Preparations for Working with Plant Medicines
Fundamentally, there are two dimensions to working with these medicines. Firstly, they are an incredible cleansing and purifying medicines, which can rid the body of physical impurities, the mind of emotional problems and the soul of spiritual issues that have accumulated over one’s lifetime – many believe even problems from previous incarnations!
Second, they are teachers who can lead one into a lifelong journey of deep personal transformation, and a closer connection to the Divine within each one of us. Striving towards the realization of one’s “spiritual self” is a crucial element when partaking of Ayahuasca and San Pedro. It is essential to set out your intention clearly, and to approach the work with commitment, determination, and respect for the Medicine. You will need personal integrity and courage as you will often face parts of yourself that you have previously shied away from. We must be clear that Ayahuasca and San Pedro workshops have nothing whatsoever to do with so-called “recreational drug use,” even the use of other entheogens in less traditional contexts – the Workshops are offered as an opportunity for you to do serious work: rebalancing, cleansing and learning about your true self. If you approach the work with focus, sincerity, and dedication, then the results can be highly beneficial. Needless to say, the reverse can also be true – the recommendations here are the product of many generations of experience and are essential to a safe and productive journey.
We recommend before starting the retreat to invest your time in productive activities: Physical exercise, contact with nature, breathing exercises, a balanced diet rich in raw products, meditation, yoga, to start journaling, reading, etc.
The food diet is fundamental, but it´s not just about food. Basically it also includes conscious interaction with society and with yourself. For people in industrialized countries, a diet would definitely include a fast on television, radio, media, advertising, technology, smartphones, social networks, etc. Also start reducing caffeine, eliminating alcohol or any kind of drug.
Prior preparation is important so that the body and mind do not suffer changes abruptly, and to set the conditions for the medicine to work in the best way possible.
Remember we are going to hike, so being in a relatively good physical condition is a good aspect to consider.
Preparation prior to the Ayahuasca Ceremony, Seven (7) days before at least.
1. If you are taking medications or medical-neurological, psychiatric or other treatments, you should stop using them, at least ONE WEEK before taking Ayahuasca, you should inform the facilitator and the coordinator. Report your health state.
2. Eat moderately fresh and natural foods and avoid red meat, pork (chops, bacon, sausages, etc.), chicken and eggs only those raised in open environments are recommended. Also avoid fats, spicy seasonings (hot peppers), very spicy foods, dairy products, garlic, and acids. Avoid drinking alcohol and any other type of psychotropic and / or narcotic drugs.
3. Drink plenty of liquids, especially water, or non-citrus natural juices.
4. Have a purpose and, above all, respect for taking medicines.
5. You must abstain from having sex or sexual activities at least 3 days before the intake of any medicine, as well as alcohol or any drug consumption.
6. It will be necessary and essential to stop eating cheese, milk, garlic, meet or citrus (refined sugar and salt if possible) at least seven (7) days before the Ayahuasca Ceremony, since the consumption of these foods or liquids interferes with your mental and physical focus. Taking care of your diet is to allow the medicine to work 100%.
What to Bring
We thoroughly recommend you bring a journal for keeping note of your experience and even a separate journal for your dreams.
- Art supplies to draw, paint if you are creative
- Light rain jacket/anorak
- Lightweight hiking boots
- T-shirts, shirts
- Flip flops
- Shorts for the day time
- Sun hat
- Water bottle (for walks)
- Towels - large and small although we will provide you with one clean one on arrival
- Lip balm
- Small backpack for hiking
*Please try to use natural products without chemicals for your personal care
We would truly appreciate if you could bring white sage, desert sage, incense sticks, organic tobacco (american spirit), sweet grass, cedar leaves and lavender flowers, to be offered during the ceremonies or the ritual offerings.
We would strongly advise you to also work with breathing exercises, yoga and/or meditation as much as possible before, during and after attending a workshop. From experience, we have found them to be very compatible with the work and often highly beneficial to the overall
Results. We would also like to emphasize that physical activity is very important for us during the retreats. We consider that walks in the sacred mountains of the generous valley where we come to heal ourselves are a great form of purification, honoring and acknowledging all the spirits that inhabit in it, praying for assistance, support, vision and giving thanks as well. The walks are an important part (of the program) – they are not obligatory – that is why we suggest starting some kind of physical training that will allow you to have a moderate level of performance.