Jim Whitney 

 

 

 

Born and raised in southern Arizona,  Jim left to study Cinema and Television at the University of Southern California. As a documentary filmmaker, his work has taken him to all corners of the globe, focused on environmental and indigenous issues.  
 
It was through this work he was introduced to many indigenous leaders and began his own personal healing and studies with the sacred plant medicines and ancient spiritual traditions. The following years of apprenticeship and ceremonial training of multiple dietas with different tribal spiritual leaders would lead him to the Peruvian jungles and the Sacred Valley and finally to the Yawanawá tribe of the Brazilian Amazon.
 
In August of 2016,  he was humbled and honored to be one of few Westerners to be initiated by Tatá,  the 103 year-old spiritual elder to learn the sacred spiritual teachings of the Yawanawá. It was during this time in the jungle, Chief Tashka Yawanawá asked him to make a film about Tatá, their revered spiritual leader.  Four months later,  he documented the last days of Tatá’s life and heard his final teachings from his deathbed.  
 
Following Tatá’s death, Jim’s relationship has continued to deepen with the tribe . He was invited to enter into the Yawanawá’s highest spiritual initiation, the Muká Dieta, under the guidance of Matsini Yawanawá.  In March of 2019, he completed the one-year, restrictive and disciplined study the Yawanawá believe develop the spiritual power and knowledge of a Pajé.  The seyás, prayers, and songs are deeply rooted in his own personal spiritual experience and offerings. 
 
And so, with the deepest and most personal respect, Jim’s wish is to open and share a world of power and beauty, deeply connected with nature and the innate intelligence of the earth.  He wishes to uplift these courageous indigenous people who have so generously opened their tribe, teachings, and spirit to the Western world.  And, he wishes, above all, to honor one of the last true shamans of the Amazon Tatá by supporting the healing of others.