Episode 16: Shamanic Journeying, Alcoholism, Ayahuasca and Integration with Ben

In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Ben. Ben shared the story of finding spirituality early on in life but still having to deal with alcoholism, depression, even suicidal thoughts…and how he came to find help in plant medicines. Still on his journey, he now also helps others to integrate their plant lessons. Please enjoy this episode, with Ben and his story.

We discussed:
Earth wisdom; spiritual/divine is right here on Earth; Spirituality made sense, foundational
Traumas starting bubbling up at the soul level, spiritual suffering
Clinical depression started; emptiness; loneliness
Started affecting things in life; saw a family pattern/genes
Fell deeply into alcohol/drugs, avoidance; suppressed emotions
Disrupted spiritual path
Shamanic perspective; Hank Wasselman; others; Christina Pratt – Why Shamanism Now
Non-medicinal, recreational experience showed the door
Felt pull to something more meaningful especially in nature
Found his community, started conversations, teaching others
Built a spiritual foundation, techniques
Led him to Ayahuasca, Michael Harner, The Way of the Shaman
That voice, the ‘pull’ now came from inside him.
Kept going back to ceremony; also back to SC community
Found how important integration is
Was still struggling with alcoholism and depression; no network of support
Healing was no longer an intellectual pursuit; there’s a connection to Earth
Had to confront himself and apologize to himself, forgive himself. Felt the only solution was to end it all.
Layers of guilt and shame and blame.
Dove into the Shipibo tradition
Intention, clarity of purpose
No stigma the more ‘me’ he became, true to himself
The greatest medicine is to be found in the pain
Facebook integration community: phoenix integration community