This is the second 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 can come from plant medicine ceremonies.
Today was the start of a new plant diet, the Piñon Colorado. This plant complements our Ayahuasca work by deepening our visions. We drank the concoction before the ceremony. The ceremony started with our maestro, our shaman, serving the Ayahuasca medicine and singing his opening Icaro right after. As he finished the opening song, the medicine came in strong. I approached the night by embracing today’s challenges, rather than ignoring them, on the lookout for important teachings. Just working through that first part was a struggle. As the medicine started to take hold, the visual artifacts appeared. My thoughts were looking for order and then all of a sudden you were there, all in purple. You were the most beautiful purple orchid with deep roots and purple vines, you were grand, you took the entire space. I tried to visualize purple as best I could. This was your color, and, in real life, I was colorblind to it, how ironic and sad, yet I could see it so clearly in my vision. I tried to reteach myself what purple was so that I could see you better.
In the process, I started thinking about people in our family, looking for someone to send positive energy to, someone who needed it. I settled on Kent, my youngest son, and sent him prayers of love and confidence to help him grow into the person he is meant to be. That’s when I realized I couldn’t relate to him as well as I’d like because I never had an older brother. I tried to imagine what it would be like but couldn’t. Again, you were there, uniquely placed to help him because of your older brother, an opportunity to bond with him in ways I can’t. I added this to the lessons to remember by morning.
Everything changed, I was back in the ceremony room, under multiple blankets, freezing, in fetal position on my side, a little miserable but my spirit was ready for more work. This was the perfect time to revisit the argument you and I had earlier that day about the purchase I had made for a tapestry of Pachamama. It was a big expense, I had been mesmerized by it since Pachamama is an important part of our life. I had gotten carried away. You thought I had spent too much. You were right. This led to more insights about our relationship. I saw my strength as having big, bold, mesmerizing visions and money was a quick mean to get there. But it was also a weakness. If I lived in the age of the great cathedrals, I could start building the greatest cathedrals on earth but would run out of funds and never finish them. On the other hand, your strength is level-headedness with finances and other matters. This is your work, you work meticulously toward critical goals. Without you, there would be no great cathedrals. This meant I needed to ask for your help. Help me build cathedrals that are grounded in reality and let us accomplish more than our dreams, whatever that is.
“Help me build cathedrals that are grounded in reality and let us accomplish more than our dreams.”
That’s when another struggle came up: Asking for help is one thing but surrendering to that request is the bigger challenge. Surrender. Hmmm. Why is it so hard? Even though I asked for your help, I still had some control issues. I realized that surrendering to you helping me meant that I had to accept the situation was no longer in my control, that you needed to take over and that it was ok. So, I surrendered to you my love. In the process I realized I don’t need much of anything, you could help me live with less and spend less. So please help me. Now that I uncovered this control issue and the power of surrendering, I had an opportunity to surrender in other areas.
First, I revisited Pachamama and tried to figure out how to completely surrender to her. That’s when I had the most beautiful vision, accepting my own death and seeing it as a way for my body to go back to Mother Nature. I pictured my beautiful dead body with only a loincloth, in a field surrounded by majestic trees. My arms were spread out, in direct contact with the Earth. She started reclaiming my body in organic ways. Vines were climbing on my arms and legs; wild flowers were emerging all around. My body sank into the ground, getting pulled back into Mother Earth. It was hers now and it continued to sink until there was nothing left but Pachamama. The ultimate surrender is to let yourself be carried back to where you came from. I was at peace. I continued to work on surrender and found some control issues here and there. Maybe this is something I can ask for help with. A quote came up: A good man can win battles, but it takes a great man to surrender fully. Thank you Mother Ayahuasca.
“A good man can win battles, but it takes a great man to surrender fully.”
Eventually the first part of the ceremony ended with one last closing Icaro. It was time for some music variety. Sena and I played for the rest of the night. Alternating and sometimes playing together. Once again this was so freeing. Playing music during the ceremony is like a dream, everything comes together magically, and you can bring your visions to life and share them with others in the room. I was everywhere taking people to so many different places with birds, beats roaming around the room, strong powerful vocables, and simple whistling. I was flying with wings I never knew I had.
I cannot wait to share this with you and our family when the time comes.