Hard to believe my little corner of the blogosphere is a year old.
What started as a convenient way to update the folks back home of my travel adventures in Central and South America, it has now grown legs of its own while my own two are now firmly fixed in the Emerald Isle again.
The most interesting episode and one which continues to draw most attention on my blog centres around my hallucinogenic jungle trip where I consumed the ancient herbal brew called ayahuasca. I’ve documented my entire experience at length in these two posts (1 and 2) with a follow up here some seven months later.
I’ve told the story countless times to bemused friends, family and co-workers provoking the same stunned expression with familiar follow up questions which I thought I’d mop up here to those who are curious.
Q – Why do it?!
A – Good question! I was coerced into it by a friend who admitted that he was going through a troubling period in his personal life which involved a bad break up with a long term girlfriend. He heard that consuming the ‘medicine’ could help in his case to ease the pain and suffering, build confidence, provide clarity and insight into his own being.
Other people I met and stories I’ve read since my experience draw people who are ultimately at a cross roads or challenging point in their lives, whether it be health, career, relationships or making peace with the living (or the deceased). I had no specific agenda or plan going into the retreat.
Q – Was your nose REALLY bleeding?
A – No. Although the visions typically start AFTER puking, my own started much sooner which was startling and threw me into a state of confusion. I’ve never been more certain that my life was in danger when I saw the buckets of blood pooling around my thighs.
Q – Do you feel any different?
A – People who know me have noticed a marked change in my behaviour especially in what was previously considered my ‘comfort zone’ in nightclubs and bars. I was like a dog on heat. Since the experience in Peru, I’ve calmed the jets in that respect and don’t have the same hunger as I once did. Perhaps that’s just an age thing. I’m 32 and couldn’t continue living the life of a 20 something year old to the excess that I once was.
But with that being said, ayahuasca certainly revealed to me the hollowness of that lifestyle much better than any older sibling could have. It terrified me! Aside from that, I feel I’ve become much more sensitive and honest and I’m ready to connect with a significant other on a deeper level, whereas before it was something far away on the horizon.
Q – How did your friend get on?
A – My buddy stayed an extra night because he felt his story and insights were incomplete. On the final day he received closure and found peace with his inner demons and went away with an altogether satisfying experience.
Q – Have you met Caoibheen yet?
A – Not yet!
Q – Would you do it again?
A – I wouldn’t rule it out. It was very taxing but I would consider it if I needed a steer in the right direction, but I’m at a place now where I am confident in the path ahead of me.
For those interested in more information I recommend checking out www.etnikas.com which is the retreat centre where I visited near Cusco in Peru.
Always do your research in advance, as there are some rogue outfits to be aware of. Consider these points before choosing a centre.