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 triangle completes
The Ceremonies are of course where the magic happens, but the real work is done in the sharing sessions. They are better described as group-therapy, where all individuals gather to talk openly about the insights they had while taken by Mother Aya.
People change between ceremonies. Sharing sessions had become a full blown confessions for tormented minds. Martin, the German man with marriage problems had to face the ugly truth that he had done something awful to his wife, leading to a burning guilt and shame. It was a touching moment to see a big man cry and pour out something so personal for us to think about.
Ayahuasca makes you face the hard truth.
Ferry the dutchman had had clear visions of himself as a teenager, desperately looking for attention by smoking, fighting, skipping school, basically anything that would give him the care he was left out of. I felt a strong connection to that man.
Emma told us she had always hated her body, making her closed to the world. Jan had entered a childhood trauma, where he was agonising about attention of his parents and help in his soiled diapers.
Laura opened up about ex-boyfriends’ rapes and abuses.
We all were connecting on a deeper level day by day.
My troubles seemed minuscule, yet we all had our demons to struggle with. No one was without his or her past filled with regrets and wrong turns. And no one was there taking hallucinogenic drugs just out of curiosity, or to get high on psychedelics. Together the group formed a miniature mankind concentrated in a small room: every one is more or less fucked up, running from troubles until hitting the dead end making a U-turn the only possible move.
So here we were, a group of mentally broken people come together for a healing. We were all done with avoiding the truth.
The third ceremony is said to tie all the knots left open by the two previous ceremonies. I knew my work here was done, I was exhausted and felt more than relieved to just accept anything Aya had to offer.
I spent the day preparing for the ceremony exercising at the poolside. Push-ups, ab crunches, dips, stretching. All this is good for metabolism, so that Ayahuasca can really kick in. See, I was controlling the outcome again.
As I was doing my push-ups leaning to the concrete on the poolside I witnessed a beautiful scene. A dragonfly made an emergency landing in the water, hurting her wings in the process. I saw her struggling to swim to the edge of the pool. She was hopeless, yet so colourful. I felt my responsibility as a fellow creature to save her from drowning. I reached to her with a small stick I found from the garden and let her climb on it. Then I slowly walked to the side of the garden and inserted the stick to a crack in the stone wall hoping for the sun to do its magic and dry her wings. Once in a while I changed her place, finding cover from the wind and securing a sunnier sport. After an hour or so, I saw the dragonfly back in action, flying to the horizon. It was moved to tears.
The ceremony took place earlier, about 4 pm. My intention for the last setting was: “Show me who’s behind the mask,” unknowingly referring to the Joker image I had a couple of days ago.
This time I was also prepared: I had exercised a little to drain any excess energy from my muscle, I drank more water to be ready for the purge and felt overall calmer so that I could just sit still and meditate on a blank canvas of consciousness. I left nothing to chance by taking yet again a double-shot, but I also knew Ayahuasca sinks in better every time you take it. It did.
Not more than 15 minutes went by and I could feel drowsiness pushing my eyelids deep down. Sudden urge to hum along with the music and to swing my way into subconscious made me vomit, and I was feeling blissful. Then I started to hesitate, to panic even.
I laid down on my back, eyes closed and saw those images I was so many times informed of. Dragons, geometric patterns, microscopic squares like snake skin, all colors and lights blinking to my side like I was on 2001: A Space Odyssey.
I opened my eyes, and saw a hanging, colourful decoration transforming into a dragon’s head. My stubborn mind started to back off, regretting to take the Medicine, promising this will be my last time I ever do something like this. The music turned into distorted sounds of waves, hovering above me. And next came the snakes, oh yes: the snakes. And they were up to no good. Aaaaaargh, why oh why did I come here in the first place. No, do not pick to me! The slimy bastards were everywhere. Every time I opened my eyes, I made them go away, but as soon as let go, they emerged from the blue, calling me to hop along the boat they were boarding.
I did not like this at all.
This was getting creepy. But as soon as I had to make the decision to either join them or let them go, I remembered my super-power: controlling. Controlling my emotions, my actions, my words… letting the Super-Ego to take control.
I was also comforted to know Ayahuasca would give you only what you need and nothing more than you can handle, for me at least that held water. I closed my eyes, leaving the boat to embark without me, knowing that I am always welcome to join the dragons later.
I sighed of relief and started to visualise my journey of life to this point. I saw thousands of flashbacks, clear scenes of my life from my early childhood, my school years, youth and recent past. All the while a clear voice inside my head was telling me what to do and why, what habits not to continue and how to live form now on so that I would never again slip into the spiral I had been so desperately trying to climb out of.
Her message was an important reminder to stop wasting time browsing the Net and start focusing on myself and the feelings I had run away from by consuming mindless entertainment, numbing myself from feelings. Pretty sad when you think about it.
So no more wasting time in audio and video.
No more porn.
No more browsing the news all the time.
Suspend form instant gratification, meditate more because it’s just good for you. Stop doing the things who occupy your mind sufficiently enough to prevent any concrete self-reflection and deep emotions to get hold of.
“Sing and let your body vibrate.
“Okay, whatever you say”.
“Give credit where credit is due, invest in a good sound system and actually enjoy the music and not just consume it. Apologise and thank people, understand that they are as broken as you are. Love, feel, don’t store it inside, use your potential to create and not consume, ask how people feel and pay attention, they are pretty awesome anyway!”
“Yes, yes, yes, yes.”
This went on forever, for hundred times straight.
I also saw a vivid image of me and my ex-girlfriend who I had hated from the bottom of my heart for the last three years or so. We were hugging, and I told her I cannot bear the hatred anymore, that I want to let go of anger towards her, that I realise she is not the only one to blame, and that I want to rewrite the break-up so that I’m left with more positive memories. In the image she would understand me better than in real life, I am sure.
And of course, I cried about the way I treated my current girlfriend, who has been so nice and understanding about my coldness, stubbornness and my way of lecturing about all the mundane things in life.
From then on my ceremony was disturbed by the urge to call her immediately, and the rest of the time I was so eager to get hold of her that any answer Mother Aya had for me was bulldozed away. I was just waiting for the ceremony to end.
Even if my personal ceremony ended long before the official closing, I was full of bliss for I had just discovered my true self. Something most people search for all of their lives. I saw many happy faces, bursting with joy. Even Steve, the Indian Chief was cracking jokes, hugging and toying around, opening his treasure chest.
Maybe even more than myself, I was happy for him and all the others, for in a way they represented different sides of me: the shy man who couldn’t let his light shine the brightest, the insecure beauty who couldn’t face the mirror without cringing, the lost grown-up who keeps busy running away from his problems. We all are the over-achiever, the underachiever, the obsessively analysing, the lost cause, the depressed… That moment I felt oneness with all mankind, with all their love and screwed-up minds without judgment, for deep inside us lives the same fragile kid, who wanders around with a broken torch and outdated map looking for their dreams and hopes once shattered by the ruthless world and it’s always changing rules.
Kill the bastard
Before the first ceremony I was a little concerned whether I would die or not. It sounds reasonable to be afraid of that, I must say. Yet after five days of heavy tripping, lots of self-discovery and many, many Heureka moments I am quite sure I did not survive Ayahuasca alive. One part of me died, and a very big one at that. If I went to the morgue today, I would see it. Maybe a little blue, maybe a bit frozen, a tag hangin on its toe, tucked in one of those body-sized drawers the coronaries are so fond of in televisions crime shows.
I am talking about my ego of course. That little, smelly gnome, who lives inside all of talking bullshit for shallow reasons.
It’s the ego who posts selfies online for a quick fix of dopamine and likes.
It’s the ego who puts on a show at a party, when nobody is asking for it.
Ego makes people cocky and selfish, and most of all it messes up their motives. Ego will never be straight forward. Ego says: “boy, it sure is cold in here” instead of asking for the window be shut. It’s the ego who won’t let you say you’re sorry, because apologies make you seem weak. Hell, its petty soul will never let you even feel you’re sorry.
Just look around social media, and you’ll see plenty of egos yearning for attention. It’s not authenticity but ego, who posts pics to get comments, likes and gossips and tweets to get its 15-minutes of fame. If someone is to blame about the downward spiral of humanity, I wouldn’t hesitate to point at the bastard.
Ego spends most of the time building walls, yet no matter how well it’s guarded it is still very easily hurt. It just hates when someone is questioning it. For instance, if your ego is on a crusade only for quick fame and lots of likes on social media, and someone dares to point it out, it gets offended like no one before. It’ll get furious. Especially journalists egos are quite rotten in that way, since public attention is one of the most valuable tools a journalist can have. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.
The ego is a hobo. Give him shelter and you’ll have a messy roommate for life.
He is also nothing but a big faker, full of lies and needs that are not serving the authentic calling you have inside. It’s just putting on a mask for you to suffocate in while keeping busy looking for ways to feed its shallow yearnings.
And that’s the core reason why people with big egos are in reality very lonely, vulnerable and bitter, and they cannot let anyone be genuinely close with them, because they always fear to reveal their true nature. We have our reason reasons, of course, to build an ego to protect us. Showing feelings is made difficult for most, and early childhood experiences will either make it harder or just less hard.
Mine was never that swollen, though my ego was dominant in a very different way. Like all egos, mine kept the authenticity in me at bay. I mean the smile, the tears, the love and all the warmth that I have and replaced it in shyness, faked humbleness and emotional coldness.
I also had (and still sometime have, I regret to admit) that stupid voice inside me that separates “I” from “them” and never letting “us” to happen. My ego has always been the one who wants to be the center of attention by, say, writing semi-witty remarks as a music critic about people I barely even now. Then the ego would go around telling people how sharp my pencil is, and how I managed to insult and point out weaknesses of others. I started to hate that twat long time ago, but only now finally got a chance to shake it off.
After the retreat I realised, that in that epic second ceremony it was my ego fighting and not me. It was trying to hold on to composure, tears and that famous cool look I have in order to survive to tell heroic stories about how I was not affected by hallucinogens. You know, the same way it’s heroic not to take pain killers when your ankle is broken. Or hold tears when your pet just died. In reality it’s so not cool not to show who you really are, what you care about and how you feel deep inside.
In the ceremonies I felt like my ego was dissolving and letting the light flow freely through me, both in and out. It felt like I could breath again, be open with others and quit all the games of manipulation for good. I am not going to write an obituary yet, since I know it’s not completely dead. But it’s wounded all right, and getting weaker by the day.
Needless to say, my trip with Ayahuasca has been the most important journey of my life yet, and I have done quite a few. It changed the inside of me the way I didn’t even know I needed. After three ceremonies and my ego taking a beating I became more genuine and open, something I closer to what I truly am behind the dead Joker mask.
I saw the same progress with my journey mates, too. Never have I hugged so many people in so little time than in the Om-mij Retreat in Alicante. Never have I seen so transformative results in people, seemingly in a hopeless loop of depression. Of course some of us had more work to do than the others, some had to face very big issues back home, some only got to scratch the surface. Many of us swore not to let it end here. After all Ayahuasca cures nothing itself, it just opens the window of opportunity for you to realise how to move on from here.
I was not going to write anything about my trip, but when all was said and done and it was time to leave to the outside, I just knew I had to write a detailed description of this. I knew I had to do it english, since that is something I had been avoiding for years just because my critical mind wouldn’t let me make grammatical errors, settle for less than adequate vocabulary and simple sentences, thus revealing my less than perfect English to all my readers. That was my fragile little ego talking.
And this text?
Well, this is me talking.