If you’ve never drunk Ayahuasca before, it’s difficult to explain what the experience is like. It’s as if a bird was trying to explain to a deep sea fish (somehow the bird can go underwater) what it’s like to fly in the air. It’s akin to a chimpanzee drinking a cup of tea, which transformed his consciousness into that of a genius human. Nevertheless, here is what you can expect. The Ayahuasca Test Pilot’s Handbook is an excellent quick read on what to expect and how to prepare.
**WARNING** Your Ayahuasca Ceremonies at East West Lodge may not be easy, or entirely pleasant. For some, you will first have to make a difficult choice. Are you willing to face your worst nightmares and deepest fears in order to overcome them and move forward? If you are not ready, Ayahuasca is not for you.
During your stay at East West Lodge, you will have the chance to develop and grow more than many people do during an entire life of self help, visits to the psychiatrist or meditation. During Ayahuasca Ceremony, you will likely enter a state of deep psychological and mental introspection, and depending on your state of mind, this could lead to feelings of blissful happiness and illumination…. or… extremes of fear and dread.
There’s no saying for sure what your experience will be. What do you need right now? What is your intention? You might find that the gateway to your subconscious opens up, allowing you to draw insights into your life’s most pressing questions. You could experience your ego struggle to maintain relevance as it slowly melts away, leaving only your true self. Your consciousness could expand and merge with the universe.
You might wrestle with a forgotten childhood tucked deep away in the recesses of your subconscious mind. You might be forced to face your deepest fears, the ones that for years you’ve managed to successfully ignore. Your mental constructs and defenses might disappear as the mirages they are, leaving you face to face with all of your insecurities and inner demons, allowing you to purge them once and for all.
Those who undergo the ayahuasca experience report having profound spiritual revelations regarding their purpose on earth, the true nature of the universe as well as deep insight as how to be the best person they possibly can. Many people experience profound positive changes in their life subsequent to consuming ayahuasca. Some individuals experience gaining access to higher spiritual dimensions and making contact with various autonomous entities who serve to act as guides or healers.
You should come to Ayahuasca Ceremony with an open heart and open mind. You must be willing to face the darkest side of yourself, which can be scary, especially if you have been running from that part of yourself for most of your life. But facing your own shadow is the only way you can deal with it and bring about real healing. So go ahead and dive right in, headfirst. It takes courage to unmask the dark side of oneself and come to peace. Step up and face the darkness. Don’t continue ignoring it or running away. This is your chance to confront your inner demons and heal from any inner struggles you have been wrestling with.
To get the most out of Ayahuasca, you should be willing to jump into the unknown. Ayahuasca is not for everyone, but if you are feeling the medicine’s draw, if it is calling out to you, you’ll know in your heart whether or not it’s for you.
Ayahuasca’s effects typically begin 20 to 60 minutes after drinking (although it can come on much quicker!), peaking after about 2 hours and dissipating after 4 to 6 hours.
Ayahuasca is often accompanied with a physical purge. While not a certainty, you can expect some degree of nausea, vomiting, and occasionally diarrhea. The purge can come within seconds, hours, or not at all. It’s different for each person and different in each Ceremony. The purge is a key part of the Ayahuasca experience as the Maestros believe you are purging not only physical impurities and parasites but also purging negative energy and emotions.
The purging works not only on a physical level but also on spiritual and psychological levels. Many people describe expelling psychological issues and emotional hang-ups (such as rage and/or hate) through the process of throwing up. The purge is often accompanied with the expulsion of psychological burdens, such as guilt and negative attitudes, thoughts and emotions. Purging is often followed by a feeling of a new beginning and redemption.
Your muscles and entire body might feel completely relaxed, even to the point that you don’t want to move. Your skin might become very sensitive, and you might feel cold, even in a very hot environment (that’s why we always have extra blankets on hand during Ceremony). Ayahuasca also increases both diastolic blood pressure and heart rate, so you should are not a candidate for Ayahuasca if you have heart disease or high blood pressure.
Visual & Auditory Effects:
Since Ayahuasca contains DMT, a psychedelic, with eyes closed, many people have visuals of bright and vivid geometric patterns, animals and spirits. Auditory senses will also be effected. Visual effects occur most intensely in complete darkness with eyes closed. Vision can be brought back closer to normal simply by opening one’s eyes, turning on a light or getting up and walking.
Visual Effects Include:
- Increased visual acuity
- Enhanced colors
- Visual geometry
- Highly detailed visuals
- Shifting scenery
- After images
- Texture repetition
- Flowing colors
- Internal imagery
Auditory Effects Include:
- Enhanced hearing ability
- Auditory distortions
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