“When the Eagle and the Condor come together in harmony, there will be peace on Earth.”
Fundamental Moral & Ethical Tenets
Two Birds and its adherents abide by the universal, moral truths common to many global religions and cultures. Two Birds’ belief system is founded upon the honoring of each individual’s right to identify a particular, unique spiritual path. The involvement of an adherent in Church activities and ceremonies is intended to facilitate a deepening in the connection to that individual’s unique spirit and to the Great Spirit. The individual opens their heart to becoming a more complete, loving and spiritually-healthy individual. As a key part to achieving this greater awareness, the individual participates in Church ceremonies, honoring the sacraments of such ceremonies and necessarily involving the use of Ayahuasca tea.
Underlying the fundamental tenets of the Faith, as discussed below, are religious principles designed to explain the core beliefs of Two Birds. One of these principles relates specifically to the critical, sacramental nature of Ayahuasca in Two Birds religious ceremonies. The other principle – akin to many religious faiths – articulates aspects of every person’s fundamental worth and natural, God-given rights. These principles are further explained as follows:
- Ayahuasca contains a spirit that is a part of the whole.
- Through sacramental use of this plant spirit, we are able to connect with both the inner and outer self.
- Every member has the right to participate in our ceremonies.
- As a teacher, Ayahuasca is an integral part of our Church.
- As a teacher, Ayahuasca can help us to live a more connected, healthy and spiritual life but does not directly change us; she allows us to make those changes ourselves.
The Sacred Rights of All People
- All People have the right to choose their own truths.
- All People are born Free.
- All People have the right to be respected.
- All People have the right to not be abused, persecuted.
- All People have the right to be safe.
- All People are equal.
- All People have the right to feel love.
- All People have the right to walk their own path.
- All People have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
- All People have the right, alone or in community, to practice their spiritually, worship and observance as seen fit.
- All People have the right to fresh air, clean water, and healthy food.
Further, Two Birds and its adherents embrace several practical beliefs underlying the Church’s religious philosophy and practices; a composite to these beliefs are found within the practices underlying both Eastern and Western religions, such as Buddhism and Judaism. These beliefs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- There are many that would like to lead a happier life, but few know what that would mean or how to accomplish it.
- Our emotions and attitudes affect how we feel. With practice, we can learn to manage the unfavorable emotions and honor and celebrate the healthier ones. Practicing this balance will allow for us to live more fulfilling lives.
- Adverse emotions such as anger, fear, greed and attachment can cause us to lose touch with our own sense of peace and self-control. With practice, we can learn to manage these emotions and liberate ourselves from their control, standing in our power.
- Acting compulsively out of anger or greed can create unwanted circumstances and feelings. With practice, we can learn the power of mindfulness to make clear and conscious decisions.
- Lighter emotions such as love, compassion, patience and gratitude can help us remain calm, clear and open – bringing with them a sense of peace and happiness. With practice, we can learn to deepen and develop our connection to these emotions.
- Self-indulgent and egotistical thoughts and behaviors can create a disconnect from others which can lead to ill feelings and a sense of separation. With practice, we can learn to properly integrate and work through them.
- Realizing that we are all interconnected and that our survival depends on each other opens our hearts and minds, and helps us develop compassion for others, and brings a deeper sense of happiness within ourselves.
- Most of what we perceive in ourselves and in others are projections of fantasy, based on confusion. When we believe that our projections correspond to reality, we create problems for ourselves and others.
- Through this deeper knowing, we can achieve a more mindful way of living free from distraction and attachment with an open mind and open heart. This allows us to move consciously on our path with grace and gratitude through all life has to offer.
- Self-improvement and inward exploration to become a more conscious person is a life-long quest, but one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves.
Articles of the Two Birds Faith – Metaphysical Underpinnings & Comprehensiveness
Introduction to Faith-Based Principles
Two Birds is a non-denominational church. It offers a religious community underscored by acceptance, guidance, and new ways of recognizing spirituality and self. It is a faith-based institution supportive of each member’s personal, spiritual journey and awakening.
Two Birds offers Sunday services, community camping events and outreach projects, prayer/song circles, and monthly ceremonies to help deepen your connection to the Great Spirit on a personal level in a safe supportive space. A core belief of Two Birds is that inside of everybody is the potential to connect with the Great Spirit. Two Birds and its adherents believe that all humans are relations to one another, and are children of the same higher, greater Being – the Great Spirit, God. All beings are all meant to shine, as children do. Humans are born to make manifest the glory of the Great Spirit, who exists within every individual. The Great Spirit is embodied within all beings, allowing for each person to discover their personal, unique truths and thus become empowered. In doing so, in allowing for each individual to capture their own light and to shine, this light serves to shine on others, inspiring them and allowing them to embrace their own inner light.
Tenets of the Faith
Two Birds Church professes the following beliefs as fundamental tenets to its religious faith:
- A core belief that inside of everybody is the potential to connect with the Great Spirit. All people are all relations, one to another, and everyone is a child stemming from a single, common source. All people shine, as children shine. This inner light is possessed by every being; as a person discovers their personal truths and stands in their inner power, that person’s light is emitted onto others, acting as a catalyst for positive, moral change in the world.
- A core belief in the coalescence of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine (The Eagle & The Condor), as an embrace of both the Heart and the Mind. Through both The Eagle and The Condor, a human identifies and experiences the balance which makes someone stronger and more connected. Both aspects are critical parts of Two Birds faith, its ceremonial practices, its gatherings. Consistent with this belief, the Church is led by people of both genders.
- A core belief in the unity of all, with no discrimination based upon race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or affectional preference, or gender identity. Underlying this solemn belief is the understanding that all people are born perfect and are intended to find happiness by being their true selves with neither judgment nor condemnation.
- A core belief in the path of inner wisdom through experience. This wisdom is achieved through experiences, rather than simply being told how or what to believe in. Two Birds teaches that individuals stand in their own power, rather than relinquishing such power to gurus or sacrificing individual power to the acquiring of material wealth. Truth is found inward, not from the external.
- The core belief that inherent truths can be ascertained from many teachings. Two Birds does not adopt one set of teachers, but instead encourages its members to seek inherent, eternal truths from the insights found in all cultures and teachings. Likewise, Two Birds believes that spirituality and healing is not merely a linear process, i.e., no one path fits everyone’s search for their inner light – their spiritual truth. Accordingly, Two Birds and its members are open and receptive to each member identifying and embracing their own, individual spiritual path.
- The core belief that caring for the full body, mind and spirit are part and parcel with spiritual practices. Consistent with this belief, Two Birds encourages dietary care, physical care (such as the engaging in yoga and physical exercise), and meditation to assist our members with finding balance. Through balance, each individual can live healthy, fulfilling lives, and thus come closer to identifying their inner light.
- The core belief that an individual finds their inner light, their spiritual truths through selfless endeavors – by giving back to communities. Part of living spiritual truths is through the pursuit of charitable activities and services.
- The embrace of basic moral tenets for all members. These include, but are not limited to, respecting the physical and mental health of others. Two Birds spurns violence of any kind, and does not tolerate sexual misconduct, other predatory behavior, theft, or intolerance.
Origins and Teacher-Prophet
The Two Birds forming the basis for the Church’s name, stems from a South American healing prophecy. The background story behind the “Two Birds,” – The Eagle and The Condor – stems from an oral tradition shared among many indigenous tribes throughout North and South America. The Eagle and The Condor are intended to signify differing dualities: first, they signify the dualities of the Indigenous Nations of both North America and, separately, South America. Further, the two birds are intended to signify the impact of European colonization of the Americas, and the displacement and havoc wreaked upon those Indigenous Nations. This is a religious prophecy of future events; a prophecy disseminated along tribal trade routes, originating in South America’s Amazonia rainforest all the way – ultimately – as far north as Canada. The story – which varies depending upon the tribal nation – contains the same underlying themes and messages.
- The Eagle represents the North. Not just North America and the people who live here, but the entire Northern Hemisphere. The Condor represents the Southern Hemisphere. As an archetype, the Condor is the yin, feminine, passion, intuition, the shadow, the heart. The Eagle is the yang, masculine, ambition, intelligence, invention, curiosity and progress. Together, both Condor and Eagle comprise the duality at the center of the Two Birds faith.
- It was said that The Eagle and the Condor are synonymous with the two paths available to humanity. As individuals, as groups, people on the path of the Eagle would develop their intellect, and people on the path of the Condor would develop their connection to the Earth. These two spirits shared the skies peacefully for a long time, going their own ways and flying their own paths. The Prophecy foretells of a clash, that the Eagle would turn on the Condor, and that – for five-hundred (500) years there would be such an imbalance of power that the Condor people would be driven nearly to extinction.
- This imbalance was expected to occur at the approximate point of European colonization – in 1492, with the arrival of Extreme Eagle people from Europe. This arrival would (and did) drive the Spirit of the Condor into hiding, deep into the jungles of the South. Indeed, this period did mark the beginning of a new reign over North and South American continents. Dominance over land and resources, slavery and genocide, greed and industrialization transformed the modern Americas into its present-day form.
- The Extreme Eagle Mind has come to rule the world, with catastrophic consequences for all life on Earth.
- Five-hundred (500) years have passed since the arrival of The Eagle – marking the end of its reign, signaling the beginning of a new phase, and the opportunity for The Condor to rise again. It is prophesied that this new beginning would not be in retaliation – not in revenge, but signify the coming together of The Eagle and The Condor into harmony, to fly together under the same skies. This harmony also provides an opportunity for a coalescence of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine, an opportunity for an entirely new kind of people who embrace both the Heart and the Mind. It constitutes a chance for the People of the North and the People of the South to join together and envision a new way, a new level of consciousness which can simultaneously honor the Earth and human progress.
- The prophecy does not guarantee this new, harmonious outcome. Rather, it only reveals the opportunity for such an evolution of existence to occur.
- Two Birds unites the healing medicines of the South as sacraments to the Eagle peoples of the North, thus inviting that unification of the Eagle and Condor spirits to occur within individuals, who can go on to live in greater harmony, and help usher in a more balanced version of humanity.
- In other words, there are two dualities – external and internal to the faith. One is the duality of North and South; the other is the duality of the self – the male and the female. Both dualities are expressed by the Church through The Eagle and The Condor as one essence – the yin and the yang through which harmony of the soul – and of the world – is achieved.
Religious Services & Practices
Two Birds convenes regular, weekly services. During these services, the congregants convene and share in writings and scriptures which resonate within each individual. In this fashion, Two Birds believes that this sharing will assist our members in finding their own inner light – their own inner truth. The common truth shared by all members of Two Birds is love; this fundamental truth – this aspect common to all beings, cannot be learned from words on a page, but by practices. A description of the weekly services is provided, below.
In Two Birds, we practice in the oral tradition. In emphasizing the oral tradition, Two Birds believes that there is more connectivity, more interactivity, more intimacy between its congregants. The actual discussion – whether one-on-one or in a group forum, permits for the ability of people to develop understandings of the fundamental tenets of the faith, as well as to better come to terms with their individual, inner light. Consistent with this oral tradition, Two Birds has developed a song book for its members, reflecting the multifaceted origins of the faith, and its connection to various indigenous cultures. A copy of the Two Birds Church Songbook is attached to this exemption application as an exhibit.
Of course, Two Birds engages in the ritual sacrament of Ayahuasca. This holy plant serves to assist Two Birds’ members with connecting to their inner selves – their inner truths – their inner light.
Description of Sunday Services:
Two Birds offers a variety of different church services to accommodate the ever-changing needs of its individual members and where each one is along their spiritual journey. Due to members being spread all over the country, Two Birds offers some services online through video calls allowing for members that can’t attend in person to still be able to participate in group discussions or meditations.
Akin to many religions, members coming to Two Birds may possess little, if any, prior deep experience with religion. Accordingly, for these individuals the concepts and growth to be experienced can present challenges. Eventually, it is anticipated that the members will come to connect with feelings of community and universal love.
Two Birds’ integration services involve its members gathering together to discuss the previous week’s ceremony and the lessons and inspirations captured from that experience. This includes how the previous service directly relates to the member’s everyday life, and to the enhanced connection between members and Great Spirit. These services are also designed to provide tools and counsel to post- and potential sacramental participants. Furthermore, members discuss plans and preparations for upcoming services or events.
The beginning part of integration services is designed to cultivate communication among members and Two Birds facilitators. Services on this particular Sunday are partially member-led. An open and safe space is created for members to connect, share, and offer during the initial discussion at their own discretion. The service is concluded in a group prayer – one designed to achieve the highest good in this life and to allow the universal love to remain eternally within each individual.
Meditation/Prayer Circle Services:
The membership convenes at a church leader’s home, outdoors, or in a rented space that can accommodate the requirements of the activities. Activities for this service offered vary from month to month. The focus is on learning and sharing through group meditation, Cacao circles, drum/music circles or connecting through the body with dance, yoga, or breathing exercise. These services are focused on group participation and intention. They are led by one of Two Birds’ facilitators. These designated facilitators are responsible for preparing the intentions and service activities for the day, and in leading the group prayers and discussions.
Community Outreach Services:
Two Birds offers Community Outreach services in the Dallas-Fort Worth area such as volunteering at a variety of local shelters, feeding the homeless, clothing/food drives, supported activities for nursing homes, or offering help to different members of the church if needed. Two Birds and its members believe that one of the biggest parts of any foundation is community. In this way, Two Birds and its members are able to integrate their spiritual practices through the belief that in helping the greater community they are helping themselves. This is a great way for Two Birds and its members to not only connect with the local community but with each other as well, bringing their inner truth and light to the benefit of all.
Further, these services are designed to assist our members in adapting to Church practices, and to facilitating meditations into member daily practices. The weekend is led by a different, monthly Church facilitator. Whereas prayer involves speaking to the Great Spirit or to a person’s higher self, meditation is learning to listen. Two Birds believes in its members listening to their individual, inner voices as an important part of a healthy relationship with life. The focus is on learning and sharing in mediation practices or focusing through the body with techniques such as yoga or Reiki. For some members this service serves as their introduction to such concepts. Two Birds accommodates these introductory learners, and adopts a slow pace designed to allow for beginners to blend in and go at a pace that benefits the group.
Church Ceremonial Services:
These services occur within a designated space designed to accommodate the members that will be participating. Each service incorporates pieces of the previous month’s church services, deepening their connection to spirit and their inner truth. Members engage in sacramental ceremonies, lasting approximately five (5) hours, and combining all techniques in a journey of release and surrender to love and self-discovery.
These Ceremonial Services involve the Church’s three (3) day retreat. These retreats occur within a space designed to accommodate approximately twenty (20) people. Each retreat day is similar to the above weekends, but at a more intensive level including for purposes of discussing and understanding different traditions; participating in prayer/song circles or practicing deeper group meditations.
Ceremonies are led entirely by Two Birds Church facilitators. Driven by sound, song, and smudging, focusing on recognizing and remembering an individual’s highest self – their inner truth and light; surrendering and releasing any traumas, thought patterns or bad habits that prevent an individual from embracing and living a healthy, loving life. The services incorporate sacred dietary practices, asking that all members embrace a strict vegan diet in order to assist with the cleansing of the body and spirit, as well as to become more sensitive and receptive to the nuances of the ceremony.
A key part of the ceremonies, and one designed to enhance the sense of fellowship among participants, is the “vine smash.” This ceremony, based upon traditional indigenous practices, involves the hammering of raw vine into small pieces. The entire process is facilitated and supervised by Church leaders; once the vine is smashed , all pieces are carefully collected and placed back in a locked storage closet. The remainder of the preparation for the sacramental tea is handled exclusively by a select number of Church leaders. Once the sacramental tea is prepared, it is placed in bottles and stored in a locked freezer. The only time that the sacramental tea is removed from the freezer is on ceremony days. Any leftover tea is refrozen to be used at a later ceremony. The tea is removed from the ceremony space immediately following each ceremony, and restored to its secured, locked area.
Two Birds currently observes the following as sacred holy days:
• December 21-Winter Solstice
• March 21-Spring Equinox
• June 21-Summer Solstice
• September 21-Autumnal Equinox
Two Birds honors and celebrates the rhythms of the natural world. Within each person, the seasons of waxing and waning, death and rebirth, light and dark are forever flowing. This is because the individual microcosm is connected to the larger macrocosm; Two Birds believes that one’s spiritual life is not only in the world of nature, but the inner spirit of the self. From this understanding, the wheel turns in never-ending, unceasing, eternal fashion. However, rather than the ‘wheel’ of existence repeating in the same pattern, Two Birds believes that everyone’s existence is subject to continuous change. Two Birds and its adherents celebrates the wondrous, ever-changing nature of life and our individual existences.
These celebrations of the changing of seasons is further described as follows:
Winter Solstice – Two Birds honors, celebrates, and welcomes the descent into darkness followed by the return of the light – the beginning of the New Year, acknowledging that all beginnings emerge from darkness. At the Winter Solstice humanity reaches the depth of that darkness with the longest night of the year when darkness has reached its peak. This is a space for rebirth.
Spring Equinox – Two Birds honors the point of perfect balance on the journey through the Wheel of the Year. Night and day are of equal length and in perfect equilibrium – dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But the year is now waxing and at this moment light defeats the dark. The natural world is coming alive, the Sun is gaining in strength and the days are becoming longer and warmer. Two Birds gives thanks to the darkness, honoring its teachings.
Summer Solstice – Two Birds honors the peak of the Solar year when the Sun is at the height of its life-giving power, completing its cycle of growth. Soaking up the invigorating energy to inspire and uplift us. It is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Two Birds celebrates Earth, awash with fertility and fulfillment. This is a time of joy and abundance, of expansiveness and the celebration of achievements.
Autumn Equinox – Two Birds honors and celebrates the Harvest. This is a time to rest and reflect on all of creation. As the past year dies, Two Birds honors death and contemplates what needs to “die” within us in order to welcome the new life that will grow into next year’s harvests. Two Birds’ members prepare to be reborn with the new year. This is a time of turning inward, connecting to the mystery and magic.
Dietary Laws & Fasting Rituals
Consistent with the principle that Two Birds members do not serve, but instead allow for the space which enables us to live a more loving, connected and grateful existence, Two Birds’ members adopt and observe special diets as part of the Church’s religious practices. This diet is not just about avoiding certain foods but is about discipline, sacrifice, and commitment. The restrictions are in place to help cleanse the body, so the sacraments can work most efficiently. The diet restricts many spices, sugar, recreational drugs, and alcohol. It also includes periods of abstinence from sex or sexual activity. The diet is about respect, for the sacraments, and commitment to your journey and church.
The referenced diet is attached to this exemption application as an exhibit, and can otherwise be found at the following link: https://dieta.twobirdschurch.com/. This link also includes recipes collected to assist our members (and, especially, our new members) adopt the required diet. Further, Two Birds cooks all meals during ceremony nights/weekends so to ensure everyone is on the same diet restrictions. Two Birds maintains strict standards pertaining to these dietary requirements, as it believes it is an integral part of a new member’s integration into the religious community.
Required Ceremonial Vestments & Appearance
Two Birds does not impose unnecessary clothing restrictions on its members; there is no dress code. This practice is akin to other sects of other faiths including, but not limited to, Unitarianism in Christianity, as well as Reconstructionism in Judaism. A key reason for Two Birds’ success is in making our members feel comfortable during services or ceremonies.
The approach is always one of openness; this is an approach that matches the entire Two Birds religious belief system. Throughout, the Church’s rituals are also based on and grounded by the notions of safety and success. It is believed that, by stressing and maximizing openness in Church ceremonies and services, it allows for more personal experiences by Two Birds members. Everyone can thus adopt their own style of spirituality, whether they come dressed in flowing robes, or something else that empowers them or makes them feel connected to their individual past and their spiritual being. In other words, by not imposing specific clothing rituals, members are comfortable to surrender to the experience on a deeper level.
Propagation/Proselytizing of the Faith
Akin to most forms of Judaism, among other faiths, Two Birds has developed and grown over the past 11-12 years without any form of evangelism, external preaching or proselytization. Instead, Two Birds propagates naturally through the natural growth and commitment of members immediately drawn to it. Two Birds’ membership is not drawn solely due to the engagement in the sacred Ayahuasca ceremonies. Rather, the Church’s regular services are viewed by members as providing true, deep religious and spiritual benefits. Through the Church’s practices, its members develop their spiritual practices and understandings, and further grow as a community of individuals drawn toward one another in a common belief system and spiritual cause. Likewise, the non-dogmatic nature of Two Birds has resulted in its continuous, successful growth and the ability to attract and retain new members.
Purpose & Mission of Two Birds
The purpose and mission of Two Birds has been explained above, as well as within its registration as a religious-based, 501(c)(3) entity. A copy of the Two Birds application for its now-granted religious non-profit status is attached, hereto, as an exhibit to this exemption application.
Safety & Security Protocols for Ayahuasca Ceremonies
Two Birds adheres to various safety and security protocols designed to protect both members engaging in the Ayahuasca sacramental ceremonies, as well as to defend against the accessing of or usage of Ayahuasca, whether in its raw, legal form or in a blended form used as tea during the blessed sacrament. Consistent with the understanding that the DEA maintains a need to ensure diversion and control over potential narcotics, Two Birds is ready to engage in positive fashion with DEA to maximize/enhance its safety and security protocols to allow for the safe, secure use of Ayahuasca in its ceremonies. The following describes the standards currently in-place at Two Birds.
Measures in Place Prior to Any Ayahuasca Ceremony
Prior to the sacramental ceremony, whenever a member registers for participating in the sacrament, they must first accurately complete a medical information form requesting as follows:
- Background Information on the individual.
- Whether they have previously used Ayahuasca, as well as any previous experience with other hallucinogenic substances or plant-based medicines.
- A personalized description of their reasons and intentions for participation in the ceremony. Only those expressing bona fide, religious intentions are entitled to participate in the blessed sacramental use of Ayahuasca.
- Discussions of any prior drug dependencies or addictions, whether prescription, non-prescription, or of recreational use. The responses to this are critical within the Two Birds screening process.
- Listing of all medications or drugs currently being used.
- Whether the member has ever been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”).
- Whether there exists any trauma still in existence, with all details to be provided relating to such trauma.
- Whether the member is cognizant of, and agrees to conform to, the dietary restrictions required for participation in the ceremony. Various substances are strictly forbidden for a period prior to and during the ceremony.
- A listing of any and all preexisting health conditions including, but certainly not limited to pregnancy, breastfeeding, heart problems, high or low blood pressure, prior heart bypass surgery, artificial implants. Anyone with such conditions are screened out from being able to participate in the holy sacrament.
- A listing of any additional information which would assist Church facilitators in providing a safe, secure, fulfilling experience.
Upon completion of this information form, the information is reviewed by one of the Church leaders, who contacts the members and confirms further details, as well as confirms any medications which might prove to be a contra-indicator, and thus not be permitted for use alongside that of the sacramental plant, Ayahuasca. Thereafter, the forms are submitted to Two Birds’ retained, certified medical consultant to review the medical forms. This medical professional, carrying board certification as a psychiatric pharmacist, and holding licensing as a pharmacist, holds the final approval for whether a member is capable of participating in the sacramental rituals, and to provide any necessary consultations on any preexisting medication potentially be taken by a member.
Likewise, Two Birds encourages its members to attend Sunday services in order to better- connect with ceremony facilitators and to discuss in-person the use of Ayahuasca and to address any medications already in use by the member. All members are also encouraged to discuss their participation with their current medical doctor in order to ensure that there are no potential side-effects resulting from their preexisting prescriptions and the potential engagement in sacramental use of Ayahuasca.
Two Birds also requires that member-participants sign a waiver indicating their understanding of the rules and restrictions surrounding involvement in the Ayahuasca sacrament. A copy of this waiver can be found at the following link: https://twobirdschurch.com/ceremony-waiver/. Finally, an emergency contact sheet must be completed prior to the ceremony.
Measures to Prepare Two Birds Members for Participation in
- The facilitators used by Two Birds during the Ayahuasca ceremony are trained to know the strength of Ayahuasca, its ingredients, and the religious and physiological impact from its use during the sacramental ceremony. Under no circumstance is any administration of prepared Ayahuasca sacramental tea permitted that has not been properly analyzed and tested by those overseeing the ceremony.
- Two Birds requires a minimum of 1:5 ratio of facilitators-to-members to be present to cater to all members participating in the sacramental ceremony involving Ayahuasca. Any higher ratio is not permitted, as the security and health of the participating members is deemed critical.
- Two Birds provides a safe, comfortable and secure venue, with more than ample space, drinking water and toilet amenities.
- Two Birds further ensures member physical safety and comfort by preparing the environment to accommodate individual needs (e.g., removal of any objects presenting a possible hazard; providing mats, blankets, pillows, buckets, paper tissues, etc.).
- Two Birds has developed an emergency plan for various scenarios, and has educated its facilitation team to know and understand what steps to take in case of an emergency. This entails the following safeguards:
- Pre-Screening for major health conditions of participants to ensure the safety for all.
- Preexisting facilities to take participants to a safe place away from the ceremony group to ensure their safety in case of physical, mental issues or concerns.
- Providing all facilitators with ready access to a well-stocked First Aid kit, blood pressure and any other necessary medical equipment.
- Ensuring that facilitators are certified in CPR.
- Training facilitators to exercise proper authority on whether to contact emergency services in the event of issues arising that require such attention. An emergency fire station is a approximately ten (10) miles commute from the ceremonial location. Further, there is an emergency room less than three (3) miles from the ceremonial location.
- Providing for evening facilitators to ensure participant safety during the evening.
- Two Birds estimates and measures the correct dosage of Ayahuasca for sacramental use. Dosage amounts are measured according to the member’s age, gender, experience, health condition and individual needs. Any uncertainty results in administration of a smaller dose.
- Two Birds ensures member physical safety by observing for any potential hazards (e.g., removal of potentially dangerous objects; prohibiting any operation of a motorized vehicle; preventing any member from wandering from the area where the sacrament is administered; preventing any member from mistakenly sitting on another’s palette/mat; etc.).
- Two Birds ensures each member’s emotional safety. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, providing any necessary emotional support; and ensuring no harmful interactions between other members and/or assistants.
- Two Birds ensures that no member is ever left alone during any part of the ceremony.
- Two Birds commits to the protection of, the integrity of, privacy of and security of the members and their interactions during the Ayahuasca sacramental ceremony.
- Two Birds ensures that no member is permitted to depart the ceremony prior to its closure, and then only until and unless first checked by a facilitator who confirms the member’s ability to safely and securely depart.
- Two Birds checks each member prior to the ceremony’s closure, to ensure that he or she possesses a stable emotional state of mind and physical capacity.
- Two Birds is prepared to request additional assistance in the event of any emergency or other critical situation, including contacting local Emergency Medical Service (“EMS”) personnel and/or police.
- Two Birds never denies any request for assistance; safety is of paramount concern.
- In order to maximize potential benefits and experience during the Ayahuasca ceremony, Two Birds also implements the following:
- Optimization of Physical Position: Two Birds suggests that participating members remain in an upright, seated position, rather than lying down during the ceremony. This prevents any risk of choking, in case of vomiting, and helps identify anyone who might confront a temporary loss of consciousness.
- Implementation of Nonpharmacological Techniques: Two Birds will undertake focused breathing, active listening, and stress the ‘serene presence’ through techniques designed to calm any member who might experience heightened emotions during the ritual.
- Two Birds provides its members with ample time for recovery prior to departing the ceremonial premises. Members who have participated in the sacramental ceremony are provided with sufficient recovery space; traditionally, members return to their beds or remain in the ceremonial space until morning.
- Two Birds ensures ongoing support available for those requiring it after the close of the sacramental ceremony.
- Two Birds provides a group integration area, where the members can, whether individually or in groups, use creative materials (paper, pencils and crayons for drawing, etc.), and as they continue to process their experience.
- Two Birds ensures that all members possess the opportunity to attend a group integration process where they may share their experience with the rest of the group.
- Two Birds is mindful of the interventions during group integration. An active listening attitude transpires, without judgment or interpretation that can narrow the amplitude of the experience. Two Birds allows each member to reach his/her own conclusions and interpretations of their experience.
- Two Birds checks the physical and emotional state of all members prior to departure, in order to ensure their continued safety and public safety.
- Two Birds offers the possibility of additional support after the ceremony, providing contact information for any member to maintain post-ceremony communication and necessary counseling and other aftercare.
- Two Birds directs participants to a qualified professional if unable to provide the level of support required during their integration/recovery process.
- In order to improve on the service and experience from the ceremony, Two Birds employs an evaluation form to gather feedback about the ceremony, the Church’s efforts, and the Church’s ceremonial location.
- Two Birds utilizes two (2) separate questionnaires (pre- and post- ceremony) on the well-being of members participating in the sacramental use of Ayahuasca, to measure the impact of the experience and to monitor the integration/recovery process. The questionnaire is sent to the participating member one (1) week prior to, and then one week following the ceremony.
- Two Birds is mindful of its role as facilitators in this spiritual process, never taking for granted the profound and/or enlightening experiences that any member might experience during the ceremony. Two Birds recognizes the significance of remaining supportive of its members, while allowing each participating member to direct their own spiritual energy into this process. Ultimately, the member is responsible for interpreting his or her own spiritual evolution, discoveries and connections stemming from participation in the Ayahuasca sacrament.
Storage & Use Protocols for Sacramental Use of Ayahuasca
Two Birds undertakes rigid protocols to ensure the proper storage of the sacramental medicines intended for use during the Ayahuasca sacramental ceremony. The sacrament and medicines used during the ceremony are prepared in the sacred traditions of the indigenous tribes of the Amazon at our Church. All such sacramental substances are stored in a locked cabinet, and are only accessible to two Church elders. Further, all sacraments and other medicines are labeled with a preparation date, time and quantity. Finally, the date and time when such substances are consumed is properly charted by Two Birds. It is the conviction of Two Birds that it must maintain such records in order to maximize the safeguarding of the substances and their ritual uses.
Two Birds conducts criminal background checks on all personnel involved in the handling of the raw ayahuasca product, the blending of the raw product to produce the sacramental tea, and those designated as facilitators during the sacramental tea ceremonies. Any personnel who have been convicted of a non-possession drug offense (manufacturing, delivery, sale, trafficking, etc.) are disqualified from being involved with, or having access to, the sacramental tea. Also, anyone with a conviction for a crime involving “moral turpitude,” including – but not necessarily limited to – offenses involving theft, fraud and crimes of violence are similarly disqualified from having any role in the handling, preparation or dispensing of ayahuasca. These background checks occur quarterly, with personnel being required to disclose any arrest or conviction to Two Birds.
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