Donna Quesada: So, you are addressing the role of the gut, quite a bit… The role of the brain…
I want to put together these pieces for those who are curious and want to approach this plan seriously. In your book, you even mention allergies, which is such a prevalent problem for people, these days. What is the relationship between the gut and allergies? I think those are dots that most people don’t connect.
Alberto Villoldo: Well, you know, 90% of your immune system is in your gut. And allergies are basically a reaction to allergens that are being sensed by the gut or by the lungs. So, if you detox, you will find that 90% of your allergies go away within two weeks.
ALBERTO: Incredible how quickly it happens. The other relationship between the gut and the brain, is that the gut manufactures almost 100% of your serotonin, which is a neuro-transmitter. Serotonin is what the brain tweaks to make melatonin, so you can sleep. So, you repair your gut and you start recovering your sleep cycle. You sleep and you rest. You sleep better. But, if you tweak serotonin a little bit more… the formula for serotonin is 5HT… if you have an abundance of serotonin, your brain will begin to add to it… and turn tryptamine into dimethyl-tryptamine. DMT. So, the brain produces the bliss molecules naturally. But to do that, you have to be able to upgrade the brain. And then, you can experience bliss and community and awakening and have it last.
DONNA: So, people don’t have to go on an ayahuasca retreat? They can manufacture it in their body, through a healthful approach to living?
ALBERTO: Precisely, in fact. Once you’ve upgraded the brain. You only have to go to an ayahuasca retreat, once. Because you’ve got it. You are able to wake up, grow up, which means you’ve embodied the gifts and the lessons, and then you show up.
DONNA: What would be an example of a day on your program? Specifically. People might be wondering, I don’t know if I can do this… What would I be eating? Could you give us an example of the kinds of foods that would be suitable as protein sources… as energy foods?
ALBERTO: Well, primarily you want to focus on the fats. On good fats. On the coconut oil, the MCT oil. Avocados and nuts. And then, you want your diet to be primarily plant based. And this is absolutely key. We co-evolved with the plants; not with the animals. The animals run away. The plants would stay put. We were awful hunters. You can’t really hunt anything, unless you have a high-powered rifle. You can’t hunt a Bison with a rock. So, we only seldom eat animal foods. And they are the ones that are going to get us in trouble. If you are having bacon in the morning and a steak at dinner, you are setting yourself up for cancer at the age of 65 or 70. So you’ve got to go primarily plant based. Nutrient dense. Calorie poor. A lot of fiber. And really good fruit. But only between 12 and six, so they don’t trigger a sugar response… an insulin response. It’s a little bit challenging… the program. But, it’s much less challenging than getting Alzheimer’s.
DONNA: Good point.
ALBERTO: And it’s seven days. But you’ve got to repeat it every six months, so you maintain yourself detoxed. And, so you can begin to awaken the spiritual circuitry in the brain. So, you can become part of the experiment of those two species that live long and healthy lives. That can experience menopause. So, you can become part of… not of the control group. The control group is sinking with the Titanic. The experimental group are the ones that are going to be able to live the long and healthy lives, and experience infinity, which is what we came here to do.
DONNA: Will you talk about dream time, Alberto? We’ve all been fascinated with what you had to say about lucid dreaming… and the role of dreaming, in nurturing that part of the brain that makes us part of the “experiment.”
ALBERTO: You know what is interesting? I want to invite you and our listeners to ask our friends if they remember their dreams in the morning. And you will find that most people don’t. And that is because they are not producing enough DMT.
DONNA: Some say they don’t dream at all!
ALBERTO: Some say they don’t dream. That is because their guts are broken. Or they need to be upgraded with probiotics. You need to increase the production of Serotonin. And it’s the pineal gland that transforms it into the bliss molecule, DMT, which you produce when you are dreaming, when you are born, and when you are dying.
DONNA: When you die… that’s fascinating.
ALBERTO: There is a huge burst of DMT released so that you can take your consciousness with you to wherever you are headed next. Dreaming is absolutely essential for our health. The Shamans that I train with learned how to dream with their eyes open. So, for them, the dream time did not only happen when they went unconscious during the night, during sleep. They were able to dream with their eyes open. They understood that the nature of reality was dream-like. And that it was magical. You know, some of our dreams are absolutely sensational wild! Aren’t they?
ALBERTO: And you don’t go, in the dream, “Whoa, that’s really weird!” No, it seems perfectly natural, in the dream.
DONNA: Are you speaking of lucid dreaming?
ALBERTO: Lucid dreaming is when you wake up in the dream. When you go, “Oh, I’m dreaming… fantastic… let’s begin to guide it.” That’s what we want to do in the waking dream, also. You want to have a lucid moment in your waking day. So, you go, “fantastic, how do we guide this dream in a way that is creative and can be of service?” So, dreaming is really important, and I’m convinced that people who don’t dream or who don’t remember their dream are going to be getting sick or are sick because they are losing that connection with the spirit world that happens in the dream time. You can recover that. DHA for six weeks. You recover your dreams because you repair the hippocampus in the brain where learning happens, and where dreaming seems to be associated with this region in the brain also.
DONNA: This is fascinating. I love the way you are connecting these different dots because I think most people wouldn’t think about the gut as playing a connective role with our dream time. And yet, it does… because this chemical that we have discussed, DMT, in a sense, bathes our brain and awakens it, so we can become creative dreamers.
ALBERTO: Precisely… with our eyes open and with our eyes closed.
DONNA: So, would you say that it’s, in a sense, bringing this quality of mindfulness, not only to our dreams but also to our waking life? Where we start to become directors?
ALBERTO: You know, Mindfulness is used and abused so much. I like to think of it as heartfulness.
DONNA: Oh, I like that!
ALBERTO: You bring heartfulness to… the Shaman’s heart is really the center of your being. Of your experience of the self and that self that continues beyond us. So yes, this is the process of staying awake during this really challenging time that we are living in. Remaining optimistic even though there is not a single reason in your day that you should be optimistic… but remaining optimistic.
DONNA: So, we can turn on that optimism within ourselves? That sensation of hope?
ALBERTO: Because then you create that in the world.
DONNA: You know, it’s funny… you spoke about the Shamans and the way they look at the heart, and the importance of waking up the heart-brain. In our tradition of Kundalini Yoga, we call it the “heart-brain.” And, it sounds like it’s very parallel with the Shamanic Tradition.
DONNA: I think the best advice anyone ever gave me was to follow my heart. As simple as that sounds, but it’s something that’s not fostered in our culture. And in a way, it goes back to what we were talking about. That masculine dominance where we are focusing on the brain as a decision-making source, rather than the heart.
ALBERTO: Yeah, the executive decision making rarely happens in the brain. Most of the time it happens in the gut. And you can’t rely on your gut instinct if your gut is damaged. If your flora… and you are not taking the right probiotics. If your gut is damaged, your gut instinct is going to be off. I have a literary agent that sells my books. She negotiated my books. Wonderful woman.I love her. But, if there is a single psychopath in the room, she will fall in love with him. So, her instinct is totally flawed. We all know people whose instincts for relationships is flawed. So, if your gut has been damaged by antibiotics… by the chlorine in our water… that really destroys and compromises the bacteria in our gut. Your gut instinct is not going to be there for you. The minute you upgrade your gut with the right probiotics… and I show people how to do this on our web site, at thefourwinds.com… there are free downloads and videos of how you can prepare your own probiotic. For example, if you take a probiotic capsule that you can buy in the store, they are “asleep” and they are dehydrated. And the first thing they are going to do is rehydrate. So, they rehydrate in your stomach full of acid. They are all going to die. You’ve got to put them in warm water for 10 minutes before you take them, so, they can wake up again. Rehydrate. Then you can adjust them.
DONNA: I think those are things that people don’t know. Do you offer retreats where people can learn how to do this?
ALBERTO: They can learn to do this on our web site, through videos that are available for free. We have a ten-day detox program that is available at no charge at thefourwinds.com.
DONNA: We’ll have that below the interview. I’ll have your web site there.
Alberto: That’s the agenda. You know, I’m convinced that in a former lifetime, I must have been, probably, in Genghis Khan’s army and looting and pillaging. Or, maybe a Viking. Because my work now is probably to pay for all those terrible things that I did a long time ago and I want to make a difference in the world. I want to help people find health and find beauty and find spirit. And to dream the world into being creatively together.
DONNA: This idea of giving back… Is that part of the process of awakening? Is it incumbent on us to give back?
ALBERTO: Yeah. It’s the hallmark of awakening. If you are still only looking for me, me, me… then you’ve just had an epiphany, not an awakening.
DONNA: Coming back to this notion of hope, which has been on my mind lately, what is the proper balance to waking up individually and fostering that awakening on a grander scale?
ALBERTO: I think that it’s a process of precedence. As you grow the awakened state, then you create a standing wave around you. And people respond to you in a wakeful way. You start living in a way that is more awake. You start eating more wakefully, and engaging in relationships in a more enlightened way. This happens as a standing wave through your energy field… not through things that you do or say, necessarily. Because some people say all the right things, but they read them somewhere!
DONNA: What do you say to people who just point at what is going on in the world and say, “How can you deny that.. nothing has gotten better… it’s only gotten worse!”
ALBERTO: I tell them that they are absolutely right. And that in no way deters me from the mission that I selected for myself. So, in the midst of hopelessness, we have to offer possibility. And there is a huge need in the world to confirm your suspicions that there is hope available and you are not part of the solution.
DONNA: It’s becoming a bodhisattva, in a sense…
ALBERTO: You’ve got to put on the robes.
DONNA: Is there anything you would like to share with our listeners, in our final few moments?
ALBERTO: Yes, there is a wonderful Buddhist prayer that is done before meals, that says “let me respectfully remind you. Life and death are of the utmost importance. Do not squander your time. Wake up. Wake up! Wake up!”
DONNA: Do you say that prayer every day?
ALBERTO: I say it first thing in the morning.
DONNA: Is that your spiritual practice?
ALBERTO: No, my spiritual practice is breathing.
DONNA: Is it a Yogic style breathing?
ALBERTO: No, it’s every breath I take.
DONNA: So, is it just a matter of bringing your consciousness to that deep breathing?
ALBERTO: There is a great breathing exercise that they do in the high Andes, where you go, “I am my breath. I am on the inhale. My breath on the exhale. I am on the inhale (silently). So, when you take your last breath, you will be able to ride your breath, your spirit… like the wind.
DONNA: That is beautiful. “I am my breath.”
ALBERTO: I am my breaths.
DONNA: My breaths… plural.
ALBERTO: My Breath. My breaths.
DONNA: I love that. Thank you for the breathing exercise and the prayer.
ALBERTO: Thank you, Donna. Thank you so much and thank you for the beautiful work you do.
DONNA: Thank you again, for spending this time with us. Especially under the condition of jet lag!
ALBERTO: It’s been a pleasure. You’ve brought me back into my body. I’m not sure I am, but I’m happy to be here! Thank you so much. Blessings! Bye bye!
Read and watch Part I Here: Awaken Interviews Alberto Villoldo PhD Pt 1 – Begin To Dream The World Into Being
Read and Watch Part II Here: Awaken Interviews Alberto Villoldo Pt 2 – Grow A New Body By Awakening The Goddess Life Force Within You
Buy:Grow A New Body