I came to Berlin trying to pursue something I thought would make me happy, at the time it was a partner and eventually a child. After that, I thought I would need to take a step back and think about a career in earnest. As time passed and my views developed, I started meeting some interesting characters who to me were always so happy and seemed to have everything I wanted. I started to ask around, and someone suggested that I try Ayahuasca. Me being the cautious joiner, decided to ask around and look for every article that I could find about the experiences of others. I thought maybe this substance can help me clear out the thoughts that could be blocking me from my happiness.
I found a group that would be in Berlin, the price was descent and as soon as I got some extra money I signed up. I had no idea what to expect. The group is legit, but my day to day friends as I call them and the ones telling me to try ayahuasca were no were to be found in actually signing up. I had the former looking at me as if I had lost my mind as I explained what the substance was. Simply put it is a psychedelic substance made out of plants that can be consumed by drinking. I have limited experience with psychedelics. My father, yeah him, would reminisce about being young in the 70s and everything he tried. Then I got older, I experimented with mushrooms and MDMA. I admit, I never really enjoyed MDMA because the come down was terrible, but mushrooms were always a nice chill way to spend my Friday nights once a year or so.
I thought my experience would be similar to mushrooms, plus I would hopefully have some sort of epiphany that would open my mind to its true purpose. I think I had far too much expectations. Growth and change never stop, and there is no miracle drug or action that will make everything all of a sudden clear, it seems like it is a process to it all.
I was nervous, I showed up to the address provided by the group, and walked into a hall filled with beds and mini trashcans next to those beds. The people seemed like the type you could imagine there, vegans, eco friendly/second clothes, and they all seemed to have known each other. I knew the person that I corresponded with through email. We waited for what had to have been about 60 people to show up and share their experiences with why they were doing it, and what they expected from the experience. I felt like this was too much for me, I still have anxiety in social situations, especially those here I am feeling alone and around a bunch of people who do not look like at all. I am working through it.
We finally got around to the experience, after the shamanness blew a substance containing tobacco in my nose. Immediately my nose was blocked and spent the next 30 mins in the bathroom trying to breathe. We were told that this would open our minds, and it would be painful, but it felt like my nose was on fire. People began to line up for the first dose. I tasted the tea and it was horrible, as I had read. I noticed people sitting in various mediation poses or sitting quietly. I never meditated, and looking back, I wish I took some time to really try to learn how to, so perhaps I could have the tools to allow things to work the way they were supposed to. I took another, and I closed my eyes and tried to sleep. I heard people around me singing, and crying or throwing up. I kept thinking, I hope no one has a bad trip and makes this more crazy than it already feels. I tried to think about all the things that were bothering me, and ended up falling asleep. What I dreamt about was intricate and personal. Something I figured, I would never share.
My takeaway from it all. I honestly do not know. I guess I have some bragging rights in my little “hippie” community since most people around me have done it. It helped me find some other resources to pursue the same lifestyle the people I met seemed to be into. I never did really interact with anyone there, and I ended up leaving rather early to take a taxi home. I wish I was in a smaller environment with personal attention, rather than what felt like a recurring theme that I have experienced while living here, being practically invisible and alone. The feelings I had were certainly a major blocker to what could of been an enlightening experience, but who knows. I will try it again, though, when I feel like I am ready.