3 Important Tips that Saved My Sanity during Ayahuasca Ceremony

3 Important Tips that Saved My Sanity during Ayahuasca Ceremony

3 Important Tips that Saved My Sanity during Ayahuasca Ceremony

Ayahuasca is a powerful plant medicine that comes from the Amazon. Shamans use it to heal people of Anxiety and other ailments.

When I got on the plane to cross over out of the United States for the first time in my life, I didn’t know what I would see on the other side, physically, mentally and spiritually.

I had been a ticking time bomb in my life, and not in a volatile way, but in an insecure, anxious, pathetic kind of way.

I was 43 and thought I would become more confident as I aged, but the opposite was true.

I lived in fear and hid at home most of the time.

I even became afraid of my own parents.


Well, I wasn’t living in integrity.

I was still living like a kid in many respects and had to really look at my old habits.

These old habits were keeping me in my old story and I didn’t feel like a respectable adult around other adults.

This fear was serious, because it can ruin your life, your business, and your health.

Ever since I became a full-time Blogger, I’ve needed to become as secure as possible and confident in my abilities to pull it off.

Fear, doubt and anxiety was the last thing I needed when embarking into the exciting and risky world of being a full-time home-based Entrepreneur.

This anxiety led me to meditate instead of watching Porn.

It led me to do Hypnosis instead of listening to Hard Rock music.

It led me to eat greens, instead of red meat.


But, that wasn’t enough.

My wife went and did Ayahuasca last year and she came back transformed, much brighter in spirit and didn’t complain anymore.

I knew my time had come. I had to go into the jungles, face my ultimate fear, ignore my incessant ego and drink the dark, molasses-like Ayahuasca elixir aka “The Vine of Souls.”

I won’t go into much detail about what Ayahuasca is or what Shamans do. If you found this article, you probably know enough about it.

I want to share with you the most important tips about going into an Ayahuasca ceremony, because too many people are getting so frightened and running out of the ceremony which is unhealthy and very dangerous.

We met a man at our retreat at Nihue Rao, about two hours away from Iquitos, Peru, who told us about the predictable stages of Ayahuasca.

If my wife and I didn’t hear this information from this man, I may have been one of the people who run out of ceremony feeling like I was going insane.

Here’s the first tip:

#1 Knowing the stages of Ayahuasca.

The first stage of Ayahuasca is physical discomfort. You will probably yawn, sweat, puke or cry. These actions are called “Purging” and it’s important to purge out any bad juju that might be in your body or mind before continuing.

Resisting purging makes your experience less powerful, can back up energy in your system, and can block important healing. So, try to let it all out, don’t worry what others think. They are too busy dealing with their own experience to worry about you.

The second stage of Ayahuasca is unsettling hallucinations, either visual or audible or both. This stage is the hardest to endure and feels like it lasts a long time, but when I went back to a ceremony sober one night, I realized this stage only lasts about 45 minutes.

Time is warped on Ayahuasca, but it’s still a very uncomfortable stage to go through, but realize it passes. The most important thing to do during this time is ignore the sounds and the visuals and focus only on your breathing.

If you do mediation regularly this stage will be easier for you, if you don’t do meditation, I suggest you practice it at least one hour a night for a month before attending an Ayahuasca ceremony.

During this stage, a woman next to me was moaning. The sound echoed and it sounded eery.

I also felt little menacing beings around me. I felt them only. I didn’t see anything and just focused on my breathing.

I actually slumped over on my mat because I felt nauseous. Luckily, it was dark in the room because I looked pathetic. These little devils subsided finally, which led me to stage #3.

The third stage of Ayahuasca is the transfer of information.

After the unsettling stage left, I was calmer and could sit back against my pillows. Apparently, when Ayahuasca comes on it makes your muscles tighten, like you’re dehydrated. My muscles relaxed and I could enjoy the songs of the Shamans.

On all three nights, I became very compassionate towards others and found myself crying with happiness for how much love there was in my life.

Most of my anxiety came from feeling insecure around others and my dad, but Ayahuasca showed me the tremendous love that friends and family gave me. The biggest thing I think that holds me back in my life is lacking love for myself.

Ayahuasca gave me exactly what I needed to feel that I was very powerful and never needed to feel insecure around anyone again.

In fact, I felt like a powerful and wise Native American sitting on top of a hill, looking down at everyone in a valley during one ceremony.

I kept running my fingers through my, what felt like shiny, soft black Native American hair.

Here’s more brutally honest posts that might help:


Tip #2 – Focused Breathing.

Your breath is your anchor to sanity. Whenever you feel bad emotions or thoughts, focus all your energy on your breathing. Like I said earlier, the people who meditated regularly had a stronger grasp on themselves during the difficult times.

That doesn’t mean Ayahuasca lets you off easy though. Everyone gets rocked, even if you’ve done Ayahuasca dozens of times. The plant will always show you something you don’t want to look at about yourself, but that’s where all the healing is.

It’s also important to not take your thoughts seriously. Let them pass like clouds. No attachment means more peace of mind for you.

Ayahuasca works differently on everyone. It’s important to respect her. She is like a wise grandmother and will put you in your place if she senses any insincerity.

Also, staying in a loving, grateful state upon entering the ceremony will give you added security for any unpleasantness that might curtail.


Tip #3 – Icaros from the Shamans

Icaros are songs that the shamans sing. We were lucky to have attended a retreat that had three authentic shamans that sang to us, along with two facilitators who were training to be shamans.

The atmosphere was very powerful.

The shamans sang and chanted in different styles to us and it wasn’t always happy songs. They would sometimes go into fierce repetitive chanting that almost drove us mad. This was on purpose, because the shamans were trying to expel any bad spirits or energy out of us.

About an hour or two into the ceremony, we had “one on one” healings with the shamans. We would go up three at a time and sit on the pads in front of the shamans. Up close, the shamans were a lot louder and when they started that maddening chanting, it was enough to drive some people into tears.

The icaros were another way to help me from going insane. The shamans have ancient power and you could feel the whole maloca light up with their energy. We felt safe from dark energies as the shamans sang until 2 AM some nights, until everyone was almost back to sobriety.


Ayahuasca is not a party drug. Too many retreats are being subjected to stricter guidelines because of inexperienced attendees who come in thinking it will be a “fun, trippy time.”

It’s not fun. It’s actually terrifying and the only way to not freak out is to consider it as serious, transformative spiritual work and to use proper techniques, like “breath work,” to keep you relatively grounded.

You may have heard about the tragic stories relating to Ayahuasca. These stories could have been prevented if proper screening had taken place and the facilitators of the ceremonies took more control.

Ayahuasca can be used as the most powerful transformation of your life. It can change your life literally in one ceremony. This is by far a quicker but more intense type of therapy that cuts years off of traditional therapy which seems to dwell on the surface issues, not the core issues.


Thanks for reading! Please comment below, I would love your feedback and please share this for others that might consider doing Ayahuasca.

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Erik Christian Johnson is a full-time blogger, self-development advocate, and full-time network marketing Entrepreneur.

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8 thoughts on “3 Important Tips that Saved My Sanity during Ayahuasca Ceremony”

    1. Thanks for visiting my site, Joe. I responded back to you on Twitter, but for those who are curious, retreats range from $1500 to $2500 for 7 to 14 days. We went to Nihue Rao and loved it, but the co-founder was leaving to go back to the states as we were leaving, and I don’t recommend the retreat unless Doctor Joe Tafur is there!

  1. This is by far a party drug. For first timers you should be surround by experienced facilitators. Its a life changing experience and the benefits are profound.
    The journey is intense, revealing and you will come out seeing the truth.

  2. Around 7 or 8 yrs ago I did 4 ayahuasca journys. They were all extremely intense and life changing. Not only spiritually but physically as well. Intense vomiting and diarrhia unless lighter blend. I credit ayahuasca, mushrooms and LSD for breaking my drug addiction.

  3. Addendum to my previous comment and to Michael’s comment above. I have and encourage others to have great respect for all psycodelics. Spiritual growth is a most serious pursuit and not to be treated lightly. Ayahuasca as a party drug is beyond my imagination with vomiting, diarrhia and lack of muscle coordination. I wouldn’t recommend anyone take ayahuasca and go to partying.

  4. Thanks Eric
    I just finished one session and have another one tonight
    I nearly lost the plot – I won’t give specifics – I practice meditation and even with the breathing techniques I was stilled rocked to the core during stage two – right to the gates of hell but not inside.
    I know my issues aren’t resolved though so I have to go again even though I am very apprehensive about what Mother Ayahuasca will show me.
    But I was unaware of the stages and actually suppressed the nausea in the hope it would reduce the noise of the demons singing in my head
    I am lucky though – like you I am in a safe place with trained experienced shamen. This is critical because if I had not had this support I don’t know if I would have gone screaming into the night and done what knows damage to myself

    1. Wow! Thanks for sharing Barry. Hang in there, every night will be completely different. You usually have the bad trips in the first sessions and gain love and insight towards the end. Just set up strong love-based intentions before going in. Let me know how tonight goes! Please.

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