Citation: Sherlockalien. "The Teacher: An Experience with Ayahuasca (exp56871)". Erowid.org. Oct 23, 2006. erowid.org/exp/56871
My latest ayahuasca experience, this weekend has made a huge impression on me, so I decided to share it here. We made a ritual with a native shaman from an amazon tribe, and I had some very deep revelations of all kinds.
A friend of mine had met an Indian pajé (basically means shaman, in local language.. by the way, ´indian´ doesn’t mean from India here, but from a native South American tribe)in Brazil. The pajé was making these ceremonies with Ayahuasca, trying to spread his message, and he eventually came to Rio de Janeiro about a month ago. So through this friend of mine, I found out that the Pajé was going to make a ritual in a very nice nature area at the foot of some beautiful green mountains about 40 mins from Rio, and I decided to go. We went on Saturday afternoon, and the ritual took place Saturday night
It was about 12 or 15 people, of whom I knew half. Amongst the ones I didn’t know, there was the owner of the house, an older ´ex-hippie-like´ guy, who I think was anthropologist or smt, and had already been with the Kashinawa tribe, so knew some of the language, songs and all. Also there was another native from a different tribe, but who knew the pajé from before and whose tribe spoke the same language. These 2 were the main ´helpers´ of the shaman (I will use both shaman and pajé to describe him, but it’s the same guy I mean hehe)
When I saw the pajé, I thought he looked quite “normal”, quiet. Had the typical native skin, bit red/brown, and the straight black hair. He was not someone who was trying to call attention. He was wearing western clothes, a plain grey shirt and jeans pants, but with his face painted with a snake design. He transpired peace, happiness, simplicity but a very deep and strong essence. He spoke Portuguese quite good, but only the more basic aspects of the language, not using fancy words or anything. In any case, he always got his message across, and during the ceremony itself he sang in his native language.
It took place in a small clearing on the forest, surrounded by trees, with the sound of animals and a river nearby... There was a fire in the middle, which was kept alive through all the ritual. There were some special rocks that marked the four corners, north-south-east-west. We sat in a circle around it, on top of some thin bamboo mats and with some pillows on our backs, allowing us to sit comfortably or lay down if we wanted to.
The shaman began the ceremony by saying that we should all be relaxed, try to think of why we are there, what we want, and mentalize good things. He prayed in his language aloud, as if speaking with the spirits, and said that he had been told, or he perceived, that this would be a strong ritual, and that we should let it flow because it would be good. He then proceeded to pour the Ayahuasca, which was in some glass bottles, into some cups and passing to people. He looked at the person before pouring into the cup, measuring how much to give to each person. He had asked before if anyone was taking it for the first time, and two of my friends whom I had brought there were first timers, so he gave bit less to them. We were all sitting down, and drank the very strong-tasting, thick vine juice, while the pajé, standing, started singing. He had a powerful precise voice, and even though his language sounded very beautiful, it seemed as if the keys and melodies had a specific purpose apart from pure aesthetics.
In between the songs, sometimes he made some very strong breathing ´exercises´, where he pulled the air strongly and with some specific mouth/neck movements, and then breathed out quickly, as if he was ´spitting´ something out. It seemed to both make a spiritual-psychic effect on him, but also with some sort of spiritual objective, as if he was dealing with the energies/beings, trying to bring the good ones and expel bad ones.
After a while, I still wasn’t feeling anything, and neither were my friends. I was starting to get worried for them that they wouldn’t feel anything, since I was the one that brought them.. My thoughts revolved around this question of whether it would hit or not for quite a while. Maybe half an hour later, the shaman said it was time for another glass of ayahuasca. Some people expressed they were already quite ´under the force´, which made me even more worried.
After another while, I was still not feeling anything, and neither were my friends.. Maybe this was one or one and a half hours into the ceremony, and the pajé said it was time for the third glass. He gave me a glass, and when I drank it I asked if I could have another. He agreed with it, giving me a smile, as if he knew what was about to come. One of my first-timer friends also asked for another.
After some time, I started feeling some lightheadedness, and yawning a lot. Each yawn brought more energy into my head, so I knew the trip was starting. Since my friend also told me his was starting, I got more relaxed and was open to my own trip.
I cant really describe everything that a trip is, specially to those who have never taken it, but I will try to say the main aspects of it. Also, to each person, and even to the same person at different times, it is very unique, so I will speak of how it went for me this particular time. Anyways, the energy of the Ayahuasca settled in all over my body, like an extra strength. This is the ´force´, as they call it, or the male aspect of Ayahuasca. My thoughts started reaching much farther, much deeper, but not just an illusionary sensation of deepness. I started getting in strong touch with many emotions, and also strong visions in my mind.
Since the barrier of the mind’s eye and the normal eye is less strong, what was there in front of me brought forward and got mixed with inner visions of all kinds. For example, while looking at the pajé, I could perfectly see him in his tribe, doing his rituals, or walking in the forest, swimming, and hunting. I saw the warrior in him, and this made the whole setting become even more surreal than it already was before the trip. I was there, participating in this ritual with a real native shaman, who was totally in tune with things, a very good person in essence. Not for one second I or anybody else felt anything bad from him. He was humbleness, sincerity and peace all over.
My trip started increasing, and I started getting in touch with some negative emotions in myself. I started losing my balance, in all senses. I was laying down and didn’t know if I was sitting, laying, or what exactly was going on. Things started getting mixed up a lot, and I couldn’t correctly interpret my body feelings. I remember being totally stunned at how the shaman was totally fearless, in control, not hesitating for one second, leading the ceremony, singing, making his own breathing rituals, while I was barely able to just lay there where I was without getting completely confused. I thought like: “man, this guy is forged in fire, a super strong metal or something.”
All this difficulty of mine was not some random happening though: It was coming together with negative emotions that I was feeling.. I was reliving situations of my life where I hadn’t acted well, and where I didn’t feel the remorse of conscience I should have felt when I did it. I thought of my mom a lot, and how I am very harsh to her many times. I thought of how I don’t have patience with her, how I tend to interrupt her when she is trying to argue with me. (when I say I thought, its definitely not a thought in the normal sense.. It was visions, I re-experienced the situations in more proper way, without all the filters and mental blocks and defenses that I make to protect my ego in ´normal´ life). I saw how, before I left, I had told my mom that I was going to this ritual, but I didn’t care to explain to her. She was worried, but I didn’t give the tranquility I should have given. I was suffering from all those visions.
The spirit of Ayahuasca was teaching me how to be a better person. I thought of my grandparents, and of some friends. And thoughts went back to my mom. My relationships symbolized in her somehow. I thought how incredible a person she is, and even though she has her own difficulties, that is no excuse for me to act bad to her. All I wanted at that moment was to hug her and tell her how much I love her, but I couldn’t. I thought about how I normally hide behind my intellect, numbing myself against being emotionally involved with some things. I thought how many times a simple hug can melt other people’s defenses.
But all these thoughts and visions were too strong for me at that moment. It was too much, and as if the Pajé read my mind, or felt the collective energy getting very strong, he suddenly lifted up the people near him by their hands, and like in an inverse domino or a stadium “hola”, people started lifting each other up, so everybody was standing facing the fire, holding each other´s hands. When I lifted up, I was so surprised of the ´standing world´, which was so different from where I was there, laying down, haha.
So the pajé started singing some very different songs, and making the circle side-step, walking around the fire. I was barely holding myself, with all those emotions. So out of a sudden, I felt I was gonna vomit, so I just turned around, kneeled down facing the outside of the circle, and started vomiting in the woods. As I vomited, I saw how it wasn’t just a body thing.. Everything bad that I was feeling, all those mistakes, were getting out of me. I visioned my negative aspects being ´materialized´ in my vomit and being expelled out of me. When I finished, I felt an inner peace that is indescribable.
I drank a bit of water and went back into the circle, as if I had been reborn. The pajé was singing some incredibly beautiful songs, and I had a ear-to-ear smile on my face. After some time, the pajé said that we now would ´thank´ the four directions. So we all turned towards the rock that marked East, and he asked us to think about our ancestors, about all the people that are united with us through this ancient ritual, through the gathering around the fire. I envisioned a line or superimposing of images of all these ancestors, of all kinds of people that are indeed present in some way. Their energy is not ´gone´, but always influencing every action that exists. Nothing that has passed is disappeared, but will forever remain in the patterns of the present. We ´thanked´ the remaining 3´corners´ in similar way, and I thought how beautiful it is and how overlooked these ´4 directions´, how symbolic they are.
The ritual continued for a long time, and each moment was a teaching of how I should value life, friendships, family. I also saw how Death is an overlooked ally, that tells us each moment of how meaningful the eternal ´present´ is. With visions of how the people I know, like my mom, can die at any second, made me see how I must value them for what they are, be thankful, and not form all these unnecessary grudges and useless fights.
So that was my experience.. All the time as I was having these thoughts, I was saying to myself: ‘Don’t forget, don’t forget! Remember this when the ritual is over! Be good to people! Appreciate life! “
And now I’m trying to put this in practice.
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