You Must Know Set, Setting, and Intention to Maximize Good Trips and Minimize Bad Trips
Having a proper set, setting, and intention is crucial when preparing for a journey.
Your set is your headspace, mood, and psychological baggage that you bring into a trip. Everyone’s set is unique and constantly changing depending on what is going on in their lives.
Physical and Psychological Health. It is important for you to understand your health conditions, both physical and psychological, and know your limitations. If you have had a specific adverse reaction to a drug or type of drugs in the past, you need to keep this in mind. Also, people with a history of mental illness are at higher risk for having difficult trips.
Avoid Tripping in Times of Crisis. It is a good idea to avoid tripping during highly stressful times in your life, like if you have just broken up with your significant other or if you lost your job. If you go into a trip with an anxious, stressed out, or angry headspace it is very likely that this headspace will carry through with you, throughout your journey.
Relaxed, Positive Attitude. If you go into a trip with a relaxed and positive attitude it is very likely that this attitude will continue with you during your trip, just like having a negative attitude will. Because of this, it is best to be in a really happy and calm frame of mind when entering into a trip. You might even try to get yourself into a euphoric state of mind before a trip.
Intent of Trip. Intent can be taken a step further when preparing for an entheogenic journey. You can think about what you would like to attain, or experience, during your journey. Sometimes it helps to think about what your goals are before hand; this way they can be clear in your mind. Truly understanding what you want to learn from your experience can help you focus your awareness and attention. It can help push you in the direction you want to go.
Now, this is not to say that focusing on and understanding your intentions always works. Ayahuasca trips are very similar to life. Sometimes we get what we hope for and dream of and sometimes we don’t. The most important thing to realize is that we never can get anything or anywhere unless we believe in ourselves and try our best to attain it.
Spiritually Center Yourself. It is also a good idea to spiritually center yourself. If you have a particular faith or spiritual belief it can be helpful to spend a few moments to pray, ask for guidance and safe passage, purify your intentions, and remind yourself why you are about to take ayahuasca.
Many people accomplish this through meditation. Meditation has been used for thousands of years to enable us to experience the same transcendental realms of consciousness that we experience through the use of ayahuasca. The only real difference is how much practice it takes to get there. This concept is best illustrated with an analogy: if you look at consciousness like a ten story building, where each floor represents a particular developmental level. Let’s say that most of us, in our everyday consciousness, float somewhere between the fourth and sixth floors. Many of us don’t realize that there are higher floors; we often believe that we have attained all we can even though we’ve only gone halfway up. Both meditation and the use of ayahuasca can help us experience these higher floors. The difference is that meditation is like taking the stairs, while ayahuasca experiences are like taking the elevator.
After looking at the analogy, it is easy to see that meditation can take us in the same consciousness expanding direction as ayahuasca. So, by utilizing meditation before a trip you can nudge to your consciousness in the right direction before the trip even begins. You can start to focus your awareness and energy on the trip you would like to have.
The setting is all of the components that make up the environment that you choose to trip in. This includes the physical location and the people you choose to trip with.
Physical Location. It is important to trip in a location that makes you feel comfortable and safe. It is a good idea to set out pillows and blankets so that you can have something to snuggle up to. You also might try dimming the lighting a bit, since ayahuasca cause you to be more sensitive to bright lights.
Clothing. A person can trip in any type of clothing or no clothes at all. The main thing to think about is comfort. Wear loose fitting clothing; something comparable to what people practice meditation and yoga in. Also avoid clothing with complex buckles, zippers, and buttons because some times it can be difficult to work with them during a really strong trip.
Your body temperature can change drastically during an experience. One minute you’ll have the shivers and the next minute you’ll be burning up. Because of this, it is a good idea to layer your clothing. Otherwise you can wear something light and have blankets around to wrap yourself up in, if needed.
Quantity. As the size of your dose increases, the difficulty of your trip also increases. If you’re nervous about taking ayahuasca, it is probably best to follow your intuition and take a smaller dose. In other words, there’s no reason to take a heroic dose when you still can learn a lot from a threshold dose.