Sacha Runa
Sacha Runa is the name of a section of the Amazonian Rain
Forest at the upper reaches of the Madeira River in northern
Bolivia. It is an area where shamans still function as religious
functionaries for the residents. The Sacha Runa people describe
themselves as the people who know how to live on the
Earth and who are descended from ancestors in ancient times.
Stepping into this ancient culture is Bolivian spiritual seekerguide
Miguel A. Kavlin. Kavlin grew up in Bolivia but moved
to the United States when he was 17, where he resided for a
time amid the ancient Anazazi site in the Southwest. At a gathering
of Sun Dance followers he met Beautiful Painted Arrow,
a Ute painter and visionary with whom he began to study. He
moved on to complete his graduate studies in anthropology
and philosophy. He also studied martial arts and traditional
Chinese medicine.
In 1987, Kavlin went to Peru, where in the rain forest near
Iquitios, he met and became a student of Don Agustin Rivas
Vazques. He eventually was authorized by Don Agustin to conduct
rituals outside of Peru, and in 1989, Kavlin began to take
people to Peru to meet with Don Agustin. In the early 1990s,
he returned to his homeland where he met two Bolivian shamans,
Don Hector Aguanari and Don Jose Coral, and began
studying with them. In 1996, Kavlin built what he termed a
Peace Chamber, an underground ceremonial space for people
to use and dedicated to instilling in all who come to it a heart
of peace.
All of the people and events in Kavlin’s life have subsequently
come together in Sacha Runa Productions, the organization
through which he brings people to Peru and Bolivia to meet
with his teachers and to experience the shamanistic culture. Integral
to that culture is the production and use of ayahuasca,
a brew made from locally grown plants that have a psychedelic
effect upon those who consume them.
Kavlin sees the meeting of modern Westerners with indigenous
leaders as a tool in assisting them in reconnecting with the
life-giving forces of the universe. It empowers them to become
their own teacher as they realize their own self-knowledge and
reach a point of self-realization. Self-realized people will, Kavlin
believes, become pillars of the next generation and real
caretakers within the culture.
Sacha Runa Productions may be reached through its website
Sacha Runa. February 12, 2000.