A Path Back to Heart & Return To Spirit
August marks the second anniversary of my return to Ayahuasca. I first sat with Grandmother in Peru in 2009. She told me then that I was not ready to continue to receive her sweet nectar. ‘Back to the training mat, son’, she whispered.
My mother died five years later, liberating and trapping me at the same time. I profoundly turned toward healing, a slow walk back to my inner child (neglected by inattention to my trauma). I had been steeped in spirituality for most of my adult life, working for the Krishnamurti Foundation for 16 years and dipping in and out of Indian Vedanta and Buddhist monasteries. I had been dabbling in psychedelics for over twenty years, sprinkled in with meditation, yoga, and deep esoteric study of sacred scriptures.
I was called back to Ayahuasca in 2021 and sat in Santa Barbara with our wonderful hosts Robin and Linda. A few months earlier, I had a dream about my childhood friend Carke’s father. I never met Clarke’s father, and he had never mentioned him to me, so the visit was—shall we say, extraordinary. My dream opened a deeper connection to Clarke. In that deepening, he and I decided to sit with with beloved Taita Cesar and drank Yage.
Two years later, I have sat over 60 times (including beautiful mushroom ceremonies), and my life is entirely different. People ask me why I keep sitting, and my response is, ‘How close do you want to be to the divine?’ My first 15 ceremonies were like a dating phase. Ayahuasca was getting to know me, pushing me deep into my shadows and sometimes dragging me through the underworld. There was one ceremony where she placed me in my grave under the earth, locked in a casket. She wanted me to experience my death. What was I making of life? She asked with both gentleness and firmness.
Around ceremony 10, deep healing started to open up and I felt love for my Mother for the first time. I forgave and understood our early dance. I started to feel grateful for the challenges and lessons life brought me, juxtaposed with the resentment and blame I had held deep in my being for most of my life. Those feelings were hidden deep in the somatic layers of my physical body, and I numbed them into oblivion for many years with alcohol. I now realize that my Mother was central to delivering those lessons through our cosmic dance. Did I choose this traumatic path before birth? My intuition says yes.
Ayahuasca showed me that I am not my trauma. My body and personality carry the imprints of my earth experience, but ultimately, I am divine. This realization was very liberating, and my relationship with my early life shifted. She keeps unraveling the lessons for my soul to be free.
I call the next stage of my journey with medicine a trip to middle earth. Ceremonies 20-30 were very hard. I wanted to quit. There were many multiple-night ceremonies where I wanted to leave after the first night, ‘I am never doing this again’, I would tell myself. However, I always stayed. I found the courage to face my fears in my devotion to healing. If you are reading this, I encourage you to always stay once your commit to a ceremony. If you give up, you are giving up on yourself in a pivotal moment. Ayahuasca is constantly testing our resolve, courage, and strength.
In the next stage of my journey, around ceremony 40, I started to wake up to the magic in a new way. I had moments of total bliss and a deep reverence for the divine. I could hear and feel the icaros in new ways. I started to learn the songs and sign them at home. I stayed in tune with the ceremony while outside of the ceremony. The ceremony space started to live inside of me. My words, actions, and thoughts started to change. My heart became softer. My words lighter. My body more vital. My mind quieter. My relationships more profound. My creativity exploded into a rainbow of colors, and art came back into my life. Music also became an extraordinary ray of beauty in my life.
Devotion and prayer are direct manifestations of my process. Gratitude is at the core of my daily existence, and my beating heart is leaning to take the helm in my decisions and actions. I am learning about service to others while grappling with the remnants of my ego and its desire to take charge and serve itself. I read the following recently from the Law of One text. It speaks to this aspect of my new direction, and it is rooted in my new intentions:
“The best way of service to others is the constant attempt to seek to share the love of the Creator as it is known to the inner self. This involves self-knowledge and the ability to open the self to the other self without hesitation. This involves, shall we say, radiating that which is the essence or the heart . . .”
This post is my first stab at following the aforementioned intention. There is so much mystery in this dance with spirit. I am a beginner, yet I am an ancient warrior of the heart. I am a star seed and have so much to learn, give, and be grateful for. Thank you for listening.