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The Do’s and Don’ts of Plant Medicine

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Plant Medicine

There is no right or wrong way to do plant medicine, but there are things that help align you to your spiritual path and things that take you off the path. Below are some fundamentals to having a fulfilling plant medicine experience and experiencing the divinity that is you. 

Do Surrender

There is an intelligence that surmounts the comprehension of the rational mind. Plant medicine will provide you with mind bending experiences that your cognition cannot decipher. If you try to control the natural unfolding, there will be a resistance within you which will make the fullness of your experience evade you. 

The greatest lessons come from receptivity, to allow ourselves to see completely without attempting to shape the world into our image. To receive the most valuable lessons, you will need to surrender to the wisdom of the plants. Surrender is simply accepting what is, exactly as it is.

If sorrow or grief arise, let it pass through you and then gently allow it to leave. Surrender is not going against your own emotions or thoughts, and not clinging to them either. It is the process of radically allowing, and giving way to your process, no matter how dark or light. Plant medicine works with the subconscious, so memories you may have suppressed, often come to light. This can be difficult but necessary in your self development. Trust yourself, it is your own mind, your own subconscious, your own reality. 

Do Prioritize your Health

Before the ceremony begins it is important to prioritize your health. Everything that you are storing within the body and mind will be sure to reveal itself, so it is important that your body is a clean vessel. This is so the medicine can flow through you with ease. 

Intentionality when consuming is important, and not just food intake. What you are watching, what you read, who you spend your time with all matter. All of this should be contemplated and done with care. Your health is composed of what you intake and what you have a choice in you should be careful with. Treat yourself as precious, honor your body and mind before ceremony with meditation and clean foods. Find a morning ritual that works for you, whether it is yoga or journaling. Connect to nature. Prepare yourself for one of the most life altering moments you will ever experience.

Do Breathe

One of the greatest tools for staying grounded and centered is rooting into the present moment through the anchor of the breath. When you are feeling imbalanced, a deep nourishing breath can help to provide internal harmony. Putting a focus on the breath allows the body’s nervous system to regulate. Conscious breaths with long exhalations help relax the body, whereas short quick breaths help to excite and rejuvenate the body.

Do not let energy stagnate by holding your breath or stiffening around it. Sometimes the enormity of the psychedelic experience is so huge, we forget we are humans that can breathe. Remember your power, the proof that life love you, breathe. Allow yourself to inhale and feel the lungs expand, allow yourself to fully exhale and for tension to release itself. 

Do Energetically Align

Before you consume the medicine, welcome it verbally and energetically. Words are powerful, and an inner prayer and gratitude sets yourself up for a beautiful start.  Call in what you would like for your body, mind, and spirit. Then trust the consciousness of the plant to take you where you need to go and give you what you need to see. In order to relax, you will have to have your body and mind receptive to the medicine. 

Do Set an Intention

An intention is what you are yearning to call in. An intention is your essential ‘why’ for joining a retreat. What propelled you to take plant medicine? What was your call to spirit? What is it you want to nurture and bestow upon existence?

An intention will help you the most during difficult times, you will know why you are here and feel there is a reason. Plant medicine ceremonies are not for sheer pleasure, though bliss is often a byproduct. Plant medicine is a tool for awakening to higher planes of consciousness and a way to understand yourself and the nature of reality. It is done in ritual and setting a clear strong intention is a fundamental part of this ritual. 

Do Expect the Unexpected

We have intentions and sometimes they happen, but oftentimes the medicine has other plans for us. There have been times my intention is about shadow work, and the entire plant medicine journey turns out to be lightness and laughter. 

Other times, my intention is to assess a childhood wound, and I end up forgiving myself for being a terrible teenager and wreaking havoc on my beloved parents. It aligns with my intention and other times it is quite the opposite of what I thought I wanted.

Overall, there is no clear way to know if our intention will be fulfilled, but plant medicine does have a track record of giving the soul what it needs in whatever stage of its evolution. Like life, unexpected things come up, and there is no way to prepare for them. We just have to soften into it and let go of how we think the experience should be. 

Do Relax 

Watch the way you hold tension in the body. Before the ceremony, you should try to meditate and feel yourself, and see in what ways you can let go of what is not serving you. Unclench the jaw. Drop the shoulders. Roll out the neck. 

Mental distress manifests in the physical form. Instead of trying not to think, watch the quality of the thoughts. Be an observer of them rather than a direct participant. This practice of introspection, will allow negative thoughts to dissipate naturally. 

Watch the thoughts and do not attach or identify to them. Do not build a foundation upon them. The best way to relax is to find the inner stillness under the chaos of the mind. After you release all tension, both mental and physical, be still and let the inner landscape speak. 

Don’t Eat Unhealthy

A specific diet will honor the medicine. The trip will be more beautiful when the body is a reflection of your beauty. A beautiful body and mind come from nourishing it with consciousness. Do not allow yourself to submit to old patterns of food intake that are toxic. Be intentional with what you eat, for this is what makes up your body and mind.

For ayahuasca, which is a sensitive medicine, there are more food restrictions than a plant medicine like Bufo. It is good to stay away from heavy meat, processed foods, sugar, caffeine, and sex. This is a great way to let go of addictions to coffee and foods that you know are unhealthy yet you still eat. Plant medicine will give you a strong reason to put the addictions to rest. Watch the quality of your body mind complex change with the higher quality of food. 

A good meal is to be cooked with love, and contain healthy organic vegetables and balanced proteins. Saying a prayer and blessing your food before you eat it will also allow it to digest well in the body. 

Don’t Try to Control

We control in order to face the fear. But what if there is nothing to be afraid of? Know that everything you face in a ceremony is temporary, whether it's suffering or awe. The more you tense up and resist, the more pain will come. Pain in general is simply resistance to the present moment. 

To control is to resist. We let go of control when we can face things head on without forcing a narrow image of what we think we should be onto ourselves. This is a meditation that goes beyond ceremony, the realization that you were never once in control. Embrace the choices you make but know that you cannot control the outcome. 

Don’t Compare

In group settings, everyone has their individual experience that makes up the collective energy. Many times, participants are taken out of their own experience by focusing on somebody else’s experience. Even if the person next to you is loud, laughing, or crying or screaming, stay in your process. The mind tends to compare to those next to us, and when this happens we are distracted and not present to the inner work that needs to be done. 

Attention should not fixate upon the external world, but your inner being. You do not need to judge your experience and diminish it by giving power and attention to someone else’s. The depth of the ceremony is the focus inward on specifically your unique terrain, what does your interior feel like? Pay homage to your body and honor your mind by staying present to you, not to external stimuli.

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We would be honored to help you fulfill your intention and facilitate your growth. Behold Retreats coordinates expertly guided retreats with highly experienced facilitators.

Reach out to us to set up a complimentary discovery call and we can point you in the right direction.


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