THE GRINGO SHAMAN
Don Ron Wheelock is widely known in Peru as The Gringo Shaman of the Amazon. Ron is Matthew's teacher, and it is an honor to host him at our retreats a couple of times per year.
Don Ron Wheelock was born in Independence, Kansas. In 1996 he went to Peru looking for a spiritual teacher. Don Ron first drank ayahuasca in Tamshiyacu with famed shaman Don Agustin Rivas Vasquez. While with Don Agustin, he made arrangements to return to begin the intensive training to become a shamanic healer himself using the South American plant medicine, ayahuasca.
Don Ron stayed with Don Agustin for 5 months doing many plant diets. Don Ron then began working with Don Jose Coral Mori, the teacher of Pablo Amaringo and Eduardo Luna, the authors of “Ayahuasca Visions”. After studying with both Don Agustin and Don Jose, Ron began working on his own in 2000.
Don Ron is an ayahuasquero/curandero. An ayahuasquero is someone who has trained under a maestro ayahuasquero and has the ability to prepare the ayahuasca brew, complete the icaros and prayers during the preparation, set up the maloka (the ceremony space for the ayahuasca ceremonies) and conduct the ceremony.
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As a curandero, Don Ron works with a large variety of plant and tree bark dietas. These dietas form a strong bond between the curandero and the plants dieted. Those plants become allies, and the plants teach the curandero how to work with them during the ceremony and in healing. A curandero can call on one of his plant/tree allies to protect the guest, bring in the medicine, and help cure a guest.
Don Ron works with various energies and spirits. This skill of managing energies and spirits is particularly important in an ayahuasca ceremony as a person’s energies open up significantly in this space.
Like indigenous shamans have been doing for centuries, Don Ron prepares his ayahuasca by harvesting the vine Banisteriopsis caapi and then boiling it for several days. After continual praying over the mixture, Don Ron’s ayahuasca is ready to be used in a ceremony.
All ayahuasca used at New Life Ayahuasca is brewed by Don Ron.
Ayahuasca is said to give users the power to travel beyond their bodies, to see the future, and hunt and confront the demons that cause physical and emotional illnesses.