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The pre-self work of peeling layers

Many say

“there is life before Ayahuasca, and there is life after Ayahuasca”

To view the meeting with the Medicine, i.e. drinking it in a ceremony, as a special opportunity to meet with a very wise Master, a Wisdom Keeper, a Great Healer or Divine Being, we can have more reverence toward this opportunity, and consider more deeply the way we can show up to truly engage, as well as the questions that we actually need to ask of this Nobel Presence.

To consider deeply, is to contemplate, and when one sits, looking inwards, many forms of perspectives can arise, and with that the opportunity for deeper inquiry.

When one has a longing for something , a good question to ask is, why do I not have this/am that, already?

Self inquiry is a practice that can provide profound insights even before working with Plant Medicines.

Inclusion of such moments for self inquiry in your day, will serve your experience in ceremony when you commune with the Medicine.

For, as you peel away layers of your self, accessing your depths, you will also help the Medicine to go deeper within you, and give you clearer answers.

So when talk of “pre-self work” it’s implying two things

  1. the effort we make to prepare ourselves before drinking medicine, so as to gain greater benefits from it

  2. the work we do on the older version of our self that existed before we drank the Medicine


A simple practice:

Committing an hour every week, or 30 min each day, or using this practice throughout the day. It can be a long or brief inquiry.

The point is to grow one’s self awareness and gain a deeper understanding and discernment of the self that is on auto-pilot, and the soul within.

Present moment awareness - short practice

  • Tune in to feel yourself in this moment, using your breath as a medium to drop inwards

  • Notice and observe what comes up

  • Allow time to stand still as you embody your own presence

In this way, we peel layers of protective reactivity, find our inner guidance and give value to our self and others

Self inquiry into specific issues or self-observations - longer practice

  • Tune in to feel yourself in this moment, using your breath as a medium to drop inwards

  • Present to your self the concern/ contemplation / question

  • Look inward, past the mind towards the heart

  • Ask for guidance

  • Listen, Observe, Verify, Encounter

  • Look for answers to your questions

  • They can be hiding, or very upfront, often based upon your intentions for inquiry

In this way, we peel layers of avoidance,

we gain discernment and make new discoveries of both our complex personality and our inner wisdom


These are simple practices that strengthen our Awareness.

Awareness being, our heightened abilities to “notice”

Noticing how we act and react and what concepts we believe, about ourselves and the world around us will begin opening pathways towards our own inner truth.

“Once the question becomes observation, the answer becomes the observer”

This is a practice that can help align one self with the intention of healing.

It’s valuable to acknowledge that we are a society that is looking for quick fixes. True long lasting change requires involvement, dedication and continuous effort.

It’s so important that we take responsibility and thus empower ourselves to become that which we aspire to be.

These types of simple practices help you prepare for a deeper engagement with the Medicine, and if integrated into your life, they also support you after the experience.


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