Four years ago, lying in the hospital bed, I realized that we are living and dying alone. Although I was surrounded by loved ones, I saw their pain in their eyes, avoiding to look each other. Not to show their fears, to breakdown in front of me. Without a friend. They would like to come, but they are just afraid, don’t know what to say and how to behave. Alone. Terrified. With pain. With thoughts about life, life purpose, faced with the possibility to stay without a future perspective, with death. All my well known world crashed in those days. Soon after that I realized I found myself on the spiritual path, with lots of ups and downs during the few last years.
Ayahuasca – that mysterious word appeared in my google search two years ago. It took lots of time of researching the ayahuasca field, pros and cons. I let my intuition guide me on the way of retreat selection and from the first moment I felt complete trust in Silvia, the most incredible human being I have ever met, the Lead Facilitator of Spirit Vine Retreat Center. When your soul is called, you cannot escape, it will be in your mind day after day until you just do it. The decision wasn’t easy. You need courage to face everything what Mother Ayahuasca will give you. After all you never know what will happen, just to let go and enter the unknown. It could be a night of total bliss. It could also be a night of such terror you can never imagine it could happen. To surrender, to give up control, this was something very difficult for me.
Yes, you get what you need, not what you want. In the first two ceremonies I got lots of emotional cleansing in the form of body shaking. As I had not allowed myself to cry for 15 years there was so much emotion accumulated in me waiting to explode. An hour before the third ceremony I felt so much fear that I wanted to give up. But, my ego didn’t allow me. I don’t give up. The greater the fear is the greater is the courage to face that challenge. That’s me. I knew that something big would happen. It was time for that sacred moment between me and the tea I’m drinking. Without return to dance into the unity of Mother and me. It started soon. Some warm and hard energy was flowing through my veins, filling my body with unbearable restlessness. My arms and legs started uncontrollably shaking. Boiling energy occupied my body, seething with each sound of drums playing in the ceremony hall. All suppressed emotions of fear, frustration, anger overwhelmed me, exploding in me with each kick of drums. Sweat and nausea was growing, forcing these deep-seated emotions to get out in the form of vomit. But, no relief. Another attack started. I saw and felt some shadows occupying my body. Remembered from the afternoon workshop of spirit releasement to send them to the pyramid for healing. But, they were just coming, more and more, I couldn’t fight them all anymore. I completely lost control over my body, it shook and flattered on the floor like connected to the electric voltage, filled with extremely pain. Facilitators held my hands and legs firmly so I don’t hurt myself. But I felt so much pressure, felt so tied, lost this last piece of control over myself. Then I heard Silvia’s voice – “Send them to the pyramid”. In this agony with last kJ of energy I collected all of those entities and threw them to the pyramid. My demons, fears, my pattern of perfectionism behavior, this “never good enough” feeling, fear of losing control, all suppressed emotions. All were sent out of me. Collapsed from the weaknesses, lost my consciousness, gave up my control. Capitulated. Completely surrendered to Mother Ayahuasca.
She rewarded me then with total bliss. Filled me enormously with love, self-love. Gave me the feeling of freedom, without the chains of social norms, peoples expectations. Showed me just pure essence of my being. Loved, worth, whole, happy. On the principle of the duality, our projections of hell and heaven, Mother Ayahuasca showed me there is no escape, you have to face each situation, feel every emotion, surrender, let it go, accept. There is no good and bad. Everything is just as it is. That’s the reality. I left the retreat so peaceful with myself, with the most profound teachings I needed. Not learned from the mind level, but felt. It’s incomparable.
All the battles I had been batting on in the ceremony room floor, all the fears I had faced, all the demons I fought with, all of that is nothing, negligible when reality kicks you directly in the face. When these bonds of society chain you again. Social expectations, family expectations, a cruel business world, ruthless everyday life with its rules. Doubts, reexamination of all those decisions I have brought. Life brings countless problems. Everything is totally different from what I felt. From that air of freedom, I breathed. That happiness I radiated. Was it all just an illusion? What is the real freedom? What is the reality?
The final, most difficult battle is following. It’s called integration, the most critical step. There are few options. The decision to consciously cheat myself, convincing myself into illusory state of freedom, feeding myself with this taste of freedom which Ayahuasca gave me, memorized into each cell of my body. Or to reject all those feelings, those hard-earned insights in the ceremonial room, to declare them as illusion, non-attainable state of being in the real word, the world of duality. Abandoning your own strength, opening the door to depression. This dark shadow which is coming slowly, occupying mind and body until you lose your vitality, your willpower. Until you lose yourself.
I keep remembering myself what I learned in this hospital bed; all you need in life is to wake up in the morning, lift your head off the pillow, thanks for the one more day which is given to you and just live the life. My Ayahuasca experience presented me again to myself, as I forgot who am I on my life path. Filled my lungs with the air of freedom, body and soul with happiness, taught me how to feel, let go. Not to frighten fighting but surrender to the flow of the life. Accept.
I decided to follow this path. That’s the third option which I choose. To make all this once tasted fruits of life a real continuous state of my being. This real freedom, real happiness. Not fake, illusory. To do one thing each day which scares me. Persevere in carrying out my life decisions at any cost. My life is precious, don’t have a price. It’s mine. Like in Himalaya, when there is no oxygen to breath, no energy to move, to make just one step. And another one. Step by step. To catch that breath of freedom, to feel this feeling of happiness.
How would you like to spend your life? To end up in the safe harbor, with a few scratches, without much turbulence, in the illusory world? Or to surf the waves of the reality, have awesome rides and also gnarly wipe outs? To survive or to live?
I like surfing. To live! I’m taking the risks. It’s my final ride, to all or nothing!
The outcome? Who knows. Like in the song –
Que será, será
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que será, será.
Author: Sanja, participant at Spirit Vine from Croatia