As I pack my favourite pants, a sweet pair of hand-sewn Tibetan yoga pants that I bought in Kathmandu Nepal and put them into my carry-on suitcase, along with some t-shirts, beach shorts, and running shoes, its bitterly cold and snowing outside. In a few days, I’m leaving home for a trip of a lifetime, a trip that just may well deliver on its promise: “to change my life.”
The funny thing is, my life is already forever changing. Sometimes it’s going backwards, some times it’s going sideways, sometimes it’s going forward and some times it’s just moving along in no particular direction. That is life, at least its my life. I try not to judge it – it is just what it is. I know I raise some people’s eyebrows or even frustrate them with my self-styled strut, but it’s none of my business what other people think of me.
I have experienced a lot, seen a lot, dove into many things with wild abandon. I’ve always enjoyed the thrill, the excitement but also the tranquility of deeply peaceful experiences where time stood still and nothing moved, not even my heart at some moments. Through all of these experiences and moments I have moved in direction, I’ve always asked the question: “what is beyond the place where I am at now?
So, I’m off to ask the Wizard, or better known as Mother Ayahuasca, the answer to this very question. In the end, I hope she grants me my wish and my life will change, yet again.
Will I be afraid to see the man behind the curtain?
My destination is Rythmia, located in Costa Rica. It’s a beautiful private resort aimed at giving people their “miracles“, where they “find themselves” and the elusive answers to their burning questions about “life” and “who” and “why”. Rythmia however, was my second choice of places to go to experience Ayahuasca.
My first choice of doing Ayahuasca was a lodge two hours by riverboat to a remote village up the Amazon River in Peru. It has no electricity, no comforts, no flushing toilets, it’s just really raw, as raw as the jungle around it. Here you trek through the jungle with the Shamans to learn about the bountiful natural medicines gifted to us by mother nature in the form of plants. Only 3% of the fauna in the Amazon is known to outsiders, including Western medicine and science, and we have no idea what the rest is, but the Shamans do. They use the jungle plants for all their illnesses, from cancer to diabetes to just about everything else, and they have treatments and cures for all of it. They also use it to communicate with nature and spirit, to heal the heart, to share wisdom and protect the tribe. There is a deep reverence and respect for nature here, its their history, their culture and their pathway to the beyond.
Ayahuasca brew produces DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) a type of hallucinogen, also called the “spirit molecule”. Our own body produces it as well, which is mostly experienced at birth and death. They say that the after death experience of bliss and light is the release of the DMT. It is apparently manufactured in the Pineal Gland, otherwise known to be the home of our “Third-eye”. Funny how that works;)
Here in the jungle the Shamans gather the Caapi vines and the Chacruna plants and a brew is made from it. The vines are first pounded to fibres and the Chacruna leaves are added in a pot along with some other plants used to provide a specific treatment such as cleansing, removing obstacles or providing protection and so on. The brew tastes really bad, and vomiting and diarrhea often occurs, which removes parasites in the system, as well as dark toxic energy stored in you. I have experienced this affect myself during one of my Vipassana mediation retreats, a purging of toxicity within where my body odour exuding from my pores was so foul, I had to take fifteen showers over the tens days of the retreat.
The Shamans, also known as “Medicine Men and Women” use these plants mainly for energy work. Ridding the body, the mind and soul from negative and dark energies created from past painful childhood experiences that follow us through our lives and drag us down.
Here, in these sacred ceremonies of drinking “Aya” (spirit soul)- “waska” (rope) which means “Vine to the Soul”, you enter into altered states of consciousness and open the closet door of skeletons in your life.
This is where you come to face-to-face with yourself.
I do know from experience that resisting and fighting against whatever shows up in my life usually causes some pain in one way or another. So “acceptance” of what is – is my motto; to see every difficulty or problem as a challenge, as a way to grow and learn for my higher good. There are no mistakes, there are only gifts. However, with our internal mind-made doors, locks, gateways and hidden paths to our true-self, I am taking a short-cut to dig deeper into my soul to see what I cant see, and learn what I do not know.
Almost all people who have experienced Ayahuasca afterwards say they now understand what they need to do to become better versions of themselves. Many have seen their whole life flash before minds-eyes from birth to finish during their Ayahuasca experience. They can see things that really happened that their mind has blocked and held in secrecy since. Our brains are hardwired to shut down during shocking experiences or trauma and bury events in the hidden caves of our minds that would have otherwise destroyed us completely or dramatically changed our path. Not only that, our brains will sometimes simply colour or filter experiences to protect us and alter the facts. Its problematic sometimes going through life based on twisted facts, things don’t line up and we have a dis-function.
I’ve always wanted to know how I could be a better person on a soul-level, not just behaviourally.
I will be experiencing three Ayahuasca ceremonies which are guided by the Shamans where I will drink the potion then lay on a mat and listen to their chanting and music. This is where I will wait to meet Mother Ayahuasca who will hopefully show me the real man behind the curtain.