The ancient Shipibo Merayas used different types of meditation rituals to connect to the world of spirits and dive deep in the magical universe of sacred plant medicines. Depending on the condition of each patient, they would practice specific types of meditation, such as: the Meraya meditation, the meditation for the liberation of the mind, the regression meditation, etc. At Yosi Ocha we preserve these authentic practices and teach our visitors different techniques, depending on their needs and aspirations.
During an Ayahuasca retreat, it is common for the participants to experience mood swings that can range from great happiness and bliss to sadness and even anger. Keep in mind that each ceremony is a spiritual surgery during which the Maestro, assisted by the spirits of the Medicine, powerfully stirs up different layers of your physical, emotional and spiritual body. In order to navigate smoothly through this process of healing and transformation, we recommended you to spend some time meditating each day. It is not necessary to be familiar with any specific meditation technique, just sit comfortably and relax; focus on your sensory perceptions, feel your inner body, smell the perfume of the air, feel the outside temperature on your skin, listen to the sounds of the Amazon rainforest around you; observe the thoughts that come to your mind, but don’t allow them to carry you away, just watch them come and go; enjoy the stillness and be present, as the present moment is all there ever is.
After an Ayahuasca retreat, it is very important to keep meditating at home. The meditation practice will help you greatly in integrating the process that you have gone through during the retreat. It will also allow you to consolidate and reinforce the energies that you have received from the Medicine. You can follow the same guidelines we mentioned earlier, but there is also a specific meditation for those who need to strengthen the connection with their Arcana – please see the instructions below.
THE ARCANA MEDITATION
In shamanic terms, ‘arcana’ means spiritual defence or protection, and is considered to be an actual spirit being. Generally, in the course of an Ayahuasca ceremony, but it may also be done in ceremonies of San Pedro or tobacco, the shaman will confer on each participant a spiritual protector. These protectors, or arcanas, may appear in the form of animals, plants, or objects. Thus a shaman might provide an eagle to one participant and an anaconda to another, to protect them from all evil spirits. The criteria by which the medicine chooses one or another arcana is not known, the choice of arcana is dictated by the spirits, and channelled by the shaman. During this ceremony, the shaman will create an energy field around the patient and many arcanas will gather and walk around him in a circle; but only one will cross the line and approach the patient, thus becoming his arcana. Once the spirit of the arcana has been united with the spirit of the patient, it allows his spiritual transformation and reinforces his protection.
Therefore, it is recommended to start practising this meditation after the retreat to strengthen the energy of your arcana and develop your connection with it. Before starting this meditation, it is advisable to follow a special diet for 3 days, just like you did prior to the Ayahuasca retreat. On the third day, you can start meditating at any time, although the recommended hours are 22:00, 00:00 and 03:00.
Just before the meditation, drink at least 2 glasses of water. To prepare the space, light four candles and put one in front of you, one behind, and one on each side. Rub the palms of your hands with Agua de Florida or any other cologne. Begin by “pulling out” the energy from the left hand with your right hand (as shown during the retreat), minimum three times. Then repeat the same procedure with the other hand.
Once you’re done, slowly start joining (without touching) and separating both hands, as shown in the picture. Then, place your palms on the abdomen, keep your back straight, close your eyes and take 99 deep breaths through the nose, at the speed of one second per breath. When you finish the breathing exercise, put your hands together and blow through them 3 times making the familiar sound you learned from Maestro Heberto during the retreat.
With your eyes closed, start joining (without touching) and separating your hands slowly, trying to feel the energy building up between them. Then hold them separated and focus on visualizing points of light between your hands. After a while, put your hands on your knees with your palms up. Then, focus on visualizing your Arcana in the point of light – at first, you may not see it, but it is important to know that it is there. When you start “seeing” the Arcana, keep in mind that it can appear in the form of different animals. Once you master this visualization, the next step is to try moving the image of the Arcana up and down, and left and right, without moving your eyes or head. Finally, the last step is to establish communication with your Arcana.