UFC fighter, life-long martial artist and punk and metal-core fan Dan Hardy is turning spiritual. The man that used to enter the Octagon to the sound of ‘England Belongs to Me’ by the legendary underground punk band OI! now practices yoga alongside his martial arts and has visited the depths of the peruvian jungle for Ayahuasca ceremonies. I knew nothing of the spiritual and mental benefits of Ayahuasca and other psychedelics (psyilosybin containing magic mushrooms for example) until I saw interviews with the outlaw opening up on his positive and constructive experiences with psychedelics. Being a big fan of both the UFC and the Outlaw in particular, and also positive physical and mental well-being, discovering this was a big deal for me.
Undertaking an Ayahuasca ceremony involves ingesting an ancient, indigenous brew containing psychedelic compounds perfected by the amazonian natives back in the day. The ceremony is led and directed by a shaman and involves each participant to introspect under the influence of the Ayahasca and with the absence of the human ego. As Dan Hardy himself puts it, he doesn’t do this stuff for fun, It’s a deeply introspective process where you take a long hard look at yourself without your own ego at work, it can be at times a deeply anxiety promoting experience (often including vomit and unexpected bowl movements) but that is all part of the process in itself. Dan uses Ayahuasca and psyilosybin in particular to step back away from his problems and to see the ‘whole picture’ clearly. He sees it as a feeling of ‘leveling up’ as in a video game and a discovery of a clear path to take until the monotony of modern life breaks the clarity and the medicine calls him again.
Further to this many people have reported using these types of natural psychedelics as alternative medicine to tackle there issues with anxiety and depression as the process of looking at ones life in this state allows them to put there life in to perspective and see things for what they really are. Reports of anxiety/depression sufferers who have tried this method state that they have a much clearer and calmer focus long after the experience and some even claim that they have been permanently cured by the experience.
Hearing of Dan and many other peoples healing and self-developing experiences with psychedelics encouraged me to search for and try psyilocybin myself. I live in an area that is abundant with liberty caps, basically the perfect climate for the growth of the perfect psyilosybin packed magic mushroom. Unfortunately we have had a fairly unproductive season this autumn and scouring with my untrained eye I wasn’t able to find very many of the kind I was looking for. I did manage to find a small amount which I took in a familiar and relaxed setting washed down with some fresh orange juice. If you are unfamiliar with psychedelics always research how to take them safely before consuming anything..and obviously always make sure you know 100% what you are taking! I didn’t take a huge amount so never experienced the feeling of detachment from ‘this reality’ into something otherworldly. I just experienced a very mellow and relaxed high with very mild visual hallucinations that were more intense with eyes closed. It was a perfect state for meditating and I did feel a deeper clarity and ‘warmness’ that made me feel very emotional.
Because of my extremely miniature haul of shrooms obtained, I decided that I would have a go at growing my own ‘Magic Truffles’ – the underground growing varient of the shrooms that affect us in much the same way as the shrooms in general. I got hold of some spores and cultivated them as appropriate. This process is ongoing and I hope to be able to use some home grown truffles to cultivate some actual mushrooms in the future with growing experience.
I would love to try an Ayahuasca ceremony but I don’t know of any taking place in England where I live. I would also love to travel to the source and head off to the South American jungle for a ceremony, the whole thing is really not too cheap however and there is the whole safety aspect to consider. It is a trip I most definitely want to make in the future though once I become more knowledgeable.