Ayahuasca: Beyond Programming

Ayahuasca Series Part 3

A deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we dont function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.”

— Brené Brown

Being programmed to look outside of ourselves for love, belonging, satisfaction, and even happiness, creates unconscious, perceived lack for what we think is missing. It’s so often in the seeking that we create excess leaks in our personal power. The absence of consciousness is how we give our power away, resulting in an undercurrent of projections, fantasies, thoughts and behaviors that create mental clutter and a belief system that keeps us from our true self and our very soul.

The pandemic is the loss event trauma of our lifetime. Before and after; pre and post; prior or subsequent, past and future. All sentiments describing the during of an event so radical that we can no longer experience ordinary life in an ordinary way. A lot of people completely changed their life during the pandemic. I had already started that process a couple of years prior, following a car accident. This is all to say that we have profound events, adding to the programming, happening and layering, all the time.

The path then is to strip away the clutter, the layers that keep us from who we really are and live in solidarity with the natural world and one other. From personal experience, I believe plant medicine is making a profound difference in the world and can help with the reconditioning of dominant culture. By returning to a time of sanctity, grounding, nourishment and connection, we return to our ancestors healing ways. That’s what is left behind when the focus is trauma. A simple shift in focus is what’s called for now: I heal, you heal, the collective consciousness expands, the earth heals.

I am talking about my first sitting with Ayahuasca throughout this series. You are hearing about my personal experience and how this medicine is being integrated into my life. You may even feel called to find out more about the medicine after reading what I have to say. People come to Ayahuasca for all sorts of reasons, but my reason for working with Aya was a rapid route to the depths of the soul. I needed another way to cut through the crap, essentially, with an ancient medicine that has the power to lead us from the unreal to the real.

Time isn’t linear in this process. We are not just talking about this only lifetime. Really I had no idea what was in store for me beyond the clutter of my mind. Hindsight, I don’t know if I felt ready explore the primal dungeons of my mind, the secrets of my ancestors or the rejected parts of myself, quite yet. As the expression goes, we thought we could throw way the key, but since Ayahuasca works with the species and not just the individual, I realized that which is in the dark needs to come into light, to be released.

Ayahuasca actually is, a potent psychoactive brew made by cooking the ayahuasca vine (banisteriopsis caapi) with the leaf of the Chacruna shrub (psychotria viridis). Sometimes other plants make their way into the mixture. Aya is spreading its way from its indigenous home in the Amazon into global, popular culture. Drinking this ancient medicine delivers a powerful, internal experience, generated from stimulating profound emotions and spiritual insights that we have always had access to, but were blocked from. Aya’s purgatory, cleansing effects make way to dispose of the culprit, the unconscious, the mental clutter that’s been in our way.

“From a chemical standpoint, Ayahuasca is a uniquely synergistic blending of the powerful hallucinogen DMT (from the chacruna) with a monamine oxidase inhibitor (from the ayahuasca). The MAOI deftly disables the human gut enzyme designed to digest DMT, creating a psychoactive cocktail with precisely the right ingredients for an intense experience. It is difficult to imagine that this astonishing combination came about by randomly selecting from the Amazon’s 80,000 plant species.”

Indigenous people have worked with Ayahuasca for centuries and consider it to be an intelligent plant spirit. Whether it’s the plant spirit or the brew that triggers our innate wisdom that’s been covered up, Aya has the profound capacity to get the root of psychological and spiritual symptoms and bring light to the source of the issues like; depression, anxiety, addiction or physical issues. Called a spiritual reboot to that can lift us out of our alienated mind.

Some things to know: Ayahuasca is interactive. It’s dynamic. It interacts with your state of mind, the setting, who’s serving the medicine, the people who have prepared the medicine, as well as, the work you do before and after. Ayahuasca is a serious endeavor and not a quick fix. Starting with the dieta, a whole foods diet, that is mainly plant based foods, free from processing, sugar, and alcohol. No caffeine, supplements, or prescription medication. A withdrawal from media, relationships, and stress. And while the ceremony can deliver moments of bliss and connection, it’s by no means always fun. Starting with the nasty taste of the liquid, a blend of molasses and gasoline, followed bouts of nausea and purging (vomitting and/or emptying the bowels). While waiting to purge, the buried memories and painful emotions can escalate into raw terror. You are supported during this process and the best thing I can tell you is that you have to surrender. If you cannot let go of control, the process will me more difficult.

The point I am making that this is not a magic bullet. I wanted it to be after the long road I have been on. I came to the understanding that this way of thinking is out-dated and exactly what I am trying to shed. The psycho-spiritual epiphanies that Ayahuasca instigates, serves to re-contextualize, illuminate and heal, but they don’t do the work for you. It’s my responsibility to navigate according to these new insights, and implement what I have learned. This is the process of integration. You really to get out of it what you put into it (starting with the prep before you even take the medicine). It takes a great deal of commitment and courage to enter into this way of being. For myself and all my medicine experiences, I have found a common thread: my medicine is in facing what I thought I never could. That’s in my life no matter what medicine I am working with. Those that come to Ayahuasca prepared to work hard with clear and sincere intentions can look forward to living a conscious life with more connection, beauty, joy and blessings than I ever thought possible.

We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

— Joseph Campbell

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