Iboga Journey- The Detox
The Awaken your Soul Iboga retreat center is located in San Ramón, an hour and fifteen minutes from San Jose in Costa Rica. The property sits on 91 acres of pristine, lush Costa Rican jungle with a natural mountain water pool. It houses five buildings, beautiful casitas that were built by a Spanish family over twenty years. Amazing Spanish influenced architecture that spared no details. This place is amazing, a sanctuary and exactly what I need to disconnect from outside and connect with nature and with myself.
Anthony and Amber greeted us with her beautiful baby Luna. We got all situated in different houses and gathered in the evening time for dinner, mostly plant based, clean food prepared exquisitely by the chef and her assistants. A taste of Costa Rican cuisine and more. Later met around the fire pit for intros and the week's breakdown of events.
Things are not rushed here at Awaken your Soul, everything flows and happen when everyone is ready. We had all day to be with ourselves, journal, prepare our intentions and just relax. Had a one on one with Anthony talking about the intentions for ceremony. The day turned into night and it was time for ceremony.
The ceremony space was opened by the sound of the cahootie ( water buffalo horn) to gather around the fire. Anthony went around each one of us ( 7 participants) with a traditional Bwiti fire with a torch ( moputo) with sap ( okume) clearing the space and for protection. He talked about the Bwiti tradition and how Iboga was discovered. Not going there now, to keep it short but you can do your own research by going to awakenyoursoul.co to learn more about the Bwiti tradition. Then the medicine was given one by one. Taking Iboga in bark form it's not an easy feat. I take a shot of Ayahuasca anytime. The powder was dropped in my mouth with a big spoon and I chugged down with water. It's like earing sawdust not that ever tried that anyways.
Sitting around the circle. Waiting for the medicine to kick in, we talk about life. I was the first one to leave the circle to go to my mat. Last time I was the last one and that was because I was resisting and trying to control the medicine. This time I was ready.
Laying on my mat, blindfolded, with Bwiti, high energy music on, I embarked into my journey.
I See a Lot of Dead People
Dark shapes were starting to form all around me. No colors just dark silhouettes of people, faces that I don't recognize morphing into other unfamiliar faces. A familiar tapestry of geometrical patterns dropped lazily from above, gliding and even grazing my skin. I could see through my closed eyes and through my blindfold. It was as if dropping the gaze opened up a whole different room I'm a paralleled universe.
My auditory senses were amplified. I hear people talking next to me. I opened my eyes to check who was so rude to disrupt the ceremony space but there was no one there. I laughed as I was familiar with this sensation too. However, things changed a bit after a little while...or a long time, don't know really for sure. The shapes were not materializing more vividly like my precious experiences and there was no logic or meaning to them. Darkness started to engulf me when I realized that it was the coils of a huge snake. Then dead people started to float and appear all around me. Unfamiliar faces from all cultures, Asian, middle Eastern, African just appearing , morphing and vanishing. I saw an African woman with full ceremony regalia, even the guy Kramer from Seinfeld floating on top of me like superman, his big nose almost touching mine. I was like what is happening? This makes nonsense. The buzzing was intense, the music, the sensations. Then it got even darker. An eerie, guttural sound surrounded my head space. A ghost or demon glided very slowly inches from my face and away. I could see the eyes, mouth open in an evil grin and claws extended from its jagged form. I didn't panic at all but was very curious as to why I was seeing this and what was the meaning of all of it.
Amber and Anthony kneeled behind my head on the mat and asked me how I was doing. I was doing ok, just couldn't stay still. For some reason I was feeling angry I saw images of me from childhood, adolescence and adult life. I was the third person, the observer looking at myself but impartial ,with no emotional connection to the Carlos I was observing. I saw the features of my face when I get mad to every detail. I was seeing how I react when I'm angry and then saw my son Ian getting angry.
I've been projecting my anger to my son the same way my dad did to me and probably his Dad. An image of my Dad came to my field of view and I understood.
This was ancestral trauma passed down to generations.
The sometimes short fuse character I lived and experienced in my own life, the same I see in my son Ian, it's the same I saw in my Dad. Other images and thoughts of the reality of my life, from the type of movies I like to watch, action pack, gore and blood plus the my pent up frustration about the latest in my personal life was awakening a dormant ,vicious giant in me fueled with anger and violence.
This is not why I came here for but again the medicine doesn't give you what you want but what you need.
Pressure was building in my stomach, nausea kicking in ...the inevitable came with much gusto. I purged like I've never before. Chunks of Iboga bark in my throat, inside my nose and mouth. Nasty taste. Again, I take an Ayahuasca purge anytime. I was purging and had to go to the toilet several time with diarrhea. This was my detox.
The night continued with no end in sight. Suddenly the music changed to familiar ceremony music. I felt soothed almost immediately and wanted to go to sleep but couldn't. Images, memories and thoughts flooded my mind. Even after moving in our respective rooms. I couldn't sleep for more than 30 hours.
I was in and out of a dazed, my body in pain, roaming like zombie around the property. A dive in the pool washed of some of that energy like the skin of the snake and food in my stomach made me feel better but no sleep.
During integration, after a full day and half of recovery, I learned that what I experience was a Detox of all the negative energy I have accumulated in my body and energetically. I can receive wisdom and guidance from the medicine until I release the negative energy, anger, frustration and insecurities that have troubled me for a long time but more pressing these past 3 years. It makes sense in every cell of my body and I look forward to receive during my next ceremony.
Next episode: Being in the Present