A Visionary Legacy effectuating Heaven on Earth

Kindest most appreciated boon companions of the designs path 

As some of you may know I had the honor of spending some outstanding times with maestro Pablo Amaringo. His art graces with commendation the cover of my book Rainforest Medicine, a book he encouraged and helped blow into existence.

This exquisite painting, that graces the cover of Rainforest Medicine, illustrates a ceremony held among the deep forest Ashaninka, where a vision is revealed that the wisdom of the sacred plants will one day reach all regions of the globe. Standing witness on left are spirits of the Inka, predecessors of the tradition who brought forth the knowledge of the preparation of ayahuasca. To the right, mystical wisdom sages of alternate dimensions. Celestial angels descend from above, to instill the occasion with their divine energies, heartening the expansion of opportunities for this blessed wisdom to infuse its auspicious potential far and wide, into the hearts and minds of people the planet over. 

To remember maestro Pablo Amaringo is to awaken the memory of truth, to the memory of deep integrity, to a magnificent and wonderfully auspicious spirituality. The kind that holds deep understanding for the human predicament, who sustains a deep understanding of the difference between right and wrong. One that sees other people’s joys as one own joys and other peoples sorrows as ones own sorrow. The kind that enjoys not getting used to anything at all, not even to what part of ones house one will throw down a bed roll to sleep on that night. And to the ever majestic universal culture of service, that don Pablo so gracefully practiced. Allow me here to honor don Pablo Amaringo with some experiences I was able to with him share. The kindest hearted, high-level wizard maestro, spiritual teacher, visionary painter and Amazonian sage. Whose legacy continues through his art and teachings.

Don Pablo lived a life of love and selfless service, who through teaching art tirelessly worked to instill a moral compass in his students at the Usko Ayar “Spiritual Prince,” School of Amazonian Painting in Pucallpa Peru. Years living alone in the wilderness, where he became friends with jaguars and wild boars, sleeping with no fire, foraging on fruits, roots and leaves strengthened his deep essence.

Followed by many years of upholding the practice of a shamanic ayahuasquero doctor of the people, where he was attested to have once even healed a president of Peru. Every night for ten straight years he drank ayahuasca, healing dozens of people at time in a single night. His stories are fantastic and beyond measure, encouraging deep respect for his old school training and the majestic world this revealed to him. So much of which he worked to preserve for us through his books and the accounts therein. And I have quite a few journals from my time with him of wisdom and stories, that I plan on continuing to share.

Yakuruna (Water People) by maestro Pablo Amaringo

Riding a Heaven Disk

Once while drinking ayahuasca, don Pablo visited a temple with a high roof. There were people there, women who were organizing these long strands of gorgeous multi colored threads. The women sang wonderful songs as they wove intricate weavings. He noticed there was a river and a dock. Multicolored boats, like yachts that looked like fish, made of opalescent translucent material like leather, that where breathing, expanding and contracting as if inhaling and exhaling. He heard a person tell another, “Let’s go for a ride!” They entered the vessel and the motor ignited. A disk began to spin, and a soft hum resounded. Up the boat went, up into the air and he heard them laughing and talking as they rose up and away. He saw a ladder and he asked a women there, “can I go up there?” She replied, “you’re not ready yet to go there. Every rung of that ladder, as you walk up it, you have to know more about how you function, about how your disposition. You have to know more still about how your mind works, about how your heart works. To climb that ladder, you have to be well prepared. If you try to climb that ladder now, you’ll surely fall far below.” Don Pablo said,“I drank ayahuasca with the inquisitiveness of a scientist, devoted to investigating life.”

Don Pablo related that the ayahuasca reveals magnificent realities, but we must not forget our mortal place. This helps keep us humble and wise. When following correctly a dieta one can experience realms beyond ones capabilities, and that is ok. To witness these realms, fills one with energy, that can then be applied in our everyday life. It is an inexhaustible spiritual science, that at most one can only scratch the surface of. 

Ayahuasca Mariri, by maestro Pablo Amaringo, 30-01-02

 Then a time came when he was obliged to renounce ayahuasca shamanism. The account he shared with me is fascinating. A time came after a series of  incidents that occurred, which escalated into him making this decision. 

This is what he shared…

Many of his patients where suffering from sorcery. When the healer removes the malice this flies back like a dart and jabs the sorcerer in the back or belly while he is sleeping, who then in turn falls ill. The Sorcerer begins investigating in their visions why they got ill and determine the cause being the healer returning the darts. The sorcerer tries to damage the healer but sees his arkanas, spiritual protections are too powerful.

In his glory as a great healer, don Pablo Amaringo healed many patients damaged by different sorcerers. However, the sorcerers realized that separately they could not harm this great healer because his arkanas, spiritual protections, are too powerful. After some time, the different sorcerers meet up and conclude it’s the same healer that is making them all sick. They collude and join forces to topple him. While this is happening, don Pablo’s healing spirits keep beckoning him to just give them the orders and they will kill all the sorcerers. Don Pablo refused, his commitment was to God and to healing. He did not give them their life, thus he could not take their life.

The spiritual battle escalated. His helping spirits that helped him accomplish many marvelous and complex cures, healing illness no doctors could understand, insisted that if he does not give them to order to kill the sorcerers it was his life they would take. How can I back out of this he insisted, I did not give them life, I can not take their lives, nor do I wish to die either, he said. They said we’re going to make you transform into a bat, if you can stop that from happening and not transform into a bat, then you must abdicate  from drinking ayahuasca and you’ll be relinquish of all liabilities and can walk a free man.  He drank ayahuasca and started transforming into a bat, he had to use all his might, like never before to return back, already half transformed, into his human form. After that Don Pablo stoped drinking, and swore to never drink again and never drank again!

Hamahuala Machaslaca  (Crowning the Disciple) by Maestro Pablo Amaringo, 30-01-02

He did not however renounce the universal path of service. Many wonders he learned from the spirts, many divine methods for healing such as the use of medicinal plants in certain ways and the miraculous  copal incense cleanse (link here) for cleansing ones aura. Many many patients still came to him, and he continued healing people with the copal incense cleanse, herbal recipe’s, with listening to their tribulations and offering life guidance and council, he was a true friend of the people. Years after he refrained from drinking ayahuasca oriental celestial spirits would come to him at three in the morning in his meditations and advise him how to heal his patients and he knew well the symbol of Tai Chi of the Yin Yang.

Words of Wisdom from maestro Pablo Amaringo

The world today is much too unsettled,

to be rigid, or disorderly. 

To make a difference in the turbulent world of today,

we need spiritual abilities. 

The  development of your spiritual capacity,

comes through training your heart,

and deepening your level of awareness. 

Spend time in nature,

so that, from seeing plants swaying in the wind, 

you can learn to be adaptable and flexible.

Learning to appreciate mother natures simplicity,

will help you obtain Mother Earths’ innate orderliness.

Being orderly is, in and of itself,

a form of spiritual and intellectual training. 

Creative efforts align your body

The heart works with your mind,

and consciousness works with your spirit.

Learning to talk, think and do good purifies the body.

Compassion purifies the heart,

Self reflection purifies the mind.

Understanding this,

we can see that meditation is a practical discipline.

Meditation as a form of self control

bringing self-reflection to all you do and say,

refining your spiritual nature,

and bringing you closer to spiritual mastery. 

Don Pablo was someone who could hold peoples sufferings and help them transform this. A man of absolute integrity who knew how to help people, “cross turbulent waters and reach the golden shores.” His abilities as an artist grew and he eventually with help from friends opened the “Usko Atay” School of Amazonian Painting. Don Pablo was like a father to thousands of riverine locals from his region. He left an indelible mark on everyone who was fortunate to have met him. The influence of his therapeutical artistic creations continues to inspire countless people world-wide. He passed to returned to the glory of the heaven that brought him forth, on November 16 of 2009. Maestro Pablo Amaringo’s legacy is one that will not be forgotten, as his visionary legacy continues to effectuate Heaven on Earth. 

Temples in the Canopy by maestro Pablo Amaringo

Years back, after spending some time with Don Pablo in Iquitos, I was blessed to return with him to his home at the Usko Ayar School of Amazonian painting and spent an entire month living in don Pablos home. That was a profoundly moving experience in so many ways, some of which I wrote about in my book Rainforest Medicine. I was once also invited to be his translator when he was summoned to share his wisdom and art at a most unique botanical convention called Voyage Botanica, held by genius herbalist Michael Cottingham at the Eden Hot springs in Arizona. The legendary pools, also known as Indian Hot springs, where Geronimo himself was believed to have bathed. Later I brought don Pablo to Costa Rica on four occasions to share his art and wisdom at our Rainforest Medicine Council Gatherings.

Over the years I knew him I served don Pablo as one of his representatives and he issued me a letter granting me authority to sell his art and issue prints of his work as well. I was able to place many of his fine art master pieces in homes of people who I’m sure to this very day are relishing these exquisite pieces of paper made sacred by the stroke of his brush and the purified gaze of his eye. And all kinds of funds from the sale of his works were channeled to ground level projects aimed at preserving ethnobotanical wisdom, supporting local and indigenous peoples projects and for the conservation of the vital and mighty rainforest. 

Although he offered, I never kept any commissions from the sale of his art. Rather, given my passionate devotion to the cause, I was overjoyed to collaborate in his mission of the Usko Ayar School of Amazonian Painting, where he selflessly served his community like a whole hearted father.

It was moving and eye opening to see the location of the school, on stilts over a swamp, literally in an impoverished slum in the outskirts of the Amazonian city of Pucallapa in Peru. The funds from the paintings I sold for him, he was kind to inspiringly inform me how with that he was improving the school and he even built a new smaller jungle school deeper in the forest too outreach to more rivereños, river dwellers. I would take all opportunities of folks traveling to supply him with copious amounts of high quality pigments, brushes and his all time favorite, Arches paper.

Years later when I was building the main lodge at Ocean Forest Ecolodge, I was able to sell two of his paintings. Never asking, he sensed my financial need and insisted I keep half the sales proceeds. At that moment I did really needed it, and with his divine support, we finished the construction of the Lapa Lapa Lodge at our center in Costa Rica. (Pictured below)

The Lapa Lapa Lodge at Ocean Forest Ecolodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Full moon on the Sierpe River, Osa, Costa Rica. Painted while maestro Pablo Amaringo was visiting Guaria de Osa (Ocean Forest Ecolodge) 4/7/06
Maestro Pablo Amaringo at (Guaria de Osa) Ocean Forest Ecolodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, 2004

Don Pablo also joined me on four occasions to visits the Secoya (Siekopai) territory in the Ecuadorian Amazon. On these early sojourns, organized between 1997-2000, don Pablo had already years back left the path of ayahuasca shamanism, his skill though, in helping people interpret their visionary experience in modern language, was as honed in as ever! And this was a wonderful contribution to the retreat after the all night, powerful ceremonies of yagé, with our most high Siekopai traditional elders, maestro Cesareo, maestro Delfín, maestro Tintin, maestro Esteban, maestro Jójó, joining in the reverie camaraderie. By day don Pablo was interpreting participants visions and teaching art classes to the group of visitors and Siekopai youth alike. Many of who have gone on years later until this day creating marvelous paintings of their rainforest home. Those were some far out trips!

Emilio Lucitante (Jójó) waving goodbye to us as our canoe departed upriver. At San Pablo de Cantesíayá, Aguarico River, Ecuadorian Amazon, 1999.

On one such trip, we had the unforeseen incident of our canoe being stolen. And from right in front of Siekopai traditional elder don Cesareo’s homestead! That story is written about in Daniel Pinchbeck’s book Breaking Open the Head (who was with us on that trip) in chapter 22 ~ My Shamanic Vacation. After a series of adventures the canoe was retrieved from a Shuar Indigenous village some hours downriver.

After that, Cesareo had us taking turns, “watching the canoe,” these were all night shifts. And out of sheer coincidence, the night that was my turn to watch the canoe, a ceremony of yagé coalesced to occur. It would be the first time I would sit out one of the seasonal celestial summer ceremonies. All the elders arrived, in tunic, bead and crown, and the participants alike left the camp to the ceremonial lodge some distance removed behind the ol’ man’s house. One of the participants Mark, who had enough on the prior ceremony and opted out stayed back too. And the Kofán elder, Emilio Lucitante, endearingly called “Jójó,” at the last moment rather than going to drink yagé said I’ll stay with you! A fella in the group came up to us, feeling sorry we couldn’t go to the ceremony. He said, “here if you get bored, try some of this.” He left a small blue dropper bottle on the table and walked off saying, “three drops will light up the night!”

Golden Moon of the Amazonian by maestro Pablo Amaringo

An hour or so later, the singing began at the ceremonial lodge and we could hear this loud and clear. It was powerful! This got me thinking that anyone and every one coming up or down the river around here would’ve clearly heard all the singing that’s been going on. That had me entertained for a while. Jójó, Mark and I were sitting there and as some hours went by we ran out of things to talk about. The continual chanting of the elders in the ceremonial lodge was at that distance by now purring us to sleep. “Hey what about that little blue vial,” Mark says. “Three drops, eh?” Three drops later and the drop of the moment in time stretched over the rivers borders, over-bordering the canoe that we were watching. Dissolving the rivers edges and that of the forest and the sky into an ocean of heavenly designs. Jójó the Kofán elder, dropped too and was quietly content ~ watching!

Deep of the Night by maestro Pablo Amaringo

Suddenly the quiescent stillness of the night was shattered with Mark starting to bad trip! He got really vocal and was screaming, “Spines in my head.” He wanted to run off, had to hold him back. I said, “I’ll call don Pablo.” “Yes,” he said, “he’s the only one who can save me,” he said panting. Don Pablo was contently sleeping in the hut not too far off. “Don Pablo, don Pablo,” I said to him as I nudged him to awaken. He awoke and sat up, and I explained, “Don Pablo, Mark is bad tripping, we need your help!” He came over and Mark was loosing it hard poor fella, moaning and groaning, and all lull and limp, he was a mess! Don Pablo, sat Mark before him, and he raised his hands to sky. Whispering a subtle prayer, Pablo lowered his hands on Marks head and right then Mark gasped in relief. Don Pablo left back to his hut to sleep and Mark was flying high as a kite. Feeling better than he’s ever felt, the rest of the night!

To me this was an absolutely amazing show of power. Don Pablo in his humble presence calmed Mark down just by placing his both hands on Marks head! A rare and miraculous moment we witnessed that solemn night, all whilst “watching the canoe,” on the banks of the moonlit Aguarico River. In the reverberations of an all night ceremony of yagé, where the elders chanted full blast ahead, all throughout the night, until the sun gently rose, glistening with all its glory in the eastern sky.  

Descent of the Angels by maestro Pablo Amaringo

The personal spiritual energy don Pablo embodied was also delicately instilled in his paintings, this is why he would say his art is therapeutic. Try looking at them for a while and see how you feel!

Don Pablo also shared that his art, being therapeutical in nature, is more effective when hung covered with a cloth. Choose a pleasing pastel color that may on itself have pleasant designs. When one wishes to view the painting, and the curtain is opened, a therapeutical transmission can occur. 

It is a high honor and joy to be eligible to offer you my beloved reader the option of acquiring high quality giclée prints of maestro Pablo Amaringo’s masterpieces to bless your space. Please visit our Maestro Pablo Amaringo Visionary Fine Art Gallery to explore fifty fine art masterpieces.  Proceeds from the sale of the prints are channeled to ground level rainforest conservation and cultural heritage preservations initiatives.

Maestro Pablo Amaringo at his home in Pucallpa Peru, 2002
Ayahuasca Visions The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman–Unveiling the sacred mysteries of Ayahuasca Author: Pablo Amaringo, Luis Luna
Existencia humano (Human Existence) by maestro Pablo Amaringo
Los Rondadores del Mundo (Circulating the Globe) 57 X 76 cm, Extra fine gouache on Arches paper by maestro Pablo Amaringo, dated: 16-02-02. Cover art of “Rainforest Medicine ~ Preserving Indigenous Science and Biological Diversity in the Upper Amazon” (North Atlantic Books, 2013)