Category Archives: synchronicity

My Ayahuasca Experience: A Six-Part Mini-Series (Part 3)

Statue and meditation area at the resort grounds.

My Second Ayahuasca Ceremony

On the evening of the second ceremony, we were all to meet outside the maloca once again at 5:30pm. Similar to the first night, we each gave our names and surrendered one of our “herbal support therapy” tokens as we entered the building.

I entered the building a little later than I had the previous night, so I wasn’t able to stake out my preferred spot. At least I was able to secure another mattress against a wall as I really did prefer to prop myself up against the wall while sitting.

Our shaman for this evening was named Brad. He himself had brewed the batch of ayahuasca that we were to drink that night. (Whereas I believe the previous night’s tea may have been brewed elsewhere. If memory serves me correctly, I think the previous night’s aya was a Brazilian-inspired brew.)

Brad had a lot of tattoos, and he too seemed kind and gentle. I noticed that he and Christian, the previous night’s shaman, had some similarities in their speech patterns.

The second night’s ceremony followed the same pattern as the first. When Brad addressed everyone before the rapé offering, he told us that this evening’s ayahuasca brew is a lot gentler than the previous night’s. He said it was fine to ask the aya to be gentle with you. He said it was important that we build trust with it. A lot of people had very rough experiences the first night, so understandably their trust with ayahuasca was on unstable ground.

Even though my first night with the plant medicine felt peaceful and loving, for some reason I found myself feeling nervous about this night’s ceremony; I felt a bit apprehensive and uneasy. Maybe I was just picking up on the energy of others in our group. There were, after all, quite a lot of us. (Around 80+ people, I believe?)

Sometime pre-ceremony while rapé was being offered, I approached Brad the shaman and shared with him my unease. He said not to worry and that we can try a microdose serving for that night, and to just be sure to get in his line when they serve ayahuasca (vs the assistant’s line). I wasn’t sure if I needed that small of a serving, but I went with it.

After speaking with Brad, I took some notes pre-ceremony while others partook in rapé:

I feel I have been shown who I am / who I have become, although we are in a constant state of becoming due to the perpetual unfolding of spacetime.

My intention for this evening is to continue my state of becoming, and to learn how to use trust and intuition. Additionally, I would welcome any insights, information, and knowledge pertaining to the nature of the universe.

Everything transpired very much like the first night. The ikaros and live music sounded magical. When that part was done and they called people to line up to receive ayahuasca, I was sure to stand in Brad’s line and requested a small serving. I think he poured me about a quarter of a shot glass or so. Maybe it was even less. I loved hearing the sounds of blessing and protection that he made on the contents of the shot glass. I drank it, thanked him, and returned to my mattress.

Later, while in the dark, I wrote some insights that came to me. (Each is a stand-alone insight.)

  • You can let friends know that you’re listening by asking questions (being supportive).

  • Are we ever really ready? Leaning into action prepares us and makes us ready.

  • Center of galaxies moved by gravity/time is equivalent to their heartbeat.

  • Resonance + Alignment = Intuition
    Dissonance = Lack of alignment

Since my dose was smaller than the previous night’s, I had a fairly calm first 60-90 minutes. I again felt a deep sense of peace, love, and joy. I remember happy tears shedding from my face at some point. I remember being delighted to see fireflies dance their way into the maloca once again. I also remember yawning a lot (which is, apparently, also a form of purging). But I don’t believe I experienced anything interesting visually. However, I do remember giggling at some point while others were vomiting.

Based on the sounds of their vomiting, someone was having a particularly tough time. I heard my Zen-like mattress neighbor making slight laughing sounds, and so I couldn’t help but laugh too. I was laughing at the ridiculousness of it all (but definitely not at the person vomiting).

When it was time to offer the second round of aya, I decided to go for it. I went in Brad’s line again. When I was at the front of the line, he asked me how I felt. “Fine,” I said. I didn’t really feel like I was under the influence of anything at that point. He asked me if I had experienced any purging. “Only a little crying and some yawning,” I said. “Bueno,” he said.

At that point, Brad told me to take off my glasses. I did. He sprayed me with some kind of liquid that I was later to learn was meant to offer energetic protection and fend off negative energies. It smelled rather interesting; I’m not even sure how to describe its scent. (If I can think of a way to describe the scent, I’ll edit this post to share.)

When he was done with that, I asked for another small amount of aya. He gave me another small serving, about the size of the first one (or perhaps slightly more). I drank it, thanked him, and returned to my mattress.

After a while, I began to see the morphing fractals and patterns like I had the previous night, although this time it wasn’t quite as “high definition” or as three-dimensional as before. It felt a bit more flat. But it was still interesting, none the less. I remember seeing patterns emerge in different textures, and some textures that stood out for me were wood, bone, and webs. (I also remember seeing markings that looked like different languages at some point, but honestly I can’t quite recall if that was from the first night or the second night.)

Since I had my senses about me fairly well, at some point I decided to get up and walk around. I went outside and noticed some people sitting by the fire pit, slowly walking around, or even lounging in hammocks under the stars.

While outside, I remember looking up at the sky at one point and observing the most amazing synchronicity: I saw a perfect triangle outlined by clouds (where the inside of the triangle was just clear sky), and as I was looking up at that exact moment, those somewhat fast-moving clouds passed over the half moon in the sky making it look like the pyramid on American money.

The timing was just so perfect and serendipitous, I stood in amazement as that brief moment came and went. (For the record, I was definitely not high at that point and not hallucinating in the slightest.)

After staring at the fire in the outside fire pit for a bit, I returned inside the maloca and walked around briefly inside before returning to my mattress. While doing so, I was struck by the stark differences in energies that existed in the different parts of the room. One area’s energy felt very heavy and dark and full of difficult emotion. I could feel the difference in my gut. I decided to veer away from that and return to the other side of the room and my mattress, and immediately I felt the energies shift to a lighter mode.

Interestingly, there had been a lot more vomiting and sounds of stress from that side of the room, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the energies were so palpably different. But you know, I was sort of surprised. I was taken aback at how stark and palpable those energies were to me.

For the rest of the night I just hung out calmly at my mattress, and I even got comfy at one point and laid down with the blanket. I think I was getting sleepy, but it was at this point that a most magical moment happened.

Shaman Brad and the assistants had these wind-chime soundmakers and they brought its magical sound to the top of each individual’s head. The sound was just so lovely, it made me think of stars happily dancing and twinkling in the night sky.

Not long after that, the ceremony was over for the night. The sound of the star-chimes was a perfect end to the night.

My Ayahuasca Experience: A Six-Part Mini-Series (Part 1)

Early last month (i.e. November 2019), Steve and I traveled to Costa Rica and stayed at a resort that featured offering ayahuasca ceremonies to its guests. I’ve decided to write a six-part mini-series to share my thoughts and experiences pertaining to this journey.

First off, I’ll readily admit that I was very hesitant to try ayahuasca. I live a pretty clean lifestyle. Sure, I’ll drink alcohol on occasion, and I enjoy caffeine from time to time as well (I have an on-and-off relationships with espresso beverages), but that essentially sums up my drug use.

I’ve never had a single drag of a cigarette in my life. I’ve barely ever tried marijuana – I’m pretty sure I’ve only ever gotten high from it once. And since I pretty much despise smoking anything (I wanna keep my lungs healthy, thank you!), I really have no desire to smoke it again.

I experimented once with making vegan pot brownies, but the ratio of pot marijuana to brownie was so very low that you would only experience a mild effect if you ate them on an empty stomach first thing in the morning (which I barely managed to experience while wandering through a museum in Amsterdam).

That pretty much sums up my entire life’s drug use! I’ve never tried anything else before, ever. …Up until last month, that is.


What the hell is ayahuasca, anyway?

Ayahuasca literally means soul vine. Ayahuasca, however, typically refers to the brew or tea prepared from the bark of the ayahuasca vine along with other plants. The vine, banisteriopsis caapi, contains a compound that inhibits the human body’s naturally ability to quickly digest the tea’s hallucinogenic ingredient, DMT (dimethyltryptamine). The DMT-containing plant in the aya brew is often a shrub called chacruna (Psychotria viridis), but it could include a different DMT source. In either case, ayahuasca tea is also known to have strong purgative effects.

“Drugs Are Bad” …Right?

Ayahuasca is illegal in many countries around the world, but it is legal to prepare and consume it in Costa Rica.

Since I pretty much shun drugs by default, I had a lot of concern and hesitancy about trying ayahuasca. Is it safe? What does it do to my physiology? (I don’t like messing with my physiology. I even avoid pain killers and haven’t taken a single one in 10-15 years or so, maybe more.) Why would I want to mess with my body’s natural chemistry? Can something that’s known to induce vomiting and diarrhea really be good for you?

Plus, in all honesty, I was afraid that taking it might somehow lead to my untimely demise. I realize that sounds lie paranoia, but a handful of deaths have certainly been linked to or perhaps even the direct result of ayahuasca. It’s not without risk.

Additionally, a friend of mine died while in Peru several years ago as the result of participating in a tea ceremony that was known to have purgative effects. (You can read about that here.) It was deeply saddening to me to learn of her death.

I also remember hearing a story from a guy I once briefly dated that a friend of his died from mushrooms. Apparently she had a reaction to the mushrooms that caused her brain to swell, and that swelling led to her death.

Even though deaths from such drugs are uncommon, they do happen. And since they have happened to people I know or people that others I’ve met have known, it’s always been a concern of mine. What can I say. My survival instinct and desire to live is strong.

I realize that many people have very positive, and even beneficial experiences with psychedelics and other drugs, and I’m not meaning to pass judgment on anyone who consciously decides to explore this realm. It’s just that I tend to be weary of any type of drug – including the legal ones. (But that’s a whole other story.)

If Steve hadn’t been so keen on wanting to try ayahuasca, I’m pretty sure I would have never sought it out on my own.


In order to reduce the potential for unsafe reactions to ayahuasca, everyone is encouraged to follow a particular diet for at least a week or so beforehand. Being vegan, Steve and I had no problems following this diet. It also recommended abstaining from caffeine / coffee, which was also no problem since I had already been avoiding caffeine leading up to then, anyway.

For safety reasons, it is also necessary for participants to be med-free. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, one must be free from prescribed medications for a month prior to participation in the ayahuasca ceremonies. This was no problem for either Steve or myself because we both live med-free lifestyles.

In addition to the above precautions, one also has to pass a simple medical exam upon arrival to the resort. They checked my blood pressure, heart rate, and asked a few basic questions. It was pretty straight forward.

My blood pressure was great, as was my heart rate. So there was nothing to stop me from participating. But even so, I was still unsure if I should do it.

A Blessing in Disguise?

I had been on the fence about trying ayahuasca for a long time. My uncertainties certainy hadn’t dissipated once we had arrived at the resort in Costa Rica, or after I had my med exam.

Why even bother to go to the resort at all in the light of uncertainty, you might ask? I figured that even if I didn’t participate in the ceremonies, I could still enjoy the weather, the beach, the hammocks, the spa, etc.

It almost came down to a coin-toss in terms of deciding whether or not to do it. But instead of a coin-toss, a serendipitous synchronicity of sorts presented itself to me, which led me to decide to take the plunge go for it.

[ Note: Since I’m not sure if I have other people’s consent to share the their presence at the resort, I’m going to be somewhat vague here when in comes to describing people. ]

One of the people in attendance is an author who had recently published a book about money and our emotional and energetic relationship with it. He published his book in English as well as another language (his mother-tongue).

As chance would have it, this fellow was beside me when I was debating whether or not to pay the additional $400 to participate in any or all of the four ayahuasca ceremonies that would be held at the resort that week. While he was standing beside me, and while I was deliberating with cash in hand, I noticed that there was an interesting character that had been stamped on one of the bills. It was a non-English character, and I suspected it was in the language that the aforementioned fellow read and spoke. So I asked him if he knew what that character said.

“Oh, I think it means means blessing or blessed.” Did it really? Was the money telling me it was giving me its blessing to participate in the ayahuasca ceremonies? I honestly thought he was joking and pulling me leg. So I took out my iPhone and used ran the Google Translate app on the character that was on my bill. …And well, he was right!

He said, “That’s really cool, I’ve never seen that before!” Stamping this character on money was right in line with the theme of his recent book. “I should look into finding a stamp like that!” …Seriously, what are the odds? And it wasn’t just on that one bill, it was on at least two or three or them! (In hindsight, I SO wish I had taken a picture of the characters on the bills.)

Considering the crazy synchronicity of the circumstance, I decided to take it as some kind of affirmation to go ahead and sign up to participate in the ayahuasca ceremonies. So I did!

The first ceremony would be taking place later that very night.

…Stay tuned for my next post in this mini-series, in which I describe my first ayahuasca experience.