Citation: Roti. "Solitary Meditative Trip in the Nepali Jungle: An Experience with Mushrooms & Meditation (exp104708)". Erowid.org. Mar 27, 2020. erowid.org/exp/104708
I am a 22 year-old undergraduate from North Carolina, USA and have been traveling extensively through India and Nepal for the past 8 months. I was first introduced to psychedelics when I was 20 and have since grown and hunted for mushrooms as well as experienced LSD, marijuana, and a weak dose of DMT. My first meditation experiences began at the age of 19 and I have practiced meditation more frequently since the beginning of my treks through the western Himalaya region of Zanskar and Ladakh in August.
Until this report, I have not experienced psychedelics during my travels abroad. My previous spiritual experience with psychedelics was roughly ten months ago and the psychological effects of earlier episodes are still subtly influencing my life today.
Classification: 'elephant shrooms'
Dosage: a big handful of freshies, perhaps 10 grams, rationed over the day
Duration: 7~ hours
Trip location: Pokhara, Nepal
Origin: Royal Bardia National Park
Cultivation: elephant dung, unexpected typhoon from India
Acquisition: Nepali hippie
'How strong is it?'
'I'm a tripper, broda.'
'Ah, I see.'
Couldn't find myself a sitter, so I went this one solo. It takes about 3 hours to reach Sarangkot from North Lakeside if you're fit. Had time in the morning for coffee and a muesli-fruit-curd mess.
I looked for the old American baba who hangs by the little general store that flanks the dirt road carving up to the beginning of the trail. He wasn't around, another persuasion to make this dive in solitude. There was no fear involved with my decision --- I've been practicing a lot of Zen Buddhist philosophy. The Self is an illusion, so who is there to be afraid, to be lonely? There is only energy.
My temple was an exposed cluster of boulders just off the trail, high enough to see the lake but low enough to be buried in jungle canopy. I took the first dose there, about half of the bag.
I meditated and listened to a recording of OSHO's lectures while waiting for the effects of the mushrooms to appear, which took about 20 minutes. I would describe the come-up as a restless dance of bliss and a feeling of 'shedding' a clutter from my mind and nervous system.
I would describe the come-up as a restless dance of bliss and a feeling of 'shedding' a clutter from my mind and nervous system.
Negative thoughts did arise, but I realized that my thoughts were subjective and the thoughts dissolved quickly. As I neared the peak, the mind blended with the body, no longer artificially separate, and my body became vividly receptive to the flow of energy around and inside of me. To avoid the term 'energy', I will use the analogy of the heart in a circulatory system.
At the peak of the experience, all of my senses were heightened, and my vision became vivid, as if I was previously looking at the world through cataracts. My sense of depth varied between stages of higher-than-average and a bit lower in clarity depending on the nature of my perceptions at the time. Depth perception generally became more opaque during visuals of 'merging textures'. In all, visuals were light and there were no hallucinations or moments of disembodiment. Rather, my body and mind were possessed with a blissful energy and my identity returned to the soup that our conditioned behaviors spring from. From that soup, people that have made impressions on me in the past emerged and assumed my body. I was still aware of this shift in identity and my practices in meditation and Zen shed light on my experiences as they surfaced and dissolved. My sense of Self, my personal 'ego' had lost much of its weight. It became like a leaf that has fallen on the surface of a great lake, and the persona of others I have met previously, their egos were like other leaves, blown to the surface of the lake with the wind. The leaves created ripples, and there was a constant transformation of personality, of identity, as the ripples touched.
I never lost my awareness of the lake beneath 'me', but I was also possessed with that incredible euphoric energy that prevented me from going much deeper into the water.
Just after the peak I ingested another couple of elephants, but realized that I was incredibly thirsty. I should have bought more water before coming up. Can't get dehydrated on a trip. I felt good, but the idea of walking all the way down to the village and up again was quite a commitment --- I was still shaking off the dust of the come-up. Had to do it, so down I went, having small talk with the store owner before grabbing some bananas and climbing back to my temple on the hill. The village folk are the simple type, they were far too distracted with my age than the size of my pupils (I look like I could be 17). The ascent felt amazing, I was full of vigor by the time I returned to that patch of earth at the face of the jungle. I enjoyed bananas and an orange, and they were delicious. I meditated lightly for some time. Visuals still came and went on the mirroring sea of impermanence. The trees molded together and waved in the space between the wind. I felt the sun's heat on my skin and my body waved as well, and everything danced.
My feelings became a more effective method of expressing myself than thought, as my thoughts were always trailing off. Thought had become secondary, and my body had developed a more sophisticated language. I naturally assumed different poses and gestures as energy moved through me, like a dancer. As I listened to Flying Lotus and Kings of Leon on my tablet, I really did dance. Ah, I felt every rise and fall, the music was like a thing that could be touched. But even when the music stopped, there was always music. The earth itself was a symphony.
I tried drawing for a while, which was enjoyable. I could sense the unmanifested beneath my pen, and images seemed to fall together naturally as if I'd had much more practice beforehand. Though this was quite taxing for the elephant brain, and I had to rest shortly after.
I noticed that scents of all kinds had taken on a fresh, pungent and musky kind of odor. I particularly could make out the smell of pollen and feel the essence of plants around me as I caressed the earth. This 'essence' absorbed quickly into my skin and became energy, like electricity running through my fingers. My own smell, my essence, also took on a fresh and pleasant quality. I found that I enjoyed my own scent. I could smell my emotional state. Compounding this was my hyper-charged libido. I felt sexually charged, but in a very 'animalistic', innocent kind of way. Even so, I was incredibly satisfied just being with myself with no sexual stimulation. The energy moving through me was like a lover's embrace.
There is a trail that cuts deeper into the jungle near my temple, a spider the size of a mango resides there. Her web is like twine, she balances masterfully as the breeze gently wafts by. Her body is like gold and ebony. I came to this sacred place quietly, so quietly that the silence between all things became palpable. For a moment, she and I were one in between that silence, and I bid namasté.
Now that I'd stood up, I was ready for an adventure. The sun would set in two hours, I must have sat by that boulder for most of the day. After eating the rest of my elephants, I set off to ascend to Sarangkot.
I found that I had very high energy and it took no time to reach the sun-exposed field some hundred meters above. I sat full-lotus upon a low wall of stones and looked over the paddy fields and villages that flow through the valley toward the lake. The sprawling mass that was Pokhara extended into the valleys on the other end. Clouds like floating mountains bloomed over the low hills and began to cover the sun. I sat there for some time, finding pleasure in my youth and vitality, and grateful for the treasures of experience that encompassed my life. This beautiful yet empty thing we call life.
A man commended that I look like Shiva as he passed me. He offered to marry off a Nepali girl to me, I ignored him. 'I don't buy people. People are not currency.'
'Ah, good,' with a thumbs up.
I continued through the village to the foot of Sarangkot, badgered by almost desperate village drug peddlers and walls of zombie-like, compulsively begging children.
'Money. Give me money. Candy.'
I was literally held up for robbery by a gang of children at one point, though I think it had something to do with a festival that was underway in Nepal. As for how psychedelics affected this experience, I suppose these kinds of things are so common yet extraordinary in my life that it all blended in with the trip.
I encountered some monkeys on the way up, though my first reaction was to myself become a monkey and ward the buggers away. 'Oh, monkey! Hoo, hoo!'
I stopped for a very late lunch at a nearly empty restaurant-hotel overlooking the valleys beyond. The sun was setting and I was ravenous, this was a beautiful place to rest. I was coming down now, but the high of climbing the hill enhanced the post-trip euphoria. I felt accomplished, and the dal baat (Nepali plate of rice, lentils, and vegetables) was wonderful. I had a conversation with a German couple who had just returned from Manaslu, where the recent snowstorm hit quite hard. More than 40 people were dead around Manaslu and Annapurna, still more missing. The same typhoon that devastated this part of the world and buried my tent in snow a few days ago had also created the mushrooms I'd just ingested. The three of us exchanged stories of our recent adventures. There was a heart-to-heart quality about our talk that I'd only felt with such intensity after using psychedelics or after similarly emotionally charged experiences. Perhaps they didn't feel it, but I felt as though I was not simply talking to 'them', to their ego. I was speaking to the lake beneath the ripples of the fallen leaves, listening to the silence between our words.
Despite the darkness, I opted to descend through the jungle rather than take a taxi. At first it was really fun, rocking out to Kings of Leon and dancing through the village like something from a dream, but when the darkness filled everything like an inkwell, things became difficult. I was still tripping, the adventure was not over. It took me quite a long time to reach lakeside, and my company was the roar of the living jungle, the songs of a million insects and animals. Occasionally I overlooked the city, her incandescent lights pulsing like a pool of jewels, her people calling and singing, barking and crying, an incomprehensible clockwork of compulsion and spontaneity.
Back at the guesthouse, everyone associated with my dealer was tripping. Tends to happen that way. They were bouncing in their plastic chairs, bugging out to psytrance between clouds of hashish as they poked at floating buttons that weren't there. Seemed like a bore to me, but they're good guys.
I had began the trip 'knowing what I was looking for', but what I was looking for I already knew by thought and subtle feeling. I wanted to open my feelings more fully, and I knew that a psychedelic experience would have the power to enhance this more holistic form of 'thought'. Such 'knowing' is closer to the source, closer to understanding. Some people talk about 'remembering' something that was forgotten before tripping, as if waking up from a dull dream. That was my intention, to reawaken my nervous system. So in this way, I didn't come down from the mountain with new bits of divine Truth, I was simply more in tune with Truth. I'd uncluttered the temple of my body-mind and could be a more effective conduit of Truth. In the same respect, I feel far more whole, more 'human'. Despite the awareness that all form is impermanent and fundamentally empty, I can still fully 'be' in the world of forms and dance onward with confidence.
In addition, I did not take a 'heroic dose', rather I consumed a large dose and spaced the rest out over the following hour. For my experience and setting, higher doses would be best observed by a sitter or shaman. I didn't find the baba, so today I did not go too deep.
From the perspective of a young traveler in a developing country, the use of psychedelics in solitude can be an incredibly rewarding experience. I would not recommend going this route if you are inexperienced and have not significantly worked with your psychological state via practices such as therapy, yoga, meditation, and so on. Traumatic experiences from a person's past can and will arise in moments of solitude such as this. Reality as we are used to it generally may become thinner under the influence of psychedelics and many people are not ready for this fluid form of reality.
In addition, as at home, travelers should always take care with set and setting when ingesting psychedelics. Understand the laws and cultural norms of the region you are visiting and do a background check on your dealer if you cannot already 'read' the person. Try to get a recommendation from a friend before making the deal.
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