HomeBlogWake Up!Modern ArtLandscapeSketchbookChronologyBookPhotosShamanismBioContact

Buy Now


Now Available

On Kindle:

Buy Now

Journal-Into the heart of the Amazon in search of Truth by Joel R Harris

Into The Amazon In Search Of Truth

From the Back Cover:

Artist and musician, Joel Harris, should have been satisfied living his dreams. But he found himself feeling distracted and unsatisfied by modern American life. He wanted those elusive answers to life’s questions - answers he had been looking for his whole life - from his childhood as a Latter Day Saint, through his service in the Marine Corps, and through his travels to Europe and Asia. Above all else - he wanted to find TRUTH.

His book is a personal narrative of his search for truth. It is an account of a journey that took him into a small Shipibo village in Peru on the edge of the Amazon Rain Forest. There, he worked with plant medicines and shamanic healers, encountered his deepest fears, looked into the darkest corners of his being and discovered TRUTH.

*10% of profits from the sale of this book go to support local indigenous groups in the Peruvian Amazon
(click for more details)

Kirkus Review:

A Journal of travel, adventure, and self-discovery.
In April 2006, former Marine and Mormon Harris held an estate sale, liquidated most of his worldly possessions and left the Pacific Northwest for Peru. Dissatisfied with modern American life—with its emphasis on consumerism and material wealth—the author set off to South America in search of salve to his spiritual crisis. He finds it in ayahuasca, or yagé, a hallucinogenic brew administered by shamans in tea ceremonies. Eventually, Harris settles among an indigenous tribe called the Shipibo. He purchases land and builds a thatch-roof hut; without electricity or distractions, he tries his “hardest to work on myself without distractions and excess attachments.” During this time, Harris continues to participate in ayahuasca ceremonies and report his consciousness-altering revelations: “I have been past the edges of sanity—stopped, looked around—and have gained a whole new perspective of what insanity really is. Insanity is living disconnected from one’s heart and Spirit…which is a large chunk of western society.” At the end of March 2007, he returned to the States, satisfied that he had found the answers to his questions: “It is now time to Live what I know to be Truth.” Spanning nearly five years—from 2003 to 2008, with the bulk of the text devoted to the year he spent in Peru—Journal is an intimate portrait of self-discovery. Supplemented by artwork and photographs, the text is deeply personal.

Other Reviews:

L. Ransom, Snohomish, WA
If you can't live this adventure yourself, read Joel Harris' journal in search of Truth. An amazing journey into the heart of the Amazon and into his own heart. A Must Read!

R. Hams, San Francisco, CA

This book chronicles the author's journey through his journal entries. Beginning in Portland, OR, the book begins with the constant and sometimes frenetic questioning and searching for truth and answers to complex and universal problems, eventually leading up to the decision to venture out on a quest for knowledge. This is where the book takes a sharp turn and follows his adventures through the Amazon, while also following his adventures inward and through to the universal truths and knowledge we all have caught glimpses of. And that is just what I have read so far in the first 80 pages! So far a great read.

N. Mosnar, Santa Monica, CA
Anyone interested in personal transformation should read this. Reading Mr. Harris' journey inspires you to look at yourself and see how you would like to change your own life for the better. It's enjoyable to read someone's journal and be a part of their personal experience. The information on Shamans and the use of Ayahuasca in the Amazon is fascinating as well. A lot of cool art and photos inside.


Shamans In Peru
Year In Photos Peru 2006

Photos From: Journal: Into the heart of the Amazon in search of Truth


Selling everything: Portland, Oregon - April 2006

Arrive in Pucallpa Peru, pop. 200,000, located on the outskirts of the Amazon rain forest - April 27, 2006

A moto-taxi in Pucallpa waits for passengers
in a sudden downpour

Peke-peke motor boats unload cargo and passengers at the dock in Yarinacocha (Yarina)
just outside of Pucallpa

Main street in San Francisco, Peru -
A Shipibo pueblo near Pucallpa

Shipibo children gather for a photo after performing traditional dances and music - San Francisco, Peru

Church in San Francisco with Shipibo
ayahuasca designs

“Tela bordado” hand embroidered cloth
with shipibo designs

Marcin from Poland and Ali from England, with a local guide on our way to the mysterious
“non-contacted” Chachibai pueblo

After a two hour hike through jungle, we prepare to enter dugout canoes for another one hour journey deeper into the Amazon

Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis Caapi)
Aprox. 5 years of growth

A shaman gives me a blessing the morning after
an ayahuasca ceremony in San Francisco, Peru

Agua Cananga, Auga Florida, Camalonga, and
Palo Santo incense are commonly used in ayahuasca ceremonies for healing

Ayahuasca tea preparation: Banisteriopsis Caapi vine with fresh Psychotria Viridis leaves (Chacruna), - boiling slowly, all day

At the front of a small peke-peke boat, on the lookout for crocodiles and submerged logs and trees, as we travel downstream

“Gran Maloca” A large ceremonial hut
in San Francisco, Peru

Traveling by river on small, loud, crowded
motor boats

Callaria, a small pueblo located six hours by
boat from Pucallpa

A few locals build a traditional style thatch roof hut

Marcin and I felt inspired to create a space for healing. We found land and built a small
house where I lived for several months

“Home Sweet Home” a small Shipibo style house where I lived for several months while working
with ayahuasca

After taking a one-year break from painting while “finding myself”, I began a new acrylic painting on canvas before returning to the USA

Large Amazon river boats, “Lancha”
Carrying cargo and passengers

Amazon river travel onboard crowded Lancha

-imagine living in peace-

copyright 2016 JRHarris www.joelharrisstudio.com