“The kingdom of Heaven is within.” – Jesus
I was blessed to participate in three beautiful Ayahuasca ceremonies in rural Mexico this past week. These ceremonies took me out of my mind, deep into my heart and into a blissful state of deep gratitude, love and joy.
During my first ceremony I felt I was swimming in pure love and gratitude as I moved through a fluid kaleidoscope of ever morphing colors and patterns. I felt the power of love healing past relationships with joyous forgiveness and deep gratitude. Deep within my heart I felt no fear, regrets or worry – only love, joy and gratitude. What a beautiful place to be. How hopeful to know that this entire journey into Heaven was experienced deep within, while I barely moved.
The Kingdom of Heaven truly is within – if only, as Swami Beyondananda says, we are willing to “leave the static of the head for the ecstatic of our heart“. No matter where we are or what we are going through we all have this beautiful place within.
Throughout time the great sages have guided spiritual seekers to look within to find enlightenment, salvation and Heaven. Yet in our material world, many still seek fulfillment outside of themselves – in the next thing, the new relationship, tomorrow’s dream . . .
There are many ways to journey within such as meditation, contemplation or prayer. One of the most powerful medicines to aid us in our inner journey of self discovery and healing is the plant known as Ayahuasca. In combination with other plants, it has been used ceremonially for the healing and expansion of the mind, body and spirit for hundreds of years in South America.
Guided by a genuine shaman, it can take you to the depths of Hell or the soaring heights of Heaven – or both in the same ceremony. Where it takes you depends on what you carry within you, what you focus on and what you need to experience to heal.
Some need to journey into their shadows and dredge up what they have repressed, denied and feared in order to bring it into the light of consciousness. By “facing our demons” and feeling through the depths of our pain, fear, guilt . . . we can potentially release and dissolve these “demons”.
To journey into our shadows and face our own demons is perhaps the most courageous act. Dissolving our individual and collective shadows is the work of transforming our world, one human at a time.
Once we dissolve the fears, guilt, shame and other darkness that obscures our ability to see the “light” we can then fully experience the rapture of love, peace and joy, with eyes wide open. What a glorious vision it IS.
Ayahuasca helped me see that where our journey of life takes us depends on what we choose to focus on. Are we ready to tune into gratitude, love and divine joy or are we stuck focused on our pain, regrets and resentments? Within the same space and ceremony some experienced deep pain, fear and anguish, while others experienced deep love, joy and peace. Some experienced it all and many emotions in between.
I’m convinced, now more than ever, that Love is the pathway to Heaven and Fear is the pathway to Hell. And ultimately we choose the path we are on individually and collectively.
During the past year, before recently experiencing Ayahuasca, I’d explored my shadows, blind spots and unconscious behavior in depth. A painful break up served as a great wake up call for me. And while it was often painful to recognize how fear, ego and illusion lived in my mind and created pain and error, seeing this in the light of consciousness was ultimately liberating. When exposed to the light of conscious love, the darkness dissolves and the light illuminates our way.
The three Ayahuasca ceremonies I experienced in Mexico, in a sun soaked garden valley fed by a stream and cradled by mountains, helped me tune deeply into my heart, turn on to love and break through into the most blissful state of love and joy I’ve ever experienced.
Contained by mountains, this serene valley became a cauldron for stirring our deepest emotions, memories, dreams and nightmares up from the bottom of our unconscious and into the light of consciousness to be healed. Some saw only fear, guilt, shame, while others saw through the darkness into the glorious light of ecstatic love and joy. In this place during ceremony the most divine bliss and the most anguished pain all coexisted and were welcome.
When I arrived my friend Danesh and his lovely companion Kopali gave me a tour of the retreat center grounds. I felt as if I had stepped into the new paradigm of peace, cooperation and harmony with nature. In this rural valley in central Mexico was a garden of far out people, plants, fruits and animals living harmoniously and surrounded by natural beauty. The modest homes and buildings in the valley complimented the landscape.
This beautiful garden community was an inspiring “set and setting” for journeying into the soul and beyond.
Under the dark cover of nighttime we entered into a beautiful round room made of wood, colored glass and earth. A dozen or so souls sat against the walls sitting on sheep skins and bundled up in wool blankets.
After each of us drank our initial dose of Ayahuasca, the beautiful and deeply committed husband and wife shamans stirred the energies in the room and wove a divine web of prayers, love and magic as we journeyed into the night. They tended to us like a mother and father with the sweetest compassion, charm and wisdom for their beloveds.
Their music and enchanting harmonies grew more serene and ethereal as the journey deepened. It lifted my spirit ever higher. I felt gratitude welling up in my heart as I contemplated how blessed I am to know all the amazing, far out and magical people in my life. The abundance of gratitude fed my heart with the sweetest nectar and love overflowed and rippled out from my heart, while radiant bliss and joy poured into my heart from above.
I vividly imagined myself flowing gracefully through life sharing love and joy, with a touch of charm and wit, like Willy Wonka passing out candy on his best day ever. I was “Kernel Love Joy”, living as if his kernel had blossomed into the fullest expression of love and joy. Oh, to be that man who I know lives inside me!
I prayed that I would never forget this blissful loving state of being and that I would carry it with me and share it in a million ways everywhere and always, for love truly is endless and renewable.
I basked in the radiant bliss and peaceful flow of love and gratitude in and all around me for timeless hours. Just to know that such a state of blissful nirvana could be experienced by me, while still alive, was to discover Heaven on Earth.
If I could find Heaven within, then we all can. Heaven on Earth is truly possible if only we tune in to our hearts, turn on to love and break through into the blissful state of divine joy. What a beautiful realization.
As the ceremony wound down the singing became a gentle lullaby inviting us to find our way to our beds and dream beautiful dreams. I stood up on wobbly legs like a newborn fawn and made my way out the door. With eyes wide open I spilled out under a brilliant dazzling night sky of stars and the moon hovering over the shoulders of the distant mountain range. I felt such awe as if seeing this glorious sight for the first time.
The night air was cold and I stumbled over to the blazing wood fire rung by people from North and South America and beyond. Their faces were illuminated by the fire, the moonlight and the glow from their ignited souls. Though we spoke different languages, I felt the language of the heart connecting us.
Behind us were two big statues of an eagle next to a condor. I had learned of the prophecy of the Eagle and Condor flying together years before through the PanchaMama Alliance, who have been working to save the Amazon and it’s culture.
Like Ayahuasca itself, this ancient prophecy was born in the Amazonian jungles thousands of years ago and over time spread north all the way up to Alaska.
According to the PanchaMama Alliance, this prophecy “speaks of human societies splitting into two paths – that of the Eagle, and that of the Condor. The path of the Condor is the path of heart, of intuition, and of the feminine. The path of the Eagle is the path of the mind, of the industrial, and of the masculine.
The prophecy says that the 1490s would begin a 500 year period during which the Eagle people would become so powerful that they would virtually drive the Condor people out of existence. This can be seen in the conquering of the Americas and the killing and oppressing of the indigenous peoples in the subsequent 500 years – up to and including today.
The prophecy says that during the next 500-year period, beginning in 1990, the potential would arise for the Eagle and the Condor to come together, to fly in the same sky, and to create a new level of consciousness for humanity. The prophecy only speaks of the potential, so it’s up to us to activate this potential and ensure that a new consciousness is allowed to arise.“
Learn more at: http://www.pachamama.org/blog/the-eagle-and-the-condor-prophecy#sthash.rep3tyVl.dpuf
As I looked around the fire and saw white and brown faces from North and South America and beyond sharing the fire in peace and harmony, I could see this prophecy being fulfilled. What a hopeful vision to imagine a world co-created with our high tech minds guided by our hearts and by divine spirit from North to South. What a world of beauty, balance and delight it could be – if only we choose to let our hearts and spirits control our minds.
I sat down next to one of my beautiful comrades in the journey of the soul. This loveable bear from the Ural Mountains of Russia named Danesh was reborn in California and transformed into a Kundalini yogi and shaman of the sacred plant medicine. What a blessing to call such a sweet soul my friend. Curled up next to him was the beautiful and strong woman named Kopali, who was his partner in love and in healing the world one heart and spirit at a time with sacred plant medicines.
Near us on a mound of ancient dirt the old German Shepard we called “Shaman Dog” lay crumpled up with aches and pains groaning under the moon like a worn out werewolf.
Off in the distance I heard the sound of horses running free under the brilliant moon that lit up the valley. The bright starlight was traced out around the shoulders of the mountains that encircled us like elders around a fire.
I looked up at the moon and stars and this beautiful moment blazed into sheer awe and wonder as a shooting star blazed a stream of glorious light glitter through the stars.
At that moment, I caught myself asking – “Is this really real or am I dreaming all of this?”
Of course, some say it’s all a dream, as in:
“Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.”
Awe . . . such a glory to be reborn and re-enchanted with the sheer delight and magic of being alive. I have the deepest gratitude for the amazing gift that life truly IS.
I feel reborn with eyes wide open to the wonder of it all. And with clear eyes – free of fear, guilt and regret – I see the beauty and love in everyone and everything. We are truly one giant tribe held and nurtured by mother earth under the loving and undying sun, moon and stars. Can you feel it?
May your eyes, heart and spirit be wide open and full of awe. May you feel life’s magic in your heart now and forever. And may you carry your love everywhere you go and give it away freely – after all, it is eternally renewable.
I’m confident that Love will win in the end because it’s irresistible. It’s what we all really want, even when we are looking for it in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways.
Love is awakening and growing in the hearts of millions and rippling out to create a sea of transformation. Love will light our way home.
Long live the LovEvolution!
Kernel Love Joy 🙂
Tune in to your Heart. Turn on to Love. And Break through into Ecstatic Joy.
P.S. Take a moment to put your hands over your beating heart and thank it for its undying service, wisdom and love. Now close your eyes and see your radiant red heart alive and beautiful and keep feeding it loving gratitude.
Gratitude truly is the sweet nectar we feed to our hearts. Now open your arms and take in the glorious wonder and feed gracious gratitude back into your heart.
*Please spread the LovEvolution by sharing the love and this story.