The main one was of being eternal

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The main one was of being eternal

So I will say what I have to say and then stop, hoping you consider it sufficient. I am now 53 and am aware of a deep spiritual hunger which has been partially but not completely fulfilled by my spiritual experience so far. Here is a brief history of my spiritual practice and experience to date:

1) From childhood to about 18, regular attendance at a methodist church. This did very little (actually nothing) to enhance my spiritual condition as far as I am able to perceive. I feel rather that the ministers of religion actually hinder spiritual growth beyond a certain very primitive stage, although I am sure this is not their intention, but the result of the historical development of the church and the training of ministers which results from this.

2) At 18 I went to University and this was the end of my church attendance, except occasionally for weddings, baptisms, funerals etcetera.

My life style from here on until about 32 was hedonistic. There was one experience at 19 when I took LSD (just the once). I was fortunate that I had a  'good trip'. I would not take LSD again because it was so unbelievably powerful that I can imagine what a bad trip might be like. Also I have seen the effects on several long term users. However it did show me that there was at least one radically different way of viewing our relationship to the universe, and one that was not necessarily invalid. Let me emphasize I do not want Ayahuasca as a substitute for LSD. I don't want LSD. If I did I could get it.

eternal

3) In my early '30's I suffered from high blood pressure. My doctor suggested I try the physical practices associated with meditation to help the blood pressure. He recommended lying down and counting breaths from 1 to 10, then start again at 1, for about half an hour a day. The breaths were to be abdominal rather than normal breathing (that is the abdomen expands rather than just the chest; I imagine you are familiar with the technique. The doctor's intention was simply to relax me and reduce the blood pressure, and it worked. However I also had some amazing spiritual experiences. The main one was of being eternal. The idea of the death of the spirit seemed absurd. This was the nearest I have been to a sense of union with god. Also I sometimes had a sense of being nowhere in particular i.e. not in my body, not out of my body. On a couple of occasions I terminated the session because I was not sure whether I was breathing or not. I still maintain the meditation, but having acquired the trappings of family life and having a demanding job, I am more subject to distractions (business calls, 'do you want a cup of tea' etc). Nevertheless the practice is still extremely beneficial, and even 4 or 5 abdominal breaths are very helpful if am angry or nervous. From this point on I had a firm belief in god and the eternity of the human spirit, and had this moderate amount of regular spiritual practice.i.e.t meditation.

4) In 2001 a friend invited me to attend meetings of a group which was based very loosely around the 12 steps that started with AA, but for any body, not just alcoholics (I have no problem with alcohol). The meetings consist of discussion of a spiritual topic, usually with one contribution from each person (if they want to), thus avoiding it becoming a debate and the only routine event is a prayer at the end. The group is neither Christian nor anti-Christian. Ironically we rent a room from a church and meet on a Sunday, but this is co-incidence.

About 3 months ago, I mentioned that although I was basically happy and felt I had made spiritual progress in life; I felt I had stopped going forwards. One of our members, a very serene man, asked if I had tried Ayahuasca. He is very far from being a hippy; in fact he is a civil servant.

He said that he used Ayahuasca regularly but not frequently and felt that it had deepened his faith and broadened his spiritual experience. He offered to sit with me if I wanted to try it. He would not supply it. The law in England is strange; it is legal to possess Ayahuasca but not to supply it to anyone else.