It was the day after the sound healing I had done for a workshop at Esalen. We were all sitting around in the dining room having breakfast. He’d already told me the night before that he was really moved by my voice and that it had transported him to “the same place that DMT does,” and now he was telling me again how much he appreciated my offering. There was something very familiar about him and I was starting to put some pieces together. His name is Dave, he keeps talking about his band project in L.A. . . . “Hey Dave, what is the name of the band you’re in?” “Oh,” he replied, “It’s a band called Jane’s Addiction.” Dave Navarro! It was Dave fucking Navarro! And he was expounding upon my music?! Was I in another reality? This hardly seemed real and I almost felt like I needed to pinch myself.
I was sitting there in the dark, feeling like I was a wave of blissful energy when I heard the shaman’s assistant ask me if I would sing. Even though, in the ordinary world I had just come from, that would have been enough to create a freeze response and my voice would have locked up, in this moment, with the softening and opening of the plant medicine, I opened my mouth and what came out felt like it was not me.
Something beautiful and etheric flowed through that turned the wave of bliss into a fountain of ecstasy. I felt like a witness to my own singing. Something greater than me was praying through me.
Afterward, people asked me if I was a professional singer. Although it had been a very secret fantasy of mine (and I’d even seen visions of myself changing people’s lives through what flowed out of my mouth -it was never specific whether it was words, songs, sounds or something else), the reality seemed impossible because every time I tried to open my mouth to sing in front of pretty much anyone, my throat would close up and I wouldn’t be able to make a peep.
That was my second Ayahuasca ceremony, and over the years, that profound and even miraculous gift of my voice from this sacred plant medicine brought me back time and time again. Soon I started to learn songs that I could sing, and after a while, I started to allow myself to improvise in the moment, letting Spirit move through my vocal chords.
I realized that my shyness was being healed, but I also realized that it only really worked if I was singing in service to healing and singing songs of devotion. If I was in “performer” mode, it didn’t work so great.
Through the years, after now countless ceremonies with Mama Aya, my voice has been freed up and I am not so shy about sharing my voice through songs and sound healing. Sound healing and singing/chanting/toning are are part of all the ceremonies we offer, and while I still have shy places in my voice and room to grow, there seems to be deep healing that comes from offering up my voice in service.
One of the last ceremonies I was in while on dieta in the Amazon, Mama Ayahuasca gave me a powerful download that showed me (and even embedded within me) that all of our indigenous languages of origin (the specific ones I know about are Hebrew, Sanskrit, Egyptian, and Mayan) are sacred frequencies that the Holies spoke to pray us into our physical form. These languages of light and sound are what our physical bodies and all matter in this galaxy are made of. And, they showed me that, because of this, sound is the original shamanic healing modality. It made perfect sense.
When I came back from that journey, my voice seemed, during ceremony, to vibrate in ways that felt outside of myself. Sometimes it would (and still does) sound like there are other people singing along from other parts of the room.
I always assumed that it was the Medicine that created that effect and that, in real life, I wasn’t capable of producing such powerful frequencies unaided. But then I had the privilege of being asked to offer a sound healing for a week-long workshop at Esalen. I felt a bit awkward being in a space that was not my own, with a group that I was just meeting for the first time, without a previously created ceremonial container. I had done deep self-care in the world class mineral baths there, but was otherwise unaltered.
I dropped in and gave it my best, and felt like it was a solid B+. But afterward, most of the people came up to tell me how powerful it had been. One of them, I would later realize, was indeed, Dave Navarro. Not only had my voice “transported [him] to the same place that DMT does,” it inspired him to ask me to do a private ceremony with him.
If you had told me, as an angsty 20-something who could talk loudly, but couldn’t offer a line of music in public that I would one day mystify one of the band members of one of my all time favorites, Jane’s Addiction, I would never have believed you. But thanks to this potent gift from Ayahuasca, opening my voice in service to healing, I have been able to not only heal myself, but have helped others to have unexpected breakthroughs in their own right.
It’s not that I didn’t do a LOT of my own inner work along with the plant medicine. I did. But I absolutely know that the immense shift from being mute to singing and transforming lives with my voice for a living was magnified and quickened in quantum ways because of the loving medicine of Ayahuasca.
The amazing thing is that this is JUST ONE of MANY magical stories of healing, transformation, and elevation that are integrally connected with sacred plant allies.
People who have come to our group ceremonies have ended their need for anti-depressants, ended alcohol addictions, healed chronic pain and emotional trauma and the list goes on.
I don’t know why these plants are able and willing to do so much to help us heal, but I do know that they are, indeed, here to help.
If you’re interested in how plant medicines can support you in transforming your life in a safe and sacred way, you can use this link to schedule some time to talk with me about the private and group ceremonies we offer through the Church of Living Wisdom, a dogma-free, “plant-based” :-D, Medicine Temple Mystery School. :: CLICK HERE :: to fill out an assessment and get that valuable time with me.