My first Ayahuasca ceremony. There I am. Sitting on a pillow, in a circle with nine other adventurous crazy people, somewhere in the pitch-black Amazon jungle of Peru.
My conscious, my thoughts, my five senses
Okay, that is weird. Apparently my taste buds are connected to the hairs on the back of my neck. Because they just stood up. Let me pause my nose breathing for a bit to minimize the distinct flavour in my mouth. Ayahuasca, a brown, thick molasses like solution was just served to me in a shot glass. And down it went.
My eyes desperately try to adjust to the darkness. But it’s not happening. Well, that’s par for the course. After all there are no streetlamps in the jungle. When the sun has set, and that happens around 5:51 pm, it’s dark. And when I say dark, I mean freaking-can’t-see-your-hands-dark. Well, depending on what the moon is up to.
Due to the total darkness, my main supplier “sight” is forced to shut down delivering visual data. My sense of taste and smell are still occupied with the lingering Ayahuasca. Which leaves the two remaining of my senses working in full speed.
My ears are eager to catch any sound. They note the chirping of the jungle critters. The ones I never see in daylight but know that they are watching me. A nose cleaning sound makes it to my eardrum. And somewhere from the left of me, someone stumbles over the purge bucket. I won’t go into details about this bucket now.
The pain receptors under my skin are shouting: “No, sitting for long hours cross-legged is nothing we signed up for. It’s painful. Very painful.” The pressure receptors on my fingers are anxious to join in. They announce proudly the absolute meaningless lead: “We found sand on the pillow.”
Due to my senses power outage my brain is almost going ballistic. I need more information to orientate myself. Desperately we hold on to any detail of incoming data, so we can evaluate and report on my situation and emotions every millisecond.
“Hey, Ayahuasca. Let’s get it on. Oh no. I think my right leg just fell off. Painful. Very painful. I hate pain. Why, oh why am I such a teacher’s pet? I just could lie down and wait for the inevitable. Yes, stupid. What are you waiting for? Oh, I hear something? I think someone is throwing up. Can I see who it is? No, silly. You can’t. Have you forgotten? It’s still dark. Maybe you can tell by the purging voice who it is? Oh! I see red dots! Is that the beginning of the visions or due to me squeezing my eyes so hard….”
You get the picture. My conscious brain is a relentless overachiever. Every little piece of information it can gather over my five senses is being processed. It compares EVERY THING with old experiences and comments EVERY TIME. Incessantly I’m spinning from thought to thought. My brain is obsessed with thoughts.
And research shows we (yes, that includes you too) have between 50.000 and 70.000 thoughts EVERY DAY. To break it further down: that means approximately 2.900 thoughts in an hour or 49 thoughts in a minute. What traffic chaos in my brain! Feeling stressed?
And then all of a sudden the voice in my head is gone. Ayahuasca must have made it through my stomach. Absorbed into my blood stream. And reached its final destination: my brain.
My subconscious, my feelings, my sixth sense intuition
Stillness. Peacefully stillness. Stillness in the meaning of speechless. The constant commentator in my head is turned off. Do you remember the good old times where the TV had an actual antenna? The one you had to shuffle around in the living room to get a clear picture? That’s how I feel. My body sends and receives data on a frequency I had no idea existed. I suddenly know things without using verbal language. There is no voice that analyzes, judges or commentates. I know and I feel data instinctively. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is crazy!
Well, maybe not so crazy if you would actually ask a baby how it knows things. Baby’s don’t think: “Well, mom. It’s been four hours. I should be hungry now. Let’s get to it.” They just know that they should eat because of their instinct. BTW, the frontal lobe, the part where the conscious mind resides, doesn’t fully develop until sometime around puberty.
And that’s what I’m experiencing now. My vortex, my subconscious, my intuition, my sixth sense. And it orientates itself without the need of words or thoughts.
Now that I’m in total bliss, it starts raining. I hear the beautiful sound of raindrops bouncing off leafs. No reporter in my head says: “Oh, I think it started raining.” Or: “I know, I know what that sound is. These are raindrops.” Or: “Caution, you may get wet.”
There is no fear, no worries, no thoughts that are questioning or judging. There is no chatter in my head. No one compares this situation with a former situation and calculates my chances of surviving. Well, I mean my body just evaporated into nothing. So I see some potential of concern … But I just feel deep trust and bliss.
I feel soft vibrations. Like the funny feeling you experience holding a tuning fork. My ears hear high sounds of electricity waves. My closed eyes see oscillations. Are these the sounds and energy created by my body?
And still, no narrator in my brain is present.
Welcome to my subconscious.
- Here is where my gut instinct lives.
- From here I receive the feeling “Time to call your mom.”
- From here I receive all feelings that feel right but are torn apart by the thoughts and worries of my conscious brain.
- Here is where my unconscious believes are stored.
- Here is where I hope to find answers to my questions: “What unconscious believes hinder me to find happiness and to be successful? How can I influence my subconscious? How can I re-program and alter it?
The feeling of being in the ultimate meditative state
It is so hard to explain this intuitive state with words because there are no words and thoughts. It’s the space between two thoughts or the space behind thoughts.
The feeling of being in the ultimate meditative state is one hundred thousand times more magnificent than any combination of 26 letters can ever describe. Words reduce this reality to something that wouldn’t do it justice.
- It is like painting a colourful picture without using actually colors.
- It is like listening to a beautiful song but actually being deaf.
- It is like riding on the back of Fuchur (you know, the friendly hairy dragon from “The Neverending Story”) on a stream of awesomeness. With tailwind. And surrounded by a parade of unicorns.
It is simply that, that your conscious mind can’t comprehend it and literally can’t wrap its mind around it. But it is celestial relaxing. It is peaceful. It is relieving. Time doesn’t matter. Just imagine. Entirely free of thought and emotion.
If you have come across meditation and deep relaxation you might have heard of the “Now” or “The gap”. That’s the place I’m talking about. That is where you are free of worry and fear, where there is no past or future. All there is is this very perfect moment.
OMG! I had no idea. I was totally clueless. I mean I thought I had a foot in the door of the whole mediation business and such. But honestly I wasn’t even close to the front porch. But now that I had a glimpse inside and actually experienced it. Unbelievable. Just this one experience was worth the money for the whole Ayahuasca trip.
What the research says about meditation
Being in the “Now” alters brainwaves. Muscles relax. The heartbeat decreases. Breathing becomes more deeply. Long-term studies show that the density of nerve cells increase in the part of the brain that are involved in the feeling of wellbeing.
Another experiment of mine that promised to alter brainwaves was this one: Floating in a sensory deprivation tank for stress relieve. And you don’t have to go as far as Peru. Downtown Vancouver will do.
Lessons learned in my first Ayahuasca Ceremony
- I feel Ayahuasca wanted me to taste the sweet rewards of meditation. Like when you motivate a kid by showing him the gift it will receive after a good school year.
- But the more important lesson of my first Ayahuasca Ceremony was, that my rational brain can’t deny the existence of my subconscious brain anymore. You know, we humans only believe things when we have seen them with our own eyes. The ultimate meditative state and my subconscious are no hoax. They are freaking real. And now all I’m left with is finding a name for my unicorn.
Unfortunately, I never didn’t get back to that ultimate peaceful meditative state that I achieved in my first Ayahuasca ceremony. Every Ayahuasca ceremony is different. But what magically shifted and still lasts is that there is less chatter in my head. The 24/7 breaking news reporter in my head has become a relaxed health blogger.
Wise people say, that Ayahuasca gives you what you need, not necessarily what you want. It’s like peeling an onion. If you want to get to the core you need to deal with each layer. To research my subconscious I had to re-discover my subconscious first.
And from there the journey started.
In my second Ayahuasca Ceremony I was taken by surprise. The lesson came out of the blue. In my first consultation with the shamans I said: “Trauma? No, there has not been trauma in my life. Haha.”
I’m glad you are here. Stay tuned.
In case you missed the previous posts and are interested in the full story:
My first Ayahuasca ceremony or me experiencing total bliss by Tanja Knapp