It’s been three weeks since my visit to the Santo Daime church in Ashland. I’ve learned a few things.
From my single experience, the Daime tea is very powerful but fairly gentle. I never had the sensation of being blasted out of a cannon that I’ve had with certain other psychoactive substances I might name. That may have something to do with the context.
Although the tea contains well-known chemical ingredients, it’s difficult to compare it to other substances. The tea is one of many parts in a complex whole. The results you get depend on all the elements in a unique ceremony shared with fellow voyagers.
The ritual context gives the Daime tea its unique power, but it may also limit its appeal. Some people who might benefit from the experience won’t be interested because of the religious elements. We need secular alternatives for those folks.
The day may come when you can take a psychedelic in a supportive environment under the care of a doctor or therapist. There’s a lot of scientific and legal work that has to be done before that day comes. Full speed ahead.
I started this journey with a question: why are psychedelics helpful for people who suffer from serious conditions like addiction and depression? My time in Oregon gave me the start of an answer.
When people ask me about the Daime tea, I tell them that it’s like pressing the reset button on a computer. Everything shuts down and starts over with a clean slate. In my case, two cups of the tea broke through a wall of mental noise and swept away decades of useless anger and resentments.
I hadn’t paid much attention to all that junk until it was gone, but afterwards I saw what a mess I’d created for myself. Those thought patterns kept looping over and over until they hardened into the bars of a prison. The Daime tea helped me break free.
People who suffer from addiction and depression have their own feelings of mental and emotional imprisonment. Some of them might welcome the sense of liberation that came to me in Oregon. Everyone’s different, of course, and it’s important to be cautious as we embark for new territory. Still, I think there’s hope.
In the weeks since I hit my inner reset button, it’s been interesting to watch my mental and emotional systems come back online. Some of the old dysfunctional patterns have returned, but they stick out like a sore thumb now. I see them for what they are and I dismiss them.
Whatever happened to me seems like it’s going to last. That’s another reason for hope.
I’ll say it again: I’m very grateful.