Ayahuasca Awareness Program

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 2 people who feel the call for spiritual development with ayahuasca and other methods.

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Healing Wounds

I just became a medical doctor.
The purpose of my life, as I decided to become a physician, suddenly became to cure people. And to take care of them.
There is a difference, even though quite subtle: the cure necessarily implies to solve the problem, while the care taking is more of a way of dealing with it. And it’s not one bit less important. In some ways it’s more difficult, because there is no medical book you can learn it from. It’s a perpetual training of one’s sensitivity.
There are some diseases that cannot be cured, and for those the care taking is the only way, but also for those who can be cured, taking care of the whole human being and not only of the disease, means according to me, realizing that we all are part of an enlarged community, even though we didn’t know each other until now, and we (physician and patient) are allied.

That is called therapeutic alliance. So the doctor isn’t anymore a distant decision maker, but he is part of a team together with the patient (and often his or hers family) to accomplish the objective of overcoming the disease and improving the quality of life.

This is the way it should be, but of course it’s not always this way. It’s not easy to deal with sufferance, nor for a patient neither for the doctor, and this premise is actually the reason why I’m working on myself: sensitivity and empathy is not something that just happens, you have to understand yourself and how to approach with situations.

To make crisis an opportunity, you have to look deeper into yourself.

In these years is happening the so called psychedelic renaissance, in other words a change of paradigm on the perception of psychedelic substances, which in some ways is – to be honest – a return to the original paradigm when they first were discovered and used.
As a matter of fact at the beginning the experimentation of these substances was actually intended in a therapeutic way.
The prohibitionist policy took place as the recreational use and abuse of some substances spread out, but it eventually failed in any possible way: it didn’t solve the diffusion of drugs and drug abuse, it relegated these substances to the black market favoring criminality, and it impeded the research for therapeutic purposes.

Since the scientific community took more and more interest in this subject, the potential of many substances so far considered by a vast majority as recreational, is becoming clear: that is one peerless way of looking into oneself.
It opens a window to your inner self, and allows you to become aware of it, and deal – for example – with trauma.
It is not something auto-conclusive, quite on the contrary it’s the realization that personal growth isn’t conclusive itself, but a lifetime pathway to never stop exploring.

The guidance for this kind of experience is necessary, as it gives a direction to the feelings and sensations experienced through the substance.
And eventually it helps letting go the superfluous, or the pain, and focusing on your purpose.

I began with purpose, and I’m finishing the same way.
The “cure” of the human being in a broad meaning, is to have purpose in life.

Metaphorically we could consider it as a sculpture: we begin with a big block of marble, and throughout life we need to progressively chisel the superfluous orienting ourselves in a confusing and full of options world, and while we go on and learn to select our interests and define ourselves, the figure in the marble gets clearer and clearer.
That is the lifetime pathway I was talking about.
And as a physician I feel like healing wound is only part of the cure, the other part is helping to find purpose.

The more we learn to focus on purpose, the more the figure gets clear.

Author: Mario Davide Roffi