Into the Jungle (Part 4) – Just Listen
“Shh. Just listen . . .” Her soft, gentle, loving voice also carried with it an authority that I could not resist. When prompted like this, I would quiet my mind and allow myself to be taken by the spirit of Ayahuasca, the shamanic medicine whose brew I had ingested over an hour ago. The spirit of the plant was a representative or spokesperson for our Earth Mother, who in Peru is known as Pachamama. Yet she carries a dual identity, as she also is the voice of Pachamama.
As you may recall from the previous articles, the previous two nights of our planned three nights journeying had been somewhat disappointing, yet this night all of us in the group of twelve journeyers were feeling expectant. In the first journey nothing had happened because the brew was prepared improperly, and the second night was Ayahuasca Light—some teachings but not as powerful as we had hoped for. We had been assured the brew had been properly prepared this time from scratch, had been cooking all day, and would meet or exceed our expectations.
This time we were not disappointed.
It was suggested that prior to partaking in this experience we set an intention. I felt ready for any kind of healing that was necessary for me to move forward in my mission and my relationship with Jesseca. In other words, heal me of anything that interferes with my full presence on this planet. So I set my intention and requested that spirit do any healing that was necessary.
My bravado was echoing the now famous words, “bring it on!” yet aware that it masked an underlying fear that I would freak out or the spirit would be mean to me. Yet in spite of this concern, I fully intended to surrender 100% to the will of the spirit so aptly represented via this psychic medicine.
I’ve often said that whenever you commit to a workshop, as soon as you sign up the workshop begins. Resistance, fears, enthusiasm, drama—it can all happen the moment you sign on the dotted line, when you totally commit to something. Jesseca and I were not spared this on this third day of journeying. We knew that this day was likely to be the more intense experience with the journeying and there wasn’t much else to do but hang around our jungle cabana and let the time pass. So we did just that.
I was engrossed in a particularly good novel (I admit I have a fondness for good murder mysteries). We relaxed in our separate beds with mosquito netting on them, with only an occasional foray to the bathroom, to do some stretching, or the hour we took for a light lunch of native fruit in the medicine hut that served also as a diner. Great food!
Back at our place, we hung out for another three or so hours. I was content to do so, just simply waiting, reading my novel and remaining fairly centered in the silence of the jungle. Suddenly Jesseca bolted out of the room, down the path to the medicine lodge, with the parting energy of a bullet shot out of a gun, saying, “I can’t be around your energy any more!”
And she was gone.
I sat there stupefied, immediately reviewing as closely as possible what had happened that might have set her off? Was it this? Or that? As I went down the checklist I could discern no probable cause for any friction between us. I really thought we were doing okay. Felt like the stereotypical clueless male. Later I found out she had just wanted to connect with me and underneath that she was nervous about the upcoming journey. Didn’t get that at the time though.
Then I got angry at her being angry so I tracked her down where she was reading at the medicine lodge an hour early from when we had been told we would gather. I berated her, told her I was angry, and stomped away back to our temporary home in the jungle.
I waited there for about an hour then grabbed what I needed and walked back to the medicine lodge preparing for the evening’s ceremony. When I walk up the stairs, there was Jesseca to my right lying calmly on her mat. She looked so beautiful and inviting, yet I was still puzzled by her earlier behavior and wanted to demonstrate that I was angry. So I showed her I was still upset by finding a spot on the other side of the lodge and pretending I didn’t care.
After a few minutes of waiting, the Ayahuascero, Tito appeared and we began the ceremony by each of us going forward and accepting the brew. After I had consumed my cup I’d returned to my station across from my beloved. I realized that my being right and making her wrong and attempting to punish her was ridiculous in this important potentially life-changing healing ceremony. My stubbornness and pouting had run its course, so I swallowed my waning pride and took my mat and place it next to hers.
As soon as I did I felt my love for her. I succumbed to my natural and heartfelt desire to be with her, and she simply said, “thank you.” I told her I had to, that I could not do this journey without being next to her. We let it go at that. Only later did it become apparent that the journey had already begun that day with this drama.
Within a few minutes, the spirit of the plant medicine joined with my consciousness and off we went. I could hear Jesseca’s slight moaning that indicated she was having her experience, so I was prompted to turn on my left side, away from her. I curled into a fetal position, hearing the voice of Pachamama gently whispering to me, “Shh! Just listen . . .”
(Fifth and final installment next issue)