Meeting Jesus While on Ayahuasca. Discover the transformative journey of faith and healing through Ayahuasca. Explore the role of psychedelics in spiritual awakening and the profound encounter with Jesus. An insightful exploration of the intersection of spirituality and psychedelics
In the midst of my Ayahuasca-induced reverie, I found myself pondering a peculiar question: Was I immersed in a sea of tranquil sound or floating amidst a symphony of vivid light? The crystal bowl’s resonance seemed to permeate every cell in my body, blurring the lines between sensation and perception. But what struck me even more profoundly were the words echoing in my mind – “child of God” – a mantra, vibrating louder with each passing moment.
In that transformative moment, I sat cross-legged, clad in peacock-patterned yoga pants, surrounded by a diverse assembly of spiritual seekers. This marked my 30th voyage with Ayahuasca, the plant-based psychedelic that had already played a pivotal role in healing my relationship with my parents, including my father, who was a pastor. I had bid farewell to Christianity eight years prior, convinced it was a permanent departure. Little did I know that Ayahuasca would be the catalyst for a remarkable return to my faith.
Over the years, within the embrace of this Ayahuasca community, I had the opportunity to share hymns from my religious upbringing during our ceremonies. This rekindled the embers of my faith, reigniting a connection that was anything but conventional. It was a journey that led me to rediscover the fundamental essence of Christianity as a vessel of love.
As I emerged from the chaotic depths into the brilliance of Ayahuasca’s luminescence, the phrase “child of God” remained frustratingly beautiful. It became clear that this was the only way to articulate my relationship with ‘the All.’ I surrendered to it, unable to contain my emotions, and with an expletive and conviction, I declared, “I’m a Christian again.”
However, in the realm outside of Ayahuasca ceremonies, I grappled with the reality that inner peace eluded me. Although moments of profound serenity washed over me during these journeys, the long-term impact on my personality and mental well-being appeared far from tranquil. I questioned my continued reliance on psychedelics, considering the teachings from scripture and Christian mystics that emphasized the inability to summon God on one’s own terms. Why did I believe that these experiences could bridge that gap?
Two years later, in preparation for another Ayahuasca retreat, I immersed myself in reading all four Gospels. During the ensuing ceremony, as I delved into the enigmatic chaos of Ayahuasca’s embrace, something extraordinary occurred – I encountered Jesus. He was there, silently present in the boat amid the storm, not unlike the tempest depicted in Rembrandt’s famous painting.
That poignant moment marked the conclusion of my Ayahuasca journey. It was the sole instance in which I witnessed Jesus during these experiences. His presence was not one of combating chaos with more chaos, as I had futilely attempted throughout my life. Instead, he absorbed the cacophonous turmoil, transmuting it into an indomitable light – a profound peace.
Undoubtedly, Ayahuasca played a pivotal role in my rediscovery of Christ. Subsequently, I embarked on a journey of exploring the shadows within the psychedelic realm, never fully disavowing it. Today, I no longer partake in ceremonies; instead, I engage in prayer sessions with a group of devoted churchgoers via Zoom. My vibrant peacock-patterned pants now rest in the depths of storage, but my Ayahuasca-inspired tattoos, including badgers, mandalas, and a cross, remain as cherished symbols.
I have encountered countless individuals who have found healing and solace in psychedelic experiences, particularly in addressing traumas and addictions. These substances have served as lifelines for many.
However, when these experiences become the sole focus of our spirituality, they can metamorphose into idols, akin to Peter’s desire to erect tents on the mountaintop following Christ’s transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13). Yet, God surpasses the realm of our experiences, and we are compelled to descend from the spiritual peaks.
Today, I choose to offer up these psychedelic experiences as a sacrifice, a symbolic act that enables my journey with Christ to flourish. I have learned that I cannot summon peace on my own, and neither can Ayahuasca. Instead, I place my trust in Christ, knowing that even in moments of apparent absence, he silently absorbs the chaos, offering eternal peace.