Enrique Villanueva is a hugely inspirational man. In the movie “What If?” he was featured because he had gone a couple of years without eating food. When I researched Enrique I realized he had a lot more interesting facts about him and was so excited to learn more. As my readers know I have been promoting the movie, “What If?” and have interviewed the Director, James Sinclair as well as cast members Virginia Ellen and Vincent Daczynski. Promoting this movie has been an honor and I am very grateful to bring you my interview with Enrique Villanueva.
Jenny: Hi Enrique. You have a very impressive resume being an NLP therapist, multi-lingual motivational speaker, hypnotist and an EFT Practitioner. Is there a certain time in your life you became interested in alternative healing methods or was this a lifetime passion?
Enrique: I think I’ve always being interested in the human potential and the occult side of reality, and probably many of the experiences I lived as a kid stimulate this passion for knowledge and wisdom, building the foundation for this life time search. Having strong feelings about social service and health was just natural since I was born in the household of a doctor and a nurse, both of them very involved in serving the community and members of the Rosicrucian order, the Gnostics and curious students of eastern philosophies. During my teenage years and through my grandmother (from the side of my mom) I got to know some very special people from a family of shamans in my country of origin, Peru; and later through the University of Lima I had the opportunity to travel and meet the practitioners of the traditional medicine, participate of their rituals and even try some of their most potent hallucinogens, experiences that truly invited me to question the map of reality.
I realized then that I truly wanted to be a healer but in a different way than my father, one that without being an Allopathic Doctor or a Shaman could occupied a middle ground balancing the soul, mind and body of a person. It was a big goal to accomplish and to make sure I was going to be able to deliver this for others I had first to probe myself that it was possible in my own being. At age 20 I had an awakening experience that transformed my perception of what is real for 4 days and leave me with the certainty of the infinite power of our true nature. I guess those were the beginning of this search of the alternative healing methods.
Jenny: Can you tell us more about your awakening experience?
Jenny: AMAZING Enrique, I wish I read Spanish and look forward to reading your book when the translation is complete. Thank you for sharing your experience!
You are featured in the movie, What If? as someone who gave up eating to see what would happen if that energy that went into digestion went into something else. WOW! I have so many questions about how you went about this but will ask you first how you knew this was something you wanted to do and how it has helped with your spiritual and personal development?
Enrique: For a few years I was suffering with a condition that doctors could not treat and misdiagnose in many occasions. Summarizing it affected my digestion in a way that I couldn’t have a meal without fearing the consequences of it. It didn’t matter how little or much I ate, I was drained of energy and jumping from constipation to the opposite. Overweight and tired all the time I tried everything, finding only temporary alive to the symptoms but no real cure.
In 2005 and “by accident” I received an e-mail from a stranger inviting me to the lecture of this man from India who was living on sunlight for more than a decade! I had at the time some references of people in Europe and India who went the same path, so I thought: “If this guy can teach me how to do it I’ll be glad to give it a try” After all I was suffering with the food intake so I might as well quit eating if I could. Listening to the lecture of Hira Ratan Manek (HRM) I was absolutely sure I could repeat his success with this sun gazing technique, so I disciplined myself during a little more than a year until I felt I was ready for the last stage: Quitting solid food, which I did in august of 2006.
Many changes came after this; I lost all the extra weight and went from 205 lbs to 154 lbs. and with this all the bad digestive symptoms disappeared. I regained the body and energy of my teen years and started exercising more frequently. I discovered with much surprise that I could do some of the most complicated yoga positions without having a formal training in this discipline, and in the most extreme moments I could even sense the awakening of a telepathic ability that seemed to be triggered by my condition and influenced somehow by the positions of the moon.
Many of these things I can not explain and just know are possible because I experienced them. On the other side of the coin, the condition of a non-eating person can be considered so much against the social traits that inevitably will shatter the structures built around the person.
A long term relationship of 11 years that was already in trouble and ended leaving me a beautiful son. Even the hosts of many radio and TV programs on Hispanic broadcasting that used to invite me were now concerned and avoided contacting me, confusing this new life style with some form of anorexia, which was not the case at all because I never went into this discipline thinking about my weight but my health, and I truly liked some foods, it was just that I couldn’t have them without suffering the consequences.
To most of the people it didn’t matter that I was feeling healthier and some members of my family were very concerned about my sudden weight loss even when my weight stabilized at 154 lbs. Originally I planned this as an exploration of 7 years, but in the second year of this discipline many things happened that make me think twice about continuing this path. The first one was the memory of a possible past life experience as a Swiss hermit who already went through this non-eating stage in the 1400’s, abandoning his family and earthly connections in the search of a spiritual life. So in a way that experience was already done, and when my son of this life time asked me to go back to my old self and eat with him again I realized how much my search could create havoc for the ones I love, so I decided that my search in this area was complete and went back to eat again.
Jenny: Wow, Enrique thank you for sharing your story. I love food but I also know that when I feel “hungry” sometimes it is not always about food…. I know digestion is a process that requires a lot of energy and your story definitely interests me and I feel many others…. Did you miss food? Did you get “hungry?” Is this something you feel anyone can do? How did you begin to make this change in your life?
Enrique: You are absolutely right, if there is something I really understood from those two years, was that most of the times humans eat not for hunger but because of the social conditioning installed on us, and is really a kind of accepted addiction firmly ingrained in an old paradigm that is shortening our life span and condemning us to many health crisis and chronic diseases.
During the two years of my non-eating condition I didn’t miss food, and this can be experienced by anyone who practices sun gazing on a regular basis, that the desire for food and flavor will diminish considerably and with this the hunger can be also controlled. For me it happened when I was approaching the minute 35 of sun gazing (increasing only 10 seconds a day) that one sunset while looking at our yellow star I felt an explosion of every flavor I ever tried in my life, weirdly enough it was felt in my brain and not in my mouth and only for a fraction of a second, and after that I felt that I truly was going to reach my goal of repeating HRM experience.
When I started feeling less and less hunger I first quit dinner, a month later the breakfast and then I noticed how my food intake during lunch was going smaller and smaller to the point that it look like the portion for a baby. At that moment I decided that I was ready, and tried a first week with only water and sunlight, then two weeks, then three and the rest is history. I honestly don’t know if anyone could do it.
Before I started the discipline I searched for any contemporary effort to achieve this stage and find that many Americans who tried reaching the non-eating condition failed. Many of those after struggling with the practice considered the stage an impossibility and even attacked the few ones that seemed to have reach the stage. I can honestly understand the frustration they must have felt. I made the commitment that wherever they failed I would succeed; and asking myself what would be the main difference between the ones that achieved the stage and the ones that couldn’t, I realized that it was a difference of culture of origin and mainly a belief system.
HRM came from an Indian culture filled with stories and traditions about supernatural powers (siddhis), westerns on the opposite, valued positive science and rational thinking, which being critical in technological advancements many times fail miserably in understanding the phenomena that goes beyond its own scope. Being a hypnotherapist and knowing first hand the power of the subconscious I decided to condition my mind to believe that reaching that stage was not only possible but certain. Parallel to my sun gazing discipline I practiced different self hypnosis modalities to correct my believe system. Thus I became a believer in the possibility of living on sunlight and liquids.
I suspected though there was some kind of genetic predisposition to it. Listening to Bruce Lipton in the “What IF? The Movie” talking about the laboratory experience with rats and how the ones that have this gene that complicate digestion doubled the life spam of the regular rats, I realized that maybe my old problem with digestion was actually a mutation and I can not avoid thinking about the millions of humans suffering right now with the symptoms of IBS, Crohn’s Disease and many other chronic problems related to the intake of food.
Anyways, on August of 2008 I returned to the eating life style and even though I started slow, I can now digest anything without a problem and also I can spend many days without solid food if I want to. My ability for the yoga is still there and I sun gaze in every occasion I find time for it.
Jenny: Thank you again for sharing that part of your journey. You do practice many forms of healing yourself and I recently have come to think of myself as a healer — do you feel the future of medicine is heading in this direction?
Enrique: Definitely, Just like Joe Dispenza said in “What IF? The Movie”, the doctor of the future will not necessarily focus on the body but on the thoughts and emotions of its patient, he/she will be aware of the connection of the mind-body-spirit and treat diseases according to a new holistic paradigm.
I have to tell you that to condition myself for the last stage of sun gazing I used a combination of self-hypnosis and meridian therapies, especially EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which has proved over and over again to be very helpful in behavior modification. I use these combination of techniques all the time with my clients.
Jenny: I, too agree many more holistic modalities are being introduced and it is such a pleasure to see this shift. I am enjoying adding to my own healing “toolbox” and am always excited to hear of new modalities. I love Joe Dispenza’s vision of doctors of the future and am excited to see that come to be common.
What was your experience in being in the movie What If? What message would you like to see people leave the film with?
Enrique: For me to be cast for the movie “What IF?” was a fantastic opportunity to share what I originally thought was only a personal search for healing and understanding the human potential. Sharing the stage with personalities that are positively impacting the life of millions, with thoughts that have the potential to transform our way of life, is a true blessing and I feel grateful for the work of the visionary director James Sinclair who considered me part of his cast for the movie.
I’d like to think that the people who watch this film will leave with the understanding that the universe is not a finished product but a work in process and we humans have this amazing opportunity to collaborate as co-creators in an infinite field of possibilities that always starts within. I’d like the new generations, after watching this film, to open their minds and consider that everything that we can imagine we can accomplish, because our desire to reach new horizons is only an extension of the inspiration of the original artist to whom we own this rich learning experiences and whose presence remains in that field of infinite potentiality that is ultimately our destiny.
Jenny: Enrique your words are beautiful and powerful. It has been such a joy to learn about you. Thank you very much for your time. I feel my readers will greatly enjoy your wisdom and encourage them to visit your site to learn even more about you. (For my Spanish speaking readers THIS SITE has even more information on Enrique.)
Enrique: Thank you.