The “Madrecita,” the Mother Vine of the Amazonian rainforest is a magnificent and loving teacher. When one enters into a journey with this plant guide, any distance can be traveled, any question answered, and the door to healing any wound in the life, opened.
The tea, known for thousands of years as “Ayahuasca,” has been relied upon by the people of this region for guidance, for balance, and direction for the life. Far beyond the jungles of South America, ayahuasca has been experienced by those from all walks of life, by scientists, doctors and professional people from all over the world.
Many describe the experience inside the heart of the Holy Vine as a profound meeting of one’s self and a window into the connection of that self with divinity. Time becomes a fluid river, a second can seem hours, hours pass in a moment. While many misunderstand Ayahuasca as simply a hallucinogenic drug, the mother vine offers a pure intelligence to all who meet her with reverence, readiness and a willingness to listen to her instruction.
This teaching may come in the form of visions, visitations, or simply pure awareness that seems to rise from the ethers. There is no way to adequately describe the experience of Ayahuasca. It is a living teaching which lifts one outside of ordinary reality, while at the same time, shows us deeply practical insights into life anchored in the body and on the earth.
Best described by the term “entheogen,” or a substance whose action potentiates the experience of the divine within, Ayahuasca sheds light on all layers of our living. It does not, in the purest understanding, create anything new within the person ingesting it. Rather it affords a refined and miraculous view of what already exists. In this way Ayahuasca acts as a spiritual lens that helps us focus on deeper truths than we can easily see in day-to-day life.
This master plant teacher is direct and heart centered. Once the doorway is opened to her wisdom, she will show you what you most need to know, whether you “feel” ready or not. Our histories, our wounds, our relationships, our stubborn tendencies...all are revealed with exacting precision for the purpose of clearing the blocks to our ability to live with full vitality, joy and presence. While this instruction can be relentless at times, on a physical, emotional and spiritual level, the gift of being afforded such a cleansing can leave one feeling truly reborn.
Far from a recreational drug experience, participants in such work are invited into a rigorous crucible of self-examination. Extraordinary assistance in navigating these rugged parts of the road is given from what is often experienced as Heaven itself.
When guided by Don Diego’s loving care, the ceremonial experience of Ayahuasca leaves nearly everyone feeling as if they have been cradled in the arms of God. While some may leave a ceremony feeling challenged by the journey, it is a common experience that with time, the seeds of beauty and wisdom that were sown by the vine begin to take root in everyday life. Many with an experience of intensity in ceremony, return to drink again when the gifts of the teaching unwrap themselves in the life.
No matter what the beliefs or religious background of a participant, the visions and teachings of the plant journeys are uncannily tailored to one’s own system of meaning. And, at the same time, an archetypal framework, anchored in the culture and imagery of Amazonia, is often revealed to those with no history with or knowledge of these indigenous cultures. In this way, Ayahuasca invites us into the “best of all worlds.
The traditional brew known as Ayahuasca is a blend of two Amazonian master plants, the Ayahuasca vine itself (Banisteriopsis Caapi) and the leaves of the plant commonly called Chacruna (Psychotria viridis). It is unknown how the mysterious synergy of the mixture of these two plants was discovered amongst the thousands of plant medicines that thrive in the Amazonian rainforest. For one without the other will not afford the psychoactive qualities of the brew.The pharmacology of Ayahuasca depends upon the interaction between the active alkaloids of each component. The bark of Banisteriopsis Caapi contains B-carboline alkaloids, which are potent MAO inhibitors (the essential active ingredient in a class of antidepressants first formulated in the 1950’s). The Psychotria viridis contains the potent short acting psychoactive agent, N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT). When DMT is ingested alone, it is does not have a psychopharmacological action. But when combined with the MAO inhibitory effect of Banisteriopsis Caapi, the DMT is rendered orally active. This interaction forms the basis for the psychotropic activity of the Ayahuasca brew. (McKenna, Towers, & Abbott, 1984).
Some religious groups and shamans in various regions of the Amazon design the Ayahuasca tea with differing admixtures to induce a range of psychoactive effects. But it is the classic combination described above that is used by Don Diego in preparing Ayahuasca for the ceremonies in the Dieta at Sachavacay. Don Diego has been mentored over many years by master shamans of the region in the ancient manner of preparation of this sacred medicine. The labor-intensive process involves hours of collection of the vine, cutting it into short segments and the intense work of pounding it into a pulpy substance that is then boiled for many hours in a traditional manner over a continuous wood flame. No machinery is used at any point in the process. All the work is done by hand with traditional tools.
Don Diego is meticulous about brewing this holy substance by himself, not allowing anyone besides a trusted and experienced assistant to attend to the brewing pots. Because Ayahuasca is an energetic as well as a pharmacologic medicine, Don Diego is careful to maintain a pure atmosphere in the creation of the ruddy brown and beautiful tea.
When one becomes sensitive to what care fuels the process of the making of this brew one can feel the love within Don Diego’s heart blending with the pure intelligence of the Mother Vine.
Such are the essential ingredients of the sacred tea offered at the Dieta at Sachavacay.
The Science and Preparation of Mother Vine
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