“Our name invokes the Amazonian legend that tells of invisible protector spirits of the forest, called the Chaikuni by the indigenous Shipibo-Conibo people.”
The name of The Chaikuni Institute has its origin in the tradition of the Shipibo-Conibo indigenous people, and honours indigenous traditions and promotes mechanisms to protect cultures, cosmovisions and indigenous territories in the Peruvian Amazon.
Shipibo-Conibo mythology tells of the Chaikuni, beings who committed themselves to the protection of the rainforest and to life itself as they transitioned into the spirit realms. According to ancient knowledge, these Rainforest guardians live in invisible communities and can appear and disappear at will. The modern-day Shipibo still see the Chaikuni, feel their presence and hear them passing by at certain times of the day.
For indigenous peoples, their territory is their world and their way of life is intimately connected with other beings in the forest. Through mythology, ancestral teachings and knowledge are transmitted. Indigenous peoples’ cosmovisions – a particular way of seeing the world and of being connected with other beings, are key to understanding the present and formulating a common future.
“It is with deep respect for the Shipibo people that we have named our organisation The Chaikuni Institute. The Chaikuni, ancestors of the indigenous Shipibo people and spiritual guardians of the Peruvian Amazon, actively serve the well-being of this great rainforest on energetic and spiritual levels that are not recognized by the modern world. In community with the spirits of the plants, trees, and, animals, they provide a priceless repository of spiritual, medicinal, and ecological services not only for local tribes but for the rest of the world. We are honored to be aligned with and guided by the Chaikuni in our service to the source of creation.”
– Matthew Watherston, Founder of Chaikuni Institute & Temple of The Way Of Light