Among the many other YouTube videos I’ve watched during quarantine have been several about DMT trips. Some are funny, others more scientifically oriented and others touch on the sacred. One thing many of them have in common is the idea of The Third Toke. Apparently, if you vaporize and smoke the most common form of DMT, it’s important to take three deep hits. They say that after the second one your perceptual world will be so deeply altered that the last thing you’ll want to do is take a third hit, but that it’s absolutely necessary to do so in order to “break through.”

The breakthrough is described as that moment in which you leave all semblance of human life, the universe, and self you’ve known, behind, and are plunged into an experience of vastness for which you have no reference points, and consequently from which you might gain the deep benefits of expanded awareness—if you can surrender.

Although obviously not as extreme, I feel like my experience of the pandemic, so far, has been a similar kind of process. The first hit was the onslaught of a huge wave of practical fears. Loss of savings and loss of income were right up there. As self-employed owners of a non-essential business, we were hit hard and fast. Working with that situation took a lot of focus and letting go.

The second wave was the actual fear of illness, as the pandemic began to spread through our state and my husband and I read the statistics (vulnerable!) and pondered this new reality and how to parse it. A work in progress, but one with which we are feeling more confident now, despite the fact that statistics are not on our side. We looked hard and long at our situation and developed a policy of staying present and trusting our intuitive feelings moment to moment about where to go, what to do, whether or not to order groceries online or go to the store, which streets we walk down on our daily walk, mask on or off, and so on.

But the third wave (by no means the final one, I’m sure) has been remarkably pleasant. It’s been a wave of letting go that is deeper than anything I’ve experienced in my life so far, except for maybe natural childbirth.

Letting go has been a theme for me in this lifetime, and I’ve done a lot of it, but this third toke of the pandemic has given me the opportunity to utilize lessons learned in all my other experiences of surrender.

The aspects of it have covered everything from looking right at the possible end of my livelihood or even the end of my time on the planet, to finally relaxing with the state of my quarantine hair. I have let go of needing to pick my own produce at the store. I’ve let go of thinking that I need to save up for retirement because, well, where did that get me? I’ve let go of expecting humans to behave responsibly and of being irritated when they don’t. 

And I’ve let go of believing that the structure of the way things have been, is the way they will or should continue.

The more I let go, the happier and more peaceful I begin to feel and the easier it has been for me to notice any thoughts popping up in my mind that make me tighten up and start struggling again—and just drop them.

What’s been the most amazing thing is that a dream I had as a little child—a dream which has helped me all my life and which I talked about here a couple of years ago—has again bounced to the forefront of my consciousness and become THE pandemic method of coping for me. 

In this recurring childhood nightmare, I am being attacked by a pack of Doberman Pinschers. They are jumping on me and tearing at me with their teeth and I am utterly terrified. I’m aware that I am dreaming, but it doesn’t help. The terror is too great. In this particular occurrence of the dream, a voice suddenly injects itself into the scene and says, “Don’t panic. Just relax completely and they’ll stop.” Amazingly enough I was able to listen and obey. As soon as I totally calmed down and relaxed, the dogs let go and disappeared. That one dream has been helping me for over 60 years.

So this is what I’ve been doing with negative thoughts, fearful thoughts, stressful thoughts—in fact any thought that gets its teeth in my arm and starts to chew on me. I relax and remember to calm down completely and let them disappear.

The pandemic has been a perfect ticket for me to remember the vastness of our true identity and the forces aligned our our behalf. It has helped me take my focus off the manifestation, off the projection, and place it squarely where it belongs, on the projector. Moment by moment, day after day, the spiritual opportunity offered by this situation has been, for me, immense, and I’m endeavoring to take full advantage of it.

It’s not always easy, and I can’t always do it immediately, but I can now see that judging myself for such apparent failures is just another Doberman, and if I relax, it will disappear.