7 Goddesses - Dr. René ASHTARA

We asked 7 incredible goddesses about their views on love, magic, mothering and the world. Here are their responses. 

What is success to you?
The extreme path to the middle…Ultimate surrender of the relentless pursuit to cultivate comfort and avoid pain…Quite un-American it is…as many Westerners believe life is successful if it is soft & cozy and a failure if one experiences hardship. This common definition of success is problematic as comfortable experiences create attachments, which create samskaras (impressions left on mind) and karma… Once this attachment to cushy life forms one becomes infatuated with one’s own fame, appearance, and wealth:  all attributes most humans associate with success. This in turn leads to fear of aging and denial of inevitable death. This is a dangerous state of mind as it is difficult to shift these harmful thought patterns the more one becomes accustomed to this paradigm, which is rampant in Western culture.

“There are times to cultivate and create, when you nurture your world and give birth to new ideas and ventures.There are times of flourishing and abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized and expanding. And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax and must be harvested before they begin to fade. And finally of course, there are times that are cold, and cutting and empty, times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream. Those rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope and fear, but messages of how things are.” -Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

What is magic to you?
This precious human life… I experienced heavy karma in the form of hard drug addiction, which began in pre-teen years and spanned more than a decade… I owe this life to my teachers from various ancient lineages whom gifted me methods to purify karma and lighten up, letting go of habitual tendencies and the past. I spent years in India with Tibetan Buddhist Lamas as well as Ashtanga Yogi Sri. K. Patthabi Jois…I am forever grateful for this generosity of bodhicitta that is shared freely…

I am deeply humbled beyond language to be an apprentice in an ancient lineage of Jungle Shaman plant medicine in the Peruvian Amazon…I give thanks to Maestro Don Solón Tello Lozano of Iquitos whom infused the lineage with pure celestial light and whom made it all possible. Gracias Maestro.

Working in these plant medicine realms heals on an infinite multitude of deep levels and layers…This plant medicine work led me to become a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, a perfect pairing, as the roots of Oriental Medicine lie in Shamanism. I give thanks to Dr. Maximilian Erdely, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, a true master, pioneer, and living legend whom accepted me as an acupuncture apprentice in 2009 and passes knowledge to his students all over the world with iridescent transparency.  Gracias Maestro.

What is love for you?
There exists a loving compassion state which goes beyond the conventional grasping and manipulative approach in which one tries to attach oneself to different people or situations to achieve a false sense of security…. it is revealed in simply being what you are. I have a teacher in India, Vankatesh, a true Yogi, he says to me in meditation, “Don’t touch it.” ….it is brilliant. Don’t touch it. Drop negating. Drop negotiating mind. Be what you are. Stop manipulating the world of form to be what you imagine it should be. And then? Effortless Liberation. This freedom is the most generous non-territorial love for all beings.

What makes your spirit glow?
I love to sleep soon after it becomes dark and to rise at 4 a.m. to practice meditation and Ashtanga Yoga ….there is a stillness in the pre-dawn hours that replenishes the deep reserves of my Jing. I love to run on trail for miles …Spending time in the Peruvian Amazon jungle with Muraya Shamans Maestro Chononita & Dr. Jorge Gonzalez as well as the Mahuas of the Shipibo tribe.

What is your health/beauty practice?
Jessika Le’Corre, creator of FeatherEagleSky oils, custom blends gorgeous oils for me, which gives me a natural radiance requiring no makeup. Dry brushing, Abhiyanga Ayurvedic self oil massage, neti pot and aromatic salt baths and hiking and running in the high mountains.

Erwan Le’Corre, fitness Guru and creator of MoveNat, gives me guidance on how to move my body in wilderness that is actually practically applicable in life…he told me just yesterday, “Yoga is certainly powerful in some ways, although it is practiced in a controlled environment on level ground”…MoveNat practice is total awareness of one’s surroundings in an ever-changing landscape of navigation in the wild.

I do love Ashtanga yoga, however, I would prefer to have the ability to carry a friend off the mountain if necessary, rather than doing downward dog…

We grow most of our own organic non-gmo vegetables including local blue Indian corn which we grind for atole, posole, tortillas and tamales…I rarely eat out and love to cook… my patients gift me local wild deer, elk, and eggs to supplement our macro-biotic based local indigenous style of eating…beans and whole grains, fermented foods and so many plants… I look to ancient cultures for guidance in food and medicine.

How do you stay centered in the middle of chaos?
It is important not to fixate on the material world. All of creation ebbs and flows… all that is born will die… Meditation keeps me sober and sane.… Mantra all day…

What causes/organizations are you passionate about?
The fight for the human rights of those who do not know that human rights exist. Indios bravos, indigenous people living in voluntary isolation… Isolated tribes still roaming the jungles of the Amazon who have dwindled to scarce numbers who are in danger of ever encroaching loggers, poachers, miners, oil companies, and Amazonian countries that fail in creating & enforcing policy to protect the people and the jungle of the Amazon. I support the works and beliefs of Sydney Possuelo in this fight. I support “Survival International” at www.survivalinternational.org. I am passionate about Tibet being returned to the Tibetans… I support anything to do with Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche, a magnificent being working tirelessly to preserve the Buddha’s teachings at www.siddharthasintent.org I commend His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s boundless energy and efforts in preserving Tibetan Buddhism, culture, and language. “International Campaign for Tibet” at www.savetibet.org. Also www.freetheslaves.net, a non profit organization dedicated to ending slavery around the world. 

If you could say one thing to the world what would you say?
The only certainties in this life are that we will die and so will everyone we know and unless one is highly realized, we do not know when or how. Meditate on this. Tame your mind. May all beings benefit. 

“Where we are like children at the beach, busy building sand castles, sublime beings are like adults watching from under an umbrella.  The children are carried away with their creations, fighting over shells and shovels, terrified of the waves coming closer. They go through all kinds of emotions. But the adults lie nearby, sipping a coconut cocktail, watching, not judging, not feeling pride when a sand castle is built very nicely, and not feeling anger or sadness when somebody accidently steps on it. They are not caught up in the drama the way the children are. What more enlightenment could one ask for?” -Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

You may read more about our practice of Oriental Medicine at www.acupunctureintegral.com


*I strongly advise using extreme caution and scrutiny in choosing safe, skillful, and strong Shamans to sit ceremony with… do not take this medicine lightly. Ayahuasca is a plant medicine widely administered by Shamans in South America to treat patients suffering with a plethora of ailments from parasites to PTSD and everything in between. It has been used for thousands of years and it is legal in Peru. I do recommend trips to the Peruvian Amazon for plant medicine dietas including Ayahuasca ceremonies with the most qualified and magnificent Shamans in the Amazon at www.ayahuascashaman.com

“The plant comes and talks to you, it teaches you to sing.”
-Don Solón Tello Lozano