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I just had the most profound psychedelic experience of my entire life! Having fallen asleep just after 10pm last night, I awoke refreshed at 4:00 this morning, had several glasses of juice, and read more of Amit Goswami's "The Self-Aware Universe: how consciousness creates the material world"; but was having some troubles really concentrating completely on the book.
The thought crossed my mind to have a Salvia experience in the peacefulness of the silent early morning, and I struggled to the end of a chapter before preparing the ice water pipe and filling the bowl with about a tablespoonful of crushed dried leaf from last week's collection of dropped leaves that I dried Saturday.
I spent a very brief time, maybe five minutes, in a very peaceful meditation - maybe it was the hour of the day, my thoughts were relatively still already - and then started the "A Winter's Solstice II" (Windham Hill) tape, put on the headphones, and sat on the couch continuing the meditation for two songs.
As the third song started, I took a very full hit using a blue-flame lighter. I discovered over the weekend how badly clogged the bowl's screen had become, and how much that had been affecting my experiences, as with a clean screen I can get a much deeper inhalation of smoke quickly! I closed my eyes holding my breath, and saw interesting "explosion" visuals on my eyelids as the candle on the far side of the room flickered. This is the first time I recall visuals quite like that when smoking Salvia.
I was already feeling besaged as I took the second big hit, and intending to take a third, sat back halfway on the couch from the coffee table where the waterpipe sat, holding my breath. As I felt the "blast-off into sage space" feelings begin, I realized I wasn't going to need a third hit - and that's the last "normal" thought I remember having for a while, though fortunately I have a fairly good recall this time, as I was able to begin assembling a word-description of the experience just after the peak. I've found over time that the confusion, the (very cool, I miss them!) cartoon-like animations, the assorted bizarre hallucination-like "feeling-visuals" (for want of a proper term), have given way to a much more clear-headed state (if one can be said to be "clear-headed" at all while besaged) with repeated use.
Anyway, while still holding the second hit, and realizing I wouldn't need another, I sat back farther on the couch, intending to just sit upright this time, which isn't usual for me unless I'm smoking outside - and I wish I'd better prepared my position on the couch for lying down this time, as it was a bit of a problem as will become evident later.
After that last thought of not needing another hit (and fortunately I'm using a self-extinguishing torch lighter now!) I found myself suddenly "not me", and no longer in my familiar candle-lit room. In fact, thinking back on it now, my impression is that I was on a bench in a British train station, and I was confused as to what I should be doing. I have the strong impression now that there was some "invisible" - or just out of my view - entity, person, not really any physical being, acting as my protector, who was gently encouraging me to lie down, though I was confused about where and whom I was, and thinking something along the lines of, "Are you sure I should lie down?"; and several times, half-sitting, half-lying, looking around semi-bewildered and unsure what was happening, but *feeling* reassurance from my guide-entity that I was ok, just go ahead and lie down and close your eyes.
Apparently I did, and at some point apparently I exhaled the hit and began breathing again. In my as-yet-unsuccesful attempts at OBE and deep trance (body asleep/mind awake) states both with and without Salvia, my awareness of my breathing has always been a hindrance; this time I forgot it completely as I was transported to another place, not a physical place, but somewhere deeper, or rather maybe "higher up" inside that dark space that is who we are at times when we are least our physical selves, such as lying comfortably in bed and close to sleep, when we are more mental-thought-beings than physical bodies. My impression in the afterglow was that I'd been up onto the next higher "shelf" during the experience, the mental imagery that concretized into remember-able form to help me record the experience now.
I know in an "on-the-tip-of-my-tongue" feeling that there was much more to where I was, but about all I brought back was the impression of a place with warm colors - literally colors that were physically warm and very comforting, a very gentle, secure place, and the just-out-of-my-view but close nearby presence of one male and one female "person".
My first "normal" awareness of my self returned just as my awareness of my very faint, very distant breathing returned - this before even my body awareness returned, just the sense of taking a tiny breath, but sensing that not as a body breathing, and from far, far away. The next experience was remembering that I had a body, and this was the stage that I found the most fascinating, that leads me to say this was my most profound experience yet.
I was conscious of both states of being for some brief time, though I have no idea how long any of this lasted as I wasn't in a position to see a clock, which is probably just as well. For some seemingly brief time I could go back and forth and be aware in-between both the body-less and bodied states, and could actually feel how the body-less state was an extension of body-relaxation, though a dramatically deeper relaxation state than I've been consciously aware of previously; and I could feel how to let go of that last little bit of body-awareness, which felt like the way a spatula twists creamy cake-frosting in a little swirl (I swear that's the mental image I had at the time!), but the feeling was of the twisting creaminess of the frosting, not the spatula.
A little later the image of twisting soft taffy came to mind, the way it stretches and stretches in plastic-elasticity into a long, sinuous stretching thread that finally releases and falls back, while the other end rises away separately. That's my image-recollection of how it felt to go from that last tiny bit of body-awareness to feeling body-less. The most fascinating thing was to be able to go back and forth several times while clear-headedly aware of what I was experiencing.
Unfortunately, I began to be more aware of a pressure on one of my legs, which gradually became a discomfort that brought me more quickly back to normal consciousness, and I realized that, because I hadn't originally planned to lie down, I was in a position when I did in which one of my legs was jammed up against the end of the couch. This return to normal consciousness was very typical of some of my better Salvia experiences, which feel at onset like the blast-off of a rocket, and then subside as though awareness is returning on a gentle parachute descent to the grounding of earth landing. I lay in a relaxed state (having shifted my leg) until the end of the tape, then began to write.