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Mayan Shaman Comes to Portland

“Rivers must write their stories over the earth, diligently flowing, feeding the Grandmother Ocean, cleaning mountains, plains and people. The eloquence of birds must keep on singing up the sun and calling in the seasons. Like birds and rivers, the eloquence of humans in their ritual love affair with possibility must keep on singing, speaking and writing the praise and grief which spiritually feeds the indigenous remembrance in their bones to keep life flowering against the bone-crushing global flattening of imagination and diversity.”

These are the delicious, life-giving images conjured up by delicious Mayan shaman and author Martin Prechtel.  Martin is the author of Secrets of the Talking Jaguar and Long Life, Honey in the Heart, published by Tarcher/Putnam. He was raised in New Mexico on a Pueblo Indian. reservation. In 1971, Nicolas Chiviliu, a Mayan shaman from Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala  called Martin to become his student. Martin lived with Chiviliu for years, and after his teacher's death took his place, healing and shamanizing among 30,000 Tzutujil Mayans. After 1978, Martin became a village chief and public leader, guiding the young village men through their long initiations. Martin once again resides in his native New Mexico, where he is a writer, speaker, musician, and healer.

The poet and author Robert Bly says of Martin, "I don't think I've ever known a teacher with so much resilience and joy, so much ability to cope with disturbances in any group he happens to be teaching, with physical illness, with rage, with racism, with rationalism, with shame at being a human being, with the bitterness of the unfathered and unmothered,with so much ability to pull humor out of sober stories  ... The Mayan people's main and ancient job is to be beautiful and grateful. Before meeting Martin, I'd never known a representative of such a culture. But I can testify to the integrity, the massive learning, the faithfulness, the lighthearted joy, and the hard-working nature of this representative."

Martin Prechtel will be in Portland May 12-14. For more information call 541-488-1192 or e-mail rachrich@jeffnet.org.

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