Society

Why Integration Is Not a Should

Very occasionally an integration session feels faintly out of alignment to me. It seems like the person I’m working with is doing it from a sense of duty, rather than a genuine desire to deepen into their own experience—as if they’re not quite sure what integration is, but they’ve heard it’s important, so they’re checking it off the post-ceremony to-do list. Sometimes we can explore together to tap into a genuine desire to grow; and then we’re integrating.

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…

#Thank You Plant Medicine

I recently had the opportunity to ask Rick Doblin, the founder of MAPS, what we could do to accelerate the legalization of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for trauma. What could we do, that is, besides pray, and visualize—“and donate,” muttered the guy sitting behind me. “Share your experiences,” is what Rick said. “Make it public.” So many…

Planetary Therapist

Watching bumblebees plunder the garden’s snapdragons, I think of how the magic web of life is unraveling. It’s coming, and it’s here, environmental collapse on a systemic and unfathomably vast scale. This past year has seen a grim torrent of information about the seemingly inexorable damage we’re doing to the earth. The picture coming into…

We’re Not Made to Heal Alone

We humans need other humans—to call us on our stuff, to name our shadow. To see ourselves as we cannot. To initiate us into new paths and practices. And to support us through the rough ride that ayahuasca can bring, the retriggered trauma and angst-y feelings that can arise. Let’s take shadow work first. By…

How Dieta Rewires Your Being

During my last half-dozen or so plant dietas, I’ve been experiencing a phenomenon I call ‘unfolding.’ It has something to do with the way my normal life, much of which is spent staring at a laptop screen, flattens my perception, collapsing my sense of dimensionality. Technically speaking, you might say I suffer from an overemphasis…

Owning The Dark Side

I am not a fearmonger saying that ayahuasca is something dangerous to be avoided. Whether you as an individual should work with it, or not, I can’t say. I believe that ayahuasca has tremendous value as a transformational agent, for both individuals and the collective. As a therapist working with integration, I witness firsthand the…

Synchronicity: Magic, and Shadow

You think of a long-lost friend, and she gets in touch that very night. Glancing at the clock over the course of a few days, you continually get repeating […]

More Resources

Interesting sites and resources touching on ayahuasca integration: Books & Articles Susana Bustos on integrating insights from psychedelic therapy and shamanic traditions: http://www.roamingthemind.com/integration-of-ayahuasca-experiences Katherine Coder on working with visionary plants: https://medium.com/yogilife/from-enlightenment-to-disillusionment-to-wholeness-5-things-you-need-to-know-about-working-with-7c152b5137ce Morgan Brent on dieta: http://www.ayahuasca.com/psyche/shamanism/what-is-a-dieta/ Javier Regueiro‘s practical guide to the nuts and bolts of working with ayahuasca: Ayahuasca: Soul Medicine of the Amazon…

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