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30 day Dieta

August 3, 2013
artist Michael Birnsting

Painting by Michael Birnsting

Dear Readers

I am just about to go on a thirty day dieta at an indigenous community about ten hours downriver of Pucallpa. No internet or cellular phones for a month. Wonderful! So this blog will be quiet for a month or so.

In addition, I will be doing the dieta in a more traditional way, staying alone in a small wooden house in the jungle by the riverbank outside the community – apart from participating in the fifteen ayahausca ceremonies that are part of the dieta.

This time I will be dieting ayahuma, one of the mighty Amazonian trees.

Previously, I have dieted the two plants bobinsana and chricisanango, both separately and together. I wrote about these experiences here. For a very good article about what is a dieta, click here. And for an interesting discussion thread about the need or not to comply with the restrictions of a dieta, click here.


One of Don Machinga’s roots

I have also previously dieted Machinga – another huge tree, who was the inspiration for this blog. Don Machinga has been quiet recently, partly because I inappropriately said too much on this blog about my experiences with him and Madre Ayahuasca. I wrote about all this here.

Communicating about our experiences with La Madre Ayahausca and the plant spirits is tricky. I have been very struck by Rudolf Steiner’s advice (though I don’t follow it!) that we should not talk at all to other people about  experiences of what he calls ‘higher realms of consciousness’. I can see that it can take them too far into the daylight world of ego consciousness.

On the other hand, I recently came across an podcast by Terrence McKenna where he says:“It really frustrates me when people have psychedelic experiences and don’t talk about them, because to me, that’s what they’re for. They’re to fertilize the enterprise of communication. It’s to be talked about. And if it’s not talked about it’s sort of like seeds which fall on sterile ground.”

One other reason to talk to others is to help assimilate the experiences. The trick is to bring it into the ego-world but without letting the ego colonize the experience.

I also find talking to others helps me ground the experiences and put into context some of its crazier excesses. In the act of communicating to others, I can see that what some of what I thought to be true in the mareación, may be overly subjective distortions or exaggerations. Still, as Theodor Adorno, the Marxist social theorist, said about psychoanalysis:Nothing is true in psychoanalysis except its exaggerations.”

Clearly, there are no rigid rules about this. A lot depends on how the experience is talked about and the reasons for talking about it – to genuinely share with others or to impress them.

I look forward to engaging with what I want to communicate about my experience of this dieta when I come back to Pucallpa in early September.

Before then I will leave you with a short story I found:

“There is a great story on a researcher who went to the Aborigines. During a conversation, she said something about the 5 senses to an old Aborigine woman, who completely stopped doing what she was doing, which was quite unusual among the Aborigines. She looked at the researcher and said “So you only have 5 senses?! Well, that explains a lot…”


Huichol artwork

From → Dieta

  1. robert permalink

    Have a beautiful dieta! So wish I could be there – in a different tambo, of course…looking forward to hearing how the non-social dieta is for you…give Gilberto et al my love, please. Tell them I miss them.

  2. Michael permalink

    Bon voyage Pablo

    • Helena permalink

      Dear Paul,

      I think Steiner said not to talk about experiences in higher realms because it can strengthen the ego, words can be misleading and he tought and lived in a hostile environment. Nevertheless I am sure that if someone is (as conscious as possible) about the ego involvement, his motivations in general and the restriction of words it is a gift to others and himself if he dares to share!
      Have a wonderful dieta and thankyou for your thoughts and experiences.

  3. sacredembellishments permalink

    Sending you many blessings on your journey.

    May you walk in beauty all ways!

  4. CosmicDrBii permalink

    Many thanks for all your kind and generous comments

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