Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Chapter 2: Tess and Tabacco

So, many of you know that I felt guided to stay in Iquitos for 10 extra days (I thought) for rest and a peaceful place to decompress and integrate the work done at the temple. I didn't want to stay in the city but I wanted to be near the jungle and when I found Tess's house on AirBNB I immediately knew this was the place for me. I had no idea at the time just how right I was! As it turns out, Tess is a very talented Tabacchera (A painfully simple definition is someone who works with the master plant Tabacco which is very different than the tobacco that is used in western cigarettes) among many, many other things. She didn't readily advertise this and I got the impression that most people who found her through AirBNB would leave her house having had a lovely experience but not knowing about her work with the medicine. I admired her humbleness and appreciated her profound sense of integrity. In fact, I am pretty sure she only told me all that she did because she already knew that I was there to work with the medicine she had to offer. By the end of the first night I was asking her for a diagnostic. No harm in that, right? It just tells her what, if anything, she has to offer that will help me on my path. I felt plant medicine work, food as medicine classes, and relax and go home in 10 days were all equally possible outcomes of the diagnostic. What I didn't expect was what she actually said. One word: Tabacco. Tabacco?? Really?? I have heard stories of people dieting Tabacco. It didn't sound like a fun time. 'Are you sure I am ready for that?' I asked her. It is super powerful medicine. 'Yes', she said. 'You are strong enough. Many are not but you have a strong constitution.'  Well, OK then. Everything in me felt that I could trust her and knew that I had come to be her patient and her student. I suddenly knew that I was not finished with medicine work.....oh, no...I was just beginning. I decided right there and then that I would stay and learn as much as I could from her and the medicine. I mean, I had come all this way ;)  When she asked me if I had any questions I only had one: "When do we start?"

So, a plant diet or 'dieta' is when you work with a specific plant for a continuous amount of time that varries based on the plant and the person dieting. I know that in the west we associate diets with food restrictions and that is certainly a part of plant dietas but not for the purpose of losing weight. Again, what you eat during dieta depends on the plant and the person. Perhaps you are beginning to notice that it is a very individual process and experience. Well, of course it is. Everyone is different and needs different things :)  I got a lot of fruit juices (well I guess more like smoothies because they were made with a blender not a juicer). They were super yummy! There are also restrictions before and after the diet that are very important and vary slightly based on the person and plant but generally include the restriction of pork, alcohol, drugs, salt, sex, excess oils, things of extreme temperatures (like ice and hot tea) and spicy food. But back to the medicine...
Each night Tess would prepare the medicine for me to drink (yes you drink tabacco) and after a short ceremony I drink it.  Then the medicine and Tess go to work. I would love to tell you about this process but I can't because I don't understand it! All I know is that it is amazing, healing work. Most of the work is done on an energetic level but there was a lot of physical stuff happening. Afterall, Tabacco is a stronger purgative than Ayahuasca. I have learned from Tess that tabacco is the master of all plants and it only works with the truth. It is strong and powerful and doesn't concern itself with the surface level of issues. It goes straight for the roots of the issue with a backhoe and rids you of anything that doesn't belong. Again, this is not something that can be described with words. So, the medicine did at least 80% of the work. My 20% was to drink, purge when and as often as necessary, and rest a lot with as little resistance and as much gratitude as possible. Simple, huh? Actually yes. Simple but very challenging. The end result after 7 nights of drinking medicine was a much lighter and more spacious me! (I know that I will become aware of  more work that was done as things integrate) I am referring to energy here. Haven't you ever had a really good cry or released the fury on someone or something and afterwards felt lighter.... like you released something yucky that was weighing you down. So, yeah......that times 1000. The way the medicine works (in my experience) is that it heals you not by giving you things to make you feel better or be more healthy but by removing and releasing the things that are stopping and blocking you from feeling and being your best. I have heard the fish bowl analogy used a few times so I will share that with you: So, when we are born we are like a fish in a nice, clean bowl of water. We are healthy because our environment that surrounds us is clean and healthy. As life goes on our water starts to become polluted. I am sure you can use your imagination to see how this might happen. Our world is full of negativity and fear. Some things we are conscious of but most things are happening on an energetic level that the vast majority of us are not aware of. However, just because we don't know how the water is getting polluted doesn't stop it from becoming that way. Before we know it, the water in our bowl is very dirty and we are sick. We are all aware of the vast number of ways sickness can manifest in our bodies and minds and the western way of dealing with these sicknesses is to treat the fish. Well, that doesn't work very well because the real cause of the sickness, the dirty water, is still there. What the medicine does is clean the water. It filters and removes all the dirty water so that you have a nice clean bowl of water and, once you have that, your body is perfectly capable of healing itself because the source of the probem and sickness is gone. Did that make any sense? I hope so but the wonderful thing about the medicine is that you don't have to understand it or even believe in it for it to work. The medicine works on the level of spirit. It has an incredible amount of intelligence and consciousness and, because it works on the spirit level, it is only there to help and never to harm. Now, this being said, there are some people that will do harmful things while claiming to work with the medicine. Just like anything else, it can be abused. But I am speaking of my experiences with the medicine being used with integrity and respect by someone who has permission to serve the medicine (Tess) and by someone who has been invited to drink it (Me).

So, that is it in a very simple nutshell. Afterwards I am free to leave Tess's house and venture to the city for post dieta approved food, Wi-Fi, and air conditioning!  Ya know, the luxuries of life ;)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences Bethany much appreciated