Physical preparation – Food, Diet and Sexual activity
We work with the medicine respecting most of the traditional rules surrounding Amazonian Ayahuascsa shamanism.
To get the most out of your retreat, we ask you to follow these restrictions:
Dietary – In the week before the retreat, no alcohol, red meat, street drugs, cut back on sugar, spice, caffeine and fatty foods as much as possible. Eat a light diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, along with healthy grains.
Sexual – All sexual stimulation prohibited three days before the start of the retreat.
Guests who have followed these guidelines have found their initial ceremonies to be smoother and to have less turbulence as the process of purification on a physical level will already have started. If you really want to enhance the work that you will be doing, you can follow the above restrictions for 2 weeks or even a month prior to the start of your trip.
Mental preparation – Mind and Spirit
A lot of people find that as soon as they have made a commitment to a retreat they can already feel the presence of the medicine and plants in their lives. Don Alberto says the medicine calls us from afar, and we respond.
Deciding to come on a retreat is a big step, and there are usually compelling reasons for us to do so. If you are able to, it can be a good idea to focus on what it is you are looking for from your retreat. Writing things down and/or keeping a journal can help, or even just taking some quiet time for yourself to be, and see what your feelings are like beneath the busy activity of your mind.
Meditation or prayer can help us connect to spiritual energies, as do practices such as chi kung and yoga. Anything that you find that keeps you centered is recommended.
If you are looking for a good primer about ayahuasca, and how to approach your retreat, Chris Kilham's book, The Ayahuasca Test Pilot's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Ayahuasca Journeying, is a great place to start.
Some people feel that they need to sort themselves out first to be able to work with Ayahuasca – whereas if you were completely sorted out there would be no real need to go on retreat. On the other hand, you must be prepared to face the issues within that need healing. Ayahuasca after all is a medicine, albeit primarily a spiritual one, and works best with those who are truly open.