The Ayahuasca Diaries: Upping My Dose.

I was in a good place with each ayahuasca ceremony.

I wasn't the kind of person seeking crazy epic adventure. I've never passed out from drinking. I don't do drugs. I don't even take medicine, unless prescribed by a doctor... Which I never go to, as I prefer alternative healers.

But yet, I found myself wanting to test my limit with my aya dosing. I wanted to double it and go up to a quarter of the cup.


My apprehension was around a few things...
Would I purge violently?Would I hallucinate?Would I cry hysterically or laugh maniacally?Would I have conversations out loud, like some?Would I get super angry and have to be strapped to a board for being physically violent?
All valid concerns. But I reasoned that because the first three nights of the retreat were positive, I could jump up to a quarter for the evening and test it out.

The apprentice Shaman walked me up to Don Alberto.

"How much do you want tonight?" he asked as I walked up to the platform lit by a few kerosene lamps.

"I am going to go with a quarter tonight," I said.

"Good! That's good!" he said.

I took that as a sign that he thought I needed to test myself.

My dose was poured in the disposable cup, the icaro whistled, the "whoosh" to seal it, then handed to me.

I took it back to my rocking chair and gagged looking at it.

I put it on the floor and went to the bathroom. I forced myself to nervously pee, even though I didn't need to.  I was dealing with my nervous energy. I washed my hands for a good minute in the sink. By the time I rounded the corner back into the ceremony space, the Shamans were pouring their own doses and sealing them.

I sat down and picked my cup back up, avoiding looking at it.

"Alright! Salute, everybody!"

I gagged. Then tossed my head back and poured it down.

Bitter. Sour. Espresso. Dirt. Tobacco.

I had chosen to stay in the rocking chair in the event that I was going to vomit or need to run to the bathroom.

After five minutes of deep breathing through my nose - prior to the icaros starting - I realized everything was going to stay down for the evening.

Well, truth be told, I had asked Papa Tua to keep it down...

"Papa Tua, please allow this elixir to reach every point in my body and do it's thing... But not make me vomit or want to crap my pants."

I got up out of my chair, and walked to the mat from the previous night.

"I'm gonna do this ride on the mat!" I decided.

I laid down on my back, pulled two blankets over me.

"If I'm going to hallucinate, I'm ready!"

Unlike a lot of people, when I take ayahuasca, I do not hallucinate. Not one bit. I visualize things with my eyes closed. And I can hear my inner dialogue very clearly, and it is logical.  But I am very much present in the room, while still being able to focus on my inner thought.

But when I talk to others about what they experience, many talk about seeing things.. Feeling intense things...

My body fell into a lovely trance, similar to previous nights. For three hours, I didn't move a muscle. My body was resting, but my mind was processing. I listened to the lovely sound mixture...

Icaros... Chacapas... Drums... Windchimes being walked around the room... Vomiting into buckets... The sound of Mr. R refusing to get into the shower in the bathroom.

"... Thank you... No... I'll get in. I will. No. I will."

The assistant was working on getting him into the shower for a good five minutes. He was "marciano" and having a tough time. Hopping in the shower eases you out of it. Makes you more present.

I laughed.

I enjoyed the rest of the ceremony, being just as present as I had been.  And enjoying the clarity of conversation.

When the ceremonial symphony died down, and the kerosene lamps came back on, I continued to lay there while others quietly talked and processed things out loud.

At one point, my friend who'd traveled there with me came over from her mat on the opposite side.  I could sense her footsteps. She sat down and chatted with the adventure guide gentlemen. I continued to lay on the mat, unmoved.

When the electricity came on outside for the lights along the bridge - signifying it was safe to walk back to the rooms if we wanted to - I rolled over on my mat. The world spun a little.

"Oh! I am marciano!"

I rolled back over, but kept my eyes open... Looking up at the ceiling of the hut, stretching 30 feet at it's top point. (At least!)

After another 20 minutes, I was able to slowly pull myself off of the mat and stumble along the bridge to my room. I stayed awake, with my eyes closed and body fully at rest, for hours. I wasn't tired. But I felt good.

I didn't need to take large doses of ayahuasca. The 1/8 of the cup would be fine. It would be my standard.