We live in a fast paced world – no doubt about it. We are used to having everything available at our finger tips 24/7.
Will you even have time to finish reading this blog post from start to finish with the other million things on your to-do list?
If this sounds like you – I implore you to STOP for just five seconds. Close your eyes, and take a deep breath!!! Let your shoulders drop and center yourself in your heart.
Right there in the middle of your chest, lives the wisest being you will ever encounter.
And once you slow down, breath deeply and notice what you feel in your heart and in your body, a lot of the mindless rushing from one thing to another will slow down and the truth will come to you.
Try this for a few minutes every day, and watch your productivity and intuitive powers skyrocket. I try to bring this simple mindfulness to the work I do with people through my integration sessions.
The term ‘rushing’ towards enlightenment to me, implies a lack of mindfulness which I see is so prevalent in the world today. I have my days too! This is normal for a house-holder, someone who lives in community, works and has a family.
However there is a different form of rushing that I am noticing these days. And I call it "rushing to gain enlightenment". It's a paradox for sure and here are my thoughts on why;
We have so much on offer now, and everyone wants to do everything! We now live in a culture that values experiences above things.
Take your pick from any online courses on how to meditate to how to do yoga, to how to bring out your inner shaman, to attending the actual yoga retreats, to Witch Academy, to Cocao ceremonies to Mystery School Courses, and so on. All of which are marketed with great gusto by people who used to work in the corporate world, or in marketing, or in finance, and who have chosen to make this change in their lives. Some attribute this huge "change" to drinking Ayahuasca. For the purposes of this blog, I will speak predominantly about Ayahuasca, as this is the plant I have most experience with personally.
I have noticed over the last few years, the flood of people, all desperate to bring about some kind of change to their lives,
and we read stories and watch movies (!) made about drug addicts, millionaires and wall street moguls, all pulled back from the brink of self-annihilation, cleaning themselves up and wanting to be better, cleaner and more spiritual after drinking this Ayahuasca stuff.
Some have even decided start a retreat center with the good intentions of bring this healing to the world. Others looking for meaning in their lives and to reawaken their personal power, retrain as Shamans / Goddess facilitators, and so on and so forth, and this makes us all feel like it could be us. Have these people done enough of their own healing before embarking on these chosen paths? - only time will tell. Spiritual bypassing is rife in these circles and it becomes obvious when the energy of Kundalini begins to manifest in an unaligned way. But more on that later.
People are “rushing ” to drink Ayahuasca and to take other Entheogens (meaning: God within) like LSD, San Pedro and Psilocybin Mushrooms, as a quick dial to God, and nowadays they come in all sorts of mixtures and concoctions. Instead of the bitter and challenging process of ingesting the stuff (which is meant to test us and and show our determination despite the awful taste) these so-called “Entheogenic solutions” to our problems, have now been turned into just another commercially viable quick fix – some literally coated in chocolate!
How old are we really? 5 years old? “I want it all now and I want it chocolate covered too…”?
Ayahuasca is becoming a media-ridden, world-wide phenomenon, and people are stumbling into these purportedly sacred ceremonies, with little awareness, no spiritual practice and yet with the expectation of a new lease on life. I know there are some true healers out there with blazingly pure hearts and integrity, I've met a few of them. But there are also some I have met who seem to follow a different path with their shamanic practices. A path where there is no true accountability to a Master, nor clear training for their craft.
I’ve seen a few neo-shamans (meaning: new school with no traditional training), offering a real “leg-up” type of retreat for “spiritual-gangsta-entrepreneurs” out there, who want to get ahead and brainstorm new ideas in ceremony (as if Ayahuasca was some newly discovered beyond-this-world-think-tank for the privileged few) ….making promises to people that all their problems will be fixed in a few nights of soul searching.
And ……would you believe it, for a few days afterwards it might seem like they got their ‘Miracle’.
And for a lucky few, the results stick a little longer – guys (!) I’m so happy for all 3 of you.
But for the rest of us, integration (that period of applying what you learnt after the mind blowing experience) is messy, it’s a painful, slippery slope of emotional rollercoasters, epic ups and downs, confusion, anxiety, taking three steps back to take half a step forward, doused with feelings of alienation upon arrival back in our home and around our old circles of friends and family.
Yes, certain things might get better in some ways, for instance, we see now that we would like to make a difference in the world somehow, that we belong to something greater than ourselves, that we are truly spiritual beings having a human experience…..we are Awake (aka The Matrix), and we have all the answers….kind of. Knowledge really needs to be turned into wisdom with some true-to-life experiences before it can be applied. Knowledge does NOT translate into
Ermmm, do you recall Neo's life getting easier once he left the dream world of The Matrix? As I recall, things got worse before they got better for him. He had to really start to believe in himself, he had to release his fear, digging deep inside for the resources that Morpheus already knew Neo had inside himself.
And yet for many people who attend ceremony, this is not made clear. And then we wonder why it's so disappointing when we find out that the feeling of connectedness we had during the ceremony, can not be sustained forever. And so the cycle continues, with more and more psychedelic plant medicine required to reach that elevated state of consciousness, again and again. But with no real dedicated time to sit with the experience, to breath, to be present in the heart of the truth that we have inside us.
For the more money orientated shamans out there, their recommendation is to just drink more!
I do not agree with that approach at all.
And I’m going to tell you the secret why….are you ready?
The reason is this:
**It’s not meant to come that easily!**
I hate to sound like one of those stuffy yogi nay-sayers, but I’m going to be honest here. By having it all handed to us on a silver platter (like everything else these days) we have rescinded some vital steps of spiritual development required to get there in the first place. I know there is the argument of how we are living in different times with different vibrations on the planet, and that the Aquarian Age ushers in a different way of doing things. And yes, this also gets to be true, for those who are ready.
And yet, there is a counter-slew of people out there who have seen the Kingdom of Heaven, found Samadhi and Nirvana, achieved Moksha, etc ....but just for the night.
Then, they get dropped off back home, feeling just a little bit disappointed and maybe short-changed that they couldn’t stay there and continue living life as normal. It's ok to admit it. I see it a lot with my integration clients. I know everyone is very grateful for the amazing opportunity to be able to have this experience – truly, me too! We are so lucky that we have access to these medicines, and now more than ever, we need to have our eyes opened and our butts kicked to wake-up!!
However may I ask: How is it that the ancient Sages, Rishis and Prophets fasted for weeks on end, years even, and dedicated their lives to living in isolation, spending years meditating all day and night in the darkness of caves and burying themselves up to the neck in the soil? And yet we are exempt from having to apply this sort of dedication, devotion and discipline to our own path?
This was their dedicated life path, nothing else existed for them. And the ultimate goal was Liberation. A bit extreme perhaps - but they meant business. They forsook their families, their homes and living the comfortable life of a house-holder, for true Liberation. Basically wearing nothing but a loin cloth, relying on alms with a life spent sitting in the dirt.... but with a freaking amazing, mind blowing connection to God that was 24/7 and with Ayahuasca-esque visuals most of the time due to higher levels of DMT they had naturally accumulated in their Pineal Gland through years of effort.
They knew that this was the spiritual work, sacrifice and discipline required to move through this human incarnation and to be free of the cycle of Samsara (life, death and rebirth).
Something else to point out, is that, when it comes to Ayahuasca and psilocybin mushrooms, traditionally, only the trained (and spiritually prepared Curandero/a) was supposed to drink it! And this powerful hallucinogen was used as a diagnostic tool to find our the root cause of an issue to be solved outside of ceremony – not necessarily as a tool for consciousness expansion.
Swing back to circa 2018, and the way we are approaching this “tool” is maneuvering us into a rather tricky space, as we apply our instant gratification approach to this profound healing method that can take years to develop and manifest fully in a person's life, after just one encounter. For Kundalini to rise to its fullest potential like a snake rising up the spine, personal blockages need to be gently removed throughout the spiritual nervous system, through ritual cleansing, breath-work, fasting and meditation. Otherwise this power will manifest as something a little darker and invested in vice rather more than true light (ie Desire for Money, Power and Sex).
And now all us post-modern spiritual seekers who have access to drinking a cup of brown liquid on a Saturday night, to get a ticket-to-ride the fast-train to Enlightenment, are left wondering why our consciousness expansion only lasts for a few hours/days?
I say: How could it possibly last any longer without all the intensively careful preparation required to hold that vibration in this physical body? One to two weeks of a cleansing dieta before hand just ain’t gonna cut it, folks. This amazing physical vehicle that we each inhabit is a little more complex than that and needs our attention.
So whilst I am not advocating an extreme ascetic path for those who are looking to integrate their experiences into life after the ceremony - I do ask people to take a long hard look at how honest there are being with themselves.
After all: A new awareness with a heightened vibration can only last as long as we choose to initiate and maintain the new behaviours that will support it.
Some of the first questions I ask people when they come to me for support after their plant medicine ceremonies are:
What does your diet look-like now?
What did you learn from your experience?
Are you taking that knowledge and applying it?
Do you have a regular and disciplined spiritual practice that nourishes your soul daily?
Do you have some sort of community or support system in place?
How would you answer?
Food for thought.
If you would like to know more about how to integrate your experiences with these sacred healing medicines, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Scarab Deva has more than a decade worth of experience of working therapeutically with sacred plant medicine’s, having facilitated countless retreats around the world. www.scarabdeva.com