How drinking Ayahuasca permanently changed me.

A year ago I was on the plane to Peru to drink Ayahuasca and my mind was infested with suicidal thoughts.

Flying to Iquitos, Perú.

I stared at the emergency exit of the airplane, wishing I could jump out of it.

I contemplated my suicide for hours in the sky.

I picked a dangerous place to drink Ayahuasca- a place where no one spoke my language, a place nested deep in the jungle, miles away from any hospital.

There was nothing safe about what I was doing.

In my mind, I pondered every possibility. Maybe my body would react poorly to Ayahuasca and I would die. Maybe I would get bit by a poisionous snake and die. Maybe I would-

There was no practical preperation at all, only emotional preparation for my death.

From a very young age, I had an unhealthy preoccupation with death. I constantly fantasied about death, it was a coping mechanism because I hated my reality. I hated the act of breathing. I hated humanity, I hated the world I was in. And most of all, I hated myself. I was highly perfectionistic, always subjecting myself to unrealistic standards. I placed a bar on myself higher than I could ever reach.

When I was 13 years old, I would get a grade below 90 in school, I would cut myself. Every time my weight went above 105, I would vomit and exercise for hours. My first real suicide attempt was when I was 17, and after that, I overdosed on drugs up until I was 22 years old, when I overdosed on 16000mg of Wellbutrin. I had hallcuinations that caused me to question reality.

My questioning of reality ended up with me sitting on a cushion in a Buddhist temple a year later, where I discovered the beautiful and healing effects of meditation. A week long meditation retreat healed my brain more than the medication I was taking. It taught me more about my condition than years of therapy did. Because of meditation, I was able to actually live with my depression. I was actually able to observe it. Despite being able to cope with my thoughts, I still had intrusive suicidal ideation. I still woke up and my brain would immeditately tell me to die. I was just able to observe these thoughts of suicidal ideation, instead of attaching to them.

The only thoughts that I weren’t able to deattach from, no matter how hard I tried, were my existential ones. When I was 23, I experienced an event that triggered PTSD in me, and made me constantly question reality even more, and I couldn’t stop. I dove into books on quantum physics, in order to understand nature at its fundemental level. I went back to university to major in physics and psychology, in hopes I could find some piece of information that would explain existance. I questioned reality so much, that at times, my brain could no longer recognize what was real and what wasn’t. I ended up in the hospital for early onset psychosis. My psychosis was accompanied by chronic pain, numbness and tingling and losses in vision. I figured all my years of drug overdoses were catching up with me. I cried in the MRI machine, as it scanned my spine and my brain, terrified for what I was going to find out.

There was nothing. I stared at my MRI scans, wondering how my brain could actually be structurally fine, when all my life Ive been cycling through deep depression, PTSD, impulsive suicide attempts, and now episodes of psychosis.

Some months after recieving my MRI results, I had a horrible episode. I was standing on a sidewalk, and I completely forgot where I was. I forgot who I was, and where I was going. I could no longer tell that the cars were cars, so I walked in front of traffic. Thats when my vision blurred, like I was walking through a tunnel, and I had immense tingling in my legs and my spine. I came back to my senses after seeing the cars halt to a stop in front of me. I realized I was right next to home, and I had just left to go to work. I managed to get myself home, where I found my keys I left in the door. I curled up on my couch and cried. I felt completely helpless…and then…

I felt an overwhelming sensation of love and light.

I can’t describe this. I’ve never felt so much love and light. It was so strong, that it felt more real than anything I’ve ever felt. I realized that everything was going to be okay, in a way I can’t ever describe. The sensation of light was accompanied by even more tingling in my spine, but it didn‘t bother me. I felt like my consciousness was expanding to let in more light.

That was my first glimpse of this vibrant, loving light. I researched this feeling, and I was shocked to find countless articles about spiritual awakenings. Each article described everything I was experiencing. I did not believe in “spiritual awakenings” at all- I still firmly believed I was having neurological issues, especially with my history of mental health issues and drug overdoses.

Somewhere in my research, an article about Ayahuasca appeared, and the second I laid eyes on the artistic impressions of her- I heard her call. She told me it was time to go meet her.

This caused a lot of internal panic inside me, because I knew that I was crazy at this point. I logically reasoned I was growing closer to insanity, and I needed to go to the hospital to retry medication. There was no way a plant was calling to me. But then I read countless of people describing the exact same call. There were countless people in the world, that were experiencing my exact same situation.

I would hear her call every day after that, like an invisible force was pushing me to the jungle. It was so strong, that I did not go to the hospital. I stopped going to therapy for my early onset psychosis. My body was tingling, I was having so many chronic pain flareups I could barely move, but I sat with it all. I bared through it every day, and I kept meditating to keep myself grounded.

I got to the point where I couldn’t continue to postpone a trip to the jungle anymore. My MRI was fine, doctors couldn’t find a single explanation for what was happening to me, I basically tried every medication out there without aid, and I had savings to go. Ayahuasca suddenly went from a crazy idea, to being the most logical idea.

Note that I went to drink Ayahuasca with a mind built on logic. Of course, I was experiencing body tingling, I was experiencing impulsive suicidal thoughts and heavy existential crisis, and I was also feeling some sort of Godlike light going through me- but I still believed that all Ayahuasca would do was give me the placebo effect, maybe for a few months, then I would be back to square one. Since I’ve already hallucinated on drugs, I figured it would be the same deal. I didn’t believe it would do much.

Despite that, I cried and I cried. I cried more than I ever did in my life the month before drinking it. I thought for sure I was going to die. I didn’t think I would come back, because going into the middle of the jungle alone was dangerous, and I read about horrible side effects of Ayahuasca online, and I also read about experiences where people died drinking it. Flying to Peru felt like I was flying to the guillotine.

When I said goodbye to my family before going to the jungle, I meant it as my final goodbye.

And it was indeed a final goodbye, because…when I came back from the jungle, I was a completely different person. I was reborn. The person I was before drinking Ayahuasca, would not recognize the person I am today.

(You can read about my Ayahuasca experience here, but this post is about the changes that have occurred in me.)

It has now been a full year since I drank Ayahuasca, long enough for me to logically deduce that the changes in me from it have been permanent.

Here are some of those changes:

I am the healthiest person I know. I don’t have a single health issue, mental or physical. I have no pain, no numbness, no tingling, I have 20/20 vision, and not to brag, but I’m growing amazing muscles from being so active!

I’m full of energy. Before I couldn’t get off the couch most days, now I’m constantly moving. I enjoy hot yoga, weight lifting, and biking. Of course, I still love to take power couch naps! I have yet to find anyone who can match my current zest and energy for life.

I’m full of sexual energy. There is no limit to how much I enjoy sex. Sex feels completely different now, it feels cosmic and electric, and with the right person, it feels like my soul is vibrating.

I’m spirituality integrated It took months after drinking Ayahuasca to fully adjust to what she taught me. She pulled my soul out of my body. It was a classic case of an OBE/NDE. Because I was pulled out so quickly, and experienced the afterlife, it was extremely tough for me to integrate myself back into the world. Not only did I suddenly have an intense love and appreciation for life, something I never had before, I also carried memories of the process of dying (which includes a deliberating feeling of grief if you did not live a life of love and gratitude, followed by a familiar tunnel that you will know you’ve travelled through an infinite amount of times once you see it) , and the “afterlife” (which is really just an interdimensional transformation that is peaceful and nothing to be afraid of), and NONE of this is easy to integrate into life. It manifested as severe anxiety at first, but now, I’m calm. Deep down , we all know what the afterlife is. Theres millions of documented experiences similar to mine, the afterlife is no secret. We all know we are here to love, its no secret. What we are all doing here, is no secret (Its to LOVE! Love, love, love.). We all know. We all just get lost inside our brains, attached to our thoughts and our opnions of the world, that we forget how to love.

I experience sadness and grief differently. The sadness has a beautiful quality to it. I can best describe it as the state of Mono no Aware. Look this state up! I’m just basically in awe of the sadness and impermanence of life.

I used to be an atheist but now I use the words “God” and “Soul.” Ayahuasca flung me out of my body within seconds of her taking effect . I was in a spot where I had zero control, and zero body…and that was well before she ripped “me” in pieces until there was nothing left. You try coming back to the world and still be an atheist after an experience like that! Now, I use the word God to describe higher powers like Ayahuasca, but also to describe the unifying; loving energy of Oneness.

I no longer see humans as humans. Rather, I see humans as souls, and a soul is a fragment of one source energy. Souls are made of vibration and frequency. Each soul is facing struggles, for two reasons- 1) facing your struggles is a growth experience that your soul enjoys and 2) so your soul can bring this experience back to the source, as we are all one unifying energy of love. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but you will realize the vastness and the importance of this truth once you have to come to terms with your own death.

I’m in love. With everything. The planet, my body, my soul, the people in my life. Every day, I feel intense love from doing anything, whether its the dishes, or riding my bike. The wind passing by my ears as I pedal- thats love, and that’s all the love I’ve ever needed.

I can no longer get attached to suffering. The plant spirit taught me that suffering is a gift. There is so much meaning in suffering, because it means you have the gift of human life. Once you have gratitude toward your suffering, you can no longer be attached to it.

I have depression or no suicidal ideation. Not even a single thought, because I now recognize that death is not an escape from life. Rather, death is life itself. Death is like taking your clothes off. Its so natural, its all part of the flow of the universe, and its just a beautiful part of life.

I’m grounded in reality. I feel in touch with my soul and how its having a human experience, I feel as if I’m seeing reality im technicolor- its rich, full of life, full of vastness, full of color, full of love- and its also full of darkness, full of suffering, full of hardship- I see it all, existing as one, like I’m envisioning the full Ying Yang symbol, and this vision makes my mind balanced and more grounded than ever.

I have no existential questions. Mother Ayahuasca showed me the meaning to our existence, by transforming me into nothingness, a form that couldn’t conceive of meaning. When you are no longer able to conceive of meaning, meaning does not matter, and that is the meaning. The point of life is simply here and now, and we will always be here and now, whether we are alive, whether we are dead, whether we are human, whether we are a flower. We are here to connect to this eternal being, this eternal nowness, and this now, this being- its all love. All of it, is love. So we are here to love.

Breathing feels like a massage. Just being alive, having a body, doing things in my body, feels like one huge massage. Your soul loves your body too, or else it wouldn’t have one.

I’m able to manage anything. I’m in univeristy. Before, I couldn’t complete university because of my mental health issues. Now it’s a fun challenge, and I’m excelling at it. I’m enjoying seeing how far I can go in life, and what I can do. Its way different from before, when I held myself to standards. Now I’m just giving myself big challenges because I find the process of it fun and exciting.

This art by Ram Dass depicts exactly how this cosmic “wheel” dance feels.

I feel a vast sense of interconnection. I am the trees, the sky, I am you, you are me.

I’m always dancing. Literally, I can’t stop dancing. Figuratively, I feel as if the universe is engaged in one huge dance, and I can feel this dance vibrate through me.

I feel like a vibrating string of infinite possibility, that’s part of a web or a wheel. I feel like what we can achieve is endless, and that I’m always in this state, and the entire universe is in this state. I believe that reality may actually be something like a cyclic, interdimensional wheel, full of infinite, infinite possibility.

I’m energy sensitive. People exhibit certain color, an “aura”, and I’m drawn to certain colors. I can tell if people are struggling a lot in life. This means I have to be careful with whom I offer my energy to, and this has resulted in me enjoying my alone time more than I ever have. I love the peace, the quiet, and I love connecting to my soul.

I love the mundane aspects of life. I’ll clean, do the dishes and pay my bills any day! These things are exciting to me now.

I don’t take life seriously. I’m quite laid back and relaxed, and I enjoy all sorts of humor, and I love to smile and laugh.

I am eternally grateful. For you. For this life. For absolutely everything

Ayahuasca never stops teaching you. Her life lessons expand far beyond after you take in her spirit. I had an important lesson, an important realization, just a few months ago. This happened to me when I was lying in bed, and I thought about all the times in life I had suffered. I remembered every drug overdose, every time I cut myself, every panic attack from PTSD, every time I suffered at the hands of others, all the abuse I endured from the people I loved, every time I attempted suicide…

And I thought to myself, “Wow! That was awesome!” Like a little kid that just got off a scary rollercoaster ride, I would do it again and again. I would go through all that suffering again, just to wake up from it like I have in this life time. I understand the purpose of suffering, its the pathway to a greater joy, of which I get to experience now on the daily. Its the pathway to love and light. Its what I came to this dimension to experience, and I would come back, again and again. Even if it meant having my life shrouded in mental illness like I did before, I would do it again, because like my soul said- “That. WAS. FRIGGIN. AWESOME.”

Of course, I’m no gatekeeper of life. I’m far from having all the answers, as I’m just like you, I’m a soul having a human experience, I happened to find some answers, but far from all. All I know is death isn’t scary, just as long as you lived with love in your heart, and the second we die, we can return if we want, and our higher selfs don’t mind that at all, our higher selfs love to live many, many lifetimes.

My story isn’t unique. It is what billions of humans have experience through our time on earth. The constant questioning of reality I experienced is called the Dark Night of the Soul in literature, and the following health issues combined with sensations of love and light are typical of a spiritual awakening, so I hope you read this with that in mind, and note that we don’t have to spiritually awaken in our lifetime, we merely just have to love.

Finding the ability to love yourself, other sentient beings, the earth itself, and all parts of your life will always guide you to having a beautiful and phenomenal life.

Thank you so much for reading.

With much love,

Shunya

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s