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Ayahuasca is not your friend, it’s your master
Ayahuasca is a plant mixture that induces altered states of consciousness, lasting between 4-8 hours. It has different names and in Colombia they call it Yagé /jɑːˈheɪ/.
I did Ayahuasca in Pucallpa, Peru and I also did it many times in Medellin. I didn’t see any difference between both places. To me the plant was the same but of course the experience is always different.
So let me tell you more about my most profound experience so far with Ayahuasca in Medellin
Two weeks ago I did Yagé in Santa Elena (Outskirt in Medellin) with a Shaman who lives in the Ecuadorian jungle. He only comes to Medellin once a year to share his beautiful medicine with like minded people. I heard many stories about his medicine, which made me eagered to try it with him. When the day of the ceremony came I was happy and excited. I’ve been waiting quite some time for this.
Before every ceremony there is a certain diet everyone has two follow. This diet won’t allow you to eat certain foods and it requires you to abstain from sex 3 days in advance. On the day of the ceremony you are not allowed to eat anything after 12pm. It is a very simple diet to follow.
I don’t know the reason behind this diet but I assume it has to do with energy/chakra and cleansing your body. Anyway, I didn’t do any of this. The only thing I did was not eat anything after 12pm. I usually follow the diet, but I don’t know why I didn’t this time.
So getting back to the ceremony, we had to be there at 7pm, which is around 8:30pm Colombian time. People are so relaxed here they don’t give time much attention. The ceremony started at around 10pm. We were around 60 people sitting in a circle inside a big hut with the bonfire in the middle. We drank the medicine at around 10pm and it took almost an hour for everyone to drink his cup. For me this was the biggest Ayahuasca cup I have ever drank. I love the taste of Ayahuasca so I didn’t have a problem drinking it, but most people hated the taste so they suffered drinking it.
Half an hour through Ayahuasca I started feeling something strange happening inside my body
It was very powerful, more powerful than other times I’ve tried it. At first it was not very nice, I had many negative thoughts and I was struggling with my thoughts. This struggle lasted maybe 40 minutes until they blew tobacco towards my face. Once they did that I started seeing and smelling smoke everywhere and my perception toward my negative thoughts started to change.
I saw my thoughts evaporating with the smoke that surrounded the whole place until I finally felt calm and relaxed. That is when I started one of the most amazing mental journeys I have ever had. At first I saw my family as if they were standing in front them me. They appeared to be very real. I saw many things they did for me and I felt the love they have towards me. I stopped judging them and started to be grateful for the love they have given me. Maybe it’s not exactly the love I wanted but at that time I became conscious that everyone has his own way of loving. It may not the best way but at the end of the day it is love.
So for the first time in my life, I became aware that they have loved me in their own way and that they have given me their all. After that, I felt that I had never showed or felt enough love towards other people. I don’t know why but this was how I felt. So the Ayahuasca told me in order to show and feel love towards others you need to start with yourself and with your family first. Start with your closest people and from there things will change.
I decided that after this journey the first thing I will do…
Is to write my family a nice message thanking them for everything they did for me and telling them how much I loved them. Which I actually did and I can’t describe you how happy they were reading this message. I had never seen them that happy. After that experience I started seeing many things from my childhood I thought they had never existed in my mind. I saw myself with my best friend when we were young, playing PlayStation and not worrying about anything in the world. I was content seeing myself there with my friend, which made me open up my emotions I used to feel back then. I felt very relaxed and I was filled with too much euphoria that made me cry.
I cried like a baby and this lasted for almost and hour. Let me tell you something, I never cry in front of people but this was the first time I do so and it wasn’t just crying quietly; no I cried very loud like a baby. I actually enjoyed it. After deciding to write my family a message, I started seeing many things from my infancy. For example I saw myself with a friend of mine at school maybe during 2nd grade when we used to wait for everyone to get off the bus so we can eat the popcorn they dropped on the floor. I also saw my teachers and friends back then. I saw too many things that kept me crying for an hour. And I can tell you that I felt new emotions I never knew they had existed.
This was one of my best Ayahuasca experiences
So after crying for an hour and seeing things, the Ayahuasca started to wear off and little by little I started to come back to reality once more. The retreat ended at 7 and we went back home at around 11. It was an amazing day.
After telling this story amazing experience, I would also like you to know that Ayahuasca is not always a good experience. During some of the ceremonies I had to spent a lot of time on the toilet and other times I vomited over 10 times and didn’t feel well during the whole ceremony. So in general for me Ayahuasca is gamble, which is worth trying.
Written by: Sherif Sami
It’s not a matter of where, but when. Time is precious and my time spent living and experience the cultures of this world is what I lust for. This is why I created this website, to share true, genuine experiences and not just typical touristy info. Travel, the love of coffee, and food!