Up until very recently, the exploring and adventuring in my life have all been in the physical realm… mountain biking, snowboarding, skiing, mountaineering, whitewater kayaking, outrigger paddling, rock climbing, trekking, orienteering, surfing, adventure racing.
A little over a year ago, I discovered a different sort of adventure… this one doesn’t even require leaving your living room. It’s an inward adventure, an exploration of the mind, heart, and soul… of consciousness itself. And access to it is through the use of conscious-altering medicine. My preference thus far – magic mushrooms also known as psilocybin.
Friday night was one such journey. A sacred medicine ceremony with three of my best friends and two guides (also called sitters).
The adventure began with a small dose of MDMA – a heart opener. The process of allowing the medicine to “do its thing” can be challenging for me. It takes a while (as much as 75 minutes), and waiting for it to “come on” can be nerve-wracking. We spent the time laying quietly and listening to guided meditations set to music… this helped pass the time and ease my racing mind. I also found it comforting to be in a room with a nice warm fire… something about the fire made everything feel warm, cozy, welcoming, and magical.
Next came the mushrooms… this time as small squares of dark chocolate. And then another period of waiting. As I patiently waited for the medicine to take effect, our guide took us through a sound bath with a singing bowl and a very large tuning fork. The vibration of the sound on my body was like some sort of magical resonance. I started tuning myself to the pitch as it resonated through my vocal cords.
And just like that… I was in.
I don’t remember it starting, and also remember wondering why it WASN’T starting (while it was). As I laid back and looked up at the ceiling, the ceiling had morphed into a giant opening view directly into space and the cosmos with an eye at the center. The stars that has been projections from one of those star-light projectors had become absolutely real and I could feel myself traveling toward them. It was as if I was being transported somewhere – through space and time.
As my journey continued, it felt like the stars turned into lights on the side of a giant ship… a ship that was so big, I could only just see one small piece of it. And as I got closer, things got cloudy, and I started to repeat some of my intentions… “Mother… I want to know you. Make my heart, your heart. What are you here to show me? How can I serve?”.
I would shut my eyes and then as I started to re-open them, seeing just barely through my eyelashes, the cosmos and ship would come back into sight. Good… I was still traveling.
I have no idea how long this went on. It was like I was traveling through wormhole after wormhole, going deeper and deeper. And then all of a sudden, something changed. I’m not quite sure what it was. Perhaps it was like I had arrived at my destination or something. But I remember seeing the stars in the cosmos in this PERFECT order. I don’t know what perfect is or means, but somehow I knew that this was it. And as I continued to look, it would change… but never away from perfection. It was like I was trying to see beyond it, or around it, but each time I got close, it would shift form and change, and I couldn’t see what I wanted to see.
And then it occurred to me… this is just a game. And the way I saw it in that moment was as father (my father, aka God) playing tricks on me. A sort of cosmic peek-a-boo. Every time I got close to seeing through, he’d change what I could see… the entire orientation of the cosmos. Once, it even flashed in front my eyes like an old television turning off… and then turning back on again. I remember saying (out loud) to him, “Ok, now you’re just showing off. Mom… tell Dad to stop showing off!”
And that’s when my giggles started.
At first, they were just occasional little peeps. Like a short burst giggle. And then I would drop into full-blown laughter. I could see the frivolity of it all. Here we are, trying to figure it all out, thinking, thinking, and thinking more, while God the creator continues to keep things hidden, ensuring we never, ever figure it out or see it. We never get close enough to see it… because when we do, the scene changes. It was absolutely hilarious. I felt like I was in pure bliss… because in that moment, none of it mattered. I gave up trying. I was in total acceptance of what is.
The next thing I knew, I was aware of a conversation happening between my friends… they were in their heads… having what I perceived as a very intellectual conversation, doing lots of thinking. Back and forth they went, very engaged in deep thinking. One proposed something, and the other answered with a possible solution (at least this is what I perceived). And I just started laughing hysterically… here it was, happening right in front of my eyes in real-time! How silly it all was. And to have figured this out, was absolute joy and bliss. I remember seeing all the stars on the ceiling lining up perfectly in that moment. There it is.
After doing a bit more astral traveling, I got spit out again… back in the living room. I looked at my watch. 9:30 pm. Too early for the journey to be over, and yet, at that moment, it felt like it was. I sat up, and I saw our sitters sitting quietly, meditating, watching over us. I was overcome with gratitude… and this sense that they were more deeply connected than just being our sitters. I got this very deep sense that the male looking over us was God (and in that present state, I perceived him, God, as being my father), and the female was Mother (as in the Divine Mother). It was a perfect scene, really. They were looking over us, occupied with experiencing life thorough us, creating life as it went along, and making everything we know possible.
I felt the urge to go over and lay next to “God”, so I did. Resting my head on his shoulder. He asked me if I needed anything… I said, “no, I just love you.” To which he replied that he was in the process of creating buildings, temples, and pyramids, and choosing colors for the landscapes. And I replied back… “Of course you are!” (for what ELSE would God be doing). After getting a glimpse from Mother (who at the moment seemed to be implying, “now you know the secret – that God and I are here, in disguise, right in front of your very eyes,” I went back to my place in the center of the living room to enjoy the rest of the journey.
Other than an incredibly delicious bowl of soup and hot buttered toast at the very end of the night, that was it.
I’ve found that the experiences I have in journey space, while incredibly expansive, are not the real gems of the experience. Instead, it’s in how I integrate the experience and learning into my life that makes all the difference… how can I use the learning to expand, grow, be a better coach, husband, father, and human. It’s a process that takes time and conversations with others… and is one I will, most certainly, be integrating for much of the near future.