Inner evolution retreat
In this post, I am going to do my best to recount my experiences during a traditional Amazonian ancestral medicine based retreat I recently embarked on. I am going to do this knowing that the words you are going to read are insufficient for describing what I experienced. This retreat was simply the best investment I have ever made. Warren Buffet proclaims that the best investment you can ever make is developing you, learning about you, growing and fulfilling your innate human potential. During this retreat, I experienced my full potential. I experienced who I am in my truest form, without any fear, without any doubt, full of self-love, self-acceptance and courage. Again, I hope this meager attempt at describing it inspires you to take action towards becoming the best version of yourself.
This particular retreat had been on my radar for about a year. I had heard of Ayahuasca probably a year before that again. I became fascinated by the use of entheogenic or psychedelic substances as powerful tools for healing, education and evolution about two years ago as I became more and more aware of my own psyche and mind.
Ayahuasca is a sacred visionary brew of South American indigenous tribes. It is commonly used by shamans to heal physical, mental and spiritual dis-ease. Ayahuasca is created through the brewing of the Banisteriopsis Caapi vine stem and Chacruna leaves. The Chacruna leaves contain the powerful alkaloid Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). When orally ingested in isolation, DMT isn’t active due the presence of monoamine oxidase (MAO) in the liver and gut wall. That is why it is brewed with the B. caapi which contains the MAO inhibitor Harmine which allows DMT to cross the blood-brain barrier. The DMT molecule then attaches to Serotonin receptors in the central nervous system which causes dramatic changes in perceptions, cognition and mood. The whole experience lasts between 4-6 hours.
As I explored psychology, Ancient and Eastern philosophy, I experienced a significant shift in consciousness where I broke out my egoic, analytical and rational mind in which I had suffered for many years. In the space of a minute I witnessed all the ideas, beliefs and perceptions I had of myself, society and humans fall apart becoming unified with everything. It was as if someone removed a veil from over my eyes and the illusion of separation I had been living in disappeared. I became one with everything and experienced a deep, blissful connection for a couple days after. As you can believe, my interest and curiosity in the mind, consciousness, spirit and reality peaked to an insane height. In the weeks and months after I began reading and exploring anything I could get my hands on in trying to understand this mystical experience. Low and behold these peak experiences have been documented in Religious and Spiritual texts throughout time as well as in another interesting place; Psychedelic experiences. The very fact that mystical experiences converge at these two points, conventionally believed to be opposite ends of the spectrum, raise an incredible amount of questions. Too many to outline hear but I recommend watching Neurons to Nirvana if you’d like to learn more.
Additionally, in the weeks and months after this expansion of consciousness, I watched myself heal and accept many experiences and memories I had from my childhood and adolescence. I began to understand humans and relationships at a much deeper level. I began to understand how our thoughts, emotions and beliefs impact and determine our behavior. I took a massive leap of Faith in changing college courses to study Psychotherapy. I witnessed my relationships with my parents completely breakdown and fall apart. I became incredibly independent, moving out of home and beginning a coaching business. I became very aligned with my purpose and mission. I witnessed my life and environment change in alignment with this new person I was becoming. All of this happened throughout 2018, the toughest, most rewarding, most exciting and best year I have lived. This stands as a good background to the retreat.