The 5 MEO-DMT Experience: A Tool for Transformation and Healing
The 5 MEO-DMT Experience: A Tool for Transformation and Healing
The smile on my face lingered endlessly while tears flowed from my closed eyes for over two hours. Did I die and was I reborn into this profound awe and appreciation of Life?
Cradled in a bed of oceanic bliss, the ecstasy that I felt was indescribable, ineffable, unfathomable. For 10–15 minutes, there was nothing and everything all at the same time, and I was dissolved in between. There was no differentiation. Everything was Light.
My heart swelled in gratitude for this gift. And what a gift that was — to experience a glimpse of the Absolute, to dance with the cosmic bounty of Infinity, to feel the eternal Majesty of Life itself… I wanted to wrap my arms around it all, but how?
There was nothing to say. I simply savored and reveled in the sweetness of it all, in stupefied wonder, in complete abandonment, bewildered, full of gratitude and reverence for Life. There were only feelings of pure unadulterated joy, love, peace, awe, inspiration, reverence, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, ecstasy, bliss. For over two hours, there was nothing else. It was supremely beautiful beyond words as I basked in the stillness and silence of Eternity. It was Nirvana.
Never-ending Oceanic Bliss
If only this feeling could last forever…
Prior to this moment of overwhelming bliss, all I remember was my facilitator assisting me in inhaling the smoke from the pipe. This substance, the secretion from the glands of the Bufo Alvarius toad (also known as the Sonoran Desert Toad or Colorado River Toad), contained 5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (commonly known as 5-MeO-DMT) as well as other alkaloids.
There is always fear in the unknown. As this was my first experience with toad medicine, my body was working up a mild sweat in anticipation for …death perhaps? Not of the bodily kind, I realized later, but “death” of my former self.
Right before partaking, I was able to calm myself down with a breathing practice, nadi shodana. It was the longest inhale I could muster, 10–15 seconds of pure vapor. I held in the toad vapor for as long as I can, maybe another 10–15 seconds. Then from my cross-sitting position, I relaxed, released my legs and fell back on the bed, in a star position, legs and arms all stretched out symmetrically in total capitulation.
After the long inhalation, there were a few seconds of consciousness when I tried to communicate that I needed the plastic bag. In my mind, I was ready to vomit, and thought that I was actually vomiting.
Later on, much to my surprise, I found out that I only spit, and it quickly turned to screaming and yelling for a good 5–10 minutes. So loud that one of my co-participants had to cover his ears even if he was on the other side of this big yoga room we were in.
There was no recollection on what transpired between the time of inhalation and the feeling of conscious bliss. It was what many in the psychedelic world call a “white-out.” I surmise that this was indeed a full release dose, what they call the “breakthrough dose,” my consciousness and perspective forever changed.
In that experience of the void, there was no consciousness. If I was yelling and screaming, I had no awareness of it. Because in that moment in time, there was no me; there was no time, and I did not exist. No visions, sounds, smells, feeling or taste. Disembodied. Disincarnate. Gone. No ego. No personality. No individuated self. I was no one. I was nothing. And yet that same void also encompassed the totality of All.
Coming back to my sense of self, there was an overwhelming feeling of gratitude, peace and reverence. I wanted to stay in this expansive, blissful state for as long as possible…the Eternal Now. And there I was, spread eagle and fully symmetrical, in full surrender, reveling in the afterglow of my euphoria. This might just be what Adyashanti describes as “resting in awareness.” This was the state I have been longing for. This was IT.
In the first five to 10 minutes of coming back to my consciousness, my body started to shake and convulse — bodily reactions that I frequently experience during savasana after yoga practice or during meditation when I’m on my back, or sometimes before sleeping. It’s like a series of big hiccups initiating from my solar plexus.
I have gotten used to these involuntary movements which started happening after some years of practicing yoga and was particularly pronounced and activated during my two-week Ayurvedic yoga training in the Sivananda ashram some years ago.
These movements, as I understand it now, are energetic releases which have been bottled up within this mind-body organism. Unlike animals, humans tend to accumulate suppressed feelings, thoughts, emotions which become cached energy stored in the body.
The stronghold of culture, society, family, community, peer groups and so on, that have influenced our ability to manage Life, also restrict us and keep us bound to our small self, the identity that we are so dearly attached to. Having gone to a very strict Catholic grade school and high school in a very conventional old-fashioned culture, I understand now how my free spirit felt stunted, repressed and suppressed all my life.
I realize that these involuntary convulsion-like movements are energetic impulses representing those emotions, thoughts and feelings that are greatly impacted by social, societal, cultural and familial norms, and that are most likely dissonant with my true Self…. sentiments that are somehow stifled and embedded in the body, seeking expression, waiting to be liberated from the body.
And in my case, this expression manifested through the shaking and convulsing, and through my voice with the yelling and screaming. I certainly had a lot to release, and I’m deeply grateful for this opportunity to express and let go of old unnecessary energies…possible only through the Grace of the Divine.
“Divine Grace is essential for Realization. It leads one to God-realization. But such Grace is vouchsafed only to him who is a true devotee or a yogi, who has striven hard and ceaselessly on the path towards freedom.”
– Ramana Maharshi, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, p34
Prior to this Ayahuasca ceremony, which included this optional Bufo ceremony, I was ridden with anxiety, nervous system imbalances and mild depression. I was looking for an experience like this to “reset” my nervous system. It’s been such a challenge as I experienced mental and emotional turmoil from the most heartbreaking events in the last five or six years. I had reached a new baseline low, feeling quite distressed and downtrodden for some time.
Weeks prior to the ceremony, I mentally prepared. I researched and learned about entheogenic and plant medicines from books and online sources. I particularly sought out material from modern Nonduality teachers like Leo Gura of Actualized.org and Martin Ball, professor and author of Entheogenic Liberation as they both used entheogens for spiritual advancement. I listened to their Youtubes, read their web sites/books, interviews.
Applying Martin Ball’s recommendation to maintain an open position and keep my body in full symmetry was useful advice and certainly helped me surrender. Both Martin Ball and Leo Gura use 5MeO-DMT as a tool for their own spiritual transformation and learning about their experiences have made me more comfortable in pursuing this path of healing, awakening and embodiment. I also felt safe and confident with our facilitators and co-participants as well as the setting which was private and quiet, a very large yoga room in a very old building in Oakland.
As I understand the process of psychedelic therapy, one’s ability to surrender and release stems from one’s comfort level with the “set and setting” — with your facilitators, co-participants, with your surroundings, with your current state of mind, with your ability to relax into the experience and go with the flow. And this I did to the best of my abilities.
As a student of Nonduality, Yoga and Ayurveda philosophies since 2007, my healing journey has been mired in practice, study, theory and more practice, combining certifications (in Ayurvedic Yoga, NonDuality, SOMA breathwork, Holistic Wellness Coaching, Energy Healing) with real-life practice and experience full of insights and realizations.
I feel very fortunate to come across this Plant Medicine ceremony to encounter this most mystical, most profound, most Divine peak experience sought by many spiritual seekers. My deep gratitude and appreciation only exceeds my utmost intention to never forget my takeaways from this experience.
The day after this retreat, I was still in my elated state and felt strongly about wanting to share this experience with my family. I arranged to have a talk with my husband and our two children, ages 16 and 22. I shared my experience, apologizing for all my selfish, overbearing and ego-centric ways. It was cathartic and emotional but they were understanding and compassionate as I bared it all.
Somehow, I felt that there was some rewiring that happened in my brain, as I never would have initiated that spontaneous, heartfelt discussion from my “old” mindset. “Seize the moment,” and so I did.
Days and weeks after the ceremony, I experienced re-activations, simulating that same peaceful state, sometimes right before sleep, right after awakening in the morning, after breathwork or in savasana after a yoga practice. I also noticed that my baseline level of awareness had increased remarkably, very much aware of my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions, my agenda and the stories I conjure up about myself. As I became more Self-Conscious, my relationships with my husband and kids became more harmonious, more open and flowing.
Seek and You Shall Find
I also realized how ridiculous I was — this mind-body organism with such complex personality, this addiction to identity, so ingrained and pervasive, this mindset of taking life so seriously, holding on to old emotions, thoughts and feelings. It all seems so obtuse and misguided. How absurd that we as a collective are so focused on the left brain type of pursuits, missing the point, diminishing the Sacredness of Creation, taking for granted our holy existence, the Divinity of every single thing, of Life itself and the Infinite Consciousness that we all are.
Nine months later, as of this writing, I am still integrating that experience. There is not a day when I don’t think about my blessed experience, the Gift that keeps on giving. My meditations have deepened, my actions more deliberate, and in that same symmetrical position on my back plus heart-coherence breathwork, I am able to somewhat re-create that expanded state of consciousness. I still experience shaking and convulsions during savasana after my home yoga practice or after breathwork and meditation. I feel like there is more to release. Does it ever end?
My anxiety, mild depression and nervous system imbalances have all abated. I am more mindful with every breath and am constantly self-checking and observing programmed automatic responses and reactions from recent and childhood traumas. I am also fully aware of my energies and bad habits and things I’d like to change within this mind-body organism.
There is a lot to work on, and yet deep inside, I know there really is nothing to do except to simply notice, observe and just Be. From there, life just naturally flows, hopefully towards the better…with greater and greater awareness of All That Is as I seek to realize and embody the Wholeness that I already am.
“The state of Self-realization, as we call it, is not attaining something new or reaching some goal which is far away, but simply being that which you always are and which you always have been. All that is needed is that you give up your realization of the not-true as true.”
– Ramana Maharshi, Be As You Are, p18
Leni S. Pratte is a Breath, Detox & Self-healing Coach, Microdosing & Entheogenic Healing Coach, Meditation & Nonduality Teacher, Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist and Energy Healer. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and https://linktr.ee/LeniPratte.
Excerpt from “The Patterns of Existence II: the Subsequent Fate”