My Brief Time Under The Sun

By Nathan Ehrlich, New York

NathanIt was a series of strange coincidences that lead me to Sergey Baranov, the author of the book ‘PATH’.

These were strange synchronistic circumstances that would be too epic and unbelievable to detail here and now. But I will say this: I thought I was going to meet a man who would not be able to communicate with me as I don’t know Spanish, who probably wouldn’t understand me, who would simply administer some cactus drugs, and then move on with his life as I would mine. However, when I came to Calca, and stepped off the bus, the man waiting there for me, most generously and patiently, spoke perfect English. Not only that, he even spoke Hebrew, and was just like me, born a Jewish man. It just struck me as amazing that having come from somewhat similar backgrounds we both ended up in Peru, him as a guide, and me as a seeker, and that the universe arranged it as such.

Unfortunately Sergey said he was busy, but he recognized this miraculous uniting that had occurred and rearranged his schedule (he was supposed to move houses with his family) so that he could hold a ceremony for myself and my spirit companion, Kelly, from Australia, also an amazing individual. What was so powerful about Sergey is how brutally grounded he is, and yet so gentle and loving that there is such an incredible sense of comfort and safety when you are with him. You know right away as soon as you see him that this man will not lead you astray. We had just one ceremony together and it was a powerful one.

I had come to Sergey after 5 incredibly powerful ayahuasca ceremonies, easily among the most powerful experiences I have ever had, but I was a San Pedro virgin. This was my first experience with this sacred plant. And what I received in this encounter with Sergey as my guide was a very powerful teaching. It was Calca’s winter at the time, meaning the only moments of the day that one could be outside without many layers was when the sun was up. Sergey cautioned us about this. He said at the beginning of the ceremony that the sun will come on strong soon and so will the medicine. You will have these moments, this time, to be with yourself in the medicine, and then that’s it, the moment will pass, so be sure to really explore the time you have. So simple yet so powerful.

I was about to turn 30 at this point in my life, about to get married, and had just been awakened by the medicine of the Jungle. Indeed I was about to enter the depth of my life, and so to receive this teaching at this precise moment was, and still is, remarkable. When I came home to New York, this lesson really sunk in, I only have this one time with the sun, this one lifetime as Nathan, and I best use this chance, this pinnacle of life to really take advantage of my time here on Earth.

I am someone who knows this lesson all too well, as 15 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer and have miraculously survived. And while my health still ails me at times, this ceremony really brought me back to what the cancer was teaching me, Nathan, if you live through this, what are you going to do while you have this time in the sun? And this is something I still meditate on. I thank Sergey so much for bringing me back to this teaching. He is just like the medicine, gentle, strong, loving, and with a light heart. An amazing guide and friend. I hope to get back to Calca one day and work with him again soon.

Thanks Buddy! I love you.