Thirteen Tips for Navigating an Iboga Ceremony
Often, those exploring the use of plant medicine are curious for some tips on navigating an Iboga ceremony. There is no right or wrong way to do this work. These are simply tips, and remembering them and implementing them all will not make or break our experience, not to worry! The ultimate goal is that we show up, willing to look and ready to begin to let go of the story that binds us. The rest will unfold as it should.
We have these tips printed and in each one of our rooms for your review during your stay with us. We also discuss them throughout the week!
1- The Detox: The medicine likes to remove what stands in the way of getting to the core of our wounds. During what we call a “detox”, the medicine will clean the body and the mind in a “purging” fashion. The physical purge can show up as sweating, yawning, frequent urination, crying, shaking, vomiting and very occasional diarrhea. Pretty much everyone will experience some type of physical symptoms. The medicine is removing mental, physical and emotional toxicity that is standing in the way of our peace and joy, embrace it!
2- The Mind Purge: Can come as rapid thoughts overlapping one another and often chaotic visions. It’s not so necessary to understand exactly what is happening here but more importantly just to allow. Extensive toxic information is being purged from the subconscious, allow it to be released without seeking specific clarity on every detail. Then the mind can greatly slow down!
3- Visuals are not the goal: Some people don’t even get them at all. They can be neat “eye candy” but are often a distraction. The insights and downloads we receive are far more powerful and lasting than the psychedelic elements. Observe the subtle messages that are coming in. Be mindful of thoughts that come into your consciousness and that seems strange or unexpected. This is the medicine working to help bring things up from your subconscious to be observed and released.
4- We receive exactly what we need: We are all unique and so is each ceremony. It is important not to compare our experience to someone else’s. Sometimes we will experience a whole ceremony without any particular clarity, but the clarity will come in the days and weeks afterwards. Often a ceremony that seemed “uneventful” will impact a huge amount of change in the weeks to come. Don’t be afraid that you didn’t “get anything“ if this is the experience that you have, the wisdom unfolds if you allow it to.
5- The medicine has a treatment plan: If we go in with a specific intention, and there are multiple blockages in the way us from working on that intention, the medicine will work first on certain blocks so that it can then access the deeper issues. Picture cleaning the house; you wouldn’t mop the floor if you had clothes and boxes etc in the way, you would clean up the other items first.
5- Observe your resistance: If feelings of resistance arise (such as judging the experience, discomfort, anger, anxiety etc.) do your best to lean in and be inquisitive to the medicine as to what these are signifying. How these relate to patterns in your everyday life? Often the medicine will help simulate the way that we tend to operate on a consistent basis, giving us the opportunity to see the way that we show up, the way that our mind plays “tricks“ on us, creating stories and experiences that are not really happening. The medicine can magnify this in hopes of shining a light for us to see.
6- Be mindful of limiting beliefs: Something as simple as “the medicine isn’t working, I’m not getting anywhere, what is wrong with me”, are often representative of how we think and feel in every day life. Open up to explore these thought patterns and the symbolism they might present. We all carry many limiting beliefs that can often be buried deep under a pile of excuses and rationalizations. These beliefs can be pervasive and insidiously woven into our protective shell, be inquisitive as to how they show up.
7- Lean into uncomfortable memories: Often under the influence of the medicine we have the opportunity to be the observer of these difficult experiences thus giving us some separation and more clarity. It can be uncomfortable to look, but not any more uncomfortable than it feels to live with these experiences in our conscious and subconscious our whole lives. The medicine is there to help us release it and we must help facilitate that process. Be open to really looking, do your best to uncover what might still be hidden.
8- If you are stuck in a loop: Deep cleansing breath‘s in through the nose and out through the mouth can help relax us and free our overthinking mind. Focus on the music and allow the breath to come fluidly. Another great tool if you are feeling stuck or pent up and angry is to yell; lying on your back take a deep breath and the cover your face and yell into your pillow at the top of your lungs (don’t worry it can barely be heard and you will not disturb anyone). Shaking the body and the limbs can also be helpful as well to release trapped energy and we like to do this in combination with the yelling.
9- If a provider is offering your more medicine: We have received the message to do so. You of course always have the choice, but we highly recommend that you open yourself to receive it. We are here to guide this process, and help get your mind and ego out of the way; this is ultimately what the medicine is for.
10- Gratitude goes a looooong way to ease the experience: Fighting with the medicine and resisting it will interrupt the flow and cause us to suffer. If you do fight it, this is a beautiful teacher as well. But if you can be in gratitude, even for the challenging parts; the process becomes smoother and less jagged…much like life ;).
11- This is a 2-3 day process, surrender: The ceremony space is potent and a lot of information can come in during this time. But the day following, which we call the “discovery day” can often be even more potent and when a lot of the clarity will come, as well as after we have gotten some sleep. The medicine will work on us until it is done, this can feel unrelenting sometimes, but this is why it works more deeply than most other medicines. We promise that the medicine will let you go, you WILL return to “normal” (though hopefully a new normal ;), you will get sleep and feel anew.
Remember this. You have suffered for much of your life (what probably brought you to this work to begin with), another 24 hours is nothing in the grand scheme of time. Most importantly these 24 hours are healing- no matter how intense they may be. Do you best to invite it all and not resist, the medicine is working for you!!!
12- Ask the medicine to show you what you need: Tell it that you trust and that you are open to receiving, especially when it shows up in a way other than you expected. We ALL get what we need, even if it’s not what we thought we “wanted”.
13- Be patient with the process: It takes time to learn the wisdom, texture and subtleties of this experience, and to learn to trust. After the first ceremony you will have a much deeper understanding and trust in the process. We are here to guide you through. We wouldn’t do this work if it didn’t help people in ways beyond our comprehension. Let go, it’s the best thing you can do!