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Have you finally decided to book a retreat or sign up for a psychedelic experience? You may be asking yourself, what now? how do you prepare for it? We believe that a solid preparation is the first step of a successful psychedelics journey, in this article Donca, an integration coach, explains some steps and gives some hints about Preparation and Intention setting.
Psychedelics are powerful substances.
Before embarking on a journey with a psychedelic, it is important to prepare for it thoroughly.
You do not dive in the middle of an ocean without knowing how to swim, do you?
I recommend the psychedelics journey preparation to start together with a coach who is familiar with it and has the necessary knowledge and skills.
The preparation work has a physical, mental and spiritual component. The main aspects of the physical and mental preparation are cleansing and relaxing.
For spiritual preparation, the main goal is to focus on the spiritual dimension.
1. Physical Preparation
It consists of one side of cleansing the body, on the other side of learning to relax the body.
What does it mean to cleanse the body and how do you do it? Follow the maxim: “You are what you eat.” In our highly industrialised, overpopulated and polluted world, eating well is not self-evident.
What does “eat well” imply? It implies eating organic vegetables and fruits, whole grains, natural oils, low-fat cheeses, and fish from unpolluted waters.
Preferably not to eat meat. It also means drinking clean water. Healthy food in small quantities, even intermittent fasting, and plenty of water help to clean the body of toxic chemicals we almost unavoidably ingest on a day-to-day basis.
A couple of days before the journey don’t drink alcohol and reduce coffee to one cup a day. Drink herbal teas, clean water, and fruit and vegetable juices. Abstain sex three days before the journey, in order to conserve energy.
Spend time in nature, and breathe clean air.
How can you relax the body: you can start with a simple technique focusing on the body starting with the feet and moving step by step upward to the head and the face, and recognise where there is tension. Release the tension by letting go of it when you breathe out.
You can practice Hatha Yoga or explore different breathing techniques.
There are more ways to relax the body which your coach can teach you.
2. Mental preparation
Mental preparation entails the same two main approaches as when preparing the body: cleansing and relaxing.
What does it mean to cleanse the mind and how to do it?
Cleansing the mind refers to fine-tuning your moral compass in your relationship with yourself, with other people and with your surroundings. It means to be truthful, to be honest with yourself, humble, and to be grateful.
Why is this important? This journey is an encounter with a Master Healer and with your Inner Wisdom. You do not present yourself to these great helpers while deceiving yourself and others, being arrogant, and being ingrate, right? To cleanse your mind entails also directing your attention more inwards and more to subtle occurrences happening around you.
What does this mean? Pay attention to your dreams and write them down, they may convey important information to you. Mind long-forgotten events which may surface in your memory, they may be relevant to what you need to process during the journey.
Pay attention to synchronicity, unexpected “coincidences” without a causal connection, but possibly carrying a meaningful message. What does it mean to quiet the mind and how to do it? Relaxation exercises for the mind are being mindful, meditation, and certain breathing exercises.
Your coach can teach you all of them and also anchor techniques for turbulent stretches during the journey.
3. Spiritual preparation
For whoever has a spiritual quest, practice, or affiliation: Work out your spiritual biography and strengthen the spiritual connection with Spirit.
Meditate, read sacred texts, and pray: prayer opens the channel for grace. The physical & mental & spiritual preparation open energetic channels for healing and insights.
Distilling the intention
The intention you formulate for the journey is the pivot of the psychedelics journey preparation work. It is the aim for undertaking the journey into an expanded state of consciousness, the compass for navigating the ocean of the expanded consciousness, the anchor during turbulent stretches, and the criterion to assess if the aim of the journey has been accomplished.
To crystallise the intention is a science and an art. The intention is fine-tuned to the deepest layer you can reach in your present state of consciousness development.
It has to be in concert with the most profound understanding that your coach can reach about your need for healing/transformation.
The intention is distilled from recognising in your noisy biographical and present life data the main themes in your life. Underneath the noise is music. This music the coach should be able to hear and make you too recognise it.
Life has, in spite of appearing sometimes as a “tale full of noise and fury told by an idiot” (William Faulkner) a concealed coherence, conferred by red threads running through it, informing choices and decisions. These red threads have to be identified and find a concise expression in the INTENTION.
Intention: compass, anchor & criterion
As already stated above, the intention is the aim at the start of the journey, the compass during the journey, the anchor when the journey looks perilous, and the criterion to assess after the journey the degree to which the aim has been achieved. A well-formulated intention comprises one or more main themes running through your life, your present predicament, what needs to be changed/transformed, the criterion for what changed/transformed during the journey, and what the task of integration is after the journey.
Thus the intention is the fulcrum uniting past, present and future. It confers past, present and future coherence and wholeness. INTENTION carries in it a VISION, which will later be the focus of INTEGRATION.
There is an arch from the biography to the intention, from the intention to the journey, from the journey to the integration and from the integration to the life from then on. I wish you a deeply meaningful, healing and insightful journey.
This text has been written by Donca Vianu, MD and all the copyrights belong to the writer. The partial or total reproduction of the content is not allowed unless under explicit written request and the author’s written agreement. Copyright © 2022 Donca VianuMD. All Rights Reserved.