Monday, May 31, 2021

it was always tantra

Little clues always present to me situations which help me to see into the game of suffering. So, here’s the teaching: I play a fantasy baseball game and my team is pretty good. However, when adversity strikes and I’m losing, it gives me a frustrating feeling that I don’t like, especially in the morning if I wake up to failure or bad news. What is interesting is that the failure and bad news for my team is the opposite for my opponent. It’s such a great example of how the suffering in the world works. In order for someone to prosper, someone else has to feel the effects of not getting what they want. If I stop playing these games of one-upmanship then I can bring everything back to net-zero. No pleasure and no pain. The question becomes is that what I want? I get the feeling I/we wouldn’t have manifested if that’s what I/we want. This plane of consciousness is physical duality and it attracts because of the chance of great rewards in a most interesting game. It’s the greatest carnival that has ever existed. It’s the ultimate casino giving you the opportunity to beat the games of chance or perhaps you can use your skills to get ahead and profit off of the suffering of others. They are fair game because they chose to play as well. We are here because we want to be here and experience sensuous duality.

It works similarly with projecting an image of yourself. If someone notices you then chances are they want to become you, possess you, or emulate your life; or alternatively not end up down in the dumps like you if you are depressed or economically disadvantaged. To bask in your awesomeness means taking personal power from someone else. Hey, check out my life, don’t you wish you were me? I have to create an aura of suffering in order to pedestalize myself.

This segues into the next question: What is the reason behind taking a vow of poverty? Why do all the great religious avatars turn away from materialism? In the progression of thought as you come to realize the inescapability of suffering being intertwined with rewards and pleasure, at some point you are faced with a decision that in order to not cause any more suffering would mean essentially that you would no longer seek gain. Poverty is the expression of that sentiment demonstrating you want to escape the game. Knowing that to acquire finite material goods takes away from others, you vow to not participate in activities that will materially enrich you. It's quite the quandary when you realize that the world you have incarnated into demands reconciliation. There’s no escaping this duality of pain and gain.

I didn’t know about this eventual understanding when I embarked upon the spiritual path. I could have sworn my journey would lead me to love, light, and transcendence of my condition. Instead, I get to face the harsh truth of existence. However, I think it’s what I ultimately wanted. I wanted to know. I wonder how liberation can alleviate the pain I see in the world and in the future? Can I take solace in that those who suffer and are feeling this pain is because they haven’t been liberated, think they need more, and haven't accepted the finiteness of the game we are all playing? Is the way out of any predicament you find yourself in thus to not get attached to outcomes that are the result of what you have been told is success? Within your little corner of the earth can anyone just create a life that is simple and fulfilling? Travel is very enlightening in this regard. Comparing your situation to others seems to be where the problems begin and the want to acquire as much material wealth as possible causes the continual suffering. Suffering to yourself and others.

Why is there suffering? Duality and the need to reconcile all acts. I was born into this particular dualistic plane of consciousness with specific senses that will allow me to sink into my desires. The enchantments and addictions are never ending. I constantly seek novelty and another hit of pleasure. If I fully want to go into my desires there are avenues of drugs and like-minded lustful people to satisfy my cravings. It was I who wanted this and so into the world of suffering I incarnated because in order to experience pleasure there has to be the reciprocal pain, so, yes I understand how it works. We all come into this world to experience and be lit up by desire. And even so, we still find present universal love. Sure, we can pervert it and use it to sink further into our desire quest but it is always around as a shining light to help us out of the morass.

Moderation seems to allow you to function in this peculiar world. Let’s be honest, I want the biggest thrill possible. I want to ride that roller-coaster of emotions and experience the highest high. I don’t want the lowest low but I can’t escape it in order to get that high. Moderation also seems to be a way to live in denial of why I incarnated in the first place. I don’t think you’ll get an award or rewards for your exemplary moderation. So, what’s the way to win this game? What’s the way out? I think it’s understanding the relationship between happiness and suffering, pleasure and pain, which leads to an understanding of reconciliation and reciprocity. If you are going to take, you give. Instead of living with moderation where you only take a good amount of food instead of the whole pie, instead you play net-zero where with each meal taken is given back an exchange of energy. Of course, as a linear thinking man I’d want to micro-manage the exchange and create a scalable system that enforces reciprocity. Ultimately, I think it defeats the purpose. Awareness should get the ball rolling, the opening of your heart will provide the impetus, and a natural desire to give back would be the result.

So, I’m subsequently thinking about planes of consciousness and how it all exists here in the now, everything is with me right here in the middle, but the senses I have been gifted with create my particular world. Psychedelics give you the key to unlock and access a hidden sense perception beyond our ordinary physical senses. The eternal and imperishable beings of love and light I met in an altered state aren’t in some far-off magical land but are here right now with me. I just don’t perceive them with my limited senses. The senses I have are the senses I desired in order that I could fulfill my desires and remain ignorant of planes of consciousness that would prevent me from satiating my many and varied appetites. I wanted to go deep into my lusts and figure out the why and the result of chasing them. Conceptually, I get it! Physically, in this carnival, I long for more cotton candy and another ride on the roller coaster. I don’t know when I’ll give it up or even if I can? I’m aware and I laugh at my predicament. I can watch others fall for the same traps. Hell, of course they do. We all stood in line waiting for a body to inhabit in order to take another ride. Then we create rules to frustrate ourselves. Why not just open it up and make it a free for all? Go right into your desires. I know why - it’s because you’ll infringe on someone else's trip and that’s a no-no. Also, you have to be on the lookout for the control freaks who get their jollies from controlling others. They gravitate towards politics and seek power. These people really suck.

This challenge is unfair. I’m a pulsing bastion of desire. I burn through them only to be confronted and lit up by more. I take the immediate pleasure and try to delay the consequences for as long as possible. Ha ha! I always have to reconcile the pleasure chase! Do I stand back and say, “Nah I’m not doing that; I know the outcome. I’ve been down this road before.” I did that during an Ayahuasca journey. I was repeatedly offered women for my pleasure and I declined. Instead, I said I’m going to stand back and watch it all unfold. Perhaps that me was helping me out. Dionysos teaches the same lesson. Stand back and observe the madness, even join back into the clown world but don’t get trapped and you won’t if you see through the game. Life is a game of enchantment and spells, moving from one to the other, always in search of more novelty, another mountain to climb, until you tire of it. Have I tired of it? I’m getting there. What do I desire? More knowledge I can transmute into understanding. Is that really a desire? Probably. I can’t escape.

Energy that pulses ostensibly with desire is what gives life. When desire wanes, you have death and a rest in peace getting ready for the next adventure. Life is desire and the games we play are a check on eternal boredom. This plane of consciousness is sacred and the grand carnival we all take a turn at. We don’t go every day, however, a trip once a summer is good. When it gets out of hand it leads towards destruction. If I can destroy myself I won’t have to face the ups and downs of that roller-coaster again in this lifetime. I keep forgetting how painful it is and lineup for the next ride and the thrill of it all.

There is a strange split in the pleasure/pain dichotomy in that the pain lasts way longer than the pleasure. In order to keep the pleasure going demands resources, while the pain is free. When regret sinks in we use attachment to dull its effects. The pull for pleasure is so strong we take the risk and live with the consequences. We are an impulsive species always living for the thrill of the moment and having to pay for it later. This behaviour is a clue into our makeup and of course why we are here in the physical world craving the gratification of sensual pleasures available in this meat carnival. It has to be the explanation why each and every one of us are here therefore you can look into everyone’s eyes and say, “You dirty rotten scoundrel. I know why you are here! You’re in search of pleasure just like I am and want to get your fill before departing once again. What an interesting game and character you’re playing so I don’t see through it! How degenerate and disgusting we all really are." Ha ha! There’s nothing to do but laugh and tip your cap to the master dramatist Dionysos.

The reality of it all is I’m in the physical plane with a bunch of degenerates. We were all attracted by the bright lights of the incarnation because we haven’t totally gorged on our sensual fill yet. It’s like the circus that comes to town once a year with the rides and games of chance. It’s exciting and against our better judgment we head off to the centre of town to join in the fun with everyone else. We fill up on cotton candy and the dodgy rides make us a little queasy. A candy apple later and we have a stomach ache. We empty our pockets on games of chance even though we knew it was a losing proposition. We end the day by watching the circus freaks. How macabre.

Incarnating into this world where you have to eat others to survive is also macabre. There’s no getting around it either! It’s part of the game rules we agreed to. We try and skirt the issue by only eating plants with the caveat the vegetarian is likely to become ultra-spiritual, do western yoga, and realize the intelligence of plants thus confronted once again by having to eat fellow sentient beings.

I create a persona to try and hide the fact I’ve incarnated into the sensuous world as a satyr, seeking pleasure, and trying to moderate the pain. I join outfits that paint me as a respectable member of human society, misdirection I suppose, and if the realization of my hedonism gets to me I might just join the church which promises to forgive and save me from the inner guilt that I like pleasure and rewards. It’s all too funny. Why do I care that my motivation is pleasure and think I’m being judged for it by others who can play a similar game of obfuscation of why they are truly here in this strange world? It’s been a long time coming to finally accept this paradigm. I think I did realize it at some point when I tried to escape my predicament. I tried the ascetic life; I stopped eating meat; and I dropped the consumption of alcohol. I didn’t go around posting social media blurbs about my newfound awesomeness however I was quite proud of the straw house of purity I created until the big bad wolf came around and blew the walls down.

How truly bizarre this world is especially now that I can look into the eyes of my fellow incarnated souls in this carnival and know deep down their motivation for being here. It truly is what we wanted and the universe always fulfills what we want. I guess the advice is to be careful what you wish for because as beings of desire you will get what you want. We all wanted this opportunity; the game rules were given to us with no guarantees. No one really likes a game with a predetermined outcome so there had to be an element of chance; the possibility you may end up in a war-torn shithole you had to crawl out of. I got a pretty good roll of the celestial dice and ended up a white, middle class male in the best country on earth! I’ve done well with it and figured out the game. Time to give some of it back and be of service. The Great Goddess teaches me about being true of speech and action. There is something to be said about the saying that the truth shall set you free. Eventually, when you look into her mirror enough times, you drop the act, and see it. It’s liberating to understand, with the corollary I don’t have to beat myself up anymore for my failures that are only inadequacies because of culture. I’m just here getting my fill of desire in this physical world designed to make it all happen, just for you. Enough trips to the carnival and I see it; it was bound to happen.

Bon Appétit!

This was a long post intended to reconcile desire. I now fully understand sexual desire leads to creating new forms, which is the weaving together of energetic patters, and that is the fundamental nature of Tantra. Without the root desire to enable the creation of form, the desire inherent in all energetic being would have no playground in which to fulfill, well, their desires. 

Monday, May 24, 2021

the god within

Culture causes confusion. For example, look at avenues of spirituality. I have always been intrigued by the spiritual, part in part because for the majority of my early life I thought it was as irrational as one could get. Fairy tales and wishful thinking; rubes waiting to be exploited. The spiritual grift is usually detected in its inherent narcissism. That being said, I knew I didn’t have all the answers and life is pretty mysterious, especially in those quiet moments when you dig deep down into just what this all is and what it means. We tell ourself stories in order to make it seem like we know. I set off at middle age to discover the origin of beliefs that have speckled human history. There is something to be said about going on a journey - any journey will suffice because of the roads that open up as a result of taking that first step on the sojourn of discovery.

I have learned scientific nomenclature gives definition and certainty to unexplainable phenomenon. I can’t really fathom black holes and subatomic particles however encapsulating the known and unknown into words allows us to define the undefinable and move on in the name of scientific progress. Myth is another way of giving context to equally unexplainable phenomenon and each have their relative strengths and weaknesses. The scientific explanations appeal to the straight and narrow, logic and reason, just the facts set among us while myth appeals to the creative and slippery dreamers that free flow ideas in society.

What defines the spiritual in my culture leads you towards religion and ultimately a belief in someone else’s beliefs. This belief system usually reeks of state approval so in essence it’s used as a means of control so the powerful can keep the masses down without having to resort to the harsher punitive methods. In Christianity, we worship a masculine god but have to approach him through his effeminate son. The feminine is shunted aside and no one seems to question this construct. In any event, when I decided at middle age to figure out what was up with this spiritual stuff, the absurdity of religion helped me stay away from it and not get trapped in its snare, as it’s just another chain in the bondage of culture. For sure, conformity came for me in visions and dreams as well as the requisite external pressures, however, it was by then no match for what I knew. I had found the feminine divine in Egypt and she had led me down into the Amazon jungle to come into direct contact with her. It was palpable and real. She is my rock and guiding light on this path.

I’m up to year 13 of this journey and it’s pretty awesome. I recommend when you’re ready do it! Find your path and the modality you wish to explore in order to discover the divine. It’s there; it’s all around us, within and without and all you have to do is seek and you will find. The last holdout I didn’t want to admit on my path was the presence of God. I didn’t like him. In the Bible, he’s a giant asshole. If you don’t agree with me then chances are you haven’t read the Old Testament but instead allow someone else to interpret it for you. In year 5 of my journey when I first discovered I had the ability to alter my consciousness and enter the occult world of the divine I was immediately in the presence of the Great Goddess. Of course, I was! She’s the one who invited me in. I was then ready to explore and found myself in this confounding hell accosted by a demon. It was the most frightening night of my life. This malevolence was back the third time I altered my consciousness and this nut told me he was God. He went on about his presence in ancient Egypt and then in the Bible. Yeah, whatever, you’re a raging lunatic.

It took me seven years after those events to finally start to see it and then another year to accept and embrace the truth. He wasn’t lying when he told me he is God. Of course, he is and I met him immediately after the Goddess. I meet up with him all the time in altered states. The many faces of God. He can rage and take you to the depths of madness or into the heights of divine righteousness. He comes off as a scary madman, a joker, a warrior, a wise man, my father, the divine actor, the great jaguar, and a dragon. He is the master teacher and teaching his son by the most non-ordinary methods, knowing full well that to transform his protege means facing great adversity and possibly my demise. Steel is forged in the fires of his hell and the Goddess tempers this alloy with Love.

It’s in searching externally for the divine that eventually leads you to find them within. You are their essence. Love and Light. Curiously, the discovery flips back to the beginning however now with the understanding all you externally see is the divine as well. All forms I see are creations of the mother and the enlivening spirit is the father.

Monday, May 17, 2021

my education (you are the tree)

I was sitting on the deck with my friend Mapacho when he challenged me to define enlightenment. The request caught me off guard because I have written about it and figured I had already answered the question. Enlightenment is waking up and realizing we are all one from the same source. While walking the strange path of this journey, many will reveal this secret and let you in on this knowledge. In a way, it’s almost cliché to the point where I laugh because enlightenment is such a letdown. I’d envision enlightenment as getting my white robe amidst a big celebration involving the bestowment of my honours in a grand ceremony! I suppose you could always play the part: wear a white dress, cultivate a relationship with beads, bathe irregularly, and not cut your hair. In truth, you just get it. Of course, we are one and completely interdependent upon everything else.

It’s a long road from knowledge to understanding. Acquiring knowledge activates this curious response where you have to tell everyone about what you know. The wise shuts the fuck up, lest he or she play the fool. Understanding is a way off, with the pitfall the innate human ability to become a storyteller; the act of storytelling stains the knowledge and prevents the full understanding of what has been revealed to you.

You see, I conceptually understood this spiritual attainment and was also shown the unity of all by the Great Goddess. Three years back, I stared into my piece of black obsidian and noticed in the reflection I couldn’t separate myself from the background. It was a simple yet powerful lesson. I got it at that moment and felt my inseparability from everything. I had asked her to give me the gift of this no self as I wanted to directly experience it. Wherever I was or looked, I was a part of the whole construct. It was so powerful to understand.

So, three years later I'm on my deck smoking away and looking at the spring time blossoming trees when I felt something profound. Not only am I a part of the whole which included the tree but I am the tree. All is energy and the energy is a continuous flow. It’s one organic system. At that moment, I realized every energetic construct I have objectified is in fact all just one organism. I looked at the tree and knew the tree is me. In essence, I let go of the self I had been clinging to in my understanding of enlightenment. I went from an ecological interdependence line of thinking to just realizing everything is the continuous manifestation of the same energy that enlivens all of us. The divine feminine and masculine doing their dance of life.

Another way to understand this is the process where daytime turns into night due to motion. Motion gives us something to measure and we call it time. We think there are distinct days and construct a calendar to mark off the passage of time. Critically examining this phenomenon, you see the division of what just is into days and nights is just a construct. Measurements lead towards objectification and is the maya that keeps us spellbound into thinking we are separate.

It’s the desire to be separate beings that creates the illusion we are autonomous. By convincing ourselves of our personal story, we create the narrative of self. We go on adventures and get a glimpse of what it’s like to be king; well, at least king over oneself. The holy man of the philosophy of non-dualism sees through the ruse, eschews desire, and subsequently fulfills his desire to collapse back into the void. The energetic potential of the void, like an atom waiting to be split, awaits the spark in order to come forth once again in an infinitesimal orgy of energetic points of light, all representative of the non-dual source. The desire for liberation is so strong it wills the energy to rise and the need to prolong the dualistic illusion for as long as possible ferments the sense perception that selectively makes us aware of our surroundings allowing this grand charade to continue. The awareness leads to consciousness, we know we know, and once cultivated we begin to see through our own facade. And here we are.

A major catalyst for the revelation that the tree is me was I had been talking to someone who had an interest in Buddhism and they had mentioned compassion in the context that it was something they could not make happen. Frankly speaking, they did not like some people and felt no compassion for them and couldn’t ever see having any of that love for them. I listened but did not provide an answer. I internally thought that if you understand we are all one then I think that makes compassion for all easier. However, lest I be branded a hypocrite, I kept quiet as it is something I struggle with as well. Fast forward an hour later and I’m sitting on my deck smoking coming to the realization that not only are we all sisters and brothers but there is no inherent separation. Sure, we are in forms that our sense perception awareness can delineate - hey that’s quite the superpower however fundamentally we are all of and are the same energetic flow. Boundaries are constructs we conjure; the energy free flows within and without us, bringing to life one entity we have labelled the universe. How could you not have compassion for all with this understanding?

Monday, May 10, 2021

desire and liberation

A circle is a continuous on and off pulse with an arc to make it more interesting. The circle defines existence. There’s no beginning nor end. It’s a continuous loop of coming and going. What happens when you tire of the ceaseless coming and going? There is harmony between the circuitous body of the feminine serpent that creates the playground for the masculine jaguar. Without one another, the construct falls apart. One supplies the energy needed for the other to create form. A positive charge and a negative charge that become inactive without each other. There is a natural magnetism between the two that results in energetic form. Is that where ultimately all desire comes from? Is desire the principle of magnetic force and the trick is to draw you in closer to the field of attraction? Is our desire a smaller and nuanced derivative of magnetism? Do hypnosis and spells fall into this paradigm as well?

The dark side of the feminine is energy used in order to manipulate events to be in their favour. Seduction is the main method of enabling the results they desire. A great deal of women do realize this at some point in their coming of age and by being able to take full advantage of this power, they get what they want. Masculine energy seems predestined to fall for the gambit and appears helpless in falling into the trap. They become entranced by the desire for the shiny object and chase the excitation. As with all things, the desire and hypnosis of the moment will pass and then you are left with now what? Eros pulled off another great game! There’s the feeling engendered and enforced by culture that you owe the other person due to the irrational result of the chase. It’s pretty onerous, yet the activity continues as the chase and desire are too strong for the human to control. It works both ways. The feminine is validated by being wanted and the masculine by collecting the object. And on and on it goes. The exciter and attractor of untapped energy.

The master teacher lays this bare on the road towards liberation. The only way you will see it is through experience and taking off the rose-coloured glasses. Fear is what ultimately drives this behaviour as it involves a need to feel safe and secure as well as a need for cultural validation. Contractual bondage due to external pressure fueled by an irrational decision as the result of desire. If you mix in sexual thrills with desire fulfillment then you have the recipe for a great game. It’s pretty clear sexual desire is the magic ingredient to elevate any fetish or rash decision to pathological extremes. The dark web is a catalog of validation for this assertion. Furthermore, marriage is definitively the pathological outcome of desire. Sometimes, I make myself laugh! To be fair, it's an exemplary human construct ideal for creating familiar bonds that are quite extraordinary.

So, am I cautioning entering into or even denouncing relationships? Well no, they're what keeps the circle formed, the world spinning, and engendering a new generation of players of this great game. Whether any player will stop and take a look inward at the guts of this behaviour is fascinating in itself. Ultimately, an all-encompassing point is being ascertained, experimented with, or proven and it is what is stronger? Desire or wanting to be liberated? Desire is the supreme test in the master course; realizing this and wanting to successfully complete the master's degree means coming to terms with its machinations and effects. Temporary liberation gives you a pretty good realization of what it is like to be free while in opposition you see how people are all lit up by desire, which gives them the impetus to move forward in life. The root cause of a lot of suffering involves desire in that a loss of desire leads to depression while not getting what you desire leads to frustration and a feeling of failure. Desire leads to multiple attachments, which will weigh you down. Even family structures are engendered by desire and though familial relationships transcend base desire they still have as their foundation the construct of desire. As I mentioned above, humans do have the capacity to transform behaviours into exemplary social constructs, though the failure rate remains high.

What I think I’m getting at is this: Desire leads to being imprisoned in a jail cell of your own making, often wondering how you got there. Liberation is freeing yourself from these attachments and acting as independently as possible, recognizing the differences between wants and desires. We all got to eat, right? Being conscious of these polarities tempers expectations in that you will never reach the pinnacle of liberation until death nor will you fully sink into your desires without destroying yourself which curiously leads towards liberation through death. So, life’s path stops at the door of liberation. Do we take the path towards liberation now or do we wait until the full stop of death?

Desire is not something to defeat in this go around on the wheel. The class is about mastery. Take the blows but steady the course and remain in charge. Once in charge, the teacher will also tell you to give that up. The path towards liberation leads to the final power boss. The other side of power is liberation and cultivating freedom within one’s life leads towards never being subject to power, chasing it, or being dominated by it ever again. Strength in liberation eclipses power.

Monday, May 3, 2021

rewriting experience

Remarkable! Six years later I now understand a majority of the lessons of my plant medicine experience in April of 2015. Lately, I have written much about knowledge and understanding where the plant medicine experience is overflowing with knowledge. It is one of the major draws of the experience as knowledge is power. Each ceremony reveals so much knowledge of self, others, and your place in it. The caveat is the understanding level of all you take in is pretty poor, often your initial takeaway from ceremony in the following days is filtered through what you want to believe, and thus all good practitioners stress the integration period where you go home and sit with all that has been unveiled. The time away from the immediate experience is when you gain insights into what you directly experienced. Knowledge alchemizes into understanding and when you are ready and want to continue along the plant medicine path you return for more lessons. Every time I have undergone the experience, I have written about it. I can’t stress this enough. It doesn’t have to be the written word - you can record it into your phone, draw an image that captures the essence of the experience, or remain in contact with others where you can continue to discuss what happened, almost like psychotherapy.

The catalyst for my understanding is the tobacco maestro Mapacho. I go off into the forest with him plus my dog and the magic happens. From a visual standpoint, the experience of having consciousness altered by Mapacho reminds me a lot of Huachuma in that there’s a clarity that envelops your senses. With a medicinal dose of Mapacho comes a visual acuity and a sharp increase in my ability to clearly hear sounds as well as noises from a distance. Anecdotally, I'd connect this to all plant species from the nightshade family because of my experience with Toé which caused a sharp increase as well in my senses. That condition lasted for days which for a novice was a challenge. I would guess my sense of smell is also increased however due to years of allergies that sense is very poor and even an increase in its efficacy doesn’t register. Allergies also impact my ability to taste, maybe explaining why the shamanic dieta poses no problem for me! For the most part food is utility for me. Anyway, I have a pretty good idea that the increase in clarity offered by Mapacho also affects my intellectual capacities for understanding because I gain a sharper focus upon what it is I have been lately thinking about. In this instance, the clarity and similarities with Huachuma brought me back to my first experience at SpiritQuest and riding in the boat on the Amazon river while in the midst of the grace of the plant medicine Huachuma. In re-living this initial encounter, I realized how closed my heart was at the time and these feelings that were enveloping me were so alien and strange when in retrospect I was being flooded with love. I remember looking up at the clouds and being engulfed with this cosmic love for all. It was the greatest feeling and experience. I felt connected and one with all of the universe so much so that I recognized it as a deep cosmic love and realized the power within love to change and overcome any obstacle in the way. In the sky this rainbow patch formed letting me know that we can live in harmony if we weave together our differences and embrace our commonality. We don’t have to live in constant strife and separation. When we reached land, I remember feeling such a brotherly and sisterly love for the tribe we were visiting. Since the experience was new to me, Huachuma was intent upon teaching me the introductory lessons of heaven and hell. I remember spiralling from the highest high to the lowest low. It was the lesson on states of mind and my influence on the process. Of course, I had no idea what was going on at the time and initially I was like, "wow Huachuma shows you so much love and then takes you into the dark" not realizing it was all me! On the boat ride back to SpiritQuest, I sat beside the shaman don Rober and was flooded with love however I didn’t know what it was and thought it so strange. When we returned to the sanctuary, I recall being in my room when the sensations of love returned and I was so uncomfortable with it at the time. Imagine being so closed off from love for more than a lifetime that when exposed again to this universal love, you reject it as something so foreign and just wanting the experience to end so you can return to your closed off way of life.

It’s only now I clearly see this. The whole two-week experience with don Howard was a process of ripping my heart open whether I wanted to or not. Ayahuasca, Bobinzana, Mapacho, and Huachuma in conspiracy with the maestro were prying open my rusted-out heart like the proverbial Tin Man from the Wizard of OZ. I don’t think I ever thanked don Howard enough for what he did before he passed.

As an aside, the movie “The Wizard of OZ” really is a great encapsulation of the hero’s journey as seen through the eyes of plant medicines. In order to progress along this path, one does need a brain the Scarecrow seeks for understanding, the heart the Tin Man longs for in order to realize the commonality of us all and integrate the power one unlocks from the experience, and from the Cowardly Lion one must develop courage and bravery or you won’t get very far before packing it in.

I see now don Howard was like a parent to all the human children that came to see him and he would go about being of service to enact change within all, one person at a time. His course was challenging and tough, always with an eye on the big picture. The big picture is the evolution of consciousness and his program revealed within you the power to do so mixed with the love that will sustain the transformation. 

Mapacho was not done with me yet yesterday evening. Instead, he helped me put two and two together. In 2016 I passed the tests of courage, bravery, and perseverance and became a warrior on the spiritual path I walk. I wrote about it at length and called my blog post “I am Jaguar.” This experience that culminated in that trip to Peru was transformational as I discarded my fear of the whole process which in turn opens you up to receive more of the teachings, as you are no longer running scared or wondering what’s around the corner. I did not drink Ayahuasca after that experience for over two and a half years. Once I returned to drink again, the experience was remarkably different and in the eight times I have now participated in ceremony since 2016 every experience starts off with a high-speed experience of some sort. I finally realized the why. In the last few months, I have written about the fundamental makeup of the two powers that create our universe which are the divine feminine and divine masculine powers. She is deceleration that creates form and he is acceleration that causes separation. That’s the condensed version! So, it was just a matter of time that what was ultimately revealed is the Ayahuasca experience of high-speed chases was an omen of the coming of the divine masculine in ceremony and how it courses through me now with the Jaguar. During the second ceremony of the last trip to the Amazon, I was engulfed with an unbelievable amount of this power. My whole being was highly vibrating, no visions, I just sat in a complete highly vibrational form wondering what is going on. Thanks to Mapacho, I now know. When I went to sleep that night, the lessons continued. I was on a hybrid of a motorcycle and snowmobile going down a hill at a high rate of speed. I had smoked so much Mapacho that day that this dream was so unbelievably real. I felt all the sensations of accelerating and going as fast as I could push it. Later, I ended up in my parents’ basement where this exotic woman with tattoos on her arms was waiting for me. The Goddess made her mysterious appearance just like in my plant medicine journeys.

Burning within, is a desire to return and expose myself to more direct experience on this path as I find this is the joie de vivre of life. I give thanks for my life and being able to discover this path. I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world.