August 8th, 2018 – We are about to head to an ayahuasca retreat today in the jungle of Costa Rica. What the eff is Ayahausca and why are you doing such a crazy thing? Where? How? What?! I’ll explain everything below.
*Part one includes pre-retreat info* (stay tuned for part dos)
What is ayahuasca?
Ayahausca is a traditional plant medicine made up of the two plants: Banisteriopsis Caapi (jungle vine) and Psychotria Viridis (leaves). It’s been orally consumed as a tea for centuries in traditional indigenous ceremonies led by shamans or spiritual leaders.
It is said that “one ceremony is more healing than 10 years of psychotherapy.” Users report having spiritual or religious revelations, insights on their life purpose, and have a spiritual awakening. It is also reported that people have contact with higher powers or extra-dimensional beings who help heal things like past trauma.
Where can you do ayahuasca retreats?
Anywhere in the world (almost). There are ayahuasca retreats in the states and Canada if you don’t feel like traveling far. Traditionally ceremonies are done in the jungle of South America (Peru, Colombia, and Brazil) where the plant originates.
Why do you want to do ayahuasca?
I’ve been drawn to ayahuasca for a while. There was a process and a progression to where I am today. I didn’t find out about ayahuasca yesterday then sign up for a retreat.
It’s healing properties are fascinating to me. While traveling to South America in 2013, I heard about it for the first time. It’s popular for travelers to go to ayahuasca retreats in Iquitos, the jungle of Peru. I was warned the spirit of ayahuasca will come to you when you are ready. I was 22 years old at the time, I didn’t know at the time, but I wasn’t ready. It didn’t come to me and I didn’t fuss about it.
In the last few years, psychedelics have become a little more mainstream. I’ve watched multiple documentaries about them for example the “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” is informative. I’ve read about how healing they are for mental illness and addiction. It furthered my belief that majority of problems can be cured naturally with plants.
After my first plant medicine experience in Guatemala in 2016, my world changed. It was a life changing experience. I think there is a misconception that all drugs are party drugs. I tried LSD in a controlled spiritual environment. My first love passed away from heroine when I was in college, so I have always been afraid and turned off by “drugs.” I labeled them all as bad, not wanting to experiment with anything where I would lose control.
I didn’t want my LSD experience to be associated with partying or pleasure, but as a method to furthering my spiritual journey. After, I become more in touch with animals and the environment. About a year later, I started eating a vegan diet. I know it sounds crazy, but I promise it all makes sense after. My body started rejecting alcohol and other toxins. I felt more connected to the universe/source/spirit/God. Note: I’m not preaching this to everyone. It’s definitely not for everyone.
Moving on. While Darien and I were planning our trip to South America, we made a bucket list. One of the items was to take ayahuasca in Peru. While we were in Peru, the connections were not made and it didn’t happen for whatever reason. Then we met two travelers on our San Blas Adventures trip in Panama who had just come from an ayahuasca retreat. We were intrigued. We spent what felt like hours talking with a guy about his experience. He mentioned he knew someone who went to a retreat in Costa Rica and recommended checking out retreats there.
I ended up finding a retreat online. It was less expensive than a lot of the other retreats. I personally think overpriced retreats are a tourist trap and less about the ceremony and plant medicine. The theme of the retreat is fire which caught my eye. Fire is my element (Aries) and we had enjoyed a beautiful fire pit days prior. It felt right.
It is recommended to come to the ceremony with a set intention or questions to ask the spirit of the medicine. With that said, there are no promises that your intentions will come up during ceremony or that any of your questions will be answered.
My intentions are to release built up anger and figure out where my mood swings stem from. I’d like to heal past traumas, moments that I may not realize impact my every day life. I desire personal growth as well as growth in my relationship. I hope to further my relationship with myself and the universe.
About the Retreat
The retreat is in a mystery location in the jungle somewhere close to San Isidro Del General, Costa Rica (the website doesn’t have an address). There are private and shared accommodations available. The retreat is led by Vismay and Nicole who have years of experience with sacred medicine.
The price is $410/person for shared accommodations for five days and four nights and two ayahausca ceremonies. Honestly, I don’t know much beyond yet. I chose to trust my intuition.
Check out the website for Sound of Light here.
(This is taken from an e-mail sent by Sol Circle after registering)
Opportunities in the Sacred Space are precious and there is very much to be received. Different things may stir within you or around you, even before the ceremony; this is the beginning of the healing process. Having present-moment awareness can give you insight into these things.
Invest your energy in these preparations to focus your intentions and your reasons for coming to the Ceremony.
Eating consciously and being aware of what we put into our bodies bring us in tune with our intention. These small things make us more sensitive to the plant-spirit realms. For at least three days before and after the Ceremony:
- Eat mostly fresh or freshly prepared foods.
- Avoid all fermented and tyramine-containing food or drinks (e.g. kombucha, fermented cabbage such as sauerkraut or kimchee, soy sauce, fish or shrimp sauce, aged cheese, cured meats, yeast-extract, fava beans, etc.) These foods can cause a strong headache during or after the ceremony.
- Avoid citrus and fruits that are overripe.
- Cut out dairy products
- Refrain from eating meat, fat and fried foods
- Avoid alcohol, drugs and any other intoxicating substances
- Omit salt and sugar and hot spices
- Abstain from sex and masturbation
- No Caffeine
Sounds impossible. And it was. I didn’t follow it perfectly or even close to perfectly. I focused mostly on foods that I felt addicted to: coffee and processed sugar. I gave up coffee for 2 weeks which was absolutely miserable. But surprisingly I’ve decided to not go back right after the ceremony (not sure how long it will last).
Three meals per day are provided at the retreat two days prior to the ceremony, so we didn’t have to worry about preparing anything. Only requirement was to eat provided food and mentally prepare for the medicine.
Final Thoughts Before the Ceremony
I feel ready. Every one keeps asking “are you nervous? Are you scared?” No. I’m not at all. I feel a little excited, but more content and calm. I’m more excited to stay in the jungle and eat fresh healthy foods and be around interesting people.
Yesterday we finished up the retreat and headed to a small beach town called Dominical about 20 minutes away. The experience was a lot to digest, but overall it was positive and “enlightening” and other typical spiritual vocabulary (lol). I’m still trying to put it all into words, but I’ll have part II up in a few days. <3