Committing to a ‘dieta’ is much more than attending an ayahuasca ceremony.
I knew nothing about it before I began the process as it is not common knowledge among westerners.
I am naturally a disciplined person so I began to research immediately. I learned that as with most things in life preparation is a large part of success.
Accordingly, beginning February 1st, 18 days before my ‘dieta’ was ‘opened’ I commenced abstaining from sex, cannabis and alcohol. I normally eat very clean; however, I further limited my use of honey, salt and oil. I do not eat pork so that was not an issue and it was easy to abstain from raw fish.
When I arrived in Peru I was well prepared. Papa Gilberto, the shaman, opened my ‘dieta’ on the 18th of February. I was staying at an eco lodge, and although it was at the end of a muddy dirt road we enjoyed most of the comforts of home. All of our meals were prepared by the wonderful staff, and while the food was very simple it was clean and nourishing home cooking, just the way I like it! Once the ‘dieta’ is opened one must abstain completely from salt, sugar of any kind including fruit, oil and of course sex, cannabis, pork, raw fish and alcohol.
These restrictions can be hard for many people. Other than sex people seem to miss sugar and salt the most. To my surprise I found myself dreaming about eating salty oily food.
In addition to the five ayahuasca purging/ceremonies we partook of, we also ‘dieted’ a second plant extract. The plant I chose was locally called Bobonsanna (employed for the healing and health of the emotional body), known to the western world as Calliandra Angustifolia. Beginning the night after my first ayahuasca ceremony when my diet was opened, I was provided with about one ounce of an alcohol extract (the only alcohol the shaman allows) of the inner bark of this plant.
It was a beautiful color red, extracted with cane liquor, and tasted awesome. I felt its effects immediately, it was warm and friendly, I believe it definitely aided in the subsequent cathartic purging of repressed emotions that followed my inner work in the days to come.
As my dieta came to a close I was looking forward to having some salt in my diet. Then on the night it actually was closing I realized that the real ‘salt’ of life is the experience of living in right relationship to the Creator and our fellow creatures.
I believe the accoutrements of life cannot really be enjoyed unless we are in right relationship. In fact we are likely to overuse these accessories in an attempt to find the true satisfaction that eludes us resulting in a depletion of vital energy and sickness.
After my dieta was closed Papa Gilberto instructed us to further abstain from sex, cannabis and alcohol for twenty more days, and to abstain from pork and raw fish for sixty more days.
Now that I am on the last day of my post dieta I find the same experience occurring. Instead of wishing this day was over, I will relish the last moments of this victorious battle. It’s not really about the extras in life, and it is not found in denying ourselves the enjoyments the Creator has bestowed upon the creature.
Rather, there is a sweet spot, in between attachment and denial. An abandoned freedom, found in the ‘way’ of the ‘here and now’ is the harmony of the dance between the Creator and the creature.