Some of us suck at discipline. I was one of those people. Structure and routine felt immensely limiting and bounded to me; I got squirmy and rebellious inside repetition. It caused me to crave freedom and flow.
During my years as a shamanic apprentice, I discovered the limitless value of discipline. Truth be told, it's a life saver. Discipline creates the safety and purity of the vessel we work in. It's the path to grounding in deeply enough that connection to spirit is not only possible, it's graceful and holistic.
In order to transcend our bodies and connect with something greater, we have to first go deep, deep within. That takes a hell of a lot of discipline.
THE LIBERATING LIMITS OF A MASTER PLANT DIETA
It was deep in the throes of my second master plant dieta that I discovered the gifts that daily commitments could bring. The dieta was with Sage, who I had been with before, but in a fashion that felt incomplete. Why? Because I lacked a certain groundedness and structure. So Sage called me back to learn her gifts.
I went full throttle into this one. I gave all of myself.
Every day brought the same format. Three hours of self-care in the AM that involved meditation with Sage tea, yoga or body movement, time in nature, and a little space to write and read. Then my normal work day. Then a fresh cooked meal. Night time was more meditation with Sage. More quiet time.
Rinse and repeat.
One of the hardest parts on the tangible level for a dieta is the food. What you eat is hugely restricted to create space for the plant to connect. Everything you eat is bland, and prepared by our own hands (as it's almost impossible to find restaurant or prepared food without salt, spices, sugar, etc.)
This near-constant act of cooking also ushers in more formal structure. As much as I love to cook, it gets exhausting at times.
Yet there is no space to negotiate in dieta. My teacher made it very clear that there is no wiggle room. One sip of alcohol can erase months of connection on a diet. One decadent meal severs the connection and the purity of the vessel.
So it's all or nothing.
And in that all-ness, I started feeling the gift of intentional limitations. In that magical, nothing-is-as-it-seems fashion, the more I created boundaries for my ego, the more my spirit felt freed and expanded.
My intention to clear toxicity in my body and lifestyle in order to connect with Sage worked so brilliantly, I uncovered one of the secrets of consciousness: Structure equals freedom. Sacrifice equals the receipt of universal gifts.
COMMITMENT IS THE KEY
People said to me all the time on the path – Kat, you’re so disciplined! And I laughed every time. Because that right there is a big fat lie.
What I am, what I always was, is this: Committed. I fucking love these plants that have shown me so much wisdom and expansiveness and support. As I’ve shared before, Ayahuasca saved my life. So I am unspeakably honored to give them all I have in return.
The more that I give, the more I receive. That wasn’t my intention or wish, but it is the reality of how energy flows.
I know people – myself included at times – that have tried to do a dieta “their way.” We do this as an attempt to find the middle ground. That, my friends, is the wiggle room that doesn’t work.
Are you committed to the path, or are you committed to your mind? To having it YOUR way?
KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEAD AND HEART
Following authority is not something many of us excel at. Our Western culture thrives on individuality and independence. We obsess over having it our way. I have zero issues with this fierce determination; on the contrary, I share it. But if you want the secrets to the universe, you have to throw out your attachments.
Attachment to independence is one of the hardest ones you’ll grapple with on the spiritual path. On the one hand, staying true to your internal guru is the essential element to an honest awakening. But most of us don’t stay true to our higher selves, we stay a slave to our egos. And our egos are extremely crafty at convincing us we’re following something other than our minds.
How do you know the difference?
Stay committed to the discipline of the path you’ve embraced. For now. Get used to being uncomfortable in that space of limitation and structure. Trust it. Follow it. Those sacrifices will lead you to clarity, and so much more.
FOLLOW THE TRADITION BEFORE YOU FOLLOW YOUR VOICE
When I first found shamanism, one of the aspects that felt so appealing is that no two shamans work with plants and energies in the same way. I adored how that respected the element of our soul’s individual path.
On the other hand, to learn this path, it’s imperative that you first find a teacher that exemplifies the spirit of how you want to work, and follow their lead; for many years, in fact. That will give you the foundation to create safety and openness, to throw away attachments that are just mind-focused agendas.
Once you have a deep connection with integrity, and you’ve been given the groundwork of this path from both your human and plant teachers, then, and only then, can you start doing it your way. This will happen naturally if it’s aligned; if it’s forced, the results will show.
No matter your spiritual path, this is truth. Start by following a tradition or individual who stands in the vibration you are seeking. When that is integrated, find who you are in those energies.
CONCLUSION - LET DISCIPLINE GUIDE THE WAY
I know unequivocally that the more we discipline our egos, the more the universe opens up like a portal within us. Our minds are like wild stallions that we are tasked to tame. The strength of those suckers when they fight back is quite a force. Of course it is. Each mind reflects thousands of years of fortifying into separateness. This doesn't go away after a few days of meditation.
So whatever or whoever you commit to, go all in. Get uncomfortable in that space of routine and limitations. Remove attachments like they’re lint you’re flicking off your clothes.
And when you realize you're attached to the structure – to the discipline itself – let that go too. Move into the next phase of discomfort; the organic flow of you + spirit = magic.
Most of us will repeat this cycle many, many times. In this lifetime and others. But discipline teaches the limitations of your mind, and the power of your spirit.
If you’re on the shamanic path and you want to know these esoteric mysteries, reach out and let’s talk about a master plant dieta. To me, there is no better container to awaken these truths.
What has discipline done for you in your spiritual journey? Is it more a hindrance or a helper during your current life chapter?
About the Author
After many years working exclusively within the safety of sacred plant ceremonies, Tina “Kat” Courtney, The AfterLife Coach, has become a vocal advocate for Ayahuasca and other psychedelic spaces. Kat is a highly experience Ayahuasca integration coach, helping journeyers make sense of those profound spaces in a way that impacts their daily lives. Additionally, Kat works with people confronting issues around death and shadow. If you're ready to love your darkness, Kat is the one to guide the way.