Michael Costuros recommends three ayahuasca documentaries for startup founders
These are my top three documentary picks for performance oriented people who want to consider doing ayahuasca in the Peruvian style.
I have lead more than 100 entrepreneurs through their first ayahuasca ceremony. Most of these clients were participants in my annual Amazon Ayahuasca Mastermind Program which I have run since 2012.
A key part of preparing my clients for ayahuasca is replacing the unhelpful information they have gathered about ayahuasca with helpful information.
(By the way, the correct spelling of ayahuasca is ayahuasca, not iowaska.)
This is especially true for high functioning business leaders who want ayahuasca to help them become better leaders. I say this because the vast majority of information on the internet about ayahuasca, or iowaska, is written for people who are sick or seeking spiritual awakening. Very little information is written for performance oriented professionals who aren’t sick or seeking. So, over the years, I have curated the best information to share with my performance oriented clients in prep for their ayahuasca retreat. In this post I will share with you the documentaries I share with them and why.
In my experience, no documentary, blog, book or video can truly prepare you for the actual experience of being on ayahuasca. Nothing can. So I choose to focus on increasing my clients understanding of the historical and cultural contexts that brought ayahuasca to the people.
So, of all the documentaries you could watch, these are the ones I highly recommend. They will deepen your understanding and appreciation of what plant-based psychedelics can do for you when done in a therapeutic, ceremonial or tribal traditional context.
What makes these documentaries the best for high functioning business leaders?
For the most part they don’t try to sell you on ayahuasca in the way that most ayahuasca documentaries do.
They feature mature professionals, opposed to young seekers.
They are (mostly) focused on healthy people rather than ones who are ill seeking healing.
They speak to the historical and cultural contexts that gave birth to the current psychedelic renaissance.
They are focused on the Peruvian tribal healing tradition of ayahuasca rather than the Brazilian christian church approach, or the Neo-shamanic western approach to ayahuasca.
I also let my clients know that if they want to introduce their interest to ayahuasca to a family member, watching one of these documentaries together is a great start.
I highly recommend watching them in the following order.
1. The Ayahuasca Documentary by Aubrey Marcus, a review
2017, 52 minutes
Free to watch with email sign up.
This Aubrey Marcus’s ayahuasca documentary uses the popular format of following a group of people to Peru to do ayahuasca. This format is great IF you can identify with the issues that the featured people are focused on resolving. The featured people are seeking peak performance and the removal of subconscious blocks are part of what is holding them back.
The participants include Aubry Marcus, Dr. Dan Engle, and a few of Aubry’s close friends. In contrast, most of the other documentaries follow a group of people from all walks of life who are seeking healing for physical illnesses.
Accurate information, engaging and beautifully filmed, I think you will enjoy it.
2. Peyote to LSD, A Psychedelic Odyssey
A National Geographic film by Wade Davis
1:32 min https://vimeo.com/33931362
I want you to see this because it will provide you with a solid cultural and historical context for the use of psychedelic plant medicines to heal and expand consciousness.
This excerpt says it all.
“Learn the secrets of shamans and medicine men. Retrace the thrilling explorations that revealed their ancient knowledge to the developed world. Sit at the knee of the man who brought their wisdom out of the jungle. In the 40s and 50s, when the Amazon was still a deeply mysterious, untracked region, Richard Evans Schulte followed the guidance of native experts tribal healers, shamans, mystics to find botanical treasure. For months at a time, he combed the jungle, collecting thousands of samples and discovering plants unknown to the modern world, many of which produced fantastic chemical compounds with strong effects on our bodies… and our minds. In this ambitious feature-length documentary, a renowned botanist, explorer and author Wade Davis (“The Serpent and the Rainbow”) reconstruct the travels and discoveries of his great mentor Schulte, the Father of Ethnobotany.”
3. AYAHUASCA: NATURE’S GREATEST GIFT
1 hr, $5 at http://www.thepathofthesun.com
There are many documentaries on the page, choose the one called AYAHUASCA: NATURE’S GREATEST GIFT for $5.
Of all the documentaries on the history and renaissance of ayahuasca, this is the best one by far. It is the most objective and takes a look at the science as well as the traditional Amazonian cultural behind its use. After watching this you will have a well rounded 101 education on Ayahuasca.
“The film is a comprehensive look at the socio-cultural realities surrounding the burgeoning popularity of the Amazonian sacred, medicinal and hallucinogenic brew called ayahuasca. The film has 30 subtopics that answer questions about the tea including its history, usage, rituals, physical and supernatural experience, shaman, songs, special diet and preparation and thoroughly delves into its potential therapeutic value.”
These are my top three documentary picks for performance oriented people who want to do ayahuasca. I recommend that you watch them in the order presented. Watching these films will help you decide if you want to experience ayahuasca. If you have already decided that you do, then they will help you understand your choice and know what to expect. If you have already done ayahuasca and are seeking more information, watching these will expand your historical and cultural understanding of this extraordinary plant medicine.
P.S. If you have seen these three and think you know one that meets my criteria and is better, please email me about it.
- Listen to these ayahuasca podcast episodes that share transformative experiences from the business leaders who participated in our retreat.
- Learn more about our executive coaching
- Learn about our next Peruvian Amazon Ayahuasca Mastermind Program