How 20 Ayahuasca Ceremonies Helped Show this New Jersey Native the Secret of Life

Kirk Murdoch is a 61-year-old, New Jersey native, that has a conventionally “successful” life. He’s been happily married to his wife (Darryn) for the past 15 years, they share a beautiful home, new cars in the garage, a healthy bank account, job security… but he and his wife both felt like something was missing.

Darryn has been a spiritual explorer for quite some time, and had been looking into ways to fulfill the shared void they were both feeling. After the couple attended a Joe Dispenza meditation retreat in Tampa, FL, a ball started rolling on a more intense path towards awareness, and Darryn was synchronously drawn to find Rythmia, the world’s first medically licensed plant medicine (ayahuasca) facility, after a post on social media piqued her interest.

She booked a trip for a week long journey, and while Kirk was apprehensive about the idea of doing ayahuasca due to some preconceived notions about what it is (and isn’t) – the two embarked on a life changing experience, that forever shifted their perceptions on what it all means to be alive, and in the present moment.

I had an opportunity to interview Kirk about what he learned from his time at Rythmia, and below is a revelation of how 20 ceremonies with ayahuasca eventually showed him the “secret of life.”

The Beginning

Kirk Murdoch at home in Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Kirk and his wife both live sober lifestyles, they don’t smoke or drink, so (without any previous context) Kirk assumed that ayahuasca was a “drug” at first. His only other experience with anything remotely “psychedelic” was with LSD in his teens, and most of the content he found about the medicine didn’t quite resonate.

When he arrived at Rythmia, he didn’t think he would even be trying ayahuasca, but wound up partaking the first night. That initiatory ceremony showed him it was not all what he thought, and that this was truly medicine.

Kirk elucidates:

“I think the first night I was there I was taken on this journey on forgivness, and taken back to my childhood and people I had resentments towards…my family first. I was able to resolve the resentments, forgive them, and understand why people do what they do…right from the beginning I knew.

The journey was scary, but I didn’t want it to stop. It was like searching in the dark for something you don’t even know what you want, and then all of a sudden you find it.

I experienced trauma as a child when I came home for lunch, and found my mother was dead. My brother and I were raised by my aunt and grandmother (who are both now passed), and I was able to clear all of my resentments and forgive, fully. Through more journeys I was not only able to forgive, but I was also able to grieve the deaths I was never able to before.

This ceremony set the tone for the following 19 journeys to come, and that it would be about clearing the subconscious, this is about bringing up things I didn’t know existed, this is about introspection.”

While Darryn originally booked the trip for just one week, after this ceremony – Kirk decided to stay for several weeks to get the most out of this profound medicine.

The Smorgasbord of Ceremonies

As the time at Rythmia progressed over the 20 ceremonies Kirk went on to participate in, each journey was different than the next. Although the themes were all interconnected, they weren’t linear, as he saw the past, found the power of now, and looked towards the future.

“I had visions of maybe past lives (I’m not sure), where I was a warrior king, a long haired, muscular warrior king. During one ceremony I purged for about an hour, and the journey showed me how to handle the medicine. I had a ‘visit’ from a shaman who showed me how to handle the rest of the journeys, but the theme became less about the past, and more about the present, more about what I’m going to do now.

Time becomes suspended during the journeys, and I purged almost every time, but on this one journey I sat back and realized the journeys were most powerful when I wasn’t trying. So, I said to the universe ‘now what?’, and at point I was totally open. All of a sudden I rose to a higher frequency, where there was such peace I can’t describe, maybe it was what people say is the “now.” It was a timeless silence of ‘being’, a timeless silence of being where I knew. I was in this colorful serene place where the medicine spoke to me and said it was ‘time to create.’ It was so gentle and soothing, and unbelievably quiet. It was so quiet and calming, that I knew I had to be in another frequency, or another realm. I thought this is the place where my intentions become reality! But, I was in a place where I knew I didn’t need anything, that everything I had was within me. Picture an intense quiet, another frequency…and I didnt create anything, even though I knew I could create my new reality, but my new reality was I didnt need a thing.

I had visions in another ceremony, that the only way to handle the power of the universe is through love and service. This medicine doesn’t just give you information, you feel it.”

The Secret to Life

During Kirk’s second ceremony, he told ayahuasca to just take him wherever he needed to go, to “do what you will”, and what was willed by the medicine was to show him the “secret to life.”

“I was totally open, and I said ‘Mother take me anywhere you will, I’m open’, because I could tell that fighting the medicine was not the way to go. I got this download of, here’s the secret of life, and it was that the secret of life is ‘you are what you believe you are.’

For me this was a revelation, that my beliefs cause my effects in life, but then the backside came, when the medicine said ‘but first kid, you need to learn how to breathe.’

Then a few days later I was introduced to the transformational breathwork at Rythmia and realized that Mother Ayahuasca told me I needed to do this.

The breathwork provided me with experiences that were almost close to my journeys. I didnt have the visuals like ayahuasca gives, but did have real consciousness work, as the breath brought up things that were buried for so long, and a new awareness was born.”

Advice For Anyone Curious About Plant Medicine

While Kirk was first apprehensive about the medicine, he is now passionate about its healing potential. He elaborates on his advice for anyone who may feel “afraid” or “on the fence”:

“It’s the same thing with anything in life, if you’re on the fence, then you’re nowhere…and I have to say (as I said before), it was scary, because nobody wants to go inside these days and prefers to blame life on the circumstances/outside influences, but (personally) I no longer feel that way and I am more in control of my life. I can look ahead and see life and where I want to go. Its like jumping into water you perceive to be cold, while you may be afraid at first, it feels better once you’re in there.”

How Life Has Changed

Kirk’s notebook with his detailed accounting of his experiences at Rythmia.

In the 10 months since the journey to Rythmia, Kirk’s health has been impeccible, he and Darryn still follow a plant based diet, and believe they’ve received a permanent healing, a real miracle.

They are both now studying to become certified in transformational breathing, and are fully committed to serving and making a difference in the world. The miracle is not just what happened at Rythmia, but what’s happened since – and the synchronicities that have presented themselves ever since have been nothing short of magical.

“The biggest thing I learned through all of this, from Mother Ayahuasca, from transfomrational breathing, is that we are all connected and we are all one. Its an awareness, but more than an awareness, its a knowing. To experience it, and feel it, and know that we are all one. So, I guess I got what I had been asking for, I feel one with God, and whole.”


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