A month ago, I had the most difficult yet most rewarding day of my life. I feel spiritually TRANSFORMED. It’s almost impossible to articulate the depth of this experience but I have to try to share with the World my new understanding and deep respect for the divine medicine that is Ayahuasca. For those of you that don’t know what Ayahuasca is, it is created from the vines and leaves of sacred plants from the Amazon. It was discovered by natives and used to heal and to teach. If you’re interested, there are many documentaries that attempt to explain the limitless gifts of this sacred plant but truly everyone’s experience is unique.
My first time doing ayahuasca was several years ago and though I grew from the experience, my second experience was infinitely more powerful. This time I set a STRONG intention…
To let go of the past and beliefs/ideas/relationships that do not attribute to my highest good, to explore other dimensions, to attain greater understanding of self and the Divine, to fully open myself to the teachings of the sacred plants. I especially wanted to release the pain from the relationship with my father, which has at times consumed me.
I shared this experience with my love and his mother through the Santo Daime, a spiritual practice originating in Brazil (that is a beautiful conglomeration of Indigenous, African, and Christian teachings). The ayahuasca, referred to as Daime, is drunk as part of the ceremony and the “work” begins. During this work we sang hymns (all in Portuguese) and danced (very basic choreography). The hymns are channeled and sang in a particular order to teach you specific things at a specific time in your journey. The music acts as the energetic conduit from our world to the divine world. The experience would be very different without the music. It aids you on your journey.
After the first drink of the bitter libation, I felt euphoric and confident. I felt joy and bliss and intense energy. For some reason, I kept getting a message over and over from an unknown force that I need to write a book!!! Interesting. The experience was feeling so easy (at first), that I became a bit arrogant actually, which is funny to me now. I thought, “I got this.” “I’m a yogi.” In all honesty, my yoga training did prepare me for this journey. I wouldn’t have gone to the depths I did without my understanding of yoga and I wouldn’t have known how to balance my energy, when “the work” as they call it became difficult, which I did with breathing and grounding myself and with my understanding of energy that yoga has given me. The first drink inspired within me into such a blissful, light, pure feeling.
With the second intake of this magic elixir, I became engulfed in the depths of hell. Imagine every horribly scary movie you’ve seen and image you’ve imagined… combined with the most angry/violent/negative music you’ve ever heard… and blend those images and those sounds and feelings created… and then multiply that by 1,000… I was consumed in a cold, dark, heaviness with no exit. I couldn’t see the lyrics on the hymn pages. I couldn’t move my feet to do the simplistic dance movement. I had to leave the circle and sit down. Though I refused to go to the resting area because I wanted to stay in the current. I became flooded with doubt and insecurity. Completely open/vulnerable/broken open. I was upset at myself… Why did I do this? Why did I ask to release so much???? Will I survive this? Will I still have my mind in tact? Will I become crazy? Extreme fear rocked me to my core. I looked over at my love as if to say “help me,” but he couldn’t.. men and women are separated on different sides of the room for energetic reasons… but seeing his strength inspired me. I kept feeling waves of despair then hope… I then tapped into my breathing. I grounded my feet. I thought I can withstand this one day of excruciating pain for healing/divine knowledge/understanding/peace… I can do this. It was like many years of therapy in one day. INTENSE doesn’t begin to describe the process.
At one point, my boyfriends mother, Juanita, came over to me because (as she told me later) my face was white and lips were purple. She put her hands on my as if to protect me and helped me stay strong. She was an angel… Later one of the Santo Daime members told me that she saw a dark spirit trying to enter me. We are calling all the spirits and because we are raising the vibration there is a lot of light and the dark spirits are attracted to the light as well. They want to be in the light… Juanita intuitively protected me from the spirit by placing her hand on my back (where spirits attempt to enter). Freaky! I saw such divine compassion and love radiating from Juanita towards me, for which I will be forever grateful.
I saw so clearly the good in others from the daime. I asked this divine knowledge about certain people in my life and got very clear information about some and about others nothing. I guess there is a time for certain revelations. A huge lesson for me was to release JUDGEMENT (about others and myself). People are always judging each other and themselves and it’s detrimental to our well being.
After a brief rest period, the time came for us to drink the 3rd sacrament. I was resistant to taking a 3rd helping of the daime. I felt like I had done enough “work.” But Juanita encouraged me to complete the healing. She told me we partook in the sacrament a certain number of times for a reason. I wanted to respect the process. I realized even more so how we are all one and that it would be almost selfish of me not to take on this universal spiritual cleansing. So I asked for a smaller portion of the daime and proceeded to do the work. This time was challenging (not as challenging as the 2nd drink though). Again I rode the wave of intensity, the middle of the work again being the most challenging, blending with the expression of song, and then the current resided to a peaceful/still/calm. This third drink, I learned to fully SURRENDER. I did throw up which I felt was a true symbolic physical purging of my father and all the deep rooted pain my relationship with him has caused me.
After the work. I felt reborn, FILLED to the brim with profound compassion, love, deep forgiveness, and peace. I slept the best I had in years. The next week it seemed as if I was floating, half on this plane, half in another dimension. Ayahuasca gives you new eyes. My intuition is grander. I can almost see through people…inside of them -their pain/joy/desires/insecurities/their essence. The effect of this gift also impacts those around us in ways I’m still discovering. The energy is that strong.
If you feel the calling to experience the Santo Daime, I encourage you to embark on this adventurous, deep spiritual cleansing in a protected environment while showing gratitude and respect towards the spiritual sacrament. This is not something to be taken lightly. This journey is not to just have some sort of psychedelic experience. This is DIVINE. This is MEDICINE. This is you facing all of your demons. This is the removal of illusion.