’t know but it’s a lot. It’s important to know that you should at least plan out three ceremonies. Most ceremonies are done in two-night combinations. Especially when you go the first couple of times, it’s important to go 2 or 3 nights.
You can do 2 nights, 1 day, and then two nights somewhere else a month later, 6 weeks later, 2 months later but it’s important to connect the experiences. The grandparents teach that the process is three connections to begin to see what it is. That said, from the moment you take your first cup the first time, that medicine begins to know you and gives you an opportunity to know her.
She begins to tear away all the things that are blocking your mind, the energy blockages that are holding your spirit back from connecting with your heart. It even works on the body because so much dis-ease comes from mental strain or spiritual pollution that we’ve created from overthinking and negative actions and negative words. If we can see our behavior, thoughts, and words as money and how it accumulates, and what are the dividends that it pays in our life, we would speak and act differently.
I know that I would. Unfortunately, it’s only through when it’s too late that I’ve accumulated a lot of negative thoughts, words, and behavior. Now I’ve created a spiritual bond. It has manifestations in the physical body with depression, Parkinson’s, insomnia or some other form of dis-ease that manifests in the body. Anything that’s a trauma, impact, or behavior that is degenerative towards life will have a root somewhere in the spiritual realm, according to our culture and beliefs.
Ayahuasca brings physical, spiritual, and mental healing. It’s not a magic pill. I believe in miracles. I would lie. I’ve seen miracles happen. It’s not fair to say, “Come to 1 or 2 nights and everything in your life is going to be roses.” It depends. There are some people that are so good that they have to send before they come to the ceremony.
Some people don’t have a lot of traumas in their past but they want to get more connected to Mother Earth. If you are at that level, it’s incredible what you learn about yourself, the world, Mother Earth, and spirituality. It blows you away.
The grandparents teach that every time that we come to a ceremony. When I hear in a ceremony that maybe the healing is going that one part, the grandparents teach goes to the Earth. Another part goes to the future and past generations and my family tree. It goes to the children and the ancestors because epigenetics exists in the physical realm but it also exists in the spiritual realm.
Another 1/3 goes for you. It’s healing you, your mind, body, and soul. One of the biggest things that I’ve come to understand and learn that ayahuasca does is it helps connect the spirit with the heart so that you can live from the heart space. You can truly live with a heart full of love. As I learned from an amazing teacher, she said the undefended heart.
That’s something that I continue to explore. What is it for me from the undefended heart? To live from your heart is to live from a space of love. We come to plant medicine. We come to prayer. We come to meditation. We come to all these tools because we seek to fill our hearts with love. We should continue to do that and learn because I know that I need more tools.
I know that I need more time to study. I also know that I used this time in this space to put openness and love in my heart so that I can live from there. That’s the greatest thing that medicine does. From there, we have a natural inclination to see unity in everything. We come to recognize that to see separation is the vision. We come to recognize that there’s a creator. Having a loving, deep, romantic, passionate relationship with his creator is the greatest purpose of life. How we get there is our own story.
It’s interesting. I haven’t talked about the first time I was introduced to ayahuasca. I want to know how it affected you too and your life and from when you are in your twenties to now, what it’s done for you. The first time that I did ayahuasca, I was in a dark place. I know that there’s a variety of things you can experience on it. I had lots of purging and was fighting and hanging onto it. The medicine speaks to you, at least not to everybody but it can happen in one ceremony and not in another. It’s different every time. I saw sacred geometry. I saw dark, ugly stuff, some beautiful stuff.
After I purged, it seemed to get lighter and more beautiful, and then she started speaking to me. I knew nothing about ayahuasca. This is coming from no research, no nothing, no one told me a thing. I’m like, “This stuff is talking to me.” It was a female presence. It was so organic for me. I literally, knew nothing when I think about it. My friend said, “Do you want to do ayahuasca? You need it.” I was like, “I don’t know what it is. Sure.” Two days later, no diet. I didn’t do anything. I was in the ayahuasca ceremony and right away to three cups because I didn’t know what I was doing.
It told me that this is why I was depressed. I said, “I was depressed, learn about it but you are going to be fine.” Why I was to be easy on myself. It goes, “This is what you are going to do. You are going to start a podcast called Life Masters.” The Mentor Perspective, which was supposed to be the original name. It said, “Do a podcast. The answers will be there for you. You are going to interview people that hit rock bottom and got out of it. There, you will find your answers. Get into nature more. Reconnect. You are going to write a book.” I’m finishing up my book now.
This is a few years later. This is powerful medicine. When people call it a drug, it bothers me because it’s not a drug, it’s a medicine. The respect that I have for ayahuasca now and plant medicine, even psilocybin, is profound that anyone who uses it for partying or this and that, I can’t do that. It has blessed me so much. The second time I did it, I met you years later. Not a lot happened that time but then a lot does happen that we don’t even know about. Don’t you think it is such a blessing every time you are in a position to take in the medicine?
Yes. Anytime that we have an opportunity, whether it’s through breathwork, yoga, chi gong, Tai Chi, prayer or a walk in nature where we lose ourselves to find ourselves, those moments are sacred because that’s the moment where there’s no thought between me and creation. Just I and I together. Each time that you have that opportunity is a sacred opportunity. The point that you made about how to connect with these plant medicines is important.
They are not party drugs. They are medicines that we use to celebrate life. There’s a culture that holds the technologies to use medicines. We should approach these medicines in reverence to the ancestors that gave so much to hold these traditions and learn how to pilot these medicines through the technology that’s there for us. Maybe later, you can figure out something else but first, learn how it’s been done before you decide to create a new way to do it.
That would be my recommendation. There’s always so much that I have found that can be learned from the ancestral way of doing things from the technology done in rituals and ceremonies to celebrate life. In our culture, there are typically four visions that come up in a ceremony. One vision is when you see things. You can see things when your eyes open or closed, and there may be geometry or other worlds, or you might see relatives.
If what you see is wide and open as a universe, parts of your childhood, you can travel places. The grandparents say that you are not hallucinating. You are de-hallucinating. The grandparents teach that we hallucinate when we believe that this life is real life, that this brick and mortar and plastic and spiel are real, that’s the hallucination.When the medicine's working very deeply with you in other times and other spaces are taking up fragments of your soul, you can empower yourself and reincarnate yourself here in this lifetime. Click To Tweet
We take the plant medicine so we can de-hallucinate and connect to the spiritual world where there’s, as Kabbalah says, “Ninety-nine percent of the truth is out there while we only see 1% of things here.” You will see things that could happen. In your case, you will hear what’s called the council of life. You get advice that could be in your own voice. It could be the voice of someone you know or an unknown being.
There’s also a third vision, which is called celestial surgery. This is when you feel heat, cold or despair. You feel the energy and electricity running through your body. Many people talk about seeing these surgeons, these beings from another space and time. They look humanoid-ish or not humanoid. They are different as you listen to some be described. They say, “I felt that my heart was open and they were healing my heart.”
We’ve had situations where people were facing certain medical challenges. Through whatever means, this encounter liberated them of that. That challenge was not there anymore. You have the fourth type of vision, which is considered to be the most important vision of all. It’s called the no vision. Here, many times you don’t hear, see or feel anything. Oftentimes, you go into a deep sleep.
They say that this is when the medicine is working deeply with you in other times and spaces, taking up fragments of your soul so you can empower yourself and reencounter yourself here in this lifetime to get to know yourself anew. Those are the four visions. Is it a drug? No. Ayahuasca is not a drug. As a former party animal, I wouldn’t even know how you would use it in a party setting.
I met more psilocybin people who use that as a party drug.
That’s unfortunate. We use marijuana a bit too recreationally. Psilocybin hopefully won’t go the same way. We have to understand that when we lose the sacred connection for these plants, their energy begins to them, for example, marijuana. When I’m going to connect with marijuana, I use ancestral prayers of gratitude, connection, purpose, and intent. Even marijuana, as much as I love her, I don’t use her all the time. I don’t connect with her all the time. I will go 6 months, 8 months, more or less. It’s important that when we connect the plants, we understand that we are doing it to receive, not to hide.
I don’t know that you could hide behind your head. You could drink and not make any change in your life. That’s true because the other side of ayahuasca is you are 50%. That was any plant medicine. Whether it’s Santa Maria marijuana, mushrooms, ayahuasca or Bufo, these plant medicines give you something but you have to give something in return. You have to put your 50%.
You must take the vision, the information, the new opportunity or the momentum. Whatever you receive, you have to take that and give up all the things that were holding you back, the old patterns, the old way of being, and run with the new thing that you have. You have to put it into action. You are the one that has to create the show like, in your case, write the book. Metaphorically, whatever that is in your life, my life, whoever’s life, we have to take the treasure and the wisdom that the plant medicines give us and apply them to action or else it doesn’t mean anything.
I wanted to talk to you a little bit about Rhythmia because I got back from Rhythmia. I know that you partake in leading journeys there, along with Taita, who you study with. Rythmia is a life advancement center to Costa Rica. Ayahuasca is legal because it’s illegal here in the US. I was blown away at that place. I haven’t been to Finca yet, which is Taita’s place, the place that you are at a lot. OT and I are planning on going to Finca at some point. We are going to do that. We are a little bit afraid to do yajé for four nights in a row.
No, it’s not four nights in a row. It’s 2 nights, then we rest for 2 nights, then we do 2 nights. It’s four nights, just not in a row.
We are planning on coming. It’s Finca Ambi Wasi. How can you describe the difference between Finca and Rhythmia?
I have no financial remuneration with Rhythmia. I have no financial contract with Rhythmia. I haven’t served medicine at Rythmia in several years. I’m saying that because I want to be clear and upfront that I have no financial connection to Rythmia.
This is all speaking from your heart.
It’s speaking from my heart and my experience. Rythmia is a fantastic place. The love that you see at Rythmia, you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else. It’s also the world’s greatest adult theme park. If you are a grown-grown and you want to have a good time, this is where you go. You’ve got sun, the beach, the pool, the plant medicine, the workshop, the healthcare clinic, the body treatments, the gym, the cold plunge, the hot water plunge, the steam room, and all of the amazing food.
It is one of the best immersions of self-care that you can have. Even if you never cared about plant medicine, going and having the experience there will give you a new sense of life. If you are feeling depleted, you’ve lost your mojo, if you are wondering, “What’s next? Where do I go from here?” I even met one guy that said, “Everything in my life is great. I just want to know how it can be greater.” That’s Rythmia. You go there for that, 1,000% all day long. It’s a great place to connect with yourself, God, and good people.
I brought my mom.
Your mother’s an amazing soul. She said to me, “I’m 76, and I want to know what’s next in my life.” She’s an amazing artist. She’s an accomplished woman. She was looking for her next big adventure.
She highly regards you very much. She did ayahuasca with Carlos twice. She was such a trooper.It's important when we connect to the plants; we understand that we're doing it to receive, not to hide it. Click To Tweet
She’s amazing. I love her.
What I was most blown away in Rhythmia, though, is Mitra, who you also work with, a shaman and incredible. What a powerful human being. I journeyed with him for 1 night and then 3 other times with other shamans and indigenous people. They live in the jungle in Costa Rica or in Columbia. What I thought was most incredible about Rhythmia and why they built this place was because, and I want you to talk to me a little bit about that, how ayahuasca was a secret. It was so kept from Westerners, from the White people, or the people of the Western world, whatever. We’ve had ayahuasca in Africa, Amazon, everywhere, all these other cultures but not the Western culture.
I spoke to some of the shamans there. They were saying that they got a message from Mother Earth that said for them to start sharing the secret that has been a secret for thousands of years with the people of the North. That meant as many people as possible to bring it out from the jungle and share their wisdom and secrets. If you can talk to me a little bit about that because when you go to Rythmia and meet these shamans and are doing these ceremonies, and there are people all over the world that come to Rythmia, different cultures, races, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
The people that are working in these ceremonies are so gracious that you are there. They are happy to be sharing their wisdom, knowledge, culture, and the technology of this medicine that they have been holding a secret for so many years. They are grateful that we stepped place in Rhythmia, and we are choosing to put that time aside to be in this place with them. They take it seriously. They are grateful for every single person there. I was taken back by that beauty. Tell me why that is for them.
There’s a hoppy prophecy that the Ingol and the condo will meet, the North and the South will come together. The way that the elders of my culture have said is many years ago, the medicine started making that declaration that it was time to bring her out of the jungle. What we’ve come to see years later is that it wasn’t just our medicine saying that but it seems clear that all the meds have been saying that. If you look back on when yoga first came to the US, that’s one of the first medicines to reach the US. From there, you had martial arts, chi gong, and Tai Chi. Back in the ‘60s, peyote started coming in, an introduction to mushrooms and marijuana.
What we see is that slowly, the medicines have been wanting for humanity to make contact with them again. When you look at the medicines of ayahuasca, the sacred mushroom, the tradition of peyote, the temazcal, and the sweat lodge, these medicines are becoming more and more sought after and known in the Western world. We are learning more about them. We are learning of them and beginning to seek them.
The reason why we are beginning to seek them is that the spirit and the mind are exhausted. We are tired. Whether we acknowledge it consciously or not, we see how much of the Western system is broken when it comes to healthcare and caring for the health of human beings. A holistic approach that addresses the mind, the body, and the spirit. It’s a failed system.
We are the casualties of that system. Our grandparents are the casualties of our system, our parents, and our children. “There’s hope.” You become aware that the shadow in the cave isn’t the world. There’s a whole world outside the cave. That’s what these plant medicines represent. It’s a calling to leave our cave, our construct of limited thinking, and begin to explore a whole new world that’s connected to the stars, the river, the rocks, and the trees. That’s why plant medicines have made a strong calling to be brought out and connected to the Western world.
To save the health of the planet, too.
That’s part of the other half as the Western world begins to reconnect with nature because of the technology in the Western world and the certain characteristics of the Westerners that are positive. The meeting of these two worlds, a new day has begun. From here, a new breed of humans will be born. A human that is connected to the Earth and more consciously involved.
In prayer, we will use this higher sense of being to bring more love, unity, and connection to everything. Removing that veil of separation is so important because every tree, being, and breath it’s one single breath that we are sharing on this planet. It’s no more than that. Between all of us, the animals and the birds, the bees, trees, and humans, it’s one single breath that we are sharing.
If people want to learn more about ayahuasca and plant medicine, do you have any documentaries that you would recommend or books to read or anything like that? Obviously, follow you on Instagram and social media.
The best thing is to feel it in your heart and find the space to go. If you want to have a seven-day experience at a beautiful beachside, holistic healing facility, I recommend going to Rythmia. That’s Rhythmia.com.
We have both been there. Carlos and I have both partaken in the week-long journeys.
I love Rythmia. If you want to go on an eleven-day native journey, you want to come down with me to Columbia and hang out with my teacher for eleven days and have an amazing healing process, a healing journey, you go to FincaAmbiWasi.com. You can follow me. I’ve crossed around on all social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Spotify. I don’t hang out with them much. That’s the truth.
If you send me a message, I will reply. I will get back to you. We can link up and talk. I answer all my messages. Sometimes it’s a lot, sometimes it’s not so many but I do answer all of them. I post pretty regularly. I like to share. I took a year off of social media. That was a beautiful experience. I’m going to be sharing more about that eventually.
Thank you. I’ve taken up so much of your time. I could ask you a bazillion more questions.
It’s my pleasure.
Thanks for everything, Carlos. I will be seeing you soon. I’m going to be hunting you down when OT and I decided to come to Finca Ambi Wasi. We can’t wait.
Please, let me know and make sure that I’m there. I will be sure to be there for you guys. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share about the culture and medicine. If you are reading this and have a question in your heart, please reach out to me. I would be happy to answer. Reach out to Rythmia, Finca Ambi Wasi. May God always bless you.
May the divine goddess always guide you. May you always know and feel the absolute love of your creator flowing to you and through you. In the best of times and the worst of times, may you know the universe is conspiring for your greatest success, and everything is always happening for your benefit. I love you, my brother. I love you, my sister. I wish you all the best. Thank you, Tanya, as well.
Thanks, Carlos. You are awesome. I look forward to seeing you soon.
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About Carlos Duran
Carlos Duran, is considered to be the most notorious spiritual gangster alive today. When you want to live a life of raw authenticity, ultimate fulfillment and mega wealth, Carlos Duran is the man you go see.
Offering you guidance based on his unique blend of spiritual experience and entrepreneurial success, Carlos helps you break past all the mental and emotional B.S. which has been keeping you from living your true and highest purpose. Carlos has opened the eyes of thousands of seekers who want to define who they are by the quality of their actions, by the depth of their legacy, not by the number of dollars in their bank account.
Mega wealth is represented in the highest states of health and abundance for your mind, body and soul. Carlos Duran is not for everyone, if you prefer to live a lie or accept mediocre results then run when you see him coming; his medicine is only for the brave who are ready to teardown their own facade and embody the brilliance of who they really are.
No matter how much you have accomplished or acquired in your life, if you are not waking up everyday in pure joy, ready to cease the day… but wish you were…and you are willing to strip out your ego to achieve this state of personal empowerment, then you are ready for Carlos Duran.
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