This blog has it’s roots in my life-long effort to climb out from under burdens that, until recently, had remained quite out of view.
The existential questions had always entertained me. Maybe haunted would be a better descriptor. My first real brush with such topics occurred in a used book store in State College, Pennsylvania in 1978, when a friend held up a copy of Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and asked me if I had read it. I had not, so I took up the challenge. My completely untrained mind was captivated, and I struggled through it several times, allowing new concepts to take hold. My mind was being entertained in a completely new way.
I travelled the normal roads of a North American life, escaping high school and entering the blue collar work force. The business of construction became my place of identity, and paid the bills while I married, went to school, fathered three kids, bought a home …. all the things that would make me fit in. But fitting in escaped me, always.
All the while, I read books and attended workshops and presentations that promised me peace. I ran away from a 17 year marriage, and managed to survive another 17 year relationship without really finding any answers that would quell the aches inside. Emerging from the demands of relationship, I immersed myself in a flurry of reading and learning that led me to consider what it might have been like to experiment with hallucinogens. My interest stemmed from the accounts of those that claimed their “trips” had opened their minds to a larger world, and I knew I wanted such an experience.
Through what I can only describe as serendipitous, I ended up attending an ayahuasca ceremony, a centuries old shamanic practice from the Amazon. My first ceremony was cosmic; my second was life-altering. There, hidden in the darkest recesses of my hungry mind were the seeds of my burdens.
The entries in this blog will give a glimpse into the psychic distances I have travelled, both before and after my experiences with ayahuasca.