I am reading Kogi, a book from Lucas Buchholz, a German member of the PAUA community, I highly recommend it.
Lucas tells the story of how he encountered a young 18 years old Kogi who asked him this question:
“When is it that you consider you have enough to just sit still by a river or listen to nature?”
That’s a very simple question yet so powerful. I have had the same question many times in my stays in the jungle with the Yawanawà.
The young Kogi explained.
“Little brothers (us versus them) all think the same everywhere. They want to buy and sell land everywhere. They all use money and always want to earn more of it. This is why we say that you all think the same way”
Our vision of the world is “standardized”, what we believe in and the way we live are basically the same. It’s obvious when you walk in Madrid, Cusco or Paris most beautiful places and see a Starbucks and a Sephora store in the best spots.
The need for more of everything and more money to buy it and at all times is normal.
Once the discomfort is too high many start looking for something else, as I did myself.
We start seeking calm, consciousness, some would say they are seeking enlightenment as a final destination. I highly respect anyone on “the path” [to become a better human being]…
Here is a trap I fell into many times… replacing the material “I need more-ness” by now the consciousness/spiritual “more-ness”.
It’s a trap because there is no end to the “seeking”. Advanced indigenous or spiritual people I know do not seek anything, they just “are”. Sure it takes work to get there, but at one point the seeking must end.
When we seek “calm” or we finally stop seeking, what do we need?
Community is the “hidden secret” of indigenous. It is so obvious it’s often hard to see.
We always think there is another book, another trip to the jungle, another experience. This time this stay in Bhutan with monks will finally “enlighten me” or… “fix me for real”. This trip to the jungle or that meditation retreat will change me. This book is the key finally, etc… no end to it.
“There is no effort wasted on this path” (hi, Greg, if you read me!) so it’s all good, except that we can get stuck in the seeking. Each effort, each retreat is useful for sure.
Communities are even more useful.
The indigenous live in strong communities that constantly share knowledge, help each other and remember the past from elders who spent their lives learning, then teaching and sharing knowledge. In our societies we put our elders in retirement homes so we do not have to deal with them.
You can’t just bring a bunch of strangers together for ceremony. Individuals are social creatures by nature. This ideology that we are individualists, in competition and selfish is a travesty of what human nature really is all about. Trauma on the other hand isolates people. Healing trauma requires in most cases a connection with others. Not only a connection with the healer, “shaman” or the therapist, but connection with people that are your equals and your partners and who will support you and whom you can support. There is a give and take which is the essence of healing. Especially with the vulnerability that psychedelic work opens up, you really need the group support.
I haven’t found that many communities of people working on themselves and sharing, especially embracing the entrepreneurial and business world, which I needed myself.
In May it will be two years we started the PAUA community, at the intersection of consciousness and business, for this reason. It came from the need of friendship, sharing and support of like-minded people on the same path.
We’re doing a few things in addition the PAUA What’sapp community
-PAUA Paris, a conference in Paris May 12th - 13th (changed to Friday/Saturday now 100% confirmed, website update coming, we’re working hard on it and I hope you can join, more soon)
-a weekly community call, every Tuesday at 18h CET topics go from meditations, buddhist teachings or business as we did with Yat Siu. We don’t always publish the recordings so people can express themselves more freely.
-a weekly men’s circle and women’s circles every Wednesday
-retreats and meet-ups, many self created by the community, some we organize such as the Vision Quest and the upcoming trip to the Amazon forest.
If you feel like joining our community, it’s here. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a good start and many find it useful, we are all improving it daily as we can, working with the opportunities and limitations of the tools available (whatsapp and zoom!).
If you join, please be respectful of everyone, we’re seeing it as a beautiful garden that needs constant attention from everyone.
Sometimes the most obvious thing we actually need is right in front of our nose, a community.