I have just finished reading “DMT – The Spirit Molecule” by Rick Strassman, to be honest I was a bit disappointed as he didn’t really manage to make a strong conclusion, it somehow seemed a bit confused at the end. His research finished, from his description, somewhat abruptly without somehow finding a natural conclusion and for me the book ended in much the same way.
It did of course have many interesting points to make and one that really stuck out for me was a comment from one of his research subjects who mentioned that he had not really managed to follow through on the insightful thoughts he had received whilst under the influence of DMT. I think it is quite common when one has ingested a teacher plant, or alternatively undertaken a shamanic journey to meet with the spirit of a plant, to receive massive insights and life changing thoughts. However in both these circumstances the information comes to you so strong and fast that it can end up being an experience as in a huge “trip”, that perhaps you remember fondly and yet it was so powerful and out of the ordinary it is sometimes hard to relate the information to your daily existence. Of course it can be done and is by many but I think a more gentle introduction to the plant realm and it’s wisdom gives information a chance to seep into your bones, to become something you work with on a daily basis and to become a fundamental and deep rooted part of you.
I am talking about taking the time to simply notice the plants that are growing right outside your front door. Taking the time to acknowledge them, not just notice them but fall in love with them. Give yourself a few moments each day to admire them, to notice something new, to watch the plant of your choice change with the seasons, and most importantly to stop one day and listen. Pause for a few moments to just breathe with that plant visualising the most basic exchange we have with plants – that of breath. As you take a deep breath in close your eyes and visualise the oxygen that has come from the plant that goes into your lungs, infuses into your blood and circulates throughout your body, keeping you alive. And, your out breath, carbon dioxide rich being absorbed by the plants stoma, giving vital supplies back to the plant.
It is a really simple exercise but giving it a go every now and then. Sitting calmly quietly with a plant. Thoughts and feelings will come to you. Not perhaps in a highly coloured psychedelic flash but more gently, more like a caress that holds you and touches all the way to your bones. Wisdom that comes this way is easier to integrate, to interpret perhaps.
I am not denigrating the ingestion of psychedelic plants as I know that they hold deep and life changing wisdom, but that unless you are taking them with a specific intent, with a clear and focused question – with a genuine desire to not only hear the answer but also to act on it – that the incoming information can be of such magnitude and intesity that it is entirely overwhelming and that you simply don’t know where to start. The same is true of a shamanic journey to meet with a plant spirit, a clear question/ intent is essential otherwise it is easy to become distracted by the incredible beauty of otherworlds.
I did enjoy Rick’s book but I wonder whether if the participants had been directed to ask a particular question that he may have got different results? Who am I to say, but I do recommend it!