The ceremony

Be prepared

On the morning after Ayahuasca n°6 (July 11th 2015), i spoke with the Taita, Crispin Chindoy (highly recommended !), and i asked him why i seemed to be so resistant to the ‘medecina’. One thing could be the preparation, ie the diet prior to taking Ayahuasca. I knew it was important, but i didn’t realize it was that important. I thought that as long as you didn’t get any negative effects, then everything was fine. Not so !
I was under the impression that you had to avoid just about everything, and that fruit & vegetables were fine. Well, no. I looked it up a bit more and the recommendation by Memo of (highly recommended as well — i did my first 3 ceremonies with them) was quite different : rice and cooked vegetables. No fruit, because no sugar. Aha ! So maybe that’s been my problem getting the expected visual effects and deep trips with spirits showing me things : i always ate a LOT of fruit. Well, i like rice & veg, so next time i will stick to that and we shall see.

Another major point, and this is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT part of the preparation : NO MEDS. Especially not if you are on antidepressants, or anything that alters (read reduces) your consciousness. You need to get off that shit 6-8 weeks prior to even sniffing Ayahuasca. Or, instead of curing your depression, Ayahuasca will make it worse. Most meds need to be avoided, but of course that can be a challenge : see your doctor, blablabla. You will have to taper yourself off them way in advance. That’s not me telling you to do so, don’t go & sue me for your actions, it’s me telling you that if you want to do Ayahuasca, you will need to find a way to go off the meds. How & when is up to you & you only.

In case the diet above wasn’t clear enough, you need to stay off meat, especially pork, off alcohol, no spices, no chile, no pepper, no salt, no sugar, no coffee, etc etc etc. ONLY rice and cooked vegetables are allowed. You need to apply this a week in advance, and 3 days after. If you can only make it 3 days before, then you won’t get hurt as long as you are already off the meds and have been for a long while.
Consuming alcohol or pork after a ceremony can produce very unpleasant consequences.

Ayahuasca is not a ‘fun’ drug, it’s no distraction : it is quite the opposite of a distraction, in fact. After this, distractions will seem boring and a waste of time. So you get the idea : you need to prepare and respect it, even way before you do it.

Intention is the final ingredient of your preparation, and it’s not just important, it’s absolutely essential to obtaining any result at all. Your intention needs to be clear, you need to know why you are coming because know one else will. Meditate, breathe, relax, and do your best to ask yourself what you need to change about yourself. You should IMO do this before you take the brew, and right afterwards, while you wait for the effects to manifest themselves.

In my experience, you won’t feel anything for 40-60 minutes, yet with n°6 (very thick, strong brew) i started to feel things about 20 mins in, which is incredible for me. At 40 mins, you may start to feel nausea. For your first ceremonies, if you are like me, closed & resistant, you may need several shots (i needed 4 shots and 4 hours the first time — others took even more, while someone went all the way in after just 10 minutes !).

At first, the symptoms of it getting to you can be worrying if you don’t know what to expect. Now i love it because it just feels healthy, i feel lucky to be able to experience those feelings : a ‘tingling’ in the arms, hands & legs. I call it vibration. It feels like the energy my body is made of is vibrating. Not shaking, vibrating. That feeling can be at some times so intense you will think that your body is about to shatter into a million microscopic pieces. I usually get remnants of these vibrations every now & then for about a week after each ceremony. I get them when i feel good. I have the feeling that i could get them without the medicine after many ceremonies. It feels to me as if the medecina is crawling through my cells, doing its cleansing. It feels healthy & good. Whether it really is, i can’t be sure.

The ceremony

I will describe the process i witnessed for my first 3 ceremonies.

We arrive at the location and each person unrolls his blanket on the ground, choosing a spot.

Then the master of ceremony discusses most of the things one may wonder about — this lasts 40 minutes.
You can then ask any questions you may have.

Each person presents themselves and explains briefly why they are here.

We sit with our eyes closed and think of the reasons we came.

One of the organizers comes over to you with a dose of medecina, kneels down beside you and asks you for your full name. He then proceeds to pray/bless the medicine and hands it to you. Good luck downing it.

Then most people can expect to wait at least 45 minutes before any effects appear, be it nausea or visions or anything. Some people go mental after just 10 minutes, however.

One hour after each dose you are asked how you feel and if you want another one. Most people will require 2 or 3. I required 4 on both ceremony 1 & 2. By ceremony 3 i was down to 2 & 1/4.

They say it lasts 5-6 hours but that must be a maximum. In my case the mareacion lasted maybe 1-2 hours each time, sometimes less. Could be resistance to the process.

One hour from closing time we are asked to give a brief account of our experience. Usually there are 1 or 2 people still inside the experience at that time.
Once we have told our side of it, each attendant hugs every other person, including the organizers. Usually a very emotional moment for me.

That’s it. And then the “real world” work and processing begin. Day 2 always leaves me absolutely exhausted, a deep mental tiredness like no other in my life. After a few days you start to realize things, always positive in my experience.
But all of this is useless if you don’t apply the lessons shown : only then will they become lessons learnt.

Note that all 3 of my experiences took place with the same organizers. The process can vary from group to group, i am sure.

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