I write this in-flight, returning from a magical trip to the Kogi of Colombia. I write this having seen and heard the airport TV reports of the trauma that continues to dominate US politics, as well as those in many other countries.
Last year my Ecuadorian partner, Daniel Koupermann, and I took a group to the amazing lands of the Kogi – people who have a message for us all. They came down from their mountain hideaways to meet us and to spread their message of the need for change. They were so impressed by the deep spirituality and commitment of that 2015 group that they invited us to bring another similar group – and this time to be the first ever to live among them, to sleep in their community, and to sit in their sacred ceremonial lodges. For the 19 of us it was a life-changing trip.
We were surrounded by breathtaking scenes: the emerald Caribbean and palm-fringed beaches, the Sierra Nevada mountains that rise 18,000 feet up from the ocean to glacier-covered peaks, the rain forests, and the sparkling rivers that cascade from the glaciers into the Caribbean.
But most of all it was the Kogi who impressed us! I have to admit that I was shocked – ecstatically – by the extent to which the Kogi invited us to share their lives and ceremonies. These up-til-now illusive people totally opened the doors to their homes and hearts to us. They invited us to come and learn from their Mamos (wise elders/teachers/shamans/
spiritual leaders), to answer a call that dates back to a time when their forefathers retreated from the onslaught of Spanish conquistadors and the destructive nature of European cultures. Their Mamos told us of how their ancestors had fled up the valleys of the glacial rivers into the mountains.