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A Window Into The Soul

AmberBy Amber Zuckswert

I’ve been wanting to share this for quite sometime now, but am just formulating the words to express my immense GRATITUDE for four sacred ceremonies I experienced over the last year.

After a few years of extensive research, documentary watching, and listening to friends phenomenal experiences, I joined my first Ayahuasca plant medicine ceremony with a local shaman at Posada Natura retreat center in Londres, just outside of Quepos. Nestled in the heart of the rainforest with a group of friends.

For those of you who have never heard of Ayahuasca here’s a brief intro:

For centuries, Amazonian, Colombian and Peruvian shamans have used ayahuasca as a window into the soul. If the proliferation of websites, blogs, books and conferences are any indication, interest of late has been soaring for ayahuasca tea, a mix of two Amazonian plants, one a vine, the other a leaf. Combined, they contain D.M.T. and monoamine oxidase inhibitors, which promote psychedelic visions and euphoria. It’s sipped around 10pm at night, peaks within 2 hours and lasts up to 6 hours until dawn.

waterfallIn a world increasingly dominated by screen time, not dream time, it is not surprising that many people, having binged on yoga and meditation for years, are turning to a more dramatic catalyst for inner growth. But those who swear by ayahuasca’s usefulness (many say it’s like having 10 years of therapy in a night) also caution that it has to be treated seriously, calling their experiences while under its influence “work” because, in addition to causing them to vomit and sometimes have diarrhea, it can be frightening and challenging to the psyche.

People who have consumed ayahuasca report having spiritual revelations regarding their purpose on Earth, the true nature of the universe as well as deep insight into how to be the best person they possibly can. This is viewed by many as a spiritual awakening and what is often described as a rebirth. In addition, it is often reported that individuals feel they gain access to higher spiritual dimensions and make contact with various spiritual or extra-dimensional beings who can act as guides or healers.

People may experience profound positive life changes subsequent to consuming ayahuasca. Vomiting can follow ayahuasca ingestion; this purging is considered by many shamans and experienced users of ayahuasca to be an essential part of the experience, as it represents the release of negative energy and emotions built up over the course of one’s life.
Interesting eh? I was terrified to sip this psychedelic brew out of fear of the unknown. Fear of losing control and facing my deep seated subconscious demons. And then one day, after months and months of yoga and meditation, I was ready and excited for the opportunity to let go of all that was no longer serving my psyche, awaken to higher levels of consciousness, and connect to source.

My first ceremony was the most wild intense ride of my life! The sensory overload, emotional and physical purging was overwhelming. It was all I could do to hold on, breath and “manage” the experience to the best of my ability. I cried for what felt like hours. Oscillating between gorgeous visuals and euphoria, to past traumas and purging. My body purged until I was hollow. I faced, surrendered to and let go of what felt like a life time of emotional baggage. Imagine the bliss! The weight lifted off my shoulders!

Then came the clarity. All of a sudden, from the depth of my being, I felt the universes love and an immense connection to nature. It wasn’t a thought, but a knowing from every cell, that everything is connected. That I am always supported and taken care of by the universe. My heart expanded x 100. For the first time, I knew what TRUE love is. That it’s around us all the time. We just can’t always feel or see it.

I awoke to a hug from the shaman with new eyes. My filters had been lifted, lenses cleaned, and I could see everyone and everything with more compassion, love and understanding. No longer weighed down by my inner demons and ego. The details of the flowers, the sand, my body, everything was beautiful! I never thought I could be so grateful, awake and aware.

Every ceremony is unique and can vary immensely. My last three experiences have elicited many ah-ha moments and taught me lessons about myself I never would have learned otherwise. The ultimate physical and mental cleanse to awaken the spirit!

I launched into the new year, under the moon, in a jungle temple, meditating with other tribe members, eager to let go of as much emotional baggage from 2014 as possible. To usher in and make space for all the good things coming. To learn new lessons and begin to implement them in my daily life. It was challenging at moments, but primarily divine bliss, enlightening and unforgettable. The after glow continues for weeks.

Why am I sharing this intimate experience? Because I strongly feel that ayahuasca is a PROFOUND plant medicine that can radically positively propel your soul forward. It has changed my life FOREVER. Everyone deserves the opportunity to feel its healing power. I am beyond grateful.

For more information on intimate local plant medicine ceremonies visit www.posadanatura.com.

AmberAmber Zuckswert is the founder of Epic Living Retreats based in Manuel Antonio and Epicself.com Online Wellness Coaching. She’s an internationally recognized online/live pilates and yoga instructor, professional contemporary dancer, holistic nutritionist and lifestyle design expert from San Francisco, CA.

She loves nothing more then sharing her passions and empowering others to dramatically upgrade their life through mind/body fitness, peak performance nutrition, cultural immersion and adventure through her online programs and all inclusive wellness retreats. Explore her upcoming retreats and personalized programs available in Manuel Antonio on Epiclivingretreats.com.

One Response to “A Window Into The Soul”

  1. Candace Christiano said:

    Hello Amber
    What a nice account of your experiences. We have a casita in finca zacatona in matapalo. we do not get there enough but we will be there throughout april. I am encouraged that you have a personalized program available as we sell our business and retire graciously. many changes. if not this year, then another. thanks for the read and the thoughts, candace