ABOUT ONERIVER PROJECT
The idea of OneRiver project came with the natural flow of actions and experiencing the essence of life which doesn’t lock itself within our own conciousness. Just like water, which always finds its own course, sometimes peaceful and still, other times fast-flowing and turbulent, the metaphorical depth of one river refers to life fed by water coming from all sources, feeding all rivers of the Earth in the macro and micro scale.
When the river flows into the sea and feeds the entire cycle of creation, the shores blur forming an ocean, the infinite space and time of possibilities – vast ocean of life. In order to surrender to it fully and drift freely, it’s necessary to let go of the need to control and trust that everything that happens, is for the right reason at the right time. Trust and surrender into the moment are related to the feminine quality of acceptance and soft devotion. Going with the flow and being opening to a spontaneous course, soften sharp edges and gradually implies changes. This way, “the softest things under the sky can penetrate through the hardest things under the sky.”
To flow freely, the water needs a fundation. This is where the soft, feminine nature blends with the male need for support in the form of a river bed with two banks. The masculine element manifests itself as a vessel in which feminine energy flows freely. A river with two shores, masculine and feminine qualities, unites polarities creating balance in a form of joint surrender to one current. Carrying a combination of what is masculine and feminine, the river brings balance and harmonious coexistence of polarities.
This union is also reflected in time. In the water time ceases to flow, the past and future merge and dissolve into the present moment. In this present moment flows the song of time, the memory of which is written in the structure of water.
According to the law of micro and macro scale reflections, the water flowing in the body is a reflection of water feeding the earth. Each cell of our body consists of water of a specific structure. According to the research of the Japanese scientist Masuro Emoto, this structure is subject to changes depending on the information it receives and remembers. On the microscopic images reflecting the water structure, it is clearly visible how the intention affects the shape of its molecules. Gratitude directed to the water is reflected in the form of harmonious forms reminiscent of snowflakes, while the feeling of anger or hatred in the form of jagged, chaotic shapes.
Water is thus sensitive and susceptible to the impact of consciousness.
RELATIONSHIP OF PARTICIPANTS OF PREVIOUS EXPEDITIONS:
„The trip to Colombia turned out to be one of the most important events in my life. The ceremonies which I experienced were led by very engaged, passionate and experienced shamans. And even though the experiences where often difficult, I felt I was in good hands. Despite a few sizzling hot, long days we got along in the group very well. If you’ve got time and plan on going on a trip with Darek, well, I envy you !”
“The opportunity to relish another culture is a priceless experience even it it’s only for a few weeks. The trip turned out to be, not only for me, a beginning of changes for the better… ”
„My journey continues. What I brought from Colombia sinks into my consciousness. Now I know that the path that was shown to me is the true one. I am also aware that I carry inside everything that the universe has embodied in me. It is a strange awareness, because it is as if a new door has opened up to me, showing me space. Thank you my friend, teacher, wizard! You switch on great processes in people. ”
„Although my trip to Colombia with Darek took place four years ago, this adventure remains to be one of the major forces which led to the creation of me as I am now. If I were to turn back time,I wouldn’t hesitate for even a moment before making the same decision. Even though i have traveled quite a lot already, this expedition is still at the top of the list in the category “journey of a lifetime”.
„The trip to Colombia was very special, being my first expedition so far away and at the time: quite long-lasting. After my return up to this day I feel lifted at the mere thought of traveling again. I remember Colombia itself as full of music and fun, incredible places, friendly people living every single day, long routes which we traversed in every possible way, during which I stared at strongly saturated colorful landscapes. I also remember very well, that you put your whole heat into showing us this magical piece of land… “
„The journey for which I had set off, seemed to be an attempt to discover myself, overcome my limits and conditioning and facing new experiences. When I returned I felt like I cannot find myself, as if I did not actually return completely. I had an impression of not making any discoveries, not crossing any boundaries but in some mysterious way I still feel connected with the most miraculous journey of all times, the journey of the mystery of life. The greatest of all wonders happened on itself. Gratitude is a feeling, which best describes the state I am im. Gratitude for the magic of existence, gratitude towards everyone with whom I had the honor of sharing this journey! Aho! “
„A Journey Through Indigenous Colombia is one of those experiences, which become available to us, as soon as we feel with our whole body that “there exist in this world things that are not dreamt of in our philosophy”. This journey is a portal, which brings us deeper within ourselves, even more so than the childhood rooms we quietly visited. The journey can throw us on a nearby highway lane or become a snail built of luminescent dreams, if only we let that happen. Journey Through Indigenous Colombia let me see myself in a way we all deserve to see ourselves, in full width, nudity and wonder. I wish so that all future participants may have courage and trust. Salud y Buena Pinta! “
„At the time of receiving the invitation to go to Colombia, I was sitting in an office, on a hard chair, going through tons of papers. I told myself: why not!-there’s a group and I am athirst for adventures and some rest. A few weeks later I was already standing at the airport of Bogota-it was a total screamer and the beginning of an incredible adventure, during which I met amazing and interesting people. We were visiting Colombia together-starting from hiking in Amazon forests, searching for hot springs, through colorful and hospitable cities such as Cali, the capital of salsa and mountainous Medellin with cable cars. We also came across places where there was no inland transport, on vast and white beaches of Choco region. Mostly thanks to the invitation from a wonderful and warm person-Taita Floro-was I also able to take a journey into myself and find peace, satisfaction and happiness in my every day life. It widened my horizons and perception of how to live in harmony with myself, leaving worries and excuses behind. It was an adventure of a lifetime, into the unknown, without expectations and it turned out to be fantastic. “
Marta Lukomska, Los Angeles
„I must say, in a few words, that the extremity of the expedition was far beyond my expectations. Radical, controversial in some moments and hard to swallow. A leap of faith is needed in order to fully take advantage of the benefits offered to us whilst crossing our own weaknesses and coming into contact with various forces present in nature and it ourselves. Vegetation, views of the mountains, jungles and cities, and the entire exotic spectrum puts all the extreme conditions in an interesting dimension, where everything suddenly becomes possible. Moments of doubt, tough processes-happening both in me and in other people in the group, confrontations with all sorts of hardships-both physical and mental can really toughen you up. But it is worth trusting and fully surrendering to Colombian forces and diving into the wisdom of our ancestors. All that to later emerge with a head lifted high, an open heart and superhuman power. “
„A journey to Colombia of this sort is like traveling to the center of oneself-sometimes through areas we would prefer to avoid. Setting of with very difficult questions, I doubted I could find any answers, nevertheless I returned with a full set. Day after day, in various ways, the adventure strips participants of tarnished habits and illusions. The severity of nature, lack of comfort, long hikes, sleep deprivation and other factors allow the willpower to grow immensely. The wisdom of nature is constantly present: in the dignity of mountains, vitality of the jungles and strength of the ocean. In Colombia I met many people with a beautiful look in their eyes, through which you can see the Soul. There came a day, when I looked in the mirror and realized I see my own Soul. “
„The trip to Colombia. Now my life is divided into before and after the trip to Colombia. Before the trip, my life was really pitiful, I did not see bigger sense in it nor have any aims, I only felt I have to do something with myself and my life, because with each day it would become more and more unbearable. That’s when “by accident” I came across some info from Darek concerning traveling to Colombia. I knew at once this is what I needed. So I called Darek-we exchanged just a few sentences and I was already sure that he is the right Guy for a guide of this expedition. Later it turned out he also became a guide in my life. The experiences, insights and understanding-all I have witnessed during the trip to Colombia cannot be compared to anything, it was a real transformation, a change at least on the level of DNA, true enlightenment.”
„Colombia is a wonderful country. Here in Europe we have quite a stereotypical (and rather negative) idea about that land. What we saw there was mostly incredible nature-Caribbean beaches, the Amazon jungle, high mountain passes, stretched over abysses which were kilometers long and fairytale landscapes, intersected by rivers with cascade waterfalls. Moving along untrodden paths, we met Indians from different tribes. Their calmness, sense of oneness with the surrounding world of nature and tendency to smile had a therapeutic effect on us. The ceremonies with medicine made this journey not only a physical but also a spiritual experience which was as stunning and abundant in sensations. Our journey together led us into a world which is present in all of us. In fact in every one of us there is a “Colombia”, with its diversity, problems and stunning beauty, which you can find, it you really want to… This was the most beautiful and most interesting journeys in my life..”
“Traveling…is a great way of getting acquainted with the culture of the native Indians that inhabit vast regions of Colombia. Besides that it’s an opportunity to look inside yourself and discover the unlimited possibilities of your own mind and come to know the laws of nature which govern the universe. In addition to purely travel-like experiences and being immersed in the natural beauties of this country, the gist of the program is participation in authentic Indian ceremonies- letting you access unimaginable powers of plants, which are the key to gaining secret knowledge. Thanks to that you can spread your wings, solve difficult problems and turn your life around.”
Filip Ziółkowski, Colombian resident, writer, photographer, musician, professor at the University of Cali www.filipontheroad.com
„A memory from Colombia: I am standing on the edge of a waterfall. About 5-6 meters above the surface of the water. My heart is beating in my chest, because I know that soon I will jump and overcome my fear. As soon as I gather my strenght…time stops. I’m already in the air. Wonderful people around me support my with all of their heart during this trail. Anyway, everyone could count on each other for the entire time of the Adventure. There was no space for boredom, since experiences and challenges came up every day. Beautiful views offered to us by nature, collapsing roads, exhaustion, bathing in the sea at dawn, singing at night around a campfire, sleeping in a hammock in a hen house, the taste of unknown fruits, contact with new people and their stories and the joy of experiencing them. Suddenly I am breaking through the surface of the water and submerging in refreshment. I jumped into the waterfall! I emerge from the water and my Heart is strong and life feel like Adventure. And I think to myself: Colombia is a great country. “
“We can dress up in the most expensive dresses and necklaces, but still the most beautiful we will be bathed in the sunshine, dancing barefoot with the earth to the music of the forest. Thank you for the wind in my hair, reminding me of breath from the bottom of my chest, giving me a space which contain everything: my loneliness, silence, peace. Thank you for every drop of water on my skin and lips. Full of emotion I thank you for the hand of another, that I pushed away so many times driven by fear, yet this man was still stretching it out to me. Thank you for the ground under my feet, which has always been, is and will be the greatest support, but I understood it only when I was ready to really stand on it. Thank you for my life, which I want to live as beautifully as I possibly can and accept the mystery of tomorrow with love and understanding. This trip was an amazing, multidimensional, extremely difficult and beautiful experience. It was a journey into the living organism that we are all. “
“A month trip to Colombia … When my friends asked me how it was, I used two words: spiritual and rough. Adventure, designed to lead us to the edge … and free us from the comfort zone, has caught the flow of events, changes and emotions. Being “heartbroken and mindbroken”, I went there with many questions and asking for a relief, with confidence and without fear, and with a great desire to explore this part of the world, as well as with the “I have nothing to lose” approach. I was one of the youngest participants and I was also the least initiated to spirituality of all. I was shown a different understanding of life: letting go, sacrificing my shortcomings and inconveniences for the intention I came with, accepting it, stopping the internal struggle. The fact that it is dirty, cold, that I am tired and sleepy, that something has bitten me, that something has been destroyed or lost, that it is as it is – there is a purpose in all this. Not for a moment an idea of desertion crossed my mind. I got very few answers. I thought: I’m coming back with a backpack of dirty clothes and 4kg less myself, photos of beautiful places, experiences, friendship and peace – that’s a lot, but where are these answers? Today I see that it is calm, and that is what I needed the most. Rest in your time! I write this long after the trip, I needed a wider perspective. The intensity of those events did not allow me to process on a regular basis. A lot of elements formed an understandable whole only when I sat down in silence and in my only presence. Darek … it’s for me Tarzan. Always with rapee in his nose and mambe in his mouth … Organizer, guardian, guide, psychologist, translator, nanny, nurse, but what is best in him is his the way he talks… He is like a guru. But he is above all a man of enormous potential, with a mission. I was angry at him sometimes but also … we cried together several times. The trip was intense, a bit chaotic and “unorganized” (in the end one man is overwhelmed!). However, after returning I could not find my place, I missed this detachment … I would like to experience it more often … Aho! “
Already during my stay in Colombia, I felt a significant change in me – in the way I think, express and define my own needs. At first I thought that this change was only defined when connecting to medicine – during the journey our dialogue, visions, feelings or perception of ourselves in the space of understanding changed radically. I did not think, however, that my sober self was changing in the same way – which only I noticed when I returned. As if my mind combined those two different states of consciousness and rooted in them now all the time. I have a great difficulty in defining the differences that have occurred in me – having the impression that I have been reborn again and I am learning again the rules that prevail in this society. It is also accompanied by some anxiety, probably resulting from the loss of connection with my previous self. On the one hand, I’m still the same person – on the other, the intensity of travel and the long time I was given to be in contact with the Medicine made a definite change in understanding and perceiving the environment and the world. I became calm, quiet and understanding. The invisible noise in my head was gone. Noise that does not manifest as thoughts, but which subconsciously occupied my mind all the time. It’s also very difficult to influence this condition as if I had an invisible shield. I see and perceive differently. I also feel that I have largely been able to find what I came to Colombia for – inner courage. I feel strong, full, much bigger and more powerful – but not because of ego – rather through willpower and understanding. This is definitely not the end of the journey, I prefer to think that this is just the beginning of a beautiful adventure. This would not have been possible in the absence of such a demanding test we had with you. One or two nights with medicine cannot give even the slightest reflection of what a month of continuous work can do. The future promises to be fascinating. “
After a month’s journey through Colombia with ONE RIVER, I still know very little about Colombia. However, being constantly on the road, because this is how the trip was, allowed me to rock myself with the rhythm of the jungle, rivers and wild mountains of Sierra Nevada. Every true journey first takes place inside. Only then you can explore the native Indian cultures and listen to the sounds of the jungle. Darek usually travels at 399%, so he assumed that the program crafted on 200% would be just fine for participants. One day I remember especially: we were lying in a nice place of the port town of Leticia. There was no plan. Not until hte noon, when we supposed to take some “light” walk through the jungle to Malita Taita William? from Peru for another ceremony. It got dark, so we started the headlamps and with hammocks on our backs we set off to Maloka. The path through the jungle suddenly stoped and we had to cross through the swamps. The only available path leads through swaying boards thrown over those swamps. Iw went somehow well, but our knees were shaking all the way. I had a picture in my head that I will never come back from the swamps and a huge snake will devour me. This is how a “light” walk through the jungle ends. Throughout the month, except for the bouncing Santa Marta, we experienced what is normally hidden in Colombia for an average tourist. To see the waterfalls, spend the night on a beautiful Caribbean beach, stand under a magic tree, or touch the stones of the descendants of Tayrona’s civilization, we had to walk everywhere. The most demanding, however, were the mysterious Sierra Nevada Mountains. Through a tropical forest, rainforest, to the harsh, almost moon-like landscape of those mountains, above 4,200 meters above sea level. The mountains are the territory of the Indians, who wear white proudly and live in isolation from the western civilization. They believe that they have mystical power and guard their sacred lakes hidden in the mountains. I think that my paths will once again cross this mysterious, harsh tribe. Thank you to ONE RIVER and the whole group for the experience of traveling together. I take Yage’s visions and this precious journey to my own river and carry on. “
Colombia…Over half a year has passed since my return from the expedition. I am beginning to write about my adventure yet again. I gave up on each of the previous approaches. Why? Well, because the trip to Colombia was something more to me than a sightseeing or culture-oriented travel. It lasted for about a month and I have a feeling that on some level it was a year or even more. Would I consider going again? I don’t know that yet. If so, maybe in a few years… How did it happen that I headed off? I already knew, maybe 2-3 years earlier, that Darek organizes such trips… Finally, the idea of traveling in a group of previously unknown people, to a unknown land- full of trust and openness to everything, seemed like a natural course of events. Or even a need. The medicine was a secondary thing. I didn’t want to plan or achieve anything at all. When it comes to the preparation of the trip, Darek is an expert, although you can manage without taking a plate. When I think of it today, I would actually add to Darius’s list something for people who get cold easily (like me),namely warm tights (for example tricot or fluffy ones-this is a tip from Dagmara who was on a trip like this before) and a dress-since it’s not a trip for commandos, but a multicolored adventure. I will gladly share my list. For me the expedition to Colombia is about… -meeting new people: in a diverse group with people getting along very well with each other, with new fellow travelers popping up from time to time, our Colombian guides, both earthly and unearthly, the locals-natives who have already become civilized and those still uncontaminated and faithful to their tradition, and also myself-how wonderful it is to meet oneself (!) and to do so in such a different reality than the one of Poznań an interesting, colorful country: from humid, green South to North glaring with sunlight first times: jumping into water from a high altitude, grand celebrating Forgiveness, a boat trip into the jungle, specialities of Colombian cuisine, spleaping in a hammock on the beach… -something very personal, which everyone will bring back and live together with it in accordance with one’s own dispositions-it’s worth discovering it for oneself. I am grateful to myself for this journey and to everyone, who supported it. Aho!
„YageImpressions (from the series: The neurotic in the Amazon): Yesterday, my dear, beloved brothers and sisters, I was so excited , that for 2 hours I was healing a red handbag hanging on the wall. I was worried that it was not moving. One of the greatest Yage shamans from the Sibundoy valley, taita, let’s call him Chloro, summed up yesterday’s ceremony in a very relaxed manner. Everyone burst out laughing. We were standing in a circle that closed the ceremony, not far from a maloca (a big Indian house with a thatched roof that looks like a steamer sailing on a river of exuberant vegetation). We all felt great, some of us in a recumbent position all night long, swinging in hammocks, while the mysterious medicine had its say. Others wrote yage stories with their walks in the nearby forest. Throughout the night the shaman drummed and hummed using the Wayra (leaves of the wind) which is the motor of yage. He kept the intensity and harmony of the medicine going. The maloca is a mother, a beehive buzzing with our dreams and when we connect to each other using yage it gives access to the synchronized almost telepathic collective mind. Community. Family. Swarm. To the extent, that he who doubted or wined too much, got stung, which fortunately turned out to be harmless, by wild bees living in the maloca. “To bee” was a song which was humming last night, reminding us that to be means, after all, to do something in a harmonious way. For the good of all. And there is no such things as intimacy, really. Unless someone goes upstream and finds ships made of stone, flat like tables – and his mind, completed by the words of yage interprets them as Stones from Ganimeda. And that’s when the song falls upon you, even though you don’t know how to sing, you are ashamed-a vine comes out of you by itself, the sound is vibrating, it permeates dampers, lovers and the connection which holds everyone together. Now. Icaro. The song. It’s a bit illegal to walk like this at night, in an enriched state of consciousness and in a forest maybe not so pristine anymore but still so vast and incredibly deep, that fear should definitely take over. Vermin or jaguars. Fears. But they do not appear. Grandmother Ayahuasca gives her permission. She convinces that the forest is dry and safe. The knowledge that there’s nothing threatening is right here, coming from someplace. The neurosis dissolves in the medicine. And you achieve it, even if only for a moment. You learn that it can be this way and what a state like this looks like. Behavioral therapy. It’s supposed to be the most effective. That’s how I know that if you can transform every nightmare and delusion into an element of fun and see it as a part of an ongoing story-it ceases to be a problem. “The inappropriate does not exist” another shaman once told me when I described my independent vision quests, searching for visions, twisting around in order to find the twists that are the key to my story. Going beyond formal ritual and leaving behind the immediate care of the motorman. The shaman. Colombia is a blanket of green with mountain peaks piercing through. The roads curling perseveringly throughout the forests. Nevertheless there’s a convenient return from the maloca, although it takes quite a long time-18 hours in a bus with bunks to lay down on. And that’s the moment I am writing this. I go through each ceremony one by one.”
„We are sitting at a bus station of local transport companies in Ibague-between Armenia and Bogota. We travel across Colombia from South to North. We are waiting for a friend, who is going to take us to a hut, where at night, in a reservation I will meet the spirit of San Pedro. The day after tomorrow we are setting off to Medellin, where three more ceremonies with Grandmother will be held. Afterwards we are heading North to Cartagena and on to Santa Marta on the Caribbean Coast. More ceremonies there. I don’t smoke from the beginning of the trip and the Andean air thoroughly ventilated my lungs. My body feels like its 12 years younger and the medicine of the Indians is cheerfully dancing in me, tightening the screws that have been loose for a long time. Before that we found our way to San Cipriano, a village inhabited by black descendants of slaves. Deep in the wilderness-you can get there only by a cable car which is out of service. Clever natives have turned in into a jungle-highway for motorcycle trolleys. On one track you could find vehicles made of boards, bearings and what have you, attached to a motorcycle. The rear wheel was moving on track, powering the entire vehicle. Technology and survival…Across the village flows a fast river with small “waterfalls” and siphons. You can jump in from trees growing at the river banks. We are going barefoot a few kilometers upstream. We are dragging with us big inner tubes from trucks. They will be useful later as dinghies for rafting. Several hours of rafting, joy, the jungle, euphoria… We where in the Andes and the Pacific in the middle of nowhere- beaches, wooden huts and hosts-the succeeding descendants of slaves. To get there you need to go 10 km through the jungle or…we choose a boat. And with such a boat you can land…like surfers. Offshore we get overflowed by a tidal wave pouring through the small boat, capturing small objects as souvenirs. Fortunately, there were eleven of us, therefore we quickly pulled the boat ashore. Drying lasted two days. The sun is scorching, it is silent, peaceful, there is a bonfire on the beach and abundance of Nature. We sleep in a local house or in hammocks beneath a bamboo shed on the beach. We buy fish from local fishermen. We bake them in banana leaves on a grill, while waiting for us in a seaside grove is a well stocked, free vegetable and fruit mixture… lime trees, coconuts, papayas and all sorts of other goods. A salad with your fish? Here you are. The ocean moves away about a kilometer every six hours. Ebbs and flows, indeed. “
A trip with Darek to Colombia a few years ago was one of the absolute” TOP 10 “events in my life, including my birth, love, studies, the greatest professional success, etc. and I am not exaggerating. I am 40 years old and I did a lot of interesting things in my life, but this trip was really SOMETHING … I have been 3 times to Colombia so far, the trip from D. was for me the second such trip. The first, about 12 years ago, was about traveling all over Colombia in a typical backpacker’s style. Just like in the “Lonely Planet” guide – with friends, experienced travelers, with just a few countries left to visi from all over the planet. I remember from that trip maybe 2 or 3 snapshots from some small Latin towns, one is about hypnotizing my boyfriend (I would remember that even from Pcim Dolny) and driving throughout a country where, relatively recently, it was impossible to drive travel much because of the civil war. And that’s it. Trip with Darek and his group was something completely different. It was (and I’m not exaggerating again) COSMOS. I came there by accident (if you believes in such thing). I didn’t even dig too deep into which ceremonies we will participate in. I usually don’t get into such matters. My friend asked me to go alongwith her. Just that.
She lent me half of the money. I bought a backpack, boots, sleeping mat, sleeping bag and went off. First, we landed in the jungle, in the rainforest … And there was the power !!! The first ceremonies there were like WOOOW! Wooooow !! These were brilliant lessons right at the source. Jungle, music, fire, maloka, medicine, hosts, river, sweat lodge, music, hammocks and the bond that was forming itself in our group … This could be a good book. One person couldn’t withstand this paradise and left. Then we began moving throughout the country heading north. We met new locals, we had more adventures and some challenges. This would be the second book. I was very impressed with the Indians, especially the Indians in the Santa Marta Mountains. They were all shocking experiences to me. For the first time in my life I met people who could boldly call themselves my “older brothers”. Their charisma, virtually zero environmental impact, culture and the way of life were unbelievably wonderful and admirable. Neither during the first nor the third stay in Colombia (and the third lasted half a year) I had no contact with them. Only with the experience during the trip with Darek allowed me – I repeat – a wonderful adventure and a genuinecontact with them. I was also hosted by Indians in Peru two years ago, but it was also more “mainstream” and not as deep. I don’t know how Darek did it, but the way he organized the journey allowed us to blend in with the environment, soak in it, get a chance for a real contact and a lesson – inspiration to become a better person. For me it was probably the most significant and shocking experience of this trip. I made real friends with a few people in the group. We took care of each other (e.g. a pregnant friend), one of those friends became my real life guru who significantly influenced my life. We bathed in hot springs and streams, survived the earthquake and fire caused by it.
We traveled into space, past, infinity and inbetween atoms. We bathed in the lakes of our personalities. We fought demons and made friends with water, 8 winds and plant Teachers. I am writing this text straight from the heart. I don’t want to create any posh sentences or describe details – I’m sorry. None of my words will reflect the EPERIENCE OF LIFE itself I have experienced there. Ah, and the person who left us came back at the very end. So there was a Bible-like twist to it – the prodigal son. And there were a hundred other similarities.”
„If I had only known the risk of going to Columbia, i probably wouldn’t have gone. My comfort zone seemed to be firmly set and every attempt to cross it would seem to me like an unjustified attack on my own identity and self-esteem. I must add that I was only/already two years after completing chemo- and radiotherapy. But it happened. I set out. Some people don’t feel comfortable without having a plan, especially a detailed one, day after day, hour after hour. They need to prepare to meet their future. They don’t want to be surprised, they may loose control of the upcoming events. For others the future is like a process which is quite unpredictable. This force, pouring into the present moment, sometimes turning into dust all of our expectations and forms which we would prefer to keep. This challenge which exposes who you are. Without any opinions and ideas. What happens to us is not as important as our reactions to it. I don’t speak about our daily routine, work, profession, I speak about a journey, an expedition, leaving behind the place we live in. I am someone in between. I don’t like when life slips out of control-I had this happen to me before-but I prefer a sketch than a plan. And even though I am comfortable with adventures, if I had known what I am signing up for and what I would have to face I wouldn’t have gone. And that would have been one of the stupidest decisions I had made and will probably still make in life. It’s not like I would regret it, after all, how can you regret something you cannot evaluate. What would I loose ? I wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience myself in new and unique situations-far beyond my sense of comfort and identity. I would not find out, where my limits of physical and mental endurance lay nor what deep fear I hold within and how far my courage can reach. I would not get rid of a few patterns which limited my understanding and compassion for the world. I wouldn’t have met new, fantastic people, very different from me, but heading in the same direction. I would not have heard beautiful, touching songs which rescued me from the depths of chaos and insanity and left me staring at a sky full of stars which shone like the purest diamonds. I already forgot how many there are. I wouldn’t have gotten lost in the jungle, out of which I had been led out with the help of my friend’s intuition instead of a GPS. I would not have the opportunity of swimming in a pond with hot, volcanic water and continue to sleep in a tent with the temperature of -1 C outdoors. I wouldn’t have hiked for two days straight, overloaded, for more than 26 km on the altitude between 3500 and 4000 m, combating exhaustion and focusing as much as I could, so not to slip off of slippery stones. I would not have met a gaucho riding on a donkey and wearing a leather hat and with a old -fashioned colt sticking out of his tall boots. This man was smiling widely to me and ask me if I wanted some water. I wouldn’t have laid on the rocky bottom of a river, rinsing off feelings of elation and painful wipe outs from the night before. I wouldn’t have learned that you shouldn’t swim in a sea, when there’s a sign that says “Playa Brava”. I wouldn’t have overcome my cowardice to experience the risk of sacrifice. I felt like I was reaching to the core of my own humanity, being stripped of physical illusions and mental blocks. What was also very important in my case was checking out what condition my body is in after the illness I went through. I had a clear realization of how strong I am and how much latent energy I possess. The journey is also a trip across the country. I took part in local festivals and rituals. I was chasing around with the locals and took a few photos during the Negros y Blancos carnival in Sibundoy. I met a few “Taita’s” and medicines-those healing the body and those eliminating a common sinusitis. The expedition is also a deep leap into nature, sometimes very similar to the one I am surrounded by in the place I live in, sometimes unknown to me, stunning me with its exotic and primal character and its immensity. I was shivering and vibrating like a particle of an infinite wave, listening to the voices of the night, far away from any human habitats. Certain process which began in those moments are still being continued. I am not sure where they are going to take me, but I hope it will be places like the ones I was lucky enough to explore during that expedition. “
Minęło prawie 5 lat od wyprawy, podczas której miałem przyjemność być z Dariuszem w Kolumbii. Tak, minęło prawie 5 lat, a ja wciąż czuję, jak by to było dosłownie wczoraj. Mimo upływu czasu, wciąż mam przed oczami te przepiękne miejsca i niesamowite historie, cudownych ludzi i potężne ceremonie. Była to moja najdalsza podróż, nie tylko w dosłownym znaczeniu tego słowa. Tak. Najdalsza i najpiękniejsza podróż mojego życia, która trwa w moim sercu do dziś i trwać będzie jeszcze bardzo długo. Tego po prostu nie da się zapomnieć. Już dawno chciałem napisać tę relację, ale zwyczajnie nie potrafiłem. Potrzebowałem czasu, aby ochłonąć po tej wyprawie. Tyle się tam wydarzyło, że wydawało mi się, że nie znam słów, którymi umiałbym opisać to, co tam przeżyłem :-) Wyjazd ten dał mi mnóstwo energii i pozwolił rozwinąć skrzydła. Myślę, że mój fotoreportaż w galerii na stronie OneRiver.pl pokazuje nie tyle piękno Kolumbii, co doskonale oddaje też ducha całej wyprawy. Zaczynam mocno tęsknić za kolejnym wyjazdem. Mam nadzieję, że niebawem znowu uda mi się zrealizować to piękne marzenie i wyruszyć ponownie na wyprawę do Kolumbii. Aho!
AND GUIDES TO EXPEDITIONS
Group leader – translator – responsible for logistics during ONE RIVER trips.
Darious is a founder and organizer of the One River Project and as a host he is responsible for logistics during all expeditions. Since 2010 he has been organizing trips to Colombia, exploring local culture and rituals. He is a guide, traveller, musician, animator of events in Poland, the USA and Colombia, speaks Polish, Spanish and English and regularly translates between all three. Darius treats life as a journey, combining work with passion. A free spirit, he loves people and make friends with teachers and leaders as well as the indigenous people of Colombia and Mexico. A practitioner on the spiritual path associated with traditional medicines of the Amazon and the Andes, he has learned ancient techniques that in our reality have turned out to be proven tools for therapy and personal development.
“Walking on the streets of Medellin in 2012, not accidentally I came across a beautiful movie poster depicting a powerful, turbulent waterfall and on its edge you could see indigenous inhabitants standing and looking down at the foaming waves. Captivated by this sight, a few days later I found myself in the movie theatre watching that documentary called “Apaporis- in Search of One River”.
The movie is based on fragments from a book written by an anthropologist, Wade Davis. The book is about his teacher, Harvard professor, anthropologist and ethnobotanist Richard Evan Schultes, and his multiple trips during the interwar period into the Amazon forest in searching of gum trees – mostly for the purpose of dynamically developing arms industry. Schultes was fascinated by the riches of the Amazon rainforest and decided to stay with the Indian tribes for many years in order to study medicinal plants and accompanying them rituals.
The medical tradition was the reason why many indigenous cultures and their cosmologies survived and the trailblazing work of Professor Schultes is still considered to be one of the most important achievements in the field of ethnobotany and anthropology.
The movie brought me to a magical world of indigenous cultures that lived in seclusion for millennia. The beauty of the landscapes and poetic style of this film enriched with a narrative based on professor Schultes’ reflections taken from his manuscript as well as the indigenous shamans and inhabitants of the Amazonian village, mesmerized me to the point that I promised myself to organize a journey to that place.
Several years have passed already and this idea hasn’t withered, it only has matured and is constantly evolving.
It is my great pleasure to invite you on a journey to Colombia for one month long adventure and a spiritual expedition, thanks to which the whole project earned its name: ONE RIVER – “Journey to the Source.”
Therapist and group supervisor.
Agata has been working as a psychotherapist for many years and she calls this chapter “her third life”. Before she started working in this profession she graduated in Fine Arts obtaining a master degree in Illustration. In her “first life” Agata launched an exhibition of her artworks, illustrated several books and published a page for children in Pomeranian Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.
In her “second life” she worked as a journalist, writing mostly for newspapers. She hosted several radio programs and dozen TV shows. She ended this chapter many years ago and began to organize empowering workshops for women along with year-round development groups for women. These experiences pushed Agata to deepen her knowledge in the area of development, psychological help and psychotherapy.
Her “third life” was established during the training at the College of Psychotherapy in the Psychoeducation Laboratory and the training of Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy. She learned from Arnold Mindell (POP) and Josette ten Have-de Labije (ISTDP). In 2018 she completed a Somatic Experience training (work with traumas), and currently she is in the course of the SOMA Embodiment training. Both of these trainings concentrate on the physical body, being in the body and returning to the feeling of an authentic Self. It is not only a container for knowledge or thoughts, but also feelings – and rooting those feelings within your true Self.
During our travels, Agata will support the group process, leading meetings after ceremonies, helping integrate insights and experiences related to ceremonial work with Medicine.
Not a jungle, because it has already called me years ago. It was then, among the Panare Indians, that I felt the time rolling over my body cells, drop by drop, connecting me with infinity. And I feel this connection constantly. And probably not even with the group, although the joy of following what is calling only for me during the journey is great.
Colombia was a surprise, because it was never on my map, my next flight supposingly should not be to Bogota. But by accident, so suddenly and out of nowhere I read about the expedition. And the idea of the descent under the 100 meter waterfall stayed with me, coming back into my dreams, seducing with something I did not know. I broke through my anxiety about being with unknown people for a month. Also because it was Colombia and not Peru and that someone will decide and I will just follow. Nevertheless set off and found myself in the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen with the people who became very close to me during the trip. With experiences which I will never forget. Like that I have changed the course of my life.
What stayed vividly in my heart was the end of the last ceremony at Taita”s Ernesto. A moment in a small camp surrounded by cocoa trees, where during the ceremony children from the village slept under our hammocks. We sat in a circle then, and four Taitas walked between us, praying, playing, singing and dancing. Everyone at their own pace, immersed in their process, being with us and for us. The dawn, cacophony of sounds, vibrating Wairas and Medicine made me feel like a veil between worlds becoming thin, almost transparent. Looking at the singing Taitas, people I was traveling with; Darek, who was our bridge to this world, I felt very strongly and clearly at home. At home. And that this home is not a place, but a living gathering at the intersection of worlds – a moment in space, in which all what is different and separate becomes one.
When, many days later, I went out at night in the full moon, climbing 4270 meters in the Sierra Nevada, and like a mantra I repeated the words of the song „Madre tierra madre tierra yo te alabo yo te alabo, porque eres el origen de la vida” this memory accompanied until dawn. It gave me strength, as did the huge stones that the Kogui Indians called their Ancestros. And when an eagle came from far away and hoovered over us so low that I could almost see its claws, the sense of HOME, belonging and connection, being at home in my life penetrated even deeper and opened another door. This is why I am here.”
Group supervisor, guide, translator.
Alexander has lived and worked in Colombia since 2015. To him traveling is what stabilization, home, work and security means to others. He has lived in Italy, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. He used to work in non-government agencies, student organizations, at universities, schools, bars and even at a gas station. He joined OneRiver project following the path of Medicine. OneRiver is the culmination of many years of searching for his own path, or in this case- his own one river. He sees his role in the project as a messenger and a guide, but also an explorer, even if as some may say, there is nothing left to be discovered. Alexander has an extraordinary gift of listening and telling stories in spirit of Magical Realism. His open personality will be helpful in building relationships within the group, and his linguistic skills will be a great support for the expedition, especially when coming in contact with new communities. His task is to facilitate your contact with locals and people from indigenous tribes who whisper their stories of the Earth.
The question “what are travels for you?” has always been one of the hardest to answer for me. Because what are they not? For me, travel is a wonderful manifestation of the hermetic doctrine of the identity of opposites: they are everything and nothing at the same time. Everything, because it is the most natural state of mind to me, nothing – because it is so natural that it is difficult to specify. I have always been leaving someplace and going somewhere since I was a child: with my parents, for projects, working abroad etc., but I started to travel much later – it was only when I stopped expecting and comparing, and started just to be, finding myself in a new context.
Places, cultures and people who have grown out of them do not have to do anything – they do not have to be hospitable, polite, wear turban or poncho, drive safely, dance Cumbia on the streets. They have no obligations towards you or me. Those expectations of what someone should or should not morph later on into comparisons and assessments: it is worse here, better there. The journey begins when both – expectations and comparisons disappear.
During OneRiver’s trip to Columbia, this problem won’t occur: the journey itself will cope with your expectations. OneRiver expeditions to the Fountains of Colombia are journeys to the sources of Magical Realism, whose traces are not so easy to find in the everyday life of big cities such as Medelin, Bogota or Cali.
With OneRiver we will discover that what Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Louis Borges, Isabel Allende wrote about, is rooted deeply in the lands of Putumayo, Sierra Nevada or Tolima, and that this magic can be experienced in a much purer, condensed form than the literary one. With OneRiver we will be able to get drunk with this magic, walk on it and fill our hearts with it for a long time. Aho! “
PHOTOS FROM PREVIOUS EXPEDITIONS
“The journey does not start when we hit the road, and does not end when we reach the finish. In fact, it starts much earlier and practically never ends, because the ‘memory tape’ turns around in us, even though we have not physically moved away for a long time. After all, there is such a thing as a travel-bug and it is a kind of disease that is basically incurable.”