Citation: Phalaris. "Floating in a Warm Sea: An Experience with Poppy Tea (exp22099)". Erowid.org. Mar 14, 2003. erowid.org/exp/22099
Prior to this experiment with opium poppy tea, my only experience with opiates was with an over-the-counter pain-reliever containing codeine (trade name Panadol, legal in Australia)…
After being clued in to the possibility of making opium poppy tea, I gathered eight average-size dried opium poppy pods from the garden of a community I was staying with in Western Australia (species/variety unknown). The gardener's suggested dosage was about 12 pods, while accounts on Erowid suggested 5 – thus 8 seemed a fine middle line. While sitting one evening reading I removed the seeds and broke the pods up in my fingers as finely as I could manage, then added this crushed material to a large mug of just-boiled water. I allowed this brew to steep for about 20 minutes, keeping a lid on the mug to retain heat and stirring every five minutes or so, watching the vortex with interest. I then added organic Rooibos Tea (a caffeine-free antioxidant-rich earthy South African tea) and a generous gob of honey.
I drank the brew fairly quickly. The earthy Rooibos Tea was an excellent choice, dominating the flavor and leaving the brew only slightly bitter. I did not experience the slightest hint of nausea. Shortly after draining my cup I stood and immediately noticed that indistinct perceptually-wobbling fuzziness of substance onset. I dropped the lights strapped the headphones (a mellow mixtape on tap) and laid down relaxing.
The sensory grace of opium manifested itself in smooth ascension, and as my body became increasingly warm and fuzzy relaxed, the mechanics of thought quieted accordingly. I attempted to maintain a floating awareness on the entirety of the experience. The perceived boundaries of my physical form smoothly dissolved until I had no real sensory reference for the presence of individual limbs etc. – I still had an awareness of the existence of my form, but only as an undefined plane of warm energetic presence. I had effectively melted. (This is the exact same experience of dissolvance I have had during extended meditation sessions, suggesting, as I'd guessed, that this meditative-dissolvance is associated with the release of endogenous opiates (endorphins)…)
I occasionally experienced a synesthetic synch with the music; my entire form would feel as if it were bending spiraling and moving in accord with a particular melodic progression while also pulsing with rhythmic elements as well. This pulsing was observed to be a very fine and uniform vibration that pervaded the entirety of my perceived form, fading at the parameters into indistinctness. I also experienced a sensation where my entire form was rippling like a mountain stream or a banner in the wind; this distinct sensation did not seem to be directly related to the music.
Satisfied with my observation of the experience, I decided to try a few experiments. First, focusing attention on my body (or lack thereof) and almost entirely ignoring the music, I entered the buddhist meditative practice of metta-bhavana, loving-kindness. This practice involves locating 'pleasant' sensations/emotions within one's self and then sharing them with others via visualization, extending loving-kindness as far and widely as possible. The nucleus of this practice is always the heart-region, and I was now able to observe the sensations associated with loving-kindness much more clearly than in 'normal' contexts – an energetic transfer of fine and uniform vibrations felt as sensations of warm radiations extending from the heart-center…
Despite the clarity and amazingnesss of this experience, I did not practice for very long. Perhaps the music distracted me. I then decided to attempt another experiment. I shifted my attention to my thoughts and chose a suitable egoic fantasy thought-tangent, in this case one in which I imagined myself receiving admiration from a gathering of people. I almost immediately observed that the warm heart-center halo that had been manifested during metta-bhavana cooled to cinder. Perceptual awareness of the boundaries of my body immediately began to regain distinction. Quickly satisfied with the experiment, I dismissed the fantasy, returned to a more floating awareness, and soon observed the departure of the opium in smooth descent. By the end of one side of the tape —45min.— my 'normal' bodily perception had basically returned, although I still felt nicely relaxed and now pleasantly sleepy.
I slept normally. After breakfast the next morning, my stomach felt very tight and cramped, a distinct and sharp pain that remained for about 30min. Afterwards I felt fine…
Although this experience was insightful, it was rather short-lived and contained none of the immersed lucid dreaming typically associated with accounts of opium, which I must admit I had anticipated. Assumedly the effects of opium tea and smoked opium are qualitatively different. Anyways always learning, an'on…
'True knowledge originates in direct experience.'
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