Citation: ashitaka. "Enlightenment? No Thank You!: An Experience with Ayahuasca (exp44818)". Erowid.org. Aug 25, 2005. erowid.org/exp/44818
Report on my First Ayahuasca Journey July-2005
Circle of about 25 people with one shaman from Peru, at a lodge in a forest, no sitters.
I was very scared when it was my turn to walk up to the shaman and receive the medicine. He poured half a ‘cup’ of the thick brown molassessy medicine into a small chalice, reached it to me and said: “God bless you”. The brew was traditional ayahuasca from Peru. It took me a while to drink, my heart was pounding.
My subconscious knew that I was going to have some kind of intense experience. But I also knew that my spirit called me to do this, I just had to do it. So I finally downed it and was surprised that it was easy to stomach and that it did not taste vile as I had anticipated. I sat back, leaned against my back jack, anxious, focusing on my breath and tried to relax and soothe myself. (I am writing this two days after the experience). I was (am) in a really good space in my life, so I said to myself: “not to fear my sweet, for some people it's dragons (I had heard stories of people being chased and eaten by dragons on the medicine) for you, it's butterflies” I kept repeating this and started to believe it and became calmer.
After half an hour it took over:
First a familiar feeling (as on “Ecstasy”) of the expansion of my body and overall awareness, but then it rapidly became very intense. I knew soon I would not be able to move, so I quickly went for one more pee break.
When sitting on the toilette, I tried to calm down, this was familiar, the toilette, the peeing…but then the white linoleum floor came alive: liquid-rainbow-light-spectacular-moving-patterns (I had heard but never seen this before) …and when I looked at my feet they were my feet as a four year old…
I touched them …. 'I don’t want to grow up…rather stay on the toilette and hide…don’t want to face the reality…of who I really am!!!….' I knew I needed to go back to my seat right now! Or I would not be able to anymore.
Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggh! FUCK!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!
Here I was again ( I had been in this kind of realm/feeling state before with a 1.5 capsule of MDMA and with DMT; each once). Except this was about three times more intense and I knew it would last at least 4 hours and only get more intense even. I hated this space/feeling soooooooooo much, why did I bring myself here again?? Profound fear even slight terror surfaced. I will try to describe this fear, this is the hardest part:
There was no reason for fear, it was irrational.
I was simply losing myself, losing control, losing the sense of reality that I am familiar with.
Now, this can be a fun thing to experience and explore, if you know it’s a dream, or an illusion. But the problem here is, that “Life as I know it” and “who I think I am” is the illusion. This was waking up to a deeper reality from the illusion, in which I am not separate from anything/anyone. I had had this kind of experience before much less intense and it was blissful. In fact, my intention for this journey had been to lose fear, open my heart and be able to love myself and everything fully. Infinity was pouring into my being and I was holding on with my thumbnails not to burst into a gazillion splinters and cease to exist. Part of me wanted to be able to move through this fear as I had done rather quickly on the MDMA and DMT trips and transform my fear into profound peace and love. Yet it was so intense, that I surfed the edge the whole time of holding on for my life and when I felt a bit more at ease giving into it a bit again, by closing my eyes relaxing and thinking of nothing, until the fear took over again.
My face was making incredible grimaces. Every grimace was the facial expression of a feeling/essence: bashful, shameful, arrogant, angry, devilish, disgusted, ridiculous, ashamed, amphibian etc. or simply mentally ill, crazed. I was cross-eyed much of the time, my eyeballs where flying in all directions and my face was doing high-speed acrobatics. This was a way for my body to express all that I am, to release the intensity and to learn to love every part of myself. I was aware of every essence that came through and I embraced it consciously.
I was outside of judgment. Judgment was nearly impossible, because It was all me, everybody in the room, every sound, every thing that was said to me. And if there was something that I did not like so much, or someone/sound/situation in which I had a hard time seeing beauty, then I knew it was because I did not love that part of myself and this reflection of myself was bringing that particular part of myself which I did not love to my attention. But once I looked at it, I saw and experienced its essence as being part of me and saw the perfection and the beauty of that which to the illusioned eye would look ‘ugly’.
This was a little practice that I kept up and I challenged myself.
It was easy and wonderful doing it looking at beautiful people, hearing beautiful sounds to experience this as part of myself.
But could I stretch so far as to embrace all of me and love ALL of myself?
(When I say ‘myself’ at this point in the journey, I am experiencing my human self as a portal to the infinite self, therefore it includes me as a human but goes beyond into the Self which is ‘all that is’).
And so I pictured the most horrible actions that I could imagine, (which I will spare you from here) and searched my heart for compassion, empathy, understanding and love for it/the being(s) involved, this part of ‘Me’. I was able to empathize completely. I felt the terror and lostness these parts of myself where experiencing, how unconscious they where, how scared they where of who they were. In fact I could empathize and comprehend experientially how much easier it is to kill someone else than to open up to who/what we really are, to our vastness and lose our sense of existence, as we know it. Even human death seemed less frightening to most of us (including me) than total self-realization. When we kill we silence our fear of being alive. The more we are conscious, the more we are alive. We desire to kill that in the other, that we can relate to, because it is in us as well, but which we are at the same time not ready to own as ours, which we are not ready to wake up to.
I understood intrinsically how absolutely everything around us is a mirror of our self and a teacher to bring light and consciousness to unconscious areas of our self. People popped into my mind who I have had or have difficulty with, who trigger anger in me, whom I feel have treated me unfairly etc. and I immediately saw how these people were just playing out a part of me that I do not wish to be aware of, or who represent parts of me that I do not love about myself. I then looked at this part/feeling and looked into whether I could love it. And it always could be traced back to being afraid and feeling lost and desperately seeking for connection and love. This of course brought up compassion, melting this aspect of myself into love; and thus it was no longer ugly.
Judgment was simply my incapacity to love myself. It felt like every negative judgment I had on anyone, no matter how subtle, was me slapping my own face. Yet I experienced My utter innocence. Because I (the infinite I) am only love/consciousness, expressing myself, without being able to stop it, I just am. And I am learning and teaching (experiencing) myself in every nanosecond with every single movement what/who I am. In other words: Godself is becoming conscious of every part of Godself. It's all One big ‘Blob’ of existence/consciousness learning/teaching/experiencing what it is. (I know this does not sound very poetic, sorry) I saw the perfection in every part of my life that lead me to come to this point of awareness/awakeness. But I realized with a vengeance that I did no longer want what I had asked for in many prayers: that I may finally end to exist, that I may finally be at peace, that I could not go on playing this “stupid game” anymore, that I was tired of it all; to lose all fear and only feel love for everything at all time, as my intention was for the journey, would mean the death of my separation consciousness, aka enlightenment.
“No! I take it back!”, I said. I do not want to wake up! I want to just be OK, I want to just feel good; I will get married, have 2.5 kids, a white picket fence and tend my garden; end of story. Let me go back to sleep pleeeeeeeease! This plea was to my soul. Because I could sense the struggle between my soul and my human self. I have suffered phases of depression, some so heavy that I lay flat on the floor for hours just praying for death to come and have mercy on me. I understood during my journey how the depression was my soul wanting to move on but my human self being too afraid or not ready yet to grow up and wake up further. I knew that if I would settle for the ‘white picket fence’ (refuse to wake up any further) that I would be haunted with depression again.
“Great! So I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, ey?!”
“All I want to be is OK, all I want is to feel fine.”
Many times during the journey when the expansion would become too intense I would ask ‘Myself’ to have compassion, that I was willing to learn and surrender (I had no choice, résistance just creates more suffering), but that it was too intense for me and my system was on the verge of panic/or shutting down and I pulled the brakes by watching my fellow travelers and diverting my attention outside. But this would not work for long, it was nauseating because there was so much going on inside me that was pulling all my attention in.
Several times the shaman came over to me to blow a sacred liquid over my head and smoke into the top of my crown, which felt like a portal into the universe. He told me to breathe and focus on my breath. But to let anything in from the outside was extremely challenging, whether it was any kind of touch or communication because of how deep I was inside myself and because of the intensity with which I experienced everything. So my mantra became, 'I just want to be OK.' 'I don’t want ecstasy anymore!' Everything was too much. Experiencing myself as ‘Myself’, even slivers of it, at this level was so very intense. I understood the people who only eat bland foods. I wanted to become a black hole in which there was no rubbing of energies. I understood the path of Zen Buddhism and it became the most attractive to me in that state. (Years prior I had spent some time in a Zen monastery and could not relate to the atmosphere being so ‘dead’: black colors, silence, no creativity, no play, no dance, no strong emotions; just silence and nothingness. Back then I had seen denial in it. During the journey however it seemed like an excellent choice.) I hungered for peace and realized that I needed, wanted to start to practice meditation. That would be my way of being OK.
I never had a breakthrough from my fear [which later, after about 4 hours, turned into subtle lingering deep disturbing emotional and physical discomfort (in my gut)] into peace. I could not fully surrender. Because it seemed that if I did, that would be it: Merging; And I would never be the same.
There would be no more [my name],… Game over…….
…a body, but who’s there?…
Now two days later, I feel very good. And my insight into it is, that I can go slowly. Transform fear in myself into love and peel off the layers of illusion and wake up slow enough so that I am not afraid; always with compassion. I know there is no way back. I cannot forget again. Once consciousness is attained it cannot be lost. A baby cannot be unborn. And my soul will always want to keep growing. I will just ask it to have compassion. I believe that growth can be smooth, if I am willing to grow and pay attention to the subtleties. Then, my hope is, that butterflies can be bringers of the dawn instead of dragons.
In deepest honor and respect of everyone who dares to remember who they are and Love to all fellow seekers.
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