“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom” – Mary Ferguson
No idea what I’m on about? Read My Date With Ayahuasca:
Along with the dietary changes that were required leading up to the ayahuasca, there were a few other recommendations too. I chose to start the rest of these requirements 10 days out as well:
- Slow down. Start to ask yourself what these few days mean to you, where is your heart?
- Start a daily meditation practice.
- Resolve any conflict or issues with other people if you have any, as you don’t want to be carrying this in with you.
- Avoid people, places and information that create negative energy. (Shopping malls, TV & mass media spring to mind!)
Along with the vegan diet, this was tougher than it looked. All of the above were there as guidelines, and I began to get the feeling that it was not a case of rocking up with a list of demands, but simply letting go and starting to trust that the medicine would do what it needed to, not a case of you telling it what you ‘think’ you needed. A subtle difference but very significant.
|Note: These posts are my OWN PERSONAL experiences. I am in NO-WAY suggesting anyone else should do this. Ayahuasca has been the biggest adventure for me to date, and I’m simply sharing that adventure for those who want to know my experience. I have been asked continuously about it since I drank, so these posts are for those who want to know more. I captured my feelings and thoughts in short videos before, during & after the ceremony. I’m sharing them with each post for those that want to know more, so you can get feel for what I went through.It’s illegal to possess/traffic Ayahuasca within Australia.|
In the retreats own words: As far as healing is concerned, you are your own ideal healer if you use your mind correctly. Humility is essential, fear is not and an attitude of gratitude will take you a long, long way into your heart. And when you are in your heart that is where your healing really starts. In these ways you can begin to prepare yourself for the meeting with the medicine, you can begin to surrender your ego to the higher cause of self-realisation.
The only thing my heart was doing at this point was beating faster than usual! The day had come & we were told to meet the guy in the white pants under the big clock of the station at 3pm… What was I letting myself in for!
On the morning of the day I was to drink ayahuasca, I realised I wasn’t scared anymore. I was absolutely terrified and Australia seemed like a long time ago. By this time I had probably had about 4hrs sleep totalling over the last two nights. With the time zone difference, detoxing from the diet, along with this day hanging over me more like a guillotine than a cloud, I was beginning to crumble fast.
On top of that, one of the other requirements was that you fast on the day of drinking. So yep, no food and only water (I did have a veggie juice when I woke first thing).
In fact, I was broken and I was calling on inner reserves. Just to put things in perspective to how I was truly feeling at this point, there have only been two other times in my entire life when I have truly felt like I needed those reserves. The first was when I had altitude sickness so bad I was repeatedly vomiting. I was so weak I had to be carried back to the tent (thanks Joe!) and things were getting very hazy. I began questioning if I was going to get through the night (fortunately I did).
The second was when I had to write then read my dads eulogy in front of a church full of people.
Both experiences I felt almost removed from myself and an inner strength kicked in to take over. With a combination of sleep deprivation and fear compounding by the minute, I was beginning to feel the same way again. In saying that, both experiences taught me with crystal clear clarity what truly matters in life. And that was the people who you love, your family and friends who are always there for you, the openness to live and the fact that we’ve been given this amazing gift of life and what right do we have to waste to it. Would ayahuasca leave me feeling the same way?
I now needed those inner reserves again… This is what my fear was saying:-
- You’ve heard stories where people don’t think they are going to make it back… This could happen to you!
- Are you going to lose your mind? Panic? Scream?
- What happens if you don’t stop vomiting? Shit yourself?
- Meet demons? Entities? Are you going to leave your body?
- What if, what if what if?
All these fears of course were simply a product of my own mind. Easier said than done though when sleep deprivation and fear become like a runaway freight train with no breaks!
The Journey Continues
When we got to the big clock under the station, the guy with the white pants was there, along with about a dozen other people. I felt instant relief as I met with fellow warm-hearted brave souls who there for the same experience as myself. I’ve never connected so quickly with complete strangers and the welcome we got was simply amazing. I remember thinking the ‘tea’ certainly attracts a certain kind of person!
The picture below shows the room in which the ceremony was held. There were gas heaters in there and it felt warm, comfortable and inviting.
We were all allocated a mattress for where we were to lay and journey within once we had drunk the ayahuasca brew. We were also given an eye mask to help too.
With the few hours that we had at the retreat before we drank, we were all to meet the shaman one by one and simply talk.
When my time came I instantly blabbered my fears and told him I was genuinely scared, and normally most things don’t phase me. He gave me one of best pieces of advice I could have ever asked for. He said:
‘Think of yourself getting on a boat and leaving the shore. The boat is going to take you on a journey and the oceans might even get rough, but the boat will always come back and drop you off at the end. You will always be safe and simply observe the situation if the seas do get rough. Don’t fight it and lay your trust in the vine, and all will be ok my friend’.
When the time came for me to drink, no words can describe how I really felt at that moment (but ‘numb’ springs to mind!)…
My name was called out and I slowly walked up to the shaman and knelt ready to drink. Whilst this was happening the strangest thing happened, and a wave of letting go came over me and I accepted where I was and what was about to happen. The inner fight disintegrated and I drank the brew.
It was the biggest leap of faith I’ve undergone to date and I was ready to accept whatever happens, happens. I walked back to my mattress and lay down calm and steadily. I pulled the blanket over me and put on the eye mask.
I lay as still as a log and opened my palms to face upward and surrendered. I focused on my breathing, slow and steady, deep breaths in and out. Then I thought of what the Shaman said to me earlier, ‘Don’t fight it and lay your trust in the vine, and all will be ok my friend’.
I remember consciously thinking/saying and feeling with my whole heart to mother ayahuasca, ‘I trust you’…
Shortly after I began to feel queasy in the stomach and was begining to wonder if I was about to vomit. Then it wasn’t long before the visions started to come on. Little did I know at the time that this was going to be one of the most profound experiences of my life to date… To be continued…
You can read My Date With Ayahuasca Part 4 here.