Ayahuasca Life

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Why Would I Pay For Something That I Can Get For Free???

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The walk home after the first ceremony had that zingy post Ayahuasca feel that I love so much.  Colors were crisper, my heart had been opened even more than before (“there is no limit as to how much the heart can open”- credit Masha), I was tired but could care less.  My brain was in a mellow hyperdrive.  Everything was either funny, beautiful, or both.  Everything felt perfect.

I arrived at my Hospedaje, Segundo Muelle, around 5:00AM.  Segundo Muelle is THE nicest place to stay in Jenaro Hererra.  There is no aircon nor fan…both are pretty useless when the electricity only comes on for 3-4 hours each evening, if it comes on at all.  The other problem with the lack of electricity is the lack of running water.  Hello bucket showers…..they are actually pretty cool, especially in the heat.  There is nothing like pouring a huge bucket of cold water over your head to cool you off QUICK.  The surprising thing I noticed that morning was how HAPPY I was with my living situation.  I looked around my spartan room…said hi to my pet mosquito Fred and asked him not to give me his normal 5:30 am wake up buzz….I saw the small yellow frog (no name yet) living in my  bathroom had decided to hang out in the toilet bowl this morning.  Poor guy.  I giggled.

“This is AWESOME”, I thought to myself.  I realized I did not give a fuck about what my room looked like.  I was just psyched that my life is now very light from a material standpoint and I appreciated having a safe, clean, comfortable place to sleep.  As I drifted off to sleep I kept thinking about how counter-intuitive it is for us to realize that less (from a material posession standpoint) really is more.

The heat woke me up around 11AM.  I am talking Africa hot.  I had the perfect remedy…the quebrada, a swimming hole that lies between town and the jungle.  The quebrada is amazing.  There are no villages, nor houses upstream, so the water is very clean.  I would not say it is clear as the vegetation that falls into it gives it a dark tinge, but it is definitely clean.  The most important thing is that it is cool and it is surrounded by beautiful jungle- think of a scene out of Tarzan…small river not the big one.  Locals say that when someone leaves Jenaro Herrara to live somewhere else…they pine for the quebrada.  I can see why.

On my way to swim I stopped by Don Alberto’s house to see if Masha wanted to join.  When I arrived I was happy to see Christian, Don Alberto’s other apprentice.  The first time I met Christian I was taken aback at first.  Here was this 21 year old kid about 5’ 2” tall talking what I thought was a bit of smack regarding his icarros and talents as a potential shaman.  As I listened and watched him I realized it was not bravado I was witnessing, but true knowledge and passion for the medicine.


Christian lived in another village and had a “day job” as a jungle guide with his family business.  His shamanic path includes the study of 3 disciplines:  Currandismo (Ayahuasca, Sanango, and other plant medicines), Occult Sciences, and Prayers/Spells.  This meant that he studies with two other Maestros besides Don Alberto.  The reason Christian is taking on such a huge task is that he is the grandson of Don Julio.  Don Julio taught both Don Alberto and Hamilton Souther (Blue Morpho), and Don Julio was one of the few people who had mastered all of the abovementioned disciplines.  Christian feels strongly that it is his duty to follow in his grand father’s footsteps.   He seems to be off to a good start.

Both Masha and Christian agreed to head of for a swim with me at the quebrada.  Masha and I peppered Christian with questions about shamanism and the medicine.  Christian was happy to share any knowledge he had.  I think that Christian could talk about shamanism 24/7 and be completely happy.

While we were swimming at the quebrada  an interesting thing happened….about 50 yards downstream I saw a girl wading along the riverbank.  I could not see her face, but the way she moved absolutely entranced me.  The interesting thing was that my response was not coming at all from my lower chakras…but rather my heart chakra.   My heart was picking up her vibrations and responding in kind. It was almost a euphoric feeling as I appreciated her beauty from afar.  There was no attachment, just enjoyment and appreciation in the moment.  This was an amazing first for me.  I love Ayahuasca.

Ceremony was not to start until 8:30, but this was the first day of our eight day dieta of 10 medicinal tree barks soaked in water.  We would drink the bark mixture at 5pm for four days, and continue our strict diet of fish, chicken, rice, plantains, and yucca for the remainder of the eight days.  The dieta is designed to do a couple of things.  First the limited food without any spices, oil, salt, nor sugar is to clean the body out and make it more hospitable to the plants we were taking in, and allow the medicine to penetrate our bodies further from a physical standpoint.  You would never sprinkle salt, oil, sugar, or spices in your garden would you?- same idea, our bodies are like a garden.  A dieta also opens up your body at an energetic level so that any work that needs to be done on an energetic level can be done easier.


There are a couple of catches with the dieta.  The first being physical- because we are not taking in any salt, by day 3 or so all the salt in our bodies is pretty much gone.  This causes the body to be more prone to dehydration as salt helps keep water in the body.  It also causes fatigue to set in very quickly once any physical activity starts.  It is funny how Ayahuasca itself energizes the body, so on the dieta there are huuuge energy swings.  One moment I feel like I can run a marathon, then next I feel I need to lie on the ground immediately.

On an energetic level, the diet opens us up…which is a problem when you are dealing with the general public.  Going into public places with a lot of strangers is not a good idea as there are all kinds of energies swirling around and you never know what type of energy you may pick up.  Any funky energies picked up would have to be purged in ceremony.  I had enough to put into the bucket as it was.  Therefore, it is always a good idea to stick close to home on the dieta.  This was particularly hard in Jenaro Hererra as I had to walk to and from Don Alberto’s for meals and ceremony.  I did not have the protective cocoon of a jungle camp like at Blue Morpho.

8:30….ceremony time again.  A bit more purging, but nothing like the night before.  It seemed like I was gaining control as Don Alberto continued to clean up my crossed energies.

As ceremony was coming to an end and I curled up on the floor to sleep I came away with a great realization :  “Why would I pay for something that I can get for free”.  It was the very cliché idea that we as a society have made a huge mistake in thinking that increasing our material wealth at the expense of friends, family, and community will makes us happy and bring us love.  We go out and buy a bunch of crap to make us feel like people will think we are worth something and therefore those people will think we are cool and love us.  The truth is that no one really gives a shit about your new car, new watch, etc…  Think about how strongly you felt when a friend told you about their new purchase of XYZ item.  My bet is that you were like “cool” and hours or even seconds later it was forgotten because you do not really care.  What we forget is that love truly is free as is happiness.  We have all heard this idea before.  We all know it is true at an intellectual level.  BUT, like all learning we need to EXPERIENCE it to KNOW it is true.  That night Ayahuasca pointed this out with a clear experiential lesson.  Now I KNOW IT.



Written by ayahuascalife

December 5, 2010 at 12:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. well done!


    December 5, 2010 at 1:27 am

  2. Hey!
    This website is wonderful. I’ve been wanting to go back to Peru and do another few ayahuasca ceremonies. Would you be so kind as to advise me about the best way to go about doing it? I’ve gone with Blue Morpho in the past, but it’s just too expensive to do long-term. I would really appreciate it, stranger!
    Thank you,


    December 5, 2010 at 3:51 pm

  3. Hey, Lee… I am just reading Zach’s blog posts… I am part of World Shamanic Yoga Institute. It is not only about drinking Ayahuasca or San Pedro but training with them apart from with many other things as dream, meditation, yoga asana, etc.
    Take a look at http://www.shamanicyoga.org


    December 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm

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