What To Do When You Freak Out During an Ayahuasca Ceremony

What to Do When You're Freaking Out on Ayahuasca - Misha Almira

What To Do When You Freak Out During an Ayahuasca Ceremony

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What can you do?

When I made plans to go to Peru in May 2016, I did not know what I was getting myself into. All I knew was I had to go. It did not take long into my first ceremony to realize this was not a drug like LSD, Mushrooms or anything I’d even heard about. There was a level of freak out I was headed for that I did Not feel adequately equipped for. I was certain my body and mind would not survive this one. In fact, my mind was so far removed I wasn’t even sure of what I was anymore and felt certain I would never be the same again. This was not a good thing either. The freak out moment was coming and fast with or without my approval!

I’d read quite a few articles about Ayahuasca before going and thought I could get a good idea of what to expect. I was especially inspired by Graham Hancock.  I originally thought I would do one ceremony and be done with it. I just wanted to see what it was like. Ayahuasca was definitely calling me, but I thought one ceremony was enough to answer.

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However, after learning more, I was inspired to do multiple ceremonies  and I’d decided with certainty to do them in Peru. At the time, I thought I was the one making all the decisions but in reality there was a much deeper plan unfolding and I was not in control of any of it.

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In hindsight, I truly believe you can never outsmart Ayahuasca the Teacher so there is always going to be an element of the unknown. Plus, each ceremony is completely different. I chose to go through 8 ceremonies for my first Ayahuasca retreat and not one of them was the same and dosage mattered very little, at least in my case.

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 Powerful Tools

Ayahuasca was the most intense experience of my life and there is nothing that can truly prepare you for what you will go through. However, I do know of some powerful tools to help you before, during, and after. It can make the preparation, immersion, and integration somewhat gentler on you. These were priceless tools for me and I would not want to have gone into this experience blindly without them as many people often do.
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Meditation - Misha Almira
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Meditation can be very important before during and after an Ayahuasca ceremony. It has the ability to be your umbilical cord connecting you with what is ultimately real while spinning in a sea of madness. I am not saying your lessons with Ayahuasca will be a tumultuous mind fuck, but if it is, meditate. It can be the only  gentleness you remember if you do feel lost in the depths and a way to come back to self.
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Dramatic? Yes, but our Egos can throw some pretty stirring episodes our way while traveling through the psyche. Not to mention,  Mother Ayahuasca holds nothing back. She likes to show us what is really going on with no sugar coated edit buttons. I recommend being prepared for a wild ride with all the safety gadgets, life jackets, and mechanical tools you can find.
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I have been meditating for years, but I had let my practice slip. I went from meditation sessions of 3 to 6 hours each day to barely 20 minutes. In hindsight, this should have been a priority in preparation for 8 Ayahuasca ceremonies. I am telling you this so you can have a gentler and more enjoyable experience.
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The thing I noticed while at the retreat was the individuals that had a strong practice of regular meditation had a much easier time adapting to the experiences they went through in the ceremonies. They were able to be more objective during the intense parts and integrate it faster. They were able to be fluid with the expansive aspects of Ayahuasca as well. It was truly inspiring to watch. There was an ease in embracing what the teacher presented and diving into the psyche was not as traumatic on their nervous systems.
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I was able to pull myself into an objective state with the help of simple meditation mantras. It took conscious focus and repetition. It was very difficult for me to remember my exact intention while I was in the ceremony, so I was very grateful for the mantra. It gave me perspective, centered awareness, and solace.
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Some of the experiences were overwhelmingly blissful and expansive. I had never experienced this level of positive overwhelming sensation. All I could do was hold the mantra, “I am love” in my mind while Ayahuasca moved me. It is an essential tool to have. Because the teaching was so profound, it took months to integrate after I came home.
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Meditation was the key to fully understanding and assimilating all of it. There is no way to make sense of it with the analytical mind. It is a teaching that must be processed in every cell of the body and meditation allows enough relaxation in the body, mind and spirit for this to happen.
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Breathe Misha Almira
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2. Breathing
Our wonderful facilitators led us in a simple meditation of watching the breath. We practiced this for 20 minutes before our first ceremony which was invaluable. When the medicine starting coming on for my first ceremony, I could sense the intensity that was about to hit. I started breathing deeply and slowly.
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Then, nausea hit hard and my breathing became even slower. It helped me to stay present in my body which is very important. It also acted as an anchor to the room I was in. At any moment, I could remind myself to breathe and would be back in the room aware of my surroundings.
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It is very easy to lose all sense of self within the experiences of Ayahuasca and having an easy reminder to breathe can make a world of difference. It is the difference between freaking out or adventurously riding the wave of what comes next.
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Surrender Misha Almira
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3. Surrender/Trust
Before leaving for Peru, I was given some advice from my mentor and Shamanic Healer. She said if it gets too intense, remember to say, “I am willing.”
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At the time, I did not even realize the value in this advice. You see, if you resist what Ayahuasca is trying to show you, it can get ugly real quick. If you do not trust her or fully respect her, she has a way of demanding that you do. It will bring you to your knees in reverence when you fully see the power of the plant medicine. I have met no greater Teacher this far. There seems to be nothing hidden, forward and backward in time.
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With that said, I would highly recommend this be your first choice of tools when meeting the Mother of Teachers. She will be the most beautiful being you have never imagined of if shown the much-deserved honor, respect, and trust. She can also be the epitome of your worst nightmare if you choose to control, mistrust, calculate, or command your experience.
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She will wait and let you choose but you will be accountable for the choice you make in every second of the journey. “I am willing and I trust you, Ayahuasca.”  These can be your most essential keys to the unbelievably magical aspects of Ayahuasca if you choose. I have never known anything like it. I am convinced that English was not meant to describe such an experience because our language cannot contain the essence of Universal Knowledge.
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