This morning I discover another South American healing center has shifted from offering 11-day ‘dietas’ to the more popularly requested individual ayahuasca ceremonies. I remember wanting just a couple of ceremonies before sightseeing, so I really do understand this desire. I am also deeply grateful that my medicine man basically insisted my first ayahuasca experience to be a dieta even though I had worked with other healing plants in ceremonies for nearly four years by then.
Ayahuasca is referred to by many as the Mother plant because to work with her is to discover all the buried, lost, and hidden parts of ourselves while simultaneously seeing the sacred geometry and truth of our world and Universe! For this journey, she demands nothing less than the complete death of the ego mind and surrender to her. Such surrender takes several hours to several ceremonies and much purging to finally learn to release CONTROL. As a result, “ayahuasca tourists” stopping in for a ceremony or two often return home (a) disappointed because they didn’t get what they expected, or (b) completely fragmented and unable to process whatever they experienced. (If the latter is you, please contact me and we can integrate and help you through that!)
We Americans are an impatient lot. We unapologetically want everything right now, and this is one time in which we do ourselves a great disservice with such an attitude. Working with ayahuasca can potentially be the most powerful experience of our lives, a gateway to a new reality and a new life we never dreamed possible, full of love and humor and deep peace. I am creating such a life for myself having continued intervals of working with her and integrating her teachings into my life, but the first thing I had to do was to SLOOOOOOOOW DOOOOOOOOWWWWN.
Are you feeling called to work with her? Please allow me to share the best of what I’ve learned so you can get more out of that:
- Develop a meditation practice. Learning to be present with the mind, whatever it’s doing/thinking, while being still is the best preparation for sitting with Mama Aya for hours in the middle of the jungle. The more we can learn to be equanimous about whatever is happening, the observer of ourselves having an experience, the more we can surrender to allow ayahuasca to reveal what she wants to teach us. She is a powerful teacher. Breathwork also helps move energy during ceremony. Learning these simple techniques ahead of time will make all the difference!
- Prepare the body. Removing fragrances from our lives and spices and heavy foods from our diets is not just about trying to purge less in ceremony. (Note on purging: the more we fight her request to surrender, the sicker we get. Ego presents enough challenge without us adding to that with poor diet and body prep.) It is about preparing our vessel as a sacred space into which we can invite ayahuasca. We have lost much of our respect for ceremony and ritual in this culture, so this is a great time to reconnect with that and enhance our experience.
- Be patient and loving with yourself and ayahuasca. Allow yourself the time and resources the first time to work with a trustworthy traditional medicine man in an 11 day dieta inviting ayahuasca to work with a master plant and really bring through layers of ahas and deep personal healing. Relaxing into the idea that whatever experience we have in such a ceremony is perfect for us right now is a wonderful step forward in loving ourselves. We spend a great deal of time and money in the United States on quick fixes and shortcuts to health and happiness, only none last. Ayahuasca is a beautiful healer as her wise spirit works with our own wise spirit to bring about whatever we need for our highest good. The least we can do is slow down, be patient, surrender, and listen.
If you are considering working with ayahuasca, please COMMENT BELOW or CONTACT ME with any ideas, questions, reservations, rumors or anything else you’d like to discuss. I will respond and share my heart and experiences with you. You deserve a happy, healthy life…naturally! I will gladly help any way I can as you remember how to love yourself more and open yourself to new possibilities!
Much love and Light to you in this Journey of Possibilities,
Sheryl Sitts, MPA, BA, Holistic Spiritual Coach, Practitioner, & Community Builder
Founder, Journey of Possibilities featuring live events, weekly shows, and a quarterly digital magazine