There was a time in my life when I’d found myself in the company of a group of modern-day hippies. A mixed group. Well, mixed in age and income level. They were mostly white in color, so not so mixed in that regard. But hippies and spiritual-seeking folks they were.
I needed them. I was there. I was ready. Ready for community, communion, for conversations beyond what I was finding in my general friends network. I was ready for more.
I found this group first through a dance workshop, and from there I found their church: the kind of church I could attend with comfort, the kind of church that used words and language that was welcoming and expansive to me and not doctrinal or dogmatic to my ears.
And from the church, I found friends, more workshops and a place I wanted to spend more time. I started going to church more regularly when one day, one of the community leaders told me that there was going to be an ayahuasca ceremony and would I like to come. Sure, was the answer I gave him. A resounding Yep!
He told me the price for the ceremony, suggested certain foods to avoid the week prior and explained how I needed to bring comfy bedding to make a nest of sorts for myself as the evening would be long. Oh, and to wear all white. Sounded reasonable enough.
I didn’t ask many questions of him and I didn’t look anything up on the internet. (The internet existed but it wasn’t the rich repository of info, perspectives and content that it is now.) I pretty much simply showed up for the ceremony.
Then nest making done, shamans introduced, intentions set, we drank the blood of the earth that is ayahuasca. So intense.
And then we went in.
Yes, I had psychedelic experiences. Yes it was all quite incredible. But my most distinct memory was a feminine presence coming up to me early in the journey and telling me, in the gentlest of ways, that I could ask anything of the universe, I could have any answer, I could know anything I wanted to know.
And so we went, she and I, to the edges of the universe, to my inception and first days of my existence as a being outside of the womb, where I had memories of my understanding — as a new born baby — of my incredibly deep, sophisticated, soulful understanding of the emotional and psychic world of the people around me (my parents).
She judged me not for a single question I asked. She simply brought me to the answer, showed me what I needed to see, then took me to the next place of inquiry and interest.
Now, I have known many friends, many lovely friends, kind friends, smart friends, caring friends, deep friends, funny friends, awesome friends. Yet in her — in the energy of ayahuasca that I experienced on my first journey — I met a true friend like no other.
Sometimes I wonder if it was actually me that I met that night.