I remember the moment I awoke. I was laying underneath a tree in the summer, watching the swaying vibrant green leaves alive with golden rays. Alan Watts was playing through the speaker of my phone. I had been listening to him religiously from morning to night, whenever I could. I am fascinated by that man. He felt as though he was a part of myself I had not yet made the full acquaintance of yet, but still the truest and hidden aspect to who I was. Of course, we all are that.
I had a moment of insight which lead to months of enlightenment. Everything became infused with presence. I had no thoughts. I meditated for hours, did yoga until I was thoroughly exhausted, stronger, more spacious inside and had the best sleep of my life. This state of being didn’t last longer than a year. I had overcome many emotional blockages that built up over the years through unconscious living. Just unwinding those, and breathing into a new being with new neural connections and reactions felt like absolute HEAVEN.
Some changes happened, some fears had been looked into deeper, but life was still changing. Are you ever ready for what is going to happen? My grandmother passed away and we were very close. It’s been a year and less than a month, and my mother is still not “herself,” though maybe she is more than ever.
I drank ayahuasca after my grandma’s death. I had been reading about it, listening to Terence Mckenna talk about it, and researched it endlessly, knowing one day I would drink. I had eaten mushrooms before, which was transformative and beautiful, but I felt a draw toward ayahuasca, a fascination really.
I got the text from a friend on the plane back from my grandmother’s memorial, “I have met some people who drink on weekends.”
It costs under $200 each night. The medicine was imported and around $1500 a bottle, I came to find. For me, I felt fine paying for the medicine. I had paid for antibiotics and hospital visits, surely I could spend some cash on ayahuasca. I had looked into several retreats in the Amazon and knew that it would cost me around $3,000 to attend a center. I needed to meet this plant that carries messages in my dreams and seems like yet another true part of the self I was discovering within. I also felt that I could connect with my grandmother and gain a deeper sense of understanding of life and death.
The shaman I was to meet called me on the phone and we spoke for almost an hour. He wanted to know about my life and why I felt drawn to Mother Ayahuasca. I clicked with him and knew that this was definitely going to happen. I had intended to make my decision after the phone call, his down to earth yet up in the air attitude made the decision for me.
I arrived on a Saturday in April, at 3 in the afternoon. The plan was to drink by 3:30-4:00. There were about 6-8 others in the room, only one I knew, my friend who had invited me.
After meeting the shaman once more, I felt more and more comfortable and ready for the experience. He had a woman with him to assist in the ceremony. She was a Jungian psychoanalyst with a great sense of humor and energy that made it easy to open up to her. They would drink less than half of what everyone else was drinking.
I had been on the diet for the last week, so I was feeling good. I wasn’t too nervous, more curious and ready to finally experience what I’ve been reading about and dreaming about for months on end.
I should mention, I was told that Mother Ayahuasca sometimes meets with people before they even drink. Two nights before the circle, I fell into an illness I still can’t quite explain because I don’t remember much of it. I slept and was in a dark hole, leaving the bed only to get in the shower where I purged. I thought I may have got food poisoning, but looking back, I know that Mother Ayahuasca was in me, preparing me. I woke the next day and felt much lighter, cleansed, and clear-headed. I hadn’t thought much about it as I’m sure it is common, but something I believe others should know so they do not panic and cancel a ceremony because they think they are sick. If you feel okay the day of the ceremony, go ahead and drink.
Everyone in the group sat in a circle and we went around explaining our intention with a few words. I asked for gentleness. The ayahuasca itself is drinkable. I expected the absolute worst, so I was pleasantly surprised. Not too bad!
We all returned to our makeshift beds of yoga mats, blankets and pillows. I felt an odd sense of déjà vu, a feeling that I knew I would be back here. As if everyone had just shifted around on the earth, made a few noises, and arrived right on time.
The medicine took it’s time hitting me the first time I drank. We were asked after about an hour to ask for more if we felt we needed it. I was ready to be taken under and over with ayahuasca so I drank another cup. She began working, making herself known inside me. I now know she is another aspect to who we are. The deepest, most integral parts of us. Our own death is ayahuasca, as well as our life. They are truly one.
I remember being taken inside the Earth, where I saw things that Terence Mckenna might only understand. Advanced eyeballs, rotating through trunks of trees. This was an inhabited place. I can only think of the Hobbit to compare it to. And I was inside of it. I felt I couldn’t go any deeper in the soil of the Earth. The life-giving, deceased resting place. I realized so much and none of it will ever be able to put into words, only a look with the eye and a touch of the hand can explain what I learned that night.
My first night was ecstatic, I had orgasms in every part of my body. My cells were making love with each other and I felt like the birthplace of the Universe. I laughed the most hearty laughs along with my fellow seekers, and I don’t think my smile faded the entire 6-hour journey. The breathing alone transformed my being. Taking deep, thoughtful breaths for almost 6 hours is the best medicine I’ve ever experienced. Along with the dieta of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, I had never felt so light and peaceful.
Since my first ceremony, I’ve attended 10 more. Each one has been intensely different. On one, I had a vision of placing my hand upon a hand print in a cave. Immediately I was taken through to the other side, and it was completely Divine. The images, the life, cannot be explained in our dimension of thought forms and words. Although there truly is nothing in the way of direct experience with the Divine, as we are that, we are all forming our experience with the beliefs that we have formulated and been told for the past 25-40 years.
It takes an awakening to remember Spirit, and it is okay to play in dark until you return to the light. It is truly an experience made for us or by us. Even the word perfection doesn’t come close to describing the Universe. I knew when on the medicine whether I was in the Earth, or in the Cosmos. Every “place” I “went” was inhabited. I remember thinking, “I will be here one day.” There are spirits that welcome you. In my journey, they were merely lights in the dark. Lights that glowed and felt like pure love and remembrance of something more substantial than anything on Earth, which was truly something I could not remember at the time. Having a body, being a body, thinking “mundane” thoughts and living a “mundane” life. That was gone. When I came back, I felt, it is anything but mundane! Being, no matter what dimension, is Divine.
I remember this one woman who came to a ceremony, one of the last ones I attended. She was a little shy, didn’t smile much and seemed to be in her own world. A world that no one else could or would understand. After the ceremony, she was different. She was lighter, smiling and relating to others in the group. When it was her turn to share about her experience, she simply stated, “God is so funny!” We all had a laugh. The closeness of the groups each and every time astounds me. I had the feeling of TRULY belonging, a feeling I didn’t want to ever walk away from. I wished the night could replay until I said stop.
Having been on an insightful, emotional, nostalgic, futuristic, energy enhancing, universal, hilariously enthralling journey with the medicine and then breaking a fast with others and sharing experiences of deep importance, I felt at home. Opposites become one while on the medicine. The circle of life is displayed and I felt how I fit into it. I was simply and magnificently a thought. The energy of the Universe. I’ve always wanted to talk about my experience with the medicine, and every time I begin to write, I get to the end and think, “that is not what I wanted to say one bit.” How do I convey what Mother Ayahuasca did for me? It is not possible to have the conversation.
I feel like I have a new lease on life. By another’s standards, my life is nowhere near perfect, but by mine. From my experiences and perceptions, I know that all life is perfect. It is Divine. The mundane is magic. It is forever, eternally unfolding. The feelings you experience are sacred. The love you create matters, sharing your personality and true feelings with others is never wrong. You can change the relationships you want to change. You can introduce more love and understanding into all areas of your life; Passion, creativity, energy and enlightenment. All of these words are experiences that arise within you, not something you can take a bus to or meet up with. Of course, you need to move around on the planet and make some noise to end up where you need to be, but let it be a natural process. Breathe more and take in the current moment and where you fit into it. See the opportunity to inject kindness, the most simple of acts are changing the entire Universe.
I wish more connection could be made by those who are seekers, who are drinking the medicine and opening their hearts and minds. We need to form a community and simply make a change by putting love in the world. It IS time to clean up, inside and out. Get rid of beliefs that do not serve us. Enhance the love and higher states we are capable of creating. Realize that there is so much that we haven’t experience yet, or have simply forgotten. No matter where you are on your journey, remember, you’re never alone. It is okay to fall and it is okay to fly. No matter where you go, you are exactly where you should be.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and right doing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.”