My forehead is sweating. My heart, beating. I feel my body rise from the ground. Being lifted. She, Ayahuasca, Teacher, Mother, is establishing her presence. It’s undeniable. She speaks loudly in my ears. ”You want the codes of existence? To work at the edges of consciousness? It has a price and a responsibility. Are you ready?” A hand reaches down and grabs me, lifts me up by my scruff. Like a mother does to her pup. She speaks from deep within me: “Are you ready?”
I can’t articulate a response. It won’t come out of me. But then I realize, I’ve already said yes. At my choice of incarnation, I said yes. To be of service to planet, to hold these truths. Yes.
“Ok, then let’s begin. And let’s start with something you have not wanted to see.”
She grabs the back of my head and shoves me down on the ground. My body falls to the floor. I feel the bristly wool rug against my cheek, my face being pressed onto the floor. A pool of sadness, deep in my core, has challenged me all my life. And all my life, I have avoided it. Used every substance known to man to avoid the feeling of it. Never wanting to be identified by it. Used every belief system to try to convince myself that it wasn’t there. And now, here I was, about to come face to face with it. I resist but I am not in charge. She is. She grabs me and shoves my face into it, like a pup being reprimanded for peeing on the floor. I enter it and that pool of sadness explodes open, like a tidal wave, flowing all through me. I can feel the purity of the pain. The age of it. Something that has been there all my life. The original wound. Original sadness. Original sin. It floods through me and my body folds into itself, tucking into the fetal position and the sadness I have run from all my life flows through me and every cell in my body receives it. I cry uncontrollably. My body shaking with ageless sadness. And once it fully invades me, She comes back and lifts me out of it. My back arches. My body rises up again. Bending backwards, I feel the release from that sadness. “Enough” She says. “You can run from it or you can live in it — but neither is healthy. It’s a part of you. But it’s not the story of you. That sadness gives you depth; it allows others to feel safe with their own. It’s purposeful. As an aspect of you. But not as the story of you.”
My psyche begins to accept it, my body reeling from the experience of it. I sigh. Nothing to run from anymore.
“Now, let’s see everything else that you are.”
A column of energy comes down and takes me. A spinning vortex and a kaleidoscope of colors begin. I start panting and a rush of energy takes over my entire body. I’m sweating uncontrollably. I keep thinking I’m going to throw up but I won’t allow it. I want to hold the medicine in.
At that moment, the shamanic teacher who is administering this journey for me, touches my arm. For a moment, I am snapped out of the reverie. I’m holding on to consciousness by a mere finger. I look at her, my teacher. We make eye contact.
“Do you know where she [Ayahuasca] is taking me?” I say to her.
“Yes, my teacher responds, “She’s taking you somewhere good. Go!”
In that moment, that small finger that I was holding onto consciousness with, that small finger gets lifted and I spiral deeper and deeper into the journey. Full surrender into the hands of the teacher’s teacher. She takes me. I give in. I go to Source.
Claymation flowers and plants erupt from the ground. Vines snake around the room. Flowers open. The room turns into an Avatar-like jungle of glowing, sentient life. And there I sit in the middle of it.
A bamboo tree erupts out of the ground in front of me and spins up into the cosmos. On every rung, there’s a branch. And on every branch there are leaves. And on every leaf there’s a person. All these separate lives being lived out. I see a Japanese master. A Native American shaman. A person from ancient Egypt. All happening concurrently. I see them all playing out. And I realize they are all me. I follow the rungs up higher and higher. I see my animal self. My inter-dimensional self. My teacher self. My student self. My poor self. My rich self. I see all that I am, was and will ever be. I keep following the tree up and I realize that I am the the tree itself and go higher and higher up until I merge with the cosmos of stars, with all that is. I am one with my God self. I am all that is. I am.
In that moment, I am thrown forward physically and I rise to my knees. From laying down, I kneel. My head forced downward in absolution.
In front of me, a column of Hindu gods appear. Colors bright and vivid. I see their glimmering ornate clothes. Each god making a face. Some fierce, some dramatic. Each making hand movements.
“Come be nothing at all. Come be free.” They chant, they taunt, they call to me. “Be something and be nothing at all”
“You spend your life trying so hard to be something. You all do. Stop trying to be something. Be nothing at all. Not trying is simply being. Be you.”
I feel myself release the bonds of who I think I need to be, each cell able to articulate itself. Each molecule being freed from the shackles of conformity. Each quark being released to its natural state of pure potential.
In the reprogramming frequency, I look up. I see a crown descending upon my head. “Are you ready to be one of the leaders of this world? Are you ready to lead and inspire the new world?”
“No!” I say. “I’m not good enough.”
But the crown lowers anyway and I feel a rush of energy emerge from my core and spiral back into a kaleidoscope of colors and feelings. I cycle through various phases of consciousness and am finally snapped awake. My eyes open. It’s been almost three hours.
I see the room as it was before. I see my shamanic teacher sitting calmly next to me. Eyes steadfast, holding space. I see the couch behind us. The table in front of us. The big fireplace next to me. I see it all. But in everything, I see thin bands of energy. And in each band, I see symbols, floating up and down. Ancient symbols reminding me of hieroglyphics. Each band of energy moving independently. Each band covering absolutely everything — the walls, the floor, the table. It’s like seeing the Matrix. I’m in awe and yet it feels perfectly natural.
“Look around. Look at life.” She says. “Look at how perfect life is. Life does not need you to save it. It’s fine as it is.”
Having had a savior complex all my life, I look around. I see the balance of all things. I feel the perfection of the human experiment. I feel free from the obligation of service. Free to choose it as a desire. I look down at my hands and see the same banded striations; the same symbology within them. I see that I am made of the same material as life — the walls, the room, the planet. I see that I am an expression of life itself. And the vein of self-hatred that has been in me all my life comes in front of me and I cannot find a reason, in this moment, to sustain that hatred. I love life. Love the planet. Love all it holds. If I’m an expression of life itself, how could I hate me? Love pours out of me. I see that the greatest service to the world is to be me authentically, to love me intrinsically.
My eyes well with tears, with joy, with love. My shamanic teacher touches my arm and I can feel something in me start to suture closed. A tear in my baby body, a fissure in my consciousness that once said I wasn’t good enough for the planet starts to heal. I feel the ancient flesh suturing together. I see mother’s milk fly all around me, engulfing me back into embryonic fluid and the words “You are loved, you are important” dance in the air around me. Every cell in me accepts that love, that knowing of my worth.
I lay on the floor, spent. My eyes open slowly to the dawning of a new world. Of a new perception. And the following words hang in the air around me…
“Let me re-introduce you to Sohail.”