This is the third message in a series of four messages written during the course of an Ayahuasca retreat in Peru in November 2018. These messages were addressed to my lovely wife and written after each ceremony. Names of people and locations have been changed for privacy. I am sharing these messages as a gift to show the beauty and insights that come from plant medicine ceremonies.
It’s past 4am and the medicine is still strong. At the beginning of the ceremony, our Maestro recommended we smoked the pipe as part of our plant medicine diet with the Piñon Colorado. For the occasion, my friend Parker who organizes the retreats bought me a pipe earlier that day. I filled it with Mapacho, a strong tobacco used in Peru which is nothing like what people smoke at home. It is more potent and is considered cleansing and sacred. I have zero experience smoking a pipe, but I tried my best. I huffed and puffed like there was no tomorrow. This was strong. I was out even before the Ayahuasca ceremony started. I came back to the real world just enough so I could drink the medicine.
Earlier that night the Maestro asked if we needed help with anything else. That took a bit of reflecting. A lot of work had already happened in the first two ceremonies, addressing many of my initial intentions. After some back and forth I settled on asking for guidance dealing with extremes and how to avoid going from zero to extreme all the time. It has hurt me and can also hurt people around me. Funny thing is, earlier that week I had pushed myself too hard in a workout and had managed to hurt my neck, a perfect example of trying to do something in an extreme way and getting hurt.
In any case, I gulped the medicine down and the singing started right away, our Maestro’s trademark. His opening song lasted for what seemed an eternity. Unfortunately, that eternity wasn’t long enough, I still didn’t feel the medicine. I drank another cup, half full, avoiding extremes. Then it was my turn, the Maestro came over, sat in front of me and started singing. My mind was busy, filled with random thoughts. Once he was done, it was my neighbor’s turn. That’s when the medicine started kicking in. It was strong and gave me many lessons and visions. I tried to remember a few.
In one, I realized I’m a dreamer with big dreams. Not just day dreams or goals for the future but also very vivid night dreams which I enjoy. They give me a platform to create and work free of the restrictions of the physical world. So, I’m a dreamer, what else? The words “romantic” and “lover” came up. Dreamer, Romantic, Lover. This sounds like the result of a personality test. The order of the words wasn’t random either. First, you dream it, then you romance it, and finally you love it. Hmm… More self-awareness. For what it’s worth, this was an easy one to recall for morning.
First, you dream it, then you romance it, and finally you love it.
In another vision, a friend and I were starting a company called “First Breath”. The goal of first breath was to figure out when the first breath ever happened on Earth and share it with the world. In a fun twist, our company would also help people experience the first breath themselves. Of course, air on Earth was different, maybe cleaner, maybe full of ashes, who knows. Our lungs were likely much smaller and, if it was the true first breath, it might be more like a struggle than an actual breath. The first breath experience might feel more like waterboarding so maybe not such a good idea. That was First Breath.
The ceremony went on and once again the icaros ended marking the beginning of my favorite part, playing music. Sena opened with a gentle drum song. I was still passed out. She kept going, bringing stronger and stronger drum beats with native Americans tones. It took me a while, but I made it to a sitting position, thanks to the calling of the drums. I took my leaf rattle. The rattle came to life in my hands and became a bird. It was alive from the time it rose from the ground to the end of the song where it went back to its nest by my side. I realized I could use music to bring dreams to life in people’s hearts. We continued playing for a while, taking turns, sometimes together. It was fun and liberating, my entire body was alive, I was finding new sounds and new stories to tell. Even the toads outside helped bring inspiration. One of my songs matched their croak, imagining them playing a game of Marco Polo. As the night continued and we kept playing, time flew. This was goodness and I needed to find a way to get it back to my everyday life.
“I realized I could use music to bring dreams to life in people’s hearts.”
It’s very late now or early, too early and too late.
I love you my beautiful purple orchid.
I love our daughter, our gentle little dove.
Good night and good morning.