Island of the Sun recounts the American psychologist Alberto Villoldo's return to Peru in search of the Quechua Indian shaman Don Jicaram. The authors' earlier book, Dance of the Four Winds, described Villoldo's first initiation, under Don Jicaram, into the secrets of the Inca Medicine Wheel and the spiritual journey of the Four Winds. Villoldo had begun that journey in the South, “where one goes to confront and shed the past.” With use of the powerful mind-altering plant ayahuasca, he had continued to the West, a direction also inhabited by fear and death. Now in Island of the Sun he prepares himself for the journey to the North, where lies the wisdom of the ancient Inca shamans. Traveling from Machu Picchu to the “Island of the Sun,” a sacred site in Bolivia, Villoldo uncovers a profound secret about the journey to the East--the journey home.
Paperback, 224 pages
By his mid-20s Alberto Villoldo was the youngest clinical professor at San Francisco State University. He was directing his own laboratory, the Biological Self-Regulation Lab, investigating how energy medicine and visualization could change the chemistry of the brain.
One day in his biology laboratory, Alberto realized that his investigation had to get bigger instead of smaller; Alberto needed to find a system larger than the neural networks of the brain. The microscope was the wrong instrument to answer the questions he was asking. Many others were already studying the hardware – Alberto Villoldo wanted to learn to re-program the SYSTEM. Anthropological stories hinted that there were people around the globe who claimed to know such things, including the Inka in Peru, the few remaining “shamans” in today’s modern civilization.
As he did initial research into the Inka, Alberto decided that he needed to personally investigate the roots of the Inka civilization itself to collect the vestiges of a 5,000-year-old energy medicine known for healing through Spirit and light.
A few weeks later, knowing this investigation was not going to be a “part time” pastime or a brief sabbatical for a few weeks’ time, Alberto Villoldo resigned his post at the university.
University colleagues thought Alberto Villoldo was absolutely mad.
Not to be dissuaded, Alberto Villoldo traded his laboratory for a pair of hiking boots and a ticket to the Amazon. He was determined to learn from researchers whose vision had not been confined to the lens of a microscope, from people whose body of knowledge encompassed more than the measurable, material world that Alberto had been taught was the ONLY reality. He wanted to meet the people who sensed the spaces between things and perceived the luminous strands that animate all life.
Scattered throughout the remnants of this ancient Amazonian empire were a number of sages or “Earth Keepers” who remembered the ancient ways. Alberto traveled through countless villages and hamlets and met with scores of medicine men and women. The lack of a written body of knowledge meant that every village had brought its own flavor and style to the healing practices that still survived.
For more than 10 years, Alberto Villoldo trained with the jungle medicine people. Along the way, he discovered that his journey into shamanism had actually been guided by his personal desire to become whole.
In healing his own soul wounds, Alberto Villoldo walked the path of the wounded healer and learned to transform old pain, grief, anger and shame to sources of strength and compassion.
From the Amazon, Alberto Villoldo trekked the coast of Peru, from Nazca, the site of gigantic markings on the desert floor that depict power animals and geometric figures, to the fabled Shimbe lagoons in the north, home to the country’s most renowned sorcerers. Then, in Lake Titicaca – the Sea on Top of the World – Alberto Villoldo collected the stories and healing practices of the people from which, the legends say, the Inka were born.
Through it all, Alberto Villoldo discovered a set of sacred technologies that transform the body, heal the soul, and can change the way we live and the way we die.
These ancient teachings and understandings explain that a Luminous Energy Field (LEF), whose source is located in infinity, surrounds us. The LEF acts as a matrix that maintains the health and vibrancy of the physical body.
Today, Alberto Villoldo is a best-selling author and founder in the world-renowned Institute of Energy Medicine, The Four Winds Society. In all of his teachings and writings, Alberto shares the experience of infinity’s easy ability to heal and transform us, to free us from the temporal chains that keep us fettered to illness, old age and disease.
Over the course of two decades with the shamans in the jungles and high mountains of the Andes, Alberto Villoldo would discover that we are more than flesh and bone, that we are a