By Nick van 't End
In may 2015 I decided to go and take a drastic decision in my life. I really wanted change, I was done with how I lived my life at the time and something drastic needed to happen. What I did not know back then that the experience I would have with the Ayahuasca plant would so utterly change my life ... but in a positive way. I will try to look back and give you some details about what happened to me and what in my experience the Ayahuasca does to you.
Ayahuasca a tea derived from 2 different roots/herbs from the amazon, shamans used it to heal their tribe and gain insights about the universe and themselves. This Ayahuasca tea brings you in a hallucinatic state where 3 parts of the brain are getting highly activated. The frontal cortex were higher thinking is processed, the region of your self image and the reptile part of the brain where deep forgotten traumas and fears are stored. In this combination the traveler will gain insights and can rewrite parts of his /her own thinking. This video gives a detailed explanation. http://youtu.be/aufjjU0EYxk
Why Ayahuasca, would I ever use such a uncertain and potentially dangerous substance?!?
Well my path first let me on experiencing a magic mushroom journey that was really eye opener(see this post) and I hope that Ayahuasca would show me even more about myself. Mainly I knew that I was having a life that was totally unbalanced, I was less and less enjoying life and felt that something needed to change, to live my life to the fullest. I felt that doctors could not help me and I was getting worse as the years passed.. still trying to keep up and do as much fun as possible, but actually working my ass off and doing so much that I could not enjoy it anymore. So without any answers and really wanting to improve and change my life I decided to go for the Ayahuasca medicine.
Not knowing what I could expect I searched the internet on previous experiences of other people and found tons of good reviews and life changing comments. So that gave me a better feeling.
I was planning to make my journey in may during a retreat organized by the Sacred Voyage in the Netherlands. This organization had good reviews and they did their own research which gave me a bit more confidence. http://www.thesacredvoyage.com
Finally I decided to go, bought my ticket on their website and did a cleansing diet for 3 weeks of only soups and water, which was recommended. They also recommended I read 2 books written by the organiser of the event, Lars Faber. That helped in getting into the setting, knowing what to eat and what not to eat and just how to prepare yourself well for this kind of voyage, which is of course not without any dangers.
Ok finally d-day, I felt well prepared. .. the only thing that was crossing my mind a lot of times.... I felt stressed out still and felt that I needed a vacation before doing this, but this I did not have, the retreat was already in the spring break vacation so this left me with no other choice.
I went to the retreat located in the middle of nowhere near the biggest lake of the Netherlands, Ijselmeer.
Arriving there, I found myself surrounded by a lot more people than I expected. I was a bit surprised by the amount of people doing this kind of voyage. Not only from the Netherlands, but most were from all over Europe to come here and do an Ayahuasca journey. Because I felt stressed out still I felt pressured in registering for what I would to do every day, I think also excited and nervous about that day, it would be my first Ayahuasca experience.
Talking to some people there felt good, they all seemed so normal, they could just have been my neighbor or some random family man or woman. Most people seemed to be in their forties and having their own families and kids. Some were new like me but others seem to have done this many times before. Talking to them and sharing our nerves helped a bit.
Ok we needed to gather in a big room all 50 in a big circle. We said down and listened to Lars Faber opening and giving some instructions. They did their best to make us feel welcome and gave some good insights on the process of the week.
It was good to have an intention when you go into this kind of journey, so I remembered mine: "help me have a new relationship with my deepest fears". Not knowing what I was getting myself into, this promised to be much bigger than I thought.
It was time to start, we started with heart dancing, which quickly opened me up and I felt alive right away. We needed to look each other in the eyes and make real contact. ..
ok this was awesome. .. whats next.
We could relax and they prepared the room for the Ayahuasca ceremony, I remember being so nervous, i was waiting in front of the door. Finally we could go inside, I immediately saw a nice spot on the other side of the room near the windows and heaters on the walls. Although the windows were covered, there was a little bit light coming from underneath the curtains. Everyone had their own mattress and could bring their own blankets to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
The ceremony started, we all got our first Ayahuasca drinks. Before taking it we could bring up our intention and ask mother Ayahuasca(as they called the intelligent plant) help you guide you through the journey. So I did and an hour of meditation and opening energy centers followed.
Because I calmed down I noticed lot's of stress coming out and I was jawning constantly. Besides feeling sleepy and a bit drowsy, I did not feel anything else. So I decided I wanted another glass of the tea, and instead of half a glass, I asked if they could fill up the second one to the max, which meant I would have 3 glasses of Ayahuasca in my system.
I saw people throwing up, they seem to shove the Ayahuasca down and soon after bam it came out again. I decided to take little zips and thank the plant on every zip and feel in my body if it was still ok.
Now it really took off, at first I wanted to keep control and sit and look around, but I needed to lay down and so I did, any sense of time was already gone. As soon as I hit the mattress it felt like thousands of layers felt off my shoulders. Which felt like all the responsibility that I was trying to carry for all those years just came all off and was liberating my shoulders.
Then I said to myself "here you are ... your not that far away"... addressing my inner child. It is true I've been always trying to be the most authentic self, but the last 4 years I've been taking everything way too seriously. But my inner child was not that far pushed away yet.
So far this all was very good for me and I felt safe and relaxed.
While laying down on my mattress I started to see lot's of different patterns and beautiful colors and shapes while my eyes were closed, opening them everything seemed slightly off but not that different.
At one point I was falling so much into the mattress that I felt I was dying. One of my fears was dying and I tried to get my control back....
Then it happened, not sure what triggered it but people started to scream, not one but several and that got projected back to me. A lot of fear came to me, I got really really afraid. .. I never knew that I could have such fears. I felt out of control. .. and very alone, and this triggered probably the greatest fear of all... rejection and being left alone. This ever since my dad left us when I was around 2 years old. I needed to get help, something that was difficult for me to ask, I always did stuff on my own independently and now I couldn't handle it alone anymore. So with all the strength I had I try to get up and wave towards one of the helpers to get help. A man came and tried to calm me down, but I couldn't handle it I needed to be alone again, I said please leave me alone, but why... I needed him.
Then somewhat later everything in the room was white and all people where vaguely there or not at all anymore. I was going mental, I did not know what was up or down anymore. I saw a man standing there as if he had constraints on like in a mental institute, I thought maybe I was living a mental dream of life before and what I see now is a glimpse of reality, so I thought I was mentally I'll and in a psychiatric hospital and what I see now is the normal state I am actually in. This was all way way to scary.
I was getting so mental that I, without consciously knowing it, run towards the door of the room and because the door was white I saw a white flash before my eyes and put out my hand just before I would slam into the door. I came to a stop on the ground on my knees, trying to get back to my senses. Then one of the staff completely in white like everyone else, helped me up and asked if I was ok. Everything seemed to change, this man was like a father figure and a stillness entered my body, he asked if I could get to my mattress on my own, and everything seemed fine so I said yes, until I hit the mattress again, hell, fear and death was coming over me again .. no ... help!
Some time past, I really felt like this hell I was in would never ever end, how long still did I need to be here, would this be forever, I cannot handle this, this is too much. I want to be in the light, I want love, seeing the sun shining behind the curtains, the curtains as a barrier for the light, like I was putting barriers for getting to my own light.
Then all the sudden I realized, I'm in this hell because I choose to be, so I can also choose to go out of this hell in to the light. Then I felt a power growing inside of me, like a king stood up for the first time. After 4 hours, other people still had several hours to go, without their control, I stood up and asked one of the helpers if I could go outside, he looked at me and said yes, apparently I looked sober enough, so he decided I would be ok to walk and go outside.
Outside everything changed ... I was so glad to be there, the sun was still shining and a great amount of relief came over me.
I was still under the influence of the substance, but it did not control me anymore. .. I took control back.
Besides that I couldn't handle the fears and was unable to cope with the situation, I felt like I needed this experience to finally get my strong king rise up and choose for the light. I also needed to have this strong hell of an experience, this thought me that there are limits and I should respect my limits and not always go to the maximum and deplete my body and mind in the process.
Wow what an experience, I thought I will never do this again. So I asked one of the staff how many times he did an Ayahuasca journey, and he answered with thirty. Thirty times, wow.. I thought I won't ever do this again, I needed a rest do to reflect.
The second Ayahuasca experience, the third day of the 5 day retreat.
After experiencing horror, terror and hell on the first experience, I thought I will never do this again. But I got some courage and decided that I needed to try again, but this time with a different intention and maybe also less amount of Ayahuasca.
So I did, I asked for motherly love and drunk 2 and a half glass this time and ..... everything was totally different, I was not resisting anymore I was open and I became friends with the plant, actually my king that just stood up and the plant became friends, I saw thousands of hands and could hear mother Ayahuasca for the first time communicating with me.
This time no hell, this time I was still in a lot of pain, but now together with mother Ayahuasca and the king inside myself we could handle the pain and start a real healing process.
We went like a spiral through my body and were healing all kinds of parts of the body. Also this time I right away asked for help of one of the staff of the retreat and accepted their attention and love.
With every pain on different parts of the body, even different cells within that part of the body, I experienced flashes of memory, visions and insights. All very very true and life changing.
I saw where my pains and fears came from, I saw what I could do and what the greatest thing in life is, natures meaning, the meaning of the universe, if A.I was good or not, where in my body my fears are located and what their functions are, that my cells are like children and need my care as if I would care for a baby. I saw that life was energy, on and off as yin and yang. I saw so many things and after every cell of pain, tiers came melting my hardened muscles so that these children/cells could rest again and not constantly cry out for attention or be pushed away when they needed me the most. I was completely there for all of them. Every time a cell was heard it went to rest and I saw a big pool of black water and I felt like dying. I came to ashes, but only in this rest the cell could recover and only in this darkness they could shine a light again. So that finally these cells could open up their eyes again and experience love again. I saw my spiritual animal, half dog/wolf half human, finally going to sleep, he needed to be there for me too many times.
When you read this it all seems like a big weird dream I had and that I indeed was or are mental, I will try yo explain some insights in other articles so that they make more sense, but for now just know that this was big, so so much information, like the whole universe was downloaded into my brain.
This experience of feeling pains, screaming, giving the cell the space to be heard, really listening to it and asking what they needed from me, seeing a vision, their way to communicate. Then crying out like a child that finally can cry out and be comforted by their mom in this case me. Then die and rest to receive the light again and open up to love. This took 11 hours and I still wasn't done, but I needed to stop, one of the staff reminded me that I do not need to do everything at once, so I stopped.
Looking back on these 2 experiences, I must say that they were by far the biggest most life changing experiences I ever had. So many insights, which I now try to implement into my life. A lot of insides I would also like to share, maybe someone else by reading it could benefit from them, I share them here on my website at www.nvantend.nl.
Ayahuasca is definitely not for everyone, you need to really be sure you want to face your own demons and have the courage to see it through. But if you can, it could definitely be one of the most life changing journeys you will ever be taking.
A lot of love to all and bon voyage!