Ayahuasca: great teacher!

“Just as it reveals the inner faces of the individual psyche and the drama of the human condition in general, Ayahuasca also reveals the grand odysseys which are the different cultures human societies have created as they struggled to survive and progress on this planet and invest the endeavour with meaning. Whether on the individual or the societal level, the different courses of action involve choices – choices about what to do and what not to do. Choices are to be evaluated not only in absolute terms of their outcome, but – no less significantly – in terms of the options available in the contexts in which they are taken. These choices and the particular lines of action and interpretation associated with them are all responses, the best each person or society can furnish under the circumstances, when encountering a force that is so overwhelming, so awesome, and potentially so enriching. It is only with the examination of the particular choices made and the ensuing accomplishments of different individuals and groups in different contexts that one comes to appreciate the grandeur of the force that has demanded the choices and inspired the various lines of action and creation pursued. In their totality, all these present the anthropological story of Ayahuasca. One day perhaps I shall put in writing what my meditations on this story have taught me These, of course, will reflect my own struggle with Ayahuasca, my own encounter with the limitedness of my being confronting the infinite power to which the Ayahuasca experience exposes its partakers.”

Antipodes of the Mind: charting the phenomenology of the Ayahuasca experience, Shanon, 2003


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  1. #1 by rufong on 09/05/2010 - 21:35

    Elton Williams, who is behind bars for armed robbery, gets the question all the time from inmates pulling stints in segregation. Wouldn’t it be easier just to cut his hair?
    His answer: “My very soul depends on the decisions I make.”


  2. #2 by rufong on 28/05/2010 - 15:57

    MAOI – Tribulus terrestris (白蒺藜, a very common Chinese medicine)

    I bought my tribulus from the same Taiwanese herbal shop where I was buying the acacia root
    (the cost was around US$5 for 600g of dried tribulus fruits).

    I used to add ground tribulus to my morning cereal before
    (that one was purchased from an English herbal supplement store).
    I couldn’t notice too much effect at that time, but I think the taste is quite pleasant.

    I made a tribulus decoction a few hours ago by just boiling the whole fruits for 20-25 minutes.
    It works fine. It hit me that I had made it in this way once before, but had forgotten about it,
    only remembering the aggravation of the first time.

    I have a hard time with the aftertaste on the tongue…mlaahh.
    I don’t think I could drink a more concentrated, boiled down version.

    I do like it’s nourishing, calming properties though.

    Over the years, there have been sporadic reports about the Chinese Herb Bai Ji Li
    (Tribulus terrestris) as a psychoactive betacarboline source. bai ji li (白蒺藜)

    On the other hand, 1 tablespoon of Dr. Kang’s Bai ji li thorns,
    freshly ground by me in my own grinder on my end, was an experience comparable to the B. caapi vine.
    This Chinese cousin of the Middle-Eastern Syrian rue not only tastes mild and pleasant,
    but reaches out to embrace as beautifully as the vine.

    Excellent medicine from our Chinese cousins.

    MAOI – Syrian rue 骆驼篷子
    I intend to brew and drink it alone and see if it produces any noticeable effect.
    Syrian rue has a rather strong effect on me by itself
    (making me feel tired and very dreamy and, of course,
    unplesantly nauseous at larger doses, around 1tbsp of whole seeds, ground and brewed).
    Syrian Rue is also used as a medicine in the North-West of China (Xinjiang).
    骆驼篷子 Can be purchased in China very cheap, and, at least theoretically,
    is supposed to be food grade (and for human consumption).

    Acacia confusa
    1) The tree appears to be very common in Taiwan
    (its local name is 相思樹, which amusingly translates as `thinking-of-each-other tree’).

    2) The root bark (相思樹根皮) seems to have some very limited use in traditional medicine,
    externally and perhaps internally for liver disease (the vendors did not seem confident about that).

    3) The bark does not seem to be carried by Chinese medicine stores (中藥店),
    but it is carried by “herbal medicine stores” (草藥店 or 青草店),
    though not every store would have it, since the demand is low.

    4) There is a huge conglomeration of these herbal shops next to Longshan temple (龍山寺) in Taipei.
    I didn’t have a difficulty buying the bark there, but I had to order 1 day in advance,
    and they gave me raw root (at 150 Taiwan dollars, roughly $5, for 600g). The bark can be easily separated from the fresh root.


    The first two times, I did something along the lines of traditional ayahuasca
    (boiling the root bark powder in 5 washes, then combining them and reducing on low heat).

    Then I thought: why could this be necessary for a finely ground powder?!
    So I just steeped the powder three times in boiling water, combined and drank the resulting infusion.
    The effect, as I said, was tremendously strong.

  3. #3 by rufong on 28/05/2010 - 18:57

    Acacia confusa

    Taiwan acacia
    【Acacia confusa】,Mimosaceae

    The very important wood stands at low elevation in Taiwan.
    The evergreen tree has sucker-shoot foilage of bipinnate leaves.
    It blossoms the yellow flowers in spring and summer.
    There are globose heads in diameter of the flowers.
    The seeds are poisonous. When people eat the seeds, they will be sick or headachy.

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