Nested within the Costa Rican rainforest, anticipation builds amongst a group of people who are waiting to take a trip deep into their soul. As the sun sets and darkness begins to engulf the light, the time is here. The long awaited journey with Grandmother Ayahuasca begins now.
The shaman opens the ceremony with some beautiful words. I peek over the burning campfire anxiously waiting for him to signal me over. He finally gives me a nod to indicate it’s my turn to take the medicine. I stand before him holding the cup between my praying hands. I lovingly project my intentions into the drink and then gulp it down. The taste is musky with a slight golden aftertaste, similar to some Traditional Chinese Medicine brews I’ve taken. I return to my seat on a chair just outside the circle and patiently wait for the effects to kick in.
Merging with the Consciousness of Ayahuasca
My head spins a little and within what seems like seconds, it’s full on.
I am immersed into a three dimensional world of intricate Ayahuasca art. Thousands of geometric shapes, golden ratio spirals and luminous colours come to life before my mind’s eye. The visuals are difficult to explain, but similar to what many psychedelic artists have depicted through their spiritual artwork.
The art is alive and conscious. It moves, changes and expands infinitely. I am it and it is me; there is no separation between our existence. It feels like I have dissolved deep into the mysterious consciousness of Ayahuasca as she guides me to flow slowly through her veins like a viscous fluid. Her consciousness feels strangely eerie, as if it’s a sacred place very few get to visit.
The art changes and transforms into dozens and dozens of different illustrations. I am mesmerized by the visuals and the feeling of this place. The concept of time fades as Grandmother holds my attention powerfully within her consciousness. The effects are deepened by the icaros of the shaman.
Shades of Grey
The beautiful visuals begin to shift unexpectedly. All the luminous colours dry up into shades of grey. The black lines defining the geometric shapes and spirals open up, spilling out its black contents.
Vomit emerges from deep within me. Something guides me to turn my head over my right shoulder as the vomit projectiles out of my mouth onto the grass behind me. My chair tilts back, somehow managing to balance on its back legs while I vomit. To put things into context here, I have zero concept of my body, where I am or the chair I am sitting on. I certainly don’t remember having a bucket to throw up into.
After much contemplation, I recognize a compelling lesson behind this experience, which is that all things eventually come to an end and that nothing is constant in life. The irony in life is that everything is constantly changing. Life flows, transitions and evolves into something different continuously. Things always come to an end, but that just means a chance for new beginnings. These cycles are prevalent in all aspects of our life, such as the four seasons.
Change is a difficult thing for many to accept, however if things are not changing, it means they are dead. Whether it’s your life, a relationship or a plant, recognize that change is good because it signifies being alive and growth.
Yet people seem to get very attached to the comfort and familiarity in their relationships, daily routines and physical environment. They forget that those things are fluid and might very well change one day too. The best thing to do is to get familiar with change by switching up routine in your daily life as often as possible. Take a new route home, try different ethnic foods, or learn a new skill every few months. Most importantly, make the most of your life by being grateful for the present moment. Learn to enjoy the present moment with what’s in front of you because no one really knows just how much longer before it, too, changes.