What is an Ayahuasca Trip Like?

Ayahuasca Trip Experience at Santuario Retreat nearby Pucallpa, Peru.
Ayahuasca Trip Experience at Santuario Retreat nearby Pucallpa, Peru.

A description of my 4th Ayahuasca experience in February 2019 where I learned to be more humble, connect more with the people in your life, be my loving self more often and had the feeling of being ‘operated on’.

The ceremony started at 730pm when it was already dark. It was me and two other gringos, two Shaman (husband and wife duo that they are) and an assistant Shaman named Arturo. I had 1 cup and it didn’t take long before the familiar lights started to show up. They slowly became patterns of geometry and shapes. Beautiful and interesting patterns on a black background of my closed eyelids. I was happy about given this was my first ceremony in 6 months.

My intention in this ceremony was simple and high level, unlike my first 3 ceremonies which had very specific intentions. It was simply “show me what I need”. More or less I was open to just sorting out whatever issues Ayahuasca thought I had.

Daddy Issues:

First Mother Ayahuasca showed me a vision of my Dad in which she was tracing for me, my Dad’s issues and shadow. At that point, I realized that I really didn’t know too much about his upbringing and couldn’t really piece together his shadow well at all. I realized if I wanted to understand him more I needed to talk to him and try and understand this.

Despite this, I could understand in my vision that he is driven to work a lot by his shadow. Without this, he didn’t feel good about himself. It was how he got value. That’s why he felt so distant.

It’s sad but also not an excuse and his own problem to work on. We all have a responsibility to work on our own shadow. I don’t know how to do this for other people. Despite this, I also felt a lot of empathy but mainly I felt sad for him. I resolved to write more to my Dad and just generally open lines of communication.

Note: If you are reading more of my trip reports you will notice my Dad comes up a lot.

Connecting more with people:

Next Ayahuasca took me on a ‘tour’ of all the people that I have been ignoring due to my Shadow. I like to bury myself in my work as well- wonder where I got that from?😂

I had visions of my brother, my friend (who I have a tumultuous relationship with), my friend who isn’t very confident but I love, my sister in laws who I don’t really know that well.

More or less Ayahuasca showed me my Dad’s effect of his shadow on his kids and then told me I may be on the same path and that I need to connect more with people in my life. During the visions at this point, I had a strong feeling that I had a lot of people in my life who try to connect with me that I ignore and others who don’t try and connect with me but that I feel like I should be closer to. What is life without good connections? I felt guilty for ignoring them. My Dad’s shadow is also my shadow to a certain extent, but I am more self reflective than my Dad and hence I can sometimes get arms length from it to take a different path. This is easier said than done, however. Something I plan to meditate on and slowly integrate changes into my life to avoid this.

I then had an insight into my own Shadow. Ayahuasca was telling me that when I was young I was very loving and open but also very sensitive. Combined with an emotionally aggressive upbringing this led me to be insecure. I was hurt and hence I became insecure and also it made me want to strike back when I was hurt. You developed a side of you that needed to ‘strike back’.

Be humble and shit:

I then smoked my Mapacho and Lay down during which time I had a strong feeling of attention on me from Ayahuasca or the Shaman or both. It’s hard to tell which is which sometimes. I saw a vision of a snakehead and then the vision morphed into a wall of snakeheads. They were very green, a deep green with scales and all. They were impressive. I am told that when you see a snake it means that you are in the presence of Ayahuasca.

As I smoked my Mapacho (jungle tobacco cigarette) I was being told to be more humble. I was shown several ways that my ego was tricking me and I needed to be more aware of this.

At this time Ayahuasca was really making me focus on being humble. It was directing me strongly to my left hand and telling me “humility is here” while on my right was the ego. I found this difficult, the ego was distracting me by thinking about various things that would pop up.

When I was able to focus on being humble my stomach would twist and turn. The bad stuff was getting ready to be purged. Eventually, I had been humble enough that I needed to poop but I was ‘being lazy’. Really my ego really didn’t want me to get up at this point. My ego was fighting for control. I came to suspect that my ego was attempting to thwart me pooping as a way of saying ‘fuck you, I’m in control here’.

Eventually, I got up and went to the bathroom. I sat on the john but I couldn’t shit. It was so weird in hindsight. I continued to try and think about humble thoughts and the vision of humility continued to be on my left in my hand. A phrase came to into my head (but my own internal voice this time as opposed to Mother Ayahuasca voice) “be humble and shit” which I repeated over and over in my head. My ego was still trying to thwart me. It even went into high gear and tried to get me to leave the retreat early. It was clearly saying “2 weeks is a long time, you should just stay 5 days like I did the first time”.

I started to cotton onto the ego’s tricks here and counteracted by getting myself to think about how disappointed I would be if I missed out on the number of Ayahuasca experiences I wanted to do. I managed to squash that rebellion. I could now see very clearly that I had come to get some distance from my ego and was able to recognize it and its ploys more easily. This time at least. In the time since this evening I’ve sometimes been able to catch it and other times I haven’t been able to. I need more time to integrate clearly and to be vigilant. I have been meditating as well which has helped me keep the ‘observer’ kind of role going in which I can monitor the ego which helps me ‘catch it’ more frequently.

This was a very illuminating ceremony and I was happy with my intention and the answers it gave me. I am only a few weeks removed from this ceremony so I’m still working on integrating a lot of this. So far, I am going to try and think humble thoughts while meditating as a way to combat the ego. As it turns out this is similar to the way that Buddhism teaches meditation to monks, i.e. when you have egotistical thoughts while meditating replace it with a humble thought to counteract it. I read this in ‘In the Buddha’s Words‘ by Bhikkhu Bodi which is an Anthology of the earliest writings of the teachings of Buddha. Buddha himself never actually wrote them down.

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