Thursday, February 26, 2009

An Ayahuasca Testimony

I thought I would delve back into the realm of Ayahuasca - the Vine of the Soul.

Almost a year ago, I contacted Benny Shanon. Mr. Shanon is one of the world's top researchers on Ayahuasca from a Western psychological perspective. His work Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience is a large tome documenting ten years of his, and numerous subjects, experiences with the medicinal Amazon plant brew.

I really enjoyed the book because I could relate to much of it and it was scientific and rational, yet bridged the seemingly irrational worlds of Ayahuasca and shamanism. This kind of work is great for helping us integrate worlds and to usher respect and acceptance to such powerful medicines as Ayahuasca. I encourage you to read the book, though it is hard to find - best to order it.

Mr. Shanon is a very accomplished and published academic. One of his more recent quotable papers had him suggesting that Moses was probably high on something like Ayahuasca when he was on Mount Sinai.

Mr. Shanon was very approachable when I contacted him and I wrote him a testimony of my own transformation after a few years of working with the plants and of course, Maestro Flores. He was touched by it and has promised me a detailed response ( I have not received one yet).

I will share this with you because I feel the time is right. I have tried to share this with those close to me to no avail. Most just stare at me blankly as they have no reference point to understand it. So I stopped doing that, but here on the blog, which is increasingly part of a community of people helping consciousness soar to new heights, I will share what is in many ways my most personal experience. Heck, why not!

In the name of understanding a little bit more about the mysteries of consciousness here is the testimony that I wrote.

An Ayahuasca Testimony
April 21, 2008

I have been taking ayahuasca for three years now. At least once a month, but often more. I have only taken the brew made by the Ashanincan curandero Juan Flores from Peru. I originally connected with Juan through the help of Jeremy Narby. I first tried it in the Amazon with Juan at his healing centre Mayantuyacu. Since then I take it at home in Canada. Juan has visited twice to my home where we have done ceremonies with him. After his first visit I started to take ayahuasca in a ceremony setting like he has taught me. At that point I started singing the icaros along with a recording of him doing a ceremony. During his second visit he invited me to sing and run the ceremonies with him. Now I am running the ceremonies for more and more people, including doing the healing soplado that he has taught me.

Clearly I could talk for days on end about my experience with Ayahuasca, but what I am more interested in sharing is the more dramatic, unusual and permanent changes that I have undergone, particularly the changes in my visual world.

Not soon after my first trip to Mayantuyacu I started to see brief glimpses of what seemed like foggy light. I noticed it as different and then tried to focus on it when it appeared. At first I had doubts that it was my eyes deteriorating or that I was making it up, but slowly overtime more stuff started to appear. Within just under a year I started to see with my eyes open a fluid like substance of tiny miniscule dots and an array of snake-like/worm-like, transparent things that would change their position. Sometimes they would be all bunched up; sometimes they would be stretched out. Theses forms themselves have circles in them. Almost bubble like. Over time I noticed one particular bunch of this worm stuff that was wrapped with other ones and almost created a sort of octopus object with tentacles. Now that it has been three years I feel like what I am seeing is fully formed and am I at a stage where I am learning to work with it or understand it better.
The stuff I see is transparent with dark outline, and so it best seen outside with natural light, but more and more it is visible inside, especially with the light of my computer or TV. I describe this stuff as a projection. Because if I look up at the sky it is bigger, if I look at my hand it is smaller. It all depends on what I use as my “screen.” Overcast days are the best. I call this stuff a fluid because that is how it acts. Whichever way I move my eyes and direction of sight, the stuff and fluid like space of tiny specks moves that way as well and then it all settle downs until I move again. I can play with it that way by shifting my eyes up and down. The specks that surround the worm things and the bubbles seem to reach out to infinity. When I am working on something and not trying to focus on this stuff it often looks like shadow in my vision, but it is easy to ignore if need be. I feel like it is designed for me to watch normal reality and not be distracted but yet still be “informed” by it. Interesting enough if I shut my eyes, I can still make out shadows of the shapes. The next interesting thing that has happened with this is around the time of Juan’s first visit I noticed a specific dot that was very dark and stark. It only came once and awhile, but overtime it appeared more often. I quickly felt that this dot was connected to my mind as directed from between my eyes, mainly because I often felt incredible tingling in that spot as well. The dot eventually developed an outer circle and then two outer rings. I would only see it every week or so, but now I see it almost as soon as I step outside. The rings of the circle are much darker than the other worm stuff, so it really stands out for me. I can now see a subtle white glow around the circle that seems to be developing more. I can now see it as I am typing. If I am talking to someone it often appears on their face when I am looking at them. I find that when the dot and circle appears it is often on the periphery of my vision, but I can use my mind to direct it more in line and in front of me in between my two eyes. Sometimes I find if I think about relaxing and directing my mind backwards into the middle of my head that the circle and dot appears. Weird stuff.

It was not hard for me to determine that this dot and circle, or what I like to call my “point” is a target of mine. It is my guide. Its like I have a GPS for my life and I can watch it lead me there. Sometimes I feel it is a black hole or something. When I do ayahuasca now and sing the icaros the point becomes wider and looks like a black hole. It’s like an iris that opens up in the ayahuasca state even more. I asked Juan during his visit what this was that I was seeing. He told me a couple of things. He said it is as if I am holding a piece of cloth up to the sun and the light shines through and I can see the outlines and weaving of the material being held up. However, my intuition tells me that the light that allows me to do this is coming from me, not the sun. Second he told me the point is my work and when I see it, it means I am balanced and on track. Sometimes I see another point and I think he said that was his work. He also said everything I see is the information that I have and can access. Perhaps it’s my soul memory?

What is beautiful about of this state of being is that I am always reassured and have been able to leave any doubt behind, because I have my own visual guide that I can rely on and have faith in.
The interesting thing about this experience is it has not freaked me out at all and seems normal, yet when I reflect on it from the perspective of the person I use to be, I am reminded that this is highly unusual and without doubt awakens me to the mystery of consciousness.

Now during my ayahuasca ceremonies I am beginning to learn how to use my hand positions to interact with the energy I am generating while I sing the icaros. As I sing and my experience is peaking I shut my eyes and can see a symbolic and geometric realm that is influenced by my voice as I sing. There are beings in this space, that seem made of the same material as the space itself, and they show things and I feel telepathically teach me what to do. They are very playful. While I am singing I find the sound of my voice alters in the way I hear it. At first it was hard to keep it together, but now I can work more without blowing my lid as I use to. Now that I use my hands I can see and hear the difference of my hand positions. I found a sweet spot with my hands that greatly amplified the volume of my voice (at least for me). I feel the hand movements help me direct my energy towards the other participants. I presume that knowing this hand movement and their relationship to energy can be used all the time in my normal life.
I never use to sing. I was known to have a horrible voice. Now over time, with help of ayahuasca, I sing. My voice changes every ceremony as it reaches new heights and new potential. The vibrations that I am learning to generate with it while using the plant amazes me incredibly.

In the last few months I am now running ayahuasca ceremonies in my dreams, often with Juan in them. We are together in dreams at least once a week. I see this realm as the next frontier for me with my ayahuasca work. I will leave this testimony at this, because I could go on forever about this wonderful medicine. I come from a non-spiritual and rational background, and so I am curious about the real potential for integrating this medicine into my modern life and career as an artist and filmmaker. I like where Narby is going in relation to the molecular world and spirit world being the same. I feel like what I see is incredibly molecular in nature. My best description of something it looks like is what it looks like to look through a microscope.

Thanks for reading this testimony. I am interested in figuring out a way to best understand what I am going through so that it can be shared with others in a meaningful way.
Any insight from your end would be greatly appreciated.


I wrote this a year ago. If I wrote it today it would be different as things have progressed. The number one teaching I get from this experience is that in the realm of the infinite, I (WE/ME) know so little and I (WE/ME) have so far to go.

It is truly humbling.

Be well my friends.



tommy said...

I sometimes get a little bubble worm in my line of vision, but I always assumed it was a fiber resting on my contact lens. I have found myself wondering while observing them if that's what they really are. They are especially easy for me to see if I am inside looking out through a window during the afternoon. My sister told me she sees the black holes you speak of, and they only appeared after she had done acid 4 times.

Jim said...

Yes follow that worm bubbles.

i remember thinking i was getting cataracts or something.

R Arrowsmith said...

Wow Jim. You've just summed up perfectly what I started seeing about 2/3 years ago, and am continuing to see to this day. Your description of a 'transparent worm bubble' couldn't explain it better. I often wondered if it was a guide who was around me, appearing to remind me that I'm never alone. I find that outside it works best, but I sometimes see them while on the pc, or they drift across my vision while having a conversation with someone. I knew that others weren't seeing them, and I've also tried to explain it to friends/relatives and watched as their eyes glazed over. It's a fantastic feeling to know that there's other people experiencing the same things, and willing to openly share it. Thank you.

I've been seeing the same spiral worm shape since the very beginning. It's a very clear symbol and when I was drawn to investigate the Mayans I found that one of their symbols and my 'worm thing' were one and the same. I was so stunned by this 'coincidence' that I bought a tattoo kit, learned how to use it, and I now carry this symbol with me wherever I go. The Mayan glyph that I see often see is the one found at the bottom left called 'Yellow Warrior':
I couldn't draw it better than that glyph even if I tried.

Shortly after seeing this transparent worm symbol I once stood outside my work place and saw thousands of small transparent bubbles swirling and blowing around me like I was in the centre of a snow storm. The thing is that the day was overcast but dry, and I knew that I would be the only one who saw it. It's only happened once but it was one of the most amazing things I've witnessed....a dance of a thousand molecule like orbs zipping all around me. My awe for this world reached a new height that day.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience and triggering this memory. You've made my day!

Word Veri - pulses

Stefan J said...

I have noticed the eye worms since I was 5. My partner notices them too and we have been discussing them. Interestingly, I have been noticing a dramatic increase in activity lately. Larger more complex organisms and an accelarated rate of movement. I wear spectacles, so I am used to optical anomalies and have never sought to delve deeper into what this worm world is. I have had moments when I play with them and their liquid movement. It is as if they are suspended in a viscous fluid that allows for very rapid movement when it is required. I will be paying closer attention to them from now on.

Thanks, Jim!



Stefan J said...

OK. Just read RA's comment as his comment was not here when I started commenting. WHile reading I instantly recognised a circle dot in the wormosphere. If I try to look directly at them they bail fast! I think it's a sign for me to just be with them and not overstay the welcome or something like that!

funny as I wear glasses (4 eyes) and it's anagram for 'for I see'

Jim said...

wow. looks like i opened a can of worms.

this is good stuff. now more makes sense.

take care friends i am going to meditate on this more. :)

A Few Shots to Shaman said...

Yes.... I've got them too. And am relieved that I am not the only one. I started meditating around 1998/99. Right after I discovered that Red influenced me and then saw the Matrix.

Once I was on ecstasy and had to get away form all the other party goers. I went out side to the balcony, where we had a beautiful view of Denver, I sat on the picnic table and unconsciously went into the Lotus position. The mental image that I had was a huge mother elsewhere and that we all have umbilical cords running into our bellys.... I noticed that my breathing stopped. Not because I stopped breathing but that it wasn't me, it was something breathing for me, like the universe was pushing against me making me live. Stayed like that till the sun came up. "Awoken" by a white van (it's always the white van) playing "shave and a hair cut" with his horn....

I read up on meditation and started. After 2001 problably closer to 2003 I was meditating on my back and saw some shit move on the ceiling. It was like a Gasoline rainbow puddle in a parking space, I figured out through practice how to "mess" with those, in other words I can make them happen almost everytime. Then the shimmering started... Movement on my peripheral, like off of a road on a hot day.

Then the little wormholes... Those are fucking real, I can't look at them, but they are very apparent. Sometimes when I'm talking to people.... But, like others I see them alot on the computer. I just didn't know if they were good or not...

I didn't know what to think really, I have no influence over them and can't repeat the state of mind after. I was stumped.

Now this.
Now this.

What the living hell is going on here, I've never told that many people and never have I really heard of others who have.

I also see little
"a dance of a thousand molecule like orbs..." But they are usually spiraling in a blue sky.

Weird.......Too weird!

Jon Kidd said...

Wozderful timing. I got the wife interested in the audio programs I listen to and we just listened to this the other night...

Graham Hancock discusses his experience with Ayahuasca. He also states the experience was so positive he brought his kids(young adults) along for the next trip. As a parent myself I could not imagine exposing my kids to such a substance considering the initial side effects.

I see the dust worms too. On drugs I could see that would intensify the effect. Sometimes I see flashes in my peripheral as well. Really strange timing when I see them. Usually while talking to someone or when I need a moment of clarity.

Couple personal questions Jim.
I ask respectively of course....

Do you still have the ceremony dreams?


Have you tried Salvia divinorum?


Jon Kidd said...

"Then the shimmering started... Movement on my peripheral, like off of a road on a hot day. "

Shaman your the first person Ive heard mention that effect while not on drugs. I see it too but in my main sight. I was told it might be blood vessels in a vein magnified by our eyes. Our eyes have potential to explore the microcosm. But we have forgotten how to see. It would be devoutly wished that we learn again. Perhaps these plants taken in knowledgeable sequence could open the floodgates of our internal abilities. I have only done some kinds of mushrooms and weed. I tried 'E' twice didn't work.

Ingesting plant consciousness.

Sorry for blabbering.

Jim said...

Well clearly this is good we all starting talking about this high weirdness.

Jon Kidd - "Do you still have the ceremony dreams?"

Yes, the last one was with Obama in Clearwater Manitoba. The first time I interviewed Juan in 2oo5 he on camera explains how he called me in my dreams to come meet him. Ayahuasca and dreams go hand in hand.

as for salvia - yes, but not much, i still need to go for it. i will one day when the time is right. i sing to it and still invoke its spirit during ayahuasca ceremonies.

Juan doesn't have children try Ayahuasca until they are ten years old.

and yes, the right use of plants can awakens these abilities and potential. that is why juan is good. he is serious about the right use of the plants. he describes whole past civilizations that worked with ayahuasca to do amazing things.

what is interesting is that so many of you are going through stuff without this plant being used. that is awesome. the light is bursting forth.

Stefan - yes they are trickey and flee fast with observation. but one can work with it and keep them in sight. i believe just negotiaiting this with your mind helps balance it.

yes i wear glasses as well and i am "blind" but this stuff never is blurry. its like on ayahuasca numerous times i can see people but then i realize my eyes are closed and so i have a deep moment of realizing that it is not "i" that is seeing.

later g8ors

Stefan J said...

This morning I went outside to meet an overcast sky. I saw a lot. There's layers. You can see one plane in clear focus while another will slide by behind it. On what seems like the micro level there's a constant flux of omnidirectional sprites made out of light.
With nothing but the sky in my 'sight' (!) I noticed a black dot way up in the top-right-hand-side of my peripheral that was so close to the edge I knew I had no hope of actually focussing on it at that point. I also had some great circle dots with brilliant light emanating from the centre. I have begun blogging on synch stuff. Going with that flow! I named the blog after the local serpent deity - the rainbow serpent of the indigenous Australians. I am seeing another form that is resembling indigenous paintings of the RS. Multiple circle dots made up of smaller dots connected by the serpent (Which is also made up of dots)!

Like the following paintings by indigenous australians:

Funny. I just did a search to grab those flicks and the site that they are hosted on has them as part of an exhibitions of paintings of Wolfe Creek Crater. I have a pic of the Wolfe Creek Crater as the header of my blog.

I later noticed what looked like a constellation. It looked like Crux/The Southern Cross tilted on its side. I then noticed that instead of a single star residing at the tips of this form were double stars. I instantly thought of pileades. The day after I read Richard's second post I had a pliedean synch invasion.

I'll be focusing on this dimension a bit more now and am centred in the understanding that these visions are assisting me by showing me a way. I am pretty certain everyone can see these things and that drugs/entheogens/psychaldelics have no bearing on ones ability to see these layers and their inhabitants.

I recall reading of Buddha Grandmaster Li Hongzhi. Li, who's cultivation of the supreme qualities, "Zhen Shan Ren" commenced when he was four years of age. The brief history of the GM included this:

"At the age of eight, Mr. Li suddenly felt something more in the corner of his eyes, and came to realize they were three words: "Zhen Shan Ren". It was his master who had planted the words there. Other people could not see the words, but he could see them at any time. In the years following, his master told him the meaning of the three words."

The meanings are as follows:

"Zhen" (Truth)
"Shan" (Compassion)
"Ren" (Forbearance)

Peace geightoz!

Stefan J said...

The links got chopped!

Oh well. You can go here and check if interested.


Jim said...

well stefan - what you describe is exactly what I see.
perhaps on centreportal i will go deeper into this fluid and worm stuff. i got some more theories...

i have noticed the similarity with australian indigenous
art before. i will check out your blog

dots, points, the point of it all.

A Few Shots to Shaman said...

The one thing I'm worried about is that I can think out side the box with out drugs.... What happens if drugs amplify that and I never come back. I've never done acid for that reason. Please believe that seeing shit while not on drugs makes me scared. I would feel out of control and embarrassed if I went over the edge with random people. Jim I want to come up to Winnipeg and do Ayu. I feel it will problably be my only opportunity to have a healing experience because I ain't doin' NO more drugs other that "gateway" NOw.

I tried Silvia for that reason. I had an extra 15 to and hour alone. So I went down to the head shop, gave the dude 40 bucks for extract... Like 40 x or something, in other words way more than I should have been doing. Let's just say that even though it was only a few minutes it was so uncomfortable that I am scared to do it again. That shit is not a mushroom high.... That shit is separation from reality.

Question still remains. What if I don't come back?

WV metra?

Jim said...

I understand the feelings FSS,

That is why I am trying to share what I have found with people. Juan and Ayahuasca made by him is the real thing and not what anyone expects. The first time trying it is often anti-climatic. Often the plant just gives you a loving non-anxious experience, which is what most people need first. As for not coming back, the way I look at it we are all already "gone" and ayahuasca is what helps one "come back." I don't go places on ayahuasca. its more of being hyper present and in tune to the moment and people around me. at first i used to think that was not what i was searching for, but now i know being centered and in the now is the power spot.

it will be great to have you here FSS - that goes for anyone. Juan is coming for the summer and anyone can come connect with us at some point during his stay.

tommy said...

Shaman - My experience with Salvia wasn't too uncomfortable. Then again, I didn't do it quite right - smoked it out of a bowl instead of a bong. Still worked, and I don't know what extract it was. I had also had a couple of beers before smoking it, which could have led to the joyous feelings. Joy + detachment from perceived consensus "reality" is awesome. Read my "trip report" here... All I can say is, recommending Salvia's a bit like handing someone a loaded gun. Depending on their perception of self, they'll either blow their/your head off or go shoot targets for fun.

I haven't done acid either, turned some people I know into ego-bots who consider their spiritual experience to be a total hallucination and the "safety" of average life to be comforting...

R Arrowsmith said...

I can empathise with you Shaman. I took way more Amanita Muscaria than I ever should have for my very first (and probably last) time and when it kicked really kicked in!
I recall there was an uncontrollable amount of drooling, sweating, and shivering...not a pleasant sight! I must have shed about 3 pints of water that night.
It wasn't a happy swirly rainbow mushroom was dark...muddy...swirly...and for about two hours I experienced what it was like to be in the mind of a madman. As soon as an image swirled out of the muddy fog it shifted into something else..eyes..mouths..shapes. Very disorienting. In the same moment every time I burped I saw a 'shield' of sacred geometry around me...I kid you not. One burp and it was a circular grid with me in the centre. Next burp and it was a Cube. Next burp and it was a tetrahedron, or something similar. Very bizarre.
I figured that after surviving that encounter, and teetering on the edge of life itself, something had definitely changed. Like a deep purging of all the old crap inside of me. An ethereal De-tox. Felt great after it...but don't know if I'd recommend it or do it again.
Thanks everyone for sharing.

Olswago said...

Does anyone check this site anymore. i recently heard of this medicine through my journey and am seriously considering going to peru to study it, because i thought id never have a chance to do it here in canada. But low and behold you guys are from where i live. I live in Winnipeg and am very interested in doing ceremonies as i feel im lost on my path. Any info on these winnipeg ceremonies would be greatly appreciated.

I dont see anything unusuall and ive done lots of acid shrooms and salvia. never in a ceromony setting though. very interesting thanks

Anonymous said...

Great testimony, to bad that is much easier to buy viagra than to purchase ayahuasca, buy anyways I wonder which method is better, when you smoke it or when you drink it?

1ShotWonder said...

I've heard of ayu for a couple of years now. So I decided to type up ayuhuasca winnipeg into google. Jim and Shaman came up in conversation. I do not belive in coincidence, and am here for a reason. I am into meditation and have been interested in a spiritual awakening process.

If anyone from Canada can provide some information on obtaining Ayu in Winnipeg, MB.
Feel free to email me,

Anonymous said...

spot on with this write-up, i like the way you discuss the things. i'm impressed, i must say. i'll probably be back again to read more. thanks for sharing this with us.

Lee Shin

jack johnson said...

This has lead me to my personal fascination with knowledge of self and the universe we inhabit. Shaman Ayahuasca I share my experiences, opinions, and information I have come across with the world.

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Jay S said...

The "bubbly worms" superimposed on your field of vision are most likely eye cells drifting on the surface of your eyes. I was surprised to first discover them when I was a kid, but the truth is their origin is quite mundane.