|Preparing the Laced Kool Aid|
|Totally unconnected photo, in Machu Piccu (which is also a great place, i wrote about it November 2009)|
You can read about the experience here and if your brave enough, here . (theres a much longer version of it in this blog in the early December 2009 posts)
I was thinking, has it changed my life ? Are the effects permanent? For those who havent experienced it, Ayahuasca is a jungle vine, which is mixed with tree bark and drunk, in a seance like ceremony - basically traditonal Amazonian Shamanism. The aim is to spend a few days, ingesting the Ayahuasca, in special ceremonies, with the Shamans. The Shamans sing 'Icaros' which are gentle healing songs, and you get frightening visions, puke your guts up, get rid of all your bad energy, and hopefully have a life changing ephiphany (do you get non-life changing epiphanies?!!)
|The Mighty Amazon, near Iquitos|
There are many pretty badly run and less than genuine Ayahuasca 'experiences' for tourists in Peru, mostly in Iquitos , but some notable good ones and proper Shamans and so on, and price does not seem to be a good indicator of quality. The main thing to do is check around forums and so on for one that looks comfortable, as it seems different people find a place they like themselves, or get to know some Shamans out there in the jungle, if you are feeling brave.
|Nightlife in Iquitos|
Its a boom business now though, with everyone 'waking up' to themselves etc etc. , pretending to get rid of their Ego. However, joking aside, i'd recommend it as a truly life changing event. For sure, i had an ephiphany or two, and im sure my fellow travellers on that trip did also. But one year on, how does it feel?
|The Promenade, in Iquitos|
The more visual things have faded, like the 'wolf' who came into my life, doesnt hang out with me any more - I wonder, was he real or a construct of the 'medicine', or just my imagination? or is it that now my heart has hardened again and im not open or sensitive to the spirit world any more. I had some crazy times in the month after the 'Aya', coming to grips with a dive into the world beyond, and had some terrifying nightmares, too, if im honest, but now it all seems like a distant dream....
However, the medicine does seem to work on you in the background, deep in your core. Priorities in life change, your philosophy changes, you realise whats actually important in life, and what isn't. These kind of things stay with you forever. The only sad thing is when you come out and you see that no one else has changed - I can understand that though - what if a freind i'd known for 20 years suddenly started telling me they'd seen the light? that material possessions are irrelevent? that God has a plan for us all and not to worry too much?
|The happy and content, and eminantly non-materialistic, Mr Shitty, of Iquitos, relaxing at home|
Well its just as confusing coming out of this thing back to your old life (which in my own case is generally about making money) and realising that actually the money isn't really so relevant other than as a means to an end - But the Ayahuasca is strong. 3 weeks ago, I found myself locked out of my apartment one day, and i realised that there isnt a single thing in there that i really wanted, not a single thing. So profound a thing hadn't occurred to me before but anyway, for the first time in my life there was a temptation to simply walk away from it all, and keep walking...but of course I didnt, I packed a suitcase and went to USA, on business...so maybe another Ayahuasca tour is required, so i can end up happy as this guy..(who could forget mr Shitty, of Iquitos)