Finding my authenticity

Submitted by a professional musician

The story I wish to recount is of an experience drinking Ayahuasca during three sessions in Colombia. I was drinking in a ritual context with shamans who had worked with ‘Mama’ Ayahuasca their whole lives, in a ‘Malloca’ (traditional wooden hut for ceremonies) where great care was taken in how the ceremony was set-up and conducted – very slow, very respectful. Sometimes I felt a little like I as a tourist, but the welcome was warm, and they really wanted to show us how they worked with their spirits and their ancient earth medicines.

Stand up!

Submitted by a creative teacher

I want to describe three experiences with ayahuasca. The first was in the Amazonian forest with a healer shaman. This was on my second trip to the forest, after several ceremonies, and lots of purging and powerful experiences of cleansing and releasing. I was told to stand up (in the strong clear voice of inner guidance I have come to trust). This in itself was quite an achievement. The medicine was so strong that we had been horizontal until that point. All the guests had a mattress, a sick bowl and tissues, and most of us had to be accompanied or carried when we had to go to the toilet.

Learning Humility

Submitted by a shamanic meditation teacher

When I was asked to contribute to this research into the positive use of mind-altering medicines or drugs, I was surprised to discover how passionately I felt about the subject. Since the very first time I smoked cannabis, I have considered these plants and medicines to be a great gift for helping us humans to remember who we are and what we are connected to.

Facing My Fear

Submitted by a psychotherapist

I had been actively involved in a variety of therapeutic processes for over 30 years and had largely healed significant and profound childhood trauma. My mother had been severely mentally ill as I was growing up and lurched between being an occasional loving mother and mostly a raging demon who blamed me for all the ills in her life and beat me mercilessly. She spent the last 17 years in a mental hospital virtually as a vegetable after having a lobotomy. I had felt under the shadow of psychosis all my life. I believed I was an evil person deep down.

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