You may be wondering, who are the folks behind psychedelics integration? Therapists? Scientists? Researchers? Well, I’m not one of them. I was, as you may be now, someone who decided to go through a psychedelic experience in search of a better understanding of myself. Oh my, I found a little bit more.
My name is Andres. Originally from Uruguay, I moved to Germany six years ago. I was in search of something. It wasn’t clear how, but I hoped to be able to get everything I thought I was looking for; a career, some money, and, overall, an independent life where I could start again. Something you should know about me is that I’m a highly goal-oriented person. So naturally, I made a clear plan and executed it… three years after I arrived in Germany I had graduated with a German Master’s degree, was working in the startup world, partying, meeting a lot of people, speaking several languages, and traveling almost every weekend. But something was missing… I felt empty and I couldn’t figure out why. In retrospect, I can see that I was struggling with a lot of anxiety and mild depression, which was starting to stagger my life.
I know, I know, this sounds like another cliche story of some guy finding himself, but stick with me.
Long story short, after struggling with several approaches (from Biohacking to Philosophy) I had my first Psychedelic experience: LSD. That was the beginning.
During my first two LSD experiences, I managed to see my life from a different perspective. While it didn’t “fix” anything, I was able to use those insights to see that further change was needed.
My attitude towards therapy was sceptical at best. My thinking was that I needed to get more psychedelic experiences and trust that I could figure this out on my own and with my friends’ help. After some research, I stumbled upon an (surprise surprise) Ayahuasca retreat center in Northern Europe. After a lot of thinking, I decided to give it a try.
The preparation for the whole experience consisted of a phone call with the Guide and some tips about dieting and forming an intention. Out of curiosity, I bought a very interesting but very academic book that shed little light on the preparation of the experience (though it is still a great book if you are interested in a phenomenological study of ayahuasca from the Western perspective: The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience)
I must admit that the old me really liked this pragmatic approach to psychedelics, and I was convinced that this would be another experience allowing me to increase my personal development and self-understanding.
Altogether I was really lucky; I found an underground community that was caring and full of love, and my first Ayahuasca experience was otherworldly. Twenty minutes after taking the medicine I went through what seemed to be a lifetime experience, where I saw, lived, and did things that I couldn’t make any sense of. Thankfully Mother Aya was careful enough to literally explain to me the key points I had to take care of immediately. However a big part of the experience was immersed in the world of metaphors, and cryptic to my reasoned understanding of the world.
“The preparation for the whole experience consisted of a phone call with the Guide and some tips around dieting and forming an intention.”