During my apprenticeship here at the Iboga Wellness Center in Cost Rica, I had the privilege of interviewing Raphael, an 18 year old man, just days after his 8 day retreat & 2 iboga journeys:
Like Ayahuasca, San Pedro (Wachuma), Peyote, and Psilocybin mushrooms, iboga is considered a sacred plant teacher or “master plant” by indigenous people and has been taken in ceremonies since ancient times for spiritual and physical healing. More recently, iboga has been proven to have powerful addiction-breaking effects in medical studies.
The story begins in early 2014, when Chor Boogie experienced a drug relapse after being clean for over 13 years. Disheartened by the toxic pharmaceutical treatment options for opiate addiction and the low rates of long-term recovery offered by traditional Western treatment programs, Bast began to research iboga. Initially intimidated and skeptical, Chor Boogie finally agrees to try this radical treatment to deal with his addictions.
The couple navigates the treacherous labyrinth of addiction and searches to find the right iboga provider. Their quest leads them to a 10th generation African Bwiti shaman with a healing retreat center in Costa Rica and extensive experience treating addictions with iboga.
This story reveals that iboga is not a “magic bullet.” Rather, success with iboga requires strong intentions and full participation during the rigorous ceremony—as well as aftercare and integration.
The medicine not only helped to heal Chor Boogie’s addiction, it also purified and enriched their relationship. The book is a passionate love story as well as a chronicle of the iboga experience. The reader is privy to a veritable rollercoaster of deepening intimacy: vulnerable confessions, mystical sensual encounters, and courageous emotional breakthroughs.
This story presents a timely topic, as the Governor of Vermont is now considering an addiction treatment trial with ibogaine (the active alkaloid in iboga) for the very first time in the US. This is highly progressive, as iboga and ibogaine are currently illegal in the US, along with all other psychoactive medicines.
Heart Medicine: A True Love Story is due to be publicly released May 15th, 2016 and will be available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and at select retail stores. The book is co-published by Medicinal Media Press and Regent Press, known for the work of Ralph Metzner, an acclaimed scholar of entheogens and a Harvard research associate of Timothy Leary and Ram Dass.
ISBN Complete: 978-0-9971213-1-5 Hardback / $32.95 USD
978-0-9971213-0-8 Paperback / $19.95 USD
978-0-9971213-2-2 E-Book / $9.99 USD
Page Count: 402
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
E. Bast serves as a writer, poet, award-winning yoga teacher, yogic lifestyle coach, visual and performance artist, fusion temple dancer, and musician. She studied at New College of San Francisco with an emphasis on Art and Social Change. Since 2007, she has co-created with notable spray paint artist, Chor Boogie, producing numerous collaborative works of visual and performance art at galleries, museums, and special events. She is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit www.ebast.net.
ABOUT CHOR BOOGIE:
San Francisco-based Chor Boogie, aka Joaquin Lamar Hailey, is an internationally acclaimed spray paint artist. His visionary murals and art exhibitions have graced many countries across the globe. Societe Perrier honored him as number three among their Top Ten U.S. Street Artists of 2014. He painted several series of iboga inspired paintings after his healing ceremonies, and these pieces have since graced the cover of the popular journal for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. His artwork is serving as the official imagery for the 2016 National Harm Reduction Conference in San Diego. For more information, visit www.chorboogie.com.
*Journalists, please view the full media kit HERE.
I’m writing to you from a stunning villa overlooking a serene beach in lush Costa Rica, but it’s not all play. This lovely place is home to the the Iboga Wellness Center; my husband and I are here apprenticing to become providers of the African sacred medicine called iboga within the Bwiti tradition. This medicine granted us a healing miracle 2 years ago, which I detail in my intimate memoir, Heart Medicine: A True Love Story. After this experience with iboga, we were both inspired to learn how to help others with the medicine.
We were blessed with a wonderful surprise during our visit…. A group of fellow iboga providers, all initiates of the same Bwiti lineage, descended upon this retreat center for New Year’s Day: Robyn & Mark from Iboga Soul and Amber & Corey from Sacred Soul. It was an honor and a joy to be in the company of these strong and graceful beings who’ve devoted their lives to serving others with this medicine. We have enjoyed sweet vibes and warm smiles around the sacred fire, as well as many colorful stories about this healing work.
I gathered that most guests have very positive experiences with the medicine, and these positive outcomes require plenty of participation. Being a budding iboga provider, I longed to know more and asked these seasoned providers a lot of questions. I learned that these elements can help guests to have a profoundly healing and positive experience with the medicine:
• Cultivate clear and benevolent intentions.
• Be absolutely honest in all communication with your providers. This is not only ideal, but vital to a safe and fulfilling journey.
• Come with an open mind and heart, once you have carefully selected the right provider.
• Begin from a place of reverence for the medicine. This is how the medicine can offer its greatest gifts to you.
• Be open to discovering that the medicine is a living spirit, not just a physical substance to consume.
• Graciously receive the traditional customs that lay the groundwork for a strong and positive ceremony: Bwiti wisdom transmissions, fire ceremony, ritual elements, medicine music, shamanic healing practices, verbal guidance in the journey, etc. These elements are pleasant for many, though they may feel aesthetically strange or even slightly tedious for some guests. They are entirely essential for many reasons that might not be apparent to the uninitiated.
• Come of your own volition, rather than because of pressure from a loved one.
• Be accountable, in some way, for the offering needed for treatment, rather than having someone else take care of it. This can help people to value the experience.
• Engage fully with the process and the guidance. Some people mistakenly believe that sacred medicine works by simply popping a pill or drinking a brew, but there is nothing passive about it. Iboga, like all sacred medicines and spiritual practices, are entirely participatory.
• Remember that the healer is just a human being, albeit a skilled one. It’s not entirely up to the healer to “fix” a seeker. The healer is simply there to offer an opportunity and create a safe space, but the aspirant must walk through the door and do the inner work on their own.
• Stay for the full retreat time. There is a reason why retreats are designed to be a certain number of days—and a certain number of ceremonies. It takes time to unravel and disconnect from the rat-race. In addition, the first journey is just the detox or cleansing session, making way for the guidance and clarity that often shines through in subsequent journeys. Keep in mind that every journey can be radically different, and some are more challenging than others.
• Attend to your aftercare and general self-care. Follow through with new life changes that were prompted by the medicine. Begin or sustain supportive practices such as meditation, yoga, tai-chi, dance, music, or others. Surround yourself with a healthy community. It might also be helpful to find the right counselor.
• Enjoy some creative integration activities, or ways to reflect upon the experience, such as writing or art.
• Create “positive addictions.” These are healthy, consciously chosen sources of joy, play, and replenishment. In truth, these are forms of devotion, in that we pour our passionate energy into them.
May you enjoy the gift of this day and the gift of your life!
For additional tips to better your iboga experience, explore this blog post from the Iboga Wellness Center.
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WILD CARROT SEED is the earth's gift for safe, effective, & natural birth control!
Pharmaceutical birth control pills/ implants, chemical spermicides, and IUDs wreak havoc on our bodies, minds, and feminine powers. We should all be educated about this potent natural option...
The use of WILD CARROT SEED was first documented over 2000 years ago - though it has likely been in use much longer. Medical doctors do not learn about this in medical school!
There are *very* specific ways to take this beneficial herb. *Note that it's powers may be compromised by antibiotics or pharmaceutical birth control, among a couple other factors (see article). It is generally very effective when taken PROPERLY.
It even has many unique health benefits.
It does not interfere permanently with fertility and it does not cause any reproductive damage. Fertile women have gone on to have healthy pregnancies after using it.
My friends who are midwives, doulas, and herbalists have all recommended it.
You can find quality, fresh seeds at the Scarlet Sage herb store in SF.
Of course, this option is recommended for tested partners. Safe sex is still a vital consideration.
Here is a great article highlighting the work of Robin Rose Bennet, an herbalist who has long-term experience with wild carrot seet.
Ultimately, birth control is a very personal decision. Every woman deserves to be fully educated about all the options - and fully empowered when it comes to her own body.