After six weeks in the USA I am finally back in Genaro Hererra. During this time I have noticed several several moments of internal/external conflict as I entered into western society. My conclusion from this experience is a confirmation that external energies/spirits can have a huuuge impact on our internal energies. I also realized that my time in Genaro Hererra working with ayahuasca has raised my consciousness such that those forces can be mitigated with the awareness that I have gained during my time here. I also believe that until one reaches a certain level through ayahuasca, other practices such as yoga and/or meditation are needed when one does not have access to ceremony. This is in order to maintain energetic cleanliness while being surrounded by the very strong energies that are present in western society.
When I arrived in the states I was very much “in the flow”. For the first few weeks of my stay I found myself being quite amused with things like stress regarding time, blatant materialism and the dichotomy surrounding sex and sexuality in western culture. When I encountered these energies I had the ability to take the position of “the observer”. I definitely felt the pull, the temptation of materialism etc.., and I was able to maintain my center during those moments of temptation. I was able to side step these energies. It is important to note that during this time I was keeping a very regular yoga practice that included a fair amount of meditation. I believe that this practice was keeping my internal energies clean/straight and releasing any negative energies that I was picking up.
Then for various reasons, mostly the perception that I was short on time relative to my goals regarding the web page for La Familia Medicina, I stopped setting aside time for my yoga practice.
Looking back it was at this time that I started to succumb to the spirit of stress and to some extent materialism.
It was a slow process for me to get caught up in the faster, almost crazy pace of the west. First it started with a low grade sense of urgency and stress regarding our web page.
I kept thinking, kept looping, “Will I have enough time to finish this thing? It is taking forever for me to learn how to work with this technology! Oh my god, this is never going to get done in time! AAAARGH!”
Of course the web page is done now. I finished with about a week and a half to spare, but there was a fair amount of energy wasted just stressing. The funny thing is that I saw it all happening in real time as an observer and I kept reminding myself to take it easy which helped to some extent. However was not doing anything to release the stressful energies that were building up. Silly me.
My descent into materialism was particularly interesting for me. At first I was just very appreciative of things like hot water, climate control, fast internet, and the fact that things generally worked smoothly in the states.
Then I started to think about how things are just generally more difficult in Genaro Hererra. Nothing stays clean. It is always hot. Things like food and water generally require more effort to obtain and things like vegetables are always a challenge to get. No movies, no reliable internet. Etcetera, etcetera.
Why would I leave the comfort of the states? It truly is cushy there.
Thoughts of the medicine and La Familia Medicina are what kept me on my path. I absolutely love ayahuasca and what it has taught me. I am also so very happy with the work that I get to do here in Hererra. I get to see people transform right in front of my eyes in a matter of days. I am surrounded by love, both the family and the people who come to do work here. I am truly a lucky man, thank you God and thank you ayahuasca. That said, it is when I stopped my practice that the spirit of doubt tried to creep in albeit unsuccessfully.
I am not saying that my work with ayahuasca went out the window after a few weeks in the states. Remember, I essentially went from “zero to 100mph in two seconds” when I returned to the states after seven months in Peru. I was able to maintain the stance of the observer through the entire experience, and I have stayed on my path. The changes that have come from my work with ayahuasca are still very much intact and continue to blossom. My point is that with a regular spiritual practice to keep my energies clean and straight it was easier, almost effortless to maintain my center.
I have heard other people in the ayahuasca community say that they do not need additional practices besides ayahuasca. Maybe this is true for them and they have “advanced” further than I have. What I am saying is that practices such as yoga, meditation, etc… are extremely synergistic with ayahuasca and they can make things a lot easier during those times when we do not have access to ceremony. There is always work to do and these practices continue the work of ayahuasca.
I would propose that ayahuasca works much faster than any of the aforementioned practices as it collapses linear time when it comes to transformational and spiritual work. Ayahuasca teaches us faster and takes us to “higher levels” than any other modality. That said, other spiritual practices are additive and synergistic with ayahuasca. Again, these practices continue the work of ayahuasca.
This is just “my two cents”. Everyone is different and everyone has their own processes. They need to see what works for them. That said, if someone asks, I will suggest that some sort of spiritual practice be put into place or continued after a visit to Peru for a round of ayahuasca ceremonies.
As I said before, I am back in Genaro Hererra. La Familia Medicna’s new retreat center is almost finished- two more weeks to go. We will be well prepared for our July 18th tour! After the July tour we will be open for Budget Stays, Extended Tours, and Long Term stays. Check out the website for dates and details.