DISCLAIMER: Ayahuasca contains DMT which is an illegal substance in many countries. So consider carefully before breaking the law, because it’s naughty and the law is something you should always respect. After all, it’s illegal to break the law! That said, it is legal in many countries, like Italy, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica and in certain religious settings the United States. I had my experience in Spain, where it’s controlled and not unequivocally illegal.
There is a good reason Ayahuasca may be illegal in your country, even though it is an ancient old vine from the Amazon that is used world-wide as a means to connect with the deceased and seek help for various problems like anxiety, panic attacks, depression, addictions and numerous stress-related diseases. It’s nothing to take lightly and certainly not a recreational drug. It is plant medicine.
Whatever you do, I am not responsible if you decide to seek help from illegal substances.
Some or all names in this blog are changed for privacy.
The Mind Is Racing, So Hop Along
In the five-day retreat the three ceremonies are only one-fourth of the whole experience, or the healing process if you will. More should be said about the time in between. Because when you’ve been digging into the deepest catacombs of your mind in a tight-knit circle of strangers, they quickly become friends. Whether you spend time alone or in the group, you simply cannot Un-think about your own personal history, all the mysterious findings The Medicine gave you and your most important relationships that have made you you.
Every waking moment and especially asleep your mind is constructing anew with freshly acquired building blocks, throwing seemingly unnecessary ones away, connecting the ones that fit together, digging through walls that used to be there to protect the ugly truth from unveiling. Your group is there to point to the dark corners you hadn’t dared to look at. The whole process is like playing Tetris on level 29, which in reality is impossible to manage for more than a few seconds. But on Ayahuasca your mind can get so clear and fast that everything just flows perfectly without you doing nothing. Hell, you cannot do anything even if you tried!
This is the real magic behind Ayahuasca. I was not controlling the crashing Tetris-blocks consciously but intuitively, placing every block where they fit best. Aya was shooting me with info with a machine gun.
The real work is done in between ceremonies. Your actual dreams (not the Aya-enhanced visions) may become more vivid. In one of the most important ones I saw my mother telling me that all my memories are just audio/video, and that I must replace that with emotions. It was only after a few days I truly figured out what she was saying.
It’s good to be experienced in self-discovery. It may take you further than if you are only starting to re-evaluate your life and history. For instance, I have been to psychoanalysis and talked about my life to a therapist for some 500 hours or so, and this makes it a little bit less frightening to face yourself in the ceremony. The flip-side is, of course, that you may think you know everything already and have expectations of the outcome, and you have a tendency to explain everything in psychoanalytic lingo thus blocking your true emotions. That’s me!
Ayahuasca brings people together
In this kind of Ayahuasca retreat, no one is left alone. People share their experiences, past traumas and fears for the future. They share invaluable insight to each and every one, making oneself question their own past as well.
After every ceremony, or rather right before the next, the whole group gathers to talk about the previous one. It gets very emotional. Big men cry, strong women feel weak.
They became my family for the weekend:
Ulrica, our senior had lost her husband three years ago, her daughter was seriously ill and son had gone to prison and she herself was struggling with thyroid problems. She was about to commit suicide three years ago, but Ayahuasca had stopped her from the ultimate decision. She was there to revisit that comforting feeling and seeking strength to cope with her disease.
Martin, a very outspoken German, had found himself drifting away from his family and came here to find a way to reconnect with his wife and children.
Willie, with his broad Australian accent and red beard was like the cheerful uncle I never had. He was searching for a way to forgive his wife who had cheated on him.
Ross, one of the most literate and well-spoken man I’ve ever met was always over–analysing and studying everything, making him a little know-it-all-ish but not in a bad way. Every time he spoke, I felt like it was me talking. I called him the Professor. I respect him a lot. He didn’t have any big issues coming here, and seemed happy with his previous findings with Ayahuasca. But he too was taken for a ride to the unconscious by the Medicine, I later found out.
Jan, my traveling mate and one of my best friends was feeling stuck in life and – I presume — quite anxious about his upcoming role as a father.
Then there was Steve, a quiet Briton, who reminded me of The Chief from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest. He was able to whisper only a few words out of his mouth like each syllable was apologising for being heard. Wow, I thought. In silence I bonded with him. I used to be like that. A treasure chest waiting to crack open, revealing the inside for the world to behold.
Little did I know that my chest was not just about to open. It was about to explode, leaving no survivors.
Go to part 4.