I took one of the larger leaves, and put half in the bong. I must have overfilled the bong with water because when I tried to smoke it the leaf got slightly wet and didn't burn properly. I probably got a slight effect from that but nothing concrete. So I cleaned and emptied the bong slightly, then put the other half of the leaf in. This time it burned properly and I managed to do it all in one go.
The next bit is rather hard to describe, needless to say: hardhead, I am not. I think I went straight into a level 4 (on the SALVIA scale) experience; it's hard to recollect but the best was to describe it was as though my vision was like the pages of a flipchart viewed from the side, and being turned over in rapid succession. This was accompanied by the feeling of being turned over as each new image came into view. Just after that I had my first encounter with an 'entity'. It seemed benign enough but the shock of all this suddenly terrified me. I jumped up and must have got half way down two flights of stairs before I realised what I was doing. I think I also shouted 'Help!í. When I did realise what was going on, I felt shaken, rather foolish and hoped I wasn't about to get a knock on the door from the neighbours. Luckily they didn't hear/care so I sat down rolled a joint and tried to figure out why I'd had such an extreme reaction. I was still reeling from the intensity (and realism) of the experience. There's just something about it, a familiarity that you can't quite explain. I don't know, I've not had enough experience to form any solid opinions.
A friend came round later that day and wanted to try some, so having warned him of the possible effects and made him read a few things like the guide etc, he loaded up the bong. He had a totally different reaction to me; he just started laughing (a bit like the English bloke in Sacred Weeds). Seeing him having a pleasant reaction gave me the courage to take another hit. This was not nearly so intense, I did smoke less, but I was also more prepared for the effects. It was like being pulled backwards out of this world into another, though I was aware of where I was and what I'd done this time - we even managed to get a few words out. I started to return before things got too strange, which was a relief - I wasn't really sure what to do in that state. My friend seemed to enjoy it and I gave him some to take home, I'll have to find out how he's got on with that.
I felt anxious but strangely pleased with myself for several days after - part of me was worried as my vision looked distinctly odd for about a week after. But at the same time I felt happy. Thinking back to me jumping up and running out of the room just makes me laugh. Although at the same time it does teach you these things are not to be trifled with. Besides the fear is what spurred me to do so much reading over the next few days, reading I should have probably done before but never mind.
I have done it once more since, again on my own - this time I spent a lot of time preparing the room and psyching myself up. It was strange, thatís all I can say, and I just returned with a great sense of curiosity. But you have to just let one part of you fade away while your consciousness and awareness of the real world come back into focus. I got up, which felt like peeling myself off the floor and noticed the pillow was covered in sweat.
I was relieved to feel 'normal' again soon after I had come down, unlike before when I'd felt odd for days. I sat down at the computer and tried to put some of it into words, but I find it quite difficult, it's like writing afterthoughts or filling in the gaps with your conscious mind using fragments of memories from another part as a basis. Plus, it all happens so quickly - you're right; you do need your wits about you!
This is one of the reasons I want to try chewing the leaf, for a more sustained effect. I intend to smoke some more leaf but as you say it's hard to find the time and the will to do that rather than having a beer or joint; also I'd like to be in a better setting, which will probably involve getting out of the city.