The meaning of the term "Master Plants" encompasses all medical plants which imply a spiritual additionally to their energetic component. These spirits of the plants display their own personality and hold the position of a teacher and healer. The contact to the plants is built up by diets. According to your intention there is a difference between an "apprenticeship" and a "healing" diet. This way of fasting means the restriction of certain foods, abstinence from alcohol, the avoidance of sex and the connection of the person with the energy of the plant.
The ceremonial opening of the diet starts a process which ends after the closing ceremony. In this time a lot of energy and knowledge is assembled and consolidated in every person participating but the most is received after the closing. The strict compliance with the restrictions of the diet (no salt, sugar, fats, red meat, milk products, sex, alcohol) is of paramount importance as a breach in diet can cause severe illnesses.
There are many different types of diets.
A traditional one year diet followed by annual 3 months diets under the supervisión of a maestro is required in order to be able to work with plant medicine.
During this time, you reduce all activities, communication and material needs to a bare minimum remaining the majority of the time in your tombo. The maestro will choose a plant for you which you diet. Being alone with no distractions, you can concentrate fully on the plants teachings.
Supervision from a maestro is essential. Only he can open the diet, choose the correct plant for you, re-align the diet and close it. Ceremonies where you also take ayahuasca occur at irregular intervals and according to your need. This is also determined by the maestro.
The teachings are sacred. A maestro has the ability to support your learning process and to open new avenues for you which are otherwise blocked. The primary work however is done with you during the time you work with the plants. Icaros will also be studied.
The beginning days
This and many other stories I have documented. The diet started with me in the maloka. I received the plants in a glass, was told to drink them and return to my place which was on the other side of the maloka. James my 19 year old son was on one side of me, Azziz a good friend and fellow apprentice on the other. The other apprentices were on both sides of them. I drank, went to the toilet which is only steps away and reentered the maloka after 2 or 3 minutes.
The following morning as I entered the dining area carina, one of the apprentices looked up and said "you were really funny last night". Her tone was tinged with hostility and anger. I stopped and didn't know what to make of it. My obviously puzzled look brought a laugh from the table of apprentices and an animated conversation arose.
Armmm , "see Cmmm, I told you, she didn't know what she was doing". My expression obviously confirmed this and I am sure it was even more puzzled looking.
I was getting nervous. They explained. I had trampled all of them. Armmm said it was the combination of plants I had. They tried to get me to sit. I pushed everybody aside, saying this is my space apparently lying cross ways. They pulled me down. Cmmm started chanting to me, ariane blew smoke. I got up.I punched James in the stomach twice, threw Smmm who returned to her mattress which I was on off and created a general ruckus. I am generally not proned to physical abuse or verbal violence.
The next evening, maestro who made no comment concerning my previous nights antics allowing me at least to think that he did know catch wind of them chanted to me first. This is a great honour. He then said, gather your things and go immediately to your tombo and stay there. I got the message? and followed his advice. I had no difficulties getting to my tomob, slipped into a white nightgown which I always wore, carefully folded my clothes up and slipped under the mosquito netting. The tombos where open having only a dirt floor and no screening. I was relieved to wake up several hours later knowing that it must be after 2 am or so as there was no more chanting safe and sound in my tombo until I realized something wasn't right. After taking stock of the situation I realized I was naked. I have no problems with being naked but I knew I wasn't when I fell asleep. I had no recollection of having taken them off. After a quick search under the bed covers, I climbed out of the netting area and checked swiftly the small tombo area. No pajamas.
I know Guillermo does not like nudity and had never seen anyone walking around nude so I headed to the maloka in search of my pajamas in the hope of preventing news of my loss of them and not knowing where I had lost them.
My nightly wanderings continued. I would often wake up naked somewhere off the path in the jungle not knowing where I was or how to get back to my tombo and spend hours in half panic trying to find my way back and still avoid people. I would end up in neighboring villages at times and had no desire to be confronted by Spanish speaking people especially as I was generally naked. After becoming conscious and finding my head between the barb wired fence, Maestro Guillermo decided it would be better to move me to a more isolated place. I still have blackouts and have learned to read the signs that I have had them. I have always managed to return to the tombo and strangely have never had any scratches, bites, torn clothes should I have kept them on, bruises or dirt. It is not an illusion that I wander. I am sometimes sighted by the others who all leave me alone and respect this as part of my diet. We have guards who keep an eye on me as well. All attempts at placing a chair in front of the door or even being tied to the bed from somebody else all did not stop me from wandering.