The Religion of Ayahuasca

The Teachings of the Church of Santo Daime

Alex Polari de Alverga

254 Blz., ISBN 978-1-59477-398-3     
Park Street Press, 2010     

In search of something to restore his spiritual connection to life after his release from captivity as a political prisoner in Brazil, Alex Polari de Alverga had a transformative encounter with Padrinho Sebastiao Mota de Mela, one of the two revered founders of Santo Daime. A potent synthesis of Christianity and indigenous Amazonian practices of entheogen use, mediumship, and healing, the Santo Diame church provided Alverga with an alternative to his disillusionment with modern society. His guest for spiritual initiantion eventually led him deep into the heart of the rain forest to Mapiá, one of the spiritual centers of Santo Daime, where he became a teacher and leader of the Daime community.
The Religion of Ayahuasca is a story of a classic spiritual encounter comparable to the Tibetan Saint Milarepa´s search for his teacher Marpa. It is also an intimate account of the genesis of an important religious tradition from its modest beginnings in Brazil to its growth throughout the world, offering an inside look at the spiritually centered village of the Mapiá - a model for communities in the 21st century - and at the relgious leader who helped create it. Providing insight into the spiritual path the Daime offers, Alverga´s tale reveals the new depths of being made available through the sacred use of ayahuasca.

Alex Polari de Alverga spent years as a political prisoner during the rule of the military junta in Brazil, enduring torture, brutality, and deprivation. On his release from captivity, he encountered the Santo Daime religion and is currently a padrino (spiritual father) in the spiritual community of Mapiá.

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