During the daily group sharing/lecture with Marcela, she emphasized the medicinal properties of Ayahuasca. Not only is it important to have the courage to go through it all -- for your own growth as a medicine person but, this is a treasured opportunity to be held by Mother Earth, in such a loving group, with such gifted and open-hearted Maestros....Well, after asking my pendulum and further thought, I changed my mind. I was still pissed.
There were 3 Maestros who offered Ayahuasca nightly, in separate places in or around the lodge. After hearing several ecstatic tales of Maestro Pandaro's sessions outside on the island (taking a motorized boat to/from it): how funny/sweet/helpful he is, how wild people became as a group, the comfort of lying in the sand and crapping in the reeds, barfing in the sand...I decided NOT to go with him. Sounded like a risky, mosquito-ridden nightmare to me--ha, probably some work to do around that! Don't they know about the caymans and jaguars, and getting into a wobbly boat -- while tripping...? My inner Woody Allen freaked. So, I went with Javier, who's sessions occurred in a hut on the edge of the lodge area. Just a walk, no big deal.
That night, I was still agitated: nervous and annoyed. But, I'd planned to take the barf bowl (hurray for bowls instead of noisy plastic bags!) with me when I went to the bathroom--so both ends are covered! When I drank his brew, it tasted more bitter than Orlando's and made me burp more, as I sat waiting. Javier's chanting was more non-stop, with fewer/shorter breaks, but it was beautiful. For some reason, people were quieter, though there were around 20. I sat listening to the moans, giggles and barfs, as well as the nocturnal creatures singing along with us.
When the numbness/visions arrived, they were milder than the previous night. I was surprised and a little disappointed. I also needed to purge much sooner than before--I remember sitting on the toilet, holding my bowl, feeling yucky and staring at the lone candle, thinking "come on, come on." The toilet was redolent of Ayahuasca. After a few minutes, both directions were voided (mess free!) and I found it much easier to walk slowly back to my place on the floor. I lay on my left side. My next door neighbor, a very nice German who looked like a young Robert Plant -- yes, you know who you are! -- hummed softly along with Javier and occasionally laughed/moaned as if he was with a lover. It turned me on. The next morning when I told him he did this -- he looked at me blankly -- didn't remember.
I had a quick, scary vision of a yellow-eyed bird with a black and white striped beak and red and black markings--coming right at me. I felt that this was death, but after that registered, the image disappeared, to be replaced by the more benign leaves, butterflies etc. pulsing in time to the chants.
Then Javier stopped chanting -- it seemed too early -- and began to talk and laugh with his helper. It was clear that he was done. I didn't like this abrupt ending. The heavy feeling and visions cleared fairly quickly, but not the queasiness and weakness. I remember thinking "is this it?" and "I guess this was all I needed." Still, it took me about 10 minutes to be able to get up -- weak and shaky. Once I started walking, I was fairly steady, the momentum seemed to carry me. A kind lodge staff member with a flashlight led me to my cabin and I thought I was done.
When I lay down to sleep, the trip crashed back over me with twice the intensity of any! The sounds of the night birds were amplified and functioned like the chants of the Maestros, moving the hyper visions along to their beat. My body was very hard to control--it never felt so hard to move. I was in so deep that it scared me.
I saw images of death mixed with sex, everything was faster and more intense than before -- hard to distinguish. I clung to thoughts like "I'm not well," "When will it end?" and "No, stop!" I struggled and thrashed saying out loud things like "No," "Stop it," and "Help me!" My room mate was in her bed, but didn't interfere. I'd jolt to sitting and considered walking around, maybe even out side -- I was naked -- but I still thought of it. Then, I'd fall back down, the visions enveloping me again. I was very thirsty, but could barely move my arms to drink, even though I held the trusty water bottle. There were also voices, saying things which I couldn't remember the next morning.
I felt utterly lost and trapped. Would I ever come back? All I had wanted was to sleep -- this is an ambush! My fear and struggles increased for maybe an hour or two. I longed to have control and to have my life back. The more I fought, the worse it became. I even orgasmed a couple of times -- without volition. This scared me too. Sex and death mixed indistinctly; pulling me, talking, touching all my cells.
Then a rational part of my brain remembered that I'd recently said half-jokingly what an honor it would be if a god wanted to have sex with you. How wild! It's in many myths, why not? And there I was...it was happening. Ah-ha! I mentally said "Alright, Dr. Ayahuasca, you've got me. Please be gentle."
Just like that, my fear dissolved and I settled down willingly into the visions. They changed from the confusion kaleidoscope of sex/death into recognizable dreams. Actual stories played out like a movie over a fizzy, rainbow background. Frustratingly, I couldn't remember anything the next morning, except that helpful messages were spoken and that at one point, I gave a woman a small object. But, how it felt is vivid, even a year later. After maybe half an hour of this new level of lucidity, the trip faded. As the last kaleidoscope fringes were leaving, I remember uttering a huge, content sigh.
It was over. I was so relieved. At peace. The sky was beginning to show dawn when I finally slept. Later that morning, instead of feeling weak, I actually had the energy to teach a yoga class. It felt good. Then after breakfast, I napped.