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N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT or N,N-DMT) is a psychedelic compound of the tryptamine family. Its presence is widespread throughout the plant kingdom.DMT occurs in trace amounts in mammals, including humans, where it putatively functions as a trace amine neurotransmitter/neuromodulator.[5] It is originally derived from the essential amino acid tryptophan and ultimately produced by the enzyme INMT during normal metabolism. The significance of its widespread natural presence remains undetermined. Structurally, DMT is analogous to the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT), the hormone melatonin, and other psychedelic tryptamines, such as 5-MeO-DMT, bufotenin, psilocin and psilocybin.

When ingested, DMT acts as a psychedelic drug. Depending on the dose and method of administration, its subjective effects can range from short-lived milder psychedelic states to powerful immersive experiences; these are often described as a total loss of connection to conventional reality with the encounter of ineffable spiritual/alien realms. Indigenous Amazonian Amerindian cultures consume DMT as the primary psychoactive in ayahuasca, a…

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taoism101

Taoists believe that the experience of ego death is evil.

Bliss, love, divine experiences, and visions of angels are carrier waves for sinister psychological forces.

Classic texts like The Philokalia,  The Way of the Bodhisattva, and the current understanding of the Tao Te Ching, all the way to modern books like Shaking Medicine and The Power of Now celebrate ego death but none of these books deliver the actual experience.

Ayahuasca does.

As you read this, Americans are chugging ayahuasca and reporting their experiences on youtube!

Now we can investigate the actual experience of ego death and not the sanitized version discussed by Eckhart Tolle, Bradford Keeney, and other spiritual writers.

Take the example from the video I have posted below… Taylor Marie is an attractive 20 something all American woman who is essentially advocating associating with oozing demons, little dead girls, hellish imagery, and terrifying…

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Ayahuasca and Depression

Weaning off of antidepressant medications after taking them for many years is very challenging, both physically and emotionally.  I knew that if I wanted to benefit fully from an ayahuascaceremony I had to clear all traces of SSRI (selective serotonin uptake inhibitors) drugs from my body. However, this was difficult because I had become dependent on them to function in everyday existence. Those that have used these drugs can attest to their power and the surprising nature of their strong withdrawal symptoms and side effects.  It is important not to consume ayahuasca if you are taking any drug that affects your serotonin levels because combining the two can cause serotonin syndrome, a very serious and potentially fatal condition.  Ayahuasca also contains several compounds that are MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitor). MAOI drugs have very strong negative interactions with a wide variety of medications. It is important to understand the potential…

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Ayahuasca and Depression

Ayahuasca is the name given to a brew that is usually a combination of two plants.  The first is a large vine, Banisteriopsis caapi.  This vine is also given the name of ayahuasca and it contains harmine, harmaline and tetrahydroharmine, which are all monoamine oxidase inhibitors. The second is a small ground plant, usually a member of the Psychotria genus, which contains the hallucinogenic DMT molecule.  The vine must be combined with the ground plant for the DMT to be absorbed into the bloodstream.  Due to the fact that the vine contains MAOI compounds, there are important dietary regulations that must be followed to avoid negative food-drug interactions.  Any food with high amounts of tyramine should be avoided with ayahuasca.

This plant mixture has been used for thousands of years by the native people of the western Amazon for its divination and healing purposes.  One of the most common themes of…

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Spiritual Transformations

Sacred ceremonies are containers within which psychic forces and people are held.  The form of the ceremony might differ, but there are essential elements in all traditions.  Take for example the peyote ceremony of the Native American Church.  nitetipiThe ceremonial space is a circular gathering with an opening in the east where the sun comes up.  This could be out in the open or enclosed within a Tipi or Hogan.  There is an altar, fire, and medicine.  There are sacred symbolic instruments which are used in traditional ways.  The pattern is well known by the participants.  The beginning involves prayers and activities such as making the crescent shaped altar, lighting the fire, placing the instruments and medicines in the right places at the prescribed times.  There will be another prayer with tobacco and/or cedar smoke by the leader(s) and the people, followed by sharing the peyote medicine.  Then the singing…

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Ayahuasca and Depression

What does a monkey typing aimlessly on a keyboard on the roof of a house have to do with curing depression?  I had no idea how to answer this question at first.  I was in the middle of my first ayahuasca ceremony and I suddenly was distracted by this typing monkey.  As if the strange physical sensations from the South American plant mixture were not enough to deal with, now I had to entertain this monkey!

After spending a few hours under the healing influence of the plant, I began to recognize that this monkey was certainly there for a reason.  He was trying to teach me something.  Our modern lives are full of distraction.  It often seems that distractions are inevitable and just part of the baggage that we accept with our busy lives, but choosing to focus our energy on distractions like television, negative stories on the news…

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Ayahuasca and Depression

There are thousands of plants with medicinal properties in the vast forests that surround the Amazon river system.  Many of these plants have been used for centuries or even millenia to treat various ailments in people.  One of the plants that has gained recent fame for its partner role with the ayahuasca vine is chacruna or Psychotria viridis.  Chacruna is a small, unassuming plant that contains high levels of DMT, or dimethyltriptamine, a potent hallucinogen.  It is precisely for its high DMT content that the plant is mixed with the ayahuasca vine.  The MAOI compounds in the ayahuasca vine allow the DMT in the chacruna plant to become orally active, otherwise they would be broken down by digestive enzymes and would not enter the bloodstream.  Chacruna is known as a helper plant for ayahuasca because it brings on strong effects such as visual hallucinations, which clarify and…

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