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Ayahuasca and Transformation

Steve Beyer talks about ayahuasca and transformative experiences. This is a clip from the film project From Neurons to Nirvana: Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century, produced and directed by Vancouver-based filmmaker, writer, and media artist Oliver Hockenhull. You can learn more about the film project here.

From Neurons to Nirvana is about the science of psychedelics — the quest to discover how psychoactive substances affect the neurological system and how those effects are related directly to how we understand the world around us; how they affect consciousness and what that means for our understanding of ourselves, our relationship with others, and our understanding of the world.

Hockenhull is working in partnership with executive producer Mark Achbar (The Corporation) and Betsy Carson, and with European co-producer Oval Filmemacher, Berlin. He has been developing and shooting this film over the last two years, filming extensively in Canada, the USA, and Europe.

You can help to make this film a reality. See how you can contribute here — and how you can get signed DVDs, exclusive downloads during production, music tracks, special imagistic loops for continuous ecstatic play on your monitor, an exclusive audio clip of Aldous Huxley recorded in the 1930s, and even co-production credit. Check it out.

Steve Beyer is the author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon. His website and blog is at

Filed under: Psyche


Steve Beyer has doctorates in religious studies and in psychology. He has been a university professor, lawyer, wilderness guide, and peacemaker. He has studied both wilderness survival and the indigenous cultures of North and South America. He has studied sacred plant medicine with traditional herbalists in North America and with ayahuasqueros in the Upper Amazon, where he received coronación by banco ayahuasquero don Roberto Acho Jurama. He has worked with ayahuasca and other sacred plants in the Amazon, peyote in ceremonies of the Native American Church, and huachuma in Peruvian mesa rituals. He has served as an editor of the Journal of Shamanic Practice, and is currently completing a book on shamanism, sorcery, and plant medicine in the Upper Amazon.


  1. Rodrigo Vieira de Araújo says


    Simple, funny and straightforward.

    Excellent clip.

  2. Steve Dvorak says

    Finally some-one who understands!!! This short clip brought tears to my eyes. Thanks.

  3. Mike D. says

    Explain to me how a “neon pink buffalo” relates in anyway to an epiphany?

  4. francis spalluto says

    thank you, steve. that was a concise and articulate message that we can all benefit from if we are new to the path or well worn (or warmed) from it. plant time indeed. peace

  5. Francis Howard says

    Pink buffalo are but one of trillions of ways our closed-in minds may interpret new energies coming into view when we’ve never seen those energies before. Our mind is conditioned to put a name to everything so it can understand what’s happening. Rather than label the vision as nonsence and block it out of mind, watch it. It will change into what you need to feel the wordless, formless new energy you’ve opened youself up to. Don’t chase them away or turn them into something you already know, because you won’t learn anything new.

  6. Gerry says

    hi thank you for this wonderful film clip. i am a Vancouver based actor who has been researching this subject matter for a few years now. I would love to see the whole thing. I tried to click on “See how you can contribute here” but it did not work. Any info on how I can see the complete film would be much appreciated.
    thank you

  7. I think the “neon pink buffalo” refers to a very dramatic moment of epiphany; that one moment when something really amazing happens (like seeing a neon pink buffalo – that would trip me out!). He is saying that sometimes you don’t get that dramatic vision; the spirits only whisper to you, and it’s subtle.

    I’ve had that happen. In fact, I recently had a session with plant teachers that wasn’t dramatic at all. I was left kind of wondering why I bothered. Then, two weeks later the spirit spoke to me…. and it was amazing.

  8. Shirley says

    Will or can ayahuasca help someone with a drug addiction. Thank you for any information you can give me.

    Yours truly


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