In previous conversations with friends and acquaintances, I made veiled references to the “intensive healing retreat” I planned to go on while in Iquitos, Peru. But now that it’s over, I feel comfortable to speak openly about it.

TOTWOL Logo
I attended a 12-day Ayahuasca Retreat at the Temple of the Way of Light, having been referred there by people I trust. I sat in 7 ceremonies over that time, which for those who are familiar with the work of this wise and powerful plant spirit, is quite an undertaking.

For those unfamiliar with Ayahuasca (and even for those who are) I’m in the middle of writing a lengthy post about my experiences with it, what I believe it to be, what I’ve known it to be, and its very vital purpose in this age of crisis and transformation we are all living through.

Healing Circle
Our healing circle, sharing on the final day of the workshop. (We were all quite tired!!)

I intend the piece to help fill a gap in some of the writings about the plant, which can often be quite ungrounded. And of course, also to help process my rich and diverse experiences in ceremony, which number 11 so far, including 4 in the United States.

In the meantime, while I digest and integrate what was one of the most profoundly healing, transformative, challenging, and beneficial times of my life, if you are looking to either initiate or continue your work with Ayahuasca – as part of a healing path you are on, or are beginning – it is my strong belief that there is not a better, safer, and more genuine and effective facility than the Temple.

The maloka
The main maloka, or healing and gathering space, in daytime non-ceremony mode.
(Click to enlarge)

They offer multiple programs, linked directly here:

– 9-Day Integration Intensive Ayahuasca
– 12-Day Ayahuasca (the one I did)
– 13-Day Ayahuasca, Yoga, Meditation, and Psychology of Healing
– 3-Week Deep Immersion Ayahuasca
– 1-Month Deep Immersion Ayahuasca

The Shipibo maestros and maestras (also called shamans, or curanderos) and Western facilitators are truly masterful in working with the spirit of Ayahuasca to address effectively both inner emotional/psychological/spiritual issues, such as those I brought to them, and issues and ailments of the physical body, as well.

Me with healers
Me on the final day of the workshop, with (L to R):
Maestra Elena, Maestro Romulo, Maestra Lila, Maestra Lucinda, and Maestro Suy
My shirt and obsidian necklace were made by hand by Maestro Suy 🙂
Me with facilitators
Me with two of the wonderful, kind, amazing facilitators: Jason, and Debs <3
Hosho
Hosho, one of the two Temple dogs, aka owners. 😉
The other one, Luna, drinks Ayahuasca. No seriously. But she doesn’t drive the bus.

I’ve included some photos to offer a small window into the place, and the incredible people who run it, and who have blessed me with their skill, presence, wisdom, grace, and love.

Main lagoon
The lagoon at Center 1, with a private sleeping hut, or “tambo” in the background.
A great place for smoking “mapacho”, or medicinal jungle tobacco.

The Temple website is also excellent, and provides many valuable details – including this series of posts – about the what/how/when/why of Ayahuasca (also honored as “La Medicina”, or The Medicine) should you feel curious about this work, or feel called to it. And that call is the first step.

Maestro Rumelo plants
Maestro Romulo, discussing one of the many healing plants of the Amazon

IN CONCLUSION

I’d like to close with deep gratitude and a hearty Irakú! (Shipibo for “Thank you!” / gratitude) to all the people with whom I shared this remarkable experience: my new family of 21 pasajeros/pasajeras at the workshop, the facilitators, Temple staff, and especially the maestros and maestras. Of course to “Mama” Ayahuasca, as well! And also to myself for signing up, showing up, and doing the work, both inner and outer, to get what I came there for.

Blessings to you, as well, fellow travelers, on your journey forward, home, to the light, and to yourselves.

May your road lead you through this wonderful and special place.

Jungle
Do you know where you are?
You’re in the jungle, baby!
You’re gonna… have a safe and deeply transformational experience!

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The Lost Pilgrim

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