Wednesday, June 1, 2016

New Blog Site.........

Dear Ones, My blog has moved to www.EBAST.NET. Please join me there for the latest adventures... Blessings, E. Bast

Monday, October 19, 2015

Film Review: Ayahuasca Nature's Greatest Gift directed by Seti Gershberg

I had the good fortune to see the feature documentary film Ayahuasca Nature's Greatest Gift, directed by Seti Gershberg. This film is one part of a documentary series, The Path of the Sun, that provides a comprehensive look at this sacred medicine, it's therapeutic value, history, and issues surrounding the plant.

I found this film this captivating, informative, and objective. Especially in this time when sacred medicines are exploding in popularity, it's so vital to know how to proceed with respect for the indigenous wisdom traditions—and how to be safe. This film helps to empower and educate those who are feeling the call of this medicine.

This film explores the many physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of this sacred medicine from the Amazon, and exposes some individuals exploiting a wave of Ayahuasca tourism, sometimes adding dangerous admixtures in order to provoke immediate and dramatic effects, so the tourist can get their money's worth, so to speak. In all realms of human life, it is vital to stay awake. Even sacred medicine can be misused.

This film also brings up one of my favorite topics about sacred plant medicine, exploring the ways that the shamanic use of ayahuasca is changing with the influence of first world interest. According to some scholars, ayahuasca was once was only taken by shamans for guidance, and now it is taken by many who seek personal healing. As awareness and demand for sacred medicine grows, and the medicines are taken by many foreign people, often far away from the indigenous land, the questions arise:

Is it just human beings moving these plants? 

Or is it the plants moving themselves, through human beings? 

As suggested in The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollen, plants have far more holistic intelligence than we generally give them credit for. It's not simply humans manipulating nature. It's nature dancing with humans, too. The earth as a whole ecosystem is connected and communicating with itself in ways that we humans surely cannot completely perceive. It may very well be the plants that are so generously moving themselves through us, in order heal us and help to balance the planet which is in a state of ecological disaster due to human pathologies. This view is a delicate one, for we must remain mindful of issues surrounding sustainability and social impact.

To view this film and others from the series, visit:

There are free movie passes for Ayahuasca Nature's Greatest Gift given away each month. You can sign up here:

From the film's Facebook page:

Ayahuasca Nature's Greatest Gift is a feature length film with a runtime of 1 hour 5 minutes. The film is a comprehensive look at the socio-cultural realities surrounding the burgeoning popularity of the Amazonian sacred, medicinal and hallucinogenic brew called ayahuasca. The film has 30 subtopics that answer questions about the tea including its history, usage, rituals, physical and supernatural experience, shaman, songs, special diet and preparation and thoroughly delves into it's potential therapeutic value in terms of personal healing and integration into western medicinal modalities. Particular emphasis is placed on the healing benefits of ayahuasca as it relates to overcoming fears, phobias, depression, anxiety as well as its successful, but controversial use in treating PTSD, alcoholism and drug addiction. Other topics include the realities of the booming ayahuasca tourism industry and associated dangers of its charlatans and the general dangers found in travel to third world countries to work with shaman in often times remote and hard to get to regions. Myth is stripped from new age illusions through a realistic, educational and explanatory telling of the facts and understandings via the voices of several Peruvian mestizo shaman and experts in the field including Ethnopharmacologist Dr. Dennis McKenna and Dr. Steven Beyer author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon.

Friday, April 17, 2015

"The Color Shaman" - Excerpt from HEART MEDICINE: A True Love Story - One Couple's Quest for the Sacred IBOGA Medicine & the Cure for Addiction

"...his masterful art flowed from a very deep source. Chor wanted to uplift people with his colors. He called himself a 'color therapist,' though I liked to call him a 'color shaman.' His magical implement was spray-paint. He painted portals to realms of archetypal wisdom. He brought unthinkable beauty into existence. Third-eye symbols silently spoke to the gasping anonymous heart. Faces of the first cosmic lovers looked out from multidimensional sea storms. Regal queens and urban love-goddesses emerged from morphing kaleidoscopes, telepathically transmitting the answers to all our human questions. Moving symphonies of every imaginable hue spoke timeless truths. He turned barren city walls, canvases, cars, and any surface that he could legally transform into an eyeful of ecstasy that hinted at a future utopia..."

- excerpt from my memoir:
HEART MEDICINE: A True Love Story - One Couple's Quest for the Sacred Iboga Medicine & the Cure for Addiction 


Please support the IndieGogo campaign to help publish the 1st run!

Painting by Chor Boogie ‪#‎chorboogie‬

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

IBOGA ~ Resources & Respect....

When my mother first read my memoir about our experience with the African sacred plant medicine known as iboga (she’s a cool mom, alright), she said, “I feel like I’ve taken iboga just from reading this book.” Not every- one needs to take iboga for healing or awakening, for it is an extremely powerful visionary medicine. Maybe
reading this book is enough iboga for you. Maybe there is another kind of medicine for you, for there are many different kinds of mental, physical, and spiritual medicine on this planet to suit billions of radically different human beings. Is iboga for you? Listen for the quiet call of the soul.

If you are called, approach this ancient medicine with great respect and clear intentions. Choose your provider with great care. As shaman Moughenda says, “taking iboga without a qualified guide is like driving a car while blindfolded.”

Iboga and Ibogaine share some similar actions, but there are distinct differences in both content and context:

•  Iboga is the natural plant, with the full spectrum of original alkaloids present. The psychoactive root bark is taken as fresh shavings, powder, tea, or natural extract. Iboga is generally experienced within the context of shamanic African traditions, primarily the Bwiti, and this is how we experienced the medicine. We advocate for iboga to be administered only by qualified African lineage providers, for the African people have been studying iboga for thousands of years and hold a vast and sophisticated body of knowledge about this medicine. It is vital to honor the indigenous wisdom keepers by receiving their teachings and blessings. In the same breath, some traditional providers may be unfamiliar with the medical conditions, addictions, or contraindicated pharmaceutical drugs of foreigners. Furthermore, “psychedelic tourism” can breed inexperienced, opportunistic providers anywhere. Discernment is advised.

• Ibogaine is a pharmaceutical extract of one alkaloid from iboga, isolated from a spectrum of many naturally occurring alkaloids in the iboga plant. Some ibogaine may be produced semisynthetically from from another plant called Voacanga africana rather than the Bwiti sacrament known as Tabernanthe iboga. We hear that ibogaine has been very helpful for some individuals, though it was not what we experienced. Ibogaine is generally experienced in a medical and Western therapeutic setting. Ibogaine must be administered only under medical supervision by qualified providers and therapists.  

So how do we find a “qualified” provider, in this day and age, in the face of unregulated medical treatments and traditional shamanic cultures that do not provide diplomas or licenses in the same way? We consult with the global psychedelic community (resources below), ask a million questions, and listen to our intuition. We are in uncharted territory, as there is still much medical research and social integration needed as enthnobotanical psychedelic medicines flow into industrialized countries.

As empowered seekers, it is important to remember that even those regarded to be “qualified” providers are still very human, subject to human issues, to be held accountable for honorable conduct and a good standard of care.

Under no circumstance should iboga (or ibogaine) be taken alone or with an inexperienced sitter. Familiarity with other plant medicines or psychedelics does not qualify someone to handle iboga. Iboga should never be mail ordered, as the quality, frequency, and purity are generally compromised.

A good iboga provider will require specific medical screening before treatment. Iboga can be fatal with certain medical conditions, when combined with other drugs, or with improper dosage. Such accidents can be avoided with good protocol.

If an addiction is being treated, the provider must be highly experienced and knowledgeable about the many delicate medical details involved with detox. Iboga can have a great range of potency and quality, and poor quality medicine may not be effective for addiction treatment. A good provider will know the potency and quality of their medicine.

Iboga is not a “magic bullet” for addiction treatment. Iboga is a profound healer and plant teacher. Iboga offers a great opportunity, and the rest is up to you. Furthermore, iboga is not a crutch to break addictions repeatedly, for the medicine will not allow it’s gifts to be plundered, and regarding the medicine with an exploitative attitude can be dangerous.

Other factors can help to sustain the freedom from addiction that iboga offers: spiritual disciplines such as yoga and meditation, ongoing counseling, healthy diet, good community, a safe and nourishing environment,  therapeutic  touch,  12-Step  programs, and other support groups.

Unfortunately, iboga and ibogaine are still illegal in the United States as well as other countries, even for traditional practitioners and qualified medical practitioners. Sadly, this may be due to many complex political factors, corporate economic interests, and puritanical prejudices. We do not recommend seeking iboga
any place where the sacrament is illegal.

All this said, iboga is wonderful medicine, in the right hands and the right place.

As awareness and demand for iboga grows, we must proceed with care with regards to sustainability, the effects of foreign use on the indigenous Bwiti people, and legal export. For more information on iboga sustainability and related political issues, connect with the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance.

EDUCATE yourself before pursuing an experience with iboga. Here are some great organizations with more practical information and references for medical studies:

Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance (GITA)

International Center for Ethnobotanical Educations, Research, & Service (ICEERS)

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

Psychedelic News

My Eboga Essentials

This introduction is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose conditions, prescribe treatments, or otherwise replace medical advice. Medicinal Media LLC & E. Bast disclaim any liability, loss, injury, or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any elements of this website or memoir.

Iboga Provider Listings:
*The providers noted here have all trained in depth with our shaman Moughenda and his Bwiti tribe in Africa.

Mark Howard & Robyn Rock at Ibogasoul in Canada:

Amber Richards & Corey Gauthier at Sacred Soul in Canada:

Gary Cook, Jeff Cook, Sandy Cook, & Steven Callahan at the Iboga Wellness Center in Costa Rica:

Moughenda is the Bwiti shaman that we worked with, and we had a wonderful experience with him. His Costa Rica healing center has since closed and he is currently back in Africa leading initiatory journeys. Please note: these journeys to Africa can be very physically challenging with regards to extreme heat, biting insects, and rustic conditions. Contact Michael Cassidy for more info on Moughenda's retreats:

Additional support for sobriety:

Phoenix Multisport fosters a supportive, physically active community for individuals who are recovering from alcohol and substance abuse and those who choose to live a sober life. Through pursuits such as climbing, hiking, running, strength training, yoga, road/mountain biking, socials and other activities, we seek to help our members develop and maintain the emotional strength they need to stay sober.

My New Leaf is creating a new gamified, web-based, addiction recovery app that draws heavily on evidenced-based best practices and theoretical perspectives. The web-based app is also being designed to deploy on iOS and Android mobile devices with an anticipated alpha launch date in late 2015.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Goddesses... Everywhere... Just sitting there...

I LOVE beings. Beautiful radiant crazy wild devoted dangerous strong weak beings.

I see the divinity in ordinary humans. They glow… with subtle halos. I am filled with awe daily. I marvel... How does it all happen? How do these beings come to exist? What a show! 

...Somehow I am able to navigate my mundane tasks while existing in this dumb-struck state of awe.

Feminine beings send me into a special flavor of awe. Women & the Female-in-spirit. The dreamers of creation. Their feminine power effortlessly clears my mind and softens my heart. Women, rooted to the earth while synced to the sky via lunar cycles. The mothers. The Grandmothers. Women seem to float a few inches above the ground.

I am a Goddess-worshiper. Something about the feminine face of God sparks my heart - especially. It's not about which gender is better. It's just a profound, destined affinity. Perhaps it's just my place in the cosmic mandala of devotees. There is balance in all things.

So, as I make my way through city streets, subway trains, errands, anywhere in the rat race really, I hold back from offering spontaneous puja rituals in wild devotion. Spontaneous puja is not really a social norm - yet. Instead, I just offer a few words, still loaded with adoration, but ones that likely won't freak them out.

Then I channel this impulse into "performance art," where people seem more likely to tolerate weirdness when there is a stage and costumes.

Please share if you like… 

Photos from the Romanticism Show with Chor Boogie & Enchantress at Project 1 Gallery in San Francisco, curated by Brooke Waterhouse.

Friday, March 13, 2015

HEART MEDICINE: A True Love Story - One Couple's Quest for the Sacred IBOGA Medicine & the Cure for Addiction

So I wrote a book. Or it wrote me, I should say...

Early in 2014 my beloved of 6 years traversed life lessons and experienced a drug relapse after being clean for over 13 years. It was a heart-wrenching roller coaster. I feared for his life. I knew he needed immediate and powerful healing.

Most of the 13 years that he was off of heroin, he was completely sober. Then alcohol was reintroduced during the last few years. I could see how the alcohol was wearing him down, weakening his light.

My love, Chor Boogie a.k.a. Joaquin Lamar Hailey, had garnered international recognition for his art, but he was working himself to the bone and partying too hard. He was a loose canon when drunk. Chaos embodied. I shivered for him.

On a dark, drunk night, he returned to the needle.

He confessed to me. I sensed a heavy dark cloud over his mind, body, and spirit.

There was a hungry void in his eyes, waiting to be filled. Perpetually punctured. Lost.

I was terrified and filled with sorrow. He was wasting the gift of LIFE.

I began a mission of research...

I was saddened to learn that heroin addicts generally have a 10% chance of long-term recovery without relapse in our Western medical system, even in the most luxurious rehabs costing $30,000 - $100,000 per month. At best, people can hope to transfer their addiction to equally toxic (though more stable and legal) options of synthetic opiates, morphine, methadone, and other pharmaceuticals.

The future did not look bright.

Then... I remembered that I had once heard vague details years ago about an obscure African sacred medicine called Iboga that cured addiction, specifically heroin addiction, while alleviating withdrawal symptoms.

How exactly could this be possible? The scientific research that I could find on iboga revealed that it essentially resets the sensitivity of the brain to the pre-addiction state. The receptor sites related to the pleasure centers and the release of dopamine are "baptized," among many other complex healing actions. The plant teacher can also invoke visionary journeys and deeper introspection about the root causes of addiction.

It sounded almost too good to be true, but it was worth a try, especially considering the alternatives. We just had to find the right source.

Though this sacred plant is regarded as a national treasure in Gabon, iboga still illegal in the United States. We had to search beyond the borders of the U.S.

I knew this was extremely powerful medicine, and intuited that we needed a truly experienced guide. I found a 10th generation African Bwiti shaman by the name of Moughenda Mikala, with a healing retreat center and government licensed detox program in Costa Rica.

Chor courageously agreed to try this radical option, but there were many moments that I didn't know if we would make it to the shaman in time.

The more I learned about iboga, the more that it called to me for my own spiritual and physical healing. I chose to experience the medicine alongside my love.

Cosmic forces seemed to aid in our journey. We were able to make it, and Chor offered his full participation. I saw a healing miracle unlike any in my life. Within 24 hours of the first treatment, Chor was a new man. He was completely purified of his cravings and physical dependence. His spirit returned to his eyes. Light returned to his face. The second ceremony in our 8-day retreat offered us teachings and guidance for a new path in life. I felt that this medicine responded to Chor's strong and clear intention to choose life.

It wasn't just Chor's addiction that was purified. His whole life was purified, and our whole relationship as well. After we returned home, Chor and I began meditating together every morning. Chor started practicing yoga for the first time, and intensively. He immediately became vegetarian and more conscious about eating an organic, healthy diet, when processed and fried meats had previously been the norm. He cultivated a whole new level of mental hygiene. He became an artist of his own thoughts and emotions, as much as he was an artist of spray-paint. Nature became alluring to him. He started joining me for long walks and hikes, marveling at the natural beauty, when before iboga he would roll out of bed onto his computer or into his studio for hours straight. He is a new man, literally.

I know that all the new practices, a healthy community, and the power of his own intentions helped Chor to experience success with iboga and to sustain his new, beautiful life.

Moughenda's saying stays wtih me to this day: Addiction is Slavery. Be free and enjoy the gift of life.

Let's just say that A LOT happened between point A and point B! Thus, the book...

I completed an intimate memoir about our journey called Heart Medicine: A True Love Story - One Couple’s Quest for the Sacred Iboga Medicine & the Cure for Addiction. The 1st chapter is freely offered on my website. Cover art by Chor Boogie.

Chor and I created an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign running from March 16th to May 14th, 2015 to independently publish and promote the first run of this book. View the video:

Perks will feature Chor's recent iboga-inspired art; high-quality prints and original paintings on canvas.

Additional funds from the campaign’s stretch goals will support our iboga provider’s training. After experiencing our own healing miracle, we both felt the call to learn more and help others. We have been accepted to apprentice with Moughenda. We will dedicate this next year to studying this sacred medicine and the Bwiti tradition. We will one day be able to serve as iboga providers, in countries where this sacred medicine is legal,” says Elizabeth.

This past December 2014, we traveled to Gabon, Africa to begin the first module of training with Moughenda and his tribe. We were also blessed to experience a traditional Bwiti / Gabonese wedding. Explore more of our photos from Africa.

I discovered these alarming statistics that affirmed my intuition; the world is in dire need of more qualified iboga providers:

Drug overdose death rates have been steadily rising since 1992, with a 118% increase from 1999 to 2011 alone. (Center for Disease Control & Prevention)

In 2012, 183,000 drug related deaths occurred globally, mostly overdoses, with opioid overdose being the largest category. (The United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime 2014 World Drug Report)

Methadone treatment and other kinds of “drug replacement therapies” can last between one to 20 years, or more. These legal drugs are known to be as toxic and addictive as heroin, though they are more stable than street drugs and can sometimes alleviate the dangers associated with the black market.

Iboga research has been increasing in recent years. For instance, MAPS-sponsored researchers are collecting observational data for the first prospective ibogaine outcome studies in order to contribute to the growing scientific literature about ibogaine as a treatment for drug addiction. Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

Chor Boogie a.k.a. Joaquin Lamar Hailey is an internationally acclaimed spray-paint artist. His visionary murals and art exhibitions have graced many countries across the globe. He was recently honored by Societe Perrier as being number three among the the TOP TEN U.S. Street Artists of 2014. He approaches his use of color as a form of therapy and visual medicine, and has been dubbed “the color shaman” by comrades and fans.


Praise for Heart Medicine “So I stayed up and read 200 pages in one sitting! What a gift you are giving the world with your experience and your writing. There are so many millions of the walking dead right now who are so shut off from their sensitivity, love, & light and this is the perfect story to get through to them. And also for those who are already more aware, what an amazing reminder of what is possible and how to realign with what we know to be true. It’s going to grab people and give them a healing just as they read it. I know that this book will reach millions at such a needed time.”

- Bella Shing
Award-Winning Writer, Director, & Founder of

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"I don't have time to meditate," and other nonsense...

I’ve heard it a thousand times. “I don’t have time to meditate.” Blah blah.

It’s a lie.

I know, because I was one of those people who said it.

Think I don’t understand your busy life? The rat race?

I do. I’ve lived it.

I’ve chased my tail plenty around to-do lists, dishes, homework, errands, business obligations, creative projects, financial stress, and the endless “family matters.” I’ve multi-tasked myself into oblivion all in the name of having so very much to do.

“I don’t have time to meditate... really, I don’t.”

I was, for a long while, a very occasional meditator, but no where near close to going steady with the practice. With any shred of “free time” that I had available in my very busy life, I much preferred to be walking, running, sweating, dancing, singing, practicing yoga asana, making art, or studying sutra. “Movement is my meditation,” or “art is my practice” or “studying is better than nothing,” I’d say with zeal and clarity and some perceived authority from my 20 years of yoga, thus politely excusing myself from the more arduous task of just sitting quiet. I had at times relished mantra initiations, but this, too was not quite the same as just... sitting... quiet.

Then, a crisis took my family to hell and back... then onward to healing and love beyond our wildest dreams.

Meditation suddenly manifested as a life-raft out of the molten chaos. It quickly became as staple as air or water.


No one ever told me about all the magic that comes from meditation... probably because it’s really hard to describe. Still, we can have fun trying...

As a daily practice, meditation will sometimes be full of epiphanies, insights, and tranquil bliss. Other days, it feels like treading through the mud of my mind: treacherous, irritating, or worst of all, banal. But magic happens with a steady daily practice... Just as we reach a much different vantage point on a mountain when we climb for a mile every day - and not just "when we feel like it."

I began to reach deeper and deeper places of stillness inside myself. More than ever before, I savored just being, as a gourmet.

Wow! We get to BE... in these bodies... and explore our Selves. The universe is indeed opulent in her generosity...

Don’t take my word for it, because you can only know this from experience:

With steady and long-term practice, one’s life begins to revolve around the meditation practice, instead of one’s meditation practice revolving around one’s life... life circumstances, that is.

I began to feel more harmoniously attuned to the whole. I began to feel my soul’s purpose manifesting in the world with more grace and ease and synchronicity than ever before.

Yes, Universe, put me to work!

Yet, meditation literally rocked my world. All things that were motivated by fear, attachment, or ego began to fall away like sand through my finger tips. Meditation destroyed everything in my life that was stale, low-frequency, or not aligned with my current purpose.

Meditation took out the trash.

At first, my life-make over felt violent. Yet, my meditation continued, as my heart demanded.

Meditation was an earthquake under the existing order of my life, but something more beautiful than I could have ever imagined began to emerge from the ashes.

Then... my relationships deepened, many new fruitful opportunities arose, I completed a book, and felt more creatively fulfilled than ever. My life had begun a deeper process of purification, refinement, and focus that is no doubt continuing and deepening to this day.


At first, you might think: “Oh I could be getting so much done with these extra 10 or 20 or 30 minutes in the morning!” Blah blah.

You will certainly being moving faster without meditation, but certainly not better!

If you are moving faster sans meditation, you will likely be stubbing your toes and tripping over yourself and making poor decisions or needing to go back to square one again and again in regards to expressing your life’s purpose, both metaphorically and literally. I speak from experience here.

Meditation is where you might get your million-dollar idea, or the realization that you don’t need a million dollars in the first place. Or both.

Meditation gives you what you need. Meditation flowers slowly. And there is no substitute for just sitting quiet and straight every morning for a set amount of time.

Infinite thanks to my beautiful husband who meditates with me every morning. Together, we are synergy, wherever we are in the world.

Gratitude to Scott Burgess of Our Lady Stardust Photography, who captured my meditation in black sand. You are a joy to co-create with!