When you read it you will see the energy portrait of all humanity

Marcela is a woman living in Switzerland and she wrote me a letter with two questions: How to evolve while you are trapped? How to open my heart if I don’t even have it in my hands?

She allowed me to publish her original letter and the mandala she painted (cover image) after her first contact with Ayahuasca and our team of psychotherapists.

My answers to Marcela are at the end of the letter, we both accepted to publish them in order to cooperate with many people who probably are in similar situations.

Dear Mr Alberto Varela,

When I read that I had to write an email to the school director and creator of this collective dream, before participating to the European School of Ayahuasca, countless thoughts crossed my being. Childhood images, emotions, dreams, ties, discoveries. It made me think about those stories we tell about the moment before dying: life, like a movie, passing before my eyes. It is difficult to express all of this in clear words. I am surprised because I developed my working life using speech; clear and well raised explanations. But today I see in my own life that words are paltry to express essential truths.

And I like it that way. This is precisely my main motivation to go on, a step further and participate in the European School of Ayahuasca: thanks to the retreats you organize, I discovered a new way to be, I’m experiencing a rebirth, and want to keep on growing this way. Infinite emotions, dreams, nonsenses, trusts… the infinite void, the fullness of love.

From an early age I’ve had an obvious transcendence in contact with nature. Over the years and domestication, that feeling transformed into a mirage. Damage from early experiences made me fear and then learn how to defend myself, incorporating martial arts as central to my life. The firm authority of my parents led me to develop a powerful superego, limiting moments of spontaneity, but very effective to survive in our human jungle. My natural capacity for reflection and passion for knowledge led me to advance in my career without major problems, such as a game amusing me.

Today, I am grateful for all of that, the good and the bad. But something has been missing. I have been looking from the other side of the road for too many years, and now it’s time to cross towards plenitude. I am paying off a debt to my forgotten essence.

I‘ve been preparing for this moment forever, without having it very clear, but more consciously from 2013, when I started practicing -something like- zazen. Without any guide, only with advice from friends and reading books, I departed on the path to take my mind less seriously. I came from Chile to Europe in 2014, which allowed me to move on with this process: in the solitude of the first world, you either get depressed or evolve. I worked with a coach for the past year, looking to close some wounds and changing some behaviours. Still, something was missing: I got caught in a relationship with a person with whom I had no vital compatibility, and I could not get out of it. How to evolve while you are trapped? How to open my heart if I don’t even have it in my hands?

At that time, the mystical wisdom of Latin American and indigenous cultures, to which I always felt identified, came back to me seeing that I could experience the power plant that I heard so much about in my life in Chile: Ayahuasca, thanks to retreats organized by Inner Mastery International.

I participated in two retreats, each very different and special to me. I am implementing essential changes to my life, exploring something new, but that my cells remember. Moreover, I discovered wonderful people: all the people I have met in the organization (Victor, Eliel, Laura and Alexandra) have been extraordinary and very important in this process. But also my fellow travellers. People with most diverse stories, united by an essential connection. It is beautiful to expand the network of bonds from frailty to the way of detachment.

Here I am now. With the curiosity of a child, with the confidence and strength of a warrior, with the power of love and the emptiness in my hands, ready to create a new dream.

I hope to make my third retreat in Switzerland in December and to attend my first training cycle at the school in January. I don’t know much more than that. I am confident that everything will flow.

I leave you with a deep gratitude, wishing you a great day.




Hi Marcela.

First, let me tell you that I read your letter several times, “opening my heart” to feel you. I had a vision about you, I saw you hidden somewhere, fearful and resentful. But this is not the Marcela of now, but the hurt child; she’s still alive inside of you and resentful. You and she are insanely coexisting in the same space. But this is a situation of prompt settlement.

During childhood, the outside tries to attack us or successfully does, and we thus structure natural defence mechanisms to survive and adapt. But what should be a temporary defence, ends up becoming our own identity. We go from using a punctual way of defence, to becoming a clever and organized mechanism that protects us from all at all times. Even from love and happiness.

The feeling of debt, either towards life, others or oneself is a misperception. There are no debts in existence. Everything happens at every moment in the way it should and can. The interpretation that you owe something to yourself comes from the fact that you have not allowed, “until now”, that what you both deserve and crave to enter. Defence mechanisms work as a valve letting things go out of you, but doesn’t let anything in. Since you identified with the mechanism you believe you have a debt towards yourself, but you don’t.

If you’ve ever contacted with the essence, you can never forget it, if you forget, you fall asleep, and if you are asleep the possibility to wake up emerges. If you haven’t forgotten it, then you got distracted in the process of educastration, and this is normal, everything gathers for us to look out. We fail to look within so many times and for so long, that we end up falling asleep. But you haven’t done anything wrong, despite appearances.

It is likely that you are gradually recovering the natural path your Being was in as a child. If you fell asleep or got distracted this is not a major thing but what is happening to you, related to STARTING OVER, being born again, detaching yourself from a past that created the wrong direction for your essence, discovering new things, although you’re not really discovering them, after all these disconnected years it actually seems so.

This reality, coupled with the fact that you know about transcendence, puts you in a delicate and even dangerous place in your process. I refer to the possibility that you give steps forward without having resolved the traces of the past.

The past cannot be changed or addressed in any way. But the “relationship” with the past can heal, otherwise, we never separate from of old records because every day new memories happen, constantly creating new reactions damaging the perception of what is happening to us. This situation is resolved through the process of understanding: accept, forgive, welcome, integrate and reconcile. We will work on it during the workshops of the school when you come, but if you wish, you can go deeper into the observation of your question: How to evolve while you are trapped? The question indicates that you judge yourself for being trapped in a relationship. This is also a misperception. This entrapment was crucial in the evolution process of your consciousness. There is actually no way to evolve if consciousness isn’t trapped.

Prison, slavery, enclosure is the ultimate experience of consciousness in this human and material plane. All those who have consciousness are stuck, but we don’t all know it yet. No one unaware of his own slavery can free himself, and realize he must awaken. The mission of an awakened being is to realize the flight. To release consciousness.

How could I fall into a relationship that took away my freedom? Why did I accept a dependency that didn’t make me happy? How could I open my heart to a person who doesn’t love me?

You can ask yourself a thousand similar questions, they will all take you to guilt. And the soul is anchored in that preventive emotion, unable to break free. Guilt creates anxiety, and anxiety is difficult to control. Then, the ability to control to avoid making new mistakes appears. And we set up many ways to excel and transcend that basically hide an avoidance of guilt. We do not become better people, we are the same. We become spiritual but still are the same. We make many favourable and positive changes, but the relationship with the past remains the same.

Control wants to survive, control is active distrust. There is no way to trust if you do not flow spontaneously. The control had the power until now, it has prevented you from crossing the border of guilt, because if you had TRASCENDED GUILT, anguish could not stop you on the road to freedom.

You will have time to live in non-control, letting things happen naturally and leave everything putting itself in its place, or fall off the life project you created. When flowing, everything that has to fall falls without forcing anything. Don’t worry, the flow takes care of everything.

You also ask in your letter: How can I open my heart if I don’t even have it in my hands?

Actually it’s not that you don’t have it in your hands but that “control” had the power over you, and that implies a privacy from your own source of feelings. This control is a great avoidance mechanism that reached the expiration date. You came to one of our retreats, and the healing energy we carry along with Ayahuasca has removed the foundations of control. If I may, I would like to say something: it is lovely that you’ve never had your heart in your hands, your life has been a story of control, you’re like a virgin, pure and innocent to the experience of trust and love, which are two sides of the same coin.

The heart can’t be opened, I mean “we can’t do nothing” to open it. It opens magically only when the time comes, when circumstances seduce it; when what happens to us is perceived internally from a pure and innocent consciousness and without judgment, the heart feels invited to significantly open wide.

I feel that the process of opening your heart can’t be stopped, and all I can suggest is that you collaborate unconditionally with the inevitable, because that will heal and transform your life.

“You can’t open any heart that hasn’t been closed first.”


This is your personal history, as precious as mine, and the one of all humans who can see and perceive that the huge challenge there is before the way we have to transit: LIVING WITH AN OPEN HEART AND AN EXPANDED CONSCIOUSNESS SO THAT ALL OUR POTENTIAL CAN FLOWER.

We are going toward that wonderful destination Marcela.


Alberto José Varela

Ayahuasca International holds Inner Evolution retreats with therapeutic use of Ayahuasca in several countries in Europe. Click the links for specific information on each retreat.

Berlin, January 11 to 15

Barcelona, January 11 to 15

Switzerland, January 12 to 15

Madrid, January 12 to 17

Munich, January 26 to 29

Berlin, January 25 to 29

Amsterdam, January 26 to 29

Switzerland, February 2 to 5

Cologne, February 2 to 5

Vienna, February 2 to 5

Marbella, February 8 to 12

Berlin, February 9 to 12

Madrid, February 15 to 19

Hanover, February 16 to 19

Click here for a complete listing of  information of all the 2016/17 Ayahuasca International Retreats Calendar . It includes subsequent links to information, prices and booking procedure for each retreat.

For bookings or to request any further information call to +49 (0) 171 987 6655 (also available by whatsapp) or write to [email protected] 



Mandala painted by Marcela after a transformation process that has a deep meaning in her evolutionary process.


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