Ayahuasca Trip Report 7th June - 10th June, 2024

I was invited along with a small group of 13 others to sit Ayahuasca with Shipibo Maestro Don Miguel who was visiting Australia from Peru. Assisting was Elio Sol Founder & Director at AYA Healing Retreats. Don Miguel (Don Miguel) was born into a long lineage of Shipibo healers and plant doctors and Elio Sol had spent many years with the Shipibo tribe to become initiated as a Shipibo plant medicine healer. 

The 4 day 3 night retreat had us in ceremony on Saturday and Sunday nights. 

To get the optimal benefit from the retreat it was recommended that we follow a strict preparation guide. The better we prepare the better the experience is during and after the retreat.

Recommendations 2 weeks before:

No: Alcohol, Marijuana and other substances like ecstasy, MDMA, amphetamine, cocaine, etc. or other psychedelics. Marijuana can be very contradictory with the medicine and not allow you to work effectively with its vibrations. Restrain from these substances at least two weeks before and after the retreat.

1 week before:

Avoid refined sugar, red meat and junk food, fermented foods, and dairy products. This is a perfect time to fast to help cleanse your body from toxins. The fewer toxins you have, the better you will be prepared for the retreat. Also, prepare mentally by avoiding upsetting information like violence on TV/books, etc. Please abstain from sex and masturbation for one week, too.

Three days before:

Do not consume coffee, spicy food, red meat, sugar, or salt; avoid citrus fruits, liquid and powdered protein dietary supplements, dairy products, or soybeans. Dairy makes it harder for the medicine to be absorbed since it leaves a sludgy film inside your body.

24 hours before:

Maintain the diet as the days before, but make sure to cut out everything that contains:

TRYAMINE carries the risk of raising blood pressure. Please avoid those products at least 24 hours before the retreat and during. Tryamine is, for example, found in: Alcohol, alcohol-free beer, yeast extract, protein dietary supplements, I-tyrosine, marmite, tarts, aged cheeses, chicken liver, salami, cervelat, sausage, smoked meat, and meat extracts. Soybean products, broad beans, miso soup, chocolate, sauerkraut, ripe avocado, caffeine, raspberry jelly, certain nuts, and dried fruit.

Given that I am an avid consumer of coffee, my plan was to taper my coffee intake to one shot a day, 2 weeks out and then in the final week cut out coffee all together. For the most part this was fine, but I had a busy week with work, my daughter home sick and balancing my self care, I found by Friday I was feeling irritable.

The Retreat

We arrived on Friday afternoon and spent time connecting with other members of the retreat.

Saturday

Saturday morning was spent connecting and learning icarus that we could then sing with the Maestro during the ceremony, the afternoon was for the most part spent in reflection with the journey planned to start on Saturday night at 7pm. 

Whilst I have used numerous other sacraments to explore consciousness, I’m relatively new to ayahuasca. When taking a large dose of other sacraments (5MeoDMT, LCD, Psilocybin) my experience is that they take me into an experience of unity consciousness, the vale that the mind creates forming separation disappears and I connect with all things. In the peak of those experiences I’ve learned to surrender and allow whatever wants to happen to happen, even if it feels scary or like I might die. I’ve learned that the medicines are safe and it’s only a false sense of self (ego) that dies and moving through that is part of experiencing unity consciousness.

So with that I was prepared to have a big dose and surrender. When I say I am relatively new, I’ve had two other single night retreats with aya before. The first time I had 3 cups. The medicine was very strong. I was laying down meditating and as the medicine came on, holding my attention on a single point, I heard a voice in my head say..”you are going to need to let go of that”… I said, “ok”. At that point a purge rushed up from deep in my stomach and as I reached for the bucket all I could do was put my head in the bucket as I lay on my side. Everything that was going into the bucket quickly ran back out and all around me. On a physical level it was diabolical. The purging lasted about 10 minutes and then I found myself laying in what was previously in my stomach, but in the most profound experience of oneness for the subsequent 4 hours. It was truly profound. A remembering of who I really am. 

The other time we were only allowed two cups and the medicine wasn’t great and it wore off after about an hour. It was disappointing. 

So this time I was prepared to have a big dose and surrender, but ensure that I managed to purge in the bucket and not spill it everywhere. 

Ceremony One

Maestro Don Miguel started by cleansing us individually with macho and then we were invited to come and receive our first cup. After everyone had drunk their first cup we went into noble silence. After about 45 minutes as the medicine started to take effect Don Miguel began singing icarus and shortly after a bell sounded meaning that we were able to go up and receive a second cup if we desired.  I did. Honestly, I try to enjoy drinking the aya medicine, but I just don’t. I find it vial tasting and I do what I can just to keep it down. It’s not joy drinking it. I had my second cup and then made my way back to my seat. I sat for about 5 minutes and then rationalised to get another cup straight away so that I could come back to my nest and surrender. So I crawled my way back over in the dark and asked for another cup. I got it down and then promptly made my way back to my space. I lay down, but ensured I had my bucket close, ready for what was likely an inevitable purge. It felt like the icarus were intensifying, I could feel the medicine moving through me, I was still feeling a sense of irritation and the sound of the icarus was grinding on me. I could feel my stomach contracting and in an instant a purge rushed forward. I got up onto my elbows and purged hard into the bucket. Blessing for that. It kept coming, I was surrendering as best as I could, I could feel a sense of oneness there, but my mind, Troy, I was still there… I didn’t break through into oneness and for the next four hours my mind rolled in on itself, trying to fix, trying to solve, trying to understand and all the while all my shame, doubt and worry was being shared with me from different times in my life. It was brutal. 

I did what I could just to ride it out.. Trying to meditate and observe my mind, all the while my mind was serving me up all the reasons why I am not enough, why I’ll never achieve anything meaningful. At some point around midnight they closed the ceremony and we were able to go back to our tents. Being around other people felt hard for me at this point so I did what I could to retreat back to my tent.

Walking wasn’t easy, I felt nausea in my stomach. In my quiet reflection time on Saturday afternoon I had been reviewing some of Kriya yoga readings and it talked about will power and the greater the will the greater the energy. How when we align our will with that of God, then God works through us. At this point I had to use all of my will power to simply get back to my tent. When I made it, I was in a cold sweat and I flopped into my bunk. It was only after about 30 minutes that I was able to muster the energy to close the tent zipper and get underneath my blankets. After sometime I drifted into a shallow sleep, unsure if I was awake or sleeping, but time moved quickly so I imagine that I was drifting in and out of sleep. My mind was still very active and unkind. 

My tent’s vantage point was on a hill, looking east over a valley. I had opened the back flap of my tent to enable me to see the sun rising over the horizon. As I lay there on my back, I was focusing with will on my breath, catching my attention wonder and bringing it back to my breath, time and time again. Then a point came when I was able to hold my attention for longer and longer and the time wondering into story got shorter and shorter, until I was able to hold my attention on my breath and then… I smiled… I was outside the mind… I saw the mind and realised that there was nothing to fix, nothing to solve, it was just the mind, the mind was the problem. In that I dropped into the most incredible bliss that pervaded all parts of my being. I lay dwelling in that.  

Sunday 

After an hour or so I got up and went for a morning swim in a cold, natural swimming pool. A fellow retreat member took the photos of me below. 

I slowly made my way down for breakfast and to join the sharing circle at 10am. It seems many others had a similar experience to mine. It was potent medicine, but not one for unity consciousness. One thing to note about the community was that everybody was processing their unresolved stuff and that we could all be in support of each other, knowing we were all in it. 

That being said, with some people I felt an expansive, warmth and connection and others a contracted anxiety and activation of my mind. 

I’ve learned to use this as a reflection into me to identify parts of myself that have contracted unresolved peak emotion. There was a pervading sense being triggered that “I am not enough” and key people at the retreat triggering that in me. Interestingly these were successful business, marketing people. 

I have a sense that it relates to iAMconnected and me not being in my full power with it… Whilst I feel that iAMconnected is my path, parts of me are afraid and feel not enough. An awareness of a contraction for me to process here. 

The rest of the day was largely ours to reflect, recharge and regather together at 7pm to do it all again. I spent the day in meditation, napping in the afternoon and reading more Kriya yoga teachings. I made a commitment that I would use my will power to enjoy the medicine. Imagining it as if it were caramel entering every cell of my body. 

Ceremony Two

When it came time for my first cup, I did what I could to imagine that. I decided I would take it slower tonight and allow the medicine to work to gauge if I needed subsequent doses. The first cup was mild, although I could hear others purging already. After the bell I made my way up to get another cup and returned back to my nest and maintained a seated meditation posture. I could feel the medicine working in me, I was silently hoping that was the last time I had to drink from the aya cup, because although I was trying to enjoy it, I just didn’t.

I was enjoying the icarus more tonight and the medicine was intensifying but still I felt called to have another cup and so I made my way back over to the altar and was given a third cup, grateful that this was certainly the last time I would have to drink it this weekend. On returning to my nest I sat in seated meditation with my bucket close by. Surrendering to whatever was going to happen. After about 10 minutes I could feel my stomach turn, and the medicine intensified.

Interestingly on both nights there wasn’t any significant visuals or sense of “mother aya”, but I could feel the medicine working in me. Soon my stomach contracted hard and I felt the purge rush up and out into the bucket. I could taste the vile tasting medicine, I could smell it and my head was in the bucket consumed by it. At that point I couldn’t pretend any longer. I f@*king hate this medicine, it’s disgusting, I’m never doing this again. My head in the bucket the smell and taste overwhelmed me and I was hating on all of it. After about 10 minutes I felt my stomach settle enough to lay down, with my bucket close by. There were a number of follow up purges over the next 3 hours and I did what I could to make myself comfortable. 

I felt an awareness that this medicine wasn’t for me. Thoughts arose, “never again”. I was better to double down on my meditation as that was the experience that I was shown the previous night and use the other sacrements which weren’t as disgusting. 

As I lay there, my mind rolled around again and again, trying to figure it out, trying to fix, trying to solve. I had visions of qualities in my mum and my dad that I felt judgment and shame towards and then was shown that they are in me also. It hurt my heart. Once again I was unable to move, laying there caught in the mind and all my doubt, guilt, shame, worry. I felt uncomfortable being around others and just wanted to be back in my tent alone and where I felt safe. But I couldn’t move. 

When the ceremony closed I lay there wondering how I might get back to my tent. After an hour or so I though, let’s just try and sit up. When I did, I realised that I wasn’t even up for that. I lay back down after considerable amount of time the number of people still in the ceremony space depleted. I knew I had to get back to my tent and so similar to the night before I used all my willpower to get back there with a similar experience of cold sweat and nausea. 

Almost a repeat of the night, I slept lightly, I meditated in the early hours of the morning, once again I was able to see the mind, trying to fix and solve my problems, but realising that the mind was the problem. Once again, I dropped into an intense sense of ease, bliss and expansiveness. My mind was silent. 

Monday

At breakfast whilst sharing with another retreat member who was significantly more experienced with aya than me, she explained that whilst the body is being purged so too is the mind and that is what is happening during the ceremony. And that it’s medicine. Medicine typically doesn’t taste good. It’s not meant to taste like caramel. Hearing this gave me a little appreciation for the medicine cleansing my mind and body. 

Once again in the sharing circle we heard stories of most others sharing a similar experience and only those who treaded lightly (having 1 cup), having had a more relaxed time. 

It was an interesting experience. The Maestro and his support team shared that their medicine will continue work over the coming days, weeks and months. 

All in all when I share my experience, words such as brutal, uncomfortable, but also quite profound arise.

Would I do it again. Maybe! 

My Intentions

  1. My intention for the first night was to show me what it (Mother Aya) wanted me to see. 
  2. I refined my intention for the second night to show me what my block was with iAMconnected and in finding a partner in a relationship. 

 

Key insights from the weekend. 

General Insights

I went into the medicine journey expecting to experience unity consciousness. As opposed to ascending into bliss, I plunged into the depths of my mind. 

Consciously it wasn’t comfortable. I’ve come to understand that emotional healing is something that we do with intention and as part of a process (I teach this). Could it be that this medicine has purged unresolved emotional wounds without conscious effort that were blocking me for me? I hope so. 

The week after the retreat, I was feeling very clear and motivated, I felt like I knew exactly what I needed to do with iAMconnected, relationship(s) and deepening my connection to unity consciousness. It’s a sense of spaciousness I’ve not felt and taking right action week to week will get me to where I am to go

4 weeks on. I am now meditating morning and evening. Generally 40 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. My goal is to get to 2 hours in the morning (then 3)  and 1 hour in the afternoon / evening. As I sit I feel extreme gratitude for my mind as an ally, a tool. It really is just me vs my mind and it is like a sparring partner to strengthen my ability to connect to who I truly am and on that path unify my mind and body to dwell in unity consciousness daily. In almost all my meditations (morning and evening) I am feeling this and am now working to enable my body to be able to sit in more extended practices. 

iAMconnected 

What I am doing with iAMconnected is profound. Even in sharing it with some of the retreat members they later shared feedback that it changed their whole perspective on how they view reality. 

That will power is important in building iAMconnected. On one hand whilst I am being guided and feel aligned to the supreme intelligence, the opportunity is for me to strengthen my will. The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy. 

When I look at the gaps that I have in my internal code / programmes / habits. It is in telling the story of what iAMconnected is and who it’s for… There are skills for me to learn and habits to develop. Finding others who have these habits so that I can easily adopt them is a way to accelerate this. 

To make time to play. I am very mission driven and in play is where we tap into the feminine, receiving energy. Play is important for iAMconnected, relationship and also time with my daughter who is now 10yo. 

4 weeks on: I’m continuing to work on iAMconnected and feel a clear path forward. It’s just a matter of doing the work that I can in the time that I have. Time is a limiting factor and so I must also practice patience and surrender. 

Relationships

Making time to play and have fun on a weekly basis, to attend events where potential partners with similar interests are likely to be hanging out. 

When I look at the gaps that I have in my internal code / programmes / habits. It’s making relationship important… There are skills for me to learn and habits to develop. Finding others who have these habits is a way to accelerate that. 

4 weeks on: I’ve started connecting with a coach fortnightly with key actions and learnings around intimacy, boundaries and more. 

My daughter

I was shown that the window for connecting authentically with my daughter would soon be closed as she moves into her teenage years. The opportunity is to find activities that she and I both enjoy doing and use them to connect and develop shared interests. Make a list of activities that we both enjoy and do them together. Play, have fun together 

4 weeks on: I’ve enrolled in a Daddy / Daughter weekend retreat and we are starting to learn to play the keyboard together. When I take her to horse riding lessons, I am conscious of being present and watching her ride and giving her positive feedback – smiles (not being on my phone). 

I am aware that I need to take more time to just be present with her and in that, find activities that are fun and playful for both of us. To just play for play sake as opposed to doing things together to gain something.

Overall… I have an immense sense of gratitude in my heart. And I do feel a deeper sense of unity consciousness in my day to day. 

Whilst I take sacraments to explore consciousness, here I am reminded that they are also profound medicines to heal also. Aya is a new medicine for me and in time I may be called to do it again should the opportunity arise.

 

Below are a couple of photos taken whilst on retreat.

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