This article is a submission for the Ayahuasca Awareness Program, an initiative by the Spirit Vine Center in Brazil. The program aims to help increase awareness of the potential of ayahuasca by sponsoring free ayahuasca retreats every month for people who feel the call for spiritual development with ayahuasca and other methods.

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Ayahuasca: Strong Natural Medicine – A personal story

It was the deepest experience of my life which has liberated me from fear of death. Within a few moments after drinking the “tea”, I fell apart into moving geometric shapes, fitting into each other like wheels in a complex machine, gradually crumbling me into smaller pieces. And a common rhythm dominated this fascinating chain of events. As I gave in to the rhythm (I couldn’t resist), within few moments I became fragmented into pieces and I couldn’t recall my old form. I felt like my body and identity were disappearing and what was left was clear consciousness. On the other hand, when the effect of medicine was leaving and I began to embody “myself” and this time-space reality again, I didn’t want to return here. Compared to where I had just been, I much disliked going back into our world and the human form by the name of Marcela…

Thanks to this unearthly experience, however, I have quite good coordinates about my momentary position in the matrix of universe. And not just that. I have experienced God or what I felt was the experience of all that is and have received knowing that I can be, was and will be anybody and anything that I want to be. I am, you are, we are God that is playing in infinite ways… and it doesn’t matter in which position of the endless loop of being I, you, we happen to be at this very moment.

“I am coming from darkness and holding light

open your hearts, he said

flame has set a chest on fire that is mine

please rise up, grow bigger, be

pleasant pain healing fear

to be all and everything I can

straight away and not just once upon a time…”

I have tasted the bliss life offers when I remember who I really am……I’m screaming yummyyy!

And for that reason, too, is why ayahuasca is for me a healing spiritual journey of remembrance. A journey of disclosing the truth through a veil of illusions about who I am. Not the only one on the market, but a solid one. It’s the shortest path to knowing that I know of. To the kind of knowing that takes you by the hand and lifts you up into a perspective, from which there’s a good view. On what’s going on in your life. On what’s going on on the Earth. On who you are and what it is all about. A viewpoint that enables you to see a deeper or more holistic truth when you’re ready for it. And the truth will positively change you. I closely observe how ayahuasca has helped me and others to move our lives forward, heal diseases and dysfunctional life patterns. To transcend ourselves. To improve our lives.

“I shall not fall or if I fall, I shall not stay powerlessly stuck in the trap of half-truths about myself, others or the world, torn from the higher context but with power to affirm themselves.” To everything you experience, there exists a deeper healing truth that has power to save.

God’s dance of forms and liberation

Life is a dance of forms, I find out. God’s game. A game, that God is clearly into. Playing with himself, as us, experiencing himself not only but also through our human forms. I am one of his looks and you are another. We are divine looks, whose fate (program) it is to forget who we are in order to expand the human game and seek return to the source via understanding who we really are. And the contrast of crossing from illusion of separation, loneliness and termination back to truth, light, love is the most blissful feeling I have ever come to experience. This realization brings liberation from the shackles of suffering, that we as humans commonly go through in this time and space. Exactly from this moment on, I’ve come to know that suffering and pain are catalysts of return…to bliss, to paradise that is our divine inherent nature. Woooow, believe it or not, it is the top game around.

My story

Similarly to other people I met there, I suppose, a diverse personal history preceded my arrival to Spirit Vine center in Brazil, a history that has always motivated me to search behind the boundaries of convention, modern science and civilization. Honestly, the last three (just like with most westerners I guess) are my first and most accessible choice but if they fail to deliver a solution to my problems, I don’t know about you but I go on. I am not afraid of the unknown. Even if something is not fully scientifically screened and proven, I am looking for ways that life itself somehow renders to me and I make my own empirical opinion. This way I somehow came across the documentary that maps a scientific research of the DMT compound (dimethyltryptamine), a natural hormone produced by the body of humans, animals and plants. And this way I came to know about ayahuasca, the powerful medicine of native South Americans, through which they have been healing their souls and bodies for thousands of years in contrast to the 150-years of our western pharmaceuticals.

With all leftover respect to western pharmaceutical industry that I have, to refuse something that people in some part of our world have been healing themselves with for thousands of years, only because they come from a foreign culture, seemed inappropriate and moreover, everything in me wanted to go. The taste of adventure and belief in real help when neither my study of psychology, nor three different psychotherapies with the best ones around didn’t quite get me to my right place. After studying many personal stories and videos (watch Sting), have brought me to the beautiful environment of a cocoa jungle, ocean and retreat center, a combination so tasteful that I long to go back ever since.

What is ayahuasca?

It’s a brew prepared from a vine and a plant that after drinking takes you on a journey where you may have visions and highly personal and spiritual insights. A special diet is required to partake in the ritual of ayahuasca. Traditionally, a facilitator, shaman or healer leads the ceremony and the experience is reinforced by music and singing of icaros – songs of plants. I perceive ayahuasca just like the native people of Amazonas, as the gift that Mother Earth provides for us, so that we are not so lost, alone, and fictitiously sick in this world.

Healing effects of modified state of consciousness

During the several ceremonies that I undertook in Brazil and later in Europe, I was a witness to various visions, new and repeating ones that convinced me of the deep intelligence of this miraculous plant that in its own special way knew, what I needed to hear, see, experience. Every time I felt a real internal shift that in contrast to many other seminars HAS LASTED. Even an unpleasant trip proved to be beneficial for me in some way, especially when I got a chance to integrate it in a proper way (in good retreat centers, like the one I visited, it’s taken care of). For example during one ceremony, I physically felt that my heart was being “operated”, subsequently my relationships with people deepened. During a different one, I experienced such bliss that it hurt and I began to be grateful for my human problems that I was running away from my whole life. I came to understand that if a problem shows up, I have two options: a) I will suffer, b) I will enjoy it. Nothing in between. This experience has led me to the creation of my own psychotherapeutic method “The Journey of Pain”, with which I have very good results in my practice.

Ayahuasca isn’t the only tool helping me to return to myself, but she has earned herself a significant place in my personal story of metaphorical-factual rebirth. The internal shifts and knowing I gained thanks to ayahuasca have enabled me to do a better job as a psychologist and the trips have brought about inspiration, I can draw from for years ahead. I also understand that not everybody is prepared or has the courage to undergo such modified state of consciousness, and thus the discoveries from this well of knowledge have been serving my clients and people around me second-hand.

I believe we are in an age, when freedom, maturity and openness of our society are sufficient to allow ourselves a return to our roots and renew trust of this world’s offerings in the form of pains as well as soothing “bandaids”. Positive personal confessions of many common as well as famous people backed up by research of healing effects of psychotropic substances lead by a few daring personalities of western medicine and thinking like Leary, Leuner, Grof, McKenna, Maté and first clinics are a proof of that.



The Man Who Drank The Universe – beautifully documented journey of a famous British TV host to the Spirit Vine retreat center in Brazil

The Spirit Molecule – a documentary about DMT and the ground-breaking scientific research

Dr. Gabor Maté: Ayahuasca and Addiction Treatment – about healing potential of ayahuasca when treating addictions

Author: Marcela Hrapkova

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