Saturday October 4, 14
Sitting here on the porch of the ashram, I am immersed in the jungle. The sounds of insects fill the canopy. The rushing river below is a steady reminder to live in the flow. Everywhere I look is a deep hue of green and I am covered with the earthy scent of nature. The jungle is alive with the sound of creatures; insects and birds fill the empty space with their wild songs. This is the perfect setting for ceremony. Our Away Inward tribe and I have traveled far to settle into a week in the Amazon and do our work. We have all come to heal something that lives either buried in the subconscious or awaken a part of ourselves that we know is ready to blossom. The medicine of two special plants found here in the forest is our catalyst to help us do for ourselves what no one else can do. Heal our own lives and rest peacefully in our wholeness.
Ayahuasca is not a magic potion that makes all our problems go away. It is a potent brew that works on the psyche in a cosmic dimension. How we are in ceremony is a mirror of how we are in our life. Each one of us in this group has to be willing to look closely into our own subconscious and receive the messages of growth that the plant medicine and Ikaros are offering. Ikaros are the songs that the shamans sing to our soul, our cells, our subconscious and higher self to help us work out our intricacies, heal trauma, face truth and receive the inner wisdom of the universe. Sounds pretty out there, mysterious and rather epic. And it is. It is deep, profound and an important means toward self-healing, self-realization and liberation. It is the old way of the earth and still utilized today.
What I have seen my fellow brothers and sisters do this week has been remarkable. I am awe-inspired at the courage each one possesses to move through this process and support one another because the process isn’t always pretty and it can get truly uncomfortable. We all show up at a particular time in our life with a certain capacity, ability and set of tools to face life, interpersonal relationships and our own minds. The medicine shows us all what we need to see, teaches us what we need to learn, reveals to us what we are blind to, informs us on how to proceed and sends us messages from the underworld about how to be in this world.
This week at the ashram we have been nurturing our bodies and souls with a healthy stimulant free diet, twice-daily yoga and meditation practice, journaling, introspection, afternoon naps, healing sessions and time to explore the jungle and play in the river. This quiet time of slowing down has given us plenty of time and space to integrate our experience in ceremony. And the reflection circles the next day on top of the late night decompression sessions afterwards has helped us all make sense of what happened and thread it into the fabric of our lives.
In one week we have died and re-birthed ourselves many times over. None will be the same. Our perception of mind and who we are in this world has shifted. We have been given a great gift of insight and have felt things we have no words for. Our shamans have been true angels in our process. They know the medicine well and they are master artists in weaving together ritual, song and administering ayahuasca with undeniable integrity and sincerity. We have been blessed with such kind souls who are able and willing to sing to our hearts as we cry, crawl in our own skin, puke into buckets, and squirm in our meditation seats. Their capacity to be with our process no matter how painful it looks or sounds is powerful medicine in itself.
We are all here on this planet learning how to love better, dance our joy, live our truth, express our voice, share compassion and save the only life we can, our own. This week on retreat in the jungle has given us the sacred space to unravel in the most beautiful way. We leave tomorrow changed forever. From the messages of our inner journey we have our personal assignments. It is our responsibility to continue our work when we get back to our normal lives so that the wisdom remains and we can find our way back to the source again and again.