3 min

Meditating With Ayahuasca: A Complete Guide

3 min
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Ayahuasca offers a life changing experience. Read on to find out more about this powerful substance and how to use it as part of a ceremony and combine it with meditation in order to truly experience its healing properties.

Born in the heart of the Amazonian jungle, ayahuasca is an ancient medicine used by indigenous people from Peru, Brazil, and other parts of South America as part of unique spiritual ceremonies and rituals.

For some, ayahuasca is just another psychoactive substance to get “high.” However, ancient cultures always saw it as a powerful substance used to heal the soul and spirit.

In this article, we take an in-depth look at Ayahuasca, what it is, how it is made, and how it is used in combination with meditation.

What Is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew made from a variety of plants. It originates from the Amazon, where it is commonly used as a spirit medicine and plays a central role in spiritual and religious ceremonies.

The main ingredients in Ayahuasca are Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis, two plants native to the Amazonian Rainforest and other parts of South America. Psychotria viridis contains DMT, or dimethyltryptamine, which is the main psychoactive ingredient in the ayahuasca brew. Banisteriopsis caapi, on the other hand, contains a variety of compounds which help DMT interact with our bodies to produce its renowned psychoactive effects.

DMT Ayahuasca

The ingredients in ayahuasca can vary and often include other DMT-rich plants. Whatever plants are used, they are generally macerated and then brewed for extended periods of time. They are then consumed like tea or other similar brews, at which points the effects of the active compounds within the plant will start to take effect.

The potency of a batch of ayahuasca varies greatly and depends on the individual chemical makeup of the plants used, the process of preparation, and the skill of the shaman or brewer preparing the brew.

Ayahuasca is known to produce very intense hallucinations and visions that many people report to be extraordinarily eye-opening. It is much stronger than other popular psychedelic substances, such as mushrooms or peyote.

How Does Ayahuasca Help With Meditation?

Research shows that ayahuasca produces effects in the brain very similar to those achieved by effective meditation. And it’s not surprising, seeing that ayahuasca was traditionally used a spirit medicine designed to help people reconnect with themselves.

Meditating with Ayahuasca

Researchers at the Beckley Foundation in the UK, a foundation dedicated to researching psychedelic substances, found that ayahuasca produces feelings of openness, optimism, and the ability to decenter oneself in the universe and rather experience a sense of unity. These feelings are very similar to those experienced by meditation.

The research at Beckley is based on studying volunteers who take ayahuasca and running them through a bunch of tests, such as questionnaires, to assess how the ancient medicine changes their perceptions and the volunteers’ feelings towards their well-being and happiness.

On top of this, research conducted in Spain is focusing on assessing the effect of ayahuasca on patients suffering from depression. The research has found that ayahuasca, like magic mushrooms, can have very positive effects on these patients.

How To Meditate With Ayahuasca?

When experimenting with ayahuasca, it is always important to remember that this has also be used a healing substance, and never as a recreational drug to get you “high.” Most people looking to experiment with ayahuasca are doing so for spiritual purposes, much like someone who meditates or practices a religion.

The way you meditate with ayahuasca is obviously up to you. Traditionally, it is consumed at a ceremony. These ceremonies once again vary depending on the shaman who is conducting them. However, the core principles of these ceremonies remain, focusing on a unity between the shamans, the plants (which naturally grow on this planet and therefore in some way represent the earth/universe as a whole), and the people attending the ceremony.

Some shamans may simply let participants sit in the dark as the ayahuasca begins to take effect and watch over them. Others may chant, sing, or whistle, while some will blow smoke from potent Amazonian tobacco (known as mapacho) around the area to clear the ambience. Others may also blow leaf fans or incorporate other props into their rituals.

If you plan to use ayahuasca as part of your spiritual routine, it is almost always recommended to do so with an experienced user who is prepared for what is to come and can help you navigate the experience which, when faced alone, may seem overwhelming. We recommend seeking out a shaman and healer, as they are usually best equipped to help prepare you for an ayahuasca experience.

Ayahuasca Meditation Music:

Ayahusca Music

Are you planning to meditate with ayahuasca? Music is obviously a very central part of any spiritual journey and ceremony and can help mediate the experience of ayahuasca.

Choosing the right music is crucial to any kind of ceremony or meditation, as it can help you centre your focus and achieve the right state of mind. The most common type of music used for Ayahuasca ceremonies is called icaro.

Icaros are spirit songs used by shamans for different purposes. They can be composed by the shaman themselves or may have been passed down to him/her from someone else. The word icaro is Quechua and is a colloquialism used to describe magic, alchemy, or other similar processes.

There are thousands of icaros out there, all of which are designed for different purposes and carefully selected based on the purposes of a ceremony. Again, finding the right music for an ayahuasca ceremony depends on the knowledge of the shaman.


  Steven Voser  

Written by: Steven Voser
Steven Voser is an Emmy Award Nominated freelance journalist with a lot of experience under his belt. Thanks to a passion for all things cannabis, he now dedicates a lot of his times exploring the world of weed.

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