“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ~ C.G. Jung
It was exactly 3 years ago I hit my first existential crisis in the jungles of Costa Rica, and it has also been exactly 3 years that I took my first sip of a very strong cup of tea that would change my life forever.
What is Ayahuasca?
If you’re unfamiliar what Ayahuasca is all about, there’s plenty of resources online to learn more. But here’s a quick description.
In short: Ayahuasca is an Amazonian plant mixture that is capable of inducing altered states of consciousness, usually lasting between 4 to 8 hours after ingestion. Ranging from mildly stimulating to extremely visionary, ayahuasca is used primarily as a medicine and typically in a ceremonial session under the guidance of an experienced guide or shaman.
In the past few decades ayahuasca is slowly gaining interest from Western society as well. Not only academic researchers in the field of psychotherapy have shown an increased interest. Psychonauts, i.e. people who practice responsible and conscious use of mind-altering substances, use ayahuasca to confront themselves with the richness of the mind, the infinity of the universe, and their deepest fears, so as to experience deep growth and healing resulting from facing and overcoming these fears. There are many thousands of cases in which people have been healed of physical, mental and emotional disorders, and many curious cases of recovery from grave and even fatal disorders. A large number of people have been cured from, for example: addictions, grief and loss, relationship problems, depression, anxiety, and trauma only through a few ceremonies, and the cases of post-ayahuasca cancer remission are too numerous to ignore.
However, Ayahuasca is not a miracle cure in the sense that you drink the brew and ALL your troubles have vanished within a couple of hours. It is a miracle cure though, in the sense that Ayahuasca gets to the root cause of the problem, instead of just treating the symptoms like many traditional medicines do. I mean have you ever heard of a case when antidepressants have actually completely cured someone of depression?
The medicine works with you for 50%. How you integrate everything that is revealed during the ceremony into your daily life is the other 50% and completely up to you.
I so far have joined two ceremonies total and I admit I kinda dived in quite naïve and desperate as I saw it as the only way out of my continuous ‘Earthly’ suffering I was experiencing. I felt it was my last hope as I didn’t know who or what else to turn too. It probably was the most extremely, EXTREMELY scary, life shattering, but also most advantageous experience of my life. Nevertheless I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone other than when you absolutely tried every other-more forgiving- way to free yourself from your suffering. I do feel that any one that is a truth seeker and has a strong enough ego/container can have many questions resolved by sitting with the “medicina”.
Maybe the way you know if you’re right to make a certain decisionis to ask yourself if you feel uncomfortable.
I felt really REALLY uncomfortable when I finally confirmed my place in the circle again. But outside the comfort zone is where the magic starts. As I said in my provious posts I’m taking this time very serious to dive deep once more. There is still some bottled up, unresolved issues lingering in the uncounsious. Wich makes me play out these repetitive storylines where I usually end up getting hurt by always overempathizing. It is a very personal journey and hard work and I know whatever will be revealed is for my own benefit.
Before attending to the ceremony you first have to do “the dieta” or cleanse. The body is a vessel. All what we put into our bodies, everything that is consumed, eaten, all physical activities we engage in, leave a trace in us creating an impact on our well being. The body absorbs the elements from it’s surroundings, affecting us physically as well as energetically (mentally, psychologically, spiritually). Think of your physical part as of a vessel in which you navigate the Reality in a broader sense.
The body is also a part of the energetic system, that receives and transmits energy. It absorbs, filters, it can be clogged, blocked, saturated by what it consumes. Therefore the more clean the body is, the best energetic exchange with the environment is possible. So for the next weeks it is advised to refrain from:
Two Weeks before:
Pork~ not an option as I’m choosing the vegan path
Sexual activities of any kind, including masturbation
ALL drugs (cocaine, MDMA, amphetamines, medication, etc.)
Ice, ice cream, or ice cold drinks
One Week before:
Salt or pepper
Sweets or chocolate
Animal fats (lard, etc.)
Carbonated drinks (including diet sodas, energy drinks, non-alcoholic beer)
Caffeine & other stimulants
Avoidance of synthetic soaps, perfumes, toiletries, etc.
By eliminating the above from your diet, you prepare your body physically for the ayahuasca journey, and perhaps also reducing the amount of “purging” needed to clean your physical body. In addition to the physical aspects, by showing your commitment and determination to ayahuasca and the master plants, you are creating the foundations of your relationship with them and offering them the respect which is essential for this work. With that I’m also committing to a daily meditation practice and monitoring my thought loops during the day.
I’ll be journeying down to Costa Rica next week and the retreat will take place on July 23&24. Sending me some extra love and support during those days are kindly accepted and probably very much needed.
I might blog about the whole experience, but then again…you never know what to expect after such deep work and might come back with more confusion than clarity 🙂
A last note:
I will say that Ayahuasca is serious stuff and not for everybody. If you’re thinking about going on a retreat, do your homework. This is especially true when choosing the right retreat center, as the growing Aya industry is leading to a slew of shady businesses out there.At the end of this post, I’ll share a list of resources to educate yourself further.
Don’t be mistaken and think that drinking Ayahuasca will fix all your problems. It is very hard work and you must meet the medicine in the middle. This means integrating everything you’ve learnt and apply it to your daily life. Otherwise if you just go back to your old habits, you will slowly go back to your old self.
DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Rick Strassman
The Yage Letters by William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg
Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna
Ayahuasca, mother of rebirth by Ankara
Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
The Psychedelic Experience by Ralph Metzner, Timothy Leary, and Ram Das
Enter the void
DMT: the spirit molecule
Stepping into the fire
Ayahuasca the vine of the soul
Visionary artwork by: Alex Grey