As I've been attending various healing ceremonies and weekends of late I thought I'd write a guide for anyone seeking to engage in some deeper spiritual work on themselves. Often people don't know where to start or what to look for so I thought I'd give a few pointers that may be of use.
I could actually finish this post by just saying : Trust your gut, but I'll elaborate a little.
Follow your instinct, you may feel its time to engage in something light, that makes you feel good and enjoy life, perhaps yoga or meditation, some kind of spiritual discussion group. Go for it, get out there, there really is so much to choose from these days both online and locally to open our minds to a new way of viewing the world. Meditation many think is about being blissed out, I don't think it is, I've written about the challenge that is meditation here, a realistic view.
A few months back when I was screened to receive ayahuasca, I was asked if I had ever tried Holotropic Breathwork, I had not, I'd never heard of it before. I now know it is a practice for deep therapeutic work so not for everyone. I think when people exhaust the lighter means to feel good, perhaps addressing the more superficial causes, they may be forced to explore their trauma, or psyche and beyond into much deeper work, or remain in the struggle, stuck. Sometimes when the frustration and pain gets too much, we have little to lose, that's when the real work begins.
My article is only to briefly mention my own experience. With some of these practises I feel it best to dive in and get the experience, rather than the intellect trying to decipher how and why it works. The mind can ruin what would otherwise be a great new journey. If you wish to know more of the details, here is a good primer Twelve Things You Should Know About Holotropic Breathwork.
So I'll spare you the details of how it all works, just to say Holotropic Breathwork was created by psychiatrist Stan Groff in the 70's. Groff carried out a lot of work with LSD treating patients. When LSD became illegal Groff went in search of natural ways to achieve similar results, the result is Holotropic Breathwork.
This night was planned by my guides and ancestors.
This is Part 3 of a 3 part series on my first ayahuasca experience. I strongly suggest reading the first two parts as they lead up to this final post. Part 1 available here covers what ayahuasca is, its effects and my knowledge of the ceremony before I first drank it.
Part 2 is available here and covers the journey that led me to the experience in this article. There will also be audio files further describing the journey coming soon.
I'll skip straight to my journey, other than to say this was a closed group of people in Ireland, some of whom have a lot of experience with the medicine. I was the only first timer present that night. We sat in a circle on couches and armchairs, each with a basin and roll of kitchen tissue at our feet. I had a brief discussion before hand with the person organising the medicine to arrive at a suitable dose for my first time.
Soon it was time for a brief talk about ayahuasca, suggestions such as try to stay in the room, where the toilet was and so on. We were encouraged to try to keep the medicine down for forty minutes if possible, this gives it time to be fully absorbed into the system and do its best work. From my preparation I knew that vomiting was likely, or purging as it is called, and heard mixed descriptions of the taste. There would be music played loudly throughout (although I was barely aware of it), more tribal or didgeridoo, specially selected to take us on a journey, so the end of the fifth track would indicate forty minutes. There is no dancing, little or no talking, people observe their own inward journey.
This was an incredible, demonic experience, incomparable to anything I had ever previously encountered.
This is Part 2 of a 3 part series on my first ayahuasca experience. Part 1 available here which covers what ayahuasca is, its effects and my knowledge of the ceremony before I first drank it.
Part 3 you can find here. There will also be audio files further describing the journey coming soon.
I would say I've felt driven to be free for all of my life. At times a burning desire to understand life and to experience the expansion of mind beyond this physical reality. Despite much contemplation, around twenty four years of meditation, ten of which I practised twice daily, never missing a meditation, I've meditated on trains, planes, in toilet cubicles, any quiet space I could find to keep to my daily discipline. I've practised all manner of techniques on releasing stress and furthering my spiritual evolution: EFT, Ho'oponopono, Native American Sweat lodges, Floatation Tanks, Energy Healing, different forms of yoga, many forms of meditation, spiritual retreats in different parts of the world, taken courses on philosophy, Gnosticism, astral travel, among others, received many sessions of massage, Craniosacral Therapy, acupuncture... and on and on it goes. All have been helpful to some degree, they got me over a hump perhaps to continue on in search of deeper fulfilment and a number I continue to practise regularly to this day. I’ve always asked questions, got easily frustrated with life and bored with the day to day as I see it. I was bored with life long before I hit my teens. Never sure if I was just doing it wrong, or on a different path in search of a different experience than what we are bombarded with in today's society. I've found it much harder to trust my own voice and direction, something that is changing with age, than to find the path that is best suited to me.
I began to explore the possibilities of multiple realities coexisting simultaneously.
This is Part 1 of a 3 part series on my first ayahuasca experience. Part 2, in this link, covers my own personal journey to arrive at this point and Part 3 covers my hellish experience.
Ayahuasca is a vine found in the Amazon jungle known to have healing powers and has been used by native peoples for thousands of years to heal the mental, physical and spiritual. I have heard it referred to as the Vine Of Death or the Vine Of The Souls, I’ve also heard it called Snake Medicine, the point being a snake sheds its skin. In the Amazon jungle ayahuasca is not considered a drug. The shaman consider it medicine and either refer to it as Mother Ayahuasca or simply as the medicine. It has been described as being of the hallucinogenic family such as magic mushrooms or LSD/Acid although some shaman prefer to not compare these. People are normally asked have they previously tried acid and how were their experiences. I had tried acid, and had very paranoid dark trips. Of the selection of drugs I've used in my life (before getting sober, covered in Part 2), acid was the least enjoyable, so I made a decision to stay away from it.
I will take you to hell, but I will bring you back to the light.