Michael Sanders, Contributor
Waking Times

In mid-2012, I was struggling with extreme fatigue. I was working as the Vice President of an advertising agency, I was the co-founder of a startup, and I was training athletically and intensely about 14 times per week. In a nutshell, I was inflicting a lot of stress on my body and constantly working towards something without taking the time to appreciate the present moment. My libido had vanished, my vigor gone, and feeling happiness had become difficult.

Consulting with a naturopath, I developed a daily meditation practice; I started to play more; and I adopted a more free-flowing and relaxed lifestyle.

In August of 2013, I ventured to Burning Man with my best friend Sid: an experience so profound and magical, that I plan to go every year for the rest of forever.

Upon return from the desert, Sid asked if I wanted to venture down to the Amazon rainforest to trek through the jungle and drink the psychedelic plant medicine known as Ayahuasca. And so, Sid, our friend Carl, and I planned a trip to Peru to celebrate the changing of the year from 2013 to 2014.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Ayahuasca, it’s a plant medicine that South American shamans have been brewing for millennia for divinatory and healing purposes. They use it to treat anything ranging from depression to cancer, and a lot of Westerners call it “thirty years worth of psychotherapy in a cup.” Powerful stuff.

After a week spent with spiders, snakes, pink dolphins, and billions of plant species, we were all feeling deeply connected with the jungle. And, on New Year’s Eve, we partook in our first Ayahuasca ceremony—a rite of passage involving three experienced local shamans, two apprenticing shamans, and eight guests to the ceremonial grounds.

I was the first to drink the murky brown liquid, and following a 30-minute meditative reflection on my year, I felt a warm fire shoot up the right side of my body. Instinctively and telepathically, I said, “Mother Ayahuasca, I am ready to welcome you into my body, to be shown whatever it is that you would like to show me, and I hope to learn a lot. Perhaps you’ll even learn something from me.”

In response, I felt a maternal presence communicate, “Hello, my child,” as purple and green beams of light emerged from the darkness and started heading towards me.

“Holy shit, I’m talking with a plant,” I thought—this was not something I had anticipated. “Are these lights a hallucination? Are they part of the three dimensional world? Where are they coming from?” I asked myself as I did a series of tests to validate their objectivity. The purple and green beams of light then wrapped themselves around me in the most powerful, nurturing and maternal warmth I have ever felt.

Shortly thereafter, the shamans began singing their powerful songs. These songs are calledicaros and they’re designed to help drinkers navigate their experiences. And wow, did they help me. The songs presented themselves both audibly and visually, by which they formed a perceptual field—a large and colourful cloud of energy— filling the room we were in. This perceptual field offered access to dimensions I was previously unaware of, and in these new realms, I encountered beings that reside in them: benevolent spirits, some of which were human-like, others resembled animals, others looked like plants, and so many more resembled nothing I had ever seen before.

My first Ayahuasca ceremony ended up being a mind-blowing and magical introduction to an infinite cosmic consciousness made of loving souls interested in our well being. Now, it would take hundreds of pages for me to articulate the experience in full—hence the book—but after three six-hour ceremonies over the course of four days, I can tell you I returned from the jungle a changed man.

Following my time in the Amazon, I walked away from the startup I co-founded, and I became a partner in a renewable energy startup where our mission is to evolve humanity onto clean energy and heal our planet. I was also inspired to fulfill a lifelong desire of writing a book and to help the world through storytelling—to help you recognize that anything is possible, that reality is malleable, and that the best thing you can do for everyone is to be true to yourself and pursue your passions.

Please have a look at the campaign page. I think you’ll love the book, and together, we can help and inspire people around the world.
Author’s Note: 

Ayahuasca shattered the paradigm of reality in which I formerly operated and opened me to new, wonderful ways of thinking about life and the universe.

I’ve since written Ayahuasca: An Executive’s Enlightenment, a book that takes you through three Ayahuasca ceremonies—in full detail—and helps you unlock your creative, intellectual and spiritual potential.

The crowdfunding campaign for the book’s publication launched last week, and we reached our goal within 72 hours. People are really resonating with the project, and together, we’re going to help and inspire people around the world.

I’ll give you some more context in the next paragraph, but I’ll quickly share the campaign with you first: https://publishizer.com/ayahuasca/ By backing the project, you’ll be one of the first to own the book, and you’ll also receive up to $1,200 in savings on an Ayahuasca retreat in the Amazon rainforest with Pulse Tours, which is the top-ranked retreat according to AyaAdvisor.org.

About the Author

Michael Sanders is the Vice President of Marketing for clean energy startup SunMoon Energy and the Vice President of ClearMedia.tv advertising agency. A passionate traveler, athlete and mover, Michael practices sound nutrition, regular introspection and daily meditation. He’s also an avid Burning Man participant committed to fostering human connection and improving the world.

Pre-order your copy of Ayahuasca: An Executive’s Enlightenment, and receive savings on an Ayahuasca retreat of your own. You can also find him on Facebook (hyperlink to:https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichaelSanders) for more information.