I believe the single most important integration practice is some form of regular meditation. Working with ayahuasca can rattle the cage of who we think we are, dismantling our tidy self-definitions. While ultimately this leads to expansion and growth, the process can be disconcerting, generating feelings of fear, anxiety, and confusion.
This is where meditation enters the picture. A regular practice allows you to sit and work with disturbing emotions without being swept away by internal stories about the Bad that is happening and the Worse that could follow. The ability to meet your experience honestly, compassionately, and fully, without resistance or grasping—this is what meditation cultivates, and it’s crucial to integration work.
The practices of meditation—bringing full awareness to one’s mind, body and inner state (or outer object), in order to experience one’s essential nature—come in hundreds of different forms. For me, it’s been the Tibetan Buddhist path of Dzogchen, which emphasizes a fresh and natural view of reality as it is, unclouded by conceptual thought.
Dzogchen meditation brings us back to this innate state in a way that is both simple and profound, through experiential teachings emphasizing the natural spaciousness and clarity of mind. I have found meditation practice to be extremely valuable in my personal life, in my work as a psychotherapist, and in my work with ayahuasca and plant medicines. I believe the combination of plant medicine and spiritual practice offers enormous potential for healing, growth, and liberation.