Noya Rao Dieta – You Are Now a Tree

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Written by Kano Mai – AF facilitator

noya rao tree with sunlight at the Ayahuasca Foundation plant medicine school Inkan KenaFor the past five years I have been traveling to Peru to work with Ayahuasca and dieting master plants. At the time I write this, I am living in Iquitos working as the lead facilitator at Chamisal retreat center for the Ayahuasca Foundation. I have been facilitating Ayahuasca healing retreats and during my time in between retreats I have been dieting. My journey to this point has involved many diets with many plants but nothing has been as profound as my Noya Rao diets. Each diet has been a prelude to monumental changes in my life. Is it coincidence? So much of life is what we choose to believe, so you are free to choose. I love my life and what I do brings me so much joy. It has been a monumental journey to get here. Dieting Noya Rao has changed me.

What is Noya Rao?

Noya Rao means “Flying Medicine”. It is known as the flying tree or in Spanish “Palo Valador.”
In the Shipibo tradition this is the pinnacle of master plants and the plant spirit is second only to God. I was told a story from one of my teachers Don Enrique. A long time ago there was a Shipibo community near Pucallpa, that lived around a Noya Rao tree. One day, as happens in the Amazon, the rivers began to flood and the community was trapped. The Noya Rao tree, aware of the ultimate demise, began to uproot itself carrying all the land, huts and people with it and flew them to all safety or possibly another dimension.

Noya Rao is also known as the tree of light.
How do you know you’ve found a Noya Rao tree? Imagine trying to find a very rare, sacred tree in the Amazon jungle that at first glance looks the same as many other trees in the amazon. Long strait trunk with a canopy at the very top of the tree far from reach. We can only spot this tree from the leaves that fall to the ground. Not because the leaves are much different than other trees but because of a very special, somewhat magical quality. The leaves that fall are luminescent, They glow in the dark. I was told that the tree contains so much light that when the leaves fall off they are releasing the light inside. A suspected Noya Rao tree will have to be inspected in the night and even the local indigenous do not favor such an idea. The infamous Shushupi or Bushmaster snake is active at night, its hard to spot and one bite means your end. At first I found all this hard to believe true and just as hard to believe when I was standing at the base of a massive Noya Rao tree in the middle of the jungle at night. I’ve also seen the snakes up close and personal.

noya rao leaves at the Ayahuasca Foundation plant medicine school Inkan KenaThe Enlightened Tree.
In the Shipibo tradition medicinal plants have spirits. Some plants spirits are good and some bad but most contain both. Noya Rao is all good, all light, all love. A divine feminine. The tree is the physical embodiment of an enlightened being. She has shown me in my visions that the same way a human can become enlightened like Buddha or Christ, so can a tree become Noya Rao. The more that we work with her and spread the love and light, the more she will appear as a physical tree, giving more people the opportunity to diet her and use her wood for pipes and medicine. She is the queen in the world of plant spirits. Noya Rao is know for helping those who diet her find their life purpose, their highest path. She is helping humanity transcend. That is what I found and I am continuing to discover.

It was believed this tree only existed in antiquity and some believe it was only a myth. In my journey with plant medicine I discovered Noya Rao does exist and in the physical realm and there are specimens surrounding the land of its keepers Don Enrique and his brother Don Ronor. With their guidance we can diet an extract of the roots.

The Dieta
Where does a shaman get their knowledge and ability to heal others? From the spirits of the plants. How do they get this? From a tradition called a Dieta. This is a practice that is necessary for one to become a plant doctor. It is a process that invites the spirit of a plant to merge with your body and spirit, work as an ally to teach you and give you power and knowledge to heal others. How is this done? One who wants to diet a plant will have to undergo some level of suffering. It involves fasting both food and water for a certain amount of time, eating a simple bland diet and being removed from all stimulation so one can mediate and concentrate on the plant spirit, building a relationship with it. This can take a long time and can be very subtle but in the long run the experience can be remarkably life changing. More and more people are experiencing the benefits of doing plant diets and connecting with the spirits of plants. You don’t have to become a Shaman. This process can help in all aspects of life and your own personal healing. It is very important you are aware, prepared and ready for what you will face. Like a raging forest fire, sometimes everything will need to be destroyed before new life can spawn out of the ashes.

“You are now a tree”

photo of a noya rao tree at the Ayahuasca Foundation plant medicine school Inkan KenaMy first diet with Noya Rao was in Pucallpa. I had finally made the leap to go to Peru to work with Ayahuasca. After years in addiction treatment in Canada and loosing my best friend to an overdose, I was looking for better ways to heal the core of my addictions, depression and anxiety. I was clean from drugs but felt miserable. I longed for a connection to myself.

I didn’t know much about dieting but when I arrived I was asked if I wanted to do a plant diet. The maestro gave me a bottle with a gold liquid in it and instructed me what to do. He said I will be eating diet food ,no salt, no sugar, no oil, and I will need to fast for 4 days and I will be drinking the extract of this plant. I had never purposely fasted before but I was ready to do what needed to be done. Whatever it takes. I was told Noya Rao was a master plant and she can help make anything possible in my life. I didn’t see a Noya Rao tree but I was assured it was the Maestros family tradition and the master plant they all worked with. I was somewhat skeptical but ready to put my trust in the processes.

For the next month I followed the maestros instructions and was hoping to have a vision, a connection with Noya Rao. It wasn’t until the last ceremony that I had a vision. I could clearly see a tree canopy silhouette. There was a flash of light and a voice said to me,“You are now a tree.” I felt astonished and a sense of peace. I had begun the first part of a long relationship with her. It wasn’t until a year later that I understood what the vision was telling me.

I felt a longing to return to Peru to continue studying. I had been helping facilitate ceremonies in Halifax and I felt a calling to go deeper into learning the healing songs and Shipibo tradition. I felt called back to Jungle. One weekend I was in ceremony and my friend told me about a place he was planning to go where they had a Noya Rao tree. I was very intrigued. I came up with time and funds to go to Iquitos and take part in a 10 week initiation course with the Ayahuasca foundation. Everything fell into place to make it happen. I felt a guiding presence. I was going to learn all about ceremony, dieting, and plant treatments and most importantly diet Noya Rao again. I was excited to see this tree and I also heard I could get a pipe made from the roots. I was curious how my relationship with this tree would progress and how she would help me.

When we began the course we were all dieting Noya Rao for the first month. To start this diet. all of us went to see the tree in the night. It was a moody night with thunder and lightening off in the distance. I got to the path in the muddy road where we entered the jungle and walked the to the tree approximately 40 feet in. There she was. I stepped up to the tree with a stoic reverence of meeting a Queen. I put my hand on the thick powerful base that divided into her root sections. I looked up.

Bang! Lighting flashed as if the sky had just snapped a picture. Tears swelled in my eyes. My heart exploded as I let out a sigh of complete astonishment. Imprinted in my sight was the vision from the year before, a silhouette of the tree canopy. It was not just similar. It was the exact vision. I felt a sense of peace that I was somehow finally on my life path. At that moment everything made sense to me. I understood she was with me and had a plan, if I choose to follow it. The tears of contentment dropped from eyes down to a universe of stars at my feet. The leaves on the ground were glowing and as we all sang to the tree, the leaves shone brighter. I heard the soft voice again…

“You are now a tree”

My Life has changed drastically since I invited the spirit of Noya Rao in. I have dieted Noya Rao many times since then and each diet has been a prelude to monumental changes, growth and understanding. It has helped me find my life path. She is truly a great teacher and I am forever grateful for the blessings I have received on this path. I encourage anyone who hears the call to take the steps and find your way to the jungle where you can find your path. It is not an easy one, but nothing worth doing is easy. You will likely find the bounty of rewards are waiting for you on the other side.