How drinking Ayahuasca permanently changed me.

A year ago I was on the plane to Peru to drink Ayahuasca and my mind was infested with suicidal thoughts.

Flying to Iquitos, Perú.

I stared at the emergency exit of the airplane, wishing I could jump out of it.

I contemplated my suicide for hours in the sky.

I picked a dangerous place to drink Ayahuasca- a place where no one spoke my language, a place nested deep in the jungle, miles away from any hospital.

There was nothing safe about what I was doing.

In my mind, I pondered every possibility. Maybe my body would react poorly to Ayahuasca and I would die. Maybe I would get bit by a poisionous snake and die. Maybe I would-

There was no practical preperation at all, only emotional preparation for my death.

From a very young age, I had an unhealthy preoccupation with death. I constantly fantasied about death, it was a coping mechanism because I hated my reality. I hated the act of breathing. I hated humanity, I hated the world I was in. And most of all, I hated myself. I was highly perfectionistic, always subjecting myself to unrealistic standards. I placed a bar on myself higher than I could ever reach.

When I was 13 years old, I would get a grade below 90 in school, I would cut myself. Every time my weight went above 105, I would vomit and exercise for hours. My first real suicide attempt was when I was 17, and after that, I overdosed on drugs up until I was 22 years old, when I overdosed on 16000mg of Wellbutrin. I had hallcuinations that caused me to question reality.

My questioning of reality ended up with me sitting on a cushion in a Buddhist temple a year later, where I discovered the beautiful and healing effects of meditation. A week long meditation retreat healed my brain more than the medication I was taking. It taught me more about my condition than years of therapy did. Because of meditation, I was able to actually live with my depression. I was actually able to observe it. Despite being able to cope with my thoughts, I still had intrusive suicidal ideation. I still woke up and my brain would immeditately tell me to die. I was just able to observe these thoughts of suicidal ideation, instead of attaching to them.

The only thoughts that I weren’t able to deattach from, no matter how hard I tried, were my existential ones. When I was 23, I experienced an event that triggered PTSD in me, and made me constantly question reality even more, and I couldn’t stop. I dove into books on quantum physics, in order to understand nature at its fundemental level. I went back to university to major in physics and psychology, in hopes I could find some piece of information that would explain existance. I questioned reality so much, that at times, my brain could no longer recognize what was real and what wasn’t. I ended up in the hospital for early onset psychosis. My psychosis was accompanied by chronic pain, numbness and tingling and losses in vision. I figured all my years of drug overdoses were catching up with me. I cried in the MRI machine, as it scanned my spine and my brain, terrified for what I was going to find out.

There was nothing. I stared at my MRI scans, wondering how my brain could actually be structurally fine, when all my life Ive been cycling through deep depression, PTSD, impulsive suicide attempts, and now episodes of psychosis.

Some months after recieving my MRI results, I had a horrible episode. I was standing on a sidewalk, and I completely forgot where I was. I forgot who I was, and where I was going. I could no longer tell that the cars were cars, so I walked in front of traffic. Thats when my vision blurred, like I was walking through a tunnel, and I had immense tingling in my legs and my spine. I came back to my senses after seeing the cars halt to a stop in front of me. I realized I was right next to home, and I had just left to go to work. I managed to get myself home, where I found my keys I left in the door. I curled up on my couch and cried. I felt completely helpless…and then…

I felt an overwhelming sensation of love and light.

I can’t describe this. I’ve never felt so much love and light. It was so strong, that it felt more real than anything I’ve ever felt. I realized that everything was going to be okay, in a way I can’t ever describe. The sensation of light was accompanied by even more tingling in my spine, but it didn‘t bother me. I felt like my consciousness was expanding to let in more light.

That was my first glimpse of this vibrant, loving light. I researched this feeling, and I was shocked to find countless articles about spiritual awakenings. Each article described everything I was experiencing. I did not believe in “spiritual awakenings” at all- I still firmly believed I was having neurological issues, especially with my history of mental health issues and drug overdoses.

Somewhere in my research, an article about Ayahuasca appeared, and the second I laid eyes on the artistic impressions of her- I heard her call. She told me it was time to go meet her.

This caused a lot of internal panic inside me, because I knew that I was crazy at this point. I logically reasoned I was growing closer to insanity, and I needed to go to the hospital to retry medication. There was no way a plant was calling to me. But then I read countless of people describing the exact same call. There were countless people in the world, that were experiencing my exact same situation.

I would hear her call every day after that, like an invisible force was pushing me to the jungle. It was so strong, that I did not go to the hospital. I stopped going to therapy for my early onset psychosis. My body was tingling, I was having so many chronic pain flareups I could barely move, but I sat with it all. I bared through it every day, and I kept meditating to keep myself grounded.

I got to the point where I couldn’t continue to postpone a trip to the jungle anymore. My MRI was fine, doctors couldn’t find a single explanation for what was happening to me, I basically tried every medication out there without aid, and I had savings to go. Ayahuasca suddenly went from a crazy idea, to being the most logical idea.

Note that I went to drink Ayahuasca with a mind built on logic. Of course, I was experiencing body tingling, I was experiencing impulsive suicidal thoughts and heavy existential crisis, and I was also feeling some sort of Godlike light going through me- but I still believed that all Ayahuasca would do was give me the placebo effect, maybe for a few months, then I would be back to square one. Since I’ve already hallucinated on drugs, I figured it would be the same deal. I didn’t believe it would do much.

Despite that, I cried and I cried. I cried more than I ever did in my life the month before drinking it. I thought for sure I was going to die. I didn’t think I would come back, because going into the middle of the jungle alone was dangerous, and I read about horrible side effects of Ayahuasca online, and I also read about experiences where people died drinking it. Flying to Peru felt like I was flying to the guillotine.

When I said goodbye to my family before going to the jungle, I meant it as my final goodbye.

And it was indeed a final goodbye, because…when I came back from the jungle, I was a completely different person. I was reborn. The person I was before drinking Ayahuasca, would not recognize the person I am today.

(You can read about my Ayahuasca experience here, but this post is about the changes that have occurred in me.)

It has now been a full year since I drank Ayahuasca, long enough for me to logically deduce that the changes in me from it have been permanent.

Here are some of those changes:

I am the healthiest person I know. I don’t have a single health issue, mental or physical. I have no pain, no numbness, no tingling, I have 20/20 vision, and not to brag, but I’m growing amazing muscles from being so active!

I’m full of energy. Before I couldn’t get off the couch most days, now I’m constantly moving. I enjoy hot yoga, weight lifting, and biking. Of course, I still love to take power couch naps! I have yet to find anyone who can match my current zest and energy for life.

I’m full of sexual energy. There is no limit to how much I enjoy sex. Sex feels completely different now, it feels cosmic and electric, and with the right person, it feels like my soul is vibrating.

I’m spirituality integrated It took months after drinking Ayahuasca to fully adjust to what she taught me. She pulled my soul out of my body. It was a classic case of an OBE/NDE. Because I was pulled out so quickly, and experienced the afterlife, it was extremely tough for me to integrate myself back into the world. Not only did I suddenly have an intense love and appreciation for life, something I never had before, I also carried memories of the process of dying (which includes a deliberating feeling of grief if you did not live a life of love and gratitude, followed by a familiar tunnel that you will know you’ve travelled through an infinite amount of times once you see it) , and the “afterlife” (which is really just an interdimensional transformation that is peaceful and nothing to be afraid of), and NONE of this is easy to integrate into life. It manifested as severe anxiety at first, but now, I’m calm. Deep down , we all know what the afterlife is. Theres millions of documented experiences similar to mine, the afterlife is no secret. We all know we are here to love, its no secret. What we are all doing here, is no secret (Its to LOVE! Love, love, love.). We all know. We all just get lost inside our brains, attached to our thoughts and our opnions of the world, that we forget how to love.

I experience sadness and grief differently. The sadness has a beautiful quality to it. I can best describe it as the state of Mono no Aware. Look this state up! I’m just basically in awe of the sadness and impermanence of life.

I used to be an atheist but now I use the words “God” and “Soul.” Ayahuasca flung me out of my body within seconds of her taking effect . I was in a spot where I had zero control, and zero body…and that was well before she ripped “me” in pieces until there was nothing left. You try coming back to the world and still be an atheist after an experience like that! Now, I use the word God to describe higher powers like Ayahuasca, but also to describe the unifying; loving energy of Oneness.

I no longer see humans as humans. Rather, I see humans as souls, and a soul is a fragment of one source energy. Souls are made of vibration and frequency. Each soul is facing struggles, for two reasons- 1) facing your struggles is a growth experience that your soul enjoys and 2) so your soul can bring this experience back to the source, as we are all one unifying energy of love. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but you will realize the vastness and the importance of this truth once you have to come to terms with your own death.

I’m in love. With everything. The planet, my body, my soul, the people in my life. Every day, I feel intense love from doing anything, whether its the dishes, or riding my bike. The wind passing by my ears as I pedal- thats love, and that’s all the love I’ve ever needed.

I can no longer get attached to suffering. The plant spirit taught me that suffering is a gift. There is so much meaning in suffering, because it means you have the gift of human life. Once you have gratitude toward your suffering, you can no longer be attached to it.

I have depression or no suicidal ideation. Not even a single thought, because I now recognize that death is not an escape from life. Rather, death is life itself. Death is like taking your clothes off. Its so natural, its all part of the flow of the universe, and its just a beautiful part of life.

I’m grounded in reality. I feel in touch with my soul and how its having a human experience, I feel as if I’m seeing reality im technicolor- its rich, full of life, full of vastness, full of color, full of love- and its also full of darkness, full of suffering, full of hardship- I see it all, existing as one, like I’m envisioning the full Ying Yang symbol, and this vision makes my mind balanced and more grounded than ever.

I have no existential questions. Mother Ayahuasca showed me the meaning to our existence, by transforming me into nothingness, a form that couldn’t conceive of meaning. When you are no longer able to conceive of meaning, meaning does not matter, and that is the meaning. The point of life is simply here and now, and we will always be here and now, whether we are alive, whether we are dead, whether we are human, whether we are a flower. We are here to connect to this eternal being, this eternal nowness, and this now, this being- its all love. All of it, is love. So we are here to love.

Breathing feels like a massage. Just being alive, having a body, doing things in my body, feels like one huge massage. Your soul loves your body too, or else it wouldn’t have one.

I’m able to manage anything. I’m in univeristy. Before, I couldn’t complete university because of my mental health issues. Now it’s a fun challenge, and I’m excelling at it. I’m enjoying seeing how far I can go in life, and what I can do. Its way different from before, when I held myself to standards. Now I’m just giving myself big challenges because I find the process of it fun and exciting.

This art by Ram Dass depicts exactly how this cosmic “wheel” dance feels.

I feel a vast sense of interconnection. I am the trees, the sky, I am you, you are me.

I’m always dancing. Literally, I can’t stop dancing. Figuratively, I feel as if the universe is engaged in one huge dance, and I can feel this dance vibrate through me.

I feel like a vibrating string of infinite possibility, that’s part of a web or a wheel. I feel like what we can achieve is endless, and that I’m always in this state, and the entire universe is in this state. I believe that reality may actually be something like a cyclic, interdimensional wheel, full of infinite, infinite possibility.

I’m energy sensitive. People exhibit certain color, an “aura”, and I’m drawn to certain colors. I can tell if people are struggling a lot in life. This means I have to be careful with whom I offer my energy to, and this has resulted in me enjoying my alone time more than I ever have. I love the peace, the quiet, and I love connecting to my soul.

I love the mundane aspects of life. I’ll clean, do the dishes and pay my bills any day! These things are exciting to me now.

I don’t take life seriously. I’m quite laid back and relaxed, and I enjoy all sorts of humor, and I love to smile and laugh.

I am eternally grateful. For you. For this life. For absolutely everything

Ayahuasca never stops teaching you. Her life lessons expand far beyond after you take in her spirit. I had an important lesson, an important realization, just a few months ago. This happened to me when I was lying in bed, and I thought about all the times in life I had suffered. I remembered every drug overdose, every time I cut myself, every panic attack from PTSD, every time I suffered at the hands of others, all the abuse I endured from the people I loved, every time I attempted suicide…

And I thought to myself, “Wow! That was awesome!” Like a little kid that just got off a scary rollercoaster ride, I would do it again and again. I would go through all that suffering again, just to wake up from it like I have in this life time. I understand the purpose of suffering, its the pathway to a greater joy, of which I get to experience now on the daily. Its the pathway to love and light. Its what I came to this dimension to experience, and I would come back, again and again. Even if it meant having my life shrouded in mental illness like I did before, I would do it again, because like my soul said- “That. WAS. FRIGGIN. AWESOME.”

Of course, I’m no gatekeeper of life. I’m far from having all the answers, as I’m just like you, I’m a soul having a human experience, I happened to find some answers, but far from all. All I know is death isn’t scary, just as long as you lived with love in your heart, and the second we die, we can return if we want, and our higher selfs don’t mind that at all, our higher selfs love to live many, many lifetimes.

My story isn’t unique. It is what billions of humans have experience through our time on earth. The constant questioning of reality I experienced is called the Dark Night of the Soul in literature, and the following health issues combined with sensations of love and light are typical of a spiritual awakening, so I hope you read this with that in mind, and note that we don’t have to spiritually awaken in our lifetime, we merely just have to love.

Finding the ability to love yourself, other sentient beings, the earth itself, and all parts of your life will always guide you to having a beautiful and phenomenal life.

Thank you so much for reading.

With much love,

Shunya

How to express your soul through art.

When you hear the word “soul”, what do you think of?

I used to just use it as another word to describe things that touch me deeply. I could feel a song in my soul if I was able to deeply connect to it.

To be honest, I didn’t give it much more thought than that. I knew there was this concept of soul in many religions. I knew that people believed that after we die, our souls go to another place, but I didn’t believe this.

I was more focused on the physical functioning of the brain. I imagined that we were just our brains, and after we died, that nothing would happen at all. We would cease to exist.

I was wrong. I was completely wrong.

The very first lesson the plant medicine Ayahuasca taught me was that we have souls. I learned that in one second.

Why? Because I literally jumped out of my body. I flew out of my body, so quickly, and there are no words to describe this experience. I can’t even try to put this into words, because its nothing like what we can feel here, on our human plane of existence. The only thing I can compare it to is like creating a beautiful piece of art.

The beautiful sound of a waterfall.

Because of this, I now have new connotations with the word soul. It’s not that we have souls, its that we are souls. And we are here to have this beautiful experience in the human body. There are things we can experience here, that we can’t experience in the afterlife.

Only here can we enjoy the delicious taste of coffee. Only here can we kiss the people we love. Only here can we enjoy the sweet aroma of baked goods. Only here can we hear the sound of a waterfall.

The little joy we feel in these things, well, that is our soul speaking to us. What I learned is our souls are naturally vast. Our souls extend across multiple dimensions. And we are all likely part of the same soul, that has broken apart, to experience life, in many different forms, then we return to being the same form. This repeats, over and over again, like a dance.

Are you this water droplet?

It’s almost as if your soul is flowing like water. Imagine your soul like water in the clouds. Then it rains, and the single water droplet that hits the leaf becomes your body. And all the other water droplets, they are also you. Everyone else is part of the same cloud. And you eventually go back to being the water in the cloud. You become one again.

You may scatter temporarily, but you always go back to being one. Its so natural, so incredibly natural. When we are connecting to our soul, we are like water droplets, trying to connect to the sky from which we fell.

We are humans trying to connect to something bigger than ourselves, and the thing that is bigger doesn’t speak using words. The only way to connect to it is through art, because art isn’t constrained by our human body. Art is free flowing, art is full of infinite possibility, art can be anything at all. And you my dear, are also free flowing. You came here to remember that.

Once you remember it, then you start to flow. Art will come easy to you- in fact, art will become something you have to do, because now you can hear the vastness of your soul. You need to express that vastness inside of you, because it is now a part of you, more than ever before.

Most often, people have no troubles agreeing that art is an expression of the soul. What people struggle more with is finding inspiration to do art. They lack motivation, lack inspiration, lack the time. And this is why meditation is so important.

Picture your thoughts like rocks in the water. You can learn to flow through these rocks.

With meditation, you will come to learn that these are all just mere story lines we create in our mind. We are always attaching ourselves to excuses, and they are all just a story. They are only as real as we make them. You can learn to deattach yourself from these stories.

And when you do, you will have more room to connect to your soul. If you are a river, all your thoughts are like rocks, blocking you from flowing correctly. You can learn to flow through the rocks. You can become free flowing, just like your soul. And then your art will become free flowing too.

When creating art, don’t put any limitations at first. Just let it all flow, without limitations. You can critique it later.

Don’t listen to what your thoughts are saying, just draw, just play music, just knit, just take photos, just write, just cook- whatever it is you’re doing, just do it, completely mindlessly.

And that is how to make your soul jump out of you.

What a Near Death Experience (NDE) Taught Me

Life is the most precious gift there is.  We do not have the means to understand life, but we do have the means to embrace every part of it. It is a gift you may not realize until moments before you die. To quote Terrence McKenna the months before he died,

“Just being told by an unsmiling guy in a white coat that you’re going to be dead in four months definitely turns on the lights. … It makes life rich and poignant. When it first happened, and I got these diagnoses, I could see the light of eternity shining through every leaf. I mean, a bug walking across the ground moved me to tears.”

After my NDE, I feel exactly like Terrence McKenna described. Everything moves me to tears. Just yesterday, I was crying because I could see the night sky above me. Life is a gift, and we must treasure as much of it as we can. Even the mundane parts of life are divine. So do your dishes!

The gift of life was given to us by a higher power. It doesn’t matter what kind of god you believe in, or if you even believe in a god at all, because this higher power exists regardless of how you perceive it. This energy of oneness is everywhere, and it is the energy that connects everything that is. It is the energy of being, and you are a mere thought away from experiencing this being. This godlike energy is flowing through us all. It is in that person you don’t like, it is in that stranger on the street, it is in the trees in the forest, it is expanding across the universe. It is what connects us all, it is the collective unit of all that is. Once you connect to it, once you realize how expansive you actually are, that is when you will connect to this higher power. You will come to find that this power is actually love. The universe is existing as a dance, a dance of all that is, and everything that it consists of, is dancing in unison and love. You are a being of love.

The afterlife is another way of being. You can think of death like opening the door to your car. You were experiencing the state of walking to your door- that is life. Then you open the car door, that is death. Then you sit into your car and start driving. That is the afterlife. You are still very much alive, you are just experiencing reality in a new way. Of course, the shift from life to the afterlife is a much bigger than just going from legs to wheels. It’s more like going from being a human to a galaxy!

The state of dying is not an entrance into total nothingness, it is an interdimensional transformation. After you die, you will ascend your humanity. You will transform. And you understand the meaning of it all.

mantisshrimp-467993194
Mantis Shrimp have more color receptors than us, meaning they can perceive colors that we can’t. Perhaps they can perceive the meaning of life?

If you want to understand the meaning of life, imagine yourself seeing a new color. There is meaning to our life, so much meaning- but the meaning can’t be understood in our human form. Trying to picture the meaning of life is like trying to picture a new color- it is impossible. All we can be sure of is that it exists. We are limited to our human perception, and after death, we lose our human perception. We ascend to a higher state of being, where we have an infinite number of senses. Only then can the meaning of life be understood. What we will understand about life, will expand beyond all meaning. Meaning itself is a human concept, and the need to understand and make sense of reality is also a human concept. You will ascend all human concepts.

Death is a natural process. Death is so natural, you’re going to wonder why you were so afraid of it when it happens. Death is no different from breathing. It’s just happening, its happening all the time, and its completely natural. You’ll remember what death is all about when it happens, because you’ve experienced it over and over again.

Love your body. Cherish your body, listen to it closely, and that will nourish your soul. Your soul adores your body, even if you don’t know it does. Your body is what connects you to the gift of life.

backlit beach dawn dusk
Practices like yoga can help our souls connect to our body. The more our souls and bodies are in alignment, the more joy you will discover.

We are souls, our souls are inhabiting our bodies temporary. Our souls do not have form, emotions, reason, bodies, memories, or a sense of self. We have no true self. But this does not mean our self does not exist- rather, it exists, as part of one giant collective universe. Everything is connected, and when you think something is separate, you are just looking at one part of the connection.  That means you are me, I am you. Imagine yourself as a single star. if you remained as this single star, you wouldn’t be able to see that you’re part of a constellation. And your constellation is part of many other constellations. All those constellations form a galaxy of stars. You are a tiny detail in one big picture.

Dewy_spider_web
“Imagine a multidimensional spider’s web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum. “- Alan Watts

Our souls are fragments of the collective universe. In other words, all of our souls are all part of the same web. Our souls are like fractals, containing all that is, unfolding continuously.

We can’t take our memories with us after we die… Memories are a construct of our physical body. This means what you do here doesn’t matter, just enjoy every second of it. But don’t worry- because your memories will still exist after you die. Even if you never talk to another human in your life, your memories are still existing, because your memories are built into the intrinsic web of all that is.

…However, we can take love with us after we die. Love is the vibration of the universe. Love is everywhere, and its existing in many different forms. Love is even in the form of fear. We have not inherited fear to help us survive on the Earth, we have inherited fear so we can experience love. If you’re afraid of dying, it’s because you love your life. Things you would think that have no consciousness, such as a star, is experiencing the love of shining brightly. The purest love takes the form of light, so after you die, a light will guide you into your transformation.

Everything you perceive is yourself. If you’re ever wondering what it is you’re looking at, whether its a person or up at the stars, know you’re looking at yourself. After you die, you can no longer experience the world how you are now. If you are experiencing the world after death, you are experiencing it in a completely different way.

Before my NDE, I would stare at Google Earth, imagining myself staring at the planet, as an astronaut in a spaceship. I would constantly ask myself “What is this?”. I imagined the earth as being small, so small in comparison to the galaxy. I couldn’t make sense of it all.

After the NDE, I realized the answer to my question “What is all of this?” was as simple as “It’s me.”. Everything I perceive, including the entire galaxy, is all just me. Every person I meet is also me. Your life experience is extending out to the entire universe. The universe itself is a reflection of your perception. Your brain is creating the universe, and your brain is the universe.

This means your reality is a subjective experience. There is nothing here that is not subjective. Once you realize this, you can tap into your true power. You really can change your reality through your thoughts alone. But I will cover that at another time!

person sky silhouette night
You are the universe.

 

15 Gifts of Meditation

Meditation combined with my Ayahuasca experience gave me many gifts. Here are some of them:

1.The Gift of Compassion

bench chair friends friendshipAfter drinking Ayahuasca, I experienced a lot of anxiety, at an intensity I’ve never experienced before. I’ve been taught I don’t truly have control in my life- and it forced me to accept that, and to let go. This awakens unconditional acceptance and love for every single sentient being, who is struggling with something they can’t control.

2. The Gift of Equanimity

I can listen to people better, I can actually hear what they are saying, with no judgement. Especially people who become stuck in loops of frustration. I used to try to offer advice, or try to help the situation, or judge it in my mind. Now I just listen, with a sense of inner calmness.

3. The Gift of Life

Suicidal thoughts plagued my mind all my life. Now, I have no desire to die anymore. I want to stay here on this Earth so bad, that I need to be careful this desire does not turn into a fear of death.

woman using space gray iphone x

4. The Gift of Mundane 

I’m in love with completing simple tasks, something I never loved doing before. I used to struggle to dress myself and take care of my environment. Now I understand that all of this is part of my beautiful life experience.

5. The Gift of Understanding

I used to question my reality a lot. I never considered this to be bad, it was just part of how my brain worked. This part of me has disappeared completely. Life is a gift, and this is the only thing I’ve ever needed to know.

6. The Gift of Stillness

person sitting in front of the taj mahal

My mind is so quiet now, I have no idea what to think about. I have a Twitter that I’m currently struggling to update- because I don’t have thoughts to write. And when I have thoughts, I don’t identify with them.

7. The Gift of Being

I can just be and enjoy my being. I can be doing a lot, or nothing at all. I can just exist and love every second of my existence. I used to judge myself hard for whatever I was doing. If I wasn’t being productive, if I wasn’t doing something right. Now all of this judging has dissipated into the beyond. No matter what I’m doing, I can enjoy it fully. Even if I’m inside watching Netflix on a beautiful day, I love it so much, because it is all an extension of my life.

8. The Gift of Love

I have a deep, profound love for all that is.  Love is radiating through me, and I see the universe reflecting it back at me. I am love you are love, everything is love., and knowing that makes me feel so joyful inside.

9. The Gift of Music

I never used to hear songs in my mind- now I can, and I love dancing to them. I want to learn to dance! Not only that, my music tastes have changed. I can’t listen to negative songs anymore. I appreciate uplifting songs, even if they are cheesy.

photo of woman standing on rock formation doing yoga

10. The Gift of Body

I never used to feel connected to my body- now I feel its voice. The voice of my body is my own, and its also the voice of the universe. Nurturing my beautiful body is a top priority for me. Yoga is one of the ways I love to do this, along with sticking to a plant-based diet.

11. The Gift of Creativity

Right now, I’m having a burst of creativity, which is why I’m writing this. I have a huge desire to sit down and write forever. I’ve realized writing is my form of creative expression, so I will continue to write for the rest of life, and keep it public.

12. The Gift of Beauty

I can see beauty everywhere, including graveyards. I used to pass by graveyards and think deeply about how it would be me someday. Now I feel happiness that those lovely souls got to walk on the same ground as me. And I’m quite certain they are all walking the Earth again!

13. The Gift of Prayer

backlit clouds dawn dusk

I pray because I feel so grateful for every moment of my life. Some days, I wake up and I feel like I’m being touched by god. I feel like I’ve been given the biggest gift. 

14. The Gift of Intention

Whatever I do, I do so with an intention in mind. This helps me stay mindful of what I’m doing, and helps me connect to the moment unfolding in front of me.

15. The Gift of Gratitude 

I’m so thankful for our existence. Every moment is so precious, so wonderful, so lovely. Whoever or whatever gave me my life, thank you so much! 

-Shunya Rose

 

I’ve struggled with depression for 13 years and I’m finally HEALED!

TW: This is an in depth discussion about suicidal ideation, but a positive one.

This morning, I am sobbing.

Ever since drinking Ayahuasca, I have not had a single suicidal thought.

My intrusive thoughts were always the worst in the morning.

Every single morning, for the past 13 years, I had to face awful thoughts waking up. And this did not depend on what I was doing that day. I could have the day off with nothing to do, and I would still face the intrusive thoughts.

Right now, its especially crazy, because during the first week before my period starts, my thoughts would always get 1000% worse. I was diagnosed with PMDD. All my trips to the ER this year, have been on the week before my period, because my thoughts became so bad, I could no longer keep myself safe.

It is the week before my period. My uterus hurts. And my mind is quiet.

This is the biggest change in my health ever since drinking Ayahuasca. I no longer want to die- every part of me wants to live.

When you suffer from depression or something similar to it, it’s like you’re floating through existence. You’re not part of it, not really engaged.

You may wonder why you’re even here. And finding meaning in your existence is the hardest task to do on this planet.

I can guarantee you that 100% of people who experience suicidal ideation have contemplated their existence, over and over again.

And the only thing they’ve been able to find is their loved ones. Whether its a person or their pet, often they find a friend to live for. This is lovely, until they feel like no one cares about them, when they feel alone, the effects can be devastating.

Most people react to this by assuring the suicidal person is not alone. Psychologists will teach you coping skills . Christians will tell you that God is watching over you, so you’re not alone. Self care advocates will tell you to love yourself and learn to enjoy your solitude by taking a nice bath and writing in a gratitude journal. Positive nihilists will shrug and tell you “No one cares? That’s great! You can do whatever you want!”. Mindfulness experts will tell you to stop clinging to your loneliness and focus on your breath. Buddhists will tell you to face the loneliness and become friends with it.

You will get all sorts of reactions, all sorts of advice, to deal with your suicidal ideation. And trust me, I’ve tried them all. They all worked, to an extent. There wasn’t really any advice that was particularly bad- though I found Buddhist teachings the most helpful. And when you combine them all, you build a super shield against the thoughts.

But no matter what shield you put up, they are still there, and every single day your carrying the heavy shield. Even if you place the shield down and become friends with your thoughts, like any close friendship, there’s still going to be days where it’s hard as fuck to have them around.

When this happens, we are always left with the one thing that keeps us on this planet: our loved ones. Out of all the searching our minds do to find meaning to our existence, our loved ones are the only thing we can find. So you have to ask yourself- what’s the point of all these coping skills, all this breathing, all this learning, if in the end, the only meaning to your existence is your loved ones, which may not even be around, or your brain may perceive yourself as being a burden to?

You can try loving yourself all you want, but you know deep down inside you wish you were loved back. You can meditate all you want, you can gain all the riches you want, but you know that your still a tiny speck sitting on a dying planet in the middle of space. You can take all the antidepressants you want, but it will just creep back on you, and the side effects of those medications are often just as bad as the depression itself.

Yeah, its hard. It is incredibly hard to get yourself out of depression, which is why it is considered an illness that you have to carry with you for the rest of your life.

But actually, you don’t have to.

Ever since drinking Ayahuasca is there is no way I can return to having depression. It is impossible, since she showed me what death is like. And when you can experience death, you will realize just how precious life is. She showed me I had a soul- something that you need to experience in order to believe. She showed me that there is no true “afterlife”, there is just another way of being.

Which means that here is also a way of being.

All those people you see, who don’t struggle with suicidal ideation, are just being. They are just living life, without thinking too hard about what they are doing. And it’s not because they are stupid, it’s not because they are healthy. It’s because they are just existing, and that is what you will always be doing, just existing. We were just equipped in this life with the capability to suffer, but even suffering, can be turned into being.

It may be hard to accept that the meaning of life is to just be. But trust me, when you’re in another form, you won’t be questioning the meaning of life. Do you think if you were a cat, you would care that much about what you’re doing? No, you wouldn’t. You would just sleep for 16 hours a day and that would be your life.

When you suffer from suicidal ideation, you don’t even realize that you’re actually still engaged in being. If you fight thoughts of suicide all your life, that is your way of being. You’re just being. You have no idea, but you’re already engaged in the meaning of life without even knowing it.

But you can change your way of being. Suicidal thoughts and depression are indeed a hard way to be, so you can change that. You can focus in on the moment- because you will never be the same way as you are in this very moment.

But you need to connect to the moment without your ego, because your ego was not designed to be, it was designed to keep you alive, so you can experience this way of being. You need to just fully be in the moment, without judgement. You need to just BE.

All those suicidal thoughts, are actually love in disguise. It’s actually your brain and ego trying to keep you alive, because they love you. It doesn’t want you to suffer, so it wants to calm you and assure you there is a way out. But the second you actually start to commit the act, that is when your ego will panic.

You will realize that all along, your mind never wanted to kill you. Your mind was never against you. It only wanted to make you feel loved and happy.

No matter how much you think you do, you don’t actually want to die. You just want to live a happy life. You just want your mind to be peaceful and still. It’s trying it’s best to do that for you, but it doesn’t know how. So it’s up to you to teach it how.

When your ego gets ripped apart, you have no choice but to just be. There’s nothing else to do. And in life, you can do the same thing.

So go turn on your video games. Go do something unproductive. Go do whatever it is you want to do, and challenge yourself NOT to judge yourself for it.

Whatever it is you’re doing right now, just let yourself be.

Don’t become invested in thoughts of “Oh god I’m procrastinating”, or “Oh god I’m so unproductive and lazy”, “Oh god I’m not taking care of myself at all”.

Just…be. And after awhile, you will become more in touch with your body, and you’ll naturally be able to take care of yourself more.

Enjoy the beautiful moment you’re in.

-Shunya Rose

Who helps you become a better version of yourself?

I’m manifesting people in my life who are helping me become the best version of me.

And it is a beautiful experience.

The best thing about people is that they don’t mind teaching you what they know, even if its something you feel you should know by now.

I never knew I had so much time to learn how to take care of myself and others. I never knew people could be this wonderful. I never knew life could be this wonderful.

When I was a young girl, I came to the conclusion that my parents were not capable of being parents. That conclusion holds true to this day. But I also came the conclusion that my life wasn’t worth living because of it, and that conclusion was wrong.

I watched my parents fight every single day. I watched as my dad put his hands around my moms throat. I watched my mom provoke his actions with her emotional abuse. I stood there as my mom abused my entire family, bringing out the worse in us all.

My survival depended on my ability to read emotional situations. I needed to have the ability to read their actions, so I knew what came next, and how to protect myself.

I developed empathy in order to survive.

No one told me this growing up. I loved people intensely, and my love was labelled as a disorder. My empathy, my loving heart, was labelled as sick.

Of course, I looked sick- I couldn’t manage my life. For example, my parents never taught me to cook, so I never labeled cooking as important.

I just lived off whatever scraps I could. I had one meal a day, if anything at all. All I ate was Bologna, fries, meatballs, and microwaved meals. I never knew anything else.

I learned that I had to take care of myself. I raised myself, the best I could.

I used society as a guideline toward what I needed to do: do well in school and get a degree.

It never happened, because I didn’t even know how to eat. I didn’t know how to smile. I didn’t know how to talk to people. I didn’t know how manage my life. I didn’t know how to commit to goals, because I couldn’t see myself having a future.

I didn’t know how to be happy.

All I knew was darkness, complete darkness.

I didn’t know that sunlight was there all along, in the sky. When I saw therapists, they labelled my brain as disordered. They said it was because of my past experiences that I was this way. They told me I had to learn skills in order to cope with my brain.

They put me on medication when I was 16 and expected that to fix me.

No one told me that happiness was in the sky. No one said “Hey, look at the sky. See those beautiful clouds? They are happiness.”

I was programmed to believe that happiness was a degree, having kids, having a car, having a good paying career, having a house, having lots of stuff.

But happiness was right there, all along.

I almost killed myself.

I almost lost out on the taste of coffee this morning and that lovely lady that talked to me about bananas on the street this afternoon and my partner who just told me I’m thin and crispy and my new friend who showed me how to bake bread yesterday and my best friends smile as I showed up at his door with a birthday cake the day before…

I almost lost all of this, because society labelled me as sick, and I believed them. I almost lost all of this, because I failed to live up to the expectations of society.

I was brainwashed into believing my life wasn’t worth living, not just by myself, but by everyone around me.

I was brainwashed into believing that I was somehow different than everyone else, because I grew up in a traumatic situation, when I’m really no different from anyone.

It took learning meditation for me to see the truth.

Joy lies in the little things in life: the taste of delicious food, the sky, a breeze on a warm day, laughing with friends. 

No one taught me this.

My parents taught me that life was pure darkness and suffering . Capitalist society taught me that I was running in a race. A race of who could have the best education, the best job, the most accomplished life. My friends and previous lover taught me that people are distrustful, that I wasn’t worth loving, that I was hopeless and worthless. The medical system taught me that my brain was sick and disordered, with no help of recovery.

No wonder I knew nothing but suicidal thoughts. No wonder darkness crept in and made a home in me. No wonder I so desperately wanted to leave this world.

Meditation taught me that joy and gratitude is found in my breath. My life is a miracle, and so is this beautiful Earth around me. I’m sure I could be sitting on a bench, homeless, right now, and I would still find a way to be joyful.

Life is everywhere. We are meant to take it slow, so we can truly enjoy every moment. We are all merely little humans, trying to find happiness. The world is full of generous, happy, loving, trustworthy people. Love is existing everywhere. My brain is a beautiful structure, made up of 100 billion neurons. My brain cells are vibrant and full of life, and they have lots to share, and lots of things they would like to learn and do.

The main one being, how can I best take care of myself, so that I can help others take care of themselves, too?

There’s so much here, and I’m grateful.

So grateful to be alive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it all really in your head- or can darkness exist outside of you?

Today, my mind was jumbled to pieces. I was engrossed by darkness, a darkness so huge that it wanted me to commit suicide, right then and there. A darkness that told me I had to isolate myself away from all my friends and family, a darkness that told me I was unworthy of being alive. I was overtaken with frustrated emptiness, a physical heaviness in my body. I was suffocating from loneliness.

It is not a new darkness at all, it is one I felt all my life. The darkness told me that I could never escape it, that it would follow me everywhere I went. That it would always penetrate through my skin, no matter what I did. It told me I was aging, that there is no point in continuing, that I’ve done all I can with my life here.

My heart was racing, as if it was aware that darkness had entered my mind. I felt terrified of myself. It wasn’t just my heart that was terrified- but it was also my brain itself. Thoughts circled in my mind, trying to find a way around the darkness. It was clinging to logical statements, i.e, “Thoughts are just thoughts, nothing more.”. It also clung to life changes I could make that would help, i.e, moving out of my house. It searched and searched for whatever thoughts it could, to fight the darkness.

I’ve already discovered that the neurons in my brain don’t want to die. On the verge of actual death, I can feel each cell in my brain do whatever it takes to call out to the cells in my body, in a desperate attempt to revive itself. And now, I’ve discovered, that even when my brain is telling me to die, it’s still trying to keep me alive.

A huge question I have is…is this darkness actually my brain? The more I learn about my brain cells, I constantly question if that darkness is actually me, as in, my ego construct. If they are actually thoughts constructed by my brain cells themselves.

The logical conclusion is that its old brain patterns. I grew up coping with stress by indulging in suicidal idealization. So it’s easy to say that its my old thought processes are acting out in some sort of dark dance. But the more I observe this dark dance, the more I realize, the entirety of my mind and body are actually actively fighting against it. And that fight is the reason why I’m still here today.

I can’t help but to believe I’m picking up some signal in the atmosphere, some sort of energy, that is not my brain. I can’t help but to think the darkness is actually outside of me, rather than in me, like insects biting my skin.

This thought goes against everything I believe.

I’m all about pointing fingers at myself for everything I do. I’m all about self growth and self realization, I’m all about taking responsibility for myself.

So to consider that a darkness could originate from outside of my consciousness is crazy. But if I get stung by a wasp, and my skin swells up, what good is it going to do to think my skin swelled up on its own?

When my skin swells up, its trying to protect me from a poison that entered me from the outside. What if the heaviness in my body, my heart racing, the deep depression and need for isolation, my brain racing in circles trying to figure out solutions…what if my entire body is trying to protect me?

What if the darkness is like a wasp, and it tries to sting me, tries to take me over, and my body is fighting it? Is it really that crazy of an idea? Could there be some sort of energy in the air…and I’m easily infected by it, while others are not?

The only problem is I have no way to prove that there is a darkness outside of me. At least, for now. If I keep doing energy work, and observing it, maybe I can figure out what it is. Since I frequently plummet into pits of darkness, I am my best test subject to studying what exactly it is.

It’s silly, that many people are born here with the ability to do so much. I often wish I could do more for others than what I do. I want to help society and extent a helping hand. I also want to save the environment. I want to leave goodness behind. But instead, I’ve been fighting darkness, all my life. And it’s all internal darkness, so no one can see it. It’s so embedded in me, it’s all I can write about. I can’t do anything useful, but fight my darkness.

I say fight, but I no longer fight it like how I used it. I no longer label it like how I used to. I just let it be. I keep letting it take me over, to show it that I’m not afraid. There is room for the darkness inside of me. What I’m fighting is the urge to block out the light too.

I am an open door, and I will always be open. So darkness can come in though the front door, but it will quickly find its way out the back door. There is no shelter here.

There is something I read that stuck out to me- it was written by a Peruvian shaman. Apparently, there is darkness in this world. I can try not labeling energies all I want, but darkness still exists. If it really exists, outside my ego, outside what I label as darkness, then I definitely know it.

I want to make my mind and body a home for the light. But I’m conflicted on whether there is a light and a darkness at all, if I need to even think in these black and white terms. If you break through the duality, you’ll realize that darkness is light, light is darkness, there is no separation between the two. This thought makes the most sense to me. What doesn’t make sense is even when I’m aware of this, I still feel darkness.

The only time I truly can’t feel darkness, is when I’m not aware of anything at all…or I’m too aware…a deep meditative state that transcends duality.

I ended up doing a yoga practice, and it was by far my hardest one yet. I could barely lift my arms, my body felt so heavy. At the end, I felt a moment where my mind was clear. And I was able to feel the light again. The answer was there all along.

The answer is live, not think. The answer is a clarity of mind. The answer is that there are no answers, just live. Just breathe. The universe will work itself out. What is meant to happen will happen, so I can just lay back and live.

Interestingly enough, when your mind is clear- and the seconds before you die- you feel the light. As if attachment to thoughts can create darkness: as if attachments give a free tickets to the darkness. Only in a meditative, clean slate of mind, will you realize that all your thoughts fundamentally don’t matter. And not at all in a depressing way- in the lightest, joyful way possible. And there is no more darkness.

There is peace, so much peace.

I may never understand why this is. Perhaps its because my ego protects itself against dark energy, but when I surpass my ego, there is no longer any protection. The darkness finally penetrates me, but so does every other energy imaginable. And somehow, I’m lifted toward the brightest light.

I’ve got about 2.5 weeks before I take Ayachausca. The darkness does not want me to take it. In fact, its going to do everything it possibly can to stray me away from it. Excuses keep happening in my brain, “It’s too much money”, “You’re too sick to take it”, “It’s unsafe and you’re going to die.”, “It’s going to show you horrible things”, “You’re not ready.”. But when my mind is at its clearest, I can hear the plant calling me. I can understand that no matter what happens, I will be okay, and I am ready, and that this is my destiny, and I must not be afraid.

-Shunya Rose

 

 

 

How depression lies to you

Some days, when I wake up in the morning, I experience severe depressive thoughts. It can feel as if I’ve been born for the first time. Inside, my brain is crying like a newborn child. It’s as if my brain has to readjust itself to reality, it’s all jumbled up, and it makes it hard to put a shirt over my head. My brain has to relearn how to process reality, every single morning, as if it forgot during the night.

As my brain wakes up, it will search for reasons that I feel this way. It can range from “I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night” to “I’m not meant to be here.” In the past, my coping mechanism was to just forget about the thoughts, and get myself out the door. This worked well, for most of my life. But not ago, it stopped working. I began wondering what would happen if I listened to some of the thoughts. The ones I wondered most about were the ones that told me “I hate my job, I hate going to work, I hate being on time, I’m not fit for work. I want to do something else.”

So I was able to adjust my life . Right now, I am currently living a life where these thoughts are allowed to manifest. I go to university, and I don’t technically have to be on time for any of my classes. Instead of taking classes that benefit me in the future, I’m taking classes I’m truly interested in right now instead. This helps give me a sense that I have control over my reality. And after finishing my exams, I didn’t have work for a long time…so when I woke up in the morning, I literally had nothing to do. I felt free for the first time in my life, and what I discovered was interesting. I have found out a couple of things:

  1. If you have depressive thoughts, they will manifest REGARDLESS of the situation. It doesn’t matter if you have to work 9-5 every single day, or have all the freedom in the world, or anywhere in between. They will still manifest. Changing my life around to give myself more freedom did not take away the thoughts.
  2. Depressive thoughts are full of excuses. As I’ve already mentioned above, a huge excuse for me to feel so depressed was my job. After I took away my job, I STILL had the thoughts. Even the excuse “I didn’t sleep well last night” doesn’t work, they manifest whether I sleep 10 hours or 3 hours.
  3. Your brain wants to know why its having depressive thoughts, so it attaches the thoughts to absurd, untrue excuses in order to make sense of it. As already mentioned, these can range from “I hate my job” to “I hate being alive” to “I wouldn’t have these thoughts if I had ____” or “Everything is boring and mundane.” It’s hard to recognize any of this as being untrue until you actually see outside of it. No lifestyle changes will take away depressive thoughts, because they are NOT dependent on your life. Someone else could be in your exact same position and be the happiest person alive. Not only that, your hateful thoughts are casting an emotional lense on reality, when reality itself is free from this lens. Reality just is.

These thoughts are like being in the matrix. They are all you can see, they are addictive, and its the only way your brain can make sense of what is happening. The freedom begins when you can observe your thoughts without judgment. When you can just stop attaching them on your circumstances and see them for what they actually are- just simply thoughts.

Of course this is tough, when all you’re accustomed to seeing is your thoughts. This is why I do not at all regret adjusting my life to allow myself more freedom. When you’re able to actually experience the fact that your thoughts are not real, it is a huge game changer. But you can’t actually experience it through logic. If you wake up and go to the same job every single day, and your brain is telling you that your job is bad, how are you supposed to know if that’s true or not until you actually take a break from your job?

This is why I encourage that, alongside your meditation, you do give yourself freedom. This is why I encourage that you find ways to step outside of your every day reality, so you can actually experience what its like to be outside of what your brain is accustomed to. All it takes is one experience of seeing reality outside of how you perceive it to change your life forever.

Every day, it gets easier for me to wake up. I can now see my thoughts for what they really are, and I can allow them the freedom to roam, without getting too attached. I can sip coffee and watch the sunrise now. I still feel like a newborn baby waking up sometimes, but not always one that cries. Rather, one that can only gawk at this beautiful universe around me, that is so huge I can’t even begin to fathom it.

-Shunya Rose

Woke up feeling like dying? Do this.

Write down all the reasons WHY you feel like dying. Here are some examples:

I have no money. 

I have no job. 

No one cares about me.

I don’t want to be here. 

I wish my life wasn’t like this. 

Next, cross out each thought and replace it with an affirmation or an objective truth, even if you don’t believe it at the time.  You can write the logical reason why your affirmation is true to help you believe in the statement.

I have no money. Money is abundant.

This is the truth. Money is the most abundant resource on this planet. It is the one resource that will never disappear as long as you’re here. It is renewable.

No one cares about me.  People care about you.

Why don’t you call a family member or a friend this morning? Someone cares about you, you just can’t see it right now. I care about you.

I don’t want to be here.  You are here.

Removing your thoughts on the situation can help you see it more clearly. You are here, regardless of what you think of this place. Feel this moment, feel the environment. It’s not as scary as it feels, it just is.

I wish my life wasn’t like this.   I like my life the way it is.

Of course, it’s okay to also like your life and not like your life. Both can be true at once, don’t forget this. Another piece of wisdom I have for you is that if you can find ways to like your life right now, then you will always like your life, since your life only happens in the now.

When you don’t believe an affirmation is true, act as if it is. You can ask yourself- if these affirmations were true, what would I do? And then act on it.

Go easy on yourself this morning. Just do what you can, even if its just breathing. One thing I would recommend is to meditate. Turn off all distractions and just sit somewhere.  If you can’t sit anywhere, do it while you’re walking. I suggest opening your eyes, to take in your environment.  Focus on each breath you take. Feel how it goes up your nose and out your mouth. Check in with your body- how does it feel?

And of course, have a sip of coffee. Focus on how it tastes. Isn’t it delicious?

If anything, coffee is always worth waking up for.

white cup filled by coffee
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