Synopses & Reviews
The story of Santo Daime--a new religion that blends elements of" Christianity with older Amazonian indigenous spiritual practices--and the ecologically sound and spiritually centered utopian community it has inspired"
•A true story of a classical spiritual encounter, as well as an intimate account of the genesis of an important religious tradition that continues to grow worldwide"
•Edited and Introduced by Stephen Larsen, author of The Shaman's Doorway
Alex Polari de Alverga spent years as a political prisoner during the rule of the military junta in Brazil, enduring torture, brutality, and deprivation. On his release from captivity and in search of something to restore his spiritual connection to life, he had a transformative encounter with one of the two revered founders of Santo Daime, Padrinho Sebastiao Mota de Mela. Santo Daime--an Amazonian religion, born out of jungle entheogens, mediumship, and healing, that is a potent and unique synthesis of Christianity and indigenous practices--provided Alverga with an alternative to his disillusionment with modern society. His quest for spiritual initiation eventually led him deep into the heart of the rainforest to Mapia, one of the spiritual centers of Santo Daime, where he became a teacher and leader of the Daime community."
Forest of Visionsis a story of a classic spiritual encounter comparable to the Tibetan Saint Milarepa's search for his teacher Marpa. It is also an intimate account of the genesis of an important religious tradition that from modest beginnings in Brazil has now spread throughout the world and continues to grow. It provides an inside look at the spiritually centered village of Mapia, a model for communities in the 21st century."
"This tale is an insider's experience and personal transformation with the drug plant ayahuasca (Banisteriopis caapi)-said to produce harmony with nature and with others-and the religious philosophy surrounding it."
". . . moving and often poetic writing. The book is a saga and a memoir, with the added benefit of giving us insight into the spiritual path the Daime offers."
"Alex Polari de Alverga has provided a moving firsthand account of an unusual and compelling contemporary spiritual phenomenon."
The story of Santo Daime--a new religion that blends elements of Christianity with older Amazonian indigenous spiritual practices--and the ecologically sound and spiritually centered utopian community it has inspired. 30 photos.
About the Author
Alex Polari de Alverga is currently a padrinho in Mapia. Forest of Visionsis the first of his books to be translated into English.
Table of Contents
Forest of Visions
Ayahuasca, Amazonian Spirituality, and the Santo Daime Tradition
Chapter 1 The Magician of Rio Branco
Chapter 2 The Prophet of the Amazon
Chapter 3 The Divine Gardener
Chapter 4 Zen Canoeing in the Igarape Mapia
Chapter 5 The Doctor of the Jurua
Chapter 6 Padrinho Sebastiao and Mestre Irineu
Chapter 7 I Raise This Banner
Chapter 8 The Duel with the Sorcerer
Chapter 9 I Light My Candlesticks
Chapter 10 Feitio: God's Will, Human Action
Chapter 11 The Spiritual Rebirth
Chapter 12 Memories of the Past
Chapter 13 Love Is to be Shared
Chapter 14 New World, New Life
Chapter 15 The End of Time
Chapter 16 The Future of New Jerusalem