In my last blog, I gave some background as to what one might face as one goes through a dieta and Ayahuasca retreat such that I might delve deeper into the topic of these two posts which is “eagerness”. (If you have not read Part I, click here)
How does “eagerness” play into all of this? The attitude associated with eagerness is that of impatience or not accepting things as they are. This, of course, is a form of resistance or fighting. In regards to healing and consciousness growth, resistance is friction….the very thing we are attempting to remove or let go of during the healing process and on the spiritual path. When we are healed our physical, energetic and emotional functions flow and function as they should- smoothly and efficiently.
With both personal healing and consciousness work we need to accept where we are in the moment and we need to accept that it is a process such that we are doing our part to remove as much friction as possible. We need to understand that this process requires acceptance, effort, trust, and patience.
The gigantic irony is that some people forget, usually mid retreat, is that the Ayahuasca process is really really fast when we compare it to other modalities. Most people, if they go through a 9 day retreat and do their part, they see huge changes in their lives after the retreat. They leave happier, brighter and lighter. Then upon returning home we consistently hear stories from guests that they feel more connected in their interactions with other people, their work/career is less stressful, and that they are just making better lifestyle choices in general. The key is that the process of the 9 day retreat be completed and that one does their part during the process.
It is at this point where I want to separate those who are approaching an Ayahuasca retreat for personal healing and those who are approaching Ayahuasca for spiritual or shamanic reasons. Yes, they are very much connected as when one heals they are actually raising their consciousness- allowing more love and light in and at the same time….we live in a reductionist, logical, linear society with a language that works in this manner, so here we go…..
In reality we can heal ourselves, we do not need western medications nor plants heal us as dis-ease is really caused by the mind. It is a belief that we can get sick or that we are sick. It is a belief that there is something wrong with us such that an illness manifests. This can manifest physically, emotionally or mentally. That said we also need to accept that sometimes we are in a place spiritually (i.e. we have not yet discovered the internal tools to heal ourselves) that requires us to look externally for healing. The interesting thing with plant medicines such as ayahuasca and the trees is that they are not “doing” the healing for us, but rather they are showing us the core issues such that we can face them, recognize them as false and let them go. This requires effort on our part, i.e. not just lying back and expecting ayahuasca to do all the work. As I have talked about before in regards to the healing process, we need to do our part.
If we engage in eagerness, we may be expecting instant 1 ceremony healing and we are expecting ayahuasca to do all the work. And/or when faced with the issues we need to deal with, we get so caught up in the content of the moment that we forget about the process or don’t really want to deal with the issue at hand/being experienced (i.e. we are lying to ourselves about wanting to do what it takes to be healed).
There needs to be an understanding that ayahuasca knows (yes it is true, she knows) what each individual can handle and how quickly they can move along the process. Ayahuasca wants to heal and does heal as fast as possible within the parameters of what a person can handle. However, the “rub” is twofold. First the core issues are often deep seated and have been a part of one’s identity for years. It takes time for these things to be loosened and weakened before being let go/ejected. The second is that we really do not know where our edge is, we do not truly know what we can handle. In reality we can handle much more than our mind would like us to believe. Ayahuasca takes us right to our “edge”, never over our “edge” and again our own idea of our “edge” is not our real “edge”. Our “edge” is further than the mind would like us to believe. The mind likes to maintain the status quo. The mind likes to be comfortable. It is very important to realize that in order for us to learn and therefore heal, we need to move outside our comfort-zone.
Therefore, if one is approaching Ayahuasca for healing it is important to understand that she is working with you as fast as you are letting her work. That speed depends on you accepting that it is a process, trusting in Ayahuasca, accepting the experiences/issues that she is bringing them up and letting them go.
The above requires effort or doing one’s part and realizing that eagerness will actually slow the process down. Eagerness is not acceptance and will cause frustration and therefore friction. Effort or doing one’s part is acceptance, trust, patience and letting go. Effort or doing one’s part is something that will accelerate the healing process.
Spiritual Path/Medicine Path
So, if we step back and look at the larger paths such as the shamanic/medicine path or the consciousness path we need to let go and have patience as well. We often start thinking we need to gain skills or knowledge as quickly as possible. This is a good thing as it puts us on the path. It also eventually becomes a hinderance and a form of suffering as again, it is a process….a process that eventually proves to be a dropping of techniques/patterns/and or parts of our ego rather than a gaining of anything.
At some point one begins to realizes that by dropping skills and knowledge it actually opens the floodgates for the medicine and the divine to flow through unimpeded by these things…we become vessels and the less of our own “gunk” we have in our vessel, the easier everything flows.
It has been my observation and experience that on both the shamanic and spiritual paths we tend to “get in our own way” with our desire to advance along the path. I have been very guilty of the tactic of doing as many dietas in as short a time possible. I have drunk ayahuasca 80-100 times in a matter of 4 months. I have studied/practiced meditation, yoga, qi gong, out of body experiences, buddhism, hinduism and shamanism all at the same time with the idea that I will advance faster. I am pretty sure that I learned a lot “about” all of that content and I probably actually had some learning that actually integrated. However, it is when I stopped trying so hard that things really opened up. It was when I stopped thinking about how to direct energy or the medicine as I performed a ventiada that things REALLY started to happen. It was when I just sat quietly that correct intuition came with messages. It was when I realized that we are not “doing” anything in this work, rather we are just vessels for the medicine and the divine to do their work THROUGH US that significant shifts started to happen. Our job in this work is simply to clean the vessel. Once the vessel is clean, then the medicine and divine energy can flow and we can take direction from the divine as to how that flow is best applied. That direction or application is not coming from us and it is not up to us as to how or when it is received.
It is my understanding that all progress on the spiritual path and on the medicine path are gifts from the Divine. The Divine decides when we will receive them and when we won’t. The irony is that when we stop worrying about receiving them, they show up.
Yes we have to put forth some effort. Yes we have to do our practices- our dietas, meditation, etc…. However in the end we have to accept that it is not up to us as to when we are ready. So we might as well relax and give up the eagerness. It’s more fun that way. We have an eternity to become healers and we have an equal amount of time to become enlightened masters.