Burning fears

I wanted to go to Peru to try Ayahuasca. Lots of people from the yoga world do it. I also wanted to go to India to deepen my yoga practice and spirituality. But I went to Brazil because of samba. After 7 weeks here, I haven’t learnt even a bit of samba. But I found, in Arraial d’Ajuda, a crew of Ashtanga yogis who take the famous medicine of the Amazone every two weeks. After my arrival in Arraial, I joined them twice for Mysore (morning individual yoga practice), and it was already the day of the ritual. I had asked [life or universe] for it, and I would get it even earlier than expected.

Was I ready?

Did I even know what to expect?

I only knew I should not eat any meat few days before, I should not eat anything after noon the day of the ritual, and I should bring some warm clothes because I would probably get cold during the night. That’s all.

About the experience, I had heard great words from yogis and bloggers, such as visions of auras and revelations about one’s life choices. Great! Maybe I’d get my answers about love! The yogi woman who introduced me to the group in Arraial (whom I found on internet before leaving Canada), also told me beautiful things about it. “The plant knows what to show you”, she said, with her shiny blue eyes. Everybody around me wanted to try it! It was a must.

Only one person had sown a doubt in my mind. A saxophonist in Salvador told me, few weeks before, not to do it. Some of his friends did it and never came back – they became mentally deficient. This guy used to smoke weed everyday and had a negative perspective about his present life. So I thought maybe his friends were too unconscious to welcome the plant’s revelation without having a mental break down.

This kind of things, such as Kundalini awakening or third eye opening, I heard should be done only once one has attained a certain level of consciousness. I thought I had.  During the year 2012 most intensely, I have gone through lots of introspection through grueling travels (London and Mexico), intense questioning and various drug uses in order to understand and accept my past – who I was. It has been a cruel deconstruction process. Since then, I have been practicing yoga and working on re-building myself in a much softer way: choosing my dreams, choosing love rather than division, accepting the past and forgiving.

So from my past experiences, I could imagine somehow the worst to expect. I had once clearly seen the ugliness of my ego and felt the tearing of my soul as a conflicting union of a very dark and a very illuminated components – Mexico, 2012. An experience that had me cry for days after, but that helped me understand my deepest challenge in this life. I could also expect to suffer, again, the lack-of-confidence-paranoiac state that harassed me during adolescence – weed would often remind me this state, even today, even though it seemed completely healed in the conscious state. Having accepted the worst cases, I allowed me to hope for some fun experience, such as discovering my creativity – blocked after childhood by… my rational mind? – as my very first experience with weed did.

*Just to mention, I was totally mistaken of thinking I could somehow fit Ayahuasca into one of those experiences.*

At 14:00, having only had a fruit-and-cereal breakfast after de 2-hour Mysore Ashtanga, I went to have a last food: a half-price Açai and Cupuaçu cup at D’gust, in Arraial. I catched the Wi-fi and, as I was WhatsApping a friend of mine, trying to explain to him what was Ayahuasca, translated as “Vine of death” or “vine of souls”, I browsed information on the internet. And got scared. “British tourist dies in Peru in Ayahuasca ritual”. “How an ayahuasca retreat claimed the life of a 24yo Kiwi tourist”. Stories of black spirits entering your soul, of chamans not knowing how to safely prepare the concoction, of dangerous interactions with some food or medicine. Fear was firing my plexus.

I thought about fear, and how it also tried to stop me from taking the 2 best decisions that would change my life: travelling alone to London on March 2011, and travelling alone to Brazil on December 2017. Was I going to let fear stop me from this one?

I Whatsapped my friend:

[13:51, 9/2/2018]

Some bad experiences happen cause some people go do it with any fake chamans who want to make money and don’t now how to prepare it. Also some chamans maybe call low-energy/black entities… that’s why I wanted to do it with yoga people who have good energy. They do not charge for it, they do it between friends and it’s one guy who always prepares the tea and explains how to take it. I feel they are cautious about it. And they do it every 2 weeks, say they love it. So I think it’s safer with them, more then any place I could have ended up doing it. This plant doesn’t have after effects. It’s a trip of few hours and then it stops.

*I thought so*

I have the same fear I had before going to London, and coming to Brazil, because people scare us right? But I’m careful, I chose cautious people to do it, I’ll pray for protection and will go above fear. Is it ok?

After sending this message, I found a website that explains in details the effects of Ayahuasca and how it affects the brain:

The drink that is extracted from the plant Ayahuasca Plant is the largest known source of DMT is a neurotransmitter produced naturally in our brain mind from the pineal gland which is responsible of dreams in REM rest unconscious. […]

Just as the DMT present in the drink Ayahuasca, our own brain naturally produces and secretes the substance DMT and the mind is responsible for night dreams. That is, when a person falls asleep, meditate with yoga, your brain begins to secrete a chemical equivalent of DMT in ayahuasca, which acts as if the person’s dreaming. The effect of drinking Ayahuasca, then, is like experiencing a dream, but we are awake, lucid dreams. Feeling the effects of ayahuasca, is like dreaming, but with full awareness of the content of the images and emotional content that stain sleep. That is, access to infinite information contained in our sub-conscious or spiritual world. […]

The result is the gradual pacification of personality and mind, reducing anxiety and fear, balancing nervous system – reason and emotion – thus allowing the brain to gradually pass Beta state (normal activity) to Alpha waves (relaxation) and reaching the deep Theta state where occurring mystical experiences of spiritual ecstasy.

These experiences are usually associated with personal insights, idealizations intellectual, emotional reactions and profound spiritual and mystical experiences.

Several studies has been carried out by professional that states that the ayahuasca certify that users to become balanced individuals with optimal health and memory, which have ease of learning, greater peace of mind, a deep respect for nature and seek a balanced promote peace and harmony. […]

The Ayahuasca allows us to live a great Empathy, full communication with all and also allows us to look inside ourselves to fine sharpening of our faculties, ie achieve clairvoyance.

I finished eating my açai and cupuaçu, feeling peaceful and excited. Then I went back home to shower. I’d even wash my hair, so I’d be all fresh for my life-transforming experience.

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