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A plant medicine retreat is one of the most important journeys anyone can take. It is a decision that will indefinitely change the course of one’s life, from self perception to the structuring of thoughts and daily happenings. Life transforms as we do, for the inner world is a reflection of the external world.
Many people who join these sacred retreats are seekers, either for spirit and touching the mystery of life, or seeking a higher consciousness. Others are on their healing paths, ready to look at themselves and face the things holding them back to living a rich full existence.
The greatest work we can ever do is on ourselves and these ceremonies are tools to allow this cultivation of a higher self. Plant medicine is deeply personal, each ceremony unearthing a new component of our being.
When held in a safe space with professionals, there is an environment of care and then trauma and emotions can be released. The body and mind can surrender to the moment. The medicine opens portals to novel ways of thinking and can create new neural pathways in the brain. The changes are substantial, and carry long after the ceremony with proper integration.
Overall, plant medicine has the power to encourage personal growth and a connection to higher cosmic consciousness. Many people are stuck in scarcity, and lower level emotions, and have the desire to rise above them. So can you if your intention is pure.Below are a few of the reasons why people embark on a plant medicine journey and the capability the medicine has to transmute suffering into wisdom.
There is a reason that plant medicine is gaining public attention from doctors and scientists, it is proven to change our psyche. 5 MeO DMT has been studied by Jon Hopkins and found that in 80% of survey respondents there were improvements in both anxiety and depression. There is also research done by North American scientists that prove a decrease in PTSD for patients after a single ayahuasca ceremony. There is also another study done by Jon Hopkins that portrays data regarding anxiety relief for cancer patients up to six months after a single dose of psilocybin. The increase in research through the years, proves that plant medicine is a healing tool.
Plant medicine goes to the root of our problems because it works with the subconscious mind. Oftentimes during ceremony, trauma re surfaces clearly and we are then able to work with it on an energetic and spiritual level.
Consciously, we repress and suppress. We numb ourselves with pharmaceutical drugs or food or sex, which acts as just a band aid. Instead of attempting to kill the pain with worldly things, plant medicine helps us transmute pain by making the unconscious conscious.
When we are able to face ourselves, and our past with clarity and integrity, we grow emotionally. Most of our emotional wounds are like sore spots we do not allow others to touch, and we guard them. We cannot spend our whole lives protecting these wounds, they must be cleaned with awareness.
Our emotions just want the space to be recognized and accepted as it is. Without attaching the story to it, or the emotional response, plant medicine allows us to see clearly as an observer of our own lives. We are out of our minds, and into the heart, and the heart is compassionate. The heart gives freely from a place of empathy. Beyond the mind, there is less identification with thoughts and feelings. There is a space of neutrality and wisdom. We do not identify with our pain or our traumas when we are not in our egos.
A common mystical experience during plant medicine retreats is ego death. When the ego dissolves, we depart from our smaller selves that are eaten up by the dramas of the mind. There is a macro level of looking at things, and in this bird's eye view we see that many of our problems were a necessary part of our path to wholeness.
The first and most fundamental relationship is the relation to self. How we feel about ourselves expands outwards. We attract what we feel and what we think. When we can take ownership of our lives and accept where we are, our relationship to self becomes better. Plant medicine takes us into the deepest recess of the self, and then blows us out into higher realms. It is paradoxical because to understand ourselves we must go both inward and outward simultaneously.
Once we see inward, we experience a new universe, and see that our essence is all the same. Underneath all the pain, the personality, the separation of the mind, lies a universal love that is part of all beings. We are an interconnected web. There is truly no separation.
The mystics call this state of being ‘oneness’ or non-dualism. You look at a flower and you see yourself. You look at another person and in their eyes they act as a divine mirror. The wall of division is broken down, there was no wall to begin with. Plant medicine betters our relationships because it tears down the illusion of separation.
And when we are one with the world, we cannot do harm consciously. We cannot lie to another person or cheat them, because we would be harming ourselves. We cannot speak cruelly or use violence as it would affect us and cause karmic runoff. We are more conscious of our actions and words and how they have a ripple effect. In this place of oneness and compassion, we naturally become better lovers, leaders, and parents.
Love is placing another person’s needs on equal footing with our own, it requires going out of the ego and seeing the other person as they are rather than carving them out into your image.
Most people are unconscious and reactive. It is easier to go through life on autopilot, it saves energy. Being aware takes total commitment to each moment and being conscious constantly is both difficult and consuming. It requires an innate wakefulness that is buried deep. We all have access to consciousness, but few of us have the discipline or the desire to live in this space.
However, in the unconscious world, pain accumulates rapidly. We hurt one another and do not have the awareness to see the way we repeat negative cycles. Most of our trauma is trans generational, passed from parent to child, and the misery continues. Our collective pain is manifested and though we have previous lessons in history to learn from, we refuse to look at them. People are so unaware of themselves and this ignorance is what creates suffering.
When we can fully realize that most of the pain people caused us was deeply unconscious, we can see that there is nothing to forgive. Most people are genuinely doing the best they can with the limited resources and tools of self betterment. We were not taught how to be compassionate or how to be aware. We are sponges that feed off our environments, and often victims to our biology and genetics. But we have an enormous ability to change for the better simply by understanding ourselves and others, and forgiving from a genuine place of empathy.
During my first plant medicine ceremony, after vaporizing 5 MeO DMT, I felt euphoria, the waves of the ocean of universal bliss rushed over me. And then suddenly I had memories resurface with my father. Instead of being angry at him, I felt so much tenderness that I thought my heart would burst. As I was growing up, my parents were growing up with me. They truly wanted to be good parents, but they did not know how. As immigrants there were over stressed, burdened, and burnt out. They did not know how to show care in the way I needed it, and were unable to properly take care of themselves.
Insead of holding on to my previous story of childhood neglect, I dropped this story and saw life from the view of my parents. How difficult it must have been for them, and how much they were still able to give though having so little in a new country. The forgiveness was not just a rationalization of their predicament, but a visceral feeling of understanding. When we can understand someone, there is no anger. Love is the only force that prohibits forgiveness.
Many people do plant medicine because they have never been truly happy. When we can release stagnant emotional blockages through dissipating the egoic structures of the mind and forgive through our heart space, the door of joy opens.
Many spiritual seekers were once materialists. They have everything they were told they should want; the successful role at work, the wife and kids, the white picket fence house, the Ferrari, but still something is missing. They have everything the world told them they would need to be content, yet they are restless. They have played the game and won but still it is not enough. They are materially wealthy but spiritually impoverished.
They are never truly here. They are constantly living in the past of childhood traumas or the anxiety of the future. The present moment holds an abundance of joy. The present moment is always available to us, but we are somewhere else in our thoughts.
Plant medicine shatters the time space continuum and we are placed into the eternal now. In the now we are not slaves to the mind and trapped in incessant thinking. When we depart from the egoic mind, we can be here now. We can feel the true aliveness of being, there is no clinging to past or future. Happiness is here.
When we can heal, and let go of interpersonal problems, there is space within ourselves that opens to new possibilities. Our minds are less preoccupied with negativity, like blaming our parents or feeling self hate. Healing is releasing all the things that are bringing us down. When we can heal, we can then escalate and move up the rungs into purpose.
We are divine beings with innate capabilities, unique gifts that must be nurtured. When we can let go of preconceived notions of self, our unworthiness, and pain, we can connect to divinity. We are less conditioned and programmed by our culture that says we must be productive in a narrow vision of success. We follow our own internal compass.
Our purpose is met in a natural unfolding, a gradual evolution that refines itself over time. In this way of living there is no fierce competition or pushing nor resisting, there is a natural flow of events. Life does not need to be something to stress over or fight for, it is a general happening.
We do not go against our deepest desires or lie to ourselves. If we are painters, we paint regardless of the monetary outcome. If we love people, we do non profit work from a place of love rather than fear of the political system. We live in accordance with our inner truth, rather than the narratives that have been force fed to us.
Our purpose is not an external grasping, but comes from a quiet still place deep within us. A subtle call to something beyond ourselves. When we are aligned to higher meaning, it becomes easy to get out of bed in the morning when we know our ‘why’. When we trust and follow this inner guide, we unlock the door of abundance because we are in alignment with our authentic selves. Happiness becomes our default setting.
Maybe you have recently suffered the loss of a beloved person to you. Maybe you are confused and wanting to connect with a deeper meaning of life. Maybe you want to unravel cultural conditioning and feel liberation from the programs of the mind. Maybe you want to open your heart to the possibility of unconditional love.
Maybe you have already done the yoga. Maybe you have tried meditation. Maybe you have done traditional therapy. Maybe there is a calling for something higher. Maybe plant medicine is the next step on your spiritual path.
Learn more about consciousness, plant medicine, and spiritual transformation