Meeting with Ayahuasca
In my late twenties, driven by curiosity about both, the taboo’ed subjects and ancient traditions together, I traveled to South America (Peru) and was acquainted with traditional ways of studying and practicing with the psychedelics plants, like Ayahuasca. It was also curious to find out, that there is a multitude of approaches how Ayahuasca can be proposed, starting with native, then religious and then a rainbow of variations. Myself I was fortunate to experience different lineages and styles.
For many travellers, mostly Westerners, who arrived to Peru or other country where this tradition exists, Ayahuasca experience has been a catalyst of frequently ground-shocking, profound, life-changing, sometimes confusing and, surely, inspiring impact on many people’s lives, including author. Ayahuasca is apparently a “teacher” that serves no other “religion” or tradition than the one of Nature. And in case of Ayahuasca its nature is to move toward more degree of freedom, to transform, to see and to know.
The universality of this peculiar teacher is quiet obvious, given that Ayahuasca is being appreciated in so many different social contexts. This quality gives us an enormous range of possibilities for the plant to become accessible to people from large range of psychological or cultural backgrounds. At the same time there is a risk for it to be lost in the attempts of appropriation and utility (see example The Story of Fire).
Ayahuasca is known to facilitate eye-opening insights, new levels of comprehension or an inspiration for change. The questions like What to do now? and How do I integrate this into my life? are the main ones that keep returning after a journey or a retreat with sacred plants. Sometimes we have more questions after Ayahuasca, than before. Sometimes our questions change, or the irrelevant ones get discarded. Eventually we get to understand that Ayahuasca work is not done by the plant on its own, but with our intentional participation.
Ayahuasca Prajna is an authors passionate initiative for developing a language and navigation tools aimed at harnessing the universal qualities of Ayahuasca and combine with the ancient human longing for studies of consciousness.
In spiritual traditions of India Prajñā (from here on Prajna) is used to describe higher consciousness, supreme wisdom, insight (Buddhism), understanding, intelligence, knowing, transcendental wisdom (Hinduism) or “that which enables conscious faculties” (Upanishad, simplified).
Prajna approach to master plants is a methodology and use of skilful means for working with states of consciousness actualised through Ayahuasca experiences. Every individual has an inner Universe of his own and we create our spiritual adventure-journey (path) as we walk it. Whether we function on basis of clearly defined worldview or follow a religion, is up to us. Neither Ayahuasca does belong to one specific tradition nor is it constrained to one particular method. It doesn’t fall into category of religion or teaching, because Ayahuasca itself is often a source of very different insights from person to person. The closest description of Ayahuasca, using known analogies, is a teacher without institutional affiliations.
We can have many experiences, but to what extent are we able to navigate them? Experience alone doesn’t lead to a transformative event. Mastery, by which we conduce it, have this potential. A garden can prosper when it is planted on fertile grounds and mostly requires gardener’s continuous presence.
Frequent use of teacher plants may have varying effects, its direction can be either self evolving and transforming or confusing and moving along our existing patterns and habits. That depends only from our approach and how fully we are able to engage into our inner world of experience.
Ayahuasca along with other teacher plants do not represent a path by itself. It is not A path, but can be ON a path as one of spiritual practices that we recognise to be useful. As any practice or development of skills, capacities, it needs a quality of intention and attention, that create new pathways which can be further explored. Read more in Ground Process.