Jan. 19, 2013

“Love is very peaceful, so bring it down a little.” (from a song)

I learn so much about life and about myself through Couchsurfing. Now, I am learning to go a little slower. The keys of my little Gateway laptop are sticking, and I got this going-slower idea from this episode.

I think going slower is already helping me to not indulge my personal weaknesses (like insecurity and jealousy).  It will also help me to not judge others. And it will help me to be conscious of my own needs (e.g. for minimalism, for clarity, and for space/time alone–withdrawal from the crowd). Quiet time is essential to some of us, and I am certainly one of those people. Most writers demand private time.

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Modern interpretation of the concept of Pachamama. In traditional Andean culture, there are no images of Pachamama.

Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous people of the Andes. Pachamama is usually translated as Mother Earth, but a more literal translation would be “Mother world” (in Aymara and Quechua mama = mother / pacha = world or land; and later widened in a modern meaning as the cosmos or the universe). Pachamama and Inti are the most benevolent deities; they are worshiped in parts of the Andean mountain ranges, also known as Tawantinsuyu (the former Inca Empire) (stretching from present day Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile and northern Argentina being present day Peru the center of the empire with its capital city in Cuzco).

In Inca mythology, Mama Pacha or Pachamama is a fertility goddess who presides over planting and harvesting. She causes earthquakes. Her husband was either Pacha Camac or Inti, depending on the source. Llamas are sacrificed to her. After the conquest by Spain, which forced conversion to Roman Catholicism, the figure of the Virgin Mary became united with that of the Pachamama for many of the indigenous people.

(Wikipedia)

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I feel the power of the Ayahuasca upon me already. She has accepted me. Last night, I asked her to come to me in dreams. I still don’t understand this kind of power: I also felt the power of the goddess Pele in Maui when I was going up the mountain there several years ago. She told me she had suffered a lot in the creation of that mountain.

A Westerner (person from Western culture) has trouble accepting all this as true. Our culture does not teach us about these spiritual, mystical things. Western science is wonderful, but we can not limit ourselves to that wisdom alone. We must allow other to come in. We tend to want to only believe what we can perceive with our physical senses. I understand that long ago (and even today) much abuse occurs in the name of “God” and the world of the spirits, the unseen world.

Jean Luis is giving me healthful drinks from roots he picked today. They are special drinks for the ceremony tonight. Cleansing and purifying. He also made us a wonderful light soup (mostly noodles, yucca, and potatoes) that is good before the ritual.

Many people think we white folks are impervious to the spirit world (or that it’s impervious to us, I guess). This following quote is from an online article by a guy (white) who tried an Ayahuasca ceremony, and it did nothing for him: (A native American said to him:) “White men can never let go and enter the spirit world, they are blocked by their minds and their disbelief.”

The jaguar spirit is most likely to be seen during an Ayahuasca vision.

Amma, the Hugging Mother of South India, hugged me twice (both times in California: once in Central Ca. at her ashram, the second time a few weeks later in Los Angeles) in the same year. (At the ashram, Sam and Meg were hugged, too; Sam was a tiny baby so it was 2003 or 2004.) The first hug made me feel like I was just crying and crying; it was a healing, a relief, a letting go. During the second hug, I felt the spirit of a big cat, a lion, I thought. Amma’s spirit animal is the tiger, so I guess it was that animal. I felt very empowered by this feeling. I needed both hugs to be healed by Amma. Her rule is: one hug a year, and her helpers asked me at the door in Los Angeles if I had been hugged by her already that year. I said yes, and they told me I couldn’t enter. A few seconds later, they said I could go in.

Effects of Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca cooking

People who have consumed ayahuasca report having massive spiritual revelations regarding their purpose on earth, the true nature of the universe as well as deep insight as how to be the best person they possibly can. This is viewed by many as a spiritual awakening and what’s often described as a rebirth. In addition it is often reported that individuals can gain access to higher spiritual dimensions and make contact with various spiritual or extra dimensional beings who can act as guides or healers. It’s nearly always said that people experience profound positive changes in their life subsequent to consuming ayahuasca and it is often viewed as one of the most effective tools of enlightenment. However, during an ayahuasca experience, people sometimes report nausea, diarrhea, and cold flashes. Additionally, vomiting almost always follows ayahuasca ingestion; this purging is considered by many shamans and experienced users of ayahuasca to be an essential part of the experience as it represents the release of negative energy and emotions built up over the course of one’s life. There are many reports of miraculous physical as well as emotional and spiritual healing resulting from the use of ayahuasca. There are no yet known long-term negative effects.

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When I had my big mystical experience in Ventura, California at the age of 51 (1997), I learned things about the nature of life and I learned about myself (e.g. that I can be a better person if I am kinder). Jeremy Birkhead was the “shaman.” Well, not really! But he somehow facilitated this six week experience from beginning to end. This has always been a huge mystery to me because Jeremy was just an ordinary person, and, at the time he was only nineteen-years-old and had all the silly faults of an ordinary,  immature young person. How did he “do” it? Leading me into the greatest mystical experience of my life was not his intention, I am sure. At that time and for at least a dozen years afterward, I sincerely believed that Jeremy must be my Soulmate. It felt like that: at one point I felt a “missing part” of me return; I felt whole and healed. Why and how this visionary period came about still mystifies me. It was a blissful six weeks; I felt myself “coming down” slowly after about four weeks. I have since read about other people’s mystical experiences, and I have talked to people who had a similar experience. All of our mystical states have very similar characteristics (like realizing one is “coming down”). It was as if I was reborn and became a much better, kinder person; in addition, I had visions constantly, seeing things in nature (in clouds and trees, etc.) and everywhere. It was amazing!

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Ayahuasca is known by many names throughout Northern South America and Brazil.

Ayahuasca is the Hispanicized spelling of a word in the Quechua languages, which are spoken in the Andean states of Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia. Speakers of Quechua languages or of the Aymara language may prefer the spelling ayawaska. This word refers both to the vine Banisteriopsis caapi, and to the healing brew prepared from it. In the Quechua languages, aya means “spirit”, and waska means “vine”. The word ayahuasca has been variously translated as “vine of the soul”, “vine of the dead”, and “spirit vine”.

In Brazil, the brew and the vine are informally called either caapi or cipó; the latter is the Portuguese word for liana (or woody climbing vine). In the União do Vegetal of Brazil, an organised spiritual tradition in which people drink ayahuasca, the brew is prepared exclusively from B. caapi and P. viridis. Adherents of União do Vegetal call this brew hoasca or vegetal.

In the Tucanoan languages it is called yagé or yajé (both pronounced [jaˈhe]). The Achuar people and Shuar people of Ecuador and Peru call it natem, whereas the Sharanahua peoples of Peru call it shori.

(Wikipedia)

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Throwing up purges and cleans out the body; this opens one up to a spiritual experience.

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