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Emotions

AyahuascaEmotionsIntegrationPersonal ExperienceSociety

WTF, Ayahuasca?!

Often, too often nowadays, people expect ayahuasca to be some sort of magical potion, instantly reformatting them into a completely healed state. When this doesn't happen, they feel resentful, even betrayed: "I did the work, I showed up—why did it do this to me?" This can easily segue into the very common plaint of individuals wrestling with unrecognized trauma: "What's wrong with me?" I'm seeing this kind of reaction more and more lately, due in part to the rapidly spreading…
Dec 29, 2022
AyahuascaEmotionsSan Pedro

Embodied Medicine Ayahuasca Retreat

Join me for this special 11-day ayahuasca retreat in the Sacred Valley of Peru - July 10-21, 2023 Since 2014 I've been doing my own personal healing work with ayahuasca, including many master plant dietas in the mestizo and Shipibo traditions. With a skilled team, I'm now offering this unique retreat for intrepid souls seeking to explore ayahuasca in the context of depth psychology, spiritual practice, and trauma healing—weaving these diverse strands together to create a container for transformation. Most…
Nov 3, 2022
AyahuascaEmotionsthe Dark SideTrauma

Lightworkers in the Dark

Ayahuasca visions, despite their glamorous reputation, are not all light and love—they can be shockingly dark and downright disgusting. Sometimes people feel shame about what they experienced in ceremony, or in the surprisingly intense times that can arise afterwards. Working as an integration therapist, here’s what I find myself saying, over and over again: “What you’re experiencing in the aftermath of your retreat is part of the process. The dark material that’s arising, the fear, the anxiety, the pain—all this…
May 13, 2020
Emotions

Anger: A Force for Change

Of all the countless complex and subtle human feelings, it’s hard to find a more disturbing emotion than anger. In my work as a therapist, I witness ambivalence about anger on a daily basis. “I feel angry with my spouse … my child … my friend …. my boss,” people say. “And I read these spiritual books that say I shouldn’t be angry, that anger is a disturbing emotion, a poison, a sin—or that it’s a coverup for “real” emotions…
May 17, 2005
Emotions

On Grief

Yesterday I spoke with a friend who had recently suffered a miscarriage. Jill and her husband were ecstatically happy with this first pregnancy, and it seemed brutally unfair when the baby’s heartbeat vanished, a few weeks before Easter. Since then, she said, it’s been a long, wild ride through grief and its entourage of feelings: sorrow at the loss of something not yet fully manifested, and therefore perplexing to wrap the mind around. Anger–-outrage, really—at the betrayal of her own…
Jan 31, 2002