Podcast 505 – “Ayahuasca Stories From 1989”


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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

An ayahuasca circle: Art by Jaret JohnstonPROGRAM NOTES:

Today we pick up on the third section of a Terence McKenna workshop that was held in December of 1989. An interesting feature of this session is a report that Terence asked one of his friends to give about the state of ayahuasca use in Amazonian Peru. As one of the earliest accounts of what a Westerner will encounter when searching for an ayahuasca experience, we get to hear what it was like in the jungle before the plague of ayahuasca tourism took hold. One of the interesting ways in which he describes an ayahuasca vision is this it is a manifestation of one’s own intuition. We also get to hear Terence describe what he calls “tingling-lip ayahuasca”.

[NOTE: The following quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“If you take tingling-lip ayahuasca then you are one macho hombre.”

“I don’t like the drugs that absolutely destroy the witness. I think the witness is important.”


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Posted in Ayahuasca, Culture, Environment, Language, Psychedelics, Religion, Shamanism, Terence McKenna (mp3), Uncategorized.


  1. What an honor it is to represent the experience in acrylic for the prefaced book and this particular podcast. TM is a trademark unto his own McKennaness, and the listeners are all too grateful when the data eventually sinks in. Challenging, sure. But what experience isn’t?

  2. These guys would defiantly be the macho hombre compared to me. Although I’ve done high dose ayahuasca … you basically just feel too uncomfortable to really learn anything IMHO. I do it alone. When I did it with a traveling shaman. The effect was bad, so I do it alone and there is no danger of weird energies attacking me from the outside. My current practice is “gentle penetration” method. This is the Chinese method of healing from the Yijing hexagram 57. I do a very low dose and let my consciousness adapt to it. Then I raise it, and get adjusted to that, then more, and more. This way I gradually enter the psychedelic state instead of being thrown naked into a dark chaos. The ego death and fear is still present, and you can feel those boundaries dissolving but by going at this slower pace, you make it a somewhat deeper experience, you learn how to relax and overcome your anxieties, it becomes more symbiotic, and less a flash in the pan. More a practice than a retreat. And you recognize where the threshold of chaos may lie. Once you go there, you contemplate the next move, maybe try a bit more and then the threshold goes farther out. I don’t usually do the fasting or the diet however. Fasting makes the experience too exhausting for me. Although I did try doing it after some fasting before, and tried doing it in the morning counting the sleep as a fast. Doing it alone is more challenging than with other people, unless perhaps those people are strange. Also I add egg white to remove the nausea effect, and it become less of an ordeal. I think by using ayahuasca you are treading your own path and developing your own skill and practice. I’m sure it won’t rival the amazonian with their thousand years of heritage and tradition passed down. But that isn’t the point for me. My purpose is just my own.

  3. This might just be one of my favorite Conversations about the vine i have heard from Terence yet! also my first comment after a few years of sifting thru the wonderful volumes of stuff here. So Great work Lorenzo! Kudos to you. My exp with the vine here vs Peru is no contest, i am glad i found it here and was able to delve into that..it definitely was a total game changer for me and my life but i knew after a few sittings that something was missing. FFWD to Peru, i made sure for my self, that i went local, not a retreat center and humbly sat with locals in a tiny village way off the map a ways up river form Pucallpa, i had some of that lip stinging brew he talks of here, my tongue was bubbling from it (granted when i picked it up in Pucallpa it had just been made that night prior so it was still warm in the bottles! But the singing only, with no other trappings save mapacho and Agua Florida (which we also used as mouthwash as they did) it was all about the Icaros (beyond any i had heard prior to this) , and though i cant understand Shipibo, it felt as if i was meant to hear that/knew it…small group of 3 of us and 6-7 of them max, too strong to do two rounds of (for all of us) save 1 night…but anyways enough about that, thanks again for finding this talk! already sent a link to curious friends as i think this is a very good primer for those wanting to step into this realm. Also, its very interesting to see how they track the movement of the vine with their singing, as they say if you’re bugging out, join in and hum along, it will put you right back in line 🙂

  4. Where was I in 1989? Well considering it was 9 years before I was born I feel quite young hahaha, young bodied but not minded 🙂

    Love the podcasts btw.

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