The Man Who Drank the Universe

I just went to a screening of a film about Ayahuasca, called The Man Who Drank the Universe.  It followed the story of Alistair Appleton the first time he drank ayahuasca at a ‘seminar’ in Brazil.  I really enjoyed it, he managed to get across a lot of the experience, which is difficult for something like ayahuasca.  He talked to some of the other participants, some who were trying to heal themselves of serious health problems.  Somehow it managed to be a light hearted film whilst covering a deep subject in a respectful way.

Acording to Alistair’s website, the film will be available to purchase on DVD soon through the website.  If you have never experienced Ayahuasca, it’s a good introduction.

Is the mainstream waking up???

I was shocked to read a headline yesterday in “Metro” the free newspaper:

Magic mushrooms ‘can be beneficial’

To quote some of the article

“Some volunteers who took the drug reported profound mystical experiences that were as meaningful or spiritually significant as the birth of a child or the death of a parent.”

“Even two months after taking the drug, most said the experience had changed them in beneficial ways, such as making them more loving, compassionate, optimistic and patient.”

As someone who likes to experiment with this kind of thing (currently doing long term experiments with ayahuasca), I would agree, and I’m pleased stuff like this is getting reported in the mainstream press.  It’s especially ironic coming not long after mushrooms have been made illegal.  You can just hear the politicians now “Look, it says magic mushrooms can make people more loving, compassionate, optimistic and patient.  Quick, lets make them illegal.”  What a strange world we live in!

Raw and Wild Weekend

Wow, what a weekend it’s been. We had four people come to do our “Raw and Wild Weekend”. It was amazing but just didn’t go anything like we had planned. As with all our workshops we started off by making Chocolate Pudding, and, as always, everyone loved it. But then we just got further and further behind time and at about 4.30pm we sat down to “Lunch”. Which then meant we had “Dinner” very late and had to make less stuff as we weren’t as hungry.

We live in the middle of nowhere, a quiet sleepy crossroads with about 10 houses. Apart from this weekend one of the neighbours decided to have a big party. Not just a house party, he errected a giant marquee on the land at the back of his house, got in a large soundsystem, lighting, etc, and lots of techno DJ’s. Not quite what we had planned for our advertised “weekend in the beautiful countryside”! So anyway, even though I had thought earlier in the day that there would be no way that I would be going to the party, sometime after midnight, me and two of our guests went over to the party. I had a good dance but didn’t stay too long as I knew I had a pile of washing up to do before I could go to bed!

Today things also didn’t go to the original plan, but it gave me and Holly a break as the students took over and made about eight different kinds of flax crackers, all of which were delicious. One noteable recipe was a sweet version which contained dates, cinamon and cardamon.

We then went out for a walk and identifed and collected a large array of wild greens. Now running quite late we started to prepare dinner (having given up on the idea that we could fit in two large meals!) and ended the day with a large meal including raw pizza and then five deserts. Yes, that’s not a mistake, we had Holly’s golden cream pie, banana ice-cream, chocolates, fruit cake with goji berries and chocolate kefir. What a feast. Everyone left feeling very full but happy.

Hopefully I will add some photos of the day fairly soon.

Tony in the News

My friend Tony Wright was in the Western Morning News today. He’s planning to break the world record for staying awake which is currently about 10 days. The reason for this is to try and draw some attention to his research on consciousness and his left brain, right brain theory. He has stayed awake for seven days on several occations and has had some interesting experiences, you can read most of a manuscript he has written at his website www.kaleidos.org.uk, it’s fascinating.

Today’s dressing

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 sun dried tomato, soaked
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of flax seeds
  • 8 wild garlic leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

As always, put everything into a blender, including a fair bit of the soak water from the tomato and blend until you have a nice thick dressing.  Hope you like it.

Sleeping Gods?

Tony WrightA friend of mine, Tony Wright, who I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, is doing a live online sleep deprivation experiment. He’s starting with 100 hours of not sleeping which is only a practise run for a world record breaking attempt of about 11 days.

You can log on to the Mind Spirit Network and see Tony, hopefully awake, and ask him questions.

There is more info on Tony’s theories, including the first 7 chapters of his manuscript, on his website www.kaleidos.org.uk

Durian and Mangosteen, London and Brighton

No posts for a while as I’ve been away, although unfortunatly not to Thailand – I’ve only been as far as London and Brighton. In London I headed straight for China Town where I know of a few shops which sell tropical fruit. I tried mangosteen for the first time and they are amazing, quite unlike any other fruit I’ve had before. I also had some longan which were also delicious, they were very similar to lychees but with a different outer shell. Got a couple of durians, they are not quite ripe yet, looking forward to having them very soon.

Had a great time in Brighton, a continuation of our “Staying Awake Club”. It’s based on research by Tony Wright on how the brain works and how we might be able to enable much more brain function. On the Saturday night we had a bit of party, Kate invited a few other friends and we had lots of raw cake with superfoods and then later we took some ayahuasca. We made it with a different ingredient and I found it very difficult to drink, so I ended up not drinking too much and not having a very big experience, but it was still good.

You can read a bit more about the weekend on Jess’ blog.

A quick recipe for you. While in China Town I found some very cheap sheets of kelp so I made the following:

  • 2 avocaods
  • about 4 sheets of kelp, soaked for 30 mins
  • bit of chili

Everything went in the Vitamix, including the soak water and it was delicious (but then I do love seaweed).
Got a lot of work to catch up with now so I’m going to stop writing. I really must get on with the next issue of Funky Raw if it is going to come out anytime near the due date and at the weekend me and Holly are doing a raw food prep workshop in Manchester.

The Ayahuasca Experience

Wow, what a weekend. We had 4 people come to the experience, plus Tish came up from Cornwall (and Gavin helped out a bit in the evening).

We started the day by putting the Ayahuasca on to brew and then eating Chocolate Pudding.  We did various things throughout the day including a walk to pick wild greens, meditation and lots of talking about consciousness and the workings of the brain, including lots about new ideas about why our brain is as it is right now, but I’m not really going to talk about all that right now, I’m going to get right on to the evening.

Ok, I’ll mention one more thing  before getting on to the Ayahuasca – Holly made the most delicios pie, Golden Cherry Cream Pie.  At about 11pm the brew was ready to drink.  I drank about half of what we gave to the guests, so in theory I would be there if anyone needed help.

After drinking, we did eye connection meditation.  We rotated so everyone got 2 minutes of deeply looking into each persons eyes.  This seemed to bring on the experience very quickly.  I could feel myself slowly begining to loose control of my body, I managed to move to go to the loo at the start as I knew that very soon I would no longer be capable!

I started off in the ‘quiet’ room but then I heard the most becautuful music coming from the other room. I didn’t think I still had the capability to move rooms, but I found that I actually did, so I found a nice space to sit and listed to the music. Playing was a CD by Nigel Shaw, which was beautiful natural music, rivers, birds, flutes. It instantly took me on a journey. The music became the music of a film playing in my head which was perfectly coreographed – the visual images in my head were completly following the music.

I also had an intense feeling of love for everyone in the room, I can’t remember if this was before, after or during the ‘film’ experience described above. It’s interesting to note that two other people who were in the same room at the time also reported the same feeling of love. The whole experience was one of complete bliss.
I think I was sat down (and fairly unable to move) for about an hour, after this I got up and was able to move about and interact with other people again, although I was still feeling the effects of the Ayahuasca.

It seems everyone who came really enjoyed it so I think there is a good chance we will do another one at some point.

Ayahuasca

I’ve mentioned ayahuasca a couple of times, I thought it was time to do a full post on it. If you don’t know, ayahuasca is a shamanic brew made from various ingredients, we’ve been using Banisteriopsis Caapi and Psychotria viridis. We boil it up for about 10 hours with some satsumas (or oranges), here’s Holly’s complete description of how we make it.

If you take a large enough dose, it will take you on a “trip”. My first time was in Spain with the Santo Diame. It was a full on experience and at times I was very scared and I didn’t think I was ever going to come back! Although other parts of it were very enjoyable.

I drank ayahuasca again under very different circumstances, at a friends house in Cornwall and had a much more enjoyable experience. From this I now drink a small amout of ayahuasca on a daily basis, between 5 and 10ml, it doesn’t cause any obvious major effects but I’m sure it helps. Research suggests that the brain used to produce a lot more DMT and due to things not working like they should anymore, this isn’t happening. So the ayahuasca is basically a nutritional supplement.

So, if anyone living in Devon is interesting in experience ayahuasca for them selves, we are doing an “Ayahuasca Experience” on Saturday, at our house near Totnes.

The ingredients for ayahuasca can be bought from Deva Ethnobotanicals although if you’re going to try it I reccomend you read up more about it and do it with a good friend.

Vipassana

Where have I been these last few days? Well, I started a 10 day Vipassana meditation course. If you don’t know, it is suposedly the path to “Enlightenment” as originally taught by Gotama Budah. 10 days of meditation, no talking, daily lectures (on video). It was definatly interesting, some of the meditations went quite deep and I felt energy flowwing through my body on a couple of occations. I survived 4 days but just couldn’t do anymore.   Just not my style, I think having to get up at 4am really did it for me.  And I was missing Chocolate Pudding and all my other favorite raw foods!

(Anyone interested in more info on Vipassana can see www.dhamma.org)