Ayahuasca

Are you familiar with the fascinating realm of synchronicities? Synchronicities are occurrences that are so much aligned with your path that they simply do not feel like pure coincidences. I like to believe that synchronicities show me the direction of my purpose. My heart-centered path of immense growth and happiness.

Since I focus on my growth processes, my life appears to have central themes. Often this is a fear or insecurity that feels stuck in my being. This can be a childhood trauma, an accident or a limiting belief. When learning to appreciate my body was a theme, I was invited to come to intuitive dancing in contact with other people. I met people who told me out of the blue how beautiful they thought I was. It helped.

The central themes in my life right now are healing the fear and old, hidden pain of feeling alone (a childhood trauma) and diving deeper into appreciating myself completely. On many different occasions I heard people talking about this thing called ayahuasca. Aya-what? Ayahuasca, an old ritual where you throw up and get to know yourself better. Without knowing much more than this, I felt strangely attracted to this phenomenon. Suddenly friends participated in these ceremonies. I thoroughly interrogated them about their experiences. I decided that when I had some finances available, I would enroll for a weekend of this ayahuasca. I set out an intention: ‘Universe, if I am supposed to do this ayahuasca-thing, than provide me with some funds’. In the next days I met even more people who participated in ayahuasca-ceremonies and even an experienced assistant. Okay, okay. I get the point. This is getting annoying. I will sign up for a weekend right now. Thank you.

A shaman’s ritual

To prepare for ayahuasca the recommendations differ. From just not drinking alcohol the day before the ceremony up to strict advise on diet and sex life. I decided to not have sex in the week before the ritual and eat very sober. No sugar, dairy products, alcohol, wheat, chocolate, coffee… basically a diet of fresh fruits and greens, nuts, seeds, rice and tea. It was no big deal since I am into eating very healthy for a while already again. I also decided to quit Facebook for the week and really focus on myself, setting clear intentions for what I wanted to gain from the weekend ahead. And letting go of these intentions on my way there, not sticking to them.

I trusted my intuition for choosing the place where I wanted to experience the ayahuasca ceremony. Many friends went to the same place and were enthusiastic. It felt right to choose this place too. The two-and-a-half-hour it took to drive there were like a long meditation. No radio to distract me back to the real world, but silence to think about my life and singing mantras gave me a feeling of being prepared to the unknown things ahead.

I arrived as one of the last participants in a group of about thirteen people, mainly women. It felt like a perfect fit to my path of sisterhood. The afternoon consisted of introductions of people and ayahuasca itself. Ayahuasca is a sacred Amazonian indigenous brew that has been traditionally used for shamanic, spiritual and healing purposes for over 5000 years. The effects can be intense on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual plane. A friend called it a ‘highway towards self-realization’. The brew consists of two different components, both tasting disgusting (ayahuasca is also called la purga –  the throwing up, for a reason). The first component is a MAO-inhibitor that makes sure the second component, the hallucinogenic plant containing DMT, is not digested by MAO-enzyms in the stomach and intestines before the effects reach the brain. DMT, short for dimethyltryptamin, is a molecule related to serotonin that is naturally produced in our bodies. The combination of DMT and a MAO-inhibitor results in a strong experience with physical sensations and visionary effects. It is possible to see colorful geometric shapes, have mystic or religious experiences, be in contact with animals or other creatures or relive past experiences.

The cycle of reincarnation was explained to us. There is the time between conception and birth, the prenatal stage. Between birth and death there is life of course. The time between death and conception is the realm of bardo, the other side, heaven, home, the intermediate state or any other name given. Birth and dead are portals between phases which are often traumatic. During an ayahuasca-journey, it is very well possible to go through these experiences again. When it feels like you are crushed and smothered, you are probably going through a birth-experience. When you feel cold and sense like you are floating away, it is a death-experience. It is very possible to meet angels or demons, see past lives, have visions of the future or learn the purpose of your life. One thing is certain: the Spirits will bring you exactly what you need.

Throwing up is just like an orgasm

In preparation for the first nights’ ritual we fasted for half the day. We putted mattresses in a circle, surrounding an altar filled with flowers, candles and crystal sculptures in the shape of. Only half an hour left. People went to their backpacks to change into white clothes while getting nervous. Are we really going to do this?

After finding a place that felt right somehow I seated myself on a mattress and arranged the pillows and blankets to my liking in the hope to feel more comfortable. I was not so sure whether it would help, but I told myself the Spirits would guide me and I would be safe. ‘Let this ceremony bring me what I need’. If it did not work I had a second chance tomorrow or at least have an experience to add to my bucket list.

The couple leading the ceremony took their guitars and started singing songs. We were handed little books with lyrics to be able to sing along. We sang to the Spirits, the plants that the ayahuasca brews are made of and sang a prayer for insights and consciousness. The singing created a spirit of ‘we are in this together’, bonding us in not knowing what to expect, even though some people had been to the ceremony many times before. Each time is different, anything can happen.

The first drink was offered. “Ladies first.”  We received a small glass filled with a red-brownish colored liquid. It smelled like some kind of bad mix of cold coffee and strong tea. It tasted worse. I quickly grabbed a piece of tangerine to get rid of the taste. It did not help much. Back on my mattress I felt weird. My stomach seemed to mould the bitter liquid, my body felt confused. A little nauseous but not too bad. We started singing again. It distracted my attention from the taste in my mouth. Nice. After about ten minutes the second drink was offered. This one tasted worse than the first one. More tangerine, quick! And back to the mattress. All around me people were starting to feel bad. The brew needed about fifteen minutes to start working. I started feeling lightheaded. The singing distracted me for a while, but after some songs I gave up singing along and lay down like most people did. Here and there people started throwing up. It did not bother me much as my body was attracting most of my attention.

In my daily life it happens often that I feel over stimulated. It feels like there is noise in my head, making me feel tensed and tired. I thought I was relaxing into the ayahuasca experience, but what I felt was a circus in my brain. With my eyes closed I felt like I was pulled into many different directions at high speed. Even though it was pretty quiet around me, there was so much noise in my head. I saw flashing lights, images quickly following each other. I tried to relax into the experience and understand the message, for I thought that was the only way to get through. There were short moments of peaceful silence, but then the circus started again, until I felt like I could not take it anymore. I saw myself screaming out loud on the top of a dump. ‘Now thát is resitance’. I clearly recall this thought coming up. ‘You know what? Let me try to embrace this non-acceptance completely. “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you”. I began reciting the Ho’oponopono phrases in my mind. I felt my body gradually letting go of tension and resistance. A peaceful silence filled me completely as I drifted off in a mist of restfulness where time did not exist.

The next I remember is that we were called for the second round of drinks. The first round lasted for about two hours. When the effects started to dwindle, a second dose brings a new state of transformation. I tried to stand up, but suddenly experienced the full weight of my body. I expected getting up would be as easy as after a good sleep, but it was much more difficult. I sat up, waiting until I felt at present more or less. The drinks tasted just as horrible as the first round. Yuck! Because I was adding more terrible tasting stuff to my body that already felt confused after the first round, I was pretty convinced I was about to throw up. I lay down on my back and waited for the purge to come. I felt bolts of energy shooting up my spine from pelvis to head. ‘There we go!’ I memorized where my bucket was to be able to make it there quickly when I needed to throw up. But I did not need to throw up. My mind wondered why. I felt the energy and my mind created the epiphany that throwing up was not much different from an intense orgasm. Both are surges of energy shooting up your body and coming down again. The sounds of people throwing up combined with the bolts of energy I felt made it very clear for my blurred mind. So why was I not purging? A voice in my mind said “You are so open already. There is nothing to let go off. Nothing you have not been through, nothing you have not seen a hundred times already”. I accepted there was no throwing up for me in this moment and surrendered myself completely to the energy flowing through my body. I was looping, coiling and twisting like a caterpillar, bending my spine. It felt very sensual and stimulating. Even though it must have been around midnight, I felt wide awake. Laying on my back, I looked to all the people from my upside-down perspective, eyes wide open. The next moment I sat up straight, rocking from left to right in a meditative position, but with my eyes wide open. I alternated between laying on my back and sitting straight up. I was looking at the other people, dancing, vomiting, crying, standing on their head, hiding, shouting and slamming their fists on the floor. I could feel all their emotions because I had been there many times before. I saw their past lives. I saw Indians, wise men and women, children, old people, hope and despair. But I did not hold onto anything. I just observed without judgments, neediness, fear or anything. The only thing I did was radiating love to all of them.

I felt like I saw everything for the very first time, curious and with an open mind. I realized that tenseness in my mind and body is created by the stories I attach to things. Without stories (emotions, past, expectations and projections), things are just things. Holding on to any story is being outside the moment.

My body kept moving, energy flowed through me freely. I realized my cheeks were wet. I knew I had been crying for hours and the tears kept coming. I just observed it without attaching any emotion to my crying eyes.

In the beginning of the ceremony I felt a bit disappointed I was not meeting any angels or guides. But now I realized I did not meet any of them because they are in me already. The lines between dimensions are so thin. All realities connect. Everything is interconnected. I knew that I lived in all dimensions.

I looked at the people and saw all they were and had been. I was their mother, their daughter, their lover and their sister. And it did not matter, for the moment is now. I looked at my hands and saw the hands of a man, the hands of an old woman, the hands of a child, dying hands and newborn hands. They held a heart.

I saw the man leading the ceremony. He was an old Indian, playing guitar and bell drum. Another moment he was dancing under a golden circle above the door of the room. The Master of both worlds, keeping the gate. He had put the bell drum on the mattress next to me, where the person laying down apparently disappeared. I had not noticed and it did not matter. I looked at the bell drum as if I never saw it before. I wanted to touch it and hold it, and at the same time I did not need to for I already exactly know how it would feel.

My body kept moving, my eyes kept crying. I was talking with my inner guides. I felt I was a messenger between worlds for I felt so connected to both the physical world and the realm of the unseen. “You are a Translator. Writing is your friend, a way to share what you know.” “Life is about being the real you. Just be the real you, vibrating love, and the Universe will provide all you need. That is who you are and that is your purpose.” “Surround yourself with people like you, who are in the moment, for they help you feeling connected.” “You are so ready.” “Tell people about the beauty you see in them. Understand their struggle but do not identify with it. Just love them.”

I saw people important to me in my mind. Suddenly I was passionately kissing someone. Was it real? Was it imagination? What does it matter? Everything that you experience is real. Reality is subjective. Real is what you believe is real.

I touched my skin. It felt so soft. I looked at my body. What a gorgeous body! I saw myself with different eyes. All people are so beautiful! I loved my body and all other bodies, and at the same time it did not matter. ‘Nothing really matters. It is all about the now, the connectedness. That is how the cycle of incarnation will stop in the end. When we all find heaven in our selves we do not need the duality of life and death, here and there, good and bad anymore. It is all the same and present at the same time.’

A voice somewhere announced that the ceremony was closing. We sat in a circle again, holding hands. My mind was present one moment, and floating in pink clouds the next second, totally unaware of the circle of people. I sat up straight next to the leader of the ceremony who I still perceived as an old Indian. I sat up straight next to him, like a medicine woman, holding the sacred space. It made perfect sense. When the circle closed people started to leave slowly, one after the other.  I felt like I was still holding the sacred space. Until I would stand up, people would stay. Some stayed a long time. I floated on the music, enjoying the now without holding on to anything. Observing and holding space. Songs were played. It was like the musicians were sitting next to me, so beautiful! I knew I would be the last one to leave, and at the same time it did not matter.

Suddenly I felt I was done. I stood up, which was surprisingly easy this time. The last people followed me. The music stopped. There was fresh fruit in the kitchen that tasted amazing. I felt light, wonderful, impregnated with love. That night my body kept moving, sensing sensual energy pulses along my spine.

Fallen angel

I woke up feeling good. A bit nauseous, but filled with love and joy. The other people displayed a variety of smiles and faces that clearly displayed how sick they felt. We shared our experiences. It was amazing to hear what was going through these wonderful people. They had experienced births and deaths, frightening scenes and beautiful moments. I spent some time in the afternoon walking on my own and meditating in the beautiful garden where flowers were showing their colors. Winter is also something we created. In their reality this moment is the perfect moment to flower.

As we prepared for the ceremony of the second night, which would be identical to the first ceremony, I was thinking about what I desired to experience. Another night of bliss would be amazing. But if I could learn something else, maybe about my kids or my inner child, that would be very welcome too.

I received what I wished for and much, much more…

After the first round of drinks I started to feel lightheaded right away. I felt myself filling up with love and looking around me. All the others were lying down and felt so heavy. I sat up straight, rocking left to right and felt angelic. But then I turned inward and felt the need to curl up and lie down. My body seemed to be crushed. A strong pressure was pushing against my lower jaw. I did not like the feeling at all. Then I realized this was probably one of those birth experiences. ‘Yes’, it sounded in my mind. “Whose birth is it?” I saw the face of my eldest daughter clearly in my mind. “Allright. What’s the message? Do I need to do some healing on her birth?” (Her birth was really smooth and quick, just like the births of my other two daughters.) No, the only thing important was to feel how incredibly happy this little baby was to be born as my child. I felt emotional. Two days before we did an exercise on our own births. Although I felt a lot of love and happiness during my mother’s pregnancy, I felt so much sadness at the moment of birth. To feel how happy my own child was when she was born filled my eyes with tears. The pressure released. My eyes opened and I was lying on my back, smiling, and watching my surroundings with the eyes of a child. My attention span was very short. My body stopped moving when a painting or a crack in a wall attracted my attention. After a few seconds my mind was bored and I looked for something else to focus on. I tried to ask for the message behind this “Blah blah, booooooring!” my mind responded. I intuitively knew it was about the experience. Observe like a child and learn to understand them better. After a while I turned inward again. Curling up under my blanket and closing my eyes. The pressure came back. ‘Who is this?’ The face of my second daughter appeared. Again the joy, the release of pressure, opening my eyes and observing the world as a child. And again turning inward, new pressure. My third child? Yes, my third child.

This ceremony I had taken a pencil and my notebook with me. I had the feeling I wanted to write things down this evening. I wrote about how much in the Now kids are. There is a Now and a Not-Now. The Not-now does not exist. Therefore it does not make sense to tell them to clean up their mess in ten minutes. ‘That is not now, so we can keep playing.’ Unkempt promises really make kids sad, so be careful with what you promise them. When you say you are coming, do not start checking your mail, but go to them. Make it simple, let them play. They are little angels.

My body was moving all the time, yawing and with tearing eyes. At times I felt orgastic and really sensual. The message was to really enjoy my body and sensuality, and open heartedly sharing that sensuality with others.

After the second round of drinks I started to feel sick. I was losing control and I did not like it. My vision became blurred. Things started moving and I wanted to get out of this trip. At the same time I knew this was the journey, there was a message and all I had to do was surrender. But I could not. I closed my eyes and made myself as small as I could. I grasped the bucket when my body tried to throw up but did not succeed doing so. I felt so disappointed not to feel like an angel like yesterday. ‘You are not an angel above people. You are an angel amongst people’. I felt just as terrible as the others. I am no holy exception. My ego felt crushed.

At the point where I felt almost desperate, the woman who was keeping an eye an all of us came kneeling next to me, her body pressed against mine. She felt so safe and warm, a calm motherly presence of unconditional love. I lay my head against her shoulder, sitting on my hands and knees. “How are you?” she asked. I was hardly able to talk. “I am not so sure” I responded. She asked me what would happen if I would tune into the emotions I was feeling. “I feel so alone… so alone…” I turned inward, making myself small again, my body slowly moving while making sure to keep touching her body to feel safe. “Are you in a birth experience?” I was not so sure. It felt like it had something to do with it, but not quite. I felt sadness coming up. Suddenly I linked the sadness to the sadness I felt during the birth-exercise the day before. “It is my mother” I told her. As the words came out of my mouth I started sobbing and crying heavily. There was an enormous load of grief being released. “Did you take over her sadness?” “Yes!” Without thinking I replied. “Why?” “It was so much… she was so sad….” With a comforting voice she said “This is not why you came to earth. That is not your purpose. It’s hers. You are allowed to give this grief back to your mother. This is her lesson. You do not have to take this from her”. Slowly I felt the emotions calm down. A burden was released from my shoulders. I could breathe again. But I felt confused. If I released these emotions which were clearly not mine, was I not abandoning my mother? I did not want her to feel so alone…. But I gradually realized that indeed, this was her path, not mine. I still felt sick, but better than before. My body kept gagging now and then but I was able to surrender. ‘Now is the perfect moment. So now is the perfect moment to throw up’. Even though I did not like this trip much, I surrendered to it. I realized that my worrying mind, my doubts… I all related them to my mother’s sadness. By realizing this, I could start to let it go. I felt how muscles in my face relaxed. Muscles that had been tensed for many years.

After what felt like an eternity, the circle was closing. I sat up again, rocking from left to right. I started laughing and giggling, alternating my smile with tears. Smiling and crying, the emotions are so close to each other. Other people were laughing to. We looked at each other and laughed out loud hysterically. What a release! The hours after the closing of the circle I felt unable to stand up or move, so I sat down or curled up, tried to write some things down. I felt relieved the worst feelings were melting away and started to draw intuitively. The pencil moved over the sheet of paper. The movement felt like a joyful dance. I wrote ‘Drawing is like dancing on a piece of paper’ under the drawing.

That night I was not feeling shiny-happy like the previous night. I felt exhausted, emotional, empty. I wanted to sleep. I felt no resistance in my body anymore. I surrendered to life, the people around me, this group, this day and my bed. My bed felt so good and I was happy to fall asleep.

After effects

The next morning I felt humble. I knew I had a wonderful purpose in my life, sharing what I know and experience with people. But that is no reason for any ego-tripping. I am just like others. I have an angelical side, wise, strong and radiating love. But I also have emotions and lessons to deal with, just like everybody else. I started to feel better. I hugged the people of the group, sharing my experiences with them and listening to theirs.

After a long goodbye I decided to drive to a wonderful forest on my way back home to go for a long walk. Nature felt so alive. I noticed all colors, scents, the wind and sounds so clearly. By times I felt sick again and my body kept trying to purge. Was there more to release? I surrendered. If I have to throw up, so may it be. This is the perfect moment. It is all perfect.

That night in bed the journey continued. I felt myself moving into all directions, but I was to far away into dreamland to remember much of it. I noticed my kundalini, the life energy flowing through my spine, very open and awake. Connecting with a wonderful person, or only seeing a sensual photo or feeling happy, makes my spine tremble, shake and move into all directions, sending wonderful bolts of energy through my body. I feel open. Some days I feel filled up with love, radiating it from all my pores. Other days I still feel stuck, but I seem to be even more aware that I create this feeling of being stuck myself. I create my reality. If I do not like my reality, it is totally up to myself to change it. I cannot blame anyone for how I feel.

I surrender to my emotions more than before, deeply knowing they just want to be seen. I cuddle my inner child firmly. I eat healthy food and take time to prepare the food my body longs for. When the chocolate cravings start, I simply ask what I really need. Often it is feeling comforted, safe and protected. A hug is much better medicine than sugar, but I do need to take the step to ask for that hug instead of closing off to other people. Having the experience of feeling what it is like to totally not attach to anything, having seen and truly felt the bigger picture, to just observe emotions and to distinguish between the emotions of myself and others, helps a great deal.

Photo by Howard G Charing

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