I Felt Unconditional Love at an Ayahuasca Ceremony

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Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

When I tasted the brew the Peruvian shaman had given me, it tasted almost digital. If a gigabyte had a taste, that would be it. Now, that doesn’t mean that ayahuasca tastes good, but it was certainly one of a kind.

I lay back down on my comforter thinking, “Well, if I die from this, at least it was from something kind of cool.”

The shaman then came around and blew tobacco up our noses. I didn’t remember reading that as part of the experience, but I sat up and went along with it. When the tobacco, or what they call rapé (pronounced ha-peh) hit, I immediately fell back down. I didn’t know this at the time but it helps to clear the mind, which is great when setting an intention.

We were asked to set an intention prior to the ceremony. I had a bunch of things I wanted to know, but instead I deferred to Mother Ayahuasca to show me whatever she wanted.

A good choice on my part.

As the shaman chanted throughout the night, I lay out under the stars and started to see some symbols with letters engraved on them. I was confused. “Is my mind making up stuff for me to see because I’m supposed to be seeing some shit?” What I wrote down in my notebook was, “iridescent emblem w/ 3 letters”. But these letters were not letters I recognized.

I expected some kaleidoscopic stuff to be playing in my head, but as I would realise on the night, I got nothing that I expected but everything that I intended. And then I had a vision.

I was at my great-grandmother’s house in the country and I was being held by my father as he lay in bed. I believe I was seeing this all in third person perspective. Furthermore, there’s a picture of that day. So this wasn’t some prophetic dream or a journey back to a direct experience. Again, that is what I expected but not what I received. And largely, that didn’t really matter.

In seeing how I was held, how I was watched and how I was unjudged, I felt a tsunami of unconditional love smash into me and I cried for what felt like at least a half hour. Complete and utter acceptance of who I was was experienced that night/early morning. And when you feel something like that, you watch a ton of motivations for certain actions melt away.

I had lost the will to defend the mental positions I believed in, the values I had and how I expressed myself — the latter manifesting itself in me spinning around for two minutes and causing those who walked nearby to start spinning.

The only reason I would defend what I express would be because it mattered what others would say about it. It would be motivated by a fear of nonacceptance. But I didn’t have that anymore.

I wrote in my notebook, “Because I don’t need love, I don’t seek it outside of myself. I received it. Anything else is fine but not necessary.” In hindsight, I don’t think I wrote that correctly. It wasn’t so much that I received it. I think I said it that way because in seeing my father love me in that way, I would need nothing more. I knew then and there that I was enough and was always enough.

But more than that, it meant that I was enough and was always enough, regardless of whether or not my father loved me in the way he did. So while I was appreciative of it (and surprised that he would show up in the vision), I am what I am. And of course, I realised that everyone was the same.

But perhaps at the time, I really wanted my father’s love? That’s also a possibility but I can’t say for sure.

When we were sharing our experience, someone had alluded to this whole love thing but in a different way. She was annoyed by someone else’s behaviour, but see realised that they were both manifestations of the same one thing. I was floored by that statement.

Unfortunately, this feeling of unconditional love did not last when I returned home and to life as I knew it. I thought ayahuasca would change me, but the theme of not getting what you expected continued to ring true. Ayahuasca doesn’t change you. Ayahuasca is not a panacea or a replacement for dealing with your emotional issues and trauma.

It just shows you what you forgot and invites you to reclaim it. And when you ingest it, it is said that it never fully leaves you. Mother Ayahuasca continues to guide you back to remembering the truth as she cuts through illusion.

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Former Edu. Psychologist | Current Writer | Constant Learner | “By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

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