It has been over 2 years since I received Bufo and the time has come to share about it. Funnily enough, although this experience changed my life, here I am in front of my computer, wondering where to start.
So I’ll start with a good old disclaimer : This article is not an incitation to do anything but rather an authentic share of my own experience.
To give some structure to this article which may otherwise come out as a succession of profound insights on the nature of existence, I will answer questions that I had and questions that I have been asked.
What is Bufo?
Bufo Alvarius, also known as the ‘Sonoran Desert toad’, is as per its name, a toad – that exudes toxins from glands within its skin, including the psychoactive substance 5-MeO-DMT: an extremely potent natural psychedelic. This substance is collected and dried and can be smoked.
Why would anyone consume DMT?
Before I ever had my first experience with psychedelics, I thought that only irresponsible party people took them and that they did so just for fun.
Fast forward to the present and quite a few psychedelic experiences later, and I can echo the many studies that show that psychedelics can positively impact mental health.
Personally I was more interested in the spiritual aspect of Bufo. DMT has been called ‘The spirit molecule’ and although I didn’t know this at the time, a dear sister had mentioned that she had taken it before and it had been a very deep spiritual experience – so without knowing much more about it, when the opportunity presented itself I decided to accept it.
If you are interested in the scientific aspect of this molecule and what happens when we take it, here is a great documentary which will provide you with more information than I can.
What I can share for my part, is that taking Bufo gave me the lived experience of everything I learnt through my Yoga studies. During my experience I fully understood the concepts of Oneness and Brahman (God / Allah / Ahau – depending on who you ask), I could only understand on a mental level until that moment. Following my 3 sessions with Bufo, I felt an unprecendented level of gratitude for Everything, every sip of water, every drop of rain, every breath I took. I felt more present than ever and most importantly most aware of my connection to everything and how I impact the world around me and how it impacts me. Although I admit that the intense clarity I felt right after these experiences has softened, life has never been the same since then.
What others say about their experience
As a past sceptic, I imagine some of you reading may be feeling doubtful, but perhaps hearing from other people’s experiences could give this article different perspectives and more credibility. So here are a few words from dear friends when asked what they’d say about their own experience with Bufo:
It sounds cliche but it changed my life. It gave me better connection with Everything. Myself, nature, my dog. It was like all of a sudden I was able to truly understand others.”28 year old female Dr rather remain anonymous
My experience with bufo allowed me to really deeply understand – and feel in my body – what resistance to life feels like. Resistance to the way things are. Luckily- it also showed me the absolute bliss, expansion and freedom that comes from ending that resistance. ✨”41 year old female Psychologist rather remain anonymous
Vibrating – synergy with the reality of life30 year old male Chef
Rebirth – no ruler of my body – no fear of death & beautiful dance of being alive27 year old female student and Kambo practitioner
Infinity40 year old male traveler
Are there risks?
Like with most things, there are risks, however from my personal experience and those around me it seems that the risk of death and/or long term mental & physical problems is negligible.
What I would say, is that preparation and integration are very important.
Working with plant and animal medicine is profound and I believe that it is crucial to respect certain recommendations, like avoiding alcohol, coffee, and recreational drugs for a week prior to and after consumption. Additionally, the person consuming the medicine should give themselves time for reflection in the days and even weeks following the ceremony. From my own personal experience I think that time alone and time in nature support the integration process.
Despite believing that the long term health risk is minimal, I feel the responsibility to share that there were a few occasions where I wasn’t so sure of this. I smoked Bufo 3 times in a week which may have contribute to this, but I experienced heart palpitations at rest for the first time after smoking Bufo. This lasted a few weeks and I was quite concerned at first, but I haven’t had this for over two years now so I don’t think it impacted my heart health. In the weeks following my week of Bufo I had little interest in socialising and was overwhelmed in places where I was once at ease. I felt a great need for introspection and questioned everything in my life: My behaviour, my relationships and even my ability to teach Yoga. Fortunately I had a few close friends with whom I could talk about what I was going through. Although this time of questioning was challenging I also think it was necessary and enabled me to gain clarity.
The last thing I’ll add on this is that anyone on antidepressants and/or any kind if regular medication should clearly state this to the shaman they choose to work with.
How do I know when I am ready?
I don’t think there is a moment when we can be ready for something we have never experienced.
Some people have shared with me that they don’t think they are ready to take these types of medicine because they are worried about their emotional baggage. My answer to that is that these medicines can actually help heal emotional trauma.
Dr. Octavio Ruttig says:
‘A person becomes “universal or whole” when under the influence of 5-MeO-DMT. “After the state of being in full totality, he reconfigures back to being himself, but in a more evolved form.”’
I have personally experienced the benefits of punctual use of psychedelics accompanied with regular practices such as breath work, yoga and meditation. I say this because I think that such medicines are sometimes approached as a quick fix and it isn’t. For the medicine to truly ‘work’ there needs to be a willingness from the person taking it to apply what has been ‘understood’ during the journey.
How and where can I find it?
I believe that medicines present themselves to us at the ‘right time’ so I would not recommend looking for it but rather letting it find you.
I do think that how the medicine has been collected and who administers the medicine are important factors to consider so I would advise waiting for a recommendation from someone or waiting to meet someone you feel you can REALLY trust.
Are the toads hurt in the process?
The DMT extraction process is called ‘milking’ and from what I have read, it requires agitating the toads which is harmful for them. The rise in popularity of 5-MeO-DMT, climate change and overdevelopment in areas where these toads are endemic is threatening the survival of the species.
I didn’t know any of this before I took Bufo, and it didn’t occur to me to ask at the time. However, ever since taking Bufo I naturally consider how my consumption of anything will impact the planet and its inhabitants. I can’t say that I am 100% irreproachable but I certainly try my best and have made considerable life style changes since then.
Since 5MEo-DMT is available synthetically and in plant forms I wouldn’t smoke Bufo again and hope this article is thought provoking for anyone thinking about it.
Lastly I want to reiterate that this medicine is incredibly powerful and that it should not be taken recreationally or without supervision from someone qualified.
If you have any questions or would simply like to share your own experience please do reach out to me.
Thank you for reading
Love and light to All