I sat in front of the shamans as breakfast was being served to tell them about my great experience with the black bear only an hour before. As the words began to come out of my mouth I realized that I was being honored by Mother Nature through this once in a lifetime experience.
In traditional India, one places a hand on top of the foot of another to show great honor and respect. This is exactly what the majestic black bear did - honored my existence and showed me respect by placing her paw on top of my left foot. Granted, in the moment, I was terrified of the power and strength of this wild animal but, like most lessons in life, I saw through the fear towards the light after the fact.
As the words began to come out of my mouth
I realized that I was being honored by Mother Nature
through this once in a lifetime experience.
Carrying this honorable connection with Mother Earth in the form of my encounter with the black bear was nothing short of a blessing before my ceremony - a blessing I felt deep within my Soul as I prepared for the sacred ceremony with Grandmother Ayahuasca.
The hours passed in between our breakfast and the lighting of the sacred fire where I sat amongst my new brothers and sisters with an open heart. It was a heart, I realized, capable of loving each of the beings that sat in the circle and all of the beings that were not present.
We began with prayer, asking our Mother Earth and Father Sky, as well as our ancestors and guardians, to guide us; and, for the spirits in the forest to hold us as we purge away our darkness and to ground us through love. We asked that Grandmother Ayahuasca show us what it is that we needed to see because we are now willing to understand.
Carrying this honorable connection with Mother Earth
in the form of my encounter with the black bear
was nothing short of a blessing before my ceremony
One by one we each walked up to the altar to receive huasca from the medicine woman. She was as gentle and kind as she could be as she blew huasca into each of our nostrils. I held my own and didn't cough as my eyes watered and my insides burned. I knew that I needed to find my strength throughout this journey just as I have throughout this life.
I walked away with the huasca still fresh in my system and headed into the woods. I came to seven aspens and sat down in the center of these trees onto a soft patch of bright green moss. I looked around and saw that the branches that had fallen were in the form of a triangle - the strongest shape that calls to me. I closed my eyes and saw both my deceased grandmother, Baba, and my deceased dog, Kisses. I smiled with the thought of their presence and looked up into the sky to see the golden leaves of the aspens dancing in the wind. I thought to myself, "I am home." And I knew in that moment that all of those that needed to see would come. I placed my hands over my heart, shut my eyes and took in a deep belly breath to signify that I am alive and well.
After a bit of time I left my little nook in the woods and ventured back to the sacred fire where my fellow brothers and sisters were lined up in front of the altar to receive their first dose of medicine (Ayahuasca).
Every step was mindful as I approached the shamans who had traveled all the way from Columbia for this sacred ceremony. I held my hands in front of my heart in prayer position and slowly approached the shaman serving the Ayahuasca. He said his prayers and I silently said my own as I cupped my hands and he placed a glass full of medicine into my palms. I bowed my head in honor and I drank the entire cup followed by water. I placed both of my hands onto my heart and thanked them for their service and walked into the woods.
My body did not dramatically react to the medicine as I embraced the Earth beneath my feet. My mind began to clear through some normal everyday thoughts and I relaxed into the medicine. I knew, after a little while, that a second serving was necessary. I walked over to the sacred fire and sat in silence. One of the shamans began to serve more Ayahuasca a few minutes after I sat down, and so I approached the altar again with my hands in prayer position.
My second dose of the medicine was just as big as the first. I thoughtfully drank every drop of the Ayahuasca in the cup and again thanked the shamans as I walked away with my hands over my heart. The medicine was now much more evident in my body and was now speaking to me.
The medicine was now much more evident
in my body and Was now speaking to me.
I walked over to a beautiful rock that was beside a crystal clear creek about 50 feet away from the sacred fire and altar on this particularly cloudy day. I sat down in Lotus position and felt Grandmother Ayahuasca crawling through my veins - searching for darkness. I sat in anticipation that I may have to run into the words for my first official purge. I was ready. I was there to release whatever it is that she may find deep within my Soul. As she continued to move through my system I felt her movement stop and I realized that there was no darkness for her to find. That I had already done my healing work. I already worked through my own darkness naturally and with love over this last decade. I took a breath in gratitude. Then, she spoke to me. She said, "you are the light," and as the words vibrated through my system the clouds lifted high above me and the sun lit my face. I could see the spirits of those that love me stand at a distance admiring my light. I felt as if I could see what they see and I started to understand myself, my work, on an even deeper level.
I looked over at my brothers and sisters that were suffering around the sacred fire and sent them love. I knew that they were doing their work and I was proud of their strength and openness. We are a community. We are one. My inner growth is your inner growth. Your inner growth is my inner growth. Connected. One.
My inner growth is your inner growth.
Your inner growth is my inner growth.
My mind, after some time, moved to the beauty of the Earth as I noticed the intricate spider webs on the ground and how the wind at that time was making long strands of web dance high in the air. I found beauty in every direction that I looked, which is something that my beautiful mother taught me. She was with me now. Her presence was clear. I knew that I had chosen my mother for this life for this purpose - to see the beauty in everything. It is a concept that I realized most people need a bit of an awakening in order to truly understand. Grandmother Ayahuasca whispered to me, "You do not live in the same reality as most and this is okay." I smiled and completely agreed. And just then I realized I am happy. I am a happy person. And part of my happiness is because I chose to see life as beautiful - both the ups and the downs. I respect what is given to me and what is taken away. I am love.
I found beauty in every direction that I looked,
which is something that my beautiful mother taught me.
The sacred Ayahuasca ceremony was a very beautiful and loving experience for myself. I never purged, never felt ill or out of control. Grandmother Ayahuasca was loving and true as she gave me words of love and respect for doing the healing work on my own.
I am grateful to have been a part of this magical experience with my brothers and sisters. To the Columbian shamans, I honor each of you and appreciate the work you are doing in the community. You are allowing many to remove their darkness in order to be the light. Aho.