'If a man cannot share his dreams with the society he lives in,

either the man, or the society is sick' Huichol proverb

How many of you have ever wondered what the world would be like if this or that person would drink ayahuasca? Well, most of them never will, but there is no harm in trying to communicate what you have learnt to others. Many of us have begun to paint, to write poems and compose music inspired by entheogens. Here are some of the many testimonials we received from participants. If you feel inspired why not let the world know? Send us a letter or some art work!

Wilfred: Netherlands

After more than an hour I began to feel heavy and a bit sweaty, but otherwise I had the impression that the dose was too light and I would not get further or deeper; so when I was offered a second dose, I accepted it. However, having taken a very tiny sip, I right away knew for certain that I shouldn't take more. And sure enough, very soon after, I began to sink into a profound trance state that kept deepening for several hours. It's hard, almost impossible, to describe the initial sensation: images float by, the music gains an extra dimension, the room begins to look/feel somehow four-dimensional and more "alive" than normal, and I began to feel an almost incontrollable urge to moan and sigh, probably in a physical reaction to how the ayahuasca was breaking down my habitual defenses and rational control mechanisms. I was lying on my back on a couch. I think that Danny had been singing Portuguese ayahuasca songs, but he or someone else now put on a CD with some kind of atmospheric music, mostly with female voices. I began to move my body along with the music, swaying and rolling back and forth with the flow and the rhythm; I was able to "enter" the music in such a way that it seemed like a gateway to another, heavenly reality. The movements were effortless and profoundly liberating.

Then at one point Daniel suggested that we might want to leave the room and join M, who had been moving around the room and was now alone in the garden. So everybody left, and M1 asked me to come along as well. I said I would come, and somehow got to my feet. But by the time I was in the middle of the room, the music changed and gained a "sacred" quality that was so compelling that I literally had to tear myself away from it to follow the others. It was "calling" me to stay. Nevertheless I got to the garden, but I noticed from the conversation that the others were already getting a bit out of their trance, whereas I was still very deep in it.

I knew I had to stay in it, and that by remaining in the garden I would lose it too quickly, so I got back to the room. And there I felt I was "welcomed back" and was literally enveloped in a bath of music that deepened the trance even further and transported me to a kind of heavenly dimension. I had an overwhelming urge to move, so I began to dance to the music, with a kind of abandon of which I would not be capable in normal life. This dance was an experience I'll never forget. I am usually very self-conscious, and cannot remember ever before having been able to abandon myself to my spontaneous body movements and to the music like this; finally I ended bowing down on the floor (like a muslim bowing towards Mecca) and drifted from there into a dreamlike state of bliss.

I had not vomited so far, and before the session I had worried much about it: during my first ayahuasca session I had vomited enormously and had felt very wretched when it happened. This time it was different. While crouching on the floor I realized I needed a bucket, and got one, after which my lower body began to shake uncontrollably, as if something in my stomach needed to be liberated with force. Then I vomited, but contrary to my first session I was not resisting the process at all, and discovered that this made it quite effortless and easy. I didn't feel sick or unpleasant; I just got rid of some waste.

Lying on the mattress after that, I noticed that the others had come back into the room and had begun to chat with one another. I realized that they had more or less moved out of the trance, which amazed me, because I was still deep in it. At one point Daniel wanted to close the ceremony, and asked me to join them, but when I mumbled that I wasn't ready yet, they decided to continue the ceremony until I would be ready, and continued singing. I was grateful for their solidarity with me, and felt "carried" by them even though I was lying just outside the circle.

Finally I felt it was time to crawl back to the mattress close to the fire, where I stayed listening to the conversation and the music, and realizing that I felt more free, comfortable and happy than I could recall ever having felt before. I was just lying there enjoying the way I felt, the music, the way the room looked, and simply the blissfulness of the moment. Finally I was able to stand up and join hands with the others to close the ceremony. But I could still hardly stand on my feet, and it took perhaps two more hours before I was able to settle for going to sleep.

I stayed awake for two or three hours, because my mind was very clear. I looked at objects around me and they looked somehow more real than normal, as if there was some kind of silent life to them. This whole session has been about letting go and releasing control. At many points I could directly observe how my various control mechanisms were busy trying to regulate and suppress the spontaneous flow of my subconscious and my body. Under normal circumstances those controls are capable of keeping me in check by means of a whole series of automated reaction patterns that have their background in social and moral discipline (instigated from an early age). But the Ayahuasca weakened or even completely melted down those patterns, so that my body and my subconscious were able to move freely.

I felt that they immediately began to correct the results of conditioning, traumas and emotional garbage, and started moving towards psychological and physical healing and cleansing. For me the most amazing thing about this ayahuasca ceremony was the profound experience of being safe and protected: I felt the "Ayahuasca" literally as a healing presence or power that seemed to know much better what I needed than I know myself, and to which I could actually talk. That sense of presence was particularly powerful for me in this particular session, in fact turning the ceremony into something like a religious experience.

Sussanah: Netherlands

Dit werk was voor mij de eerste keer in 6,5 jaar dat ik werk met Santo Daime en/ of Ayahuasca dat de kracht van de ayahuasca zo groot was dat ik beheer over mijn peristaltische bewegingen kwijt was. Mijn kernvraag voor het werk was mijn verhouding met de Tabac. Wel, ik heb alle in's en out's ervan in mijn eerste tien levensjaren mogen herbeleven. Tot de kleuren geuren en belevenissen die ik diep van binnen had bewaard toe. Leuk is anders maar deze loutering was zeer nodig!

De atmosfeer in het werk was van dien aard dat ik mij veilig en vol liefde en respect omhult voelde. Wel belangrijk als je een intense ervaring deelt. Omdat ik vaak zelf fiscal ben in de Santo Daime gemeenschap tijdens de werken, was dit werk voor mij een fijne gelegenheid om, los van verantwoording naar de vorm van het werk, deze sessie te kunnen doen. Dit had als effect dat ik 'vrij' was om in mijn proces te gaan. Ik wil Daniel en Henny bedanken voor dit werk. Ik bedank ook de Ayahuasca en alle voorgangers die de kennis bewaarde en aan ons doorgegeven hebben. Viva Ayahuasca ,Viva Luz, Viva meus irmaos!

Arjan: Netherlands

Allereerst was voor mij de datum heel belangrijk, het tijdstip van de zonnewende, een keerpunt in de natuur. Als stadsmens voel ik een grote behoefte om opnieuw contact te krijgen met de werkelijkheid van de natuur. Ik denk dat ook al hebben we dat grotendeels niet door, de cycli in de natuur richtinggevend zijn in ons leven. Omdat ik meer bewuster wil leven, wil ik ook meer bewust zijn van deze cycli. Een enkele volle maan en maansverduistering daar gelaten, ben ik nu helaas nog alleen maar alert op de zonnewendes (tsja, het verschil tussen zomer en winter is ook wel erg obvious).

De vorige zonnewende in juni gaf mij een aanmoediging om echt alles uit de zomer te halen (gewoon genieten van de zon en lekker fruit eten enzo) om goed voorbereid te zijn op de winter. Nu dat is me deze zomer goed gelukt. De zonnewende in december is (hoewel de kou van de winter nog moet komen) alvast een hart onder de riem, omdat het licht er weer aankomt. Alleen hier bij stil te staan geeft het me al een vrolijk gevoel, dus voor mij een solide basis (setting) om met elkaar entheogene plantjes te nuttigen. Waar ik persoonlijk mee bezig ben in het kader van m'n persoonlijke ontwikkeling en psychedelica (en dus in het ritueel) is de plaats van mijn dromen en verlangens in mijn leven. Ik begin meer en meer door te krijgen dat ik niet zomaar in een droomavontuur moet stappen zonder deze een goede relatie met de 'niet gedroomde werkelijkheid' te geven. Ik heb altijd veel genoten en zelfs geteerd op volslagen onmogelijke/onrealistische (gebleken) dromen. Uiteindelijk werden deze dromen (door ze af te sluiten van feedback vanuit de buitenwereld) tot remmende obsessies. Hiervan bewust blijkt het toch lastig om dromen los te laten, ze geven toch ook een vertrouwde houvast. M'n worstelingen met m'n droomwereld heeft tot een verandering tijdens `trip'ervaringen geleidt. Was het vroeger niet ongebruikelijk voor me om in andere dimensies verzeilt te geraken, de laatste keren ben ik duidelijk bezig om meer in het hier en nu te zijn. Het weerstaan van de verleiding om de mogelijkheden te gebruiken die door het openen van innerlijke deurtjes zijn ontstaan, heeft op mij een verhelderend en versterkend effect. Op het ritueel heb ik dan ook bewust (nu ja ik stond er natuurlijk ook gewoon niet voor open) geen 'innerlijke lichtshow-kermis-reis' gemaakt.

De `trip' uitte zich vooral fysiek: alsof de Ayahuasca zich vanuit m'n buik kriebelend verspreidde naar de verste uithoeken van m'n lichaam verspreidde om daar een gevoel van aanwezigheid te geven. Alsof er iets of iemand met een soort schoonmaakmachine/middel door m'n bloedvaten, lymfebanen, zenuwbanen en energiekanalen ging. Hierdoor werd ik me bewust van ongemakkelijke gevoelens, stijve spieren, stramme gevoelige gewrichten, en onrust gevoelens. Doormiddel van rustig en diep ademhalen, een ontspannen houding of juist een soort yoga houding aan te nemen werden deze gevoelens van blokkades, gedurende het ritueel, omgezet in gevoelens van welbehagen en genot.

Al vroeg toen de Ayahuasca begon te werken, dacht ik door de intensiteit van de gevoelens, dat het bevrijdend zou zijn om over m'n nek te gaan. Misselijk naar de keuken gestrompeld bleek dat toch niet zo eenvoudig. Nadat ik 5 minuten (misschien wel langer) geknield voor een emmertje had gezeten, werd ik weer opgehaald door Catherine. Ik wou nog protesteren, dit had echter geen zin. Tegen de simpele constatering van C. dat het beter was om bij de groep te zitten had ik geen weerwoord. Na een tijdje kwam ik (vooral m'n lichaam) wat meer tot rust, enverdween de misselijkheid en wou ik niets anders meer dan m'n eigen zijn te accepteren en daar blij mee te zijn. Ik heb echt genoten van de trommels, het zingen en ook heel erg van de stiltes, die waren echt fantastisch.

Opmerkelijk vond ik dat er een paar liedjes waren die m'n droombehoefte (om kleurtjes en visioenen te zien) kriebelde. Door m'n koppigheid is dat niet gebeurd, maar ik had wel iets van wauw! die liedjes zijn kennelijk krachtig verbonden met de droomwereld, of ze raakten een gevoelige snaar in mij. Wat ik heel leuk vond was te spelen met de rainstick, en eigenlijk vooral de reactie van de mensen daarop. Het is leuk om echt actief deel te zijn van de goeie atmosfeer. Daarom is het ook zo fijn om mee te zingen of trommelen, of om zo stil mogelijk te zijn tijdens een stilte. Het was ook echt duidelijk dat de krachtig fijne sfeer die er heerste (ideaal om je innerlijk samen met de Ayahuasca z'n ding te laten doen) samen was gemaakt.

Ik denk dat de ontspannen ontmoeting vooraf en de (letterlijk) huiskamersfeer (nu ja, comfortabele leef/zijnsplek, in tegenstelling tot bijvoorbeeld een rechtzaal (weer een ander ritueel) of kerkzaal), hier ook veel goeds heeft gedaan. Ik vond het mooi om juist op de donkerste nacht, m'n droomstroom even tot stilstand te brengen en alleen maar te zijn. Ik heb er een dieper besef van onze wereld van gekregen, met haar zichtbare en minder zichtbare kanten. De wereld bestaat alleen maar door en met een oneindig grote droomwereld. Ik heb een veel groter respect gekregen voor dromen in hun veler verschijningsvormen. In dat licht ben ik na het ritueel weer open gaan staan voor een nieuwe droom, als deze droom harmonieus weet samen te gaan met de `werkelijkheid' beloof ik je dat je er dan nog meer van hoort. Een nieuw jaar, ik ben echt benieuwd wat het ons brengt, veel geluk gewenst en bedankt voor het op touw zetten van het ritueel.

Phillip: Curacao

Ik ben heel blij dat het allemaal bevallen is voor jullie. Voor mij was deze ervaring een openbaring. Het heeft diepe blijvende indruk gemaakt op me. en wat je zegt, in verschillende lagen.Mijn chi stroomt weer naar hartelust. Ik ben me sterk bewust geworden van wie ik ben en wat ik eet.Op lichaamlijk niveau hebben er een aantal veranderingen plaats gevonden in mijn systeem. Ik heb veel minder last van al die pijntjes en kwaaltjes.mijn darmen zijn een heel stuk rustiger.Ik voel me sterker, vietaler en heb minder slaap nodig om opgeladen te raken.Ik zit al met al een stuk beter in mn vel. Vooral door een stuk Weten wat los is gekomen.

Het is net of alle principes opnieuw gewogen worden, alsof alles even afgestoft wordt en nagekeken wordt op dogma's. vooral die dogma's blijkt een heel belangrijke factor van onze angsten.er gebeurd heel veel met me van binnen wat ik niet direkt kan omschrijven, allemaal heel positief moet ik zeggen.Ik wil ook Rini en Jij heel erg bedanken voor deze prachtige ervaring. ik vond het heel fijn om te voelen dat ik in goede handen was. het gaf een bijna vader/zoon gevoel. Heel diep.Ik was diep onder de indruk van jullie ontwikkeling en kracht daarin. VERY POWERFULL.

Uiteraard heb ik het met een aantal vrienden hierover gehad en ik denk dat we maar es gauw een werk moeten organiseren, want van mijn kant zijn er zo 4 mensen die zo mee willen doen. als jij ook nog een mensen weet, kan het best een aardige groep worden.Van mij weet je dat ik al de volgende dag zin had in nog een werk. Maar het is goed zo. Dagelijks regent het nog antwoorden, ik zeg dingen die ik niet wist te weten.(hoop dat ik dit goed formuleer hoor)Maar het komt er allemaal zo gebalanceerd uit rollen, dat ik er vaak zelf versteld van sta over wat ik gezegd heb.Gissen is omgeslagen in weten. in het grote verband zien. het grote geheel. Het heeft bij mij een gedragsverandering teweeg gebracht ten opzichte van alles.Ik zou graag een tijdje in de leer willen bij jouw of....of allebei om op die mooie integere manier te leren omgaan met het bestaan. Graag wil ik zoveel mogelijk van jullie leren over Ayahuasca. Daarom zou ik verlopig eerst een tijdje met jullie Werken willen doen, omdat ik me erg veilig voel met jullie, en daarna wanneer ik sterk genoeg ben op onderzoek uit te gaan.

Wat mij het meest fascineert is mensen en hun processen. Ik voel heel erg alsof ik ze op een bepaalde manier moet helpen. Maar het ontbreekt me als het ware nog aan de juiste gereedschappen.Daarom zou ik graag door jullie begeleid willen worden hierin. Ik denk dat ik een hele hoop kan leren van jullie. Je was formidabel. Ik heb je leren kennen als een timide schuchter mannetje die niet zijn mening durfte te geven en ik heb je door de laatste 2 jaren zien groeien naar ongekende hoogtes, je ogen spreken boekdelen. Heel mooi. Je bent echt een Sjamaan. Gebruik je weten en help mensen daarmee. Wees absoluut niet onzeker over je kunnen, daar heb ik diep respect voor zoals je dat allemaal deed. ik durfte je bijna daar niet over aan te spreken. zoveel respect had ik ervoor. ik was bang domme vragen te stellen, maar ik wilde het hemd van je lijf vragen, maar dat merkte je zelf ook wel. Ik vind zoals je het deed dat je prima leiding gaf aan het ritueel zonder je macht op te leggen. dat vond ik erg mooi om te ervaren. Iets waar ik van wil leren. Ik wil ook niet stoppen bij het hekje religie, daar hangen voor mij ook dogma's aan. Nee, zoals jij dat samen met R deed vond ik 'beyond' magisch.

Na al dit schrijven bedenk ik me dat we wel beter een forum kunnen starten. hebben anderen ook wat aan.Er is over het algemeen niet veel zinnigs te lezen over Ayahuasca. Denk daar maar over dan hoor ik het wel.qua techniek hoef je je daarover geen zorgen te maken, want ik zet zo een forum neer, waar we een community mee kunnen stichten met nuttige dingen. als je daar interesse in hebt moeten we gauw afspreken om dit op poten te zetten. Dan wordt het ook een stuk makkelijker om mededelingen te doen of dagen te organiseren.lijkt me erg leuk met jouw en Rini als moderators ( onderhouden, leiden en sturen van het forum) Ik wil er ook heel graag aan meedoen. technisch gezien kunnen we het realiseren, dus waarom niet. Ik denk dat er dan meer ruimte ontstaat om jouw spel te laten spelen /onderzoeken nada wij het in een vorm hebben gegoten. Daar heb ik ook enige ideen over gekregen, over het opzetten in een interactieve/visuele vorm.

Letter to Edna from Daniel

About Ayahuasca I can tell you so much: Naturally the psychedelics cause fear and apprehension, even people who know nothing about these substances have an instinctive feeling that perhaps they may change the way we feel about ourselves. Our identities are a very flimsy construction, what will happen if we somehow lose the security of our beliefs? I went through a terrible two years when I was learning about these things: for almost two years I thought I was in danger of dying. It actually took the death of a friend of mine Martin to relax me so that I could see my own personal death in a wider context. I had several dreams in which he actually came to me to tell me he was dying and then one final one in which I was seeing his coffin. He died at the exact moment I was dreaming about his coffin, 8000 km away in Brazil.

I would have doubted the story if anyone else had told me it, as it is, my girlfriend heard me crying in my sleep and when I woke I told her that I had seen Martins coffin. Three days later Martins wife called us to tell the news. After this my own death started to become a more symbolic moment of transformation: common sense allowed me to see that it was my feelings about life that made me fear death. Now I am a sort of guide for people who are in this process. Everything we feel about our lives rotates around this theme, and I have felt and thought many things about it, and started to understand all the religious philosophies too: for example the role of conscience.

Conscience is the most powerful human emotion, but it is also the most misunderstood, because we learn from an early age to shut down and not listen to is, other people, usually our parents try to make us feel shame and guilt, and so in stead of being a powerful teacher, our conscience becomes associated with complex paradoxes that we are told others have to interpret for us(priests, scientists, politicians, our parents)

My work with ayahuasca is very much directed towards creating the circumstances in which the conscience becomes integrated and functional part of life again. Buddhists would call this compassionate bliss. Conscience is not about feeling guilt, its about doing what is right and necessary. Now if you are wondering about whether you would be able to drink ayahuasca the following may be a good measure for how your journey would be: how honest and true to yourself have you been, have you lived? Have you lied, manipulated, been hypocritical to anyone around you, do you pretend to be something you are not?

There are other considerations too: the entheogenic plants such as ayahuasca, peyote, iboga etc, all tend to awaken memories, mostly from the stages of our birth. At the moment of birth we are pushed out of a five star hotel with room service, into what? We never asked for that...This is what christianity describes metaphorically as the fall from eden, into the vale of tears. In some cases this process of being born is ecstatic (much depends on our reception by our parents) but in a great many cases there are traumatic occurrences, babies born with the umbilical nearly strangling them, mothers with drug dependencies, parents with sadistic or traumatized behavior, etc.

During a session with ayahuasca these memories may surface, and when they do, it is usually with such force that we don’t realize that we have regressed, and are looking once more through the eyes of a childhood memory. The therapeutic effect that this has is clear: because we did something to look at these memories again, and are able to asses them later on with the mind of an adult, we are able to change our opinion about what happened.

This change of opinion completely re-aligns everything that we believe about ourselves, so the transformations that ayahuasca bring are dramatic, we forgive ourselves, forgive our parents, we no longer see ourselves as victims, we no longer see our fellow human beings as competitors etc. I have been learning how to be a guide fro this process: It has not been easy to get a grip on the forces that are all around the use of ayahuasca, there are beliefs and superstitions, there are prejudices and a plethora of confusing theories about how to deal with the experience.

I feel that the one thing that has helped me the most is that I have read and studied very widely, so I am combining psychological, spiritual, and religious theories and practices to understand and help, and most of all to communicate with the people I am guiding. Most importantly, I try not to lose sight of the fact that I am being taught by the people I am guiding. For me being a guide is the best lesson that I can get right now, it keeps me serious, otherwise I might fool around a lot more and get ego-tied up.

I have set up a site for the members of our group, it explains a little about the form of our rituals, you can have a look at our site. Mostly it's practical information. If you would come to Holland and were interested in participating you would be more than welcome. In the past year we have had 25/30 new participants, quite a few from Israel. We only had one girl who had a hard time, this is actually quite a low figure, which is evidence for me that I am doing my work well in the way I prepare participants.

The girl who had a hard time freaked out after the ritual and had a regression. She was obviously tormented and asked us to call the police, but after we refused she calmed down and within about an hour she was laughing again. It was unfortunate that I was unable to talk with her at length after the ritual, she went home with her friend. I have now decided to add a clause to the agreement I make with people who want to participate, to the effect that they have to stay after a ritual and have a conversation afterwards which is the most important time for integrating experiences.

Maurice: Israel

Its good that you have some good friends around to talk with.... it can make things much easier...I think that crying is something that we lost as mens.... And I wish that I was able to cry as well.... But growing up in a place like israel took away this ability from me.... The last time I was crying was In the last ayahuasca session in your arms - and I want to thanks you allot for that moment.... Due to some company internal economic decisions (That I don't really know) - I have got fired. Man, there is no need to worry about me...The Buddhism showed me how you can live your life with no suffering.....One can think that It's too philosophical, One can think that Its too spiritual.... But - I'm living the fucking thing.... For me it became a way of life In the very deep level.... just after the last ayahuasca session I could really understand what Buddha really meant... Daniel -my life is really really happy!

My Ayahuasca Experience by I.A.: Israel

I never know how to start stories, maybe a short introduction will be fine...

When I came to the ceremony, i didn't have expectations for anything, I just hoped it will be a profound experience that will change me and will make me deal with my inner self, my subconscious, my fears and my blocks inside... (well maybe I guess you can call it expectation) The things that happened with me during the ceremony, I wouldn't call magnificent or mind-blowing... nor something new that I never saw or experienced... though I don't remember to experience it for so long here at our "real" world... let me explain:

    During the ceremony, at the meditation part, I suddenly woke up. This awakening is very similar to waking up from a dream after we sleep, in some ways. When we dream at night, we are not aware that "the dream world" is actually a dream world, we just accept this as the reality, and also we can't remember where we were before the dream... we don't even think about it... only after we wake up we remember that the dream was only temporary, and life is much bigger...

    When I woke up during the ceremony something very similar happened to me, I suddenly woke up from what we call "the real world", I thought about "my life", friends and family, and understood that it's only a dream, and I remembered that I existed before that dream and I will exist after the dream ends...also, my character in "the real world" isn't the real me, it's only a character in that "real-dream" world.

    This is something that I knew for all my life here at the "real world", but I never thought about it so much or gave it much attention... I was too caught up with playing the game, that I forgot that it was only a game....

    So in that way the ayahuasca only waked me up for about 20 minutes or so...but after the ceremony ended I didn't pay too much attention to it, until only the day after I began to wake up again.. and the next couple of days I was waking up for couple of seconds every 15 min...

    Now my awareness is trapped again in our big big dream, i'm no longer awaken but now I'm aware that this "reality" is a dream, also, the feeling that I had during the major wakening up at the ceremony is like a candle that keeps guiding me in the darkness of this world, until I will wake up again.

My ayahuasca experience:

My whole ayahuasca experience started three months ago when I first heard about ayuahasca. It made me feel on one hand very excited and interested to see what exactly ayahuasca can teach me about myself, on the other hand I felt very anxious because I had this inner fear of completely letting go of myself and letting something else show me things that might make me change the way I look at things in life. I felt that I was in a period in which I was changing my point of view about things pretty fast but I didn't want to let it change too fast.

   During the ceremony it took me a while to start and feel the ayahuasca influence, Daniel specifically asked everyone to try and stay one with the group and sing together during the ceremony and during the first three hours I tried to do it, but as the time passed I saw that the only way I can feel something happening is when I close my eyes and look in to myself, the moment I opened my eyes and connected with the group I didn't feel any influence.

    For a couple of hours I was sometimes with the group and sometimes sinking deep into myself, I felt that the group was like some sort of an anchor, when I closed my eyes I felt like some sort of alien being is trying to take over me (I see this as my basic fear of letting go completely) when I re-opened my eyes and started singing with the group I was back in the ordinary world.

    While I was singing with the group I was expecting to feel some sort of group energies but I felt nothing. At one point I decided to sink deeper in to myself and confront this fear that caused me to return to the group all the time, and then with my eyes closed I felt like I was entering this kind of an alien dimension (I think that the main reason I was experiencing this was because three days before I read about some alien abduction DMT experiences) my heart was beating pretty fast during that time but at one point all these hallucinations just disappeared and didn't come back any more, I regarded that as partially facing my own basic fear of letting go.

      After the third glass of ayahuasca I was very calm, but I still couldn't feel a connection with the group. At that point Daniel told everybody to go outside to dance around the fire. I was dancing with everybody for a while but I just couldn't feel any relation with the group as a whole, I felt a strong need to be by myself. After a while I decided to go to the kitchen tent and sit by myself for a while, I went and set by myself feeling relatively calm and at peace with myself I could feel the influence of ayahuasca in the sense that I felt that everything had this added dimension of energy. 

    Suddenly I felt the urge to puke so I started walking fast towards the direction of the buckets, everything became very sharp and very vivid, I felt like the buckets are pulling me like a magnet, it wasn't like I'm walking to the buckets it was more like the buckets are pulling me towards them. I usually hate puking but this time I enjoyed it I felt that it was the must natural thing that needs to happen at the current moment. 

    After puking I stood on my feet and I was at a completely different dimension, I looked at a log that was standing next to me and I could see that it had his own life force, its own purpose in the world and the same was towards any stone or any other object that I was looking at. Next to me was a branch fence, I felt that the branches on the fence were at their most natural place with their own life force, I could see how the branches are getting energies from the group that was dancing around the fire, everything was connected.

      I was standing there a few meters from the group for a few minutes, I felt that I was experiencing an added dimension of being, when I looked at the group I felt that the group was my anchor to the ordinary world, the group was forming a different energy from everything else. Then Daniel told everybody that the ceremony is being closed so I joined everybody around the fire and the ceremony was closed, everybody walked back to the big tent and I was back in the ordinary world, it was like having another frequency of perception opened and the closing of the ceremony closed it also.

      The whole ayahuasca experience was very educative. I feel that I dealt with a basic fear of letting go, the fear is not gone completely but I am much more aware of it, this fear was there for a long time but it reached its climax at the ceremony.

    The second big issue that ayahuasca had brought up was my difficulty to feel one with big groups. After the ceremony when I thought about it I realized that this is a feeling that I had my whole life, I always prefer to be in a more intimate surrounding, the larger the group is the more I feel isolated and aloof from the group. During the whole ceremony I just couldn't feel connected with the group that was singing until at one point I decided to just go with my own experience and be more detached from the group, that feeling of separateness became the strongest when everybody was dancing around the fire and I stood a few meters next to it , I felt a very intense feeling of knowing that this is my natural place, to be an observer and not a part of the a group.

This feeling of separateness is a feeling that I feel I had all my life but it was always in the background I was never so aware of it until the ceremony and this is something that I don’t think I fully understand way.        

Response to A’s report: from Daniel

I am intrigued by this description of what happened to you with the buckets A. Sometimes ayahuasca needs to clean you out a little before you become receptive to its energy and what it is really showing you. Another way to say this is that we need to learn to relax on various levels of consciousness, as well as physically. The vomiting helps to purge the body of feelings of anxiety and all kinds of negative energy, and sometimes it mark a transition to a new level of receptiveness where we are able to perceive the world differently.

The other point I should like to comment upon is your feeling about groups. I must confess that I felt the same way you did about being in groups and doing things with a large group, but I began to see things very differently when I began working with ayahuasca. Each and every one of us has mixed feelings about being in groups, including all the resistance that comes from early disappointments. I for example could never address a group without getting totally anxious. The way I finally managed to learn to work with groups was taught to me in the Landmark Education course: we learned to simply be ourselves, and that is where our initial resistance to groups comes in, because most of us put on our public mask when we are in groups.

When you feel secure enough to drop the mask you will see that you can be equally intimate with a whole group of people as with individuals. Using ayahuasca we create an intimate setting by creating a common purpose and a space within which we can all be ourselves and hear our pure essence being expressed: when you are able to reach that point the boundaries between you and me dissolve and we become completely intimate with the pure energies, G_d, Allah, Buddha, Mother Nature or whatever you wish to call it.

In the meantime, it is good that you are conscious of your "ambivalence" towards groups, and know that each and every one of us probably carries that same feeling somewhere inside us.

Spirituality connects to Compassion, which in its turn connects us to Politics. By this I mean to say that your sense of who you are at a very deep level, allows you to feel compassion (connection) and to be moved to act in order to help others. This helping is not the same as charity where you help someone to cross the road, but a deep commitment to help all sentient beings on their journey towards consciousness. That help can be achieved through coordinated action, sincerity, clarity in communication etc. The transformation that is accomplished through the practice of compassion is the key to living a fulfilling life and also to the perfection of life on the material plane which is a 'political' act.

In essence there are always more than one people connected to us in that way, and that is what we call the web of life. Through our own transformation we influence all the people around us, and they in turn do the same. The closer we get to our essence the stronger that influence will be.


Experiences of a fiscal

Its taken me few month to sit down and write what I have accumulated, learned and understood from the last ayahuasca ceremonies in which I have participated. I want to share with you my own point of view as a fiscal, I also want to clarify that the following written is mainly about Ayahuasca Open Style ceremonies.

I will start with the definition of fiscal from my own point of view:

A fiscal is a kind of soft observer-controller: he needs a gentle and firm psychology in dealing with the participant under that altered-state: he or she should be a ‘true guide’, silent and friendly, a fiscal need to keep things together, to keep an eye out for others. The fiscal is the "right hand" of the Shaman (or who ever guide the ceremony) The fiscal has to make sure that the ceremony can continue in harmony and that nobody is harming himself. The fiscal needs to have the ability to help people with their process, without getting involved in their process.

What a fiscal is not?

A fiscal is not a kinder-garden teacher that has to run after people. Neither is the Fiscal and or the Shaman there to entertain people.

To be able to fiscalise in the most optimal way - the first and most important issue is discipline. As we all know in any kind of spiritual activity whether it is a soft one like meditation and yoga [or a hard one like drinking ayahuasca] great big discipline is needed. From my point of view drinking ayahuasca is comparative to activities like diving, para-gliding, mountain climbing. Without discipline great harm can be done.

Lets start with the most important disciplinary rule - In one of the last rituals that I participated in, the Guidelines [for the ceremony] were not read before the ceremony and that caused the discipline to dissolve. The guidelines are an agreement between the guide of the ceremony and the participants. Before each ceremony the guidelines must be clear to everyone. To clarify why these Guidelines are so important I will give an example from one of the last ceremonies I was participating in:

One of the Guidelines is that participants should not talk [converse] and not touch each other during the ceremony. The situation was that one of the women in the ceremony got into a deep psychological process and the fiscal made sure that she was safe and tried to give her a bit of help so that she would be able to go through her process more easily. After the fiscal the woman’s boyfriend came and was very intimate with her. The situation ended happily and nobody was harmed - the couple were very happy that it happened they way it did. But in another case things could have ended differently:

1) The couple were so intimate and close under the influence of the ayahuasca that their processes could have got confused: close intimacy could trigger some memory's from childhood, potentially they could have harmed each other or their relationship.

2) Under influence of ayahuasca everyone can interpret touching in different ways: if there is intimacy between a couple it could affect the energy of the ceremony and then the ceremony might be disrupted.

One other issue that I want to raise is the question of the necessity of trusting the Shaman, guide or the fiscal. In the situation mentioned above the guide and the fiscal asked the couple to come back to the ceremony but it didn't happened.

Now, let's think about a situation where the rest of the people are doing whatever they feel like doing: riding the horses - running and climbing the mountain - playing with the dogs, or whatever. The guide and the fiscals are not there to run after people - they are treating the ceremony as something very serious with a lot of responsibility. That’s why Guidelines is are necessary, and a ceremony without discipline is a big mistake with a risk that is not worth it. A commitment to the ceremony has to be adopted by all participants. If one is falling down the others must do as much as they can to keep the ceremony go on. If participants have no commitment to the ceremony everyone will go to sleep and do what ever they want to do, and then the ceremony will dissolve. (I don't want to discuss about the importance of the ceremony - I'm sure you all know...)

We should never forget that we all are involved in serious transformational work, so it is possible to delay issues like romance, smoking, chatting until after the ceremony has finished.

Other things that I noticed in the last ceremonies :

-introducing new people to the ceremony is only possible after interviewing before the day of the ceremony: its not fair toward the guide to put him in a situation where he has to accept everyone that wants to participate. The guide or the fiscals have to interview the person and see if he is capable of participating in this kind of experience safely. From my point of view ayahuasca is not meant for everybody: if somebody is confused and not stable in life ayahuasca will increase their instability. Its very important when working with entheogens to be grounded and connected to daily life.

-I have met some people that would like to experience taking ayahuasca by themselves. My few years experience with ayahuasca have taught me that its influence increases each time. As I see it in order to be able to work with ayahuasca one first needs to develop some discipline: breath work and concentration are very important. One needs to learn to let go and to trust: let go of mental and spiritual ideas, let go of the self. One needs to learn how to work with ayahuasca, before taking it by oneself or is making ones own kind of ceremonies. That can be done only after participating many times in ceremonies with long tradition (such as Santo Daime for example). Even after learning to work with ayahuasca the guide has to learn to be a fiscal, to learn how to help others in their process - to learn to give help only if needed, and to learn to take responsibility even after the ceremony has ended.

-Usually before a ceremony I try to prepare physically and mentally. I see the dietary issue as a way of respecting the plant, and surrendering my mental and physical body to the plant to teach me. Within the ceremonies that I participated in I witnessed some abuse regarding this issue. There is a potentially lethal danger of mixing certain foods and drugs with ayahuasca. (see our Agreement section)

To finish the letter I want to advise to all participants: ayahuasca is an amazing medium that can teach much about self and life, but its not a game - its very important to work with people that have a lot of experience, follow the guidelines and work with discipline - if something is not acceptable it is important to talk about it and clarify things.

Love M

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