‘We have to learn to come back to serve the nature, cherish and sustain the fertility and diversity of the nature, look with humor at our place as biological beings, as part of the cycle of life. We can learn how to take care of each other’ Dennis McKenna
<Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis Caapi) and the leaf of the Chacruna plant- the two make a potent medicine which opens the door to the energetic world the underlies the world of everyday. Named after two Quechua words- ‘aya’ which means spirit, and ‘huasca’ which means vine, rope- therefore the vine of the souls. It is also known as yaje, Caapi,natema, pinde, daime. It plays a central role in the spiritual and cultural traditions of the indigenous peoples of the upper Amazon, Orinoco plains, and the Pacific coast of Columbia. >
I got to Pucallpa – Santa Rosa de Dinamarca-in the middle of the peruvian jungle on 24th of December where I was warmly welcomed by the family of Don Antonio Velasquez. The Shipibos are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Peruvian Amazon (they currently number 20,000 people) they are spread in the Pucallpa/Ucayali region and highly regarded as being the masters of ayahuasca.
Before I got to Peru I felt I had like a thirst at the physical and emotional level, something that was missing and even if I knew the answer was there, in front of my eyes, I couldn’t t see it. I had questions and doubts, problems that I thought I have sorted in my head- however I do recollect a lot of moments in my everyday life when I sensed that I am still the product of my ghosts- those tiny little problems can get bigger and bigger and start haunting you. Therefore, I had to clean myself in a way or another. Find peace with myself.
I found out about ayahuasca through documentaries and yes- the shamanism, the mysticism, the opening of the mind – attracted me. It all seemed to be like a type of knowledge that doesn’t t reveal itself so easy and it’s not accessible to everyone. It is not easy but if you really want it, if you are opened to whatever its new, you give up prejudice and expectations – each and every one of us can see what is over there.
The first ceremony – the night revealed surrealist sounds coming through the almost a tent-like accommodation called ‘maloca’- the round place where the ceremonies take place. The strong metallic smell and taste of the ‘purga’- the ayahuasca drink- combined with the tobacco and the smoke that was taking amazing forms in the candle light- but most of it all- the ‘Icaros’ (songs of the shamans) that seemed to be outside of this world -made me envision a world long forgotten but to which we are strongly knit. All these consist of some initial memories that always connect to a specific state of distress, of struggle and release.
I had a lot to put up with all the obstacles and labaerints of my mind that’s why in the first session I couldn’t t concentrate properly. Obviously I was analyzing too much- thinking about what was supposed to happen and didn’t, what I wanted to see, and as I will found out later on – the plant is not at all predictable- sometimes it’s very powerful, sometimes very subtle. The important thing though is that you have to get the message, to see beyond images and symbols, flashes and memories from your childhood- or generally through any kind of way it is transmitted to your body. You have to acknowledge and let go of all the negative coming out of your past.
During the following days I understood that what I was going through was a complex process of desintoxication- psychologically and physiologically- apart of the bioenergetical unblock- where all these visionary experiences come from- memories from childhood, visions related to molecular and organic world- and later on- access to other dimensions.
It was simple to liberate myself and what seemed to be a barrier between the conscious and unconscious- now was demolished and I was able to see.
From the third ceremony on- I realized that something was different about me, that I have changed and I started to take my notebook with me so that I can write the words that I felt like spitting and letting out. I felt easy and light again. I cried for three hours and when don Antonio finished singing I got out in the jungle, sat and listened to the other song- the song of nature, the song of aliveness and of freedom, the song of everything. I felt an infinite peace and a primordial harmony all around me and just being aware of this sensation made me part of it all. It is so easy but unfortunately too far from this civilized world.
For the first time I was vibrating with nature and even the last of my pores felt happy and connected with the universe. It was then when I understood the words of the well known Dennis McKenna -‘ we need to wake up to what is happening to this planet. We have disconnected spiritually and we have been seduced by the impression that somehow we are important in the picture- but we aren’t!’
The sessions ended and although it was intense- I did 8 ceremonies in 10 days- I am still learning to this day and I can only say I will always repeat the experience. That long forgotten place really got to me.
Now I understand a lot of things and I continue this cleansing. I understood that we all have the answers deep inside us- there’s this old room, dusty and with dim light with a lot of drawers and secret passages where only our inner pure child has access. I understood that there are a lot of bad habits that control us without realizing that we live mechanically, almost robotic and we forget about our true essence. Furthermore, I understood that instead of denying what’s bad or negative we can take our time to be present and accept ourselves as for who we are and who we can become. I understood that the ayahuasca experience opened up my horizons and that besides investing in ourselves, we should also take care and cherish everything that surrounds us.
Unfortunately, we forgot where we are coming from in this long journey we call progress. The unfortunate ‘drunkness that we call human history’- kept us busy but the truth is there we just have to see it. We only need to open our eyes and be present..
I will conclude here not before I leave an open space for all the inexplicable and impossible to put in words- since such a personal and out of the ordinary experience it’s difficult to describe thoroughly. The bottom line is that ‘ if you want to change the world you need to start from yourself’.