I would like to begin with talking about the heart. Not the physical organ, but rather the heart center, the place where you may feel joy or sadness and the place from where that soft inner voice of love and wisdom comes.
The heart is like and everblooming flower that has the capacity to open and close. We are the gardeners to this flower. It takes great skill, patience and practice to keep this flower blooming openly. We need to be finely receptive and fully present for it to bloom. There are many ways to loose touch with this flower as well as many ways to connect with it. When you connect with it, it will tell you what it needs to bloom, it will kindly and lovingly guide you into becoming a perfect gardener.
I am convinced that together, mindfulness practice (meditation, yoga and other grounding modalities that bring one into the present) and Ayahuasca medicine offer a perfect way of connecting with the heart and teach the skills of maintaining that connection.
I believe that it is human to have one’s heart open and closed at different times. It is a natural interaction with one’s world – the same way as when we blink in reaction to a sudden loud noise, when we close our eyes in a dusty gust of wind… or when we keep our eyes wide open before someone kind and loving.
Shamanic medicine works by helping one regress through one’s life story into oneness ((out of which one’s life story emerges)). It then helps one re-trace each step of one’s life through the prism of medicine. In this process the long-forgotten memories, suppressed traumas and any experience that has not been fully harmonized, may be re-lived to the point where it no longer ails one in the present, thus allowing one to rest in the heart.
The practice of mindfulness helps one to anchor awareness into the present moment through breath, equanimity and through loving-kindness. Instead of reacting to various thoughts and feelings, we learn to become aware of them as the observer, rather than as the possessive ‘I’. In the daily practice of mindfulness, we learn to embrace the preciousness of this moment by focusing on that which is directly in our experience and giving our best to that which we are doing right now.
As we grow in mindfulness, we bring the presence of equanimity and loving-kindness into the Ayahuasca ceremonies. This deepens our experience and helps us surf the “mareacion” (Spanish, the effect of Ayahuasca) with a clear and focused mind, instead of drifting and being swooshed around by it.
As we learn and expand through the medicine of Ayahuasca, the experiential insight into being connected to the heart deepens our practice of mindfulness.
This is why I see Mindfulness practice and Ayahuasca medicine as one medicine, one practice. Working together in perfect harmony they teach us ways to keep the flowers of our hearts blooming.