by Ovidiu Brazdau
This is a ‘technical’ text and includes excerpts and ideas from the following researches: “Consciousness Sutras. Principles of Becoming Conscious”, “Psychology of the DMT/Ayahuasca Experience”, “How to Activate and Navigate Intentional Visionary Experiences”.
Additional quotes from other researchers were added for better comprehension. I grouped the ideas in a logical sequence, for an easier understanding of the method, how it works, and why it works. As this area of research is still in a nascent stage, I left the quotes in a ‘raw’ form, so that the readers could create their own perspective, and maybe use the materials in their studies.
The rationale that is described in this text can be summarized as follows:
- There is a phenomenon known as instant reconsolidation of memory (updating consolidation).
- This process happens during high-synchrony experiences, either through natural processes (natural kundalini awakenings), plant-induced experiences (in ceremonies with Ayahuasca or other plants), or other entheogens such as LSD.
- If we can intentionally access these high-synchrony experiences, we can facilitate the instant reconsolidation of memory.
- Traumatic memories are stored psychosomatically, in all three body layers: physical, energy, and information.
- Usually, these memories are not available to conscious experience, due to various repressing mechanisms.
- Although the traumatic blockages may be accessed through various long-term therapeutic approaches, the cognitive work doesn’t release the imprints in the energy and physical body. Even if bodywork or energy work is done, current therapeutic approaches need a long-term commitment to therapy.
- Yet, some people undergoing ceremonies with Ayahuasca certify that their traumatic blockages are released after a few sessions.
- Here, I describe the mechanisms that generate this traumatic imprints release, and propose experiential methods to intentionally access the same energy-information configurations as in ayahuasca ceremonies or natural kundalini awakenings (which may also be related to endogenous DMT production). These methods can be practiced as inner art sessions, either individually or with a facilitator, in a safe context.
- These experiential methods are based on intentional access to the informational content of the body, revealed through dream-like visuals. Traumatic memories are not accessible directly; still, even if we cannot connect with the traumatic memory, in dream-like experience, we can become aware that ‘something is there and it is blocked’.
- Thus, by allowing the content to flow through us as energy waves (global synchronization waves), the blockages get fluidified and participate again in our conscious experience, even without knowing ‘what was there’.
- The result of these experiential methods is an instant reconsolidation of memory. The cognitive knowledge can be acquired and reflected upon after the session, as it will be available for self-reflection.
- The release can be done in steps, through successive inner art sessions, until a complete ‘let go’ is possible, and all the traumatic content has been harmonized and allowed to participate in the conscious experience again.
What is instant reconsolidation of memory?
Memory Reconsolidation or Updating Consolidation?
Carlos J. Rodriguez-Ortiz and Federico Bermúdez-Rattoni: “For a long time, consolidation was seen as a process achieved only on newly acquired memories aimed to store them for the long term. However, pioneer and recent studies have demonstrated that after retrieval, long-term memories may once more undergo a consolidation-like process referred to as reconsolidation. Mainly, reconsolidation is sustained by the now widely reported observation that after a memory trace is activated by means of retrieval and is susceptible to disruption by the same treatments that disrupt memory during consolidation. However, the functional purpose of this process is still a matter of debate.
Recent evidence indicates that reconsolidation is indeed a process by which updated information is integrated through the synthesis of proteins to a memory trace. Hence, the so-called reconsolidation seems more like an updating consolidation intended to modify retrieved memory by a process that integrates updated experience into long-term memory. Through this process, previously consolidated memory is partially destabilized. By the infusion of disrupting agents, it appears as if the process is intended to consolidate memory again.”
Trauma, ayahuasca, and high-synchrony experiences
From my observations, DMT (one of the components of the ayahuasca brew) increases the inner synchrony in the body layers (physical, energy, information), enhancing perception and expanding the qualities of our sensitivity, resulting in perceptual subjective experiences of knowing-through-living-by-perceiving-thinking. It puts all our inner systems in a state of higher connectivity with reality within ourselves, depending on the person’s fluidity and awakeness skills. In terms of inner connectivity, the high synchrony experience can be considered a temporary experience of intense synesthesia.
During ayahuasca experiences, there is an instant reconsolidation and updating of memory and patterns, due to the intense connection between body perception, visual thinking, and ego fluidity.
The intensity of the experience is so strong, that the’ let go’ of the fixed ego structure is necessary, and when this happens, it provides the ‘break-through’ subjective experience. After the person enters a state of flux, due to the hypersynchrony, new connections are formed. The reconsolidation occurs not only in the cognitive-informational layer, but also in the body perceptions, and energy-flowing patterns.
For westerners, Ayahuasca seems to prefer reconsolidating autobiographical memory, focused on causal events. During intense energy intervals, because the causal events enter awareness faster, the experience has more information about causal connections. As the perceptual-visual flux is very dense, while being primed on causal connections, a % of attention gets triggered by the causal content, and then gets in a loop and stays connected to causal information. So, the horizontal information about qualities and facets of elements doesn’t have time to unfold, as the flux brings new information, on and on.
The reconsolidation of autobiographical memory may also be verbal, not just visual (or mixed). An inner dialogue may appear, like talking to someone or ourselves, or with some entities, or with Life Intelligence itself, or with aliens; it all depends on our psyche. But, the essential quality of this dialogue is that it is felt like a very truth-full discussion.
Hypothesis: The Psychedelic Ayahuasca Heals Traumatic Memories via a Sigma 1 Receptor-Mediated Epigenetic-Mnemonic Process
Antonio Inserra: “Ayahuasca ingestion modulates brain activity, neurotransmission, gene expression and epigenetic regulation. N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT, one of the alkaloids in Ayahuasca) activates sigma 1 receptor (SIGMAR1) and others. SIGMAR1 is a multi-faceted stress-responsive receptor which promotes cell survival, neuroprotection, neuroplasticity, and neuroimmunomodulation. Simultaneously, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) also present in Ayahuasca prevent the degradation of DMT. One peculiarity of SIGMAR1 activation and MAOI activity is the reversal of mnemonic deficits in pre-clinical models.
Since traumatic memories in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often characterised by “repression” and PTSD patients ingesting Ayahuasca report the retrieval of such memories, it cannot be excluded that DMT-mediated SIGMAR1 activation and the concomitant MAOIs effects during Ayahuasca ingestion might mediate such “anti-amnesic” process. Here I hypothesise that Ayahuasca, via hyperactivation of trauma and emotional memory-related centres, and via its concomitant SIGMAR1- and MAOIs- induced anti-amnesic effects, facilitates the retrieval of traumatic memories, in turn making them labile (destabilised). As Ayahuasca alkaloids enhance synaptic plasticity, increase neurogenesis and boost dopaminergic neurotransmission, and those processes are involved in memory reconsolidation and fear extinction, the fear response triggered by the memory can be reprogramed and/or extinguished.
Subsequently, the memory is stored with this updated significance. To date, it is unclear if new memories replace, co-exist with or bypass old ones. Although the mechanisms involved in memory are still debated, they seem to require the involvement of cellular and molecular events, such as reorganisation of homo and heteroreceptor complexes at the synapse, synaptic plasticity, and epigenetic re-modulation of gene expression. Since SIGMAR1 mobilises synaptic receptor, boosts synaptic plasticity and modulates epigenetic processes, such effects might be involved in the reported healing of traumatic memories in PTSD patients.
If this theory proves to be true, Ayahuasca could come to represent the only standing pharmacological treatment which targets traumatic memories in PTSD. Lastly, since SIGMAR1 activation triggers both epigenetic and immunomodulatory programmes, the mechanism here presented could help understanding and treating other conditions in which the cellular memory is dysregulated, such as cancer, diabetes, autoimmune and neurodegenerative pathologies and substance addiction.”
Consideration of Ayahuasca for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Jessica L. Nielson and Julie D. Megler: “There is a growing amount of research on the development of PTSD and its various treatments. The fact that many people who suffer from PTSD struggle with the currently approved therapeutic options that are available to them suggests that we need to start exploring alternative strategies to treat this disorder (1). With the large number of veterans returning home from war that may have or will develop PTSD, we must have a diverse framework of therapy and integration in place for them.
Alternative options that are currently being explored for the treatment of PTSD include MDMA-assisted psychotherapy (2) and marijuana (3). Current research indicates that Ayahuasca mimics mechanisms of currently accepted treatments to PTSD, and its use as an alternative treatment for other types of disorders are also being considered (4). However, in order to understand the implications of Ayahuasca in the treatment of PTSD, we need to understand how PTSD develops, which involves memory formation.
Experiential methods to harmonize and release traumatic memories
Principles for navigating dream-like experiences and accessing ‘visionary’ experiences
By accessing a dream-like configuration, in self-induced experiences during inner art sessions, it is possible to intervene in the automatic adaptive processing and modify or ‘align’ some patterns. While working with dream-like experiences, an active witnessing awareness mode is necessary, especially during the transitions through dream states and deep sleep states. It is healthy to do these dreamwork explorations separately from the natural night dreaming process; the night dreaming should be allowed to happen automatically, outside of self-identity control.
The automatic adaptive processing, which becomes available to conscious awareness during inner explorations in visual dream-like states, is grouped in patterns that have specific styles of unfolding (or flowing). As pieces of information can contribute to more than one pattern, the meanings would shift dynamically, while the visual-spatial thinking creates various visual landscapes and actions, based on non-conscious automatic processing.
When working with the visual-spatial content and patterns during inner explorations, the pattern of flowing is most relevant, not the interpretation of the symbolic content. In other words, pay attention to how the dream-like scenes unfold, explore why and how they transform from one into another, and notice how their flowing pattern is generated by your mental and emotional preferences. Then, work with yourself to adjust your life through harmonic actions, while watching again, in the inner art sessions, whether the unfolding pattern has changed.
In dream-like visual configurations, it is possible to access the archetypal layer, containing highly symbolic and emotional content from various cultures, or the visionary layer, which includes densely packed information in higher resolution, with powerful insights and energetic effects when kundalini is involved.
Visionary experiences are available through exogenous entheogens, music, dance, or natural kundalini activations, but also intentionally, through practice, during inner arts sessions. Intentional visionary experiences are facilitated by previous experiences of kundalini activation, or kundalini peaks during experiences with entheogenic medicine such as ayahuasca, changa, or LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, or other plants or substances.
Navigating the inner world during intentional visionary experiences requires a conscious transition through the layers of experience and skills for diving into various contents (through samyama), without becoming fully absorbed in the content of the experience.
Preliminary training for dream-like ‘visionary’ experiences.
Before using these methods, practice and learn pratyahara, internalization of perception, and samyama, complete and continuous connection to the object of attention, by flowing into it. Previous experiences with energy flowing, such as authentic dance, enstatic dance, Tai-Chi, or entheogens are helpful. Before practicing these methods, please read the consciousness sutras to understand better what is happening. When you use music as an entrainment technology, choose new music you have never heard before; it keeps the attention in the present moment. Novelty is essential.
These exercises are mostly experiential, and to understand the methods and observations, one needs to practice beforehand and re-read and review these methods after a while. For exploring visionary experiences and diving deeper, I couldn’t find a straightforward method that works all the time, as if going from A to B to C. In all points, A mixes with C and B, and sometimes when A appears, BC run in the background together. So, these descriptions may appear fuzzy if analyzed through the lens of semantic logic. The techniques described here definitely work, but treat them as options, and use them to expand your own skills, so that, in each stage of the visionary experience, you may have some available tools to influence the flow, and dive deeper or get out of the experience (if you want to).
Please consider this when you begin the practice: the visionary experiences happen while we are in the body. We are not moving anywhere. Instead, we use awareness to attend to the body layers (physical, energy, information) and space. Visionary experiences are not out-of-body experiences, but in-the-body experiences. We just dive into ourselves while staying where we are, in the area of space occupied by the body. We can work with the body-schema structure, expand or delete it. But the witnessing, the awareness that it is I who is doing this action, happens through the body, all the time, even if the ‘I am’ presence is lighter, denser, flowing-journeying toward the edge of the universe, or without any content except empty space.
These experiences can sometimes be related to ‘lucid dreaming’, but they are not the same. In visionary experiences, we do not interfere with the flow by changing the course of the flows too much; or by introducing our self-identity/ego desires, to control the flows to the desired outcome. Instead, we dive into the content that we don’t like, to deeply connect with its causal structure, harmonizing ourselves so that the specific flow that we don’t like never appears again. We do this by allowing ourselves to change instantly through the experience, while we accept the processing and integration in the moment. The correlate of this psychological experience in the neuronal patterns would be ‘instant reconsolidation’, or ‘updating consolidation’, or ‘allowing brain-body rhythms to coalesce in new ways’.
How to harmonize misalignments, connect with shadow roots, and ignite instant reconsolidation
This is what I tried, and it works. When the brain is in the dream state, and there are dreamy visuals, as if looking from a third-person perspective, I may happen to see myself from above, watching certain things developing as ‘the dream’. One path of interaction is this: I wait for the ‘dream visuals’ and watch. When a scene intensifies, emotional energy appears, and usually I become aware of myself as a character. Depending on the flow, ‘me-in-the-dream’ (dream self) has various reactions to the images, while processing my ‘unconscious’ information. If ‘I-as-observer’ notice that ‘me-in-the-dream’ is not reacting harmonically, I interact with the flow, move ‘I-as-observer’ inside the dream position, and add perceptual vision to the dream, by adding retina perception, body perception with space awareness, and the present moment. Through this action, I collapse into a reduced-freedom configuration, transforming the ‘cognitive’ dream into an ‘energetic’ dream. While collapsing myself into the dream self, I give up the objective-overview attention and adapt to a new style of overviewing, which feels narrowed, less spacious but more intense, and I allow myself to experience the ‘inside bubble’ perspective.
Sometimes, it’s not necessary to dive into my dream self, as the dreamlike content could be just a reorganization of information, without an active dream self. In this situation, I can merge with a scene or a character, using samyama and allowing the energy body to activate. Through this action, by entering a specific dream scene perceptually, it is possible to understand the nature of the scene or character, by allowing its roots to become conscious.
Usually, in the inner art sessions focused on harmonizing the daily content, I choose a dream scene or character with a ‘misalignment’. Then, during samyama, I allow the energy body to activate if necessary. Sometimes kundalini spikes or vibrations may appear, if integration needs more synchrony, or the misaligned patterns have deep roots in the physical of energy body layers. After I figure it out and perform the right internal action, usually acceptance or integration, the misalignment harmonizes by itself, accompanied by an instant reconsolidation of memory engrams.
In the experience of diving into something, inside the dream, the flowing speed is simultaneously aligned with relaxation. I need to relax to go faster. But I can also simply increase the speed, by accelerating the diving, and accelerating the previous acceleration method, until I connect with the source of the scene/character. And when this diving through increase of increase of increase becomes fluid, the DMT-like kundalini spikes appear, sometimes accompanied by the carrier wave. But, in this experience, compared with exogenous DMT, I still have the gamemaster tools, which allow me to interact with the experience consciously and dive deeper, no matter what I encounter. I can adapt quickly from inside. In these intentional high-sync experiences, as compared with my first Santo Daime experiences, I can manage the intensity of the experience and process and understand everything as it shows up, without any aftereffects, such as the unzipping of information. The memory reconsolidation happens instantly, and its depth depends on how much I can dive into and how much I can maintain the simultaneous connection between my physical body layer, the energy body layers, and the ‘misalignment’ from the dream scene content.
But sometimes, samyama on a dream scene could happen instantly, and there is no need to flow and work with the speed of the flow. I just connect, after a few seconds of flowing, and merge with the information root of that scene, and allow it to diffuse into all my body layers. If I am flexible enough, the harmonization of the misalignment could happen in a few seconds.
In other situations, after I decide to merge with a scene or a character and until I can complete the samyama fusion, the scene has already changed, and I need to do samyama continuously, as a flow-of-samyama so that I can reach its roots. And in some situations, the dream unfolds quite fast and for some minutes. I flow along with the dream, until at one point, ‘I-as-observer’ and the dream scene can merge. In this situation, the diving skills described above are necessary, as the intensity or the speed of the unfolding dream may change, and this going-side-by-side transforms into a ‘catch-me-if-you-can’ game.
These are just examples, to illustrate that there are various dynamics possible during a merging-through-samyama action, and it takes practice to be able to really connect with certain scenes. Especially if the dream scene is rooted in our shadow, and we have ignored or rejected that content for many years, the ‘catch-me-if-you-can’ game can take some time, until we manage to find a way to connect. Remember that the dream is just our own adaptive processing; the more rejected some content has been, the harder it is to connect with it.
Another path to high-synchrony flowing: liquifying the liquifying
This is how it works for me: using headphones, and listening to some nice flowing music, beneath the sky (it is essential to have empty space in front of the closed eyes), I begin to look inside myself, relaxing or diving into thinking, but using visual-style thinking, by seeing and by being.
Sometimes, the mind tends to be verbal, so I transform the verbal process into visuals. This transmutation is possible by accessing the dream state configuration and then using the dream visual style to process the intended information, as ‘interactive visions’, or lucid dreaming, but adding the physical awareness from the body.
In this visual-thinking inner space, with perception activated, if I want to activate the vibrational flowing-in-hypersync high-energy state, I perform this action: I ‘liquify’ everything-that-is-inside-dreaming-including-me, and let the reality flow. But the action of ‘liquifying’ is not just a one-time action, and that’s it. The liquifying is continuous; I liquify the liquifying, like jumping into a flowing dynamic condition. This feels like switching from my physical-particle self to my energy-wave self, and—bing!—the experience structure changes, and I usually find myself in a 3D surrounding experience of inner-space presence, with tunnels evolving in the visual perception, from the retina. It is as if I switch to a smaller wavelength, and I feel the body’s energy vibrating in a static way, and the mind is no longer thinking in visuals-with-forms. The flowing style itself is the new way of thinking. And thinking is the same thing as perceiving; they are merged. The liquifying process is like returning home to the energy world, where all that is static becomes fluid. Like a breeze flowing through me, synchronizing all the layers into a pleasant vibrational experience, or like a gentle kundalini activation, or an ayahuasca aftereffect. Intense, but in a friendly way. The speed of the liquifying can also be modified through intention, by relaxing and allowing the experience to flow faster.
How it happens?
The psychosomatic process generated by life’s energy intelligence, known as kundalini, has at least three parts: the first part seems to be pranotthana—the ‘cleaning’ process, when the body may be convulsing, moving uncontrollably, or sometimes performing perfect yoga asanas or spontaneous mudras. The second part is when the energy can propagate smoothly and increase the synchrony of rhythms and flows in the energy body layer.
Biology of Kundalini
Jana Dixon: “Since kundalini awakening is most often just something that happens, we don’t have a whole lot of say over how ‘mature’ we are when it strikes. However, by its very extreme nature, kundalini will force greater maturity and lucid adjustment to reality in order to survive. Along with the sense of danger inherent in the dissolving of one’s known self, there is also a buoyant faith that arises from being so lit with Spirit and at one with the Universe. Kundalini arousal and the ongoing development of the nervous system make us more sensitive to the inner and outer worlds. The self-directed force of kundalini purifies accumulated stress caused by our past habits (samskaras) and traumas. Friction and difficulty during awakening occur not so much from the process itself, but from our conscious and unconscious interference with it due to not understanding what is going on.
Kundalini burns off much of the primary reactivity imprinted from our family of origin and early life experience. With kundalini, the opportunity for change is increased because our neurological slate is wiped relatively clean, but it depends on our will, faith and environment as to how far we can grow. If we do not change our habits to reflect the Self’s true interests, we will continue to rebuild the conditioned reactive self we thought ourselves to be. We spend our entire lives thinking we are an entity that was created by our parents and culture, but are we really that entity? I mean they don’t even know us; they only know their projections of us.[…]
Those who have had a childhood of abuse, neglect or dysfunction, tend to have more catastrophic awakenings because their systems are built for repression and dissociation. This is not always the case, but it is a pattern. One can imagine that the more loving-touch and self-validation the child receives, the more efficiently wired their nervous system will be, and the fewer psychosomatic and emotional blocks they will have.”
The third stage of kundalini processing is when all types of energy are in synchrony, and there are no more significant/unsolved traumas or blockages. In this stage, the person can increase aliveness and combine high and low frequencies, without losing the high synchrony by generating ‘heat’ (or expansive energy flows). It’s a transition from ecstatic to enstatic, usually occurring after the person develops the ability to allow high-frequency experiences, at the same time with low-frequency experiences; this is done by allowing the increase of density in the energy body experiences. This transition is supported by a lifestyle that is oriented toward spirituality and harmony, while nurturing the sattva tendency in all layers.
Global synchronization waves and the release of traumatic imprints
The 1,000+ frequency layers in the human body harmonize either through local and neighbor-to-neighbor frequency resonance processing, or they can harmonize with the whole energy body through global synchronization waves. This global-sync wave shares the information from the local synchronies with the energy-information body layers, which adapt all at once after the local upgrade is received and distributed to the whole, perhaps using the fascia-microtubule network.
When we lie down and relax or receive a massage, some parts of the body may release tension, and we may feel a bubble of energy radiating as warm relaxation in that area. Usually, we feel this locally, but sometimes it feels like an explosion that expands through the entire energy body. This expansion is the ‘global synchronization wave’. When it spreads throughout the entire energy body, it adds its local sync-ing pattern to the entire body, and inside we feel renewed and re-tuned.
Another example: when we relax the knee, if there are some tensions there, accumulated during the day—and the knee area is fine overall, the relaxation will just generate a local warming feeling as the tissues relax deeply. But, if a trauma is stored in the knee, complete relaxation is not possible at first. If, through practice, we can relax the tensions entirely, sometimes the knee relaxation can generate an upgrade in the global sync, through a synchronization wave that radiates from the knee to the entire energy body. This is like an explosion in the knee that expands in 3D, within the entire energy body layer, or flows through the spine upwards.
If we consciously allow this synchronization wave to go through the physical-energy-information layers, there is a chance that it will generate an instant reconsolidation of memory. Thus, the traumatic memory will be harmonized easily, and fewer ‘healing’ cycles will be necessary.
Ester Albini: “The fascial tissue is […] a network that wraps around and separates every part of the body, creating a structural continuity that gives shape and function to all tissue and organs. The human body is a functional unit in which every region is in communication with another through the fascial network.[…] Think of the fascia as a close-fitting and semitransparent web that wraps us and connects us from head to toe, and acts as an external nervous system that processes and responds to sensory and mechanical stimuli.
The fascial tissue, which can be found throughout the body, surrounds and permeates blood vessels, nerves, organs, the meninges, bone, and muscles[…]. It is a semitransparent network that starts from the skin and thickens in the fibrous tissue that surrounds muscles, bones, and internal organs. It is a continuous system that covers and crosses our body and accounts for 20 percent of our body weight.[…] The receptors responsible for our perception of the body are up to six times more abundant in the fascia than in the muscles. This is extremely important for accelerating the healing process, increasing well-being, and enhancing performance.
What is important to gather from this image is that the fascia is one piece; it is a three-dimensional web, and every inch of the body, including the bones, the organs, and of course, the muscles, are permeated by this web all the way down to the cells. Therefore, when you put your awareness into your fascial system, you are putting your awareness into your entire body as a whole. It is the most pervasive structure in the whole body.”
Fascia, Connections and Consciousness
Liz Long: “The fascial system is not simply a system of structure. It is also highly involved in mechanotransduction (when cells convert mechanical stimulus into electrical activity), hemodynamics (the movement of the blood), supporting the immune system, and creating an environment that allows for wound healing. It is highly innervated, especially with pain receptors, and it is a major contributor to proprioception.[…]
In my experience and what I’ve gathered from the reports of others, putting the attention in the fascial system allows the body to be sensed and moved as a singular connected whole. This awareness gives greater access to the ‘in between’ spaces, allows us to tone the organs, and gives us greater access to a sense of mechanical expansion and contraction. I currently hypothesize that the reason this awareness gives us those experiences is because the fascia literally exists all over the body and has its own motility. Motility means that something has its own contraction and expansion capabilities. That means that it is not just the cells of the muscles that contract and expand. Every place in the body that has fascia contracts and expands through the fascia itself.”
I hope these ideas will be helpful for the researchers interested in advancing deeper on the path of understanding traumatic imprints and finding methods that could support people to recover and heal after a traumatic event.