In September we held our Ayahuasca ceremonies at a beautiful mountain home on the side of the Barva volcano. We were blessed with visitors from all over the world, and in our last ceremony we celebrates with a Temascal (Sweat Lodge) on the morning after the ceremony.
After the deep and contemplative experience of Grandmother Ayahuasca, it was a great joy to join together in a group around the warm stones!
We just returned from the Guanacaste coast where we held a ceremony at the Vibrational Healing Center. This was an opportunity to combine the power of plant medicines with a beautiful healing modality performed by our host Peter. Space Vibrational Healing consists of a wooden table that holds a number of steel strings underneath, which when played, resonate and move energy throughout the body.
Last weekend we held a full moon ayahuasca ceremony at a beautiful property near Barva Volcano. Sitting high with a spectacular view of the central valley, we enjoyed a rainless night so could delight in the radiant light of the full moon.
We had guests attending from Australia, India, the US and Costa Rica.
END OF THE SEASON IN THE CARIBBEAN
With the June retreat, we ended our very powerful season in the Caribbean. Every retreat has brought visitors from all over the world, and this time they came from the US, Spain, Greece, Germany and of course Costa Rica.
INTEGRATION: SUPPORTING THE WORK OF THE MEDICINE
A highlight of the retreat was the Shivananda Yoga sessions. They remind us of the value in staying connected to the body during the work with the medicine, especially through breath control. We are also blessed with the company of a gifted reflexologist that pinpoints and moves energy and emotional blocks by working with pressure points in the feet. This energy opening has become an integral part of the work with the medicine as it helps us connect very deeply with the information received in the treatments.
WORKING WITH “LOS ABUELOS”
The retreat ends with celebrating with “Los Abuelos” (the Grandfather medicines, San Pedro Cactus and Peyote). The group of thirty people formed an intimate bond and we enjoyed beautiful music and dance until midnight. After the celebration we ended in a traditional Mayan Sweat Lodge or “Temascal”, which was built in the morning by some members of the group.
REMEMBERING THAT WE ARE ONE FAMILY
We thank with all our hearts our brothers and sisters that shared this magical experience with us. Our mission is to bring people together as family and create a safe and loving space where we can teach and learn from each other. We are all on the same Journey
This is a short video of our master plant retreat (Ayahuasca and San Pedro cactus) held in the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, May 2017.
We put together a short video of the wonderful musicians that performed during the Huachuma / San Pedro celebration held at our Puriscal location in January.
Music is a fundamental and joyful part of both our Ayahuasca and Huachuma experiences. In our Ayahuasca ceremonies they help take us inside and enhance the immersive, contemplative expression of that master plant. During a Huachuma celebration, the music has a more outward, joyful purpose - sharing the common bond of the heart.
On January 14th we held a Huachuma celebration in our Puriscal Retreat location. Twenty family and friends came to celebrate with us. The celebration started in the early morning and lasted until past midnight. Here is a photo album of the event:
As a native plant of the Amazon basin, Ayahuasca is deeply rooted in the cultures of the many native peoples of that region. What might be surprising to us is that the context in which a lot of us westerners experience Ayhuasca is on the most part a fabrication to satisfy Western tastes.
As westerners, we love the mystique of the "Shaman". That word holds great power over us and we asume that the experience of the plant medicine can only be had under the guidance of a "Shaman". The danger in this is that we can easily fall into situations where we unnecessarily give our power away as we are seduced by the trappings and rituals of what are supposedly the "traditional" ways.
Yes there are Shamans that use Ayahuasca as a healing tool, but the way Ayahuasca is used by true indigenous people is that they simply share the medicine together as a group. There is no "ritual" or "shaman" acting as an intermediary, they simply connect in the sacred space that the medicine creates.
There is no doubt that there are westerners who have apprenticed with genuine Shamans and used Ayahuasca and other plant medicines in their learning process. Perhaps they have lived many months or years in the forest accompanying their teachers. As a result they may have arrived at a greater state of awareness and understanding. But is this a realistic option for those of us who cannot break away from our lives and families? Does the absence of a "Shaman" mean that we are not engaging and obtaining all the enormous benefits that Ayahuasca has to offer?
The magic of Ayahuasca lies in the absolute perfection and wisdom in which it engages with each individual WITHOUT the need of human intervention. In a way, all we can do is set the stage and humbly get out of the way so that the medicine can do her work. For this reason, we prefer to use the word "facilitator" or "Plant Medicine Guide" instead of "Shaman" to designate the person responsible for administering the ayahuasca and watching over participants.
So just as in the realm of music Jazz is no longer the "property" of American musicians, Ayahuasca has spread around the world and has no boundaries or home. So if you are looking to experience and benefit from the gifts that Ayahuasca has to offer, don't narrow your focus exclusively on the word "Shaman", but rather look for a facilitator and guide that is humble in their heart and has a genuine connection and reverence for the plant spirits.