A yoga teacher training course in Bali was where the medicine found Lara. She had recently left her native Germany initially to travel for several months across Asia and South America, however during her training course she found herself having a profound conversation about Ayahuasca with some other trainees and expats who lived locally. During this time Lara felt an instant call to experience this sacred plant medicine and asked her acquaintance to introduce her to the medicine.
It was on Lara’s fourth Ayahuasca ceremony that she experienced a breakthrough, although it initially left her vowing never to take Ayahuasca ever again. Mother Ayahuasca had shown Lara, in no uncertain terms, the destructive nature of human neurology; and what she termed as ‘the black mind of humanity’. Lara saw and felt the world from this perspective, where humans sought money and materialism for happiness in a never-ending cycle of consumerism. The medicine infused her with the state of the world that lives from this dark mind and the constant need for more and more without a care for the environment. Lara experienced a depth of pain during these revelations which left her crying and shaken, and she asked the medicine how she would need to live differently.
However, Mother Ayahuasca continued to take Lara into the murky depths of the collective mind illustrating that behind all of this needing and wanting, there existed only pure emptiness. The mind is nothing and there is nothing to the mind, but people live from this state without recognizing that it is vacant and uninhabited by real substance. They follow it as if they are sleepwalking and cannot pierce the veil of their misleading wants and needs to see its true desolation. Lara’s agony during these revelations was overwhelming, and both heart and gut wrenching to directly receive the wounds of the planet’s consciousness.
As this Ayahuasca experience had caused her so much suffering, Lara was adamant that she would not do another ceremony again. It was a very difficult experience for her on many levels and therefore she said to the shaman that it was just too hard for her to cope with another ceremony. The shaman listened to Lara and then replied, ‘this is why you will drink again tonight’. Lara explained that she had already asked Mother Ayahuasca to show her what to do differently and how she should live differently. The Shaman responded, “she will show you the answers, you will stay here and drink again tonight and ask her”.
Lara stayed that night and received her answers during her fifth sacred plant medicine ceremony. This time Mother Ayahuasca put Lara into the soul, showing her how not to live from the mind and instead how to live from her soul. She did this by moving Lara into her heart area, opening her up to a beautiful all-encompassing love and the world so this time Lara was infused with the experience of the heart. The message was abundantly clear: you know the difference with living your life in your heart versus your mind when you listen to your heart and body. Be aware of your breathing and bodily sensations. The body is the lawyer of the soul, it guides you if you listen and hold on for a second without rushing to do or say something. If you can do this, then you will know what to do, how to behave and what to say. Then you are no longer in the mind anymore.
Lara was shown the interconnectedness of everything.; how much life and energy mountains and stones have, and ultimately that everywhere there is consciousness. There was meaning in everything and life was full of learnings. Mother Ayahuasca illustrated her answers to Lara with real life visions and pictures which were colorful, vibrant and allowed Lara to feel all of this with her entire body and open heart. She was connected to the essence of everything and everyone.
This was a life changing experience for Lara, who says, “I had real difficulty with knowing when I am living from the mind or the soul, how was I to know? In my Ayahuasca ceremonies I directly experienced this difference. When we are living from our mind we are actually consumers: we are not the giver but instead we are the taker. When we are living from our heart we are waking up and feeling love, and then we want to give back and not take anymore. So we are transitioning from consumerism to giving back to the world. “
Modern Ancient Insight: Many of us hope to have something similar to Lara’s fifth Ayahuasca ceremony experience - a powerful and moving gift to shift us into a more profound perspective of the world and our own lives. However, it is important to note that journeying with sacred plants such as Ayahuasca is just that: a journey. If we commit to enriching ourselves, the answers will present themselves and oftentimes quite spectacularly. Do consider these items when pursuing an Ayahuasca retreat or ceremony experience:
- • Do not be attached to outcomes. While it is important to offer an intention, it is essential that you remain open to where the medicine wants to take you. Trying to set yourself up for an experience you think you should have is counterproductive to surrendering to the journey, a higher power and the plant spirits.
- • Remember that energy works in layers. A single Ayahuasca ceremony may suffice for some to provide a level of healing or insights needed at the time, however we have witnessed that many participants require a few ceremonies before receiving their ‘breakthrough’ i.e ‘ah-ha moments’. Note that healing takes place on many levels therefore a ceremony where ‘nothing happens’ (or only purging) is equally as powerful on the subtle body as one with beautiful visuals and feelings of interconnectedness.
- • Choosing the right shaman and facilitation team for you is key. ‘Bad trips’, or unwanted outcomes may seem undesirable or make us certain of not persevering with additional ceremonies, however ensuring you work with providers who provide proper preparation and integration remains key to overcoming the challenging experiences.
Do you have a story to share or know someone who does? Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Transform Your Reality: In this bimonthly series Modern Ancient shares real life stories which have been transformed by the power of alternative and holistic health. Discover how self development and higher consciousness can be practicality applied to overcome dis-ease, achieve a state of balance and live authentically.
*Where requested names and identifying details have been changed in some stories to protect the privacy of individuals featured.