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  • Writer's pictureTara Vaughan

The Jungle

On Friday I leave for Peru. I’m heading deep into the Amazon jungle where I will be staying in a little village with little to do other than, yoga, meditation, reading and swimming in a river, which is known for having piranha’s in it… And of course the reason I’m going there, to see a Shaman. I will have six shamanic healings over the course of two weeks. Followed by a week of exploring Peru.

So why am I doing this? Well this past year has been pretty rough and when I spoke to a friend, Ganz, back in March he told me how he spent two years living in the jungle with this Shaman. Ganz told me how he has seen addicts and suicidal people come into the jungle a complete mess but through allowing themselves to be completely vulnerable and to stop fighting and accept that their problems aren’t necessarily mental problems that can be fixed by medication or therapy or both. They may see that their problems may in fact be a spiritual illness. By making the decision, whether they believe in spirit or not, to allow the shaman and the powerful medicine, Ayahuasca, to open them up spiritually and have their traumas that they have suffered over time, that hold them back in life, taken away by the shaman and replaced with pure light, drive, focus and ambition and most importantly, happiness. This light is something that everyone has inside but through life’s trials and tribulations sometimes fades away, until they can’t feel it anymore.

"My own light left me in the dark." - Healer Poetry

All my life I have had this idea of who I am supposed to be but maybe I have to blow that up just to find out who I really am. I feel that this trip to Peru will do exactly that. At least I hope. I have tried everything I can think of to help my mental ill health. I have been on anti-depressants and in therapy for the past six years, I have had full body check’s, blood taken and stool samples to make sure that I am not lacking in something or that it’s a gut problem. I see a nutritionist who tells me what my body is lacking in and what my body is sensitive to. I mediate and I practice yoga as well as do other forms of exercise. A part of me knows that my trauma is not from my body, it maybe held in my body and massage, reiki and acupuncture can help move it but I believe that it is deeper than all of that, perhaps even from a past life.

I believe that I need some sort of healing that I haven’t tried, something that’s not traditional western medicine, and something that goes deeper into the soul that, unlike most doctors, understands the soul.

I haven’t made up my mind yet if I’m even going to try Ayahuasca, I’d like to make the decision when I arrive. But to give myself that option I have been on the world’s worst diet – I am not one for dieting! To prepare my body, I am not allowed the following because it’s bad for Ayahuasca and stops the connection:

No drugs, including weed and all meds – easy

No alcohol – easy as I’m sober

No caffeine – easy, I don’t consume anything that has caffeine in it

No dairy – difficult, cheese and butter, butter being way harder than I thought

No sugar, including honey – easy, honey more difficult than I thought

No red meat or pork – difficult, but not as hard as I thought

No spice – easy

No orgasms - with or without someone else, that’s for my kundalini energy – sadly, probably the easiest

No salt – difficult, a lot harder than I imagined

No tap water or filtered water, just spring water – easy

Three days before I arrive in the jungle all I’m allowed to eat is chicken, rice and potato, and drink water, spring water.

Ayahuasca, as you may have heard, is not always pleasant. Ganz says that it can be terrifying and beautiful at the same time, you can expect to have your work cut out, and be pushed to your limits, but when you think about a few hours of discomfort for a lifetime of happiness, well it’s just a small sacrifice that’s worth every moment!

And when I look at it like that, why the hell shouldn’t I give it a go?

I struggle with my demons daily. However, I am thankful that I have never let my demons consume me completely. As I get stronger, they will get weaker. Every now and again they pop up and I have a set back, but I rise above them slowly. One day I will conquer my demons. Here’s to hoping that this shaman can help me conquer my demons. I am serious about change, and I understand that I have to go through uncomfortable situations and stop trying to dodge the process. I believe that this trip is a great way for me to grow.

I have been to hell and back this past year and I buried myself in a dark dark hole. I have come off my medication a lot quicker than I would have liked to just so that I can go to the jungle. It has not been easy. But I have it in my mind that it’ll all be worth it. That when I come back from the jungle I will know who I am. Not the me that I thought I should be, not the me that I pretended to be, not the me with the many masks but the real me. The suicidal thoughts will have gone. That monkey brain of mine will have calmed down. The nightmares of Hugo will stop. And everything will be okay. I will find happiness, peace and contentment just as I was finding it before I met Hugo. But instead of having him there to help me grow it, I will nurture it myself. I will love myself and hold my own hand when I need to. I will be there to comfort and support myself. I will get back to that place I was at where I didn’t need anyone else in my life, where I could be a lone wolf but this time I wont be a lone wolf because I choose to shut everyone out, I will be a lone wolf because I am strong on my own, because I am independent and because I will have complete freedom to be myself. But I will also be able to reach out to people when I need to. When I feel down I will pick up the phone without feeling guilty, I will reach out to a friend and not feel ashamed and I will ask for help when I need it.

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Ashley Rachel
Ashley Rachel
Sep 01, 2018

As a social worker, I've looked into the effects that ayahuasca can have on people with mental and emotional difficulties. I've never taken it myself, but from what I have researched I believe it can do wonders for many people- whether you have a diagnosis or not. I hope that you find healing through using it and I look forward to your hearing your experience.


Aug 29, 2018

More power for you. You are on a right path and you'll defiantly conquer your demons. Love to see the end result. Never lose hope. You can and you'll do it.


Jessica Joachim
Jessica Joachim
Aug 28, 2018

I hope you find what you are looking for, it sounds like you are on the right path and a good jorney! I think going on a trip to Peru will be wonderful


Scott Gombar
Scott Gombar
Aug 28, 2018

Sorry that you are going through or have gone through so much but this trip sounds like it will be amazing. Just disconnecting from the world will probably do you some good. I look forward to seeing a full report when you return.

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