How to Select the Most Appropriate Ayahuasca Retreat USA For You
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- Mike Hanson
- April 20, 2022
It’s finally time. You feel compelled to attend an ayahuasca retreat.
After all, you want to choose an authentic shamanic Ayahuasca retreat that will guide you through a process that has the potential to be one of the most transforming.
Because this is a big decision, we’ve put together a detailed breakdown of the factors you should consider when picking a retreat for the first time.
Everything from the location to the style, additional plant medicines, and fellow retreat participants will impact your ayahuasca experience. So let’s take a look at it.
What exactly is an Ayahuasca Retreat?
Ayahuasca ceremonies are traditionally held in a village where the community gathers in a maloca, someone’s home, or ceremonial center—depending on the tradition and location.
On the other hand, plant medicine work has recently become popular among Western spiritual seekers. As a result, traveler-focused ayahuasca retreat centers have sprung up worldwide, offering to lodge ranging from basic tambos to luxury accommodations with five-star hotel amenities.
Our centers’ offerings vary greatly, but you can expect to share meals (and sometimes a room) with other retreat participants and to have the ceremonial space on-site.
Each retreat’s structure will differ significantly depending on the intention, duration, and lineage (later). In general, the retreat is intended to be held in a safe, well-guarded space where attendees can meet the sacred ayahuasca vine in the service of healing.
Selecting the Best Ayahuasca Retreat Near Me
Everyone comes to the Ayahuasca experience with their own goals in mind. So whether you travel to South America’s Amazon rainforest to work with a Shipibo shaman, to the Peruvian urban center of Cusco, or an underground retreat in the United States, you can choose from various styles for each ceremony.
Traditional Peruvian rites, for example, include the singing of Icaros and conventional sacred melodies. While on retreat, it is highly recommended, if not required, that you follow a traditional, minimalist Ayahuasca diet.
The types of food permitted during more extended, more restrictive retreats, known as diets, frequently depend on the companion plants. In some cases, bland food with little or no spices, not even salt, and water are the only options on the menu to prepare the body to work with the medicine. Attendees are typically given chairs or mattresses and are expected to remain seated or prone throughout the all-night ceremony. The Ayahuasca brew works, and the shamans and facilitators are there to help you heal.
To help guide the experience, medicinal plant retreats are paired with complementary practices such as yoga, meditation, breathwork, or other personal growth practices in some South American centers where the Ayahuasca vine is legal. Because the effects of Ayahuasca can heighten feelings of connection with the heart and the earth, combining these experiences can help create a more expansive healing journey by integrating introspection with outward activity.
Some Ayahuasca retreat centers enhance the effects of the experience through silence and isolation between ceremonies for those seeking a more internal experience. Your solitude could include shamanic healing practices like flower baths, private consultations with healers, and other tools to help you on your healing journey. Participants are given special attention to ensure a safe environment, and this type of retreat frequently necessitates a more extended time commitment.
If you’re looking for a one-day ayahuasca experience rather than a retreat, they’re available in many parts of the world. Still, they require more research to find a quality experience, safe environment, and skilled facilitator who will guide ceremony integration.
Despite good intentions, not all plant medicine ceremonies are created equal. Furthermore, not all facilitators are genuinely prepared to work with the subtle energies of managing a group in the ceremony.
If you find a healing center that offers one-day retreats, you’ll most likely find yourself sitting or lying in a circle. At the same time, the facilitator sings or plays music, blesses the space with sacred plants like sage or palo santo, and holds the area in the style of the lineage they’ve studied.