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The Ayahuasca Experience: Shelley’s Story

Chilling out before our night of ayahuasca

When I return from the bathroom, the Bear is lying prone on the floor. Griselda and Felipe seem to be watching over him, and the Taita is singing icaros and blowing incense smoke over his body. The music is haunting and beautiful to listen to, but it’s as though I’ve transited through a wormhole (yes, a wormhole located in the bathroom) and returned to a world completely different from the one I left not moments ago.

After a few minutes, Bear sits up and mumbles something, which sounds to me, like, “I hit my head.” What he’s actually said, not without a little wonder, is “I peed my pants.”

As it turns out, he DID hit his head. The next day, when the cobwebs of the night before have cleared from our minds, we find out from Griselda that Agri fell back suddenly, his eyes rolling up into the back of his head, he bumped his head 3 times, and well…you know the rest.

And I missed the whole thing.

Which pretty much sums up my entire ayahuasca experience. No colourful visions. No startling revelations. No deeper understanding of the workings of the universe. Just nada. I’m not sure what I expected from the night…but it certainly wasn’t what I got.

Coca Leaf Powder

I spent most of the night feeling nauseous, but unable to throw up. There were moments when I felt an expansion of consciousness. I can only describe it as a feeling of growing outwards and becoming larger than the limited vessel of my physical body. However, after just a few moments of this expansiveness, my mind/ego would kick in, with a random thought/judgement about what was happening. Immediately, I would feel a shrinking and be back to feeling nauseous.

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This continued for most of the night. Back and forth. Back and forth. I could not let go and allow myself to release into the experience. After a few episodes of dry heaving, where nothing actually came up, at 6am, I was finally able to vomit and purge something out of my system. Was it a release of negative energy or just the outcome of the purgative properties of the plant? I’m not sure if I’ll ever know.

A view of Bogota, the morning after our ayahuasca ceremony

Still, I believe that the Universe always provides you with what you need, rather than what you want, so I have no choice, but to try to figure out the lesson of the experience. There has to be one, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on La Juanita Guatavita.

    April 3, 2012
  2. Oh sorry you didn’t have a better experience but I love your idea of the universe providing you with what you need and not what you want…I hope you find the lesson in the experience ๐Ÿ™‚

    April 3, 2012
    • Shelley #

      Thanks! Yeah, it was pretty intense and not what I expected AT ALL! Still looking for that lesson though… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      April 9, 2012
  3. After reading you and Agri’s interview on traveling…and seeing that you’d tried Ayuasca…had to find this post…and did! I was offered it on Maui but said no…I think I would’ve had very much the same reserved and nauseous reaction as you did, not that expansive thing..

    March 12, 2013
    • It was a challenging night for, that’s for sure. I was pretty freaked out about the expansiveness thing. Like I totally just shut it down with my head whenever it would come – come to think of it, this tells me a lot about myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Having done it though, I would definitely say it’s not a ‘drug.’ We all had such different and unique reactions to the plant, and it certainly wasn’t ‘fun.’

      March 16, 2013
  4. So fascinating. I think I would have resisted the effects of the ayahuasca in some way. I’m not sure if that’s what you feel you did, but it would be in my nature to start feeling expansive and then want to analyze it, thus killing it! I suppose even pre-judging what I might feel is unwise! I also like what you said about experiences giving what you need and not what you want. Very cool that you were able to do this.

    May 6, 2016
    • That’s completely what I did…there was no small measure of fear involved in shutting down the experience also. I def have issues with trusting the universe and just going with the flow…and amazing as that expansive feeling was, my ego kept kicking in and pulling me out of it. Sigh. So much so, that I’m scared to do it again, though it would probably be useful. Hubby on the other hand, is all over it, even though his experience was, you could argue…a little more challenging…

      May 6, 2016

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