Negative experiences with Ayahuasca.
You may be concerned or worried of losing your mind, coming out more traumatized, ending in a worse shape than before you attended the retreat.
Perhaps you already went through a retreat and you feel like you may be in worse shape than before: What is this? Did i mess something up in my head?
Let’s get to it.
Negative experiences with Ayahuasca are different than a “bad trip“, a bad trip means that there was nothing in it that was useful, it means that you pushed yourself maybe in a context that was not very safe and got hurt in the process.
I want to separate this because it is common, sometimes through irresponsible Shamans, though spaces that have not been consecrated and cleaned in a specific way.
People can have experiences that are quite intense, overwhelming and detrimental to their overall mental, emotional and physical health.
A negative experience in the context of this video is, you had a trip that was overwhelming, what you saw was challenging, it was painful, came out of it feeling a little bit confused about what to make out of it.
Perhaps you lost it completely or you’re afraid you may lose it completely, that you’re gonna go crazy and poop your pants.
To navigate and prevent a negative experience the #1 thing that you need to do i make sure that you do it in a safe setting where the people that are guiding you:
- Are professionals.
- Have dedicated their life to the labor of guiding others.
- It’s done in a temple, not in your “hippie” friend’s basement or some cottage.
(nothing wrong with that, it’s just not the place where you want to go if what you want is a profound, life-changing, life-affirming experience)
We receive every now and then people that come to us to heal themselves from everything they broke internally drinking Ayahuasca in a place that was not a safe setting.
I cannot highlight how IMPORTANT this is, in fact, this is the only thing that you must take care of if you want to prevent a negative experience, why?
In a safe context, you’re sitting with a Shaman that works with integrity, responsibility and above all experience.
A negative experience, an overwhelming one is always the one that you learn from the most.
As i think this, my last experience this previous weekend was perhaps one of the roughest, if not the roughest that i’ve had and i’ve drank Ayahuasca over a 100 times right now.
It’s changed my life, it’s part of my work.
So in those moments, even i think: “This is it, this is the last time i’m doing this.“
But when i came out of it i realized that it was overwhelming because the plant was so loving that it confronted me with everything i did not dare to go into by myself.
It called me out of my nonsense, it showed me the ways in which i still lied to myself, to the people that i love.
Very subtle ways in which i was sabotaging my relationship, it took me to my darkness, the unacknowledged and integrated spaces within my heart.
Those areas where i felt a lot of judgement, shame, guilt, remorse, addiction, compulsion and repression.
It was overwhelming because i could not escape from that, i could not escape from my own inner torment.
It’s not that the plant medicine was making me go through hell, it was just showing me the hell that i was already in.
The plant expanded and showed me little things that i was doing with my life, with my days.
And it showed me that they’re not so little, because it’s just a matter of time and patience until the little things expand until they become the drop of water that breaks the stone.
When you’re in a safe context, in here, Colombia, the Shaman says that losing it or having an overwhelming experience; where you’re shaking, screaming, maybe peeing your pants, is the best thing that you could have.
I second that, because we have seen a lot of people go through this, it’s not common so don’t be scared, but it does happen every now and then.
The people that have these overwhelming, cathartic experiences tend to be the ones that the next day look different, sit different, walk and speak different.
Even the tone of their voice changes, the clarity in their eyes and their color sometimes changes, it’s amusing to see.
You look at a person a day before they had their experience, the next day, they become a radically new human being.
If you’re considering on drinking Ayahuasca i believe THAT’s what you want.
A radically new life to get past your own nonsense.
I invite you to welcome experiences that may be challenging.
- The only way to do that is to be in a safe setting.
- Have someone that can guide you, that can help you integrate that, who can help you put together the pieces.
In my case, i’ve been doing this work for enough time to recognize: Why i went and i lived what i lived last weekend.
To feel that a profound sense of love, gratitude and appreciation.
Because i am now free from that, because i faced it and i probably wouldn’t have done it by myself, it would’ve taken me a lot of time, pain, mistakes and regrets to come to the conclusions that i got in one night.
If you’re worried about having a “bad trip“, understand that the only bad trip that can happen is if you are in a place that is not safe.
An overwhelming or difficult journey is the best thing you could ask for, it means that it’s pushing you away, out of your comfort zone and only in that place magic happens.
Especially if you have the benefit of being guided, having people you can talk with.
In the place where you go to drink medicine or if you come here to Colombia, quite often, i’m here, happy to talk with you.
Or some of our other facilitators would be happy to help you integrate, help you understand what to make out of an experience that may have otherwise become traumatic.
I hope this sheds some light on “bad trips” and negative experiences with Ayahuasca.
If you feel the calling to sit with Ayahuasca, in a container held by Colombian shamans at a sacred temple in the middle of the mountain forests, please check: