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Plants of Power : Revival / Rośliny Mocy : Odrodzenie

 

 

“The thing we tell of can never be found by seeking, yet only seekers find it.”
Bayazid Bastami (804 – 874)

 

Work with ayahuasca is a process in which these words of famous Sufi mystic resonate eeringly well. No matter how profound the mystery revealed, how great the understanding, if we cling to it, we are inevitably punished with proportional diminishment of its power, it is as fleeting an effect as we want to make it permanent. Actually, this is not a punishment, this is a simple rule of nature.

Big bow to the gifts of coronavirus time, when more and more is taken away, so that we can open our eyes to see that rule and learn to be flexible.

Big bow to fellow seekers, for not loosing hope, holding each other up in times of doubt.

 

 

“To, o czym mówimy nie da się znaleźć poprzez szukanie, a jednak tylko poszukujący to znajdują”

Bayazid Bastami (804 – 874)

Praca z ayahuaską to proces w którym te słowa sufickiego mistyka rezonują niepokojąco prawdziwie. Nieważne jak głęboka tajemnica jest w nim ujawniana, jak wielkie zrozumienie, jeżeli się jego kurczowo uczepiamy, nieuchronnie spotka nas proporcjonalne do tego czepiania umniejszenie mocy tego katharsis / zrozumienia, są one dokładnie tak ulotne, jak bardzo chcemy by były trwałe. To prosty mechanizm, im szybciej go zaakceptujemy, tym będzie łatwiej.

Wielki ukłon i szacunek dla podarunków czasu zarazy, kiedy coraz więcej jest nam odbierane, abyśmy w końcu mogli otworzyć oczy i nauczyć się być elastycznymi.

Wielki ukłon dla współposzukiwaczy, za nie tracenie nadziei i podnoszenie drugiego w czasach wątpliwości.

 

 

 

 

 

And if along the way you feel frustrated, you feel like it is one step forward, two steps backward, the remember from the same mystic and be grateful and patient :

When Bayazid died, he was over seventy years old. Before he died, someone asked him his age. He said: I am four years old. For seventy years I was veiled. I got rid of my veils only four years ago.

A jeżeli na tej ścieżce czujecie się sfrustrowani, że to jest ciągle jeden krok do przodu i dwa do tyłu, pamiętajcie inną historię tegoż mistyka i bądźcie wdzięczni i cierpliwi :

Kiedy Bayazid umarł, miał ponad 70 lat. Zanim to się stało, ktoś zapytał go o wiek. Odrzekł : Mam cztery lata. Przez 70 lat nosiłem zasłony, spadły dopiero cztery lata temu.

So you are not afraid of Muslims or other illegal immigrants? Now it is the “objective and universal” threat of virus?

 

 

“Kochaj wszystko jakbyś miał to stracić”

 

A zatem, nie boisz się już nielegalnych muzułmańskich imigrantów? Teraz na pierwszym planie jest “obiektywne i uniwersalne zagrożenie” ze strony wirusa?

 

 

Fundamental teaching of psychedelic work is that fear is not related, not caused by the object of fear. The object serves for projection of something that has its own existence, can be fed or starved, can be projected at ever changing array of triggers – so you can never conquer it by removing the current “threat”. That is why those living on the edge of life threatening situations – free climbers, Afghan fighters, farmers of Third World where no subsidies exist – have less fear, even if their dangers are more real than for those from cushy developed countries, with their spectacular range of paranoias, anxieties, phobias, too long to list here, and constanly updated, with help of busy manufacturers from industrial and political spheres.

 

What does the psychedelic experience show then, again and again, what we see in our work with so many cases of anxiety among our guests/patients? That there is no other solution but calm acceptance – no radical denial and no clinging to this emotion. The more you desire objects of your fear to be removed, the more you become attached to dream of life under control, a life of certainty. Only through acceptance of opposite, unpredictable and uncertain, the path to the other pole of fear – that is love – can be opened and strengthened as one walks it more and more often.

 

This is neither virus that is your biggest enemy, nor the government imposing restrictive measures and new world order. It is that you allow them to distract you from present, into anxiety, that your attention is stolen. As long as you play that game, there will be always another threat around the corner, when you forget about Muslims it will be virus, when you forget about the virus, it will be economy crisis, germs, your personal development not good enough, your retirement not secure enough, your book not good enough, your child, pedophiles, correct diet, you name it, and naming it you can and are master at.

 

The good news : the more that tensions rises, the more likely we will be to finally release the illusion of control and surrender. While you still can avoid your Muslim neighbour, it may not be so easy with invisible threat. Well, then you stand in front of the choice – do you want your life, NOW ( don’t believe what they promise, that after we win this battle, you can then rest ), to be the constant feeling of terror, or you will realize that the terrorist is in you? No buts, no “what if your mother”. These are his disguises, and you are facing AI most perfectly and continually adjusted to your weaknesses. To win, you should not try harder, you should try less.

 

 

Podstawowa nauka jaka płynie z pracy z psychodelicznymi substancjami dotyczy strachu i tego, że nie jest on związany, czy też generowany przez jego obiekt. Ten obiekt, pozorne źródło, w istocie służy projekcji czegoś, co ma swoją własną egzystencję, może być karmione lub zagłodzone, może być projektowane na wiecznie zmieniającą się selekcję pretekstów – więc nigdy nie da się pokonać poprzez usunięcie aktualnego “zagrożenia”. To dlatego ci żyjący na krawędzi, w obliczu zagrożenia egzystencji – wspinacze, afgańscy bojownicy, farmerzy Trzeciego Świata gdzie nie ma dotacji i ubezpieczeń – w większości mają mniej strachu, nawet jeśli ich zagrożenia są bardziej realne niż te w rozmiękczonych, bogatych społeczeństwach, z ich spektakularnym wyborem paranoi, nerwicy, fobii, zbyt długim by go tu wyliczać, i wciąż aktualizowanym, z pomocą zapracowanych producentów z komercyjnego i politycznego świata.

Co psychodeliczne doświadczenie zatem pokazuje, raz za razem, co widzimy podczas naszej pracy z tyloma przypadkami nerwicy u naszych gości / pacjentów? To, że nie ma innego skutecznego rozwiązania niż spokojna akceptacja, ani radykalne wyparcie, ani podążanie za tą emocją. Im bardziej żądasz by usunięto obiekt twojego strachu, tym bardziej przywiązujesz się do snu o życiu pod kontrolą, życiu w pewności. Tylko poprzez akceptację przeciwnego, nieprzewidywalności i niepewności, ścieżka na drugi biegun strachu, jakim jest miłość, może otworzyć się i wzmocnić, w miarę jak nią po raz kolejny podążamy.

To nie wirus jest twym największym wrogiem, ani rządy narzucające absurdalne restrykcje i nowy porządek świata. Problemem jest to, że pozwalasz im odciągnąć się od chwili obecnej, od OBECNOŚCI, w niepokój, twoja uwaga zostaje ukradziona. Tak długo jak grasz w tą grę, zawsze będzie za zakrętem następne zagrożenie, kiedy zapomnisz o krwiożerczych muzułmanach, to będzie wirus, kiedy przyzwyczaisz się do wirusa, czeka kryzys ekonomii, bakterie, nie dość skuteczny rozwój osobisty, nie dość pewna emerytura, nie dość dobra książka jaką piszesz, nieidealne dziecko, pedofile, właściwa dieta, nazwij to sam, a potrafisz to doskonale.

Dobre wieści : im bardziej wzrasta napięcie, ta światowa manifestacja indywidualnego niepokoju zagubionych jednostek, tym bardziej prawdopodobne, że przebudzenie będzie bardziej niezbędne, upuszczenie nieznośnego brzemienia kontroli stanie się jedynym jasnym wyjściem. Podczas gdy jeszcze jesteś w stanie jeszcze jakoś unikać orientalnych kolesi z brodą, nie będzie to już możliwe w wypadku “niewidzialnego zagrożenia”. Stoisz teraz przed wyborem – czy chcesz by twoje życie, TERAZ ( nie wierz już w te bajkę, że jak się jeszcze trochę pomęczysz i wygramy aktualną bitwę, to będziesz miał spokój ) było niekończącym się uczuciem przerażenia, czy też w końcu ujrzysz terrorystę w swoim wnętrzu? Żadnych “ale”, żadnych “a co gdyby twoja matka”. To są jego maski, a mierzysz się z inteligencją najdoskonalej dopasowaną do twoich słabości – twoją inteligencją. Aby wygrać, nie powinieneś starać się jeszcze mocniej, powinieneś spróbować odpuścić, starać się mniej.

 

real business is coming

June 10th, 2020

There is this recurring voice of armchair experts about ayahuasca tourism being cultural appropriation. We listen to it mostly when we make mistake of distracting ourselves from 7 days a week hard work, in a place where we live as the locals, off grid, drawing water from the well, consuming basic necessities available in local market, and that is year after year, serving all kind of intense energies people bring with them for treatment. We learn from the indigenous elders, provide them with constant job paid way above local standards. You can say we can simply stop making that stupid mistake and engaging with those voices, regardless if they come from anthropologist pushing his agenda or just “I know it all” internauts. And yes, that is the best answer. However polemic devil inside just needs to add his pinch of salt : when authors of these voices succeed with their negativity, and combined forces of decline of global tourism, legalization globally, need for easier life ( and actually, contrary to the myth about fortunes in ayahuasca tourism, need for stable economic situation ) will drive this adventure in Amazon to the end, then you will see true appropriation. Instead of artisanal heart driven enterprises, you will see proper business, psychedelic franchise clinics, retreats twice as expensive popping up in Europe or USA, done without any need for indigenous guides, you will see ayahuasca turned into another commodity – raw resource just like cacao or coffee, bought from lowest bidder, or even worse – just like in the story of collapse of rubber – planted where labour costs and effectiveness of exploitation of global capitalism is at its best, probably in South East Asia. And so your precious Amazon will be free from evil exploitation of ayahuasca business, free for cattle ranchers and oil extractors, to provide fuel for your comfortable, daily lifestyle in the global centre, away from this annoying poverty, as some would be yoga student deciding against learning in India put it.

 

 

 

The photo above is ironic illustration for this story. It is my own image, which in times while I was still hoping to be able to continue making honest living from photography I uploaded to Alamy, and now, that I sacrificed to the Amazon not only my time but also some hard drives devoured by humidity, this corporate vendor, that pays pennies and charges giant percentage of commission on the sales is the only place I can access the image, but if I want it watermark free, I would have to buy it myself.

 

 

It is perhaps one of many paradoxes of psychedelic use, that what conservative majority within our societies considers as drug escapism into hedonism, and away from duties and commitments of the world, can often lead – and it has led in my experience, to quite conservative view of life and values. It is not angry fanaticism however, rather is accompanied by acceptance of other paths and options – while pursuing simplified, quieter version of previous, greedy life. In my case, a trade off from solitary adventures, devouring the world in form of exotic, extravagant adventure and millions of pixels accumulated in my memory and camera, being everywhere, and wanting ever more, and yet not fulfilled, now left behind and exchanged for simplicity of family life, modest nest, in very rustic conditions of a backward middle-of-nowhere corner of Amazon forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would lie if I said that looking through years worth of accumulation of stories and photos on this blog does not evoke some kind of nostalgia for the road, other lands where grass is if not greener, at least different. But one enduring lesson from the vine of death, even if at times we try to suppress it, is about mortality. I see clearly that greed of the world, no matter whether consumed in form of material goods or experiences, is a manifestation of underlying deeper anxiety about inevitable end of it all being quite near. The solution, again and again life shows to us, is never forward, faster, more, but actually less. We can not have all the women of the world, all the money, all alternative career paths. We may as well learn as soon as possible, that it applies to all aspect of life, and just we find happiness with that particular person, so let’s try to find peace in that particular place, ability and flaw we are given. Surrender, hardest of victories, to be gained daily, isn’t that the teaching of Christ refusing temptation of the world in his 40 days retreat to the desert?

To me, it does not mean that the world is evil, and that Satan is its owner, it means that unreined desire for it is hell in itself.

 

 

road

December 15th, 2019

Focus and intention can overcome obstacles of long road ahead.

 

 

 

cycle

November 11th, 2019

 

I started my adventure with ayahuasca not by any kind of extraordinary psychedelic, visionary experience, but as concrete physical healing, one not separable however from intellectual and emotional understanding. I had stones in my kidneys and associated pain while pissing, during nearly whole winter, in period that separated two first ceremonies and then until I went to Brasil. Finally, there in the jungle, standing in toilet, watching rain pouring outside, I realized that I am urinating without any problem, just as the rain in front of me.

 

That flow, circulating movement, is life. When it is broken for some reason, when the circle is not complete, when our blockages, stiffness, our lifestyle choices affect it, decay and degeneration begins. There is no flow in death, no juices running in dry stick.

 

Same thing applies to any nature, the one in us and the one “on the outside¨ alike, this is for example why often great wave of purge runs through the ceremony, pushing people down to their buckets, right when long accumulating throughout the evening clouds finally burst with tropical rain.

 

We go through same circular journey, harvesting, smashing, cooking hundreds of liters of murky brew, then concentrating it, drinking in the night and puking it out with what needs to be purged, emptying those buckets afterwards under trees where new vine grows.

 

Some have it hard. Having read a lot before coming here, they are suprised to have several ceremonies without vomiting, without visions appearing. The block is strong in a culture so focused on strenghth and fixed truths rather than surrender and flexibility.

 

Now the dry season should already be over. And yet our tanks are empty, water shortage, distruption in the cycle. We have giant pots of ayahuasca drying out, waiting to be cooked, and no water coming. In the time of climate change, the ones to first feel its effects are those who live like us, in tune with elements, not sheltered from them by brute force of money and machinery, petrol and pumps, able to postpone the direct consequences.

 

This happening in the very same period in which we are supporting indigenous Achuar communities fighting consequences of petrol contaminating their waters ( https://web.facebook.com/notes/psychonauta-foundation/to-give-back-petrol-contamination-in-amazon/2451079018477235/ ) shows us clearly, Standing Rock is here too, and it is coming to you. It also shows again the meaning of the medicine work.

If you are able to see that and do the work in the internal universe within you, you will have no doubt what matters in the world out there.

 

highest

November 10th, 2019

 

 

“highest inna di kingdom trees balancing over we.

humble within wrong is good spirit.

that is good spirit”

 

Often when I look at this king of trees towering above our horizon, I recall the song by Midnite, ¨Kingdom Trees¨. A lot of rasta metaphors are about plant world, and it was through rastafarianism I started my spiritual explorations outside of Europe. This syncretic mysticism, especially its ¨roots¨organic form, grounded in basic of nature, helped form part, to use again rasta figure, of my foundation, and until today remains a source of in-spiration, even if other plants now are fuel for my reasoning.

So to the roots I bow and today pay the homage for wise person that has just passed, Vaughn Benjamin, lead singer of Midnite.

 

Within being wronged, I found my home, in the shade of highest of trees. Now the tough part, while abundance and strength rises, to stay humble.

 

 

light fantastic

November 7th, 2019

 

It requires no great futuristic abilities to say that very soon enabling your child to experience magic away from tablet or smartphone screen will be both a rare luxury and an act of social rebellion. Do the move first, without worrying about the others. It is the same as any other step out of cultural trance, like giving up socializing with alcohol or rat race for the best school. The benefits can be only truly seen once you make the jump.

riding the broom

November 7th, 2019

 

 

Art of healing can be compared to art of carving, in this aspect of removal of excess as a way to reveal hidden beauty. It is not so much by adding something – like a magic pill that makes you full – but by getting rid, purging, removing obstacles that block one from understanding and his body from healthy growth and flourishing, we are allowing patient ( the one who is patient ) to heal.

We are talking of course about so called “alternative” or holistic healing, not paradigm of broken machine, that cares not much what made it broken. This holistic approach does not simply respect spirituality, as some helpful gimmick for aiding proper, biological course of treatment with improvements in psychological well being. Here, spirituality is essential, and what we are personally interested in, is not superficial layer, which god you worship or what colour of robes put on, but what is under the Mask, and what is in common. So if you look at actual practice of many serious spiritual traditions, you will see that activity of cleansing of physical environment is very common one. It may be symbolic, like sage or palo santo smoke to ward negative energies, but very often it is literal, as first step given to apprentice, here is your broom. Remember that quote from Terence Mc Kenna, comparing psychedelics and eastern traditions with their meditation, when admitting his lack of patience, he said that you can either spend 15 years sweeping floor of ashram to get a glimpse of something, or just take psychedelics. Well, maybe that is where his main mistake lied, and why he never was able to connect deeper with Amazonian shamanism with its discipline, but chose rather to experiment with his DMT pipe and mushroom megadoses, blazing trails for legions of current psychonauts, who often also have trouble with sweeping their filthy yard, but no trouble at all breaking next boundary of high.

This example here is given, because grandpa Terence was one of great inspirations on my way, and so I feel entitled in a way to give this advice to fellow psychonauts. The idea of our project here, Psychonauta Foundation, is not to abandon exciting journey into one’s soul, but to furnish the voyager with tools and skills, in other words, give him foundation, so that the journey is more productive and one can bring something back to the port. Because after a while, it is being in the port that can become more difficult, and so I believe Mc Kenna was completely wrong in his quote :

“It’s not hard to sweep up around the ashram, but it’s hard to take psychedelics.”

It is opposite, tells you someone who really has been places. You may have encountered elves or angry Somalis, in this realm or another, but does really more and more continue to bring you more meaning? You might have understood this easily about consumerist society and money, when unhappy with it, you set for your psychedelic oddyssey, but can’t the same happen with unquenchable thirst for experience?

When you sweep the floor and enjoy not only the beauty created by act of cleaning, but act itself, as you enjoyed the ceremony last night, that made it filthy, you come closer to balance and peace with this world, that eventually has to be left behind. But I believe the access to eternity lies not in dreaming about its shape and form that is to come, but in firm grasp of your broomstick, now.

al haqq

November 7th, 2019

 

 

It is both sense of great joy and fulfilment for us, who had exchanged stimulation of nomadic life for being settled in this forest, as well as essential part of the therapeutic process, that our camp has become a meeting place for people from so diverse backgrounds, cultures, ages and paths of life. Source of healing is precisely the energy resulting from those encounters, exchange of experiences through conversations, feeling but even more through extraordinary, almost telepathic connection in the ceremonies, and so happens greater understanding of self, own suffering and way out of it, through honest seeing and acknowledging it in other, and so in all, in One. We are willingly laid bare in front of others, as we have maybe never even been in front of ourselves, and we can do it, laughing at the concept of shame, because we have seen that there is no Other. Rastafarian concept of I&I, Christian selfless love for one´s brother, dissolving the drop in the ocean, poetry of mankind has many names for what mystics had glimpsed, and there is no point in waiting who is do first step when effects benefit all. Forgive now, truly love yourself and rest grows from it.

To zarowno zrodlo wielkiej radosci i spelnienia dla tych z nas, ktorzy zamienili stymulacje nomadycznego zycia na osiadly tryb w tym kawalku lasu, jak rowniez niezbedna czesc terapeutycznego procesu, ze nasz oboz stal sie miejscem spotkan ludzi z tak roznorodnych sciezek zyciowych, kultur, grup wiekowych i spolecznych. Zrodlem uzdrawiania jest dokladnie energia wyplywajaca z tych spotkan, wymiany doswiadczen, konwersacji, wspol-czucia czy tym bardziej niezwyklych, niemalze telepatycznych polaczen w ceremoniach, i to tak staje sie wielki cud doglebnego zrozumienia siebie, wlasnego cierpienia i drogi z niego wyjscia, poprzez uczciwe dojrzenie i uznanie go w innym, i tym samym we wszystkich, w Jedni. Swiadomie i chetnie obnazamy sie przed innymi, tak jak nigdy nie uczynilismy tego nawet przed soba samym, i mozemy to robic, smiejac sie z idei wstydu, poniewaz zobaczylismy ze nie ma Innego. Rastafarianski koncept I&I, chrzescijanska bezinteresowna milosc blizniego, rozpuszczenie kropli w oceanie, poezja ludzkosci ma wiele okreslen na ten przeblysk zrozumienia mistykow, i nie ma sensu czekac kto ma uczynic pierwszy krok, jezeli jego owoce beda dla wszystkich. Przebacz juz teraz, kochaj siebie szczerze, a reszta z tego wyrasta.

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