We arrived at the ayahuasca retreat yesterday. After an hour bus ride and a 3 hour boat ride , we arrived at a secluded lodge in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. The boat ride was amazing. The clouds looked like something out of this world, the water so calm. As we traveled, I put my right hand into the water. The coolness relieved the heat I was feeling. I put the cool on the back of my neck and forearms, a heat rash had come back.
I gazed into the sky and many colored butterflies crossed the path ahead.
It had only been an hour and felt I had made a few friends.
Getting to the center seemed long and was a bit uncomfortable.. and completely worth it. The views were something of a foreign and beautiful land.
Once we arrived, I felt I was in a little village. There were huts all around the property. I was asked by a group of 3 girls to bunk with them, 4 to a room. Each room had a separation piece and curtain, a double size bed with pillow and sheets, a towel, table, and two cabinets to put our things. I was in the only all girl hut and there was a scent of noticeable feminine energy. In the room, there was one girl from New York, from the area I was now currently living.. another from the area I grew up around, in Canada.. and another living in the area I was had thought of having a home, in Woodstock, New York.
Once I settled in, we had a group meeting in the center where we would be partaking in Ayahuasca ceremony, the moloka. Our facilitators introduced themselves and gave an overview of what to expect. There we had introductions to the rest of the group. Two of my bunk mates had attended the retreat just a week before, the other third mate joined them for the last leg of the journey. On of the other two girls on the retreat is a holistic doctor from the states and the other is very sweet and works for government in her province. There are two friends here from Iceland, chess player and soul journeyer. There are two brothers from California, a true gem from Australia and the youngest on the trip voyaged out from Alaska.
After our group meeting, we had lunch.. what seemed like the strictest of strict regarding Ayahuasca diet. Green pea mash, quinoa, boiled potatoes, beets, carrots, with a side of broccoli.. and banana for dessert. No salt, no sugar, no pepper.
In a few hours we got ready for a flower bath to be done by one of the shamans. We each sat down and let her bathe us down with buckets of floral war water. We were told to let the water dry on our skin and to get ready for ceremony.
Once dried, we entered the moloka. Our facilitators engaged us in some simple yogic exercises. Then we sat in silence, with two candles lit in the center and waited for the shamans to arrive.
After they entered, they prepared their things.. and one by one, we each sat in front of them and were given a cup of this sacred brew, ayahuasca. We were asked prior to have intention when partaking in this ceremony and having that intention in our mind when drinking. It tasted like camu camu, looked like dark cocoa. I took deep sips, in she went. I sat down on my bed, waiting for the medicine to activate within. After 10 minutes or so, one of the girls, whom I will later call- my barf sister, purged. With hesitation to leave the moloka, I got up to use the bathroom. On my way back, I noticed the sky, the magnificent display of stars. I had never seen anything so amazing. There were so many. The whole sky was illuminated. Some twinkling rapidly, some more steady with a radiant brightness. Even the stardust was visible. .. I could feel the medicine inside me, I ran to my bucket. I purged for a few minutes, I felt dizzy in the room, my head felt heavy, I had to keep moving so I could feel ok. I began to pray, asking the mother divine to heal those things deep inside me. At one point, I looked outside and felt the sky was within my reach. I threw up again, this time more painful. I asked Ma to mend my broken heart and the things that have tormented me in my life.
As I finished purging, I gave thanks to Mama Ayahuasca for releasing.
I sat back and felt a heaviness. I did some deep breathing. I breathed so deeply, a noise came from me as the air entered my stomach. I exhaled, unlike ever before. What seemed like every last ounce of air exited my body, so much so I was sitting straight with my head toward the sky and noises exiting as the air left also. I felt I was breathing out negative vibes and sadness, I gave Ma thanks for helping to heal me.
The shamans began their icaros. It sounded like a mix of ancient bhajan chanting and native american spirit songs. The melody was somber and full of a healing energy. I began to hum along as if I knew the song. My feet began to move and hands started to tap along. I wanted to dance. Then there was silence. I felt very mellow and observant. I had an itch to stretch my body but stopped myself. The sounds of others in the room seemed to tell each was having a somewhat intense experience. A bit of envy entered me but also I had some comfort, feeling my intentions of the night had been met.
After a while longer, the shamans began personal icaros and sat in front, one by one, of each of us. Later, the first first of the two shamans, I will call him, mi padre de peru, sat in front of me. I felt a surge of energy coming through him. He sang and had a certain kind of breathing which he did over me. He put a liquid in his mouth, aguaflorida, it had a strong citrusy menthol scent. He breathed the cool air on me and touched my head.
When he moved to the next person, his wife sat in front of me, mi madre de peru. As she sang, a great sadness came over me. I cried a lot. The tears seemed to be falling out of my eyes like huge water pellets. I felt each tear bounce off my arm as it fell. She seemed to be singing for a long time in front of me. The uneasiness at the end of her notes made me feel that she knew the hurt inside me. I was so thankful to be apart of this. The ceremony continued for another while. When it was announced the ceremony was closed, I headed to my bed. I put on my phone to take a picture of myself, as I wanted to see into my eyes. It was 3:30am.
The next morning I woke to the heat of the sun and the birds chirping… jungle sounds divine. I could hear the birds having conversations with each other, the crickets, flies buzzing, other noises I was hearing for the first time.
“Desayuno” said the little boy who was the son of a employee at lodge. A four year old little boy, friendliest child I may have ever met.
Breakfast was a bowl of watermelon, cantaloupe, apple, orange and banana. Porridge on the side.
I took a nap and was awaken by the same little boy for lunch. Lunch was a plate of raw cabbage, beets, pumpkin, broccoli, salad and an apple for dessert. I ate as much as I could stomach and then I sat down here to write.
We just had our first one on one meeting with shamans and facilitator to assist in translating. I told them my cousin sent me here… that I came for healing.. I felt a void of unconditional love throughout my life. I had a lot of pain from my fathers departure, my mother, perhaps her reaction to his departure.. amongst other things. I mentioned I had performed healing with my hands before and was told there are gifts that had been passed down in my family.. I was hoping this experience would help me to embrace these things more. The shamans told me to medicine would help me and when they come to me in ceremony I need to be present. I cried from beginning of meeting until end.
Tonight is the second ceremony.. we will be given option of second cup.
Sharing this journey with hopes of deeper understanding and to help aid you in your own inner travels.