Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Something about Sex and Drinking Ayahuasca

Someone wrote me today to say that they were involved in a new and passionate relationship and wanted to know if they would have to abstain from sex for two weeks prior to coming on my July jungle intensive course, as well as abstain during the 9 1/ 2 days of the journey.
    NOTE: My response is to a person involved in a relationship outside of the jungle. This is not a reference to a curandero having sex with a client during an ayahuasca retreat--which, in my last post, I noted was something that in my book is out of bounds, because of the vulnerability of clients.
This is what I wrote to the person asking the question:

I do not think abstinence is important before drinking ayahuasca. My teacher Julio always slept with his wife, and I slept with my wife--and had sex--without restrictions.
   I think that if you were going to do a plant dieta--where you go off by yourself in the jungle (under guidance) to learn the specific spirit and song of a given tree or plant, that would be where abstinence comes into play. It's very very difficult to be in that deeply meditative state when distracted by anything, particularly sex.
   But in terms of utilizing ayahuasca as part of a jungle experience, that is a different case.
   I will say that on the nights my guests drink ayahuasca, I prefer that couples not sit side by side--and the reason for that is simply that concern for your partner might override your ability to allow your partner to go through their experience without interference. My example: When drinking at Julio's with my wife one time some years ago, she began moaning and saying "help me, help me", and so I asked if she was okay. She sat up abruptly and said something like: "What the heck are you doing?"
     I told her she'd been moaning and asking for help.
     She looked at me distainfully and said: "I wasn't asking you for help! I was talking with the angels! Now leave me alone and let me go back to my dream!"
     So there I'd gone and interrupted her time with angels.
     But other than during the time of being in ceremony, or during a plant dieta, I've never been told by Julio or any other curanderos that there is any prohibition on sexual contact with one's partner.

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