A getaway for an ayahuasca trip is how to turn confusion into euphoria into closure
Fresh off a breakup, you have to figure out who the hell you are anymore. Peru for an ayahuasca-inspired trip into self-realization. Ayahuasca is an ancient medicinal recipe that blends the extracted liquids from two or more Amazonian vines. Mixed and proffered by shamans, the concoction first quiets the users’ ego and then inspires psychological breakthroughs via visions that pave the way for progressive thinking. A vision quest described by some as “five years of therapy in one night,” the experience includes vice-ending testimonials from people who have quit cigarettes, cocaine, or heroin on the spot and others who have declared war on sexual abuse wounds and chronic depression. And there's always one person in every group that definitively leaves the pain of a broken relationship behind.
Cusco is the gateway to now overrun Machu Picchu and one heck of a place to have an out-of-body experience that makes you realize that romantic relationship dilemmas are often luxury problems. Our group sat in a circle upon futons on the floor of a candlelit room. We each drank a three-ounce shot of the auburn, woody-tasting fluid. Twenty minutes later, a dizzy euphoria encouraged us to all lie down on our backs in the shadowy room. The dizziness soon subsided and my first vision leisurely wandered in. The dreamy series of visualizations launched with a self-propelled flight -- me clutching a flight-worthy two-by-four wing and flying through an infinite, illuminated cave teeming with indented half-dome shelves. Each domed ledge in the hallowed emporium comfortably roosted groups of the important people in my life. I visited dozens of ledges, exchanged greetings or memories with comrades, received reassurance from my parents and nods of approval from my two older brothers. When the breezy voyage landed on the shelf propping up the ex-girlfriend, I said, “Sorry.” She tried to reply but couldn’t find words. We both cried until I flew away. The tears were real, both in and out of the dream.
One predictable outcome of an Ayahuasca ceremony is the literal purging of your personal demons. An exorcism, in the form of literally dry-heaving out unhealthy spirits, occurs at intervals after you process unfortunate or unpleasant things from your past. In this shamanic forum, my first confrontation with my unsettled history concluded with purge of that broken relationship. Something stronger than us insisted we finally move on. Other baggage best not remembered was later evacuated in stages. I was free of it, at least for a rapturous moment, maybe longer. Looking back years later, I rarely even look back. -- Bruce Northam, American Detour