Where do I begin? How do I even find the words to explain what all of my senses experienced on my journeys with plant medicines? I don’t feel as if I can, but I’ll do my best.
My intention for traveling to the SpiritQuest Sanctuary in Iquitos, Peru was to heal from anything and everything that’s held me back in life – the idea being that those very issues could be what’s behind decades of chronic pain, anxiety and depression. Although I didn’t get all of the answers I seek (there’s just too much to uncover in such a short amount of time), I’m more than certain they’re awaiting my return to the Amazon.
In the meantime, the process of integration can take months and should bring more insights – something I’ve heard repeatedly since I started researching Ayahuasca years ago. I believe this to be true and I trust that there’s more learning and self-discovery ahead. My greatest challenge lies in becoming more vulnerable and authentic in the presence of others instead of hiding behind a mask of “I’m fine” – something I learned to do early in life to protect myself and the feelings of others.
I’ll keep the memories of my journey alive through contact with my friends-turned-family from the retreat, through time spent in nature and meditation, and with help from the Icaros (shamanic songs and chants) heard during our stay at the Sanctuary – many of which are accompanied by the night sounds of crickets and other nocturnal creatures (thank you Abe for capturing this for us).
The more liberal healing and initiation dieta consists of grilled or boiled fish, vegetable or chicken soup, rice or quinoa, boiled, browned, or mashed potatoes, yuca (cassava). heart of palm (chonta), eggs, and a variety of vegetables and fruits raw, boiled, or lightly stir-fried. Light seasoning is optional in the liberal diet. We serve fruit drinks (refrescos) made from a variety of native fruits mixed with water, some of which you will encounter for the first time here. A variety of teas are also available.
Salt, sugar, oils, caffeine, spices and sexual activity are strictly abstained.
I think what I’m going to do in order to share my journey with plant medicines is to post a series of journal entries instead of writing one long, drawn out, and possibly boring post. This way you can observe what was going on in my mind leading up to my first ceremony up to my return home.
For now, here’s a short video from Graham Hancock describing a little about how working with Ayahuasca and Shamans changed him.
Please do your own research when it comes to putting any substance in your body.