Preparing Ayahuasca

What to do before taking Ayahuasca | Tips from Tim Ferriss

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I’ve been listening to Tim Ferriss for several years now and am constantly learning. I don’t agree with everything he and his guests say, but they really are interesting. 

In an interview with Blake Mycoskie, Tim Ferriss gives his personal recommendation of what you should consider doing before diving into headfirst into Ayahuasca. You can access the transcript of the interview here.

I recommend listening to the episode in full to understand it in context. Also if you want to learn more about the legitimate research, science and profound psychological change/healing that psychedelics are being used for, from PTSD to a variety of mental health problems and past trauma, read the likes of Sam Harris, Terence McKenna, and many others. Joe Rogan has interviewed dozens of experts on his podcast on the topic of psychedelics – definitely worth listening to. There is also a wide range of literature on the topic of psychedelics. 

I haven’t had the opportunity to try Ayahuasca or any psychedelic for that matter – though I do want to sometime.  Given my personality type I would have gone all in and straight to Ayahuasca, however Tim Ferriss‘ guidelines and suggestions really resonates with me. It sounds like a journey of really learning about your inner thoughts and consciousness in general (something that psychedelics seem to fundamentally alter) during a trip and after. Some of his suggestions were new and some I have already done before. When I do decide to go forward I’ll definitely be following Tim’s suggestion and go though the content as though it’s fresh.

And on this note, by far the best movie I have seen on the topic of psychedelics is Enter the Void  – incredible use of color, a masterpiece of the topic and well worth watching!

AN EXCEPTIONAL WORK… This is the work of an artist who’s trying to show us something we haven’t seen before…— Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

There are many good documentaries out there such as this one as well as this shorter one from Vsauce.

Obviously this isn’t medical advice and I’m not saying you must go and do it. Listen to the disclaimer Tim provides in his interview with Blake, it applies here as well.

Tim Ferriss’ recommendations before taking Ayahuasca

Step 1: Use something like the Waking Up mediations app short-course for 30 days – no substances. (though it’s a paid product, assuming it’s still the same, Sam Harris believes that if you genuinely can’t afford it he will let you have it – you just need to contact the team.)

Step 2: Read Awareness by Anthony de Mello 

Step 3: Watch the six part interview series, The Power of Myth, with Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell

Step 4: Schedule at least two sessions of holotropic breathwork (to explore non-ordinary states of consciousness produced by breathing techniques) – still while completely sober at this point.

Step 5: MDMA assisted psychotherapy

Step 6: Experience a guided psilocybin trip

At this point Tim says that if you don’t proceed further it’s perfectly ok, but he would not advise Ayahuasca until you have done all the above.

Then if you still want to go further try Ayahuasca – in a safe environment, and with a guide.

I hope you found this interesting, if nothing else. What I like about this approach also is that it is careful and moderated – which is how many tribes take their psychedelics. They don’t just take them whenever they want with little thought – these drugs are often taken are part of a meaningful ritual and are not used with wanton abandon.

As one commentator of the show said:

After psychedelics nothing changes, but everything changes”

Psychedelic Brain