Microdosing ayahuasca is a controversial and touchy topic. Many people feel, and perhaps rightly so, that consumption of ayahuasca outside of ceremonial context is irresponsible and lacks reverence for these sacred plants. Others would say it’s even disrespectful to the ancient lineages of indigenous cultures who have been working with these plants for thousands of years.
I acknowledge this perspective; I mostly (yet not entirely) agree with many of these sentiments. Before I share some of the powerful benefits I’ve received from microdosing ayahuasca, it’s important I share a couple of things.
First, I don’t recommend working with microdosing ayahuasca unless you’re already working with a teacher, or at least under the close guidance of an experienced practitioner. There are risks and medical contraindications that you need to be aware of–especially if you are on anti-depressants or have an existing heart condition. I’m also talking about microdosing ayahuasca vine–banisteriopsis caapi–which means no DMT from the chakruna leaf.
The work I do with individuals and groups creates a framework for microdosing that honors the sacredness of these plants. I don’t recommend people microdose ayahuasca and then drive to the grocery store or hop online to shop on Amazon.
I teach people how to microdose within an intentional container that helps people cultivate their personal practices. My ayahuasca microdosing protocol emphasizes a morning practice of movement, breathwork, and meditation as its foundation, particularly to help people unlock their capacity to create–in whatever shape or form that takes.
I get that it’s controversial. I also feel that if it’s possible to work with these plants intentionally and responsibly. Microdosing ayahuasca can be exactly the medicine we need right now to help us embody the change we wish to see in this crazy world we live in.
I am deeply grateful for the medicine of this profound plant teacher. Here are just a few of the ways ayahuasca has immensely supported my life.
Creative & Lateral Thinking
After taking a break from microdosing for about a year, I intuitively felt the call to start a new microdosing protocol with ayahuasca vine. I was taking one of Joe Dispenza’s online courses for several weeks before I began to microdose. During each session, I took pages and pages of notes, on lined paper, in a notebook.
About halfway through the course, I started microdosing, and then a fascinating thing started to happen. As the weeks went by, my notes gradually shifted from linear notes–line by line–into conceptual mind mapping. I didn’t fully realize the magnitude of the shift until I looked back over my notebook and was amazed to see how my notes had drastically changed.
As the course progressed, the time it took me to take notes was cut by half. I was able to grasp the concepts much easier, and I started building out visual maps of the ideas, connecting them in new ways that led to new profound insights. (Insights surrounding how many of the concepts Joe Dispenza teaches overlap with what I’ve been experiencing with psychedelics.)
As I started developing this conceptual framework, I was able to connect the dots between multiple disciplines. This led me to create a truly unique framework for working with psychedelics, that incorporates the fields of neuroscience, eastern philosophy, quantum mechanics, biology, psychedelic research, and optimal performance, particularly the place where all of these fields overlap.
I taught this framework at my last 11-day AYA Visionary Plant Medicine Retreat to a group of 40 incredible humans. I presented about a dozen talks on how we, as entrepreneurs and change-makers, can leverage the knowledge from various disciplines to support our work with plant medicines, supporting an opening of the creative visionary channel, and fostering the Bodhisattva spirit.
For those of you who saw the movie Limitless, I feel that microdosing ayahuasca was like my secret superpower–my NZT–that had only positive side-effects.
I didn’t just notice a significant boost in lateral thinking. I also noticed that my capacity to focus had noticeably improved. I also noticed a big shift in my ability to retain and remember information, likely because of how mind mapping led to better conceptual understanding.
I felt like the vine was teaching me how to learn more quickly, but in real-time. I had this meta-awareness where I could see myself learning–I was the observer of my mind–and I could directly perceive where and how to improve. But it was as if the medicine was doing the work for me, enhancing my capacity to learn, and I was just watching it unfold.
The best way to describe it, and I’ve received this message from ayahuasca in more journeys than one, is that the intelligence of this plant can offer us a neurological upgrade and help us fundamentally rewire the brain in ways that support positive transformation. We need this kind of neurological overhaul as we face an ever more complex and continuously changing world that has become increasingly challenging to navigate.
Turning Down the Volume on Addiction
In what I refer to as my “past life career,” I was an expert in the field of health and wellness, specializing in food addiction. As many people say, you teach what you have to learn, and that was definitely true for me. I wrote a published book called Unhooked: A Holistic Approach to Ending Your Struggle with Food, weaving together science with spirituality, ultimately as a way to better understand my own disordered relationship with food.
Food addiction was just one of the areas I’ve struggled; there have been many others, including years of alcohol and cocaine abuse. If I was to rate my “addiction levels” before I embarked on the spiritual path, learning and adopting tools to help me heal, the intensity of my experience with addiction on any given day was easily an 11 out of 10, on a 10-point scale. You know how completely life-consuming and incredibly challenging this kind of struggle can be for those of you who struggle with the many levels and forms of addiction.
After years of inner work, practicing meditation, upgrading my lifestyle on many fronts, as well as working with psychedelics and plant medicines, my day-to-day relationship with addiction would hum along at around a 2 or 3 on a 10 point scale—significant improvements for sure, and completely manageable. But the thing was, I still needed to “manage” it.
Even though those lower levels were mild and even harmless–should I eat the cookie…don’t eat the cookie…but I want to eat the cookie–it was still subtly there, just below the surface.
As soon as I started working with microdosing ayahuasca vine, it was like the volume level of addiction immediately fell to zero—total, utter, freedom from the hoot. There wasn’t any tug at all; it was just gone.
It made me realize how subtle tugs like this have such a massive drain on energy. When hooked by any kind of addiction, it can completely consume you and all of your attention. There’s almost no space for anything else to happen; we just keep going around and around with the same trigger, biting the same hook.
It’s like being in a room with the white noise from an air conditioner. You get entirely used to it buzzing along, but then when it turns off, you immediately feel this expansive, calm feeling, and realize how much noise it was making in the first place.
I described it as a “complete clearing of my energy field.” This spaciousness allowed me to enjoy the process of living my life, and freed up my energy so I could focus on what I love most: creating.
Tapping Into Flow States
When I’m working with a microdosing window (my personal protocols with microdosing ayahuasca vine usually last about two months) I notice I’m able to drop into flow states more quickly and more efficiently, and as a result, my creative output soars.
Think about it; if you can improve your capacity to make far-flung mental connections, dramatically improve lateral thinking, enhance your focus and ability to retain information, and you’re able to minimize all distractions from nagging addictions, then you’re likely going to improve your flow. And as we now know from flow research, flow follows focus. And the microdosing “container”––the context within which I work with these medicines––leverages all of these essential flow triggers.
My experience of flow feels like a complete opening of my creative channel. One way I describe it is that it feels like my entire body is resonating at the frequency of inspiration, which is actually a tremendous amount of energy to learn how to channel. When I’m in this special channel of flow, I’m not overthinking; I’m naturally stepping aside, allowing Spirit (or life-force) to move through me. This way, I can become more like a conduit for transmuting ideas from the unseen dimensions into this 3D reality in which we live.
This is incredibly helpful as a content creator (writing books, blog posts, articles, guides, and giving multi-hour talks at retreats). When I’m in a state of flow, everything is so much more effortless, like time-bending reality, my energy input-versus-creative-output ratio goes through the roof.
Flow also just feels so damn amazing. Period. Who wouldn’t want more of that?
Freedom From Depression
Depression can often go hand in hand with addiction, like a one-two punch. Over the years, I’ve become quite familiar with depression and the feeling of being enclosed in a small dark room that’s hard to move around in.
As I describe in this article: Can Ayahuasca be Help Us with the Mental Health Crisis, I explain how ayahuasca vine is a natural anti-depressant because it contains compounds called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s). These MAOIs prevent serotonin’s reuptake, a crucial neurotransmitter that plays a role in many biological processes, including the regulation of moods. As a result, serotonin circulates for longer, which can lead to a boost in mood.
There is such a wide spectrum in terms of our emotional experience and how we feel. No matter where I land on that spectrum on any given day, I’m always amazed at how good microdosing ayahuasca makes me feel. It’s a natural mood-enhancer, improving my outlook on life, and boosting my energy. It’s not hard to see how many ways this can be so helpful for so many people––for so many reasons.
The Medicine We Need
There are very few scientific studies to back up anything I’ve stated in this article about the benefits of microdosing ayahuasca. I fully acknowledge that. Although, the psychedelic research that has been done, especially with ayahuasca, definitely points in the same direction, showing that ayahuasca supports divergent thinking and neuroplasticity.
For those of you who follow my work, you know my preference is to reference the science. In this case, I simply wanted to share what I’ve noticed based on my personal experience.
That being said, over the years of working with entrepreneurs, visionaries, peak performers, and change-makers in cultivating a mindful microdosing practice, I’ve heard many of my students/clients report similar experiences.
This medicine might be exactly what we need right now to guide us through these disorienting and chaotic times. I believe this medicine can help shape us in the leaders we need to become to pave the path towards a better future.