Ayahuasca

As is my way, I try new things. Am adventurous and, perhaps predictable in following trends. Early Adopters R Us.

Most new things become old. It’s rare that something makes a significant difference. An entrepreneur’s optimism is to believe that something’s about to happen just around the corner. It rarely does, but occasionally you are rewarded for trying again.

Profound experiences rarely last without nurture and focus. A Vipassana, as hard and profound as it was – creates lasting change mostly in the memory and knowledge that something is possible, rather than the actual day-in-day-out impact, later in life. An ultra marathon is a high-water mark of achievement, rather than a constant help.

There are no shortcuts, it seems.

Ayahuasca was different.

I arrived at my ’retreat’ an atheist and emerged, 4 days later, an agonistic. Not about Ayahuasca – I mean spiritually, holistically, completely.

There’s no point explaining what happened because the experience is entirely ineffable. Much of the 4 days was tolerable and challenging – a short window of a few hours were perhaps the most horrible and terrifying of my life. They say it’s like 10 years therapy in one night. I wondered whether I might need 10 years therapy to get over it. It’s like trying to explain what a rainforest looks like to a blind person who’s been living in a cave.

Yet I emerged afterwards emotionally scrubbed clean, feeling vulnerable and yet powerful in my openness. The impact is still with me, continually, almost a year on. Feelings of anxiety pertaining to abandonment, social awkwardness and confidence have gone from a palpable constant to a distant voice. The impact of just four days has been extraordinary… and lasting.

It’s not a ‘short cut’ as one of the nights was the longest of my life and yet the change was profound and, somewhat instant. As if pathways in my mind had been re-written. Neurologically, I’m told, it’s possible they were.

I will go again, probably, but am not ready yet to do so. It’s worth it, but I’m terrified. I don’t want to encourage you to do it, because you should when it calls to you.

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