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January 8, 2014

8:00 p.m. New York • 5:00 p.m. San Francisco

Join Rak Razam and guests Dennis Mckenna, Mitch Schultz, Richard Meech and Aya Awakenings director Tim Parish for an exclusive online discussion about this groundbreaking film and the contemporary explosion of interest in Shamanism. 

See the film online and then join the live, interactive video webinar. 

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AYA: AWAKENINGS  is a documentary journey into the world and visions of Amazonian shamanism, adapted from the cult book 'Aya: a Shamanic Odyssey' by Rak Razam.
As Razam sets out to document the booming business of Amazonian shamanism in the 21st century, he quickly finds himself caught up in a culture clash between the old world and the new. Braving a gringo trail of the soul, he uncovers a movement of ‘spiritual tourists’ coming from the West for a direct experience of the multi-dimensional reality shamanism connects one to.
Central to this is ayahuasca – the “vine of souls” – a legal South American entheogenic plant medicine that has been used by Amazonian people for millennia to heal physical ailments and to cleanse and purify the spirit, connecting it to the web of life. Western seekers also experiment with smokable dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and the juxtaposition of these two sacraments, and the way they are used by Westerners, is a central theme of the film.
In researching the mystery of ayahuasca, Razam undergoes his own shamanic initiation, undergoing numerous tests and trials in the jungle and the psychic landscapes the vine reveals. On the way he encounters a motley crew of characters, from rogue scientists that conduct DMT-brain scans on jungle psychonauts to indigenous and Western shamans that slowly unravel his cultured mind and reveal the magical landscape of the spirit world.
And the more he drinks this potent jungle medicine the deeper it leads him: from the wet jungle where the ayahuasca vine grows and on into the raging heart of consciousness itself. His journey culminates in the Sacred Valley of the Andes, where secrets of the ancient Incas are revealed to him and the true nature of the global resurgence in shamanism is brought to light.
By blending narration directly from the book with video footage, interviews with practicing curanderos, samples of traditional icaros or magic songs, photographs and cutting edge special effects, AYA: Awakenings reproduces the inner landscape of the visionary state in unprecedented detail, invoking an awakening in the viewer.
Featuring the artwork of Pablo Amaringo, Andy Debernardi and more; written by Rak Razam and directed by Tim Parish, video editing by Verb Studios, soundscapes by Lulu Madill and music by Shpongle, Tipper, Darpan, Lula Cruz, Syren and curanderos Norma Panduro, Guillermo Arevalo, Percy Garcia Lozano, Ron Wheelock and Kevin Furnas, this documentary charts the Global Shamanic Resurgence born in the jungles of Peru and reaching out to embrace the world.

Rak Razam

Co-Director, Co-Producer, Narrator. Rak Razam is the author of two books: AYA, A Shamanic Odyssey, a travel-memoir of his time with shamans in the Peruvian Amazon and a companion volume of interviews: The Ayahuasca Sessions, published by Icaro. He is also the editor of The Journeybook, a collected anthology of psychedelic writing from Undergrowth publishing. His popular global podcast, In a Perfect World, charts the meetings, musings and collective dreamings of the Ultraculture of the 21st century. In 2006 he visited Peru on a feature magazine assignment to see what the almost mythical archetype of the shaman was really like in the 21st century. Excerpts from AYA, A Shamanic Odyssey have been published in Australian Penthouse (Sept 2006); High Times (Aug 2007); and Filmmaker magazine online (Oct 2007). He was also interviewed and appears in the CBC’s 2007 audio documentary In Search of the Divine Vegetal talking about his ayahuaca experiences, which has been broadcast twice due to special demand to millions of people throughout North America. A founding editor of Undergrowth, Australia’s leading counterculture arts and literature magazine, Razam is an “experiential journalist” that participates in the experiences he writes about, giving his global audience an intimate familiarity with his subjects. For more information visit


Tim Parish

Co-Director, Editor, Executive Producer. Timothy Parish a cross media artist, working in video art, painting, illustration, writing, and graphic design. He is the Producer and Director at Verb Studios, a video production company based in Melbourne and Darwin, Australia specialising in documentary, music video and video art. His VJ sets of experimental organic shamanspaces have been shown across festivals in Australia and the USA, including VJing at Burning Man, Earth Frequency, Wide Open Spaces, and Solar Eclipse 2012. Timothy is the Artistic Director of Undergrowth, which he founded with Rak Razam in 2004. He regularly exhibits his paintings and prints his writing through the Undergrowth books and magazines. He is also currently the National Director of the Transitions Film Festival - a visionary documentary festival dedicated to showcasing groundbreaking documentaries focussing on solutions to global environmental issues. For more information check out: Verb Studios

Dennis McKenna

Dennis McKenna’s professional and personal interests are focused on the interdisciplinary study of ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. He received his doctorate in 1984 from the University of British Columbia, where his doctoral research focused on ethnopharmacological investigations of the botany, chemistry, and pharmacology of ayahuasca and other orally-active tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. Dr. McKenna received post-doctoral research fellowships in the Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health, and in the Department of Neurology, Stanford University School of Medicine. Dennis was a key organizer and participant in the Hoasca Project, an international biomedical study of ayahuasca used by indigenous people and syncretic religious groups in Brasil.
Dr. McKenna is well known as the brother of the legendary Terence McKenna, a cultural icon in the psychedelic community.  Together they are co-authors of The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching, and Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide (under the pseudonyms O.N. Oeric & O.T. Oss) (And/Or Press, 1976; 2nd Edition, Quick American Archives, 1996).  Dennis has recently completed a new memoir entitled: The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss: My Life with Terence McKenna.


Mitch Schultz

Mitch Schultz is the director of DMT: The Spirit Molecule based on Dr. Rick Strassman's groundbreaking research on the controlled substance N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Mitch began his life journey in Memphis, TN, and has since called Texas, Minnesota, Colorado and New York City home. From an early age, his love of art, music, mythology, and anything curiously unusual fuelled his path, including collaboration with Ghost Robot, Synthetic Pictures and the development of Spectral Alchemy, a hybrid-collective for trans-media production and cultural architecture.


Richard Meech

Richard Meech, president of Meech Grant Productions Ltd., has 20 years experience as a documentary filmmaker and television producer. In 2010 he released Vine of the Soul: Encounters with Ayahuasca, a one-hour film about ayahuasca, the sacred psychoactive medicine from the Amazon that is changing modern lives. Meech was the creator of the internationally acclaimed series Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and The Modern World. He and his partner, Michael Grant, produced and directed the epic cross-cultural anthropology series of 10 one-hour films seen by over 70 million viewers worldwide.


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When you join this course, you will receive a link for viewing the film Aya: Awakenings, which will be available for online screening anytime from January 6-8. The online discussion takes place the evening of January 8 at 8:00 p.m. New York time. 

By participating in this live webinar, you will receive:
  • 1 60-minute live video seminar with Rak Razam and guests on January 8 at 8:00 p.m. EST/ 5:00 p.m. PCT
  • 30 minutes of question and answer time
  • 1 online screening of Aya: Awakenings (available January 6-8)
  • Unlimited online access to recordings of all seminars
$20.00 X
Aya Awakenings: Online Screening with Q&A

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