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Ayahuasca: Nuevos Horizontes

Feb 8th Ayahuasca 3

It was a late start and, despite earlier discussion, the clearing for the Maloka was ignored as the venue for this Ayahuasca ceremony and we huddled around the fire normally used for cooking next to the kitchen. There felt more of a chill in the air this evening and I edged my chair closer to the fire. Everyone is quiet with an introspective look in their faces as they glow orange from the flickering flames in the night.

It seemed like hours before we were called to the altar although I didn’t mind. Sitting around the fire in a silent group has its own mystical power.

The cup was small and the flavour more pleasant than I remembered. The flavour is irrelevant, this is sacred medicine. I returned to my chair and felt my body starting to cool despite the heat of the fire. I went to the tent to fetch a blanket to wrap myself against the evening chill. It took a while for the medicine to kick in and I felt almost drunk. The earth beneath my feet and the coals within the fire took on geometric shapes and the flames flickered blue, green and yellow.

I remembered I should ask questions that I wanted answers to. Once again I asked, “What is my path?” The answer came as a feeling and a thought: “This is it. You are on it here and now. The path is infinitely wide and infinitely long. What you are looking for is a limitation…” This reminded me of what Miguel and Luis told me before the first ceremony. “You are already on my path, let happiness be your guide.” I didn’t get the answer I was looking for. I wanted that ‘limitation’ for giving me a direction. Without it, I was a ship on an infinite sea without a compass, but I felt liberated by what was revealed. This answer told me that my ship had a rudder and I could steer anywhere I wanted. I needed better questions for getting specific answers but I had not prepared well enough.

I had no more questions but felt relatively content and accepted the moment as it presented itself. I relaxed into the experienced and felt great warmth for those around me, this community of courageous souls, this family. Keely was to my left, still and silent in a chair enveloped in blankets. She was like a temple with doors closed, I couldn’t tell what was going on inside. Rosalie laid down on the floor beside me, her fingers caressing the soil. She reminded me of Deb and I felt Deb’s spirit was around me. I was not alone and experienced great peace and tranquillity. I felt I was no longer there for me. I was there to share this space with others and I watched these souls as they moved through their own experiences, prepared to help but not to interfere. I experienced very little nausea this time and did not need to purge or feel a need for a second cup. This night was easy on me.

The moon rose over the mountains to the east judging the crescent of the moon, the sun not far behind. and as the guitars came out, I went to bed, sung to sleep by the voices around the fire.

Feb 9th Ayahuasca 4

The day after an Ayahuasca ceremony feels different to a normal day. There remains a spiritual connection and I’m fascinated by other people’s experiences. I found out that Rosalie had missed the first two ceremonies at Aloha Ke Akua and that last night was her first. It was really none of my business but I was glad she had had a good experience.

The remainder of the day was fairly restful. I spent some time down by the river and thought about some questions to take to tonight’s ceremony. I slept a little in the afternoon. A fire was lit in the new clearing for the Maloka and people had already arranged their mats for sleeping outside. I claimed a chair near the fire and brought a blanket even though it didn’t seem as cold as last night.

On the opposite side of the fire, 5 people sat cross-legged on yoga mats. We were silent, faces reflecting the glow of the fire. I had forgotten my notebook but remembered most of the questions I had written down so decided to leave the notebook in the tent. Keely was to my right and Carlos, a middle-aged Colombian who I had never met before but had arrived that night was to my left wearing distinctive red sandals.

After taking the medicine, I got comfortable in my chair with the blanket wrapped around me. The medicine made me feel cold so I edged toward the fire and wrapped myself tightly in the blanket. I was shivering and I leaned forward to lie on my thighs half curled up wanting to lie down and go to sleep. I was thinking of the questions I had thought up earlier. I looked at my feet and saw Mayan or Aztec style patterns in the soil and faces carved within them and a message came to not go for comfort.

In a dream when I look away and look back, the patterns change. Here when I looked away and looked back, the same faces were still there. These were representations the anscestors; all the souls who had gone before. They told me I had the gift of life. It was mine now and I was the bearer for all that preceded me. I felt both gratitude for that and guilt that I had not been grateful for the gift of life I had been given up until now. Ultimately, my life was up to me I should do whatever I want and listen to my heart and the clues and signals along the way, my intuition.

Then my negative traits were shown to me: judgement and resentment. I felt uncomfortable but the answers to my questions began to come. This must have been a long time because Bryan brought his guitar to the fire and the music started to play. My resentment was highlighted as I wanted the silence to concentrate while the answers to my questions were being delivered. What are my talents? “You are already using them.”

I felt the discomfort and curled up in the chair. “Do not go for comfort” echoed in my mind. I fixed my eyes on Carlos’ red shoes; an anchor in my experience drifting in a sea of discomfort in front of the fire. How can I best serve with joy? “You serve by being joyful, everything else follows.” Carlos sat like a rock, immobile in his chair, feet firmly planted on the ground, the faces of the ancestors continued looking up at me. Immovable stoic stone faces in the earth and in the corner of my vision. Carlos’ red shoes planted into the ground.

How do I find my ideal partner? “She will appear when you are ready, do not be attached to whoever comes…” That used to be an important question for me but had since become a simple curiosity as I came to appreciate myself…  but this answer was a clue to my failed relationships: attachment, to own or belong to… it had been the undoing of my relationships, that and ingratitude.

My biggest lesson of tonight was that of Gratitude for all those that have gone before: people and events; for they truly have given us the world we have now. I don’t really need anything else apart from gratitude, my questions highlighted all my ingratitude that went before. I was done but stayed by the fire wanting peace but thinking I should be enjoying the music.

Eventually, I stood up and made my way across the grass toward the toilet. It seemed like a long hike into the wilderness and I felt happy in the cool night air away from the fire and the music. Again, there was no purging and the medicine stayed inside me. I filled my water bottle at the hose and went to sit in the kitchen in the dark and to experience solitude for a while before going to bed.

I didn’t know what the time was but the moon was not yet up so I guessed earlier than last night. Luis came by and shared a few words, then Bryan came by to pack away his guitar and shared a few words too. Lying in my bed, my mind flickering colourful flames of thought, I cast my mind back to the hours wishing for sleep while bent over in the chair. “Do not go for comfort.” The message had said and I stayed with that all night. And here I was, now comfortable, yet unable to go to sleep.

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