14 Ways to Integrate Your Ayahuasca Experience
I was told that the Ayahuasca ceremony was only the beginning of my work. I wasn’t sure exactly what this meant until I returned home from Peru.
Everything I’d experienced during the ceremonies was only the beginning of the journey. It was a great start to immense healing, but there was much work still to be done.
It is not that the work is hard, it is just a practice of retaining what you have been given. It is a new way of being. You can either go back to the way you were before your transformation or you can learn to be new in the world.
It is such a beautiful opportunity and it is up to you what you will do with it.
These are the ways I was able to integrate my experience. I hope they are helpful to you as well.
1. Quiet Time
It was essential to take more time to be quiet. You may be sensitive to sounds and lights after experiencing Ayahuasca. For me, this lasted 3 months. I did not want to be in loud crowds or listen to music that was blaring. On the other hand, I found great pleasure in soothing music or drumming.
You can play with this, but I would allow some time for yourself. Make sure you are able to be in a form of a cocoon, you will still be transforming yourself and receiving gifts. Be open and inward. If you are able to take extra time for yourself.
If you are able to take more time off from work, definitely plan this. I was told this before my trip and did plan accordingly. I just let my clients know I would be out of the office and hired an assistant. I am so glad I did.
Writing in my journal was one of the biggest gifts I gave myself. I wrote every day while I was in Peru and when I returned home. I did not always feel like sitting down to write, but did it anyway. Even 6 months after the retreat, I was having “Aha” moments from reading my journal.
The time it takes to process is different for everyone. Allow yourself the space to integrate fully. Writing has a magical way of bringing out subconscious blocks and healing. Sometimes, we just need to write it down and walk away. The healing and transformation can take it from there.
I craved meditation after the ceremonies. It was a time to shut everything out and just observe what was happening inside my body and beyond. We travel to different realms and dimensions during the ceremonies.
We are facing deep parts of our shadow self, revealing old wounds, and diving into forbidden areas of the psyche. This requires more of our awareness to stay centered and allow healing. We also have an opportunity to become whole and carry that into our everyday life.
Meditation seems to be made for this type of work. It was like sinking into the accepting Womb of the Mother each time I meditated. I believe it was a crucial part of integrating my experience.
4. Find a Mentor
During the integration period, it is good to have someone to talk to. It is especially important to have someone that is familiar with Ayahuasca, preferably someone with extensive experience. Many questions can come up with seemingly no answer in sight.
If you have worked with an Ayahuascero or Retreat Facilitator, you can ask to stay in touch with them. Some retreats offer ongoing support after the retreat. I highly recommend this. I was fortunate to have a Healer with a lot of experience in Ayahuasca.
I had been receiving healing sessions from her prior to the retreat. She made me promise to contact her when I returned from Peru. She said it was important to have support. She was right.
Her advice and energy work helped me bring my experience fully into my life and allowed me to release very old traumas and contracts. I do not know if I could have seen all of this without her expertise and outside perspective.
5. Find a Like Minded Circle
Our Facilitator on the retreat recommended we surround ourselves in like-minded spiritual circles when we returned home. I underestimated this advice because I really did not mingle with spiritual groups in my town.
My friends were all over the world, but I did not have any locally. I thought this would just have to do. However, I found trying to interact with family was challenging. My partner was very supportive and loving.
When I was able to talk to my friends from the retreat, it was so refreshing. We had been through Heaven and Hell together. There is much to talk about, relate about, and an unspoken bond that seemed essential in the integration.
If you have the chance, reach out to groups of other like-minded individuals. It can make the integration so much easier.
6. Take Your Time
Be patient with your process. Take time to ease back into your busy life. You may feel completely different in your interactions with others. For me, there was less fear, more love, more capacity to receive love, and a more detached perspective.
I was not concerned with controlling the experience of others and noticed an increase in compassion. I more readily accepted the experience of others as perfect without the judgment I had previously.
I was also more sensitive to crowds and needed to take time to step away if it got too hectic. You will be able to feel it out for yourself, but be gentle with what you need. It is okay to slow down when you are getting busy again. Remember to breathe deeply in each single moment. This helped me integrate back into my life of doing with ease.
There is a certain diet that is recommended prior to an Ayahuasca Ceremony. Some of the restrictions are no salt, so sugar, no caffeine, no pork, no spicy peppers, no alcohol, no processed foods. It is also recommended to refrain from sexual activity.
The purpose is to cleanse the mind and body. It is a process of drawing all the senses inside so that you are not looking to anything outside to give you pleasure.
In addition, there are certain substances that do not interact well with Ayahuasca. You can read more about this here.
It may feel exciting to be able to eat salt and sugar again. I was definitely excited to drink coffee once again. However, I would suggest reintroducing them slowly.
It is actually wise to stay on the dieta for 2 to 3 weeks after returning home. This is especially true for eating meat. It is recommended to not eat pork for as long as possible or give it up completely.
There are several reasons for this, and some are given this instruction from Mother Ayahuasca during ceremony. I found that I was physically unable to tolerate pork, or sugar for several months after. It was very clear that I was to not drink alcohol ever again, which is fine.
Your body will make it clear to you, but I would stick to the dieta for as long as possible to make the integration gentler.
8. Stay Connected With Ayahuasca
I was surprised to be getting lessons and realizations 5 months after the retreat. I thought Ayahuasca would be out of my system within the first month. For me, I still felt the connection of the Teacher. She was in the trees, the wind, the lizard in my backyard, my cat and in my dreams.
She seemed to be everywhere and when I could take the time to listen she was always teaching in some form. This may sound strange, but it felt like this was a connection that was not going away. I could really see the value in the Shamans working with plant medicines.
They speak about the plant medicines teaching them songs, healing remedies, and the secrets in Nature. There is so much that is hidden from us until we are open enough to hear and see it. It truly feels like an honor each time I feel the connection with Ayahuasca, but I think we have to be willing to stay open to this. Otherwise, it will go away.
9. Watch Ayahuasca Documentaries
This is just something I chose to do to stay connected with like-minded people. I could hear about their experiences on Ayahuasca and it would shed light on some of what I was going through. It helped me to accept it more fully. It also opened my mind to how vast the teachings can be.
There seems to be no limit on how far we can go down the rabbit hole. This was inspiring and enlightening for me. It may not be something you feel the need to do, but it helped me tremendously.
10. Listen to Icaros-
This happened quite accidentally. I was just looking up the name of the Shaman we worked with and a Youtube Video came up. The instant I heard this, I was transported right back to the Maloka (Ceremony Room).
I had to turn it off the first time I heard it because I was ultra sensitive and it felt like I was truly experiencing a release of the medicine in my system. I was alone so I decided to turn it off.
11. Tobacco/Palo Santos/Pasanga Ritual
I received a Pasanga (Rose or Flower Water Healing Blend) from the Maestro while I was at the retreat. He blew the energy of the Icaro into the blend to use for clearing. If you receive this, you can continue to use it after you return home.
This was done for energy clearing. All of these are effective in clearing negative energy. This was very useful for me.
12. Expect the Unexpected
For some, the integration can be quick and easy. For others, it can bring up heavy energy, old trauma, and confusion. I experienced a lack of clarity for a short period of time, and some fear of being alone at night.
This passed within a week or two. I had a sensitivity to energy and felt like I was still in an altered state, experiencing different dimensions overlaying my everyday life.
This was a bit disconcerting when I was surrounded with individuals that had not been through the experience. I talked to others that went through the retreat and they also had some heavy energy coming up. It is not a process to fear, in hindsight, I was actually releasing fear.
I also experienced a heightened understanding of nature and increased creativity. When I danced there was an explosive and beautiful connection with spirit coming through. There was more flow in my writing as well.
I have heard of others painting amazing pictures inspired from Ayahuasca. Inspiration was a definite part of the integration process. I noticed more beauty in everything and everyone around me. Seemingly ordinary situations would bring me to tears of gratitude and awe. Anything can happen if you stay open to it.
13. Avoid Harshness
Because you have raised your awareness and vibration it is very important to avoid toxic situations. Even walking by a bar, gave me a sick feeling in my stomach. I also noticed a natural aversion to toxic people. I would just leave the room if they walked in.
You may notice a tendency to start seeing other people and energy in a different light. You will get a feel for what is healthy and what is not. It became evident and impossible to ignore. Try to listen to your inner guidance to save yourself unnecessary suffering.
14. Connect With Nature
The more I connected with nature, the more profound the clarity was. It could be in subtle ways but very deep. I made it a point to go outside once a day to just be immersed in it. It felt like everything was communicating with me and teaching me. All I had to do was listen.
It is difficult to explain, but my perception had been altered so much that I could feel as if I were surrounded by mutual friends. I felt more supported in nature than I did in a room of familiar people. I would explore this connection and see what unfolds for you.
Misha Almira is a shamanic healer. meditation teacher, and full time blogger.