We can do a great deal of healing work on our own. There are countless books and other tools available to help us cultivate mental, emotional and spiritual health. But some traumas are so deeply ingrained in our psyches that they are very challenging to reach unassisted. Some pain and fear hide so deep in our inner darkness that we need help shining the light to see and transform it. One of the most potent ways to accelerate healing is by working with the plant medicine Ayahuasca.
Ayahuasca is a concentrated tea made from jungle plants. While the ingredients vary in different regions with different shamans, all brews start with the ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi) vine and chacruna (Psychotria viridis) leaf. The leaf contains a high amount of DMT, the “spirit molecule” that opens mental and psychic perception. DMT is naturally released in the brain during birth, death, and orgasm. It is present in all living beings, but some plants contain a higher concentration of it. The vine holds a DMT uptake inhibitor – usually DMT is metabolized so quickly that we have no actual conscious experience of it, the vine makes it so that we can have a 3-8 hour entheogenic experience.
But the power of Ayahuasca journeys goes far beyond what can be explained scientifically. Traditional indigenous healers have worked with this plant spirit for thousands of years, and the Shapibo people in Peru in particular know of this brew as one of humanity’s oldest teachers and allies. Modern seekers have reported working with Ayahuasca has helped them heal from depression, addiction, anxiety, behavioral disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, and even cancer. Though these claims cannot be proven by science, the scores and scores of people who have reported significant, lasting benefit from working with this plant medicine is worth noting.
But Ayahuasca is not like a pill you can pop or other convenient modern drug. It is more of a flashlight you shine on your own healing process. To work with Ayahuasca effectively and safely, you need to be in a well-held ceremonial container with a trained and experienced facilitator. Intention, setting, personal history, and preparation are key factors for Ayahuasca ceremonies. The only reported cases of ill effects from Ayahuasca were when people did not follow the strict dietary recommendations, or were not working with properly trained and experienced healers in a physically and energetically safe space.
Attending an Ayahuasca Retreat is the ideal way to work with this medicine. The greatest benefit has been experienced by people who sat with the medicine for a series of several ceremonies over the course of a week or month, in the secluded and beautiful natural environment that retreats provide. This work requires both preparation and integration time, and relative seclusion before, during, and after the ceremonies is highly recommended for both efficacy and mental wellbeing. And the commitment and intention that go into attending one of those retreats will make the medicine that much more powerful and safe. Taking the medicine in a reputable retreat center is also a way to avoid the unfortunate ill-effects of “Ayahuasca Tourism” and the potential for being tricked by someone with an agenda other than offering authentic healing service.
Many Ayahuasca Retreats happen in the Peruvian jungle, under the guidance of Shapibo or other indigenous elders. Take for example the “Sacred Mythic Journeys to Mexico, Guatemala, Peru & Bolivia“, the “Sacred Valley, Peru Medicine Retreat“, the 7 Day Amazon Ayahuasca Adventure and the “Ayahuasca ‘Awakenings’ 10-day Plant Medicine 3 Shamans” – these are perfect examples of such retreats.
Other Ayahuasca Retreats happen all over Central and South America, and in select location in other parts of the world. They usually include basic but comfortable jungle accommodations, the appropriate healthy food for the dieta, the ceremonial facilitation, and time and support for integration.
We all have our ways of healing, with tools and guidance available from every direction. And the ancient plant spirit Ayahuasca, carried by wisdom keepers for generations, offers a potent transformational tool for people willing to explore their darkness and commit to true healing.
In this website you’ll find Ayahuasca retreats in various places in the world – start your search and find the one that is perfect for you!
This article is sponsored by Ayahuasca Adventure Center in Peru, home of the 7 Day Amazon Ayahuasca Adventure – a transformational healing adventure in the Amazon jungle of Peru and one of the best ways to experience an authentic ayahuasca retreat with real, professional and highly skilled Shipibo shamans while simultaneously reaping the often ignored rewards of your intercultural travel experience.