I’m still processing the experience, but I don’t believe that ayahuasca itself was to blame. I think it can be a healing, transformational tool when consumed in a safe setting. Here are some best practices I’ve come to find:
1. Bring straws to the ceremony to help you to drink water as easily as possible.
2. Don’t drink an entire glass of ayahuasca at once. Have small sips at your seat so you can moderate how your body is responding. Once you’re “under”, “undoing” what you’ve ingested is not a speedy process.
3. Go with a friend, if you can.
4. Go to a center with shamans vetted by someone in your network.
5. I would recommend booking with Gaia Sagrada in Ecuador.
Questions to Ask a Center You’re Considering:
How will the ayahuasca be consumed?
Can participants drink their ayahuasca slowly, at their own pace?
What is the ratio of shamans to participants?
How many chaperones will there be who not be consuming ayahuasca at all?
Will there be a first aid kit on site?
Are any of the chaperones/shamans First Aid/CPR certified?
If someone needed emergency medical care, how would that care be provided?
Under what circumstances would someone be driven to the hospital?
If necessary, how would someone be transported to the hospital?
Would the driver be someone who had not consumed ayahuasca?