Huasca Brew (B. caapi, M. tenuiflora, & D. cabrerana)
Citation: mike from manitoba. "A Lesson in Patiently Trusting: An Experience with Huasca Brew (B. caapi, M. tenuiflora, & D. cabrerana) (exp77015)". Erowid.org. Sep 27, 2017. erowid.org/exp/77015
Banisteriopsis caapi (whole vine, placed in towel and respectfully pounded with hammer) 100g (1/3 of which was labeled “white”, both varieties from Peru)
Jurema (Mimosa hostilis) root bark (shredded by hand) 15g
Chaliponga (diplopterys cabrerana)(whole leaves, crushed by hand) 35g
Poppy extract (homemade isopropyl alcohol tincture – dried extract) (papaver somniferum) 1/5g
Yoga nidra meditation cd
St. John’s Wort (homemade 'folk-style' tincture with 40% vodka) - I wondered about the MAOI action influencing the Ayahuasca, and therefore did not take any on the day of drinking, though surely it was still in my system. I later talked to a local master herbalist who is very knowledgable the spiritual and chemical aspects of herbs. He said it was a potentially dangerous mixture and did not advise repeating the combination.
Program for the seven days beforehand: No salt. No sugar or other sweeteners (stevia once). No spices, other than fresh parsley and cilantro (cinnamon once). Very basic, Plan A food combinations based on “healing with whole foods” by paul pitchford. No garlic, no onions. No fruit (other than some raisins once, a pear once). Vegan other than bee pollen and goat butter. No eating after 6 pm. No sex, no masturbation, no fantasizing. No intoxicants (for 3 weeks previous), including coffee, caffeinated teas and chocolate. The point of all of this being a voluntary withdrawing from external influences and sensations, and a emphasis towards and heightening of internal awareness and sensations.
Skin brushing, hatha yoga, attention based meditation every morning. Hatha yoga, attention based meditation every night. Homemade St. john’s wort tincture (3 – 7 ml a day) for 6 weeks previous, but none on actual day of drinking.
Day of drinking: Attempted a complete food fast, got very light headed around 1 pm and decided to eat a few teaspoons of bee pollen, about ¾ cup of hazelnuts, and a banana. Otherwise nothing but warming herbal teas all day. Pranayama breathing exercises and attention-based meditation, thanks given immediately before drinking.
What follows is a transcript of a voice-recording I made on the couch the morning after drinking. Some very light editing was made for clarity. Anything in brackets was added at a later date, also to clarify:
Never tripped that hard before, not sure if I will again. I had to draw on the depths of my training.
Never tripped that hard before, not sure if I will again. I had to draw on the depths of my training.
Never had it come on so slow or last so long. Interesting thing though was that even with that said, I didn’t see anything, visually. Right before I purged there were some things moving (amorphous, bulbous, convex-concave shiftings) but I never saw anything – no parrot feathers, no jaguars, no anacondas, no geometric patterns.
Before getting to this point I had spent about 2 hours in a savasana posture meditating on love, peace, and light surrounding myself, each direction (left, right, front, back, above, below) accompanied by a breath.
But I first started very swampy, felt very sick (as though with a flu, not nausea), and maybe only 2 or 3 out of 10 in effect intensity. I was very disappointed with the entire experience, very disappointed with myself. I felt like a failure and a fake. I was mortified that I hadn’t put vinegar into the boiling preparation to lower the PH. (intentionally, out of exhausted-burnt-out apathy) That I had made a weak batch and that I had done all this fasting, and all this everything to get a 2 or 3 out of 10. Spent some time circling around the idea of whether to pour tea onto grigglies at the bottom of the cup and drink them or not. And this was quite some time after I drank it (2.5 hours since I drank at 7pm).
At some point I tried the maraca and I felt especially like a fake. I had no rhythm, it felt forced. And so eventually I became fed up that nothing was going to happen, I was quite sure nothing was going to happen. I was sure, I was totally certain that nothing was going to happen – that I was already at the peak, the plateau of the experience. And so I called Ma Girl over and started talking to her. I was a little surprised that I couldn’t express myself as easily and immediately as I thought I would be able to. She began to give me open-ended questions, and gently reassure me. But I didn’t really want to hear it, I felt like I knew better. And so I mostly just sat there. I felt very cold, did not feel good. I “knew” that it wasn’t going to make me purge, and so was left feeling stuck, feeling so terribly sick, rancid, swampy. Couldn’t even puke. I considered putting my finger down my throat a number of times, but I decided that because I didn’t feel there would be an emotional release, only a physical, that I may as well leave it to pass its course.
So I was feeling quite cold and I curled up into a child’s pose on top of the electric blanket that had been on my stomach for much of it. And it was then I noticed things were moving – the amorphous convex-concave movements, non-geometrical, and I thought “well maybe something is happening.” And within the course of 10 minutes I went from 0 to 60. It was incredible. I purged soon there afterwards, 3 hours after I drank. I had no idea it was coming when it came. I simply had to scramble for the bucket which was next to me and let it out. Such violent retching. It made me feel like an animal. It didn’t feel like an emotion or a sludge coming out of me like last time, it felt like my face was splitting in half, and my mind was splitting. As though my mind were an egg (not literally, but it is the metaphor I can best pair it with) and the shell were my face (as though my mind were in my head) and the egg was being cracked and my consciousness was plopping out, still aware, from my face into the bucket. It was a very overwhelming sensation. But I managed to submit to it. And that is when it came on full-throttle.
When I had finished purging there was no question of staying in the living room any longer. I asked Ma Girl to draw me a bath and that’s when time became very funny. Lost its linear quality. I remember listening to the used bathwater draining (we leave the plug in and save our used bath and shower water, bail it out into a bucket then pour as needed into the toilet tank to use as flushing-water. Zero waste is a goal of our household) and thinking “What could be going on here? That bathtub is draining for hours and hours and hours'. There was the potential to think seemingly endless amounts within that duration of the tub emptying.
Finally, Ma Girl got me to the bath. I had to crawl on my hands and knees. I had already given her my glasses earlier. I was having a lot of trouble seeing, as my vision was shifting, moving, but as though I had withdrawn from my vision, as though I could sense with my body (my somatic sensation) better than my eyes. As though there was a black fog all around. I unintentionally tore off my pendant (a piece of jade I wear in the same symbol as a wedding ring) while taking off my clothes; which was a real effort. This was 3.25 hours after I drank.
And so I got into the bath and I couldn’t tell in the least what temperature the bath was. At first I thought it was hot, but then I would compare it to a second area of my body, and in the time that I switched my attention from the area of my body that was in the water to the area of my body that was out of the water (*chuckles gently at the recollection*) many things could happen. Hours of things could happen. And I couldn’t tell the contrast. I couldn’t differentiate, I had no scale of reference for the temperature. So I was still climbing at this point and I think it is fair to say that from this point onwards, that even compared with other times with Ayahuasca, I have never tripped so hard. It has never spoken to me that clearly before.
And so there was a definite sense of panic in the air by this point, on my part. I closed my eyes and asked Ma Girl to guide me. I asked her to guide my breath, I said “I need a grounding influence.” But it was not enough, I eventually asked her to press her fist into my chest, leaning down with all her weight. It was good. It helped greatly, a constant to “hold onto” within the changing. This is the approach used with autistic children who cannot tolerate touch, when it is too intense of a sensation for them – slow, deep, constant pressure is not only tolerable but calming. Soon that particular wave of the Ayahuasca crested, and then, I was holding her hand. And the sense of intimacy and connection was incredible, it was absolute.
And so Ma Girl began to guide me in some breathing. Constantly reminding me to place my hands on my belly and connect with my breath, allow my hands to “be witness” she would say, to my breath. I was having an extremely difficult time keeping my hands there, they wanted to crawl, seemingly of their own volition, it was very strange. They were moving about in a myriad fashion. I began to experience so clearly the absence of linear time that I reassessed and eventually discarded my former perception of the constant existence of linear time. I adapted my assumptions to my experience.
I decided that I didn’t want to be this high, it was too strong, it was too much, and I felt as though I was still climbing. So I asked Ma Girl to get my opium.
To talk at this point I had to wait and carefully choose my words and make a conscious effort to be clear, to enunciate clearly. She went and got the opium and came back with a teaspoon and a glass of water. It was beyond me to even consider taking it into my own mouth. So I had her spoon-feed it into my mouth. And I remember her asking me “Do you want some water? Do you want something to drink?” and I remember mulling over this idea, I remember saying to her – “Is there such a thing?” (As drinking water.) I had disassociated from even such basic past experiences as swallowing liquids. So she gave me the opium and some teaspoonfuls of water to drink it down with, and the sensation of swallowing it was incredible. The entire evening’s experience was incredibly somatic sensation (touch) based, it became my main way of interacting with my inside and outside world.
I recall taking her hand and I felt as though I was cumming. My entire body began to undulate rhythmically, and I was squeezing Ma Girl’s hand and she had to pull away, I had to allow her to pull away, I was holding her hand so tightly that she couldn’t even get it out of my grasp. I couldn’t tell how much pressure I was exerting. It all became quite sensory, there was an astounding sense of intimacy and union with her. I wanted more, so I asked her to jerk me off, so she started and I was completely limp, and I said “no, just keep going, it will build, I will get hard.” And I didn’t. But the interesting thing was, there was no comparison in the sensation between her jerking me off and touching her hand. Touching her hand was leagues more intimate. Amazingly more intense. So eventually I took her hand again and began to suck on her fingers. It was unreal, it was a sense of melding, a sense of two becoming one that was a union. I could no longer discern where my body ended and her’s began, nor where my body sensation ended and her’s began.
But even through this all there was still a sense of panic in the air. I felt uncertain of whether I was going to come out the other end of this thing because for such a long time in my perception (*laugh*), hours and hours and hours, a week’s worth of hours, I had already been experiencing this non-linear sense of time. I mean I can now recollect it linearly, but the time in-between each inhalation and exhalation was of such duration and round-about multi-layered that I would sort of go places and come back, go places and return.
At one point I felt as though the Ayahuasca was going into my (recently occurring, acute) hemorrhoid, and healing it. (The next day this proved to be true: the prolapse was significantly reduced, a dramatic change from the past week, not at all the outcome you would expect after spending hours in a hot bath).
At another point I could feel the probing tendrils of an alien consciousness within my own mind. It wasn’t that I could perceive It’s presence with my awareness, but that It’s awareness was within, inside, my awareness. It felt utterly foreign, an outsider. I didn’t like that and quite retracted from it. It didn’t return. I cannot really put the experience into language properly, it was a completely singular event within my life. Something to learn to work with next time.
Eventually I began to worry about my breathing and my body temperature, I began to worry about how hard I was pushing my body here. The words of one of my massage therapy teachers was ringing through my head “The body has finite limits – your heart can only beat so fast”. I felt like I was giving birth. Something of that dramatic scale of event was occurring.
I felt like I was giving birth. Something of that dramatic scale of event was occurring.
So I asked Ma Girl to go get me the yoga nidra cd and she did. She gently explained that there was going to be some new noises in the room, and I believe she left. So the meditation began. (4.5 hours after I drank) And as it guided me through various areas of my body I knew that I didn’t have a choice, I couldn’t try and manage this situation myself, I couldn’t rely exclusively on my own capability to manage my experience. It was too overwhelming. What came to me, what became the foundation of my approach to the rest of the experience, can be expressed in two words: Patience and Trust.
And so as I experienced moments of infinite duration. And I don’t mean that as infinite meaning really long, I mean that as infinite being: every experience happened over such a extended period of time that it really had no recallable beginning and no foreseeable end, meanwhile throughout multiple dimensions were independently experienced and influencing, and so I had to begin to breathe.
And I remember thinking “I have to call on the depths of my training now”, and so I breathed into my belly, then expanded my ribcage wider, laterally, and then continued up into the manubrium, exhale through the nose. My suboccipitals were resting on the edge of the tub, the soles of my feet against each other.
This awareness-breathing wasn’t experimenting, this wasn’t distracting myself, this was pure survival at this point, I mean that truly. I was so deep, in the richness of the experience, that I was uncertain if I had taken anything (psychoactive), uncertain if I was going to ever stop feeling this way, uncertain if I was going to live.
That especially stayed with me for quite a while while I breathed: I was unsure if my body was going to live through this. I didn’t have a question that my awareness would continue, there was no question, I knew it.
So I had to be Patient and Trust, and simply let go of any planning for the future, or any recollection of the past, and simply breathe, in this moment. I didn’t want to die, but I resigned control over the situation, or perhaps more accurately, I recognized that I had no control over it, and so if I was going to die, then that was what was going to happen. I felt sad for Ma Girl, that I was going to be leaving her, but as for myself I knew that if I was going to die I needed to remain clear, and I needed to put my energies into having my perception aware and open, and allow the external situation to guide. It was my job to remain Patient and to Trust. To Trust that the external situation had a purpose in mind; that this, my experience, whatever it might be, was supposed to happen this way.
And so I allowed myself to let go of guessing about what was going to happen, or worrying about whether I was going to die or not, or what that was going to be like if I died, or what effect that was going to have in the wider world. And I Patiently Trusted.
It was around this point that I began to do “OM”s on my exhale, at first it was verbalized with my mouth open, but I soon found that to be unnecessary and I simply hummed it. I felt a true resonance with my external situation, I felt as though the frequency of the “OM”s was bringing me into alignment or harmony with what I was Trusting in. And so as the yoga nidra meditation guided through various areas of my body I would breath in from the base of my spine up to the top of my head, feeling with total singularity each and every muscle initiating each movement: quadratus lumborum stabilizing my 12th rib, my diaphragm interdigitating with my abdominals, each external intercostal drawing my ribs open, levatores costarum and serratus posterior superior stabilizing this elevation, the scalenes and sternocleidomastoid drawing my sternum up. In this way I guided my breath to the top of my head, and from the top of my head drew the vibration of the “OM” down into my body. As I went down with the exhalation I would feel the resonance of the “OM” coursing through me and coming to rest and dissipate within the dictated (by the yoga nidra cd) area.
And meanwhile this was going on Ma Girl had left the room sometime ago and I knew that she would be able to monitor me through hearing my “OM”s, and through that monitor my breath and safety. So yet again I was able to release concerns. So during these times of silence between instructions on the cd I would continue to breathe, but there was an infinite possibility of experience open to me.
I recall at one point I was a tree. I became a jack pine, and again not visually at all, it wasn’t as though I could see my branches, or that I could see a forest around me, or I went anywhere; it was simply as though instead of having the somatic sensation of a human body I had a tree. That was a beautiful feeling.
At other points I relived previous experiences, I went to places I’ve been before, I laid in my hammock beside the river in the tree-planting camp by Grand Forks, BC, I remember that.
And all these things were open to me. I remember trekking through other people’s experiences and for short periods of time completely depersonalizing and becoming their experience, and then returning.
I felt many things were open to me. I remember thinking “If someone spoke Spanish to me right now I’d be able to fluently communicate”. That would have been very interesting, to test that theory.
Another snapshot: I could feel with acute sensation my entire sphenoid bone, and the fine fingers of its sella turcica, and resting within those fingers my pulsing, rotating 3rd eye/ pituitary gland.
Another snapshot: being told (from outside my awareness): bicycles are very good, continue down this path.
Another snapshot: being told (from outside my awareness): staying in a yurt after the wedding this summer is a good plan, do this.
Another snapshot: marveling at the laughable idea of linear time, it so obviously didn’t exist, how could I have ever really believed that? Then thinking of cultural assumptions, my god, they were even more transparently arbitrary and false.
And so I continued with the “OM”s for almost an hour. This entire time as I was doing the “OM”s it was still survival, I still had completely abandoned the notion of linear time, and there was so much conjecture I could have made about what I was experiencing, but I had to completely relinquish that to get through the experience, and simply be Patient and Trust.
It was amazing the rapidity with which I came down. The cd reached a point during which there is 10 minutes of silence. I tentatively explored with relinquishing the breathwork and seeing if I would go into a panic state, or if it was going to be too overwhelming, and it wasn’t. I soon went from pure survival to realizing that it wasn’t disorienting to open my eyes anymore.
And so I asked Ma Girl to bring me a cup of tea. And I had a drink of tea, and I began to record the first section of this, and decided that I wouldn’t use the rest of that time to record it, believing, correctly, that I would recall it clearly later. The small section I did record is not transcribed here, though I will write that I left off the recording by saying “I don’t need to recollect it linearly, for what was shown me during this, if anything, was the falsity of the tick of the clock – there is no time. Though there was no dissolution of the self. The only constant is change. The only requirement is patience, and trust. Patience and Trust.”
So I got up, out of the bath, and felt reborn. (5.5 hours after I drank) Scrubbed myself with a coarse towel, and walked around naked, air drying, feeling fresh and clean, and rid of any former sense of an inability to realize my goals of cultivating the clarity of confident love. Realizing that the part of myself feeling stuck was much more superficial and malleable than the part of myself which was intent on seeking the expression of Truth.
Basically: everything was going to work out right, I need only be Patient and Trust.
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