2015 Ayahuasca Retreat: Journey, Heal, Awaken

Do you envision a more embodied connection with the spirit world?  

Do you wish to call in powerful healing of your own wounds? 
Is it time to deepen your own healing practice?

March 7 to March 20, 2015 we'll return to the Amazon jungle, and we'd like  to have your company. We're offering the next in our series of ayahuasca retreats. We started working with this remarkable medicine plant about four years ago, and have since come to deeply appreciate this ancient tradition for its gifts of vision, empowerment and healing.

Ayahuasca is an ally for those who are called to work at very deep levels, in alliance with Nature’s diverse forces. It is both “the teacher” and“el doctor”. Often to move forward we must heal or loosen old structures, old ways of being, to make way for new ones. Such structures, however "subtle" in their nature, are nonetheless rooted deep in the fabric of our flesh, in the body. You are likely to experience a sense of hard work in releasing them. But due to the assistance or leverage the plant medicine offers, that work is highly effective. Then we are free to take on new ways of seeing, acting, being.

Our destination in March is Iquitos, Peru. Iquitos is the largest continental city that cannot be reached overland. (We have so far chosen to fly, though you can travel by
riverboat.)  The remarkable Amazon is herself a force to connect with.
 The jungle is an awe-inspiring manifestation of Mother Nature. And the medicine tradition which has arisen among the peoples who live here is thoroughly grounded in the balanced abundant-but-deeply-coherent force of Nature. Specifically, there is an alliance between the jungle's plants and the curanderos who have learned of them, and from them. In March we'll be working with don Ricardo Amaringo. 
Don Ricardo has over 20 years of experience as a traditional curandero and ayahuasquero. He is one of the most skilled Shipibo healers of his generation, having refined his skills through intensive dieting and arduous work under his master, well-known Shipibo maestro don Guillermo Arevalo. Ricardo has now developed a profound knowledge of medicinal plants, traditional Shipbo ayahuasca ceremony and icaros (traditional healing songs).

If you are new to the world of indigenous plant curandismo, it will be good to realize that "plant spirit medicine" is not just about ayahuasca. In fact, the medicine people who are most respected are those whose specific skills are broadest. This requires years of experience with many different plant species,and, of equal importance, a great diagnostic capacity. There is a sort of alliance between the curandero and the master plant - ayahuasca - which is the basis of this tradition. In ceremony, the curandero sees what the problem is, and based on years of familiarity with up to 200 different medicinal plants, he will often prepare and administer these to help with your specific needs. It is don Ricardo's reputation which draws us to his center.

The staff of the retreat center also includes co-owners, Joe Tafur, a California MD, and Canadian artist Cvita Mamic, who are skilled at guiding through the processes initiated in these ceremonies. Cielle and Jeffrey will also be available for both group and individual sessions each day. We have each enjoyed a few dozen ceremonies with this medicine, so we'll be able to offer some perspective; our primary focus has been on the release of old, no-longer-useful patterns of thinking, feeling, being -- with a view to helping you to "process" and step forward from those restrictions and to thus open into your true self, the One you are here to become. 

A big lesson for us has been that there are limitless karpaysempowerments, just as there are limitless forces and structures in Nature. Mama Ayahuasca is a wise old healer and sage. As we step forward to connect, to fully engage in the work we need to do, she is generous with her energetic gifts.  If you are feeling it’s time to take a real step forward in your inner work, or if you are being called by the plants to seriously deepen the medicine path you walk, there is room for you in on this journey.  

We’ll be joining Ricardo, Joe, and Cvita at their center for a private 13-day retreat. Maximum 12 persons. March 7 to March 20, 2015 Price is $1625 per person, including airport pickup in Iquitos, hotel in Iquitos the night before and the night after the retreat, ground transportation, lodging and meals at the retreat center, six Ayahuasca ceremonies, personal consultations as needed. 

-Jeffrey and Cielle Backstrom