We have recently been doing quite a few methadone and heroin treatments, with increasing co-operation – thankfully – from Drug and Alcohol doctors around New Zealand. All the recent treatments have been successful, but they are also quite hard work at times – the longest one took 13 days – with a very happy, but tired, customer at the end of it.
It was a great joy last week then to take a break from the opiate detoxes and help someone on a profound psycho-spiritual journey. We were overjoyed then to receive a written report of the journey, with permission to post it on the website…
Psycho Spiritual Iboga Journey
My journey with Iboga started three weeks before I was due to have the treatment. I stopped drinking alcohol, started mediating and praying more, becoming more in tune with the environment around me. So when Cornelius and Anah arrived I was ready for my Iboga journey.
We commenced the evening with prayers and clearing the room with white sage. I took 2 pills at 8pm and lay down in bed with my eyes closed, listening to music. I felt quite relaxed, focussing on inhaling and exhaling. My mantra was ‘sweetly, softly, gently’. My body felt very relaxed, like it had not been ever before. I had 3 pills an hour later and another 4 the following hour. I knew that the Iboga was having an effect when I could see the fan above my head and my eyes were closed. I could also hear a buzzing sound that sounded like a high pitched whistle. I opened my eyes, amazed that I could see through my eyelids and when I closed them again I saw the darkest black that I had ever seen. I had a drowning sensation and my body tensed up and then I remembered ‘sweetly, softly, gently’ and relaxed back into it, knowing that there was nothing to be afraid of.
I saw a tree in the distance and instinctively knew that I would meet that Bwiti people there. I waited near the tree and then saw small, black African people come to me. I then saw a small, skinny African woman reach over to my sleeping figure and put her hand on my stomach. She lifted my stomach like there was a flap there and reached into this dark blackness with her hand and when she withdrew it, she opened her palm and reached out and showed me it. There was a small black jellybean like shape in her hand. I knew that it was me as a baby, my seed that I had grown from. She then reached back into my stomach and returned the baby. Later on, she did it again but this time there was another skinny African mama with her. They took the tiny baby seed out of me again and this time they moved their hand and held it in front of my eyes so I could see what they were holding. At first I thought that they were handing it to me to hold but then I realised they were just showing me what it was. I saw the details of the baby. I saw myself as a baby. They then placed the baby again back in my stomach. I knew that they were showing me my connection to them and my connection to Iboga. They had known me since I was a baby, they had always known me and that was my connection to Iboga. Bwiti music was playing in the background. I could hear the Bwiti sisters, they were in the tree with their bells, singing and laughing. It was a beautiful feeling, like I was surrounded by people who had always known me and loved me. They were celebrating with me.
They then showed me my life. It was like a media player on fast forward times 1,000. It was a stream of images and memories. Stopping at ones where it would show me incidents that had happened but turn it around so instead of experiencing any pain, shame or negative feelings, I would then see it with compassion, love and forgiveness. That memory would then be swept away with all the other ones. Everytime this happened the Bwiti sisters would laugh and celebrate my new understanding of the situation.
I saw my approach to everything was so structured and complicated. Everytime I would receive a message about my life I would immediately start processing it and turn it into something complicated and stressful. Iboga showed me that it was my approach that led to the stress and complication. It showed me as a Dr Seuss like character, with my big pen and pad, taking notes and putting up barriers everytime I heard something. It showed me that I would set of a chain of events which triggered other events but at the end of it – it always took me back to the initial message so I was creating a whole lot of unnecessary and pointless hurdles for myself. I looked so ridiculous and comical that I would end up cracking up laughing. At this stage I was literally cracking up laughing on the bed. The Bwiti sisters were also finding this hilarious and would be singing and laughing in the tree behind me. They celebrated every understanding I reached. This kept happening over and over again. I kept finding myself in the same place – like I had forgotten the lesson that I had just learnt. I realised then how stupid I had been with the complicated and stressful approach I was taking to life.
The message was STOP THINKING. I was over thinking everything all the time. Just let it be. Understanding and listening is far more important that taking notes and thinking that you are understanding.
I saw that I had been blessed so many times in my life and that Iboga was now blessing me. It was about being in the right place at the right time. It showed me that so many times in my life had been the right place at the right time. When I had given birth to my children, I had been blessed. When I had prayed about the pain and suffering in the world and seen the Creator, that was the right place at the right time. All my interactions in life had been taking me to the right place at the right time. The Bwiti sisters kept dancing and singing and they would say ‘oh well, still the same, still the same, hehehehe’. It was about understanding that life is always here, creation is always here and nothing we do or think changes that.
I was then ready to see the Creator of the Universe. I saw the Creator in a mass of powerful orange clouds. All around me was a profusion of colours, action, noise and life. I could see the world and all creation in the world. It was packed with colourful chaotic life. A mass of pulsating energy. I was in wonder and in awe at creation. I saw my nephew (who had passed away 2 years previously). He was smiling and I saw a beam coming from his face. I followed the beam and saw him staring at his wife and their three sons. I asked the Creator – my children are growing up – what am I supposed to do now? The Creator showed me myself and I knew that I had to focus on being right myself and on my relationship with the Creator. It wasn’t about anything else. I asked the Creator what we are all supposed to do. And I was shown all life in the Universe worshipping the Creator and celebrating life. I asked to see the universe and was sucked up into the sky and was looking down and could see the Earth. I asked to see more and was sucked out again and saw planets and stars. I said ‘more, more!’ and was sucked back further and could see many galaxies. I was amazed and wanted to see more but the Creator said you have seen enough for now and then showed me the beauty of creation on the planet. I saw the most amazing plant life and appreciated the beauty and sacredness of life on the planet. I was so grateful and humbled by all I had seen and at times I wept.
When I felt the Iboga leaving my system the next day I went back to say goodbye to the Bwiti people. I didn’t want to leave the Iboga experience. I loved everyone there and everything I saw. I was crying as I was saying goodbye and thank you to them. Then I knew that they were always around me, they were always there so that there was no reason to be sad.
My body loved the Iboga. When I was drinking water early on it whispered to me ‘too much water…’ I could see my Iboga baby in my stomach being sloshed with water so I would take little sips of water which made it happier (and also ensured that I didn’t bring anything up). Throughout the next day I drank nu (baby coconut) and ate fresh papaya. Iboga liked that. It is such a sacred plant and I knew that as soon anything impure went into my body Iboga would leave. Because it stopped me from moving and kept me in bed for 2 days it also stopped all the bad habits that I had developed. It stopped me from physically tensing up and rushing off all the time to do other things. It slowed my talking down so I actually had to think clearly before I said anything. It bought realisation into my life.
The next few days I spent in bed reflecting on my experience. It changed my life. It made me slow down and be more honest with myself and those around me. It changed my relationship with my children because I had to stop and listen to them and I realised how much I had been expending my energy elsewhere rather than home. I felt as though I had been reborn. I was seeing everything with new eyes and I kept stopping to enjoy the beauty of nature and give thanks and praise to the Almighty Creator for everything.