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By: Stephan Spencer


Sometimes here in the West, we can get so caught up in new ideas, we overlook traditional practices that have been around for centuries. My guest for this episode is Dennis Notten, a yoga meditation teacher, healer and a student of indigenous medicine from the Amazon and other parts of South America. Dennis has spent an extensive amount of time in the Amazon learning healing techniques from tribes like the Yawanawá in Brazil. He’s on a mission to bring some of these powerful methods to a broader audience in the West and beyond. We’ll be discussing plant medicine and in particular Ayahuasca, which comes from the Amazon rain forest. It’s important to recognize that when we refer to plant medicine in this episode, it does not mean medicine, drug or supplement in the Western sense.

Dennis Notten
“The test of time is the most difficult test to stand.”
Dennis Notten

Neither Dennis nor I are suggesting that Ayahuasca or the Ayahuasca vine be used to treat or cure physical diseases or other physical conditions. In other words, please do not construe any of this episode’s discussion as medical advice. Indigenous people of the Amazon have used Ayahuasca and the Ayahuasca vine for thousands of years. They’re honoring them as wise plant teachers that help people on their spiritual path. In that sense of having plant teachers guiding us on our spiritual path and helping us in healing spiritually, this is what we mean when we refer to plant medicine. Please don’t construe this episode’s discussion as trying to persuade, convince you our audience or others to use Ayahuasca or other sacred plant medicine. This is a deeply personal decision.

If you choose to invite these plant teachers into your life, it’s critical you obtain assistance from experienced facilitators who have integrity and extensive training in an established spiritual tradition. I want to emphasize that if you have any physical, psychological ailments or conditions you should consult with a physician before considering any plant medicines. None of what Dennis and I discussed should be intended as medical advice. With all these disclaimers behind us, I think you’re going to find this discussion to be fascinating. Dennis opened me up to a fresh new perspective on spiritual health and on healing. Stay tuned as we explore the amazing wisdom that Dennis gleaned from his extensive time in the Amazon with indigenous people.


Dennis, it’s so great to have you on the show.

Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s a pleasure and an honor to be here.

What is microdosing?

The term microdosing means to take a microdose of a substance so that you don’t feel its direct effects. A program that I developed over the years is Microdosing Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is a sacred medicine that comes from the Amazon forest in South America. The indigenous people have been working with this medicine for thousands and thousands of years. I was looking for ways to use this medicine differently than in ceremonial settings. Ceremonies with Ayahuasca is how those people used it and how many people are using it in the Western world.

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What I’ve seen is that going into such deep ceremonial experiences is beautiful. It can bring a lot of transformation, healing, growth and insights. A lot of wisdom comes from that. To bring those teachings and transformation into your daily life, that for some people in the Western world is a challenge because here we don’t live in a tribe. We don’t have that community living that the indigenous people have in the forest, that’s different. I was looking at a way to use this beautiful medicine that can bring us so many things in a more daily life setting. That’s how the microdosing program was born over the last number of years.

A microdose is a small enough amount that you don’t immediately feel the effects but over a period of time, weeks or months that it does have an effect?

On a daily basis, you don’t feel any effects. They can do anything that you do normally, drive a car, go to work, see your friends and be with your family. All things should not be affected by microdosing. Over a period of two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, depending on how sensible you are, you will start to feel the long-term effects of micro-dosing. With Ayahuasca, the long-term effects of micro-dosing is a very heart-opening experience. The medicine Ayahuasca, as indigenous people tell us, is the grandmother of all plants, trees and flowers.

You’re spoon feeding yourself with this divine feminine energy, that’s the grandmother. In that energy, there’s a lot of wisdom, experience, healing, teachings, calmness, tranquility and clarity. Those things come in when you microdose. People say it brings them a lot of inspiration, creativity, calmness and very heart-opening to show up in relationships. It may have been work, family and friends. It is easier to do from a heart-centered place when you’re more in a negative mind space. That’s the long-term effect of Microdosing Ayahuasca. It’s beautiful to see how it works in people.

Micro-dosing means taking a micro-dose of a substance so that you don’t feel it’s direct effects.

From a perspective of somebody who has never tried Ayahuasca or frankly any drug, even marijuana, I would love to hear what the transformational impacts of going on an Ayahuasca journey, DMT or whatever the different substances are. How that’s had an impact on you and also on your clients? I’ll have to insert a little disclaimer that there is no medical advice being prescribed or advised in this show. Consult your doctor. With that said, can you share a bit of your experience?

Ayahuasca works differently for every person. Every time the same person takes Ayahuasca, the experience is completely different. It would be difficult to say this is what the medicine does to a certain person. On the overall arch line, if you look at the long-term effects, the transformation that comes from the use of Ayahuasca, what I’ve seen is that it brings people closer to their destiny. Many people at this time are a bit not on the path of their destiny. Not many people are doing something because of their belief system because of what their family has been doing or what society tells us that’s good. People go in many directions and Ayahuasca brings people back to the true purpose, why we’re here on this planet in this time.

Are you saying that for a lot of people, it’s a matter of being on autopilot or being asleep at the wheel and that Ayahuasca can give you some clarity of what your true purpose is?

That can be part of it. Some people move from a place of trauma. We all move from a place of trauma, especially in the first seven years of your childhood. The things that happen inside of you very directly, there is almost no shield of protection or there is no shield in the perception of the reality. Everything comes in completely direct. Those experiences shape you. You move from those belief systems. You move from that state of being that comes from those belief systems. If that state of being is more a state of fear, anxiety, insecurity, anger, frustration, hatred, from that state of being, you will make completely different choices. You speak completely different words. You will have completely different actions. You would come from a place of trust, love, abundance and feeling completely confident that the dreams and the visions that you have, that you can manifest them. You can realize them that you are born here to make those things happen. Ayahuasca helps you on a deeper level to change and to shift that state of being, to what I would call a more natural state of being, which in the end is love.

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Did you have such a heart-opening experience on Ayahuasca? I’m guessing that you went to the Amazon and hung out with the tribes and learned how to do all this but first, you received the plant medicine first.

Yes. My very first experience of Ayahuasca was not heart-opening. Nothing happened in my very first ceremony of Ayahuasca in 2011. I’m so happy that I went to the second ceremony. It was a deeply profound experience. It’s not that experience that night shifted things drastically. Over the course of two years, I went from being a professional and successful classical musician, playing in some of the world’s best classical orchestras, to opening up a healing center in the Sacred Valley of Peru. I’m using music in a completely different way than I used to do, sitting in a suit, in concert halls, playing in the orchestra for people. I was sitting on the ground in different clothes and making music in a much different way. It has shifted completely my perception of what music is and why I was here to play music. That changed my life on many levels, many ways and for sure also on the practical level. I’m very grateful for that.

That first time though was not that impactful. Was it non-eventful or was it a bad trip?

I think it happened in all perfection but what happened the first time, I had to get so many things about Ayahuasca. I had looked up all the books I could find, all the things on the internet that were written about it. Know this was 2011, so much less was written about it than now like testimonials and experiences of people. I researched for seven, eight months. If I want to research something, I really dive into something. I came to that first ceremony exactly knowing where I want to go, what I want to receive, which places I want to visit and how the experience would be. I came in with a very clear expectation of how that first night was going to be.

Going into such deep ceremonial experiences is beautiful. It can bring a lot of transformation, healing, growth, and insights.

In the first night, I drank four big cups of Ayahuasca, which is a lot of medicine. Normally, you’ll have a deep and profound journey with such medicine. What happened was absolutely nothing. I was sitting there. My mind was running wild, “What’s going to happen? When is this coming? I want to visit this place.” I was so controlling on a mental level of the experience that I didn’t allow myself to let go of that control, to relax into the experience and to receive what the medicine wants to give to me. I wanted to receive what I wanted to receive. The medicine was silent. It was a very strong but good experience.

Tony Robbins says, “If you trade your expectation for appreciation, everything sifts.” When you go in with expectations, you’ve collapsed all the infinite possibilities of what can happen. I can understand how in retrospect you would see that was a big gift. Nothing happened so that you could get a reset on those expectations and be more open to a journey that unfolds rather than you dictating it. For our audience, it’s important to differentiate the different kinds of plant medicines. I know there’s one out of Africa that I forget the name.

There’s a DMT, I don’t know if that’s a plant medicine or not. There are different kinds of substances that will potentially allow you access and potentially give you a bad trip too. As somebody who’s completely unaware of what those experiences are like, I’ve had a spiritual experience in India. It didn’t involve any substances. It was getting touched by a oneness monk on the head. He gave me a deeksha and I had an incredible, I don’t know if I’d call it psychedelic, but certainly heart-opening and life-changing experience. I’d love to hear the differences between these different substances from your point of view.

This question is an important question for people to study because at this time, many substances are going into the Western world. Many things are coming out, plant medicines, psychedelics and also mushrooms, the kingdom of fungi. I would love to give a little road map to our audience on how you can categorize the substances and what they do, how they work and know how to compare them. I would say there are three main groups of substances. One is entheogens, one is psychedelics and one is fungi, the kingdom of the mushrooms, mycelia. We begin with that last one. The three major kingdoms on this planet. We have the kingdom of the animals. That’s where we belong to as well. We have the kingdom of the plants and we have the kingdom of the fungi.

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That’s a whole different chapter. That chapter of the mushroom or fungi, I don’t know so much about. I’m not an expert on that. I want to point out that that’s a whole category of substances, but I can’t speak so much about that. The first category that I said about is entheogens. The other one is psychedelics. Let’s compare those two a bit, let me tell a bit what they are, know how they work and how they interact with another human body. Entheogen is a category of substances that are all plant medicines. Those plants come as a gift from Mother Earth to us. These plants have been waiting for us on this planet for millions and millions of years. The indigenous people of this planet, might be the Indians in the Amazon, might be the Bwiti tribe in Africa. That’s the plant of iboga that you spoke about or other plants like peyote, many sacred plants out there at the moment.

These indigenous people have been working with these plants for thousands and thousands of years. That’s beautiful to know because the test of time is the most difficult test to stand. These plant medicines have stood the test of time magnificently through many cultures, traditions, tribes, people of different colors, different races, different countries and different times. In all that, these plant medicines have stood that test gloriously. It’s very beautiful to know that they’re completely safe for the human body. All entheogens are nontoxic. There was a long study on the University of Barcelona on many substances and what came out for Ayahuasca is that it does not leave any traces in the human body. It’s nontoxic.

The only thing that I could find is that the level of serotonin was higher after the ceremony than before. That’s beautiful to study because drugs, let’s say if you use cocaine, heroin or whatever drugs you want to put there, normally you feel better during the force of the substance you’re taking. I’ve never taken cocaine, but people tell me they feel almost invincible but then it wanes off. After that force leaves you, most people feel worse than what they felt before. That creates a pattern of addiction because you want to go back, you need more to go back to the same place and you will go deeper into that hole. That’s why people that use heroin, in the end they will die. They were abusing their body. Many toxins stay there.

Plant medicines work differently because for most people, being in an Ayahuasca ceremony is not a very necessarily pleasant experience. It can be a very difficult journey where you have to face your shadow or healing will happen and this might be hard on your body. For some people, it’s a very blissful experience. It’s good to know during an experience, most people feel less good. For a long time, that study went over five years and that level of serotonin in all people that have used Ayahuasca was higher in the five years after even having one ceremony. That’s beautiful to see how it works. Entheogen comes from the ancient Greek language. Theo, God, the divine and within, entheogen, to connect with the divine within. That’s the name of this category of substance and that’s what these substances, these beautiful plant medicine does. There was a push in the reaction of your destiny. You connect with that divine center, the divine source that is you. That’s what these plants do.

The transformation that comes from the use of Ayahuasca is that it brings people closer to their destiny and their true purpose.

It’s really beautiful and I stand for the use of plant medicines. I have seen how they work. It’s absolutely beautiful and they have stood the test of time gloriously. That’s one category of substances. The other category is psychedelics. In this time, many people confuse these two groups. Some people even say that Ayahuasca is psychedelics or plant medicines are psychedelics. I do not agree with that and I know that some people don’t agree with me saying that, but I think it’s important to look at that. Psychedelics are all man-made substances. Most psychedelics are born in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. LSD, MDMA, those kinds of substances are all psychedelics, all man-made on certain processes in the laboratory.

DMT is made chemically, that’s psychedelic. There is a component of DMT in Ayahuasca in the entheogens, but the use of DMT as a substance that’s made in a laboratory, that’s psychedelic use of DMT. It’s different. What was good to know about psychedelics are a few things. Let’s look at the word psyche, also an ancient Greek word. The origin of this word is an ancient Greek language, psyche, the mind, delic, delight. It’s the delight of the mind. Already the word tells us the delight of the mind. It’s something completely different than to connect with the divine within and you’ll see that in these substances.

These substances, a few things to mention about them. First of all, they are made in a laboratory and in most countries, psychedelics are not legal. Those laboratories happened somewhere in the garage, in the background or somewhere illegal. Those processes to make psychedelics is a very complicated chemical process. The byproduct of making, for example, MDMA is very toxic and those liquids that come out as a byproduct, people need to do something with them. What’s happening with those by-products? I’m from the Netherlands. The Netherlands is one of the biggest producers of MDMA in the world. It’s a big problem in the Netherlands. People what they do in the middle of the night, they go with tons, hundreds of litters of these byproducts like ammonia. Ammonia is very toxic for the Earth, they go in the field and dump them.

That’s something to look at because what has happened in Holland, the farmers that have this land, have a lot of cost and a lot of work to remove those toxins from the Earth. It will take decades to fully remove those toxins from the Earth. It costs tens and tens of thousands of dollars to remove a small part of that. The government in Holland is helping a bit but those funds have already depleted. It’s a very difficult situation. Secondly, there’s now been corn found in the supermarkets in the Netherlands that has traces of the toxins that come from the production of MDMA. That’s something very serious. Also, in the human body, if you take psychedelics, and this is something that’s not yet fully researched. Some people might not agree with what I’m saying, but I’ve seen researches that the intake of psychedelics leaves toxins in your nervous system, especially having heavy metals. That’s something important to study as well because your nervous system is your antenna to work with the spiritual entities.

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To receive that beautiful spiritual energy, you need that antenna to be very strong, clean, open and receptive. If you toxify that nervous system, you’re slowly closing down that antenna. Maybe in the short-term effects, it will have beautiful healing effects or spiritual awakenings that might come from psychedelics, but on the long-term effects it closes down that receptivity to that force. That’s another thing to notice. What I like to study is the human body and how it receives the substance. For example, if you take one dose of Ayahuasca today, then you take the same dose of Ayahuasca tomorrow, the same dose on day three, day four, the experience will have the same depth or even deeper. That shows that the human body fully receives Ayahuasca and doesn’t build any anti-reactions to that substance. For me, that’s a sign that the body says, “This substance is welcome.”

With psychedelics, for example LSD, if you take one dosage today, you have a certain depth of experience. Tomorrow you take the exact same dosage, the effects will be less. On day three, the effects will be half the strength of day one. If you keep going after five, six days, you will feel almost no effects at all. It’s beautiful to study that because it’s a very clear sign that the body is saying, “This substance, we do not want it inside of our system. Let’s find a way to push it out or to make it such that it doesn’t work anymore because it’s not good for the system.” That’s a sign of the human body plus all the other things we just talked about in psychedelics and I can tell you many more, but I think this is enough. There are very clear signs that on the long-term, psychedelic is not a solution because it toxifies the Earth, it toxifies the human body and the body gives very clear signs that it’s not welcome. I’m not a big fan of psychedelics, even when I know that many short-term benefits come from that. We live in a time where we have to look at the long-term effect to also make sure that our grandchildren and the grandchildren of our grandchildren have an Earth to live on and a beautiful place.

I’d love to understand more about how the shaman plays a role in this. I’ve heard that there are shamans in sketchy areas, inner cities and chiefs to go to that “heart-opening experience” or whatever they’re going to call it. It’s a different experience than if it’s somebody who’s very experienced, very wise and coming from a place of giving instead of wanting to make profits.

First of all, in my opinion and what I learned having lived with the indigenous tribe in Brazil, the Yawanawá Indians for a year and a half, I only met in my whole life one true shaman. There was a 103-year-old man, an elder of that tribe that opened dieta to us, which was a very profound experience. I felt him, I looked at him and I was struck that this is a true shaman. It was a very deep moment. Since then, I’ve never met another true shaman who has shown me that the bar is very high. Then the archetype is this is a true pajé, that’s the Portuguese word for shaman. I asked, “How we become a pajé?” He said, “Many years of study, long dieta, long process of initiation.” It takes a long time to get there.

These plant medicines have stood the test of time magnificently through many cultures, traditions, and tribes.

The younger generation of the Yawanawá tribe, which have a few very beautiful, powerful spiritual leaders with a lot of integrity, they were very clear, “Even if we want to, we are not pajés yet. We still have to reach that level of consciousness and that level of experience.” I keep that level of a shaman in mind. I think in the Western world, the word shaman is used differently. Some people, if you have a bottle of medicine in your hand, you are a shaman. I don’t agree with that but those people can say that. These people in the forest that have worked with these plants for thousands of years. In that whole process of working with these plants, they have also learned the way to come to the place, to be able to hold a ceremony, to be able to hold these medicines and to give them to other people in a safe way that’s protected.

The indigenous people have the process of dietas. Dietas are long periods of initiation, where you go into solitude deep in the jungle. You go into complete celibacy. You don’t drink any pure water, very simple foods, no sweets at all. All desires of the body are closed down. Sexuality and sweets are the two very strong desires of the human body. When you go to long periods, sometimes even up to a year to that initiation, myself, I’ve done a year and two months of dietas. I have to say that time was a profound study to be celibate for a year and two months. It’s a deep study of how sexual energy works and to learn how to work with it in a safe way. When you hold space, that energy is contained. The indigenous people say, “What are going to be the three main dangers that you’re going to work with if you’re going to hold ceremonies?” That’s power, money and sexuality.

In the dieta, by closing them down and studying them inside of yourself, that’s the way to build personal leadership, to learn to tame those forces first inside of yourself. When you’ve learned to tame those inside of yourself, you can slowly start to share them with your friends, your family and your direct community. When you have gotten mastery in those three realms, then you become a more spiritual leader, a person that goes into leading ceremonies and offering healings to people. If you have not reached that level of personal leadership, then many messy things can happen in that space.

I think that’s what you are talking about. That’s also a good thing to look at like entheogens and psychedelics. In the world of entheogens, there are people that have studied this for thousands of years. They have to come up with ways that work to get to those places, to hold ceremonies, to hold those periods of transformation for people. In the world of psychedelics, I don’t think that experiences are there because it’s a few decades present in humanity.

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I’m curious to hear more about how you ended up spending some many months, like over a year with an indigenous tribe. I can’t imagine that they allow anybody in and you can go on to some website and PayPal some money then you book your air ticket. How did this come about? How did you end up choosing to make this commitment and how did it all unfold?

I would have loved to find a website where I could PayPal some money and just ended up there. The journey ahead was quite different. I’m so grateful for the journey because when I started Ayahuasca, I did some ceremonies in Peru. I went back to the Netherlands and I was a classical musician living in Amsterdam. I found a group of people led by a Brazilian man that came to the Netherlands to hold ceremonies there. I connected with them, a beautiful connection. I’m so grateful for that place. That was my first place of learning. Learning at the time was receiving the medicine in a very safe and protected space. I’m so grateful for that space. In one of the ceremonies, I went deep into the power of the medicine and then everything stopped.

It was a deep silence. The deep silence was like the medicine was whispering into my ear, “Yawanawá, Yawanawá, Yawanawá.” For half an hour, she kept whispering that and I asked her, “What is going on?” She didn’t respond and she kept repeating, “Yawanawá,” for half an hour. It was profound silence. I was like, “What just happened?” Then the second came, “Caxias do Sul, Caxias do Sul, Caxias do Sul,” for half an hour. I ask, “What’s Caxias do Sul?” No answer, just repeating that. Then silence and then one word, “Muká.” Those three messages stayed with me for a long time and I asked the guy who was leading the ceremony like, “What’s Yawanawá?” He said, “I don’t know.” “What’s Caxias do Sul?” “That’s a place in Brazil, a city in the Amazon. Actually, the medicine that we’re drinking comes from Caxias do Sul.” About Muká, I forgot.

It just went by and I forgot about all that. More than a year later, I moved to Peru to open up a healing center. I went to Brazil to pick up the Ayahuasca that we were going to use in the center. I went to visit to the Santo Daime Church. Santo Daime is a religion that works with Ayahuasca and part of the Santo Daime. I arrived in Rio Branco and I closed down my life as a classical musician. I closed down my relationship for four years and a half. I left my family. I left my friends. I left my job in the beautiful world-class orchestra knowing that I could never return back to that spot. I was tired of that whole transition. I was like, “I’m just going to take a holiday. I need a break before I go back to Peru to start the center.”

Your nervous system is like your antenna to work with the spiritual entities. If you toxify the nervous system, you’re slowly closing down that antenna.

I knew I was going to be working many weeks, long hours and I was not ready for that. I start to randomly walk to the city and there I see a shield, “Caxias do Sul, 600 kilometers.” I was like, “I need to go there.” I hadn’t prepared anything. I was so busy with everything happening setting up the center close in my life. It just was there. I left all my things at the place. I was in the Santo Daime Church in Rio Branco. I took a small backpack and the next morning, I took a small plane and took us to Caxias do Sul because 600 kilometers is a long way in Amazon over very bumpy roads. It was the first time I flew over the Amazon to see the forest, the lungs of the planet, the pharmacy of the world. For me, it was incredible.

I was like a small boy looking down super excited. I arrived at Caxias do Sul and I did not know what to do. There was one Western guy standing waiting for somebody. I go to him and said, “I’m here for a reason but I do not know what the reason is. Maybe you can help me.” He said, “What are you looking for? Do you want to visit Santo Daime communities?” I said, “Actually, no, I know the Santo Daime a little bit. I think I’m here for something else.” “Do you want to visit indigenous communities?” “Yeah, I would love to visit indigenous communities.” Many things happened and to make it short, he put me in the car of a friend that was going in a certain direction. An hour later, I was diving with him for four hours on a bumpy road.

I didn’t speak a word of Portuguese or Spanish. I couldn’t communicate at all. He dropped me off at a tiny village next to a big river and the guy told me on the airport like, “There’s a big river, just go upstream and many indigenous villages are there. All are safe, they will take care of you. If you’re in for an adventure, go.” I’m in for an adventure, so I went. The boat was leaving. There were five indigenous people on the boat. I shout them back. They came back and I said, “Can I come?” in English and they said something in their language I did not understand at all. They said, “Si.” Yes. I got on the boat, we drove and drove. We slept somewhere and we drove some more.

The next day we arrived in a village. I see a couple of hundred Indians dancing and singing in bamboo skirts. The women with naked chest and painted in the red color. I sat down watching that amazing view like walking into a Discovery Channel documentary. A man comes to me and he said, “What are you doing here?” He spoke English. I said, “I don’t know.” He said, “What do you mean you don’t know? You’re here and you don’t know what you’re going to do?” I said, “I don’t have a clue where I am.” He said, “You don’t know where you are?” I said, “No, I just got on the boat and I arrived here and can you tell me where I am?” He says, “You’re in Mutum. One of the main villages of the Yawanawá Indians.”

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I burst out crying. I was like, “How did this happen?” That was my connection with the tribe. I told them that I dreamed about them and they told me that they dreamed about me. It was such a beautiful meeting. They told me, “Welcome back. A long time ago these indigenous people make the decision to send out some plants into the world because we feel that things are not going well in the world. These plants need to go there to help. Also, we send out some souls to be born in different countries, so that it can be raised with a different language and different culture. Then in the dreams, we called them back.” They said, “We are a spiritual family. Your soul is Yawanawá. You belong here. You were born in the Netherlands, but your soul is from this place.” There was such an amazing reunion. Since then, I spent a year and a half with them and they allowed me to enter their studies. I entered and did the best I can. It has been a beautiful journey.

Thank you for sharing that. You’re married and how did that come about? She’s part of what you’re doing with the plant medicines, right?

Yeah. I married a beautiful lady. That’s the reason why I moved to California. It’s so beautiful how we met. We met in Peru and came together in Nicaragua and moved to California. We’re married and she’s part of this work. She’s also doing her own work, especially with women in the realm of relationships and sexuality. She’s very beautiful. She was a very big gift that came into my life. I’m so happy also that the relationship has this space for me to go into that study. A month-long period of celibacy but that has been also a deep study of relationship and how to relate without sexuality. That has been a gift for both of us.

You run a retreat center or do retreats where you do Ayahuasca ceremonies?

Psychedelic is not a solution because it toxifies the Earth, it toxifies the human body, and the body gives very clear signs that it’s not welcome.

I had a center in Peru for two years and a half. I came to California, our big focus is also on the microdosing program. We also hold some retreats in Peru and other countries. Many things are happening.

Is that something that is available? If you’re in the US, I know there are laws around controlled substances. Are there any concerns about that? For example, with an Ayahuasca ceremony, typically you’re going to fly overseas. If you’re in America, you’re going to go maybe to Mexico or Peru and not do it here. I’m curious what the implications are from legal compliance and criminal standpoint.

Ceremonial Ayahuasca, the laws how that is are complicated but to make it short, it is scheduled drug in the United States. It’s very difficult to administer that to people. What we look for in a microdosing program is a medicine that we can offer safely to the people in this legal construction that we are in the United States. What we have done, we have made a tea made from the Ayahuasca vine and it’s the original use of the Ayahuasca. Thousands of years ago, people use only the tea made from the vine. Later, they added leaves to the vine which contain DMT. That’s where the legal question comes in. The tea that we use at our microdosing program does not contain those leaves or any other add mixture. It’s the pure Ayahuasca vine. The pure Ayahuasca vine is not a controlled substance. I’m very happy that is possible.

I know that you’ve had some experience working with the terminally ill. I’d love to hear more about that. How you were able to help these people and how it affected you?

Don't hold back. Live your dreams and your visions in full passion, full thrust, and full courage. That's what life is about. Share on X

In the center I had in Peru for two years and a half, one of the programs that were happening there was a three-month program. That was designed for people with cancer or people with chronic illnesses. It was not a program that was meant to cure or to heal. It’s a transformational program for people to enter. I learned a lot about healing. The mindset I came in with is also the mindset I feel very pleasant in the current world of health and healing is what’s your success rate? How successful is it? That is one of the first questions that people always ask when we speak about that. What I learned from that time, that success looks very different than how I thought it looked when I started the center. To give two examples, one woman came in, she was the second half of her 30s, breast cancer and stage four, five tumors. The cancer was a second time.

She came and dove into the program. The program wasn’t just working on a physical level. It’s also working with a belief system, mental level, emotional. Many things are part of that program. She dove in full conviction that she was going to come out healed. What happened was she went on a deep journey with Ayahuasca. She went to the roots of what was happening and the breast has a lot to do with being nurtured, not being fat or your feminine side. She went to her relationship with her mom and so many things are happening there. In that ceremony, her relationship with her mom shifted. The perception of the relationship completely shifted. With that, we saw her body shifting. Two weeks later, we went to a hospital, we did a test and all tumors are gone. That was a very beautiful transformation that she did herself. She healed herself. We just held a space for her to do that.

Another woman that came in, also breast cancer but in her early 60s. The cancer was the fourth time. She came in also with a lot of conviction like, “This is going to be my last time. I’m going to heal this or I’m going to die but I’m not going to go to this the fifth time. This is it.” I was like, “This is some strong woman entering.” She entered and that was a program of three months and these people were in my house for three months. We got to know each other on a deep level, many conversations, going to many deep processes and many ceremonies as well.

We learned many things about that. One of the things we learned that the relationship with her husband was not going that well already for a long time. There was no intimacy, there was no real open communication. It’s just been in a habit and a pattern for maybe decades. The husband came after a few weeks and also stayed there in the nearby place. We have space to work with her and not having him all the time. He travels for a week in order to see things improving. He came back and there was such an openness. They were really beautiful. We start to work on the relationship, intimacy, many things. Slowly they came together again. It was one thing that happened.

If you go to a ceremony of Ayahuasca, the most important thing is that you feel the calling to go to that ceremony.

The second thing that happened is that we found out that she had a huge fear of death. Even speaking about dying was almost not possible. It was a no go for her. She was so afraid of that. She could not enter such a conversation. We slowly enter that conversation over and over again to see what’s happening there. In those conversations, we spoke of what is death. It’s a transition to what we don’t know. It’s a great mystery but it’s not the end. It’s the start of a whole new journey. Slowly, that understanding came in and Ayahuasca, the translation of the word means different things. It’s very difficult to translate an indigenous language. It can mean vine of the soul, but also people say vine of the death. I think a lot of teachings in dying can come from Ayahuasca. The Tibetan people say, the people in this planet that know most of the process of dying and what death is, they say, “Your whole life is nothing than a preparation for the moment of your death.”

That level of awareness and consciousness that you have in that moment of your death, that will determine your next incarnation or that will determine your enlightenment if you’re in that moment fully liberated. Ayahuasca can help you with that. I’ve seen that in many ways. Also for this woman, it opened her up to that process of dying in a completely different way. What was so beautiful, we had a marriage ceremony for her husband and her. They came together and that intimacy again and she shared later that she had the first orgasm in her life at that age. What a beautiful gift and they came so close together. They were like teenagers in love again. It was so beautiful to see this beautiful marriage ceremony in the Indian Mountains with the stars and the full moon.

It was really special. She relaxes on death and at the end of the three months program, we all knew what was happening. Tumors were gone. It had spread. We talked. She came to the conclusion that she was going home. She was going to stop this healing journey. She knew there was nothing any more she could do for it. She is not going to do any more treatments. She was just going home. She quit her job and she spent her weeks at home. They transformed the living room into a temple. They put the bed in the middle of the living room. She spent all the time that she was awake with her family and friends saying all the things she wanted to say, spending time with all the people she wanted to spend time with.

I spoke to her a couple of days before she passed and that was so beautiful conversation. She said, “I’m ready. I did all the things I wanted to do. I said all the thing I wanted to say. I spent time with all the people that I want to spend time with. I said sorry to all the people I wanted to apologize to. I amended all the things that were broken. I feel completely in peace and whenever it comes, I will go.” I was crying in that conversation. I’m like, “This is so special.” Two days later, she passed. Her husband who I saw a while later, told me that the last gesture she came was sitting up, she was laying in the bed for days and she pointed her hand to the sky like, “There’s where I’m going.”

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She relaxed and fell down in the bed. Then she took her last breath and she left. That was to me such a special journey. Going back to that question of, what is success? For me, that woman, I don’t know if you can call it a success, but it was such a beautiful journey. Also for the whole family, all the friends that were so special that she died in peace, calmness and complete acceptance for everything that was happening. I think longevity is not the only measurement of success and healing. There are many other factors. My whole perception of healing shifted quite a bit in the time working with people that go to some kind of diseases.

That is beautiful. What an impact you had on not just her and her husband, but everybody who loved her. The whole lineage, everybody who will come in the future have been impacted by this. Thank you for doing that. Is there one lesson or a bit of wisdom that you’d like to share specifically about death? If it’s the one thing that people take away from this, it’s about death because I think we all have fear of death. It’s also the great equalizer and it’s inevitable. We all will die, even though some people who have been on the show say, “I’m going to live forever,” or at least to 180 or 150 or whatever. I’ve had several gifted biohackers talking about extreme longevity. I can’t imagine that anybody’s going to escape death. It hasn’t happened yet and I don’t think any of my guests are going to be the first ones to do it. What would be a bit of wisdom that you would share around death for our audience?

In the case you ever get somebody on your show that found that way to not die, let me know. I would love to meet the person. What’s good to know about death, at least what I take from it, longevity is a beautiful goal to have. I know what those people that you met say, “I wanted to reach 180 or 150. I’m cheating them on.” I would love to learn how to do that. At the same time, what’s the value of being alive, even if it’s 300 years that lived without a purpose, that lived without connection, joy, love, gratitude, sharing and compassion? I would rather live a life of 40 years where I feel completely fulfilled and with gratitude and love and being sharing, being with beautiful people, having friendships, having family, having support, having a meaning, having all the things, than having a life of 300 years where I’m lonely and feel anxiety, fear, anger, frustration.

I think that’s something to look at because I’ve heard in Japan. It is one of the countries where longevity is most present on this planet. People live easily 90 something years, 100 years in Japan. It’s more normal than in the United States or Europe. They’re making I heard robots to take care of older people. My question is, what’s the purpose of having such a long life, if in the end we’re just lonely in the room being taken care of by robots? I saw a small documentary, and it was so beautiful, of an indigenous tribe that had been discovered. One of those undiscovered tribes, they’re maybe a couple of hundred left on this planet that have no contact yet to the Western world. The tribe was found years ago, and a French researcher went there, lived with them, learn their language and learn to communicate with them.

Then after a year, they went there with a small film crew. They took a laptop and in that laptop, they showed some things that happened in world history, like the 9/11, Michael Jackson, Maria Callas. They also showed elderly homes. They said, “This is how we take care of our elders.” They showed elderly homes and those people are there lonely. They’re sitting there and abiding the time waiting for death to come. You saw the face of the whole tribe going in disbelief like, “This is the way you take care of your elders?” They couldn’t find the words. They say, “For us, the elders are the most precious people we have because they have the most wisdom, they have the most experience of our lives. They are people that birthed us, that raised us. They’re the grandparents of our children. They can show us the way because they’ve walked the path in life that we have not worked before. These are the most important people in our tribe. We all have to take care of them together because who are we if we don’t take care of our elders?”

They were stunned to see something like that. That was so beautiful because for an indigenous tribe in the Amazon, longevity is not super pleasant. If you’re 60 years old, 65 years old, that’s already old because the Amazon is a rough place to live and a rough place to be. People don’t get so old as in Japan. What I want to share and hopefully this is helpful for the people, don’t concentrate on dying, concentrate on living. Every moment that you have, every day, live it as if it was your last moment. Live it as if it’s your last day. See the people you want to see. Do the things you want to do. Manifest the things you want to manifest and see all the things openly. Don’t hold back. Live your dreams. Live your visions in full passion, full trust and full courage. I think that’s what life is about.

People who are into stoicism, many of them will carry a coin that says Memento Mori on it, “Remember that you’re going to die.” That’s a constant reminder that this could be my last day so make it count. What’s your website and how would people get in touch if they wanted to work with you?

The website, if people want to know about microdosing is It’s a small site and has a gift to people. People can download for free intention setting guide to help people get more clarity on their goals and intentions. Make it count. What’s easier to know what you want to make count is to count those intentions in your life, not just for the microdosing program but for your life in general. When you know where you want to go, it’s much easier to go in that direction. That was a small gift we want to give to everyone that goes there. Go to to download that intention setting guides and for people looking for other things. One thing that’s good to know about true sacred is that the true things that are sacred can only be found. They cannot be offered. Once you gift something to somebody, it’s received in a different way than when people found it. The Law of True Sacredness is that things have to be found. For the people that are looking for ceremonies in the right moment, those will appear to the people that look for it.

Thank you, Dennis. Thank you to our audience. I hope this has been a mind-expanding, heart-opening episode. It has been for me. This was fascinating and Dennis is an amazing guy. If you wanted to check out his program,, have a look. We’ll catch you in the next episode.

Important Links:

Checklist of Actionable Takeaways

?Research plant medicines, specifically Ayahuasca and the Ayahuasca vine, and how they can be used to treat or cure physical diseases or other physical conditions.

?Obtain assistance from experienced facilitators when inviting plant teachers to guide me on my spiritual path and help me heal spiritually.

?Change or shift my negative state of being to a more natural state of being by speaking completely different words and manifesting them.

?Learn more about the three main groups of substances, namely entheogens, psychedelics, and fungi –what they do, how they work, and how to compare them.

?Explore the process of dietas as a way to tame forces of power, money, and sexuality inside of myself and build personal leadership.

?Try the tea made from pure Ayahuasca vine without the added leaves. Adding leaves or any other added mixture adds the DMT component which could have legal implications.

?Look for microdosing programs that administer medicine safely as per the legal construction here in the United States.

?Live every moment that I have as if it was my last moment. Live my visions in full passion, full thrust, and full courage because that’s what life is about.

?Learn more about microdosing with Ayahuasca and its long-term effects by visiting

?Download the free intention-setting guide from to help me get more clarity on my goals and intentions.

About Dennis Notten

Dennis Notten is a spiritual guide and founder of He first experienced the power of sacred plant medicine Ayahuasca in Peru where he was also running his own healing centre in the Sacred Valley for several years. Drawing on his unique experience of Kundalini Yoga, meditation, and intention setting as well as spending one and a half years in the Brazilian Amazon with the indigenous Yawanawá tribe, Dennis developed his own unique style of work. He now uses his gifts and knowledge of sacred plant medicine to help others align with their true destiny and live a life in connection with spirit, higher consciousness and coming from a place of love instead of fear.

Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments, or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Stephan Spencer, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.


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