Two weeks before the Ayahuasca journey begins. Which means I officially began the Dieta today. No translation needed; it’s exactly what it sounds like. From what I gather, each shaman has their own version of the dieta, depending on their experience and relationship to the plant. I seem to have chosen a rather strict shaman because I’m already grumbling and it’s only the first day.
Here’s the breakdown for the next 2.5 weeks:
*any alcohol or other drugs (Cannabis included) * any dairy *citrus fruits *red meat, and especially NO pork *shellfish *spicy foods, including garlic and pepper *fried foods *caffeine *sex (that counts for self-pleasure as well) * fermented food like kimchi * soy products like tofu *try to limit the intake of salt and sugar, it’s best to have no salt for 2-3 days prior
So basically, fish and fowl plus vegetables and most fruits – whole foods/paleo only more limited. Except I can also have bread and grains. It’s wouldn’t be so bad if I was cooking for myself but I’m living out of Airbnb’s/dorms in Taiwan and Tokyo and I don’t usually get a kitchen…Complicates things.
The dieta will be quite a bit easier to maintain in Taiwan because buffet style restaurants are quite popular there, including full vegetarian buffets. Here in Tokyo I’m having trouble with it, especially since soy is EVERYWHERE. Miso soup, salads, soymilk…Hard to avoid. Still, I did find a nice soba bowl with duck for lunch and some tuna rolls for dinner at the convenience store so feeling pretty okay. I’m also only here for 1 more week, so that helps.
And my GOD, is this place expensive! I mean, I knew going in that Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world. But after cruising Taiwan for so long, my index of what “expensive” is has been shattered. An average meal in Taiwan runs around NTD$100-150. A bowl of noodles and tea might be NTD$60 at a hole in the wall joint outside of Taipei but I prefer the buffet restaurants. They price by weight and I eat a lot so that’s how much I usually pay for a full plate of 3-4 veggie dishes, some meat, a bowl of rice, and a can of some drink or another. That’s around US$4. In Tokyo, the soba bowl I had was $500Y. Dirt cheap. Almost $5. Just for the soba. Usually I’d be paying closer to $1200Y or $11 for a bowl of ramen. Grrr….Still, I’ve had some damn good ramen, though!
Sex…I feel like I’m half a monk already. I never go out of my way to meet people in my travels for that sort of thing. Mostly because I find myself constantly in the Chinese sphere and I’m…Just not that interested in Chinese guys. I don’t know why, I love lots more about the Chinese cultural sphere. Yet sleeping with locals has little appeal for me.
There’s the occasional Japanese that will do it for me, though. Not the boy band types, the swarthy Samurai Tatsuya types. Still, I missed my chance this time around so I’m deleting the hookup app on my phone as I really want to make the most of this experience. Not that I was even using it all that much – but better to simply remove the temptation (and torment).
What will I discover about myself and how to bring the best intentions into the ceremony…That’s what’s occupying my thoughts at the moment. What am I avoiding, what am I succeeding at? Where is clarity lacking and what’s the best approach to finding purpose, joy, and making a difference? I know there’s little you can do to control what comes out but I do believe in controlling what elements you can. And besides diet, exercise, and meditation, that’s intention setting.
In “Healing the Shame that Binds You,” the author talks about coming to grips with the fact that you can’t do it all on your own. He invokes a 12-step program, and one of the steps is reaching out to a higher power and asking for guidance and support. So this is my way of doing that. It’s my way of saying “I’m open even though I know I don’t want to be in many ways. Please help me see what I need to see.”
2 weeks until I have a brand new perspective on what it means to be me. I hope. As cautious as I am about the hype surrounding ayahuasca and psychedelics in general, I’d be crushingly disappointed if nothing happened, either.
I really, really, really want to understand…Something.