The Fellowship of the River

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About the author:

Dr. Joe Tafur is a Colombian-American family physician raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Throughout his medical career he has been an integrative medicine activist. As part of his exploration into holistic healthcare, he spent two years in academic research at the University of California, San Diego, department of psychiatry in a lab focused on mind-body medicine.

After his research fellowship, over a period of six years, he lived and worked in the Peruvian Amazon at the traditional healing center Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual. There he worked closely with master Shipibo shaman Ricardo Amaringo and trained in Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine. At the center, Dr. Tafur completed traditional apprenticeship in ayahuasca shamanism. During those years at Nihue Rao, he assisted hundreds of individuals from all over the world as they went through traditional healing with Amazonian plant medicines and ayahuasca ceremony. He is both doctor and shaman.

Dr. Tafur is committed to healing work and to education. He is passionate about bridging the worlds of medical science and spiritual healing, and hopes to promote this work through lectures and educational programs. With his brother Mario and friends, he has founded the non-profit organization Modern Spirit, which focuses on demonstrating the value of spiritual healing in modern healthcare through, among other avenues, educational programs for healthcare practitioners. If you are interested in supporting this work or having Dr. Tafur consult with your organization, please visit their website Dr. Tafur’s independent work is further described at his personal website

The Fellowship of the River

A Medical Doctor's Exploration into Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine

Authored by Joseph Tafur MD
Foreword by Gabor Maté MD

Western medicine has not been particularly successful at getting people relief from conditions like depression, chronic pain, migraine headaches, addiction, and PTSD. Dr. Tafur helps us to understand why.

I have watched people spend years in frustration and thousands of dollars consulting an army of specialists, without getting real relief from their problem. Because these and others are diseases deeply connected with the state of our emotional bodies. Too often, the Western medical approach fails to address the emotional dimension of illness. This is where traditional plant medicines, with their ability to alter consciousness and open channels of communication to our emotions, offer so much promise.

The stories shared here demonstrate the astonishing—mystical, colorful, metaphysical—effects of ayahuasca and Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine. Follow Dr. Tafur through the Amazon jungle as he develops a breakthrough understanding of how psychoactive plants interact with the complex network that connects our minds and hearts to our physical anatomy. What Dr. Tafur presents here is nothing short of a paradigm shift for modern medicine, where sacred plants, used properly in ceremony, take their place as important tools in the doctor’s medicine chest, offering the missing elements of emotional and spiritual healing that have eluded us for so long.

For more information about The Fellowship of The River, please visit

Publication Date:
0998609501 / 9780998609508
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White with Bleed
Related Categories:
Medical / Alternative Medicine

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