Can this tool help me navigate through a break-up, a difficult marriage, relationship or the absence thereof?
The short answer is yes.
But you’re probably not reading this blog to get a short answer, but to get a deeper understanding of what is at stake, how it can help and most importantly, whether it’s a tool that you could benefit from.
Let’s look at the root of these things.
A heartbreak or a break-up, a difficult relationship or the absence of one of these, the roots for these things tends to be a misunderstanding of ourselves, of the other person, of love itself, or relationships where we misunderstand ourselves.
Number one, we don’t know what we want, we don’t know the kind of person that we actually are compatible with so we choose poorly, maybe we choose because we think that this woman is going to be like my parents.
Maybe this man, has a good job and is going to provide stability, security, right?
We explore or choose or partners based on a lot of societal conditioning without actually looking at how compatible our lives are, our energies, our visions, our ways of being, showing up in the world.
Now, number two, misunderstanding the other person.
I remember a joke, i believe it was Ram Dass who shared it: “When a pickpocket meets a saint, all he sees is his pockets.“
When you’re hungry and you go through town, all you see are restaurants. When you want to pee all you see are gas stations and bathrooms, right?
So what we see in the world is largely determined by what we want, by our desires and our aversions, what we want to come towards and what we want to run away from.
In relationships, we see our partner with our idea, our ideal of that person, so we’re constantly disappointed because we project them and expect them to be someone they aren’t.
We imagine that they’re going to be the solution to a lot of our questions, our inadequacies maybe, we feel bored with life and we expect for them to provide adventure.
I feel unsafe and want them to make me feel stable, we become a little bit arrogant and narcissistic without knowing it so, because we start using the other person to play and fulfill a function in our life.
Failure to see the other person is going to leave them feeling incomplete, it’s very difficult to be in a relationship where the other person is not seeing you but seeing what they want from you.
Let’s say i were a very, very rich man, and i met a woman that saw only my money, i could feel it, know that she doesn’t see my history, my dreams, my pain, my challenges.
She’s not interested in what makes me think, laugh, she’s interested in how i can be a bridge towards her safety, towards her financial stability.
Let’s say she’s very attractive, a supermodel, and all i saw were her curves, her body shape, the approval that i get when i enter a room holding her hand.
All i see is her outer layer, she may feel appreciated for that, but her dreams, the little girl inside of her, the mature woman that is more than just a body or a sexual object will feel disollusioned quite often.
We do our versions of this, we’ll have different needs that we’re trying to saitsfy with another person, that’s okay, as long as we can see past those needs and actually see the other person, but we rarely do.
We usually stay in a relationship with ourselves, using somebody else as the puppet for the game that we’re playing.
This causes trouble and it leads to eventual chaos, eventually to the breaking apart of this relationship.
It is impossible to love someone that you don’t see and it’s impossible to feel loved when you aren’t feeling seen.
Now, misunderstandings of love.
A lot of people think that love is something that they do, a lot of people confuse love for desire, lust, romantic interest.
We love someone but the moment that they behave in a way that we don’t like, spending more time with their friends, maybe from the opposite sex.
Then we’d get insecure, worried, we withdraw our love and we’re now afraid, our love tends to be very conditional because it’s not love, it’s desire, comfort, an agreement where i will give you but you need to give back.
Misunderstanding love means that we place a lot of expectations and pressures on the other person, on the relationship itself, we misunderstand that love isn’t actually something that we do.
Something that isn’t unique to one person alone, if it were, it wouldn’t be love.
It’s a place we can stand, inhabit, so that we act lovingly when we’re in love, acting from a place that is very sweet, inclusive of everything.
Anything and everything that crosses my path we extend our open arms towards with love.
Love is not to want or desire. The the moment my hormones start going down suddenly i don’t have any interest for you anymore, that’s not love, maybe passion, sexual desire, biological chemistry.
Nothing wrong with these things, but if we misunderstand bodily functions, romantic agreements, for love.
Then we’re bound to trip over these misunderstanding and we’re bound to elude love, because we think that we’re loving when in reality we’re just in a constant exchange.
Maybe we think that we’re in love but maybe it’s just lust that we’re feeling, this is very common.
Learning to understand what love is and how it is an inner job, not something that we do, something we become.
It’s a place that we inhabit, it’s something that we must reach from our heart by ourselves.
Me being lovingly does not depend on my wife, if it did, then the moment that she tells me something i don’t like or treats me with some closure, acts in a sarcastic or angry way, being difficult, then i withdraw my love.
However, if my love depends on me, it can be a choice.
It can be a choice that i extend to everyone, in fact, i can love every man and woman, bird and flower. I can welcome them in my heart as a choice, this choice does not require sexual action, this is very different.
We usually get that mixed up. If i love my friends that means i want something with them, it’s not true.
Love is not something that you hold only for one person, because then it becomes attachment.
A lot of our relational problems come from misunderstanding love itself, we don’t know what it is, most people have never felt it, most people confuse it for lust, infatuation.
Relationships have this immense pressure on what we assume or have been told they should be, we see movies, we imagine that our partner must be our confident, the person we can bring our deepest and darkest truths to.
They must be our friend of adventures, who we can travel and explore our life with, our spiritually aligned counterpart, someone with whom we’re going to eventually merge into God (Or source of creation) with.
With whom we are destined by the cosmos and universe to be in a relationship with, a sacred relationship.
The erotic incarnation of all of our passions, desires and fantasies. They have to be mother, father, sometimes house cleaner, worker.
There’s so many things that we have placed, so many weights that we carry and unconsciously poured on our relationships.
When you place a lot of weight on something, it is bound to crack, the reason that a lot of relationships crack in this world is because there’s a lot of weight being placed on them.
This happens because we do not pay attention, relationships are an agreement between two people, a romantic relationship, one with friends, colleagues, partners of your spiritual journey.
All of these are also relationships, we are human beings that were born in the context of community back in the day, we thrive in the context of community.
Right now, we’re expecting for one person to fulfill the role that 10-30 people had in the past, it is unsustainable. The expectations will break them, they will break the relationship and they will break the love that we have for them.
I want you to understand that, it doesn’t matter how romantic the ideals you have been sold are, it doesn’t matter your genuine positive hopes for this one person to be everything you always wanted and needed for it.
It’s not true, you will need friends, spiritual teachers, people with whom you have certain kinds of openness, it can be your therapist, someone that you trust.
There will be a lot of different people that play different roles, that’s okay, that actually takes the pressure off the relationship to be everything at once.
And of your partner from having to juggle a lot of different ways of being romantic, relationships have certain agreements, quite usually, sexual exclusivity, mutual support around creating a home, mutual collaboration in sustaining a family.
Hopefully, and i think ideally, the mutual celebration of each other’s way of showing up in the world, each other’s dreams.
Everything else we can get from friends, teachers, co-workers, other people.
Do not misunderstand the role that your relationship is meant to play in your life because if you place too much weight on it, it is bound to crack, break.
You will live life failed relationship after failed relationship, wondering what’s wrong with everybody else, or maybe what’s wrong with you, without realizing that what was wrong was the way you were building things.
Take a deep breath, slow down, figure out what is this actually serving?What is this relationship good for, what are the actual expectations that will help this relationship thrive, that will help my partner and myself become bigger people?
Not smaller from the amount of pressure that we experience.
Misunderstanding yourself or the other person, misunderstading love and misunderstanding relationships are the base causes of most heartbreaks, pain, anxiety, stress and overwhelm in our life.
Awareness, conscious attention, work on these areas, letting go of all that is false, false misconceptions, trying to understand who i am, who this person in front of me is, what love is, what is bringing us together?
Answering these questions will ensure you have a beautiful relationship, so before you jump into conclusions, make sure that you’re not acting or relating from a place that is inherently broken by design.
You may be wondering what’s the role that Ayahuasca plays in this, Ayahuasca helps us get to the bottom of these questions with clear awareness.
Sometimes it’s very easy to confuse if things are in my mind, intuition, is it my body heart telling me what is right for me, to move away from this relationship?
Or is it my fear and my trauma?
A lot of people cannot differentiate, so they make themselves a mess. Should i stay or should i go? They make a a Pros and Cons list.
They entangle themselves deeper and deeper in a lot of stress, anxiety.
Ayahuasca allows you to remove, thread by thread, and show you the truth of who you are.
So you know who you are and what you want, what is good for you, the truth of your partner…
Sometimes this means that you see they’ve been unfaithful or you see that they’re amazing people and that you’re the one that is about to destroy a very beautiful relationship.
They will show you the truth of love, this is the most profound experience of all, it’s at the core of every spiritual journey, if you understand the essence of love, your relationships will forever be transformed.
The truth of your relationship allows you to see that we are humans, we have needs and agreements, we can consciously choose vows.
We can make so that things work consciously and not because we inherited all these expectations, assumptions, ideas and preconceptions about what we imagined relationships should be.
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:
You’re probably concerned or curious and you think: “Hey what’s gonna happen in 1-10 years, am i gonna end up a little bit “cuckoo?” Am i gonna end up addicted to it? Moving to a jungle? I’m gonna quit my life and go a little bit crazy…“
Some people may think that it’s like a cold or something really dangerous like a drug.
First, there was research done in which they used a population from Brazil, where the religion is called Santo Daime, it’s a religion similar to church, imagine christian or chatolic church, but they serve Ayahuasca and they teach about different things.
They did research in people who have been part of this religion for 10-15 years, which meant that they were drinking Ayahuasca at least 2-5 times per week.
Because if you want to measure if something is good/bad, the fastest way is to measure what happens if somebody uses it consistently for a long time.
You have a glass of wine today and we check your health stats in 5-10 years, nothing’s gonna happen, however, if you have a glass of wine every day for the next 15 years, your liver is gonna show, your skin, maybe even your life, your work situation, your relationship, many things are going to be a lot worse because of it.
So researchers wanted to test: “Is doing Ayahuasca actually good? What about people who do it too often? Are they addicted? Are they depressed? Are they having Schizophrenia? Are they having mental health issues?“
They survey them over a period of several years, they also surveyed a “control group“, which were just people from the same area, same population who were not partaking in Ayahuasca ceremonies.
What they found out was that the group that was actively drinking the plant medicine had almost non-existant depression, anxiety and mental health problems, the indicators were very low.
If anything, the problems that they had, the people who were suffering from this at the beginning of the survey, over time were reversed , they had better health.
The most important thing was that when asked about the level fo fulfillment/happiness/joy they were drastically different in a positive direction than the control group.
What they discovered was that although not everybody had changed their life externally nor became an entrepreneur, famous artist, created a big business out of the realization, became a guru or a healer, no.
Most people kept living their lifes in the same way, attending the job they attended.
Even though their external life didn’t change for everybody, their internal perspective, the sense of appreciation, gratitude, fulfillement from the same circumstances improved.
But they realized that the people that had drunk plant medicine were a lot more connected to a sense of purpose, a sense of spirituality, something higher which gave them everything they needed to be appeased mentally, phyisically, emotionally.
So, long-term side effects of drinking Ayahuasca, this is what has been researched;
It’s good for your body.
It’s good for your mental health.
It’s good for your emotional health.
Whether your external circumstances change or not, that depends on a lot of different factors.
Your capacity to be happy, to enjoy, to appreciate and be nurtured by everything that is already in your life is vastly increased.
I want to share from my own experience and that of some of my students and family members what I consider medium-term side effects.
A medium-term, because i started drinking Ayahuasca 5-6 years ago, but only the last 2 years in a consistent way plus i’ve had family members who’ve had drunk it here, so this is where we’re at right now.
What i have seen is that these people close to me (and myself) have experienced was first improvement of our health, because Ayahuasca connects you deeper to who you are and what is not very supportive.
Whether that is a relationship, a job, a food, a habit, an addiction or some friend – because it allows you to connect deeper to your essence.
You make choices that are good for you, you make choices in areas of your life that bring you peace, bring you joy, that are coherent and aligned, free from fear, from attachment to external things.
Ayahuasca allows you and has allowed me to understand better what I want, which in my case turned out to becoming independent.
My own business, launching a few other projects making more money than I had done before in ways that were more meaningful to me, helping way more people during covid times and times of need.
At the same time i stopped drinking, taking substances, eating in a way that was very destructive for my body.
I lost around 30-35 pounds of weight without trying, i started sleeping a lot less but resting a lot more, overall just having better relationships with my family, with the people around me, with my partners, students.
My family members have also reported similar things, people that have come here to the retreats shared how the experience that they lived here was the catalyst to some changes that created a very different future.
They were doing things and then they realized that it was not in that direction, they had some habits, compulsions, traumas that were released from that place.
They made different choices, for some it meant more commitment with their partners and a happier home life, for some others it meant breaking up, divorcing, realizing that the person they were with was not who they aligned with.
The long-term effects of drinking Ayahuasca, from what i’ve noticed.
If Ayahuasca is served in hands of experienced people and you’re supported in the process, the preparation, facilitation. Then your physical health will improve, reduce your stress, anxiety, depression, improved mental health, clarity, focus, creativity, passion, fearlessness, improved energy.
Because your system is very clean, you’re not stressed and you’re not usually eating all the same nonsense that you used to, you have more energy to the things that are important to you, improved relationships.
We can only give from what we have, if we don’t have it we cannot give it.
And when we think that we don’t have a lot of people that love us, or we don’t have many loving aligned relationships it’s because within us, we cannot attract or connect with these people or have a relationship of that caliber if inside, my bucket is empty, my cup is void of anything.
Ayahuasca connects to that part within ourselves that is already fulfilled, that stream, that fountain that never stops flowing, from this place it’s very, very easy, simple and magical to find people that you resonate with to co-create with, to have a relationship with.
You learn to accept those people around you in a better way, because Ayahuasca takes you through your trauma and allows you to heal your nonsense, to take responsability for it and understand that it was you who was hurting the whole time.
Your pain and stress about others was nothing but a slit was inside of you.
This allows you to have compassion for others, because you understand when you see somebody suffering, you can see (if you pay enough attention), you may understand where their suffering is coming from, what they lacked, when they were growing up, what they crave right through their dysfunction.
You can understand what this person is missing in their life, and instead of judging or feeling repulsed you can look at them with love because you understand that underneath was a person who is ugly in the way they connect to you yet there is someone who is hurting or was hurt in a very bad way.
It allows you to do all of this long-term.
Eventually, i’ll make a video/blog when it’s been 10-15 years of this journey, so far, for me, it’s been a day and night the kind of experience that i’ve had.
I’ve had these kind of results that i’ve seen in students, family, myself.
The downside is that not too many of you do it in a place where it’s safe, the upside is very big, so i hope you consider it.
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, check out www.ayahuascacolombia.com/retreats
There are 3 answers to this, read until the end to understand!
The answers are:
Yes: There’s people that have died from drinking Ayahuasca but it has happened in places where things are done in a sketchy way.
I’m not talking about drinking in someone’s basement or just ordering it online, although those are pretty sketchy practices. But because the brew is mixed with other psychoactive substances or other stuff so that people have a “stronger trip/experience.“
I personally know people that have ended up with mental health disorders, which have led to schizophrenia, being placed in mental asylums, dying a few months later from starvation and other mental illnesses.
At the same time there’s places in Peru where the plant is mixed with other stuff for you to feel euphoric and wishing to come back.
Let’s understand that not every Shaman has your best interest in mind, not every Shaman is a good person, for some of them, you’re a client and if they can get you high, possibly a little bit addicted, then you’ll be coming back and bringing your friends because you had a “good experience.“
So, yes, people can die when Ayahuasca is mixed with other stuff, specially other psychoactive substances.
Yes, people have died when they have have lied in their form about the medicines they’re taking, especially antidepressant, antipsychotics and some medication for sleep, they can lead to serotonin syndrome or ways in which Ayahuasca interacts in a negative way with these pharmaceuticals.
They can lead to a break in the respiration system, heart attack.
The first answer is Yes, but let’s understand that it’s a yes in the wrong scenarios, under inexperienced hands, when the person lies about their mental, emotional or physical medical conditions
Now, you may be asking “Has anyone died from actually just drinking the brew under the hands of a responsible Shaman?”
The answer is also yes, but let me give you a bit of context…
Here in Colombia, for some tribes, the apprenticeship process, the time that you have to be staying with (probably living) an established Shaman before you are allowed to give the medicine yourself, it may take at least 10-15 years of apprenticing.
These are 15 years where they’re living in the jungle and drinking a few times a week, 15 years where they undergo very strict “Dietas.”
They have to go one month without food, just drinkign Ayahuasca, day and night, breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Why do they do this? because Ayahuasca is like surgery for the heart for the energies of a person.
A heart/brain surgeon spends a lot of time in medical school training, practicing, getting a PHD, they need a lot of experience before they can do it on their own.
The risks of doing it poorly are too vast, the same thing happens with Ayahuasca, now you’ve seen that there’s a lot of facilitators or people who hand out the medicine with good vibes and a lot of “hippie” communities have many of these.
These are people that may have spent a few months, maybe a 1-2 years in the jungle and now they’re Shamans, it’s not so simple.
The apprenticeship process requires that somebody dedicates at least 10 years of their life to this, once the experienced Shaman thinks they’re ready, they have an initiation ceremony, where experienced elders come and sit down with the person.
They serve in this bowl (half a coconut approx) and about a liter of Ayahuasca is served. (For context, if you drink half a shot glass of Ayahuasca, you have plenty to go and plenty to come back to.)
You may go very, very deeper, maybe deeper than your mind may be ready for. Now imagine a whole litter of it.
The intention behind this is that if the Shaman is well prepared and trained – his mind and spirit is disciplined, and his spirit is in the right place – then he will navigate through this and come back.
These comas/trips last up to 3-4 days, the body of the person who’s graduating is just there, dead. The elder Shamans are waiting for him to come back and then crown him… or not to come back.
They put themselves through a very, very strenuous process, so that they can qualify to be Shamans in Colombia.
Nobody that drinks Ayahuasca for their own healing or exploration (unless they want to become a Shaman) will ever have to drink those quantities, so…
The risk of dying from Ayahuasca under the hands of an experienced Shaman is almost non-existant.
Never: No, nobody dies.
If it’s in the right setting, under the right guidance, then you may have a very, very strong night, a rough process, but you come back and feel your heart palpitating, you feel anxious, you may feel a lot of stuff.
But you come back mentally, emotionally, physically, it is very safe.
The body has enzymes that break it down within you, these enzymes start acting within a few hours of ingesting the medicine, even if you drink a lot, even if you’re very sensitive, you’re not gonna die.
You’re gonna have a strong experience, that’s fine, but the chemical compounds/mix of the plants that are within Ayahuasca cannot kill you, not in the quantities that it is served for participants.
Higher quantities may include or induce a toxic response, where you’re just vomiting a lot and that’s it, then you come back.
Hopefully: Has anyone died from Ayahuasca, i’d say hopefully, because…
It is the best thing that can happen to a person.
Ayahuasca can bring you to face all your fears; heal them, your fear of life, of expressing what you’re about, fear of standing strong in your convictions, fear of loving yourself, fear of forgiving others, fear of letting go, of shame, and most importantly, fear of death.
A lot of people, including myself, we do not live lifes fully, or did not use to because of an unconscious fear of day.
We imagine that we have all the time in the world to do what’s important; for us to tell the one we love that we love them, to quit the job we don’t like, to follow our passion, to share from that which we have learned, to have a radical shift in how we’re living our lives, understand who we are and what we came here to do.
But we post-pone it because we think we are going to live eternally, we think that death is something that happens to other people and older people.
The truth is that unless – and until we make friends with death, realizing that every moment is a gift, a present, until we realize that death can come later today, it can come tomorrow, we may not wake up.
It comes for us and for the people that we love, until that is a present experience, we are going to live assuming that life is forever.
Ayahuasca can bring you to a point where you feel and you’re convinced with all of your mind, body and heart that you’re going to die, and you die.
Your soul leaves your body and you discover what’s at the other side of that, which is very hard to put into words, but…
At first, when participants came and they said; “I feel like i’m gonna die.” “I’m dying.“
I’d feel very anxious, i’d feel that i need to take them out of that trip, that they’re having a bad trip. It wasn’t until i lived this myself, where i felt like i died, that i understood who i really am.
Who am i when i don’t have a body? When i don’t have a mind, when everything that i think myself to be, everything that i believe that i am is shredded into pieces and burns.
Who am i? What is left? This is an answer that cannot be shared logically but one that has to be experienced.
It was an answer that allowed me to die to everything that i was not, to understand all the layers that i have placed on myself and on the other side of that there was a lot of freedom, peace and liberation from the weight that this self-imposed identity had broadened me.
The freedom that came from this changed my life, changed my relationships, with every moment that i am awake and live.
When i saw participants saying “I think i’m going to die.” i’d look into their eyes and tell them “All right, do it, die.” people would be shocked; “What? i can die?“
I’d say “Yes, do it!“
They’d close their eyes and would come back not being able to explain what had happened.
Has someone died from drinking Ayahusaca? Yes, it’s the best thing that could happen to you.
You die to your old habits, your old addictions, your old ways of disconnecting from your heart, you die to who you think you are.
To the carefully curated version of yourself that has become a cage, that you died to that, so when you come back, when you’re reborn, you realize that there’s so much freedom because there’s no longer a jail that is keeping you locked.
There’s no longer an idea of identity, culture, of anything.
This is the best thing that could happen to anybody.
To sum it up:has anyone died?
Yes, if it’s led or done under the wrong guidance, the wrong place, the wrong hands.
No, if it’s done in the right context, chemically, you’re not gonna die, you’re not drinking that much to even get close to that.
Hopefully, it’s the best thing that could happen to you, to have a spiritual life and come back.
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: