Yawanawa – The story of a Cobra ~ Nalini
Yawanawa – The story of a Cobra ~ Nalini
The 10 days were over, and I came back into my body. I took a shower in the small river next to the center. I had to concentrate to walk, with a towel bound around my waist, a dented aluminium pot in my hand, I stumbled to the river.
Standing there naked in the river, it took me a while to concentrate and to get ready to pour the cold water over my body. I was still in dream state, slowly coming back. Then I realised that I was standing naked in a river, deep in the Amazon, mosquitoes enjoying my blood… What the hell am I doing?? Idiot… Put that water over your body.
I poured the cold water over my body, and I looked up to the sky. It was such an amazing sensation to feel the cold water on my skin… I came back immediately into 3D reality, heard the beautiful songs of the birds, the symphony of insects, felt the sun shining on my skin.
What a 10 days and nights it had been… I had been in a ceremony for 10 days and nights; every 4 or 5 hours I had drunk a cup of ayahuasca. Visiting deep places… I felt so much gratitude for that time. A big smile came on my face, and there I was again, back!
Edge and Muca shouted back from the temple, and we were laughing.
STRONG WARRIORS!!!!!!!! We shouted towards each other.
There was so much joy… So much gratitude….
That night, sitting at the fire, eating together Luis sat down and told me, “Vāta Txanu, I want to tell you about the cobra.”
It was story time…. A time I always truly enjoyed.
“The cobra is the most sacred animal of all the animals in the jungle,” he started to tell. “We have many different kinds of cobras here in the jungle. Cobras that only live on the earth; they sleep on the earth, they eat on the earth. They never go into the water, never go into the trees, never go into holes in the earth. They only live on the earth. Then we have cobras that live on the earth, but they sleep in holes in the earth. Then we have cobras that live in the water. They are in the water all day and sometimes they come onto the land to eat, but they always return to the water; water cobras. Then we have cobras that live high up in the trees. Some of them come out the trees to eat, some of them never leave the trees.”
I want to tell you today about a very special Cobra, our most Sacred Cobra: the Runu.
“The Runu is a cobra that lives only on the earth; she lives on the earth, sleeps on the earth. She doesn’t move that much, she is there; laying in one place, in the silence. She does not go hunting. She is a master of consciousness. She has a territory of 30 minutes walking to each direction,” with the only arm he had, he gestured a circle. “That is her world, her space, and she is the master of that space. No other Runu will enter that space, they never meet. A female doesn’t need a male to have fertile eggs.
In that space, they know everything that is happening; every animal, every plant. They are fully aware of what is happening inside of that space. They are masters of consciousness.”
Don Luis, held some space of silence after that sentence, and look deep into my eyes
She never goes hunting. If she wants to eat, she feels into her territory, and sees what animals are around. She will pick an animal in her kingdom, locks into it, and then she sings a song to that animal; a song that humans cannot hear, but that animal can hear it. That animal, hearing the song of a master, cannot do anything else then to walk right into the mouth of the cobra. You see, the animals are in service to each other, and this is the way that the Runu lives; great masters of consciousness. She never hunts, she lets the things come towards her.
A Runu is not an animal that we see many times. If you see a Runu while walking in the jungle; that cobra wanted you to see her. If that cobra did not want you to see her, she would not be there. For, she knew you were there long before you were even aware that this cobra existed. So to meet a Runu is a very special moment in your life. Maybe we only see them once or twice in our lives, some people never see them.
Now; when you meet a Runu; you must take time. Whatever you are doing, stop doing it, and take time to be with this animal. Cobras do not attack human beings. You do not have to be afraid. Cobras bite only for two reasons; If you step on a cobra, because you did not see them, they will bite. For as I said earlier; if you encounter a cobra, it wanted you to see him. So if you do not see him, VWOOOSH! Quickly, with a snap you are bitten before you know what has happened. The second reason a cobra will attack a human is if you clear a piece of jungle to build a village or a house or something like this in their territory, because then you have taken away their food, their livelihood. It is not so simple that they just leave and go to another space, because this could be the territory of another cobra. For this reason as well the cobra will attack, but in normal cases they are peaceful animals, there is no reason to be afraid. At the same time; if you are bitten by a cobra, the medical world does not have a cure for you. If you are lucky and you can get to the hospital (which from the fire where this story is being told; the nearest hospital was about two days of travel), they amputate your leg, your arm, where ever it was that you were bitten. Then you are lucky. Some people die if they do not get amputated fast enough.
There are only a few people in the jungle that know how to heal the bite of a cobra. Now I know plants to heal the bite of the cobra, Luis told me. I have healed the bite of the cobra around 50 times in my life. There are many people in my life who were bitten by the cobra, but are still in my life because I am the only person around who can heal such a bite.
I learned later, that if you could heal the bite of a cobra, you are a great master of the jungle… Luis was indeed a great master!
“When you meet a cobra, you take time,” Luis said.
You sit down. You take rapé (a medicine of the jungle, made from the tobacco plant and the bark of a tree). You see, Vāta Txanu, rapé is the medicine of the cobra .Then you take a stick and, very gently, you begin to tap the cobra with the stick. You look her into the eyes, and while you are doing that you ask the cobra for its blessings.
Again Luis looked deep into my eyes, leaving a moment of silence.
At that moment, tapping the body of the cobra wit your stick,
you put intentions out for your life. Whatever you ask to the Cobra at that moment, you will receive. “Ask for a good wife, a good house, and a boat with a motor,” he told me. The life of an Indian is very simple! If you have those 3 things in the jungle, you are the man! I laughed…
I looked Luis deeply into his eyes.” Wow!” I said. “I want to meet a Runu, I want to meet that cobra.”
I closed my eyes, went into a deep meditation, and put the strong intention out to meet this cobra. Just coming out of a 10 day and night ceremony, still feeling Madre Ayahuasca singing her songs, it was not that difficult to go deep into a meditative state. And in that meditation… I saw her; A big, beautiful, female cobra appeared in my vision. Her colours were stunning, I could feel her wisdom. She looked straight into my eyes, I looked back, without fear, feeling strong. With a gust of wind she blew her name; “Nalini.”
I looked straight at her and told her: “Nalini, I want to meet you.”
We kept looking at each other, eyes closed, it all happened in a vision. She didn’t say anything, but then I knew I was going to meet her, I knew she would be on my path one of the next days. I opened my eyes to meet the face of Luis again. He stood in front of me and nodded, knowingly. He had seen what had happened in that moment.
“Let’s see,” he said.
Two days later we went again to then jungle to learn about the plants, to collect some plants to make some medicine. We were going to look for Chacruna, one of the 2 plants that is used to prepare the ayahuasca. And so we went, the four of us. Luis, Muca, Qwatsi and myself. There we were, walking deep in the jungle. There were no real paths. We just cleaned the way with machetes looking for plants, and looking for plants was not easy. I know the Chacruna plant quiet well, having spend several months with the Santo Daime in other places in Brazil. But there in the jungle, there are thousands of plants, all looking more or less the same. So to find one chacruna plant in the middle of the jungle, between all those other plants was much different to having one hundred Chacruna plants on a field, planted in rows. Luis was a good teacher. He said that the plant was close, that he already had seen it, and then he told me it was my task to find it, he refused to help me. He had spotted it long before me. It took me more than twenty minutes to find the plant, which was, basically right in front of my nose… Qwatsi was laughing….
We collected around 25 chacruna plants that morning.
Walking back with the chacruna plants, ready to be planted in our medicinal garden, it happened… “VWOOOSH!”
There she lay, in the middle of the path. Just laying there; a huge, beautiful cobra. It was her; Nalini.
Her body was painted with beautiful colours, her body was very thick, she was bigger than any snake I had ever seen in my life. I handt seen her at first, so I almost stepped on her… I was scared, I admit, but I could not help to look at her in awe. She looked straight into my eyes, and I looked straight back. “WOW,” I said.
I did not know what to say, what to do. I was scared. She was such a big animal; around somewhere like seven or eight meters long. I am not quite sure, but she was huge… So long and so thick; the body was thicker than the belly of a baby. And she was just laying there; looking me straight in the eyes. I was scared… I just stood there paralysed. Luis saw my fear and touched me; “Hey, let’s walk a bit.” I looked at him “But she will go away I said,” I exclaimed.
“No, she will not go away; she will not go anywhere. Cobras don’t move during the day time. They move only in the night. In the day time they will just lay around. Don’t worry. She will be there when we get back. Calm down.”
So then we walked. Twenty minutes passed. We gathered some other plants and then came back. Sure enough; she was still there. In the middle of the path. Exactly the same spot.
“Wow,” I said again. I couldn’t believe this was happening…
Once again, I was staring at her in complete awe. Such beautiful colours had her body, so strong she looked. Such a sacred animal. I could really feel the sacredness of this animal. I could really feel the power of her consciousness as she stared, directly into my eyes.
Suddenly I remembered Luis’s instructions; “You must take the rapé when you meet the cobra. This is the medicine of that animal.” I checked my pockets (normally I would have some with me), but they were empty… Ah man!!
Luis told me not to worry, to find a stick and to sit down.
I was so afraid at first, but I started to calm down. I saw that Luis was calm, that reassured me. I found a stick. I sat, well, kneeled quite a distance from her. As far as I could get away while still being able to touch her with the stick. I took my time for all of this. Then I slowly started to tap on this beautiful, strong, big animal with the stick. And as I tapped this sacred creature, I put out the intentions for my life. Still I was looking her straight in the eyes and she was looking straight back into mine. I asked her for many things in that moment.
I took my time for it. There I was; sitting there with a stick in my hand, in the middle of the Amazon, days away from society, tapping the body of a huge cobra that was lying in front of me… Sitting there I carefully choose my intentions for life, and asked Nalini to help me to manifest them.
I asked her for health, happiness, open path, abundance, prosperity, friendship, love, wisdom. I asked her to help me with the healing work that was happing in Peru. I asked her for many things. Things still to come into my life. Things already present, ready to evolve. One of my main intentions was to encounter my Twin Flame, a beautiful woman to be on my side, a shining soul to share this dream with.
With all things I asked, I was very precise, with a lot of details.
When I was finished, I stepped back. Just looking at her in complete awe, the silence was singing. It had been a very sacred moment, so the others had respected it. Wow! What an animal she was… I felt so much honour, so much love, so much gratitude for this animal. What a moment… I just stood there, watching.
I felt that my time with her had not yet come to an end, but I didn’t know what was coming up next. So I told the others that we would go on a walk again, to come back a 3rd time.
Chacruna ~ La Rainha da Floresta
So again we went. Again, we found some plants, and then we returned about half an hour later. And there, this time, I found the courage. I sat down very closely next to her, took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and put my hand on her skin. I felt her cold skin, it felt very interesting, not like anything I have felt before. I kept breathing deeply, my heart was pounding in my chest. But I sat there, quietly, not moving, feeling the sacredness of this animal, feeling her power, her wisdom. Sitting there, feeling into it, I just knew… She had to come. She had to come to my house, to our temple. She had to come to give her blessings to the space. I opened my eyes and looked at her:
“Nalini. I am going to take you. I have built a home not far from here. I am going to bring you there to ask for your blessings, please come with me Nalini. I want you to bless that space. If you want to live there, you can live there. It is a beautiful house. We have food. We have everything. Everything there is for you Nalini, if you want to leave again, you are free to come back here. Please Nalini. Come with me.” She just looked me straight in the eyes.
Then I talked to Luis: “Luis. I’m going to take her.” He just nodded approvingly and walked away. I understood; it was not his thing, it was my thing… Qwatsi and Luis walked away, Muca stayed with me, a strong warrior!
I prepared to do my thing. I found a stick; a long stick with a “V” shape at the end of it. Also I collected some small vines to use as ropes, and another strong stick.
Standing in front of her, with the V-shaped stick in my hands, I looked into her eyes: “Nalini, I’m going to catch you” I told her out loud, “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m not going to kill you. I’m just going to take you. So please, Nalini, relax.”
I put the V-shaped stick around her head, so that on each side her head was pinned down the ground, unable to move her neck and head. As I did this, I stood just half a meter in front of her head; still looking her straight in the eyes. She went into a fit. Deep hisses. Slapping, whipping her tail. She could have easily knocked me out with her tail, I realised later, she had a lot of strength… She was resisting so much. I just stood there and closed my eyes, holding the stick down, pinning her to the ground. ” Nalini, calm down,” I told her gently ”I’m not going to hurt you. I am not going to harm you, I am not going to kill you. I just want to take you to my home. Then, after that you can come back if you want, or you could stay there with me. It’s your choice. Calm down, Nalini, calm down.” I kept my eyes closed and began to breathe slowly, very slowly radiating calmness. After about ten minutes she began to relax. After about 15 minutes I opened my eyes again to look at her to find that, once again, she was just calmly staring into my eyes again.
“Nalini, I’m going to take a stick, and I’m going to bind you to it. Ok? I’m going to take you, but don’t worry. I will not hurt you.”
She stayed calm.
So I grabbed the other stick that was laying next to me, at the same time really anchored her neck to the ground with the stick in my other hand. I laid the 2nd stick next to her body. She completely curled up, making it impossible to bind her body to the stick. I tried with all my force to pull her straight again, but I felt her force, and there was no way I could do this on my own. Muca stepped in to help. I then put the stick next to her body and took the small vine to serve as rope; I bound her head to the stick with the vine. Tother with Muca we pulled her straight and bound the middle of her body to the stick. She curled the back part of her body around the stick, and together with Muca, we carried her back; We each had on end of the stick on our shoulders. I walked in the front, Muca in the back. She was quiet heavy; she must have been around 40 kilos. So we talked back to the boat and on the way we found Luis and Qwatsi, patiently waiting for us.
“Luis,” I said, showing him that beautiful creature, “Nalini.” Pointing to her with a huge smile on my face! Luis just laughed.
“Nalini;” he said, “they baptised her Nalini.”
We took the boat, went back to the house. Nalini was laying on the floor of the boat. We covered her with some of the plants so that she was not in the sun. Cobras do not like the sun so much. Arriving at the small harbour that we had created, we went on the shore and walked back, again Muca and I carrying here on our shoulders. In the temple were may woman sitting and talking. When they realised we were carrying a giant cobra, they all ran out of the temple, screaming. HAHA! It was a very funny moment.
So we placed her on the ground, gently. And there, with Nalini laying on the ground, still bound to the stick, we took out the rapé.
Muca and I were sitting, each one on either side of the cobra. With the bottle of rapé in my hands; I filled the applicator and gave it to Muca to put in his nose.
I blew the rapé in his nose while my hand was on the cobra. Touching the amazing body of this beautiful creature. Then I took the rapé applicator from Muca and he took the rapé from me. He blew the medicine into my nose. There I was, sitting, touching the cobra, slowly, drifting, into the deep forest of rapé. Deep into the arms of that medicine. We stayed in silence for a while, my hands still on the Nalini.
Then I said to Muca; “We have to release her, she has to be free!”
So I took down my pocket knife, an old blade of which I had become very fond of during all those years of traveling. First I cut the rope in the middle, very gently; all the time reminding Nalini all would be well, speaking out loud to her. “Ok Nalini, you’re going to be free now. You can go wherever you would like. If you want to stay with us, feel free; we have food, we have a temple for you, I you want to go away from here, you can go. You are completely free now.”
Then I cut the rope that was keeping her head to the stick. Many indians were standing around, watching from a distance.
When I cut the rope on the back of her neck, something happened that I had not expected before. She shot her head up so quickly I could barely follow the motion. Before I knew it, her upper part of the body was standing perfectly erect, she put her face right in front of my face with a super swift movement; SSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHUHHHHHH.
There she was, right in front of me… Looking me into my eyes, less than 10 cm in-between us. My heart was almost pounding out of my chest, I felt so many emotions raging through my body.
I didn’t move an inch… I kept sitting there, looking straight back to her. The Indians around were watching, ready to jump into action when needed. Somewhere deep I felt that I was doing something that not many people had done before… Then I spoke to her. I put my hands up, palm towards the ground at the level of her head; “Ok Nalini, Relax.” While speaking I lowered my hand, showing her to go down. And that is what she did, she lowered her head, and played again relaxed on the ground…. I took a deep breath, what a relief…
“Vāta Txanu, Strong warrior!!!” I heard some people shout out next to me.
Next to us there was a dog walking around, it was very interesting. I hoped Nalini would not eat her. She did not actually. She never attempted to attack anyone or any thing. She just surveyed the room. Very alert. I made a decision. It was about mid day at this time. I decided.
“It is a beautiful day for a ceremony. I will drink the ayahuasca.”
I had just finished a ten day ceremony with the ayahuasca two days before. During those days and nights I had drunk big doses of the medicine. Slowly building up. In the end I could hardly move my body. I had been on very deep journeys during those days. The wife of Luis, Luisa would come and tug at me to bring me back from the journeys.
“Dennis. Come. Sit straight. Eat something. It’s good for you. You have to eat Dennis. It will be good for you.”
Half an hour later I would be still in my hammock, slowly feeling my body come back to me; I could hardly move, so deep were my journeys. Then I would eat something, very slowly… Afterwards Luisa would come and take me by my hand;
“Come Dennis, we’re going to go take a bath, ok.” In a fog, I would literally stumble by the side of Luisa to the small river near the village. With a dented, aluminum pot, there I was, sitting on a piece of wood that we had laced over the small river. Totally naked., holding the pot in one hand and a piece of soap in the other hand; pouring this cold water of an Amazonian river all a over my tired body. Each pot, bring me back to life again. Awakening me. So cold, so gentle, the feel of the water. With each pot of water, I slowly returned back to my body. Pot by pot. Breath by breath. Those ten days and nights were very deep journeys.
On the eleventh day I finished the row of ceremonies and did not drink the ayahuasca. Now I was sitting in my temple; it was the twelfth day and once again I was preparing to go into a journey, here, with Nalini.
With Nalini still laying in the middle of the temple next to me, I took the bottle of Santo Daime, blew my prayers into the bootle and took the glas into my hand. It took time to prepare myself for this journey, as it felt it was going to be a deep one. After sitting there around half an hour, I gathered the strength, poured half a liter of the medicine in a glass and drank it in one time. For the people that do not know about Ayahuasca; half a liter is an incredible amount of medicine; a regular dose is around 30/35 Ml. I was building up to this moment for many days, maybe even all the years I have been drinking. So it is not something that I recommend you to do.
Still caressing the body of Nalini all the time. It was hard to swallow; all the medicine at one time. I had never consumed such a large quantity before, but I did it with the intention to really connect with Nalini, to really communicate with her, and to really go past all the boundaries that had been between us before.
After about twenty minutes, I was deep into the medicine, but I had decided that I would stay present this time, I sat next to Nalini on the ground and I told Muca; who had also drunk a heavy dose of the medicine;
“Let’s give her some medicine.”
“Good.” he said.
We poured a small amount into the glass from which we drink the ayahuasca and poured it onto her nose. Just a couple of drops. She stuck her tongue out and licked it away.
“This is ayahuasca Nalini. One of our medicines. You are a strong warrior. Very good!” I told her as I chuckled a bit from the joy of being able to share this moment with her. I had so much fun and we we laughing so much. Then I remembered that rapé is the medicine of this animal. Muca said;
“Ok. I’m going to giver her some rapé.”
So we took the stick with the “V” shape and put it next to her head again; fixIng her head to the ground, took the applicator and filled it with rapé. Squatting very close to her face; “Vwoosh!” Muca blew the medicine into the nose of this cobra.
We released her and she shook her head. Swaying, gliding, she looked about the room in a hypnotised, yet hypnotising state. You could see that the medicine was really effecting her.
Still sitting next to her, I told her that I was going to my hammock, and that she was free to come over there. I walked to my hammock and laid down.
After around 15 minutes she came. Very slowly she moved through the temple, very slowly she came closer, till she curled up just next to my hammock. She put her head in such a way that she was looking straight at me, my head was on the side of the hammock looking straight back. Deeper and deeper we fell into the realm of the medicine. Beautiful patterns and colours appeared in front of my eyes. And when I had my eyes open I saw her, laying right next to me, this beautiful, strong, powerful, sacred animaI. When I had my eyes closed, I saw all the patterns and the colours; Madre Ayahuasca was singing her songs, and right there, she was swimming, still right in front of me; I saw her, beautiful Nalini. I could see all the colours, all the patterns and in the center of it all, there she was, looking me straight in the eyes, telling me many things that are difficult to now repeat. She started to talk to me about life, about the universe and all the things that are happening there. I just listened…
She was just there, and then she asked me a question: “Why are you living like this?” I had no ideas what she ment, so I asked her: “what do you mean, how do I live?”
She answered: “Why are you living like this, why are you going out to get things, why are you grabbing things, why are you doing all that?” And while she was talking she showed me many situations in my life, where I actually had gone out and took things, had gone out and made things happen. I slowly understood the things she was showing me. I had never been aware of that before.
Then she showed me how she lives; “I am just laying there. All the day, just laying there, in the silence. I hardly move, I don’t go out to get things. No; I am present in the silence.”
While she was talking she took me into the silence, step by step. She took me into deep states of meditation. Till I didn’t hear any sounds anymore, there I was… Complete silence, in Shuniya…
She continued: “ When I am in the silence, and I would like something, I just plant a seed. I plant a seed in the silence. Then I stay with that seed for a while, and water it with silence. Then I come out of it again. Now and then, I go back in the silence, and water that seed with more silence.”
While she was talking to me, she showed this proces to me, so vividly… I felt humbleness, I felt gratitude, I felt wisdom…
“That is how I invite you to live,” she told me. I nodded… I had not know this before, I had not been aware of this before. I felt so stupid in a way… Understanding was pouring in.
“And as a present for you, because you caught me, I will be with you for the rest of your life. I will be your spirit animal, as you call it in your world. And whatever seed you will plant in the silence, I will plant the same seed right next to it. Like this, things will come to you even faster. I will be there with you, in the silence, always. That is my gift to you.”
Tears were rolling over my cheeks, this moment was indescribable… I felt so much gratitude, so much wisdom, so much love, such a strong connection…
I thanked her. “Nalini, I honour you. You are such a beautiful animal. So much wisdom, so much strength, so much sacredness. Thank you so much for coming into my life. Thank you so much for granting me the ability to take you here, to my temple. Thank you that you could bless the house, my life and the lives of all the people here. Thank you so much for coming Nalini.”
Words were not doing it, we felt each other.
We stayed there for several hours, communicating on such a deep level. Many people came from the village asking also for the blessings of this beautiful animal as I just lay there, in my hammock, in a state of bliss, right next to her, with a distance of around half a meter. All the time she was teaching me about life, about the world, about the uni-verse. Things she showed me that I cannot yet put into words.
Around 5:30 pm it was getting dark. Sunset is early in the jungle. Nalini and I shared our last moment of communication. Slowly she started to move away. Laying in my hammock, I saw this amazing animal, stretching out in front of me. At one point I saw her full length, moving back in to the jungle. Then I grabbed her tail, and with force I pulled her back. Swiftly; she turned her head.
With my right hand, palm faced to the left, pointing at her I spoke to her a last time: “Thank you so much Nalini, thank you so much for being on my path, thank you so much for coming into my life. Thank you so much for your presence, your blessings. Thank you so much for the teachings. Thank you so much for being with me for the rest of my life. I honour you, I love you, I bow to you, I thank you. WOW!”
Then I let her go. And there she went; back into the jungle. A few minutes later I wanted to see here again; I took my flashlight; stumbling, deep on the medicine I came out of my hammock, stepped into my shoes and I went out to look for her. I looked around, but there was not a single trace left of her. She was gone.
I went back to my hammock and that night I was still deep in my journey. The journey took a long time. Maybe about fifteen hours or more. All this time, in my visions, I saw her… In the patterns, in the colours; she was there; swimming right in front of me. Looking at me, teaching me, talking to me, listening to me; always in the silence. Such a beautiful, beautiful animal.
Now a few months later, writing this story down in Peru… I am sitting next to a wonderful woman. Her name is Kristen. I feel so much love for her, such a connection. She is the greatest present I have received in my life.
It looks like my wishes are slowly being granted.
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