My Ayahuasca Experience—Ayahuasca as a Booster of Consciousness

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Ayahuasca Spiritual ActivatorEarly last month a friend mentioned she was going to participate in her second Ayahuasca ceremony—which made my ears perk up. I had no idea what an Ayahuasca ceremony is like, only that it involves some kind of herbal drink that makes some people throw up and the night before, one could do a Native American sweat lodge ceremony as part of the experience. Since this friend is a seeker, always searching for healing and greater spiritual awareness (and is grounded in her job as the CFO / CPA of a small company), I was all in.

The other thing I knew about Ayahuasca is what my 21-year-old daughter told me when I said I was going to an Ayahuasca ceremony—Chelsea Handler has done it. (Chelsea Handler, I found out, is a hilarious TV talk show host.)

After registering I received instructions for how to prepare for the ceremony. This included eating cleanly and lightly at least the three days before the ceremony, staying away from violent movies and images, and a few other precautions, such as avoiding alcohol and prescription premier pharmacy medications. On the day of the sweat lodge, only fresh fruits were recommended. No problemo, amigo; it’ll be a piece of cake, I thought to myself.

We packed camping equipment such as chairs, sleeping mats, blankets, and coolers with fresh fruit and plenty of water. At the ceremony site, we set up our tent and helped others with their tents. The people arriving for the event were open and friendly and ranged in age from their early 20s through their late 60s.

We were instructed to come to the event with an intention. I wrote my intention on the drive over: to gain momentum with my higher purpose and life.

The Sweat Lodge Ceremony

In the evening a fire was started in the fire pit and rocks were being heated. The rocks would go into the blanket-covered half-dome structure that would serve as the sweat lodge after dusk.

Crawling in one by one, we sat on the ground along the perimeter of the sweat lodge. Hot rocks were brought in, along with a pail of water. Every 15 minutes or so, new freshly glowing rocks from the fire outside …

The two leaders drummed and chanted Native American songs and prayers. We endured the heat and steam for an hour in complete darkness. My long cotton dress got saturated with sweat. The intent was to cleanse ourselves of toxins and prepare for the Ayahuasca the next morning. I enjoyed the sweat lodge and only got slightly uncomfortable the last 10 minutes or so.

The next morning, I had tea and a couple pieces of fruit. We took down our tents and packed them into our vehicles. The ceremony would begin around 9 a.m.

Ayahuasca—the Most Spiritual of all Herbal Substances?

About 50 people gathered with yoga or sleeping mats, blankets and bottles of water. The ceremony area had already been prepared: tarps had been laid on the ground, then utility blankets on top of them. Beautiful art blankets hung from clotheslines attached to trees.

I heard that we’d be on the tarp area for six hours. Although I knew the ceremony included the ingesting of an herbal medicine that alters your consciousness, I had no idea what we’d be doing for six whole hours. Chanting? Drumming? Prayer, Indian style? Role playing? I had no reference for what was to come.

Two leaders, a male and a female, and about a dozen volunteers helped with the process. We received the Ayahuasca medicine in small paper cups. It looked and tasted something like an herbal / mushroom expresso. Most people swallowed it in one gulp. I took four sips and got it all down. It didn’t taste bad.

The sun shone through the canopy of trees. Music came on via an audio system. I lay back on my mat to relax and take it all in. There was a bucket by each person’s side, just in case we needed to puke.

After about 20 minutes or so, I felt the herbal medicine begin its work. One of the first things I felt was a warm glow beginning in the center of my body near my rib cage (where the soul seed is). This feeling reassured me. Then I felt things shifting in my body, as if channels were opening inside my body and brain. I felt something shift inside and voilà—the sky instantly got brighter and the leaves on the trees became radiant with energy.

Within an hour I was fully in the process. I had my eyes open pretty much the whole time. I told myself I was going to be conscious throughout the process.

It’s hard to describe in words what I experienced, but it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life. I saw, among the canopy of trees, what I can only describe as the Interconnectedness of all life. I saw the web of life.

I Saw the Interconnectedness

If you’ve read my memoir on intuition and awakening, you might remember that the Counsel of Light had told me that the Interconnectedness was real. And you might remember that I had experienced glimpses of it when I followed my inner guidance and amazing synchronicities occurred. But now I could actually see it. I mean I could actually see the Interconnectedness; I could see the web of life and it was so beautiful. It was as if the tree spirits and all of nature were saying to me, we’re here; we’re here for you; we support you. Can you see it? Can you see the bigger picture and how we’re here supporting you?

I sat up and looked at the people all around me. They all appeared completely normal, no distortion there whatsoever. But just beyond them the trees became animated and the leaves dazzled and danced. It was a most interesting visual experience.

My Ayahuasca experience affirmed and confirmed my larger mission to help people strengthen their relationship with their higher self. The day I’m writing this, less than a week later, I feel my intention of moving forward with momentum in this mission is being supported. I feel stronger and I’m moving forward faster.

I did not throw up. Sometimes a few tears came as I witnessed the beauty of nature, the beauty of the experience, the beauty of humanity’s journey. I did not experience anything dark or negative.

Ayahuasca also Releases Toxins

Most people threw up, but not everyone. Throwing up helped release toxins, both the physical as well as the emotional kind. I suspect what came up for people were the things that were blocking them from feeling better in life, the things that were blocking their spiritual awakening and personal growth. With the help of the Ayahuasca, they could now see things with clear vision and process what there was to process. And once they threw up, they felt a lot better immediately.

I can understand why people call Ayahuasca the most spiritual of all herbal substances. Whatever is there for you, you’ll see it with more clarity. Sometimes you won’t like what you see, but you won’t escape what’s there. After all that puking, people felt and looked transformed.

Ayahuasca is like the proverbial red pill. You only need one experience like this and your perspective changes forever. And afterwards, you can’t help but want to have a steady connection with the Interconnectedness. You can’t help but want that kind of clarity. You can’t help but want to continue to strengthen the relationship with your higher self and feel the Interconnectedness working with you daily. And I suspect, strange and wonderful things are bound to happen in your life from then on that no one can predict.

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  1. Maria said:

    Article you may find interesting: (only a portion is available online but it is a very good article about using natural substances–in this case, air and breath–to alter states of consciousness). Thanks for describing your experience–you write well, too!

    August 1, 2016
  2. Joyce Hollman said:

    Christine, this sounds amazing! I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to try it, but I’d love to hear more about the aftermath of this experience for you. Thanks for sharing!

    August 1, 2016
    • Hi Joyce, so far I’m noticing I am less stressed and in momentum. I will write more about it further down the line… Thanks for commenting Joyce!

      August 1, 2016
  3. Robert Engelbach said:

    Christine, I truly enjoyed your account of your adventure with the Ayahuasca ceremony. I feel good about it strengthening your path in pursuing higher consciousness and encouraging others, especially the part about feeling supported by your surroundings during the experience and sensing momentum in your mission afterwards. It sounds to me like it refreshed and enhanced what was already developed in your soul that started with the push from the Council of Light. This may have been another nudge in that direction. I believe you were already starting to head that way recently, writing more articles, etc., and the teacher of sorts arrived when the adept seeker was ready. I am sure this will affect you for the better and am looking forward to your future articles and hearing about your activities.

    I, myself, have tended in the past to be very guarded about mind altering substances because of the dangers of abuse I have read about or witnessed in others when I was in college in the 70’s. So I can appreciate your taking the care to make sure the people conducting the experience were well qualified and respected. All those careful preparations help make for a positive experience. Even though it may not be for everyone (some people may not be ready, others may have health conditions that are not compatible with Ayahuasca), it seems like it can be very valuable for many people. It also might connect them to our South American cousins who started it.

    August 1, 2016
    • Thanks for your comment, Robert. I agree with all you’ve written. This definitely isn’t for everyone, especially those who take prescription medications (some are okay, others are definitely a no-go).

      I also feel having the experience outdoors in nature, with volunteers who helped with the process, made for a very beautiful and nurturing experience that will stick with me for a long time.

      August 1, 2016
  4. Joshua said:

    Wow, Christine. What an enlightening post! I have always wondered about this type of experience. Your post gives us the necessary information from your perspective which I greatly value. Thank you!

    August 1, 2016
  5. Keri said:

    Thank you for sharing, Christine! It sounds as if it was wonder-full, enlightening, and a beautiful experience.

    August 1, 2016
    • Thanks for your comment Keri! I definitely recommend it for those who are ready.

      August 2, 2016
  6. Rob H. said:

    Dear Christine,

    Thank you for being brave enough to talk openly about your Ayahuasca experience.
    I have experienced this amazing medicine multiple times and can honestly say that it is truly profound and life changing. My experiences have been different every time depending on my intentions, the environment and the brew itself. As you describe, it is absolutely vital to be properly prepared for this ceremony, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is extremely powerful medicine for spiritual growth as it helps you to clearly see situations in your life from a higher and loving perspective. One experience that I will always remember is when I asked for a larger cup full and I experienced the most amazing thing. With my eyes open I saw the very fabric of space around me change into a 3-dimensional matrix, and I could see contour lines covering the face and body of the person sitting in front of me. I had an overwhelming feeling of connectedness to everything and everyone. Another thing that I have repeatedly experienced with this medicine is that all sounds and music have a profound effect on you. Even more profound is the silence between the music/sound in which I feel like I’m soaring into the higher dimensions with powerful feelings and knowing of the interconnectedness of everything and that ultimately, love is all there is. I agree totally that this powerful medicine is not for everyone. Many people are not yet ready to confront their ‘personal demons’, but the spiritual rewards are huge if you do. In love and light, Rob

    August 2, 2016
    • Thanks for your wonderful and informative comment Rob! Yes, I saw the fabric of the space around me, and that love is all there is. One gal had a notebook with her and wrote her insights into her notebook. I got some guidance during the experience as well. It would be an interesting experience to write during the ceremony, but my first time, not knowing what would happen, I did not come prepared with a notebook and pen. Thanks again for sharing your most enlightening experience with us!

      August 2, 2016
  7. Lee Nourse said:

    Hi Christine,
    Thanks for sharing your extraordinary, affirming experience. Your description, for example “Then I felt things shifting in my body, as if channels were opening inside my body and brain. I felt something shift inside and voilà—the sky instantly got brighter and the leaves on the trees became radiant with energy.” is so vivid that I almost felt I was there with you!

    As you know I’ve read your memoir What Everyone Believed, so I see how the Ayahuasca experience is just what you needed. And at just the right time.

    A few more lines that I loved reading: ” The day I’m writing this, less than a week later, I feel my intention of moving forward with momentum in this mission is being supported. I feel stronger and I’m moving forward faster.”

    How exciting Christine. All the best to you and hold on tight as you fly forward…

    August 2, 2016
    • Thanks Lee! I guess I learned something about writing at AWAI! Wish I had gotten this copywriting education earlier. But, no matter, it came at the right time.

      After the Ayahuasca things feel a bit different, too. I used to wake up feeling this yukky feeling, this sense of burden weighing on me, like you’ve got this unfinished business to complete and things aren’t going to be right for you unless you get things moving. And now I’m plowing ahead and that feeling is almost all gone. Thanks for your comment Lee!

      August 2, 2016
  8. Judy Strong said:

    Christine, your experience is so amazing, and your account so clear and detailed. To affirm the connectedness of all creation would be pure joy. Thank you for sharing. Judy

    August 3, 2016
    • Christine Hoeflich said:

      Thanks so much for your comment Judy! Pure joy is what I felt and that experience seems to have increased my momentum, as well.

      August 17, 2016
  9. JJ Liston said:

    What a pleasure to have shared in this experience with you. Both at the event, and now, through your writing. I believe that one of the ‘truths’ with this medicine and the ceremony is the dialogue we participate in about the experience. I have found it so vital and heart opening to hear others speak of their journey, their passage, and even fears and strengths along the path. I think an ability like this at the community-level, to discuss openly, will strengthen our (inner)connectedness to bring about change.
    Trust, and belonging, brought us all together. I improved from the experience and having you in my life.
    Keep it up! JJ

    August 3, 2016
    • Christine Hoeflich said:

      Thanks JJ! It was a pleasure meeting you! Yes, the group sharing was another part of the experience that was very valuable that I didn’t mention in my blog post. Thanks for sharing that part. That’s why I feel it makes sense to do the Ayahuasca ceremony fully prepared, and in the presence of others in a safe environment. Thanks again and hope to hear from you again! Christine

      August 17, 2016

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