Spiritual Healing with Ayahuasca
What is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca is a brew made by boiling very specific plants together for many hours. The main ingredient is Banisteriopsis caapi vine, also known as vine of the soul. It is combined with either Diplopterys cabrerana (also called chagropanga) or Psychotrina viridis (also called charcuna) which contains N Dimethyl Triptamine (DMT).
DMT is a powerful hallucinogen that is found in small quantities in many plants and animals, and there is even a small amount in the human brain. It is in virtually everything organic, but in small quantities.
My Ayahuasca Experience
I will admit that I was skeptical of the benefits of ayahuasca. I had read a great deal about it, watched lots of videos, and read books, but nothing prepared me for the journey that Mother Aya had in store for me. Reports on ayahuasca are mixed. Some people say that it completely changed their life, and others say that it did nothing at all. With this mixed review I entered into the experience both excited and frightened. Excited that there was the possibility that my life could be dramatically improved, and frightened to face my own demons. Little did I know that I would experience both.
Before the ayahausca ceremony it is highly recommended that you follow a specific diet. I will not go into detail, because there are many resources for this online. Essentially, the diet is meat free, free of fermented foods and heavy foods, and encourages lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and water. Some people fast as well. I am not sure that this is completely necessary, but if it is part of your spiritual practice, go for it!
Some recommend meditation or some other spiritual preparation as well. Again, I am not sure that it is really completely essential. I did spend quite a while practicing breathing and meditation prior to my journey. When you are in the journey breathing to calm yourself and stay centered can be helpful, so practicing ahead of time is not a terrible idea.
I also read that some prepare right before ceremony with a flower bath. From what I understand, this is to surround you and purify you with flower essence. Some recommend that you do not use commercial soaps, deodorant, and shampoos. I will admit that I used commercial soaps and deodorant, but I did bath in a purifying bath of flower petals, and it was very calming and grounding before the ceremony. Again, this may not really be necessary, but it was pleasant just the same.
Many also believe that it is important to set an intention when taking ayahuasca. There are conflicting views on this as well. Personally, I did have an intention going in, but it was quite general. Some people who set very specific intentions are then disappointed when they do not get what they want. Others have so many intentions that there is no focus at all. I would say not to get too hung up on it. Do some work on yourself prior to going. Know why you are going. Is it for spiritual expansion, healing of some kind, or clarity? And if you don't really know why you are doing it, then you can just have the intention that Mother Aya help you in ways that she deems necessary for your growth, health, and/or expansion. She will know what you need, even if you don't. I would also warn that this is not a party drug. Yes, it is a psychedelic and you will experience all the "tripping" sensations that go with that, but Mother Aya has been known to kick butt. This article is recommending ayahuasca in a healing capacity, not for entertainment. If you want entertainment, I believe there are far better choices than ayahausca.
The ayahuasca that I had was brewed in the traditional way. It is a dark brown, kind of sludgy tea. I found it to taste pretty bad, and there was bark floating in it. It is a slighty sour taste, and it burned the back of my throat. It is recommended to drink it down fast, mostly so you don't taste it as much. I couldn't drink all of it in one gulp though, so I did have to go back for a second drink. Some people vomit it up right away. I was very fortunate this didn't happen, although about 20 minutes in I had to really fight to keep it down.
The quantity necessary also varies with the individual. Some say that about 4 or 5 ounces is sufficient, but some people may need more. It was explained to me that the amount seems to directly correlate to how "closed" you are to the experience. Some people who are resistant may need more. Interestingly enough, after taking the "dose" I sat and waited to see if I needed more. I remember thinking, this just isn't working. I sat there locked in reality. Then I had the urge to close my eyes. This was giving it to it. I felt silly that I didn't realize that I had to give myself over to the experience. I thought of it like taking headache medicine and waiting for it to work. Instead, the medicine was waiting for me to be ready for it. What a fascinating switch!
I had the typical psychedelic visions associated with DMT. There were bright colors, vivid images, and crazy visions. To me it was very much like being inside a Dr. Suess book, but everyone's visions are different. It is a very personal journey, and your visions will reflect your own very personal ideas, hopes, dreams, and fears.
It started out slow, then gradually got more and more intense. I had decided prior to "going in" that I was going to give up to the experience. For better or worse I was all in. I told Mother Aya to give me all I needed, and she didn't disappoint.
I should mention that during the journey I had the benefit of others playing music for me. This is typical of most shamanic ceremonies. While on the journey this music will affect your "travels" in many different ways. For example, when drums beat I would think that there was a knock on the door, the door often opening and revealing new things to me; or I would think that it was footsteps, revealing people and situations that I needed to face and deal with in some way. Someone shook a seed rattle, and I was transported to being an infant with a rattle facing issues from very early childhood. Many people say that the rattle reveals snakes to them. I did not have that experience, but from what I understand often these snakes provide understanding.
As my journey progressed it became more and more intense. Although I told Mother Aya that I was all in, I came to regret that decision. I argued and bargained with her. Despite my pleading she revealed to me all that I needed to know.
I should offer the disclaimer that many say that Mother Aya will not push you further than you are capable of going. Supposedly, you have the capacity to stop the journey by asking. Many people have reported this happening. I did not really have that experience. I asked for it to end when I became fearful, but it did not relent. I was thrust into other dimensions, I became very lost, I was unable to remember how to get out. It was terrifying to say the least. Many say that ayahuasca can lead to the ego dying, and I believe that to be true. Losing the ego is terrifying. Even though many of us are on spiritual paths and believe that we want to be free of the ego, letting go of it is a tremendously difficult thing.
I do not believe that I ever completely let go of my ego, although I came dangerously close. I did completely lose my body, and many other people claim this has happened to them as well. You are one with all that is, all that ever was.
We often hear that we are spiritual beings in human form, but ayahuasca demonstrates this in a way that is liberating and exhilarating. Once you leave your human form it is much easier to understand the concept of spirituality. I could ramble on about it, but there is nothing new that I could write that has not already been written. Until you experience it, it is very difficult to accept.
I also traveled to other dimensions, other versions of my life. There has been much debate over the existence of other dimensions, dimensions where you made another choice and your life continued in another way, and such. I experienced other versions of myself. I personally found this quite terrifying, because as I was there I found that I lost knowledge of my other existences. I also need to emphasize that is not like a dream. This is real. You are there. You are completely in the new existence, and you start to doubt that the old one ever existed. That can be terrifying... at least it was for me.
A lot has been written about purging, so I probably do not have to write much about it here. Personally, I purged in almost every way possible. I vomited, had terrible diarrhea, I cried and cried, I yawned, burped, shook, did Yoga poses, walked and rocked uncontrollably. Others played music, danced, laughed, screamed, and purged in many other ways. It is about release. We release toxins, blockages, negative energy, and emotions through purging. It may sound terrible, but honestly it felt great and was very liberating. Almost everyone that I have encountered purged in one way or another.
Lessons From Mother Aya
So through the course of my journey I learned many things, far too many to list them all, but I will share a few big ones.
We are all connected. This is one we hear over and over, but until you feel that connection it feels like new age psychobabble. The fact is that we are all connected. We are all the same and we are all unique. We are here together in this existence to share the human experience, learn from it, and help one another. It is a joyful thing. Revel in your connection.
It is okay to need help. As I said, we are all connected, so when I help you, I help me as well. I have always valued being self sufficient, yet I enjoy helping others. What I did not fully understand is that just as I find joy in helping others, others find joy in helping me. Why should I deny others the joy of helping me? That is a bit selfish, right? I help you, you help me, and we all benefit.
We are all beautiful. This is a point that I have always struggled with. Our society puts value only on specific characteristics. The fact is that we are all beautiful As spiritual beings we chose our human form, and all humans are beautiful, complex, and amazing. Often we would look at others t and think that they are beautiful, so why is it so difficult for us to see beauty in ourselves?
Another message that I received was to trust my intuition. Intuition is the Universe's way of communicating with you. Those feelings you get are for a reason, to guide you toward your best good. Your intuition will never steer you wrong!
I am sure that there are many other lessons that I learned, and I learn more every day. That is another important point. Mother Aya never really leaves you after the journey. Once you partake she remains your companion and guide.
Is Ayahuasca Right for You?
Well, you are the only one who knows if ayahuasca is right for you. I do believe that everything you learn on a journey are things that you inherently already know but may have forgotten. We came into this existence knowing all this, but we forgot. Ayahuasca helps us to remember.
If you are struggling with life, feel lost, unsure how to move forward, or forget why you are here Mother Aya can help. Just be warned that it may not be a kind, gentle journey. It can be very painful and frightening. You need to be ready to face your demons.
Ayahausca may not be for everyone. There are gentler means to enlightenment and healing, but ayahuasca is an excellent way to get there faster...much faster. It is not a short cut though. You will still have to deal with your stuff, you will just be forced to do it right away.
I hope my account has helped you to find a better understanding of what ayahuasca is and how it works. I am in no way an expert on ayahuasca, merely a student like so many others. Every day I learn a little more on my path. I am sharing my experience so that I may help you on yours.
Namaste my friends!