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A Huge Flow of Gratitude
by Curandero
Citation:   Curandero. "A Huge Flow of Gratitude: An Experience with Ayahuasca (exp35494)". Jul 29, 2004.

T+ 0:00
50 ml oral Ayahuasca (tea)
  T+ 1:00 50 ml oral Ayahuasca (tea)
  T+ 3:00 40 ml oral Ayahuasca (tea)


I had been invited to a Daime ceremony on many occasions by a great psychonaut friend of many years who had met and begun working with a group of Brazilian Santo Daime practicioners, but had for one reason or another never quite made it along...

2 years after the first ever invite, he called to let me know, as ever, that ther would be a 'working' on a set date, and if I wanted to go then to invite myself with the organiser....For some reason, it felt like 'the right time' at last, and I overwelmingly committed to going, and invited myself along with a phone call. I was told to bring a white shirt, blue trousers, (no red no black) a blanket for later, maybe some fruit or cake or light food, and, amusingly, told 'I know X (my friend) will have told you what we get up to, so if that hasn't put you off then it's definitely for you'....Boy, was he ever right about that one...

On the day, I was excited in a way I haven't been since my first ever psychedelic experience...Ayahuasca, about which I had heard so much, and so often wondered, at last!! I didn't really know what to expect, I had vague notions of flying out the window and going to other planets and seeing gods and aliens and all sorts...I was truly the proverbial child on his way to the sweetshop with a day at the fair to follow...

I arrived at the venue - a squatted house, with a large-ish barn painted white, natural wood beams showing, and fabric draped on all the walls, with a powerful, pungent incense burning. There were people from all ages, walks of life and nations there, from 8 years old to about 60 years old, maybe half a dozen Brazilians and other South Americans, some Europeans and a few English like myself, both male and female. Everyone was very soft spoken, respectful and friendly, and took careful time to introduce themselves to each other individually and with close attention...I followed suit.

A few weed joints were rolled and left on a table in the centre of the room, along with jugs of water, and seperate glasses for the men and women...The men and women were also seperated (without instruction) to opposite sides of the room...A picture of the founder of the Santo Daime movement was on the table, along with some crystals, and rosary beads, but otherwise the room was fairly bare. In all I guess there were about 25 - 30 people attending.

Z, the organiser, explained instructions for those who felt the need to vomit during the experience (ie where to go, and also explained instructions for how to wash hands in bowls provided if the need arose etc..). He also explained, and I paraphrase 'As we all know, there are some very sick people here, and thewy will need our help throughout...However, moaning and groaning, rolling around a bit, vomiting, that kind of thing, just leave people to heal...The more expereinced keep your eyes open and wits about you, everyone look after themselves and each other...And if anyone should go through la passage (??I think??), then please don't be alarmed - they're just dying, and will be fine...'...This should have been alarming, but wasn't at all, a ripple of laughter bubbled around the room.

It felt already very sacred and positive, and calm, and I started to relax and get curious. The first round of Daime came by, a deep orange liquid presented in a glass very respectfully, one at a time...It tasted bitter, but also had an almost 'Port' like quality, earthy and reminded me a little of beetroot also. 'Well', I thought, as I often do at this sort of moment, 'alea jacta est...'

Z started playing his accordion, and everyone who knew Portugese began singing the sacred hymns...Many of the girls and a few guys had shakers of various sizes and began to play in rhythm also...The dance in which all were engaged involves a simple four steps left, then right, in time with the music, and in rows, but the girls, facing the men from the other side of the room, go one way while the men go the other then vice versa, and so...It soon felt very natural , and the sound of the shakers and the beautiful songs were starting to fascinate me...I sensed a build up of very positive energy, though no effects from the drink were yet manifest.

This continued for about 45 minutes, and I was intently looking for signs of effect from the tea...The music and dancing were fascinating, but I felt a tiny little bit impatient, waiting for 'the fireworks' so to speak...

At about an hour, Z finished a song, and the second round of Daime was presented. We all drank again, and got right back to it...This continued for another hour, and I started to sense slight perceptual alteration, a little like the onset of mushrooms, but much fainter. The fabric drapes on the wall pleased me a lot from the corner of my vision, as a light breeze sent ripples through it constantly...

At the hour, Z stopped and suggested we all take a break...In the silence that ensued, I realized just how alight and buzzing I was...It was so beatiful, I couldn't get the grin off my face...After the music, the silence seemed so poignant, I hungered for more songs, but this quickly faded as the beauty of the silence began to snowball incredibly in my mind...I had a phenomenal freight-train of ideas about creation, and creativitym,a nd exactly what that means...How the silence was oone state, and a necessary counterpoint to make sense of the beauty inherent in the songs, and the notes and shaker rhythms, and the two were intertwined, yin and yang-style...I silently gave huge thanks to the musicians and singers, which gently surprised me as I felt very 'religious-y' (I'm not, generally speaking)...The words 'How extraordinarliy SUBTLE!' kept singing and dancing through my grinning mind, as I laughed at my earlier anticipation of rockets to other planets and blistering visions...this was a far more delicate, exquisite and beautifully calculated experience than I had imagined...

The theme of gratitude was to play a huge role throughout my Daime experience...I was just so grateful for everything that kept occurring around me...As we sat in meditation and silence, with some whisperings and quiet communication between those who knew each other, I closed my eyes and let my mind go through a sepctacular series of insights and loop-the-loops about what I was doing there, an d why I was there...It struck me that existence is a phenomenal work in complete stillness and silence, but given the ooportunity of a body and consciousness, what is there to do? ARTISTRY! CREATE! ADD YOUR FLAVOUR TO THE MIX! If you are going to take a step, do it with panache, or style or humour, or discordant aplomb, but do it and be aware of its ARTISTRY...All of your life is a work of art, so treat it thus..tying your shoe, taking a drink, peeling an orange, driving a car, you are creating an echo which will bound through eternity, so for all of our sakes, do it the way you want...and that may as well be fun, funny and beautiful...

All this kind of stuff was cascading around in my mind, when a lone female voice struck up the most beautiful lament I have ever heard...EVER...(Apologies for all the CAPS, but I don't know how to do italic and feel the need for lots of emphasis)...This chided so perfectly with my previous thoughts, I laughed out loud, and whispered huge thanks to whoever it was...thanks for your creation, here and now, to change this silence into something beautiful, which I can experience and enjoy...Thanks to everyone else here for focusing and leaving here to sing...Some other voices slowly joined in and the song became less sorrowfula nd melancholy and entered a more satisfied, mellow refrain...It was truly beautiful.

After this, a group of maybe three Brazilian girls sang a more upbeat, joyous song, and some shakers once more started to join the fray...It was amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you...What a fantastic noise in this abyssal silence without it...I clasped my hands in a traditional prayer shape and nodded my head, smiling like a Cheshire Cat....Once again, I am (or was) not a religious, as in traditional religious, type at all, but all I could do was...well, praise Creation, no other words for it...

After this, we all stood again, and the music began again in earnest. This time, though, some tablas and deep Iya and Kila drums slowly and SUBTLY crept in, and as they did, my heart truly sang...That first deep Iya skin resonating at just the right point is burned into my mind like no other experience this year..It was just so RIGHT, so sparse and minimal, and yet it expressed that of which language is utterly incapable. It jsut said 'Here is this moment...NOW...and this is what it means...'...

The music and songs were incredibly integral to the experience..They have a definite structure and progress in ways which seem designed to activate and exalt areas of the psyche..Sometimes joyous, sometimes 'fighting spirit', sometimes thoughtful and other times melancholy or wistful, and always circling round and back on each other in truly awesome fashion, As a musician myself, I cannot express how phenomenal and talented the group of musicians providing this soundtrack were...Sometimes the rhythm would alter time signature, at which point the dance steps wouldchange to a sway, and the entire character of the experience would shift, until suddenly (and it caught me out every time) it would resume as before and the trip would shift back into gear...This only became noticeable to me about half way through, and I felt very much like it was something you were supposed to 'get' or 'understand' of your own accord...almost a 'test', but much kinder, and allowing one to progress to a next level of experience within the whole Daime...It was constantly making me smile with utter joy, and I started to really take a little concentration to add my own flavour to my dancing and singing

The singing is the other thing...It helps in immeasurable ways...I don't speak Portugese, or know any of the songs, but I was given a hymn book...Now, by this point, I am seven shades of completely buzzing, but still I found I could flick open the hymn book to EXACTLY the right page, and quickly pick up which verse we were on and how to sing the words...No joke, the letters sparkled and reached a few mm out of the page to show me where we were in the song...Thank you, thank you, thank you...

Most of the time I just laa'd and lee'd, and hummed along though...It transformed the experience into a very synergistic 'observation without subject' experience...I felt overwhelmingly that there was no longer the music, and my experiencee of it as two seperate, objectively distinguished 'things'- rhather, the music, and my perception of it, were inseperable - I was it, and it was I, and all that jazz...It was truly exquisite, and i kept laughing and smiling and shaking my head in dibelief at how extraordinarliy powerful, and subtle and friendly this wondrous natural plant brew truly was.

The final Daime came round, and was voluntary this time. It was a different 'batch', very dark brown, and truly rich tasting, much more 'Port' like than before. I was told it was very strong, and gladly drank back about 40 ml...A few of the women present abstained from this round...We were all already very much in AyahuascaLand as it was, but I wanted to go as far as possible in this very joyous experience.

There was at least two hours more music, throughout which I did more mental work than under the influence of any other entheogen ever...I worked through every corner of my psyche, as if I had been given a simple operating manual and was working through from page 1...It truly was a complete software update, v2.00 Pro, The Reset Button, The Turbo Pedal, whatever you want to call it...The healing power of this drink is truly, and I do not use the word lightly, AWESOME. The nature of the Daime ceremony itself is also amazing, the arrangement of men and women and the way it plays out is like a battery, a human, higher consciousness battery, which is charged by polar opposition motion and sexuality and all sorts of other continuum factors, until this incredible level of positive, ultra hig frequency vibratyion and charge is achieved...I found myself, since I was having such an unadulterated, overwhelmingly positive experience, channeling, or 'casting' huge reserves of 'good energy' and positvity into the battery, vast stores of 'its all ok, if anone is having a harder time than this, don't worry, its going to work out' vibes, and it felt like actual physical release from my tan tien, the area around the solar plexus...I was stunned at the vivid and deep, deep feeling that eternity was actaul and I was in it and part of it and infinite and that whatever bullshit might be going on, eventually, it is going to be all good, and worked out...

The music began to seem to me to be somehow the mood of the universe, or this part of it, and that the players were expressing it because that action contained the greates beauty, and the universe required the greatest beauty in order to resolve...I mean resolve here in the musical sense of releasing tension, which is often created prior to the resolve jsut to make the resolve so satisfying...It seeemed that GodMind, if you like, was being writ large in front of me, and the best means for me and everyone to understand it, was through music...

Finally, the last song played...A truly joyous tune, which expressed to me the notion that we are all unarmed soldiers on the front line of existence, or something similar...It had a 'military march' feel to it, without violence of course, but rather an open invite to give yourself a huge hug and slap on the back for being here, and still being here, and still being here, and negotiating this incredibly abstract and bizarre state called existence...WELL DONE! YOU EXIST! VICTORY!...I could've cried it seemed so right and proud and wholesome.

The silence that followed was truly Awe inspiring. The music seemed to spin off in strange geometries through my headspace, and rattle and fizz and echo for ages afterwards. Everyone hugged, slowly and individually and methodically, and shook hands and congratulated each other and thanked each other and basically said 'Well Done!'...I was absolutley high as a stratospheric cloud, and took time to thank most people...I was also very physically tired in the legs, so sat down quite soon.

The experience was only just beginning...We had drunk the strong Daime maybe 2 hours before, and it was really just starting to get intense...I meditated with closed eyes for about 20 minutes, and felt amazingly focused, with a sense of attention that could cut through steel...I was struck by the notion that ordinarily, our experience is lived as memory, we experience the world through a fixed delay after perception and the labelling and sorting and remebering of it, but that Ayahuasca 'hits the accelerator' to bring you up to speed with existence, or Creation...right in the NOW...I also made myself smile with the idea that ordinary life is made of Low ahuasca, while this moment was made of Ayahuasca....hmmmmmmm!

I had some extraordinary visions during this phase of the experience...I did, finally 'meet' my anticipated aliens...I was intently studying some clouds, as I lay on my back, and I felt very 'watched'...Sure as dammit, there in the clouds were the heads of giant furry entities...the heads were heart shaped, grey furred, and had compound eys that nearly filled each 'half' of the heart...they had tiny beaks, and seemed extremely surprised to see me, and very curious indeed at what the hell I was doing there, checking them right back...I smiled broadly and carried on with my closed eye meditation, laughing at the overhelming feeling of being 'observed'...It truly is a very kind potion...

Music would still spontaneously strike up, with various musicians taking up a rhythm here and there, and Z occasionally gracing us again with his wonderful accordion songs, and some girl singers adding beautiful moments...Again, I was struck by how this was expressing some feature of Universal Mind which so wanted to be understood...

During this phase, my entire body went through some incredible rituals, I found my various muscle groups performing rpetitive exercises, very SUBTLE, and observed with interest...It was not manic, like amphetamine, and could be ceased, but I 'knew' I should see each one through...The instruction manual again, only physical this time....It carried on right into the night, even as I lay down to sleep, diminishing gradually but remaining....The next day, I awoke (after sleeping in a hammock!) to find that I felt as if I had had a coplete masssage, physical, osteopathic treatment, all my bones were 'reset' I was limber, full of vim and felt incredibly fluid and loose. The Daime had activated a brain stem which ran a complete diagnostic throughout my entire muscular-skeletal system and run the necessary programs to fix all the bugs and clean up the clutter. I was amazed!

My friend and I left the Daime at about 10.30 pm, having started at 12 noon...I was lucid, calm, and ready to take on the workd! I had huge energy to DO STUFF, get out and CREATE and bring all the stuff I had put 'on a back burner' to the hottest hob at the front! I vowed to forge ahead with a number of projects I have been toying with and 'considering' and have a mental clock in my head since which is never wrong...The most accurate timepiece ever made!....It reads NOW, all the time.

I cannot reccommend this fantastic experience highly enough. I am not religious at all, but was not put off by the religious overtones of much of the ceremony (it has some Catholic symbolism and Christian aspects)...The Daime really doesn't care what you believe, it will soon tell you how shit works. If you do belive in God, drink it and attend, you WILL meet hir.

If you don't, drink it and attend, and be as surprised as I was by how thankful you can feel towards this staggering work called Creation. I have been altered forever in a fundamental and deep, deep place.

I am going again this week, just a fortnight later.

If you get a chance to experience this before you die or are born, you should take it, cos its a lot easier to remember that way!!

Daime forca, daime amor, daime luz!

(Give me strength, give me love, give me light!)

Exp Year: 2004ExpID: 35494
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Jul 29, 2004Views: 30,132
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Ayahuasca (8) : Large Group (10+) (19), Entities / Beings (37), Music Discussion (22), Mystical Experiences (9), First Times (2), General (1)

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