This is a story about love, will power, intention, and the magic of the Amazon. One year ago, following on from a painful breakup, and the betrayal and dissolution of a close friendship (unrelated), I decided to attempt to live my life from a different perspective and set out on a mission to find and understand unconditional love.
After realizing that so much of my perceived happiness was defined by my relationship status — I only felt happy and secure in a relationship — and that the love I’d experienced in these relationships was conditional and largely possessive, I wanted to learn about self-love and to know if I could learn to channel love through myself, outwardly, thus learning to love other people simply for who they were, rather than for what they gave me.
Also, during this painful period roughly 12 months ago, I’d realized that I had completely closed off emotionally and was having significant difficulties showing kindness, empathy, compassion, and gratitude. For example, I knew that I needed to say thank you, but there was never emotion linked to the expression. I largely withdrew from my closest friends and focussed first on partying and then on school (I work and study psychotherapy) once the festival season was over. At this point in my life, sex was now only an expression of love; and as there was no love in my life, I decided to abstain until I’d received the answers I sought.
During this time, unbeknownst to me, anyone who tried to get close was unconsciously pushed away. The closer they came, the further I pushed. My ego, which had been repeatedly beaten and bruised during the beginning of this story, had decided that if nobody could be near, nobody could hurt me. I remember a hypnotherapy session I did, where the aim was to try open my heart; deep in the hypnotic state, my subconscious had spoken out loud in a cold voice: “A closed heart is a small price to pay for security.”
Living this way was heavily affecting my mental and emotional health. For starters, I had met a beautiful girl with whom I’d desperately wanted to attempt a relationship. Secondly, I was rude and was aware of being condescending towards people I cared about, for no reason at all. To avoid this kind of behavior I withdrew further. Lastly, as a psychotherapist, insight was important, but with no empathy or compassion, I was useless; and my work gave my life meaning and purpose.
Throughout the year, I’d received several glimmers of insight into having an open heart, so I knew I wasn’t chasing a fantasy. These glimmers usually appeared for three to seven days and occurred following a small festival or private social gathering with lots of friends (where I would usually be high). On one occasion, the glimmer occurred when I was on a holiday in Thailand with the girl I’d been attempting a relationship with. Each time I’d become overjoyed, proclaimed to myself and to the world that I was cured, after which point the feeling would waiver and then it would be gone. Heart closed.
To cope with the workload from university together with running my personal business, and to escape my emotional isolation, I was taking a moderate amount of drugs (opioids and Ketamine); I’d been using/abusing drugs recreationally and for spiritual growth my whole adult life. While I believed these helped, they were probably making things worse (there had been period when they were beneficial in the past). Basically, I was working desperately hard to open my heart and to learn about unconditional love, yet getting nowhere, and becoming more and more desperate for an insight and solution.
I consider myself an intuitive and spiritual person, and believe that once you begin to spiritually awaken and to align yourself with the universe, you begin to hear/see/feel the messages it sends you; you begin to function within its framework and flow with your eyes open. I also believe in God, but not religion. My God is not a guy with a beard who sits in the sky and sends out rules. My God is that energy that flows like magic throughout the universe, guiding you towards a self-evolving moral code and freedom, from your own constraints.
At some point in the last several months, I made a decision to fly to Peru to seek out an ayahuasca (aya) retreat and work on finding solutions to my existential questions. I believe that in life everything happens for a reason and at exactly the right time. With such an extensive personal drug history, it was strange that I had only desired and tried smoking DMT (which is only one part of aya) in the last seven to eight months and its effects were unbelievable. Each time it was about connection and belonging to the universe, so I figured aya could help answer my questions about love. It was coming up to a year anniversary since I’d begun this journey and it was time to seek outside help (please note, as I later learned, DMT is only one part of ayahuasca, which is comprised of many plants cooked together).
I booked flights into the aya region of Peru for the longest duration of time that I could afford to take off, and arranged for my brother to fly home from overseas to oversee our business. From there I would buy flights relevant to the retreat I chose — or that chose me. Next I began searching for a retreat/healing centre. I had three places recommended by a friend who was heavily into psychedelic medicine, which I decided to look at last.
I searched through over 100 facilities. First of all, I couldn’t believe how many there were and, secondly, nothing appealed to me. I was looking for a destination that was deep in the Amazon and focussed only on healing. It had to have only several guests and allow for as much alone time as possible. Many places offered healing coupled with adventure tours, excursions. One place even offered partying — seriously!
As I became apprehensive, I checked the venues recommended to me. The first was too well known, with way too many people (30 per ceremony), and too many day-off activities. The second had a beautiful setup, but had too many activities and was $3,000 (USD) for one week. Lastly, I checked out the third. As I opened the page I knew; as I read what the dietas were intended for, I broke into tears. This was it. Maximum 8 people, deep in the Amazon, own grown medicine, isolation to work through your questions, and no WiFi or phone reception. I was trembling. I immediately submitted an application and guess what? There was a place available and the program started the day after I arrived to Lima. The owner and his team don’t muck around though. There was a proper screening process that you had to go though in order to be granted participation, which included emails and a phone/Skype interview to make sure you were not a ‘psychedelic tourist’ and had serious self-healing intentions. This place meant business.
The owner suggested that I complete a chiric sanango dieta that included two aya ceremonies, prior and post the diet, and 8 days isolation, a total of 10 days, which he believed to be the most difficult option available but was suitable to my goals. As a precaution, I also added a further 3 ceremonies in the subsequent week, in case I hadn’t received everything that was needed — thus I booked a total of 17 days. During our phone interview, the owner quite openly said that this was probably going to be the most difficult experience in my life, but he believed the results were more than justified. I admit, at this stage I was frightened, however, there is no joy without suffering. Everything felt right, there was no anxiety, no doubt; just a sense of determination and purpose. I had no expectations, just hope and a firm belief that if you truly wanted something, you would get it. If this helped even a little, then it would be worth it.
After 60 hours flying across New Zealand, the USA, Panama, and Lima, under a strict pre-aya diet, which prohibited red meat, sugar, salt, alcohol, drugs and sexual release for the ten days, I finally arrived at the set meeting point in Iquitos and was met by the owner and another guest who would also be completing the program. The healing centre was an hour drive out of town and then another hour walk through thick mud (in gumboots). Let’s just say that the destination was worth the effort. Aya vines were everywhere, power was only solar, each wooden tambo (private hut) was between one and two hundred meters apart, and has a private outdoor compost toilet. Showering was completed using buckets from the stream that ran past each property. We were also located deep inside one the most beautiful rainforests I’d seen.
As I prefer going into new experiences without much information or preconception, I had purposely not read up much on ayahuasca. The ceremony was held in the maloka, which was an octagonal structure where a maximum of eight guests would complete their ceremonies. The owner stressed that this experience was NOT like taking other psychedelic drugs. This was NOT a drug; it was spirit medicine that knew your intentions and the amount of work that you had put into coming to her with questions.
He instructed that the first ceremony should be about thanking the medicine, accepting its help, and asking for its protection during the dieta. He also stressed that having the right intentions was mandatory and the more you surrendered, the sooner aya could help. I also didn’t understand the point of the shaman, especially as he didn’t speak English. On ceremony days, we didn’t eat following lunch and drinking water was prohibited after 4 PM. This was to encourage purging of the ‘roots’ of your body, rather than undigested food and water. (We were each provided with a bucket to vomit into, which is a part of the aya process.)
My first ceremony was less than pleasant. In attendance there was myself, the other guest (who was attending his 26th ceremony in total), the shaman (who I would learn over the next few weeks was both powerful and the heart and engine behind this centre), and the owner (the center’s brains and blood, who was following his own messages from aya to create this healing space). He explained the procedure and would help guide us to the bathroom (and translate if necessary).
From my journal the morning following the first ceremony:
“You know those times you’re having a bad trip filled with paranoia and the inability to clear your head from bad thoughts and memories? That’s what last night felt like — on steroids. It was pitch black and made no difference if my eyes were open or shut and there was no fucking escape from my thoughts. I wish I’d taken my journal, as I did not fall asleep until the sun came up (the ceremony started at 8 PM). I kept it together emotionally until now, as I’m writing this.
“I begged aya to help me access the fear (preventing me from opening my heart), to resolve it…that didn’t happen; but I saw my memories and my negative perception of these memories as well as my fear to let go, to surrender and for my ego to subside. I remember thinking that if I could just purge, then I’ll let go, but I was afraid to make a sound, afraid to draw attention to myself, as if in fear of being judged.
“Right now my mind is cloudy, probably repressing all the memories and learnt lessons from last night; I’m sure they will pop up in the next few days. Twelve hours alone, with my mind in complete darkness, was hell and at this time I feel that the medicine will need to be super potent to help wear down my defenses and help me to surrender. I know that my goal is no longer to conquer my fear but to accept it, to love it. Similarly my goal is not to forgive my ex-girlfriend, but to love her again, to remember her face and all the good memories feelings and sensations.
“Towards the end of the night I was given some hope. A vision appeared at which I was sitting next to Hannah (the girl I’m trying to commit to) at a Rodriguez concert. Our favorite song came on and we turned to each other… The feeling I received from this vision was one of joy; instead of pushing away, instead of repulsion. It is a glimmer of hope, but that is enough for day 3 of this journey.”
I began the isolation immediately following the aya ceremony and at 3 AM that night I would be drinking the first dose of the chiric sanango. This is the outer layer of a section of a root that is peeled, boiled, and drank (one root each night) for three consecutive nights at 3 AM (as this is when the new day is said to start). It was the only medicine that was not grown at the retreat and the shaman had to trek into the jungle to find and retrieve it. The diet during the dieta included two hard-boiled eggs and plain white rice, which was served three times a day, as well as plenty of water. The only possessions you were allowed during isolation, other than your clothes, was a journal, a pen, and a toothbrush (no toothpaste). The information I was given was that it was no child’s play and that anyone without serious dedication and intentions did not make it through isolation. People who broke the isolation by eating forbidden foods or having sex were reported to go mad, lose their memories and sense of identity, and develop white discoloration marks all over their bodies (this isn’t a joke as I accidentally put a piece of spicy radish in my mouth 5 days after the dieta and nearly passed out). The only way to reverse these effects was to redo the dieta. In terms of effects, the chiric was supposed to help break down the ego, mend a broken heart, and help in the understanding of unconditional love. This is all I knew, as very little has been documented online.
Having dozed most of the day, I was well awake by 3 AM. The shaman came to my door carrying a thick blanket, a bucket, and a glass filled with a brown liquid. Here we go. This was the beginning of 72 hours of hell. No exaggeration. The liquid was bearable and tasted like a raw root, 20 minutes following which, nausea would commence and I would throw the liquid up together will some bile. My lips would go numb and the whole body would start tingling. Soon afterwards, fever would kick in, and a heavy vibration would spread outwards from the chest until the whole body was violently shaking — you couldn’t feel half your limbs and couldn’t determine if you were hot or cold.
From my journal several hours prior to my second drink in barely legible handwriting:
“I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy. What a way to torture somebody. It’s been less than 24 hours; if there’s a God, please have mercy. I don’t know what is worse: the anticipation of what is to come over the next few days, or my desire to quit. I would love some pills right now. A healthy dose of heroin to take the pain away. I need to stay positive, this is the only way I will make it through this…”
The first dose lasted 24 hours, the second roughly 18, and the third had become bearable after 15 hours. In those 72 hours I was in and out of consciousness, I ate a total of 7 eggs with no rice, could only walk to the bathroom and shower by supporting myself (the water could not be felt on my skin) and had sweated out liters. At some point within the first 24 hours, a hum developed in my head which would remain with me until my final aya ceremony. At another point I also remember the shaman looking at me with concern, coming around to my bed rest and quietly pocketing my Swiss Army knife — “just in case” as he informed me later. The worst part was that I had no idea why I was doing this; my mind felt the same and my questions unanswered.
And then it started. At this stage, I was still having trouble walking. I didn’t possess a mirror and had no idea what I’d diminished to.
From my journal on day 7, 36 hours after the last drink:
“Last night was quite surreal. I’m pretty sure I dosed for a few hours at the start of the night and then lay awake, deep in memories; ones that I couldn’t ever access so vividly in the past. Nothing bad, they were happy memories from past relationships. I remembered specific details like bedroom orientation, what was in each cupboard, how the light shone through the windows. I remembered little details like smiles and laughter. I remembered how I loved them and how they loved me… It’s a really good feeling to know that my memories are intact (they were poor as a result years of drug abuse). I need to cherish them and protect my mind…”
This was just the beginning. The best way I can describe the experience is like that movie Limitless. For those who haven’t seen it, it felt like my brain had started working at 100 percent capacity. I wrote mental speeches, calculated multiple mortgage repayments at one time (usually I use my fingers for basic maths), I had access to any memory, I thought of new business ideas, techniques, and directions. It was as if the three days of drinking the chiric had supercharged my brain and allowed it to function at a higher vibrational frequency (this would explain the hum).
After 24 hours of thinking and writing, I was just getting warmed up; and besides my heart was still closed and sleep was out of the question. (When I tried to sleep, my eyes would roll into the back of my head and the hum would intensify in my head.) The next sequence of events went something like this: After eating dinner at 6 PM, I checked my pants which had been drying on a clothes hanger by the window. On closer inspection, I noticed that they were covered in mould. Next to them was my hat, which I noticed was not only covered in mould but also half eaten by some kind of rodent. I knew this would happen. Everything in the jungle grows and everything is shared. Then something hit me, I lay in bed and started thinking, thinking about unconditional love and how that relates to my pants and hat.
Unconditional love, the jungle… what is the connection? And then I lost it. I started balling my eyes out then and there. CONNECTION. Everything in the jungle is connected, it’s all part of a living, breathing system. There is no class, no order; just natural chaos that has existed in harmony for thousands of years. A tree lives for aeons with multitudes of plants, vines, animals, birds, and insects which interweave their lives and homes within and on its surface. Times that by a billion, and you have the rainforest. Unconditional love comes from being a part of a system created by nature, not man. Here, everything is connected to the source and everything channels the energy. The jungle accepts each of its inhabitants, and each inhabitant accepts all others.
Universal/unconditional love can be viewed as the metaphysical fabric of the universe, a driving force that drives connections. In nature, as everything is connected, universal love flows through everything. Humans ‘evolved’ from the original chaos system and created a system based on their interpretation of order. This order is based on possession and isolation. We live in separate rooms of separate houses. During the day, we’re at separate desks of different offices of different buildings; and we communicate with each other via devices instead of face to face. Everything is mine, or yours; not ours. Love cannot be possessed, it cannot be owned. It is an energy that exists between two or more entities when they chose to wrap this universal fabric around each other. This energy generates feelings within us. You can own your feelings, but that is all. So, unconditional love cannot exist if you accept the system created by man; only the one created by nature.
Now, think of the times that humans are happiest; when they revert back to the chaos system. Imagine a festival dancefloor, a playground, a social gathering — resemble a jungle much? These are the times at which we are happiest. These are times we look forward to most. Why? Because positive chaos breeds love. During these times our connections are unconditional and selfless, rather than possessive and selfish. A festival dancefloor is a selfless system devoted to creating a multitude of connections which in turn fuels unconditional love, an electrifying aura, and felt energy.
Suddenly, I understood those times my heart had opened over the last year; it wasn’t the drugs or the exotic destinations; it was connections; positive connections with people I cared about. Then I would come home, isolate myself by “focussing on school,” take more drugs that would disconnect me further, and bam! Shut again.
I was emotionally overwhelmed. I decided to take a break and have a bucket shower. When I came back to my tambo, I felt something was different. I took a long breath; my heart was open. I knew this feeling as I’d felt it several times over the last 12 months. This time, the insight was big enough to break it open. I wasn’t finished and decided to test the waters. Thinking of something and grasping a concept is not the same as feeling it. I began throwing scenarios into my mind. Memories, places, events. I could focus on several at once at this point, and suddenly there were emotions; joy and happiness; sorrow and sadness. I threw in my friend’s recent break-up; empathy and compassion. I burst into tears a second time. I spent the next 18 hours with everyone I cared about over the last 12 months and even those that I did not; processing and reliving the experiences, only this time with emotions. The flood gates had opened and it was beautiful.
After 40 hours in action and without sleep, I had written 55 pages of my journal and was beginning to quite literally lose my mind. I had absolutely no idea how many days I’d been awake, how many hours I’d slept, or how long I’d been in isolation. Things started to turn to the negative. By this stage my brain was lagging and needed a reset; some sleep. I decided gain some control of the situation by creating at chart which included a breakdown of each day since arrival and a breakdown of sleep, wakefulness, mental action, aya ceremony, and the first three nights of hell. The chart took hours to compile, brain activity was near useless.
From my journal, written the following day (Day 9, the second to last day of isolation):
“Last night I started getting really angry for the inability for the self-talk to stop. The humming got louder and I was getting auditory and visual hallucinations as well as paranoid delusions about outside noises. I even locked the tambo door for the first time since arriving. A bucket shower would have helped (they were the only thing grounding me and temporarily slowing the self-talk), but I was now afraid to go out into the dark. When I would attempt to sleep, for the first hour or so, videos of leaves rustling on bushes would shimmer in (best I can describe), eyes open or shut, and would then change to another video showing something similar. It looked like something from a YouTube video and was definitely not the jungle.
“Also, if I tried to still my mind, the hum would get louder, and the way for everything to stop would be to start thinking again. I could think but at this point, it was sloppy and messy and pointless… then the negative self-talk would swell up again. After a few hours, I tried again to get my shit sorted. I tried meditating while turned sideways in a sleeping position (If I lay on my back, my eyes would roll into the back of my head and thoughts would flood in). I noticed as I focussed on my breathing, my mind would calm and disconnect from awareness, the humming would subside, and my eyes would quit moving (otherwise they moved like in REM sleep). After a short while I slept. I woke up this morning at dawn (after roughly 6 hours sleep) feeling good. Lots of dreams that I cannot remember, the hum is still there (not so loud), and my ability to calculate numbers has returned back to its original state. Thoughts are less frenzied and it’s harder to concentrate. My appetite is back too.”
By now, the isolation was really pushing my mental boundaries. One week ago, I was busy with work or studies from 8 AM till 10 PM daily and could always relax for an hour or two before bed with some mindless activity. Here, was the exact opposite. I noticed that I had started talking to myself out loud by day eight, repeatedly telling my ego to shut up when it would butt in to my dialog with God knows whom, either silently or out loud. I couldn’t stand to put those eggs or rice in my mouth. I imagined future conversations, replayed them over and over, made ‘phone calls’ and tried to replay movies in my head. Nights were the worst as there was no beautiful scenery to look at, just darkness and my own thoughts. If I couldn’t sleep, then I had to think (I hate meditating and only do it in extreme circumstances). My journal was my salvation; my connection to any form of sanity. If I did not have this, then I would have definitely gone mad. Since my heart had opened, my libido had also returned, and together with the ability to access ANY memory, and the need to abstain from sexual release, things were getting out of control.
I still had work to do however. Self-love. I began to develop a ‘Connections Theory of Self-Love’ of which some is described during the first part of the dieta and the gist of which is below:
If love is about connections, then love cannot exist without connections. You cannot therefore love yourself without loving others. You do not have to be ‘in-love’ and the feelings doesn’t have to be mutual. You can wrap the fabric (love) around another person, animal, plant or object just like in the natural world, and then you’re in the system. Connected. The goal is therefore not to close connections, or at least to maintain enough positive connections on a constant basis to generate a strong enough feeling of love within one self. Self-love is therefore about being selfless, not selfish; because you’re giving energy to receive it.
Everything has vibrational energy and some connections are naturally stronger than others. Furthermore, positive processes or actions act to fuel more love into a connection (love maintenance). Unconditional/universal love is the purest form of love. The ability to generate and maintain unconditional love is described later. Paternal love and romantic love is the next strongest level. This is the primary love, and positive processes include intimacy, passion (romantic love only), and commitment. They also include the processes in the secondary and tertiary love. The secondary love is platonic love, such as that between friends or between a person and their pet. Processes include commitment, dependency, kindness, and respect. Finally, tertiary love is based on un-reciprocated connections, such as those between a fan and his idol or between a person and their favorite tree, food or object. These connections are fueled by appreciation, respect, and pride.
According to this theory, each person requires a baseline level of connections in order to have self-love, which is strongest at the optimal connection level. Similarly, there is the threshold level of connections, at which point a person has too many active negative connections, which results in a decrease in the quality of their self-love. Unconditional love can only be achieved when a person is at their optimal level of self-love. As a person moves towards either the baseline or threshold levels of connection, their ability to maintain connections becomes conditional and their love possessive or exploited.
I didn’t know if this theory would make as much sense to others as it did to me, but it sounded pretty plausible (and I trusted my brain power from the still active chiric sanango).
The following night was my second aya ceremony, after which point I would spend a final 24 hours in isolation, and be free. I was grateful for all the beautiful insights I’d attained but it was time to go. I went into the ceremony with unclear intentions. I decided that I had gotten everything I needed from the chiric sanango and would just thank aya and go to sleep. (I was exhausted, half-starved, and could barely walk.) New guests had arrived at the center and I had honestly forgotten how to interact socially. When I walked into the maloka, I just sat down quietly and avoided eye contact. I only exchanged smiles with the guest from the first ceremony, who was also finishing his isolation.
From my journal the following morning:
“Last night’s ceremony was everything I could ask for. Just before she entered me, I decided that I had suffered enough over the last while and asked Aya if she could let me feel the unconditional love of the rainforest around us. She did. It was unbelievable. Still buzzing from the chiric sanango, I was mentally sharp and emotionally open. As soon as she touched me, I started vibrating, a gentle whole body vibration that also occurred once before with DMT. As she filled me with unconditional love, I remember screaming over and over, ‘I surrender, please take me closer to the source,’ which I could see as a glowing ball of red energy. Each time I yelled out, she’d touch a different part of my body, which would react with an intense tremor, then allow me closer, filling my heart with more love. Aya had complete control of my body and my mind, and could activate any feeling or emotion. I remember a thought hit me that this was God; this source of universal / unconditional love, this metaphysical fabric of the universe, this force that had been guiding me towards intra-personal freedom, were all one and the same; and Aya was the gateway. This was Nirvana.
“I could see Grandfather Sanango (that’s the form he would take in visions) in the corner of the room watching and disapproving. He was right, I was here to work and playtime was over. I thanked Aya profusely and said that if we were not going to work, I was going to sleep, and turned on my side. Aya accepted my decision and put a vision of a long narrow staircase leading up to darkness; I walked up. I finally began to understand the point of the shaman as their beautiful icaros (chants) would sooth and guide you along your journey.
“From here onwards, Aya let me lead the way; thoughts or memories would come up, and if my responses were negative (Aya could make you feel anything, even more intensely than in real time), I would confront them with love (something I couldn’t do in the first ceremony) and move on to the next one. Some of the biggest things that came up included opening my heart up (not just my head) to the idea of another romantic relationship in my life — to a family and several kids — and I made promises to fuel positive processes into my current connections, without fear of being hurt. I opened my heart to my ex-girlfriend and embraced her with open arms. I did the same with my ex best friend and promised to write her a letter when I got out.
“I sat my ego opposite myself; I kissed, hugged, and accepted him as my equal and thanked him for helping us get to where we are today. I asked him to sit on my shoulder as a trusted advisor but not to intervene in my life for now. I want to face the world vulnerable, and if I get too hurt, I’ll gladly let him take charge. He agreed, reluctantly. I also accepted my past and made an agreement to leave it behind me. I have dwelt there long enough and have analyzed most of it. I don’t need my resume or my list of achievements. I made a deal only to look to the present and future. The present incorporating everything that I have learnt so far into my daily life and school. The future is about realizing my dream to become a family man.
“I faced death also (I don’t like this part of the story). I’d mused in previous times that when the time was right and I had lived a good life, I would take a shotgun in my mouth and blow my head off. Aya let me feel the moment before someone pulled a trigger. It was horrific. That plan was off the table. Somehow, a vision inferred that I would die of a brain tumor; then the number 67 shimmered into the picture. WHAT? Seriously, Aya, what the FUCK? I started begging. How about 84? Please. PLEASE. You know I believe in this stuff; you know I will manifest it… nothing. Shocked, I put this aside and an hour or two later death came up again. This time we came to an agreement. If I surrender to death right now, then the brain tumor, the 67 will just be a reminder that if I ever waste time again (I decide and know quite well when I’m wasting time), then it may all come true. I surrendered. Now every moment is precious.
“We also talked about sex; but that is none of your business. Drugs came up too. I put them in front of me and ended the relationship. I thanked them and told them that we have been through everything together. I loved them since they were there for me when I needed them, and even when I didn’t. But this was my fault, not theirs. I said goodbye; blue moons and special occasions only… you cannot say bye forever to such a dear friend.
“I asked Aya several times throughout the night, whether she liked the Connections Theory that I was working on and she never replied. Towards morning, I was exhausted and asked Aya (probably for the fifth time) if we were finished and if I could go to sleep. This time she agreed and I thanked her for everything from the bottom of my heart, and opened my eyes. A vision appeared. It was a notebook, a notepad and a pen stacked on each other. Slowly it moved around the room and landed in my hands. At the same time, a white energy receded from me and my vibrating abated. I remember yelling: ‘What is it Aya, what is it; It isn’t mine…’ And then I knew, I felt it. It was a precious gift that made me break into tears as I have now. ‘Keep writing.'”
I returned to my tambo, ‘called’ Hannah while sobbing uncontrollably into the pillow, and told her everything. I was completely emotionally overwhelmed and drained from the last 10 days; what a fucking experience to put yourself through. I then calmed and slept. At 5 AM the following morning, I washed my mouth out with some salt (as was required by the dieta) and bathed in special flowers. The dieta over, I was free.
Over the next several days I decided not to do any further ceremonies as I had received answers to all of my questions, opened my heart, and redefined my interpretation of God. I was humbled and there was no need for any further insights at this point. Chiric sanango had given me the brain power to find the answers to open my heart and Mother Aya had provided a platform that facilitated the intra-personal changes that I needed at this point in life. What a mission, what a result! I couldn’t wait to go home and apply everything.
This story has been edited lightly for typos and clarity, and to remove the names of specific people and places.