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By Roxanne Noor
Sitting in the lush density of the surrounding jungle, I focused on the healer before me to discuss my intention before the 5 MeO DMT ceremony commenced. I was about to embark on a spiritual journey that I had heard of from a few friends and read about on the internet. It was a realm that felt both strangely familiar and foreign.
I was doing a private 5-MeO-DMT retreat as I felt I could go deeper alone than with a friend or a group of other people. My intention was to navigate the complexities of my darkness, what Jung would call ‘the shadow’.
My inner landscape was conflicted. In this third-dimensional physical realm of reality, I felt empowered. I was 25 and had lived in New York City working behind closed doors with a billionaire finance mogul before leaving to travel the world independently. I was living in one of the most beautiful places on Earth with access to nature and a community of artists and spiritual seekers. I had a partner and friends who loved me. I thought I was happy, but the astral dream realm told me otherwise.
Every night when the moon replaced the sun, and I fell asleep, I was haunted. All the experiences my conscious mind had worked to suppress, my unconscious mind was forcing me to look at. Every dream for months was a nightmare, and I vividly remembered each inch of it.
This was a long-term phenomenon, months of heavy nightmares that left me aching and confused when finally woken by the gentle morning light. I was going to do 5-MeO-DMT to navigate this darkness that perturbed me. I yearned to unveil it fully and work with it.
I had watched western medicine fail me and many other young people growing up. I had witnessed friends with anxiety and PTSD become addicted to Xanax their doctors had carelessly overprescribed them in the name of profit engineering.
I had seen people with childhood trauma and depression bandaid their wounds with SSRIs like Zoloft, and become shells of themselves, sleeping fifteen hours a day and losing all vital life force. I had watched too many of my peers with the shiny promise of youthful earnest hope, turn into zombies. The pharmaceutical industry was ripping apart the fabric of so many lives.
My friends who had taken a more holistic approach had done plant medicine like ayahuasca, 5 MeO DMT, san pedro, and peyote instead. They meditated like I did, and used art as a way to transmute their pain.
From all these methods, I had seen the most profound changes in my friends who did plant medicine. There was undeniably a higher level of self-awareness and understanding of their complexities and life in its totality. There was an undeniable shift in consciousness, they were less attached to their suffering.
Four years before, I had met an old Native American living in the desert of New Mexico who told me about the psychedelic effects of this special toad’s secretions. His name was Alfred Savinelli and according to Hamilton’s Pharmacopia on VICE, was one of the leading founders of this medicine and an expert on this Sonoran Desert Toad. Alfred had told me about this magical psychedelic substance and I was pulled in. Later after leaving New Mexico, I read about Bufo and was intrigued, but was not offered the experience by a healer I fully trusted.
Then four years after meeting Alfred, I had chosen to do Bufo (5 MeO DMT aka the God Molecule) because I felt safe with this particular healer and felt his genuineness. His eyes were kind and alive, and I felt light pouring out of them. I trusted him and his experience with this sacred medicine. I felt an intuitive full-body yes to this experience and to share it in this container with him.
After discussing my intention, the healer and I meditated and I felt my heart rate slow and my body regulate. An overwhelming peace swept over me, and he must have felt it because he asked if I was now ready to begin. I was.
As I had done many psychedelics and had experience with the process of surrendering to the moment, I was ready to completely let go. There was no resistance in me, more an unbridled reaching, a desire to taste the wholeness of life outside of my problems and sense of self.
The healer put the glass pipe to my lips and I inhaled the magical dried toad secretion. For a few moments, I had full consciousness and saw sacred geometry in a white light. I felt the healer chanting around me, I smelled the burning sage he was cleansing the air with, and I heard the eastern melody of a wooden flute. Then everything began to disappear.
The healer and his steady blue eyes were gone. The walls of the white room were gone. The jungle behind us had disappeared swiftly. And soon enough, I was gone too. The concept of my sense of self was nonexistent. I floated into the abysmal nothingness, a black void, but not in the way you see blackness when you close your eyes. This void had depth, had a certain texture to it.
Translating such an experience is difficult because there is no experiencer of the experience. Words become futile. They hold no meaning, as words are not the truth because truth is not conceptual, it just is. I know what I felt, and what I felt was a supreme knowing. A sigh of relief. A return to the whole.
Waves of ecstasy washed over me as I floated into the abysmal void. There was no separation between me and others because there was no sense of “I” and there was no other.
In many mystical and religious texts, they allude to the fact that “we are all one” and I would often nod my head in agreement. Now I was the embodiment of oneness. I did not intellectually know it, I fully felt it. I felt the immensity of life move through me. I was not clogged up by my small egoic sense of self. I was nothing, which meant I could be anything.
There was infinite possibility when there was the dropping of separation and entering a shared space of oneness. This was what everyone wanted in life, to return to the roots, the foundation of being. We came from oneness within the warmth of our mother’s womb and were then born into separation and a world of dualism.
A world of us vs them. A world of man and woman. A world regimented by the color of skin, the indivisible boundaries between nations, of classism and division. A world of divide and conquer. A world of labeling and judging.
In forgetting all these cultural codes and ingrained conditions, was a tremendous liberation. If I was nothing, then I did not have to identify as a woman, an immigrant, a writer, or an American. The ways in which I had separated myself from people, began to fall. It was all us, it was always us. All of the separation was merely illusion, a silly game we mistook as real.
I had a sudden epiphany regarding my attachments to romantic love and sexuality. Sex was exactly this, feeling like a separate individual and merging into one. I was melting with the beloved, and the beloved was life itself.
I realized why I was so addicted to sex, it was for the merging into one, the feeling of not being separate anymore. Bufo was like the moment of orgasm when everything dissolves and all you are left with is the energy and intensity of feeling. The French call this moment of climax, ‘la petite mort’, a small death. And my ceremony was indeed a peculiar small death.
I was back in the white room with the healer and the immense verdant jungle encompassing us. I looked into his azure eyes and I saw myself. I felt waves of love and euphoria wash over me, as I saw that I did not need sex or psychedelics to feel this oneness.
It was something that was always there, it was just hard to feel under all the layers of conditioning and identification with my programming. Bufo simply wiped my palette clean of all these things.
At home that night, my nightmares ceased, because I had dropped my fear of the other, of men in particular. I had dropped the importance of what had happened to me because I did not want to identify any longer with my old stories. I felt beyond what this body had been through and a sense of peace in the eternal present moment, where phenomena rise and pass as quickly as they came.
My integration afterward was utilizing the tools to get me back to this place of non-duality. The space where acceptance and harmony reign supreme. A quiet still place that is always there, however subtle it may seem in the mindset of the chaos of life.
Now, I feel the oneness the most when I am in the belly of the ocean or look into someone’s eyes. I feel it when I am not attached to my ideologies and can respect other people’s beliefs without feeling threatened by them. I feel it when loving others is more important than being right.
I feel it when I do not take myself so seriously and allow the innocence and childlike play to pull me into wonder. I feel it when I can break out of the prison of my mind through meditation and channeling. I feel it in the totality and wholeness of being alive.
I feel the oneness now quite often, and though it was always there, Bufo was the catalyst that brought me back home.
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