As you are reading this I am actively participating in a 7 week course called Partnering With Plant Medicine. I haven’t really told many people about this in great detail what exactly the whole course entails. The reasoning for this is because most close friends of mine are not into this kind of personal development. The people who I’m in most contact with throughout my days don’t do any personal development at all. If I were to explain what I’m doing in detail I would probably get a response like “what in the woo-woo hippie shit are you into?” Instead of explaining it to people in person I figured I would tap into the creative side of this course and write about my experience over the next 7 weeks. First I would like to explain what this course is and what I will be doing.
WHAT IS PWPM?
Partnering with plant medicine is a 7 week course created by Benjamin Sullivan. Ben has been working with plant medicine under a shaman for 8 years now. He has taken a practice that is typically done in the Peruvian jungle and tweaked it into an integrated version. This way us lost folks of the western world can heal ourselves from home versus traveling to Peru. (Peru would be so much better though!) Working with plant medicine in a jungle in Peru would be pretty tough for your average American. Just because this version is integrated with our everyday busy lives doesn’t mean that it isn’t challenging. It is hard anytime you step into the world of personal development and work on yourself. Below is a description written by Ben on the intention of this course.
The intention behind PARTNERING WITH PLANT MEDICINE is to establish a foundation from which we can create and experience a personal and fruitful relationship with plant medicine. A foundation informed and nourished by the ancient wisdom of our shared ancestry, shaped and tended to in a way we can bring fully into the present moment of our life. A foundation that honors the path paved by the generations that came before us, and empowers us to lay the stones for the generations yet to come.
You may not know this but we are all descendants of medicine people. Somewhere in your blood line years ago there were people who worked with plants on a regular basis. You are part of their DNA so you are still connected to them whether you’re aware of it or not. In the world we live in today it’s easy to be detached from everything from just getting in nature, to looking up at the stars at night, or appreciating the beauty of a good sunset. People would rather take a photo of the sunset, post it on instagram and then stare at their phone the whole time. Our ancestors didn’t have this problem. Limiting technology use is actually a part of this course as well. Let’s talk about the first step of the course and then everything a person does over the first two weeks and every week going forward.
PICK YOUR PLANT/FLOWER
Once you sign up for this course you will get a 10 question assessment to fill out before your one on one zoom call with Ben. Here you will decide what plant or flower you want to work with throughout the 7 weeks. Plant medicine sounds like psychedelics. I thought that is what I would be working with initially, however a lot of what is done in this course is very similar to what you would do prepping for an ayahuasca retreat. Plant medicine can really be many types of plants or flowers. Each one teaches you something different and has different representations. People in this space are pretty in tune and feel called to their plant/flower. This was not me. I’ll share next week how I chose mine. If you are not being called to a specific plant/flower, Ben helps you find out how to choose one. The rest of the questions help with the one on one and then from there you head into week 1 with the rest of the group where it is all about prepping the container.
PREPPING YOUR CONTAINER
You know what plant/flower you’re working with. Now it is time to prep that meat suit of a container yours. This is a pretty strict diet or “dieta” as it is called in Peru. For the most part it is a plant based diet. You can not eat pork, red meat or raw/uncooked fish. No alcohol, processed foods or sweets. You want to limit things like sugar, salt and oils as well because they all interfere with connecting with your plant. There is a short list you can look at of what you can and can’t have. Ben will also send a list of recipes you can make. This is the same diet you do before you go on a ayahuasca retreat. This diet is hard for a lot of people especially for 7 weeks. It is very easy to slip up. It is just one of many challenges in the course. This is just the food part of the diet. There is also an isolation diet.
PROTECTING THE CONTAINER
There are a lot of different frequencies coming in all directions every day. Where you live, work, social media, or people give off these frequencies. This brings a lot of influence. In this course you want to isolate as much as possible. In the jungle you are isolated but that isn’t the case here. You have to limit the social engagement you have because it can also disrupt connecting to your plant just like the diet can. Consider it a mental diet. What you see and listen to such as social media, Netflix or most podcasts have to go. It is on you to gage what that isolation looks like. For me I workout and I’ll work but outside of that I am pretty isolated. Everyone has a different life and needs to find out what this looks like for them.
If you’re a guy and have been jerkin off since you were 15 years old or you have a hot girl friend or wife (and vice versa) then this part of the course may be a challenge for many. You can have no sex at all, even with yourself, for 7 weeks. It is said that sexual energy is one of the most potent and powerful energies to exist. I mean it’s how you create a little crumb grabber so it makes sense. The reason you refrain from sex is because this energy is retained and channeled into different avenues such as creative expression or physical movement drawing it into our being vs being released.
STRENGTHENING THE CONTAINER
There are ways to help strengthen the container like a muscle. We learn tools and skills throughout the course to help any interference or disruptions in the diet. I mentioned in the first paragraph about the creative side of this course. Creative expression is a way to express ourselves but also allows our plant to speak through us. Time in nature is another way to connect to the earth and get away from all the noise. A personal meditation practice will help connect to your plant as well. This also is time that you will truly be living in the present moment. Support systems are always nice. Having at least one person who you can share your experiences with throughout this course is huge. Last but not least rest and solitude. Who doesn’t like rest? That is self explanatory. Doing all of these in your new routine will help strengthen up your container.
The first two weeks of the course are all about prepping with the diet. It is also time where you create your new routines. An example would be ending the day. This means at night you end your day and wind down. This is when you journal about your experiences and prepare for sleep so you can get to dreaming. Dreams are also a focus of this course. Week 3 you start consuming your plant/flower in whatever way you choose. It may be a tea, it may be smoked or inhaled. You make time to consume your plant every day as well as sit at your alter. (I’ll explain the alter more in the next post.) This is where the magic happens! The group meets every Tuesday night on zoom to share their experiences from the week prior, and to get feedback from Ben. He will also lecture and take us through a shamanic journey meditation.
I’m sure I left a few things out but you catch my drift. More things will pop up in detail as I write over the next 6 weeks. Each week will be as detailed as I can get on my experience going through this course. Even though I have done ayahuasca before this is my first time doing something like this so I have no idea what is going to come up. If you are reading these you will find out as it is happening to me. I look forward to this challenge and can’t wait to see what all changes in my life because of it.