Teachings of the Peyote Shamans: The Five Points of Attention

by James Endredy

 

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Book Decription

A rare in-depth look at the inner workings of Huichol shamanism

• Describes the five sacred sites of the Huichol and their peyote ceremonies

• Explains how the Huichol teachings of awareness, centered on the five points of attention, connect you to your true essence

• Reveals the deep relationship between Huichol cosmology, Gnosticism, and Christianity, especially Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary

Taking place in the heart of the Huichol homeland in western Mexico, this book offers a rare in-depth look at the inner workings of Huichol shamanism, which is permeated with the use of the sacred peyote cactus. Outsiders are almost never allowed access to Huichol sacred sites and ceremonies; however, James Endredy, after years of friendship with Huichol families, earned the privilege nearly by accident. Swayed by persistent pleading, he agreed to take another gringo into the mountains to one of the Huichols’ ceremonial centers, and they were both caught. After trial and punishment, Endredy was invited to stay within the sacred lands for the festivities he had illegally intruded upon and found his initiation into the Huichol shamanic tradition had begun.

Sharing his intimate conversations and journeys with the shaman he calls “Peyote Jesus,” the author explains how Huichol belief revolves around the five sacred directions, the five sacred sites, and the five points of attention. As Peyote Jesus explains, the five points of attention refer to dividing your awareness yet staying focused on your inner self. This is not a normal state of consciousness for most people, yet when we maintain these points of attention, we discover our true essence and move closer to God.

Endredy undergoes dozens of spiritual journeys with peyote as he makes the pilgrimages to the five sacred Huichol sites with Peyote Jesus. He is shocked by his vision of the Virgin Mary while under peyote’s guidance and learns of the deep relationship--strictly on Huichol terms--between their cosmology, Gnosticism, and Christianity, especially Jesus Christ. Providing an inside look at the major ceremonies and peyote rituals of the Huichol, this unexpectedly powerful book reveals the key tenants of the Huichol worldview, their beliefs in the afterlife, and their spiritual work on behalf of all of humanity.


Reviews

“An honest, true-life story of spiritual exploration and humble learning. Endredy weaves together years of travel and personal initiation into a tale that introduces an often controversial topic with wisdom. Readers will come away with a better idea of the investment of time and cultural sensitivity needed to meet this plant ally on its home territory.” (Lupa, author of Nature Spirituality from the Ground Up: Connect with Totems in Your Ecosystem)

“Beautifully written and engaging, Endredy’s tale recounts a ‘spiritual rescue mission’ to save the sacred peyote from those who seek to steal and/or exploit the Huichol’s most revered instrument for connecting with the cosmos. Unlike many books of the spiritual memoir genre, this story possesses a humanistic vividness and value that often gets lost in overly rarified accounts of journeys into non-Western realities.” (Hillary S. Webb, Ph.D., author of Traveling between the Worlds: Conversations with Contemporary Sham)

“The world of shamanism is magic and psychopomp, secretive and healing. It is reserved for the indigenous peoples of faraway lands. James Endredy is a singular exception because I have seen the medicinal power he wields from his time with the Huichol. This story is something only a few have experienced and it is told in James’s masterful yet honest manner. This is a book of personal transformation for the reader, so read on and witness the spirituality we cannot see with our eyes.” (Shawn A. Tassone, M.D., author of Spiritual Pregnancy)

“I recommend this book as a smooth ride into the world of the indigenous Huichol people of Mexico. The author gives rare insight into the everyday life of these people, their art, and religion.” (New Dawn, Jennifer Hoskins, May 2016)

“James is a wonderful storyteller who takes us into an altered state of consciousness as he shares teaching stories from his journeys. You will learn about the history, culture, ancient shamanic spirituality, and wisdom-ways of a people who have much to share with Westerners about what living meaningful lives in a time of challenge and transition looks like. It is an adventure story that will carry you along a river of learning into new realms of thinking, of being, and of exploring who and what we really are. . . . It just takes cleaning the lens of perception to see and know the deeper dimensions of reality. James and his teachers have been there. Now you can glimpse it as well.” (Tom Pinkson, Ph.D., author of The Shamanic Wisdom of the Huichol: Medicine Teachings for Modern Time)