Ladies & gentlemen – yoga instructor, tattoo artist, painter, ayahuasquero, and designer – Rich D’Amaru.
In the last post i mentioned how this marvellous guy just dropped in my path out of nowhere. While he was drawing out my new tattoo yesterday, i got to ask him a few questions.
Rich was born in New Jersey. Comic books at a young age were his first foray into art and sketches, helping him through catholic school.
While he always dreamed of traveling, it was only when he signed up for the navy, that he thought it’d be a possibility. That didn’t go as planned though, as there was more of teaching than travelling for him in the navy. He worked it for a while, teaching nuclear mechanics, but soon got sick of it because of the ‘politics and bullshit’. The best thing there, was that’s where he got into tattoos and art on a heavier level. He found a tattoo artist, and he started sketching again.
Trying to find a way out of the navy, quitting wasn’t an option. So he pretended to go crazy. And sure enough, they released him.
He packed his gear, and started traveling, inking all over Albany, Virginia, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, and even London and Denmark.
One day he made his way into Urubamba in Peru, to help a friend with Kirtans (his knowledge of Indian hymns and mantras will surprise babas in Haridwar). He says Sanskrit mantras are the most powerful hymns during ayahuasca ceremonies, which i’ll get to experience tonight. From there, the signs brought him to the high rainforests around Tarapoto. A voice told him to sit at a restaurant and draw, the voice told him someone would come to him and tell him where to be. It happened exactly like that.
That was 5 years ago, he started assisting at ceremonies and teaching yoga at Tambo Illusion, about 25 minutes outside of Tarapoto. He’s well versed in various Amazonian icaros (healing songs) including those of the Shipibo tribes, and the Katukina sects, and even kundalini energy and chakras.
This here is where he’s been based the last few years: http://retreat.guru/events/3911/yoga-and-shamanism-in-the-high-rainforest-of-peru
For the last few months, he’s even been brewing ayahuasca and various other healing potions. I asked him how the plants have helped him.
‘I don’t think too much while i make art anymore. I just ask and the directions fill my head. Also i’m more in tune now.’
I feel blessed. Last night he was filling ink under my skin. Tonight i’m off to a lake for a ceremony with him.
You can see his work at the sites mentioned below.