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When I was invited to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony on the outskirts of Cuenca some months ago, I had no expectations about it, however, I was very attracted by this new experience. On the week preceding the ceremony me, and the whole group received some advice on how to change our diet to be prepared for receiving the “medicine” as the shamans called the Ayahuasca during the ceremony.
At the beginning of that Saturday I was very anxious and even a little bit scared about how that day will finish, but even now I had the clear memory of a tranquillity feeling invading me as soon as I met this place called Ayni, an amazing old farmhouse surrounded by splendid gardens with old trees and mountains. But not only the place was great, also the different stories about past experiences related by some assistants repeating the ceremony at that time were very interesting for me.
When night came, the atmosphere and all the people were ready for what would come shortly. Soon the shamans arrived who would conduct the ceremony, they began to assemble a kind of altar around a large chimney that remained lit all night in the center of a huge room with earth walls against which all the assistants supported us watching Towards the fire and the preparations.
Once the ceremony began, the Shaman was bringing the Ayahuasca to each person, fulfilling a rite in which this experience despite being in a group became something personal from start to finish, a change in the state of consciousness, as if the mind was more agile and awake. In my case – I must admit that not at all – the experience was very deep but without fear or passages of anguish, rather with many moments of laughter when understanding many everyday things from another angle. It is difficult to tell in words an experience that contains so many sensations, it was both like being myself but with the awareness of being part of something much greater and very small at the same time. Perhaps the sensation had had it before, but not with that same intensity nor with the ability to connect so many sensations in such a short time and it is a state of complete lucidity. To end the ceremony we all end up as a group again, as at the beginning but being a group that now had much more in common than the previous night and with a feeling of indescribable joy, that joy that has no other reason than just being there. Thanks to Ayni for this beautiful experience.