Citation: ShamanicDream. "6 Hours With the Selves: An Experience with Ayahuasca (exp69974)". Erowid.org. Jul 16, 2008. erowid.org/exp/69974
As a younger person, I had many experiences with various drugs, and was not looking forward to returning to that self-image. But a trusted friend of mine said that he had been working with a shaman from Mexico, and had experienced and witnessed some incredible mental and physical healing with, “The Lady”. So with a great deal of fear and apprehension I decided to join him. I had been clean from nearly all substances for a long while. I had smoked marijuana several months before, and had some home made beer every week or so. I wasn't taking any medications, herbs or supplements. I had a mostly very healthy diet, with a focus on the source of my foods as much as the food itself.
There was some stunning coincidences going into the event. Two friends I hadn't seen in a while were there, it was the first time for both of them, and both of them were very much against using substances. The first had recently lost a close friend to an intentional heroin overdose, and for the other it was a long standing spiritual belief. This alone made me think that there was some magic at work in this space. Despite that they were still there, I thought, “how cool!”
I felt very much like an outsider at first, people were walking around burning sage and chanting, which was very weird and, “airy fairy” to me at that time. My discomfort peaked when someone blew smoke on me while I was peeing. While I was feeling uncomfortable, I also felt safe. I had 7 friends with me at this event (there was a total of roughly 50 participants) and knew that we would be journeying together. The part that was killing me once I sat down on my foam mattress and sleeping bag was the anticipation. My mind was screaming, “JUST GET IT OVER WITH!!!” My ego knew something that was dangerous for it was coming, and my perception of reality would be challenged.
The shaman talked for quite a while, 1.5-2 hours. He was talking through a translator about different levels of consciousness. I was deeply interested as what he was saying rang very true for me, but I was distracted still by the anticipation. What I do remember, is his feelings on the purpose of Ayahuasca. He felt it was something that for those not on the shamanic path should be a rare and sacred experience, and never abused by recreation. He said that the main purpose was to aid us in experiencing a higher level of consciousness and to experience god, or our higher self, and that once we had done it once it would be much easier to comprehend in our daily lives.
Finally, they asked everyone in the room if it was their first time. Many put up their hand. They brought us a watered down brew, and then brews made to varying strengths for the more experienced people in the room. I don't know the exact mixture of the brew, or exact quantities. My experiences since the first tell me that the shaman always knows how much I need. We were told to hold our cups and speak to them, tell them our name, our intention for the ceremony, and any prayers we had. After a while everyone was told to drink their drink. I did, and I felt much better. “Finally! Now I can relax I said!” And then realized that I was now anticipating the effects of the brew. I sighed in frustration. After a about 30-40 minutes, someone came by and asked, “are you normal?” I said I was, and she brought me another, stronger cup. I tried to relax, still feeling nothing. After about 20 minutes she came by and asked again. I still felt nothing and told her as much. She left and came back with another drink. She said to me, “[shamans name] says that you should pray to the Grandmother and ask for help in letting go.” And so I did. I laid back down and relaxed, and chanted in my head, “Grandmother, please help me let go.”
After a while, some subtle visuals started, and I knew I didn't really feel “normal” anymore. But I was feeling greedy, and my ego was playing tricks on me. She came by again, and asked if I was normal. I lied, “I think so.” and so she brought me another. What followed changed my life forever. I remember shortly after that, I felt my mind begin to divide in a way I could never fully describe in words. I saw a few of myself sitting in a candle lit bedroom. It was calm and peaceful, and even those versions of myself who were uneasy realized that something special was happening. My observing self told my ego self, “You're going to stay here and guard my body and keep it safe as you have always done. Me and my higher self are going to visit God.”
We departed from the room. I saw my tribe, traveling a long a beautiful journey together, but tonight I could not travel with them. I needed to find myself first. For the next six hours, I spoke directly with god. I was spoken to in sounds and colors I had never known before. In between the colors, was infinite knowledge. I knew that what I was seeing was just my interpretation, and that behind it I could feel the presence of the Great Spirit. In the space between the colors, thats where I could see it, in the moments I could see between I would fall forever into that blackness, where I felt completely held and complete. I had everything I could ever want or think of wanting, everything I could ever need. I had reached a state of complete non-duality. I had the thought, “I can't wait to come back here without any substances” Our conversation progressed, I felt I had the entire knowledge of the universe being downloaded into “me” (Or maybe just reawakened?)
After what felt like many, many human life spans, I decided to return to my body. It was there, writhing around on the ground, exploring the nooks and crannies and textures of the physical world like a newborn. It was incredibly beautiful, and I had never seen it with such profound distance. We all rejoined, and for the first time in my life, my ego had no shadow to hide in. It was exposed, and the light singed it's skin. It sucked out the power it had held over the other facets of my being, and we all knew that it's reign of tyranny had ended. The rest of the night was spent in pleasant sensations. Not especially profound, but pleasant nonetheless. One of the funnest parts was seeing gravity as something strange, or more accurately the fact that people could defy it by balancing on those bendy stilt like things, and in fact use them as a mode of transportation. The sensation that lasted the longest was being totally and completely open and vulnerable. My heat was wide open, and has been more open since then than I had previously thought possible.
I didn't purge that first night, though in retrospect it would have helped greatly if I had. The second night I did, and it was amazing. If prepared properly, it's like no other experience I've had. It bears no resemblance to what I'd call “puking”, it truly feels amazing, and I've heard it described as, “Orgasmic”.
Since the first time, my tolerance for food of poor quality has gone down and down. I'm now mostly vegan. Foods which are easy to digest and easily nourish my body are much more appealing to me, and more than ever I just know when something will be right. I wasn't eating red meat for several months before my first time, and after each experience I find I enjoy meat less and less. As a result, I feel more healthy now then I ever have in my life.
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