Citation: The Doctor. "Deep Healing on the Hurl-and-Whirl: An Experience with Ayahuasca (exp86615)". Erowid.org. Aug 24, 2011. erowid.org/exp/86615
This weekend I participated in my first two ayahuasca ceremonies. I had heard many wonderful things about ayahuasca, and had looked forward with many great expectations to my first ride on the “hurl-and-whirl”.
The first night was frustrating and disappointing. Sometime after my first drink, I began to feel like I was in that dreamy just-about-falling-asleep theta wave state, and I thought “oh, good, it’s finally starting”. What I didn’t realize was that it was peaking, not starting. I kept struggling with trying and failing to have an experience, and though I ended up taking four more drinks that night, I never felt particularly altered.
I did end up vomiting after my second and fifth drink, although it didn’t feel like I was purging out anything significant. The one positive experience I had that night was when the Shaman’s assistant sang during the ceremony, I was enraptured by her beautiful voice, and suddenly I felt as though The Goddess was singing directly to me. Other than that, I came away feeling like I would have had a more meaningful spiritual experience had I gone to the blues festival, and it would have been a lot cheaper.
I decided that if I didn’t get anything the second night, that would be OK too; I just probably would figure that ayahuasca wasn’t for me and would give up on it after one more try.
The Shaman said that sometimes this happens with first-timers, that the fact that I had purged was significant, and that the ayahuasca sometimes needs to clear things out and set the stage before the work can be started. He encouraged me to try again the following night. I came very close to not going back again, but I thought if I didn’t do it now, I probably never would again. I wanted my candy, but I decided that if I didn’t get anything the second night, that would be OK too; I just probably would figure that ayahuasca wasn’t for me and would give up on it after one more try.
The second night I arrived with far fewer expectations and attachments. I thought that there was a good chance that I would not experience anything again, and I was mostly OK with that; I had hopes, but not expectations. I took my first drink and waited. All around me people started purging, crying, laughing, and still I felt nothing. After an hour or so the Shaman came to me and asked how I was doing, and I told him I wasn’t feeling anything. He seemed astonished, then gave me another drink.
By way of background, I should say here that all my life I have been chilly. Although I grew up in Vermont, I hate the cold, and often, especially if I’m at a rave or a party and I’m altered, I will get so cold that I can’t warm up no matter how bundled up I get. I also have been working with my therapist recently around issues stemming from being left alone to cry as a baby, struggling to get my needs met and finally giving up hope, which has led to struggles I often have with feelings of hopelessness and despair when I deal with relationship or other issues.
Shortly after my second drink, I started to feel altered. I also started to feel chilly again. I thought to myself “I’m getting cold again. Why do I always get so cold?” and just as I asked the question, it came to me that what I had been crying about as a baby all those years ago was that I had been cold! I had been screaming (non-verbally) “I’m cold! I’m cold!” and that moment had defined me. “I am cold” became the equation “I = cold” and stayed with me for the rest of my life. Suddenly all the struggles I had had with chilliness, as well as the struggles I have had with struggling, all made sense, and in that sudden moment of realization, I purged violently and repeatedly. Afterward, I felt a strong sense of relief, and felt that I had cured my chilliness, that I could now feel my environment realistically, could feel the cold and put on a sweater if I needed to, but without the charge or the feeling that it was never enough. I laid there with my adult self holding my infant self with compassion, comforting him and saying “I’m so sorry you were cold, don’t worry, I’ll take care of you, let me warm you up now” and I felt my wounded core start to heal and integrate.
I could see a part of myself in a bubble below me, caught up in its self-made Hell of struggle, but I wasn’t caught up in it, and I could give it compassion, appreciating that its intention was good [...]
From there I went on to have experience after amazing experience. One such experience I had was transcending the struggle. I have had constant struggles with expectations and attachments, and when it happens I get totally caught up in the struggle and can’t find my way out. I appreciate the saying “When problems arise, ego struggles with finding a solution, while spirit understands that the struggle is the problem”, but the knowledge never seemed to do me much good. During my journey I started getting in my head again, struggling with something or other, and then suddenly I rose above the struggle. I could see a part of myself in a bubble below me, caught up in its self-made Hell of struggle, but I wasn’t caught up in it, and I could give it compassion, appreciating that its intention was good, it was trying to heal, trying to resolve; it was just ineffectual. From there, I rose up, and found myself among the stars. I saw every planet circling their suns, the stars circling their galaxies, the galaxies spinning around each other, and each revolution was a single pulse in a vibration in a note in a song that lasted billions of years. It was the Music of the Spheres, and I laid there enraptured by the beauty of it. The beautiful music that was playing in the room I suddenly saw as a microcosm of the Music of the Spheres, and I listened to this song that lasted minutes superimposed over the Music of the Spheres stretching over billions of years.
Several times throughout the night a freight train would go by, blowing its whistle. The whistle would start very softly, crescendo, and then ease away again. Every time this would happen, it would miraculously blend beautifully with whatever music or drumming was going on in the ceremony. I found myself wondering if it was a train whistle or part of the ceremony. When I would finally decide it was “just a train whistle”, I would discount it as being “out there” and not part of what was going on in the ceremony “in here”, and the sound would lose its beauty. I then realized that there really was no difference between “out there” and “in here”, that it was all one, an interdependent reflection of each other. Three times during the night people would walk by outside and sudden purge, not realizing that they were walking into our energy field spilling out though our walls, and probably just assuming they had had too much to drink. I also realizing that just as there was no difference between the “out there” beyond our walls and the “in here” of our ceremony, there was also no difference between the “out there” of everything I perceive and the “in here” inside my head. I laid there not categorizing anything, whether it was the train whistle or anything I was experiencing in the room, just simply being in the experience, as though I was a newborn baby looking out in wonder at the world around me for the first time and seeing everything as a reflection of different aspects of myself, at one with the universe.
Along this same vein, at one point during the night I thought of a friend of mine who has struggled with depression and other mental/emotional issues, and I thought how she would benefit from this work. I wondered why I was bringing her into my experience, and realized that I had brought this person into my life as a representative of some wounded aspect of myself, that there was no difference between her and that part within me, and that one way to heal that part of me would be to find a way for her to heal. Of course, by that logic, I could also heal her by healing the part within me that she represents, but it seems like it would be easier just to get her to take ayahuasca.
At one point during the ceremony the Shaman and his assistant came to me to do a healing. The Shaman started doing energetic work, tapping at my third eye, while his assistant sang to me. I felt transported, drinking in the healing and love they were giving me, as well as that of The Goddess through them. They moved on to the next person in the group, but I still sat there drinking in the energy and the beauty of the healing.
All of this was the candy I was looking for, but what I got went much deeper than the candy. The candy is the only part I can describe in words; the more significant part of my experience went deeper than the candy. I felt during my experience that the really important work going on was deep within me, and the candy was simply a reflection of that deeper healing. It was the tip of the iceberg, the frosting on the cake, but the cake itself is impossible to describe, other to say that it involved entities beyond comprehension, entities that I could just begin to glimpse through the Shaman and his assistant. It was an incredibly powerful and healing experience, one that I can still feel working within me.
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