The universe owes us nothing. We owe everything to the universe.
Ayahuasca is being ritually drunk for centuries by shamans from the Amazonian rainforests. Since the spread of it to particular Western countries tens of thousands of people have already been drinking Ayahuasca. The Brazilian government considers drinking Ayahuasca a fundamental religious right. Therefore it can be reassured drinking Ayahuasca can be considered safe. Still, there are some concerns.
It is important that you have been fasting before drinking Ayahuasca. The MAO inhibiting effect requires an appropriate diet. We advice to fast three days before the ceremony drinking fruit juices and eating vegetarian soups and salads. Fasting is a good way to prepare for the ceremony and makes you more receptive to the experience you are awaiting.
The limitations of the diet also help you to remember that you are involved in an important process. This brings up almost immediately certain issues, fears and doubts. Your old patterns are going to manifest more clear and conscious. The fear of losing control. The perspective of feeling vulnerable. There is a possibilty it is all passing by. The plant medicine however is very willing to help you as long as you treat it with respect. If you do not, Ayahuasca inexorably lets you know who is in charge.
Combining Ayahuasca with other MAO inhibitors, antidepressants and antihypertensives, medication for asthma and allergies, sleeping pills and sedatives should be avoided at all costs. This also applies to other entheogenics and certain nutrients. In addition a number of physical and psychological conditions apply as a contraindication. In the pdf file you can find more information about it.
The decision to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony is rarely mundane or easy. Fortunately, today there are plenty of testimonials about the extraordinary experiences with Ayahuasca. It also informs you how challenging the experience can be sometimes.
Your inner journey with Ayahuasca often begins as soon as you have made the decision and have registered. Do not be surprised when unexpected things are already going to happen in your life. To improve the quality of the ceremony it is good that you do not plan or undertake much a day prior and after the ceremony. You then have the time and space to focus on your intention and are able to gradually connect to the medicine. You can attend an Inipi or sweat lodge ceremony to prepare yourself by being cleansed physically and spiritually, so that you can benefit the most from the medicine. Not everyone will have an opportunity to do so. A sauna or a quiet walk in the forest is a good alternative.
The day before the ceremony you can also reflect on why you really want healing. Most people just want the pain - physical, emotional or spiritual - to stop. This kind of expectation is not realistic, because it does not take into account of what healing actually entails. Healing means to be whole. It is not a 'quick fix' for your problems, but it brings along a whole process of awakening with it. Awakening for everything who and what you are. Including pain. You know you want the pain to go away, but are you also willing to go through the old hurts in order to heal?
Ayahuasca is not a painkiller or anesthetic that temporarily takes away the pain. It is actually the opposite. Ayahuasca is forcing you to stay with your fears and suffering, more intense than ever, so you can integrate them. We tend to be critical of Western medicine, but we approach Ayahuasca with the hope that we are being magically freed from all pain. Pain is only a symptom that we can embrace and listen to what it tells us. So before you drink Ayahuasca you might ask yourself how serious you take your process and how you can surrender to the plant medicine.
Do not be surprised Ayahuasca is giving you something else then you intended and that there is no place for negotiation. Rather surrender to the process. Ayahuasca gives you what you need, much more than what you want. This is often the case with intentions that are actually expectations. The healing power of the plant medicine is amazing. I therefore urge to go to the root of your problem or pain. Often we end up with old spiritual wounds: rejection, abandonment, betrayal, humiliation or injustice.
Drinking Ayahuasca is primarily an exercise in surrender and acceptance of what the plant medicine has to offer, but sometimes it also requires our active participation in the process. The dance between surrender and active involvement is often complicated, but certainly not impossible :-) Working with the healing of the soul and exploring other dimensions for me play a major role. I see working with Ayahuasca as process work in which particularly your own sense of responsibility is addressed.