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The Face of My Trip

This was taken on the day of my one and only Huachuma (San Pedro) ceremony this year. I had consumed my first dose of the medicine, but it really hadn't made its presence felt at that point.



( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 3rd, 2008 08:30 am (UTC)
Why Only One?
Because I was in the Amazon, and the Amazon belongs to Ayahuasca. I really tried to give Ayahuasca the benefit of the doubt, but at this point I'm pretty frustrated with it.
Aug. 4th, 2008 07:09 am (UTC)
Re: Why Only One?
i am not sure i understand that answer, but then again...i didnt ask the question and there is much i dont understand about ayahuasca. re your latest mug, you do look remarkably different from the person i remember..its more than the obvious..i cant explain it and i cant get over it.
Aug. 4th, 2008 01:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Why Only One?
I was in Peru for a little more than two weeks. In that time I did 9 ceremonies: 6 ayahuasca, 1 ajo sacha, 1 huachuma, and 1 anahuasca (an ayahuasca analogue made from extracts of syrian rue and mimosa hostilis).

In terms of seeming communication with something outside of myself or really novel and significant insights only one of the ayahuasca ceremonies resulted in the sort of experience I was hoping for. Most of those ceremonies seemed to have pretty profound physical effects on my body (beyond purging), and all the curanderos say that ayahuasca is about healing and not visions. I take that as a comfort.

The ajo sacha seemed to do nothing other than challenge my ability to choke down a vile tasting liquid.

I've done two huachuma (san pedro) ceremonies. One last year and one this year, and they both did exactly what I wanted them to do, i.e. get me out of my head and move my experiencing self (seemingly/metaphorically) into my heart. It got me to stop thinking and start feeling.

The anahuasca was indistinguishable (for me) from ayahuasca.

Edited at 2008-08-04 01:29 pm (UTC)
Aug. 4th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Why Only One?
do these annual ceremonies have a lasting effect on the mental/emotional plane or is it like the five pounds you lost and gained..like, i mean..are they what you feel until it 'wears' off or is it something you carry with you for longer?
Aug. 4th, 2008 10:15 pm (UTC)
lasting effects
I don't feel the beneficial physical effects of ayahuasca until the next day. The physical and psycho-spiritual benefits linger for a time. I'm told that they last longer and take deeper root the longer one keeps the diet after the ceremony (or ceremonies). If one drinks ayahuasca in the jungle for a week and gets back into town and immediately starts drinking beer and stuffing one's face with bacon double cheese burgers, then whatever benefit one might have taken away from the experience is probably undone completely or nearly so.

I haven't had any alcohol since I've been back, but I have violated most of the dietary restrictions except for the admonition to avoid pork. I've had sugar, salt, oil and spicy foods, but mostly I've just had a lot of complex carbs.

I do fine in terms of food when I'm actively engaged out in the world interacting with people, or even at home by myself, reading, writing, or working on the podcast, but when it's just me and the kids and I'm in the kitchen 20 times a day on their behalf I eat.

Once we're in Maryland, I won't be on full-time child care any more. There will be other people to share that task and I think I'll dwell in a more suitable and healthful head space. That's my hope, anyway.
Aug. 4th, 2008 09:40 am (UTC)
Re: Why Only One?
Yes, San Pedro is more of a dryland medicine. And ayahuasca is not for everyone at every time. The spirit calls you or it doesn't, it can't be forced. I hope you enjoyed your time in Iquitos, though. :)
Aug. 4th, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Why Only One?

I prefer the jungle to Iquitos, but I prefer Iquitos to Centerton, Arkansas, which is where I am now.

Since I've been back, I've gained five pounds lost the sense of being alive that I felt in South America.
Aug. 4th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC)
A first.
funky Picture. You look relaxed and happy.
Ive been listening to the show for a year and a half now. Ive just created a live journal account 5 minutes ago.
Its the first time Ive seen your face. You dont look much different than I imagined. Dont know who did your make up though!!
Aug. 4th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
Re: A first.
Ive been listening to the show for a year and a half now.

From the early days!

Ive just created a live journal account 5 minutes ago.

Welcome aboard.

Its the first time Ive seen your face. You dont look much different than I imagined.

I wear glasses, and I got my hair cut the day before I flew back to the states.

Dont know who did your make up though!!

Another C-Realm listener. "Make up" is maybe overstating the situation a bit. It's the juice from some seeds in seed pods that we mashed up with our thumbs to make the face paint. It was non-staining and washed off when I went swimming later that day.
Aug. 4th, 2008 03:06 am (UTC)
Re: A first.
Thanks for the quick reply.
Its all rather exciting, this live journal thingy.
Im currently at 'Work' in a Junior High School in south Japan. The kids have started their summer holidays, yet us lucky teachers still have to come in. Thus offering me free time to register, and peruse this live journal stuff.

Do you have any tips for me? I feel like Im using this as some kind of Messenger system. Is this appropriate protocol? or should I be doing something more sophisticated?
Aug. 4th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)
Re: A first.
Whats the difference between a Reply, a Parent and a Thread?
Sorry for the imbecilic question, its all part of a learning curve.
Aug. 4th, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC)

LiveJournal is a pretty adaptable tool. Use it however you like (within the limits of consideration for others and good taste - the same standards of on-line etiquette that apply anywhere on the web).

A reply is anything that you post in response to an original post or to another reply. This is a reply that I'm now composing and which you are reading. This reply that I'm composing is a response to your original response to my post (which may be considered the parent. I'm not sure about that part. The term "parent" never enters my consciousness in the context of the structure of LJ communications.). Your first response to my post and all of the messages we've exchanged since constitute a thread.

cadmus also responded to the post with the face paint picture. His reply and my reply to his reply make up another thread.

Goodonya for getting paid to futz around on LiveJournal.

Ki yo tsukete.
Aug. 5th, 2008 05:19 am (UTC)
Re: Definitions
Konichiwa KMO-sama

Thanks for the quick and informative reply. I feel more confident in my livejournal adventures already.

Youve remembered your Japanese pretty well. How long were you here, and where?

Guess you must be busy now moving house n' all that. Good luck to you and all that you do.

Jya mata ne.
Aug. 5th, 2008 05:55 am (UTC)
Re: Definitions
Another day on the Job. Nothing to do, my knowledge of Japanese history have come on leaps and bounds this morning.

I never even knew the US declared independence 13 years before th French revolution that led to little Napoleon rampaging all around Europe. I do now though.

My question is, now that I have time to futz around on LiveJournal. What are your top futzing tips for LiveJounral? As far as I can see, I just wait for some interesting conversation to arise, then, If I have any opinions, expound them at will, in line with on line etiquette.

Any other tips? how about elsewhere on the web? Ive been sucking up information like a nutter. Daily perusals of the BBC's news pages and Graham Hancock's daily updated page gives me more or less as much info as I can take in. Perhaps its time for something new.

I have listened to 1 or 2 episodes of the C-realm while at work but I have to pretend Im listening to an English teaching CD with my headphones on. Any other sights are pretty much fine as Im the only one who can read The English here!!

Sorry for going on a bit to long about nothing in particular. Can futz will futz.
Aug. 5th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Definitions

I lived in Japan twice for about a year each time. The first time was in a little town called Nakajo in Niigata prefecture. The second time I lived in Nagoya.

LiveJournal will eat up as much of your time as you're willing to give it. The thing to do, IMO, is put together a thoughtful bio that describes your interests. Then start looking for people whose LJ's you enjoy. Add them to your friends list. They'll get a notification when you do. They'll probably have a look at your bio, and if your interests match theirs, they'll probably add you back.

There's a search field in the upper right corner of most LJ pages. You can search for people and communities that share your interests. You might put Graham Hancock in there and see what comes up.

There's a C-Realm Forum over at theGrowReport.com. Good posts and discussions over there, but there's a pot leaf/caduceus icon at the top of the page, so it might not be work safe. You can find the C-Realm Forum here:


Several of the regular contributors over there also have LJ accounts.

The server is temperamental. You might have to hit reload/refresh a couple of times to get it to work.

Other than that, you might look back through some of my posts and check out the journals of the people who have left comments to those entries. There are some pretty neat folks to be found.

Gambate ne!

Aug. 6th, 2008 05:56 am (UTC)
Re: Definitions
Thank you KMO,

You come across as both a scholar and a gentleman. Your advice seems top notch. Ill have a rumble around LJ.

Is there any advantage/difference in being a member of the growreport forum as opposed to LJ? Are they not essentially the same thing? Does the grow report have more contributers? Im sure Ill discover all this for myself but these questions pop into my head as I type and so far your my only virtual friend.

Japan is an interesting place, Ive been here 5 years now. I went to Nagoya a couple of times when I was living/surviving in TokeYo (sic). Never heard of Nakajo though.

As of tomorrow Im on vacation too, so I probably won't be bothering you with any piffling inquiries; for a while at least.

Im going to try may hand at surfing, and catch up on the pile of books Ive purchased but havent read.

Right now though, I feel the need to find out what the Music of the Spheres is all about. Ahh the internet!!

Be happy healthy and wise
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Definitions
Is there any advantage/difference in being a member of the growreport forum as opposed to LJ? Are they not essentially the same thing? Does the grow report have more contributers?

There is some overlap in the participants, but it's a very different environment. My name is on the forum, but I don't run the show over there. I'm very much a voice in the choir. Discussions take a fuller form with more people participating on the forum than they do here on LJ, and they tend to go on longer and flare up again after having been silent for a time.

You don't have to sign up for an account to follow the discussions there. I'm sure there are several lurkers who will de-cloak in the fullness of time to enter the fray and infuse it with fresh dynamism.

Enjoy your holidays.
Aug. 4th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
I returned from the temple during the first week of June.

Thanks for being upfront about your impressions of ayahuasca. I thought for a while that I was the only one who comes back disillusioned.

I learned so much, but most of it was about relying on myself and not relying on the 'support' of the temple or my traveling companion. It was a very hard lesson to learn, one that has me thinking of re-emigrating from California back to a simpler life in Arkansas.

I'm drinking again Friday for the first time since my trip. Wish me luck!

And of course, I send you and yours all the best wishes for your future journey.
Aug. 4th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Re-entry
Good luck.

I don't know if you've been kept in the loop, but Alex is no longer associated with the Temple of the Way of Light.
Aug. 4th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Re-entry
I got that message last week, but the vulture who sat on his tambo and the ayahuasca shed told me before I left that Alex was not long for the temple.

I'm jealous of your curandero led experience. Mine was much to 'freestyle' for my personal taste. I appreciate the ritual of the Episcopal church and the sangha, which should have alerted me to the need for ritual with my ceremony.

Personally, I'm sad you're leaving Arkansas. I know that I'll return sooner or later as my family includes an invalid uncle who has no one but my aging mother to provide care. I was hoping to have another thinker nearby...I'm sure I'll run into one or two...LOL.

Be well, KMO.
Aug. 4th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Re-entry
I'll still have family here, so I'll have reason to come back. I'm moving, but I'm not cutting ties or burning bridges.

You probably told me, but what part of Arkansas do you hail from?
Aug. 4th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Re-entry
I'm from the Fort Smith/Sallisaw area. I have family in both of those towns and in Fayetteville.

I'm finishing up a massage therapy program in the spring and will probably move to Fayetteville to set up a practice there. Deep tissue, energy work, Swedish, Thai, Shiatsu modality massage.

Aug. 16th, 2008 06:25 am (UTC)

I love the pic of your beautiful, open, face. I see the same "smile lines" on my own face. :-)

The day before yesterday (8-14-08), my hair was very much like yours in your photo. Now its cropped very short. My Mom will love it when I see her!

Aug. 16th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
Smile lines
Well, we're both entering our fifth decade on this orb, so smile lines are par for the course. I'm glad to have them. I even welcome the gray hairs. Beats thinning hair (which I have as well).

I've had a hair cut since this picture was taken. I'll be seeking employment in Maryland in a couple of weeks.
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