Preparing for an Ayahuasca Retreat
Preparing for an Ayahuasca Experience
There are a few things that anyone who is planning to drink ayahuasca can do to be better prepared for the experience. Obviously, it is impossible to predict what will happen, but by following particular ayahuasca preparation practices and reading certain material, at least you can try to be more ready for whatever does occur. Here are some guidelines that may be of benefit to anyone who is coming to Peru to participate in one of our programs, or will be taking part in the experience elsewhere. Even if you do not plan to actually drink ayahuasca, but would like to better understand the process or simply make improvements to your lifestyle, these recommendations may help.
1. MEDITATE focus, develop discipline, and control emotions.
Meditation is one of the most valuable tools we have to settle the mind, increase focus, develop discipline, and control emotions. Ayahuasca ceremonies can get pretty intense sometimes, and mental states are often accelerated. Meditation can allow you to keep your focus on the desired intention without getting distracted by what can sometimes be a multitude of other stimuli during the process. It can help you to face your fears, traumas, and other negative emotions or thought patterns without getting lost, which can be incredibly beneficial when trying to pull the roots of suffering or release destructive energy, thoughts, or actions from your life. It is also one of the most valuable practices to assist the important process of integration afterwards, as well a general practice in life.
2. YOGA: While the majority of attention is typically focused on the mental and emotional effects of ayahuasca, there are definitely physical effects as well, and having a fine tuned physical body can certainly reduce discomfort, which can allow more work to be done in the spiritual realms. Yoga also develops discipline, which is one of the most beneficial qualities to strive for in life, for it is what will keep you on the right path, free from temptation, and achieving the greatest state of productivity in whatever you choose to do. If you are looking to be healed or explore your own identity, it is clear that having practices that promote discipline in your lifestyle will be of real value. Te benefits of yoga are almost immediate and continue to grow and deepen as your practice develops and becomes a part of your lifestyle.
3. SPEND TIME IN NATURE: Ayahuasca is considered the trunk of the science of plant medicine, or the mother of the rainforest. Through its use, curanderos as well as participants can communicate with the spirits of plants and animals in order to better understand the true nature of afflictions and practices and paths that will restore balance and health. However, you can communicate with these conscious elements of nature at any time, only usually on a much more subtle level. Nonetheless, the communication can still have benefit, but most especially if you plan to drink ayahuasca, as the subtle relationships you form by spending time communing with nature will result in a foundation for a far deeper relationship to be developed during your ayahuasca experiences. It can be as simple as going to a park, walking among the trees or plants or sitting on the grass and opening yourself up to the energy of the plants. Touch the plants, talk to them, get to know them, and allow them to know you. It may sound strange, but when you drink ayahuasca, you will understand it much better and be glad you did.
4. BE CONSCIOUS ABOUT WHAT YOU CONSUME This goes far beyond just preparing for an ayahuasca experience, for you literally are what you eat, so eat what you want to be made of. It doesn’t take reading books or taking classes to know how to eat healthily. You don’t have to be a genius to know that a chocolate glazed donut is not going to do as much for you as a fruit salad. You don’t have to go crazy with it, as you are more than just your physical body, and pleasing your emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies is important too, but there is a balance. If your body is not doing well, it will affect your emotions, and if you’re not eating properly, that will definitely affect your mental state, so just be conscious about what you consume. If you end up being on a diet during a retreat or for treatment, you’ll have no trouble dealing with the limitations if you are already eating a natural and healthy diet. You can go deeper into what it means to consume and include what you watch, read, listen to, etc. but I think you get the idea.