“You come from the future. The future is full of problems but without solutions. Now you are in the past. Here you will find answers.”Manari Ushigua, spiritual leader of the Sapára
With these words, we were welcomed by Manari, the leader of the Sápara Nation, with whom we were guests for almost a week. There are about 700 Sápara. The nation with its own language, culture and cosmovision is at the focal point between preserving its original way of life and dealing with the threat to its habitat from western culture and deforestation, oil drilling and mineral extraction.
It was an impressive experience. We were taken by a small plane deep into the Ecuadorian rainforest. So unusual and far from anything known, yet so familiar. After a welcoming ritual, we were formally and officially welcomed into the tribal family. This was eye-opening for us Westerners, who are used to political platitudes and superficial empty words, because this admission was alive. We were suddenly part: part of the tribe, part of the forest, part of nature, part of the Sapara experience. Which was all just not a rational, dry, abstract contemplation of the world.
Dancing in the Amazon
With each passing day, thoughts, concepts, ideas, assumptions fell away; the head became emptier and emptier, and we became quieter and quieter, until we were just there. As part of everything. Nothing to do. Nothing to change. Just to be. To live. To perceive the immense peace & wisdom of nature. To laugh. To radiate.
This was exemplified to us in such an innocent, open and touching way. The Sápara were so open, authentic, loving, open-hearted, just there for us – because we were indeed family. Despite the fact that we are part of the civilization that has already destroyed their habitat, the rainforest largely threatens their existence. The culture that caused and causes so much suffering. The Sapara are aware of this, and yet they are there with open hearts. Not to fight or change us, but simply and only to remind us who we are:
Connected. Loved. A part of the whole.
The answer we found. ❤️