Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ayahuasca Vision Question

A friend of mine, Bill Grimes, lives in Iquitos and has a bar/restaurant named Dawn of the Amazon. He's got a blog of the same name, though I think it's called Captain's Blog, Dawn of the Amazon. In any event, a recent blog was posted by a woman (using the title Ayahuasca in My Blood, which I didn't appreciate since that's the title of my book) who is in a tough spot and who went to Iquitos, Peru for ayahuasca healing. She went to two well known ayahuasca centers; at the first she spent several sessions mostly vomiting and pooping and complained that there were no visions. At the second she saw her long dead father on one occasion--and got to straighten out some things from her past--and on another occasion saw herself at various ages/stages and then saw herself as a young person preparing to ferry the current version to safety. Two or three additional times she saw her heart, long close, open up and take in radiant love. But she continued to insist that she was not happy because she'd had no visions. She also brought up the cost of those retreats in a less than positive way as well.
A friend wrote to me and asked if I would look at the blog entry and possibly comment on it. I did, and here's what I wrote--and I think it has some bearing for a lot of people who drink ayahuasca and concentrate on looking for fantastic visions and who subsequently miss some of the most important stuff.

Dear X: I am having a hard time understanding what you mean by visions. You saw your dad; you spoke with him. You saw yourself at different ages being brought across a sea to a place where you will be safe. Your heart broke open and allowed love to enter for the first time in years. What else could you want from this wonderful healing medicine?
Did you want the funhouse of desires and fears? Did you want the visions of other planets or of the past or future? Those are mostly show. It’s when those are done that the real work begins: The healing on deep levels. And that healing begins with cleaning out the pain you’ve been needlessly carrying with you all those years: The pain others gave you, the pain you inflicted, pain you cannot remember receiving because you were too young to put words to it, but still pain you carry. That’s what you threw up and that’s what you shit out. You need to be clean before ayahuasca can paint you with it’s colors, as my late teacher Julio said. So you went to the Hummingbird and got cleaned out. Then on to the Temple and had those wonderful healing visions. Just because there were no fireworks displays does not mean they were not visions. Seeing your father; seeing yourself, watching yourself get protected… It sounds to me like you had the most wonderful time and were taken care of by very generous and good people and healers.
Celebrate your heart opening. Celebrate the gifts you received. The heck with the money it cost: There is no amount of money in the world that could ever pay for having your heart re-opened and allowed to love again. So celebrate your growth and keep growing, keep being open, keep the flame of love burning within you.

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