Yet, during those moments of terror, disgust and embarrassment, I was able to detach enough to see them and how I was reacting. A small aside, but during the mountainous part of the 2012 Peruvian journey, I was having dinner with a couple of men I had developed a camaraderie with. We were like old sailors together--I have a piratical side. These guys had also been in the Amazon, but we hadn't spent much time together during that phase. They told how one night (the 3rd night) in the jungle, a woman in the cabin next door sounded like she was REALLY having a good time. For like, hours! They wondered who she was and who her partner was. I realized right then, that woman was me. It had never registered who was in the cabin next to ours--I was so involved in my own stuff. When I told them that was me and that Dr. Ayahuasca was my partner, their jaws dropped. I shared the whole tale with them. We had lots of laughs. Did I mention how wonderful my Four Winds family is?
The ability to detach or not get caught in all the stories and blah-blah we tell ourselves during strong or overwhelming circumstances, is a powerful tool. I have since been developing this ability more purposefully. It's a defense, like a warrior putting on armor, but not inflexible or fear-based. You promise to be present and flexible, whatever happens. It's useful in emergencies; necessary in Shamanic sessions, and very helpful for writers. To be able to imagine, to put oneself into another character and their experience (internal and external) is a baseline for good writing. However, that's impossible without first being firmly inside one's own body (physical and energetic) -- no matter the situation, instead of being distracted by emotional drama and rationalizations. Once you've got that -- go forth and have more experiences! You'll be glad you did ;)
On that third night, after I gave myself or surrendered to Dr. Ayahuasca, together we reached a deeper level. According to Marcela, there are 9 dimensions and Shamans are the cartographers of these invisible realms. The 3rd is the material world. The 4th is reality as we perceive it -- complete with all our beliefs, memories, emotions, etc. telling us tales. The 5th dimension is dreams. The 6th is accessed during an Ayahuasca ceremony, characterized by those rainbow kaleidoscopes. I realize now that I approached that level like a tourist--seeing what I could see, (except when I spoke to Dr. Ayahuasca). Here, you can speak to the elements; to angels. In the 7th dimension, you see everything in pure colors--the rainbow comes alive and you can hear new vibrations. You will know exactly where each note in the Maestros' chant will fall and hear pure sounds. You can also talk with guardian beings. You can not enter the 8th dimension with any heavy thoughts or unresolved baggage. Only the pure of heart can enter this realm where everything turns white and you can speak to enlightened beings, or your own soul. On the 9th level is a library where we can access information about anyone. It's characterized by fast breathing. There are spiritual hospitals where you can do healing for anyone. Voices come to you and you can talk to God. This is all according to my hastily scribbled notes from 2012.
Clearly, it can take years and many journeys to gain the confidence, the level of faith or surrender, clearness of intention, or purity to reap more from these dimensions with Ayahuasca. Though Marcela emphasized from our first day in the Amazon that we can dialogue with Dr. Ayahuasca, I remember thinking at the time, "what questions would I even ask?" Generally, I was too distracted to be able to focus on questions. Though I treasure my experiences for what they were and what they gifted me, I've got more journeys to undertake, the Doctor and I. Meanwhile, I salute those Four Winders who are probably currently undergoing this in the Amazon now -- the expedition is an annual event -- and all those who at anytime have taken this magical brew. It's affects still linger in subtle ways. They've opened me up to new and more easily gained trance-like states, more productive dreaming, more direct and powerful intuition, deeper connection to my protagonist (in Convergence, see my previous blog entries about Shamanism and the mad writer) and probably lots of other things I can't know for sure or express. How about 2014?