Why Take A Break From Striving for Self Improvement Or Memories of an Ayahusca Journey.

Ayahusca cooking

I know this sounds strange in a world where we quest  to improve, but some times that striving just  gets in the way of  being present and allowing an appreciation of what is around us. We move from moment to moment, marshalling the myriad of  information coming at us, and then we decide. Sometimes the priorities are already set and we just move through the day trying to check everything off. Our decision making is set, and we simply hope to get it all done.

I scanned the few news services I read regularly today  and realized that it is truly a mad mad world and perhaps always has been.  But we,  courtesy of technology, are experiencing it in ever increasing does with bewildering effects.

Today I was thinking, “What shall I write about?” Since nothing was appearing, I  realized that that was quite ok.  We can all get caught in our “doing” state and lose site of  the “being” state. In just such a blank moment I recalled the profound experience I had had on Ayahuasca years ago and knew that was my writing assignment for the day. Here is what I found out.

While living on the island of Hawaii, I was invited to an Ayahuasca ceremony. There has always been a part of me that is not only curious, but innocent, perhaps even naive; the perfect combination for engaging in this type of experience.  A small group of us went to a Wednesday night meeting as we had learned about the Shaman’s visit and ceremony. The Shaman from Brazil, Peru, or Ecuador, I can’t remember, had made the journey to Hawaii and it was in this meeting that we were being prepared for the Friday night ceremony.

You can google and read about the details of this particular substance . Made from grinding and boiling the Banisteriopsis caapi vine with other plant leaves containing dymethlytryptamine, is one of the most powerful pyschedelic experiences one can have on the planet. It is the combination of the two plants which produces the deep experience. I suspect that following their intuition the idea of combining disparate plants evolved.  The Shaman told us that within three weeks of the experience we would all have a profound revelation-guaranteed.

A shaman, not ours

Natives in the Amazon area would take this often in mass and often receive revelatory guidance. It is also used to cure drug addiction. You might ask, “How?” Most drugs  give you relief and escape. This particular compound has the effect of moving you in the opposite direction-towards and embracing experience.

Men were told to wear white shirts and dark pants. The women to wear white dresses. We were  seated in a circular pavilion with the women on one radius  and the men facing from the other. (As an aside  I can hear  Peruvian flute  music  in the distance from the jardin of the town center here in San Miguel de Allende. so I am feeling  a synchronistic confirmation in the timing for this blog topic. ) The Shaman appeared with helpers and began to sing. We had been given sheet music for humming along. About ten p.m. the large ceremonial container was brought out, and we lined up, small cups in hand.  Swigging down the cup I returned to my seat.  It seemed like eternity, twenty or thirty minutes at least. Then the Shaman reappeared and offered second rounds. Since nothing was happening to me, I had another round. Again it felt like nothing was working, and I began to think that perhaps I was impervious to it. A third round was presented and a few hearty souls, me being one of them came forward. Back at my seat the effects of the first round roared in. The feeling was as if I was in the presence of a much higher power, not in the distant but coursing through me. It kept building and I knew at that moment what I had failed to experience in any church. I moved through the crystal palace and then into the digital forest where lizards and trees seemed to have their skins removed and were covered by a digital membrane. I moved towards the light with all of the strength I had and then realized that I had taken more than I should have. I went into a tailspin, lost my consciousness and awoke to the Shaman blowing in my face.


I am not one who regularly seeks the psychedelic world because it frequently dissolves boundaries. I realized from what I had read that under the electron microscope energy appears in form and then disappears. Visualizing that I have often wondered what keeps it all glued together? What a miracle our existence is, that the energy forms around us coalesces in physical form, including us,  so that we can count on it. A table is a table. We can mix ingredients and get predictable results. Nature is astounding, and we are designed to perceive it.


I am not suggesting that you go out and have this experience. We all find our own ways of these great aha moments in life, but sometimes we need to have a perspective that removes us from the intensity of life’s daily dramas and gives us a glimpse of the greater context.

I would love to hear your reverberations.

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  1. That’s truly various perspective, I have not assumed about this that way. I ought to say I like your blog, btw! Why really don’t you involve some far more pictures and movies, that way it will likely be extra desirable towards the visitor. Desire that can help!

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