In 2001 Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba walked into my cabin in the Amazon jungle of Peru and radically changed my life. A complete revolution took place within my body, mind and soul as I evolved into my true self. During the time period from when Baba walked into my cabin retreat in the town of Santo Tomas till the time I saw him physically In India, I had two key visions about my life’s mission.
The first vision was of a music concert for the Amazon Rainforest. One that involved, film, special effects and world music. This was the rainforest herself coming to visit and touch her children around the world. The forest coming alive, shown to the audience like never before. Songs and their story coming through to an audiovisual tapestry showing the magic magic of the Amazon and her shamans, singing their sacred Icaros ( Healing Songs) in a performance with dance and art, weaving through into the fabric of the audiences essence. A true blessing from Pachamama that will raise awareness and help us all. A few years after this experience, I founded JAMM ( Jungle Alliance of Medicine and Music) with a team of conservationists and lovers of the universe. To be an organization dedicated to the preservation of the sacred Icaros and the traditional medicinal knowledge of the Amazon’s natural pharmacy.
Through JAMM and under the direction of Ryan Wylie ,we started work on the film Icaros: Spirit Songs of the Rainforest and traveled to different tribes documenting shamans song's, tribal dances and medicinal lore in the Upper Amazon of Peru.
A few days ago after a ceremony, I started feeling a strong urge to start JAMM up again but differently. Here in Peru , lots of heavy things have been happening in the Amazon and other jungles. Oil spills, mercury poisoning and constant logging and disrespect of tribal boundaries and lands are increasing . Three recent oil spills were widely shared through social media and yet it never really became a big deal publicly. I realized that the concert to raise awareness and make conscious sound needs to be in Lima, the capital of Peru. As the flow of this knowing flooded my being, I understood that the call to action is now and that I have been in training as well as meeting the right people for the past 16 years, and just to make sure that I got it, i received this email 48 hours ago:
Dear Manu Sai Malasquez
I tried to contact you through the website contact sheet, but not sure if it got through, so I try this: I´m writing to you in attempt to find out if it was you I met, many years ago, in Sathya Sai Babas ashram.
My story, and why I wonder:
In 2002 i travelled a long way to get to Iquitos, where I took part of an ceremony of Ayahuasca. During this ceremony I remember long runs in the jungle as some kind of cat animal, and talks with the shaman.
In beginning of 2003 (might be 2002) I stayed three weeks in Sathya Sai Baba´s ashram in Puttaparthi, India. I participated in the morning ceremonies every day, but never made the effort in queuing up in the morning to get seats in front. But, one morning I was sitting half sleeping, legs crossed, in the middle of a big crowd, waiting for Sai Baba to enter. I looked up as a man tapped me on the shoulder and told me to take his seat in the front. Sai Baba wanted to speak to me, he said. A bit fumbled I gave him my seat, and start walking towards the front. There I saw a empty spot. Two men looked at me, before saying; sit down, Manu must have sent you.
Sai Baba came into the hall, and started his walk on the opposite side. Without stopping he walked all the way to where I was seated, and approached me. We had a short conversation before he left again.
After the ceremony the man that offered me his spot came up to me again. He told me that he was a shaman from Iquitos, and that Sai Baba had come to him in a vision, and told him to come to his ashram.
This day he had been sitting in line and luckily got chosen a good seat in the front. When Sai Babas voice told him that he should offer the seat to someone else, he didn't really want to do it. All the effort he´d been through to get this seat! But, after a second approach from Sai Baba the man turned around. In the crowd he saw all the men waiting, and me, but he didn´t see me but a tree. He reminded him self of the bigger picture, and stood up, went over to me, and gave me his seat.
Again I got fumbled since his description of the tree was identical as a special tree in the garden where i grew up. An oak half alive, half dead.
The man continued and said he had a mission of saving the rainforest. He was now on a journey to gather a crew. He was in need of a person with skills in multimedia and film. He did not know that I was studying at a film school at that time. The reason Sai Baba asked him to give him my seat was to approve me to this project. At this time, this was way to much for me to try to understand. I lost control, and felt I was loosing the grip. Soon after I left.
Now, 13 years later, I´m a film- and theatre director in Norway, with my own production company. This episode has been with me all since, and the last years I have made myself ready to follow up what I left in India. I have a strong passion for the rain forest, and are looking for a possibility to use my skills to help it.
So, my question is: Are you the man that gave me his seat?
I got chills all over my body upon reading this email while my heart blasted open and tears rolled down my face and I felt Sai Baba’s love. How beautiful it is to see his divine hand at work. So I share this happy experience with you and invite you to join me as we JAMM for the Amazon.
Thank you and may the blessings of the Creator and Mother Earth always be with you.
Manu Sai Malasquez