One month in the Amazon jungle of Peru and eight Ayahuasca ceremonies later, I feel that I've taken a huge leap forward in my level of awareness about myself, the world, and life as a whole.
Ayahuasca, or la medicina, is a plant medicine that contains high levels of a compound called DMT, which is found naturally in the human brain, and has been used for thousands of years by the indigenous people of South America. Ayahuasca brings us to altered states of awareness and removes the blocks that are preventing us from accessing other parts of our reality which are normally imperceptible to our regular senses and ordinary level of consciousness. La medicina gives us an experiential connection with the Universe; one where guidance, messages, and insights are regularly received. This ancient tradition gives us the tools necessary to become an active participant in our own personal evolution through deep physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual cleansing.
Most individuals, and we collectively as a society, are looking to others to take responsibility for our lives and blame for our challenges; our parents, partner, children, boss, religious leaders, the government, the illuminati, etc. Until, one-by-one, we make the conscious choice to release the mindset that labels metaphysical/spiritual experiences and non-ordinary states of consciousness as "impossible," "evil," or "just for hippies," and take full responsibility for our own lives, we will never know our true potential as individuals or as a species. We must be willing to let go of who we think we are to truly know and connect with what we actually are.
As humans, we've been asking forever questions such as "Why am I here?" and "Does my life have purpose?" Ayahuasca and other medicinal plants such as peyote, marijuana, and mushrooms are teachers that can help us to answer these questions when used with the intention of expanding your awareness and in a setting that encourages this type of experience. I have experienced and been witness to things that have forever altered the way I view this life and for that I am eternally grateful.
I want to make it clear that I do not believe everyone is ready for work with these medicines. I'm not saying go find a drug dealer tonight and get high in your living room. As someone who spent the better part of the last decade doing exactly that, I truly understand the way intentions and external settings can contribute to the exploration of our own minds and the Universe as a whole. Indigenous peoples, such as the Shipibo shaman's I have been working with for the last month, have understood this idea for centuries.
Ayahuasca is some of the toughest work one will ever do, and can also be one of the most beautiful and soul awakening experiences of a lifetime. La medicina will show you layers of yourself you never imagined existed and bring you to a place where you have no choice but to continue the process of healing. There is no turning back once you've begun. In the moment, an Ayahuasca experience can be absolutely terrifying, but what you learn from it will change you forever if you choose to let it do so.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to participate in a work exchange at the Ayahuasca retreat center outside Iquitos, Peru, the Temple of the Way of Light. During this time I will continue deepening my relationship with this beautiful medicine, while contributing to the experience of others during their workshops. I'm not sure how long I will stay, I suppose until the Universe gives me signs that it's time to move on. I'm excited to experience the next phase of this journey and look forward to sharing new insights with you all when I have access to Internet once per month.
I believe with every fiber of my being that Ayahuasca is a gift from the Divine that will illuminate the path of whoever decides to turn on the light.
Namaste, beautiful beings.