Citation: D.L., NV. "A Guided Ibogaine Experience: An Experience with Ibogaine (exp79833)". Erowid.org. Jul 8, 2009. erowid.org/exp/79833
Citation: D.L., NV. 'A Guided Ibogaine Experience'. The Entheogen Review
. Summer Solstice 1998;7(2):25-7.
I was introduced to ibogaine by a dedicated individual named Eric Taub, who has now become a good friend. About a month before the experience, Eric suggested that I begin working on an intent. Such an intent, he proposed, would help guide the experience. My initial primary intent was simply to successfully survive the experience. As such, I meditated on and prayed for courage, and to remember to be grateful, to surrender, to forgive myself and others, to smile and to breath.
As I knew ibogaine was a powerful addiction interrupter, I knew too that my attachment to smoking Cannabis
might be effected--an unlikely outcome, given my long-standing love affair with this herb. Even so, I figured there was nothing to lose. My reasoning was this: for something to interrupt my desire to connect with the very enjoyable state of mind that Cannabis
afforded me, that something would itself have to create a sustained physiological state that was at least as satisfying. Interestingly, as the day of the ibogaine journey approached, my desire to smoke Cannabis
started tapering off.
The day arrived when I checked into the hotel suite where I would open myself to the unknown. Having had some shamanic training, I invoked the assistance and protection of my power animals and other beings to help me with what I knew would probably be a challenging journey. Eric was my sitter, and his calm demeanor gave me a level of comfort that I was glad for.
At 8:30 am, he suggested that I take two dramamine to help quell the nausea that often accompanies the ibogaine experience. At 9:00 am I ingested 860 mgs of 99.8% pure ibogaine hydrochloride that had been extracted from Tabernanthe iboga
root (and was taken in capsule form). I laid down quietly in bed. Eric advised me to lay as still as possible, and said that if I did have to move, I should do so slowly and deliberately--to move as if the room was filled with honey. I soon found the wisdom of this advice. About a half hour into the experience, I reached forward to adjust my covers a little too fast. A small wave of nausea hit, then gradually receded. At about the 45-minute mark I had to pee. Eric escorted me to the bathroom. I found my coordination definitely off, as my feet inched towards the apparently receding bathroom door. I got back to bed, laid down and concentrated on being as still as possible. I kept reminding myself of Thich Nhat Hanh's breathing meditation: 'Breathing in, I relax my body; breathing out, I smile.'
I became aware of a slight buzzing in my head and tingling in my fingertips. As the journey progressed, the buzzing and tingling persisted and increased a little, but not to the point of discomfort or annoyance. As I lay quietly, I saw a clean white dog inside a car, and a dirty white dog outside it, wanting to get in. The image slipped inside my visual field so smoothly that it only dawned on me a few moments later that this was my first vision.
Over the course of the next 7-8 hours an enormous amount of material was presented--most of it visual imagery of scenes involving myself, other people and events. Other material was presented in auditory form. Looking back, it seems that the ibogaine triggered in my psyche a process of intensive introspective psychoanalytic renewal--all of the images and impressions working to deconstruct stagnant or debilitating ego-formations through shedding light on the circumstances around which they initially congealed; this then ultimately creating new awareness, new insight, and an underlying feeling of my psyche being deeply and luxuriously nourished.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the impressions were lost in the cyclonic wake of the experience. I tried hard to recollect but mostly just couldn't. Those memories that did come back were fragmented and non-sequential, but I have documented them as follows, nonetheless:
• I saw the three capsules I had ingested going down my throat, into my stomach, dissolving, allowing the ibogaine to be released into my system. I saw that the ibogaine had intention--intention to check everything out in this strange new environment and to begin its healing work on my psyche without delay by moving straight to the appropriate neuronal receptor sites throughout my body.
• As the level of the experience grew increasingly intense, I remember repeating over and over, 'I surrender my old self; I am born again continuously with each new breath.'
• I saw a series of cataclysmic events; buildings being blown to pieces by the force of wind or shock waves (reminiscent of Department of Defense nuclear blast footage); continents and coastlines altered. I remember thinking that the only thing that could cause such destruction would be a massive space-borne object slamming into the earth.
• I was traveling contentedly and fearlessly through twisting curving tubes--like the tubes at waterslide parks. I remember my witness thinking, 'What if I meet something scary around the bend?' It then occurred to me that I was in such a relaxed and centered head space, that nothing would likely be able to throw me off. Later on in the journey I was still traveling through the tubes but now the tubes were incompletely formed, with gaping portions missing. Through the openings the underlying grid-like super- structure of the tube was revealed. Toward the end of the journey it felt like I was still traveling along at a healthy clip, but by now the tubes were no longer in evidence. Instead, I was traveling on curvy, winding train tracks.
• I remember seeing a frisbee made of concrete. I wondered what this was. Then I chuckled as I understood the pun: 'disk' + 'crete.' Discrete. Then I was made to understand the importance of discretion. That the faculty of discretion is such an indispensable, valuable tool in handling some of the tricky situations that often come up in life; that it's so very important to learn the art of knowing when to keep my mouth shut. That 'blabbing' unskilled; that discretion requires presence of mind and vigilance.
• I went back to my birth. I saw myself pressed tightly in my mother's womb in the final stage of expulsion. There didn't seem to be much of an emotional charge with this material, maybe because of prior work I'd done in this area through the modality of holotropic breathwork; maybe also because most of what I recollect viewing under the influence of the ibogaine was through the filter of my emotionally detached witness.
• One more recollection. About an hour into the experience (or so it seemed to me), I heard Eric exclaim, 'Wow! Did you feel that wave?!' I was pretty well immobilized by then, but I made a mental note to ask him about this later. When I did, he was surprised because the exclamation was made at a session following mine in another room
. His exclamation was brought on by his sensitivity to the ibogaine vibe/'wave' as it was coming on in the person he was sitting for.
By 5:00 pm the peak of the rush had subsided, and my coordination was starting to come back. I drank some juice and rested until about 2:00 am, when I fell asleep. I woke up at about 5:00 am, filled with a transformative mixture of profound inner peace, spiritual rebirth, and intense aliveness.
Three weeks after the experience, and virtually all my interest in and appetite for Cannabis
has dwindled to near nonexistent levels--and it hasn't been a question of will power either. I just feel so full, so satiated, and alive, that any notion of getting high or high-er, is just totally irrelevant. There's also this parallel sense or feeling of wanting to protect and nurture this pristine state.
Where this will lead to from here, there's no way of knowing. What can
be said is that the resultant deep, quiet clarity born of this experience is daily opening in me new levels of centeredness and creative expression. All in all, I'm very grateful for having had this opportunity and would encourage anyone interested in entheogenic self-exploration to seriously consider this experience. -- D.L., NV
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