~PREPARATION~

MENTAL & DIETARY GUIDELINES

 

We have compiled the following information based on traditional diet methods and contemporary realities, to allow the deepest inner work to be realized, and to make the process as safe and potent as possible.  Please heed our advice and follow this diet.  In general, half of the work that is done lies in the preparation, about 1% is the ceremony, and the other half is staying dedicated to integrate what you have learned into your daily life. So you are actually starting this deep work as soon as you commit to the diet. Congratulations!  It is ok if you ease into it, depending on how varying it is from normal for you.

 

Heading into a single, or especially a series of ceremonies should be taken as seriously and with equal intent as going into a serious medical surgery, like a heart transplant or brain surgery.  Essentially, this is what may be about to happen, albeit in the more subtle and energetic levels.  The results likely will be much more effective, longer lasting, and realistically -exponentially safer!  As with anything in life - the more you put in, the more you get out.  So ideally, one would carry themselves on the physical and lifestyle diet (which is described below) as long as possible before and after the ceremony.  For shamans who’s life is one ceremony followed by another, they may have this lifestyle for years on end, with varying levels of strictness during different times of life/seasons. 

 

To ensure that the work is extremely physically safe, it is imperative that this diet be followed for a minimum of 3 days before and after any ceremony.  To prepare and integrate the experience we recommend following this diet and mental/energetic guidelines 1 week before your retreat and continue for 1 week after.

 

Many of the diet restrictions are not necessarily dangerous, as in, if you have sex even if you’re asked not to, it doesn’t make taking ayahuasca dangerous, it just makes your overall energy more surrounded in sexual energy and the Madrecita (spirit within the aya) can’t penetrate you as far.  If you consider the body’s ability to receive to have a 100% capacity, then the idea of the diet is to overall reduce what percentage of the body’s total capacity is full of something – physical, mental, or emotional. If it’s any of these, its actually all of these. The less is in you when you come to this work,  (physical is the easiest to control by simply eating less and more specifically) the more space there is for the medicine and the icaros to come inside you to clean and heal you, and the easier it is to allow the healing, as your body will be in a more receptive state.  You can come with yourself all full, but then it will usually end up that the aya will either decide to not enter where its already full - making the experience less profound, or the aya will decide to open all your channels in which case your experience may be overly dramatic.  Thus, preparation, preparation, preparation.  

 

Some of the diet restrictions (lactose, fermented foods) are very necessary to maintain in abstinence of as they can create damaging molecules when they react with the aya.  Besides hot chiles and peppers, none of these reactions are deadly acutely, but they may just give one a slight headache the next day instead of feeling great. With long term combining of prohibited foods and ayahuasca, some damage could be done. In general, follow the energetic guidelines as close as you can, and follow the dietary ones more strictly, especially right before your retreat/ceremonies. 

 

These are the ideal; we live in a real world. 

 

We are all counting on each other.  Use of substances and following the diet too loosely can lead to people having a harder time during the ceremony.  The more we each do our work beforehand, the more deeply we can travel together in this healing work.  The preparation is a large part of the lesson/healing to be learned in this work, and it should be given its due sincerity.

 

MENTAL/ENERGETIC PREPARATION

Most important, try to steer clear of disruptive, loud environments, unhealthy habits, atmospheres, and influences.  Try to nurture the peace and open heartedness inside with a quiet night and a bath instead of the heavy metal show with laser lights…  This includes eliminating TV, mainstream “news” or magazines, etc., any unnecessary internet, poor company, argumentative or overly competitive atmospheres, anywhere loud and brightly lit, stressful situations.

 

Remember, you are going into surgery. Take care of yourself! Extra rest is highly recommended leading up to your trip. This is usually hard to manage before a big trip, but very important!  This is a good time to cultivate arts and relaxing hobbies. Take a run, do your yoga, draw a picture, play your guitar and sing.  Listen to devotional or relaxing music with positive lyrics or nature sounds.  Whatever you like to do to express yourself, do this as much as you can!  Find what gives you more energy and create time for it.  Likewise, note what takes energy and leave it until after you are done with the diet and the ceremonies.  Additionally, avoid all energy intensive substances: caffeine, cannabis, alcohol, any recreational drugs, LSD, ecstasy, any pharmaceuticals that aren’t needed. It is imperative to avoid all hallucinogens for at least 30 days before your retreat.

 

If you are taking pharmaceutical medications, you must get pre approval before coming on this retreat.  Our staff must be notified of any medications you have been on in the last 6 months, and any you are currently taking. By coming on this trip you are agreeing you have told us about ALL of your prescriptions within the last 6 months.  This work is not possible with use of many heart drugs as well as never with SSRI’s or anti-depressants of any type.  If you have ever been on anti-depressants, it is imperative that we are aware immediately, before the trip.  It will not generally affect your ability to participate, so long as you are not currently on them.

 

Do your best on caffeine. There will likely be NO caffeine served at the retreat. We may have tea on the first few mornings.  It is a good idea to tone down caffeine habits by trying decaf coffee or switching to yerba mate or guayusa before the retreat. Don’t be fooled, yerba mate and guayusa have almost more caffeine than coffee.  We may have some coca leaf you can try chewing at our retreats in the jungle.  It is a clear, non-caffeinated high that you may have the opportunity to try. 

 

Avoid any depleting activities.  This includes electronic devices, sexual encounters (except in a strictly tantric energy recycling context), including self pleasuring. Extreme sports or other physically draining activities are not the best suited directly before the retreat. 

 

Remember, you need to take care of yourself going in, so you have plenty of energy to meet your experience, and so that afterward you have some energy to keep healing up your newly closing sutures from the surgeries that have ensued.  Likewise again, following all diet guidelines for at least 3 days, ideally a week or longer, afterward will help ensure the healing of your transformative work.  You must also be sure not to do anything too intensive right after, or you can blow a suture and start a leak of energy hard to handle given the magnitude of the operation.  So don’t plan a huge energetic blast the day you get home.  If possible, plan for at least 3 days of nothing but sleep!  You’ll likely feel great and ready to do it all right after the retreat, but remember to pace yourself. 

 

Take care of yourself. Listen to yourself. Only you know your what is best for you. Follow where Spirit is guiding you. This is the highest guidance we can give you.

 

INTENTIONS

Intentions are a key to this work.  Why do you want to drink this medicine? What are you asking for?  Healing? Answers?  What parts of yourself are you asking to change? What can you admit to yourself about who you really are right now?  What are you asking to manifest?  What are your obstacles? What are your fears?  What is no longer serving you? 

 

Think about these things.  The more clear your intention for showing up to do this work the more clear the Madrecita can help you understand.  Remember, you will get what you need, only as you can handle.  It is most wise to come with no expectations of what you will get. The case is generally, if this is the first experience, it can be one of mostly evaluation, assessment, and reprioritization.  Once the stage is set, deeper and deeper healings come in subsequent ceremonies.  You simply cannot put a gift of healing into a body with no space or the energy required to hold it in place.  For the gifts of love come with incredible frequency!  So it is generally the case, both during each individual ceremony, but also overall across multiple ceremonies for a sequence to happen.  This tends to be: Assessment, Elimination, Purification, Inspiration, Manifestation.  Trust is the glue that binds each part together.  The biggest fears can come at these moments, and here is where the intention can be a guiding force in your self-realizing journey. 

 

It is good to take at least a few days (3) before ceremony to begin to construe your intention, if you haven’t formed one yet.  It may be something as simple as “I am open to receive exactly the healing I need at this time.” Or as complex and detailed as you want. Generally, less is more.  If you can form your primary intention into a mantra and meditate on it leading up to the ceremony it will add more energy to your intentions, and also will be a good mantra to chant to yourself (silently) during the ceremony if times are getting rough.  

 

Other mantras can be helpful, and cultivating another one may also be good, like “Breathe in peace, breathe out love” or “ I am alive, I am peace. I will die, I am love”  or “Peace in my being, Peace in all beings” , and “There is a way”, etc.. 

 

It is most beneficial to make your intention an Affirmation, rather than something you do not want.   Example: “I am made of integrity in every cell!” vs. “I want to stop lying.”  Always setting intentions toward and focusing on the highest self will inevitably guide us there.

 

Take this time to remember your past and all in your life that has influenced you to get to this moment, preparing for sacred ceremony. 

 

Forming a clear, concise intention is a large part of your hard work.

 

BREATH!

Your main tool in this waking life is your breath. It has the power to transform your current reality just by how deeply and aware you are breathing.  Practicing breathing and remembering deep breathing leading up to the ceremony will help you become more aware to check in with yourself about “how I am breathing right now?” 

 

In the ceremony, the medicine can come in waves where it feels like nothing is happening one minute, and the next you’re feeling like its so strong you’ll explode.  So the way to make these transitions the smoothest is to breathe.  Long, slow, deep breathing can help these waves be gentle – so they may subtly dislodge that which no longer serves and help it wash away to sea, while letting your higher callings surface between the waves.  Without breath these waves can start hitting like rip tides against cliff walls… and the spray can get interesting.  Breathe big and deep, and open your chest.  A good exercise is to breathe big and open your chest, while meditating on “Breathing in, I am peace. Breathing out, I am love”.  Or “Breathing In I am alive. Breathing out I release all pain.” etc..  Hit your chest and hoot like a wild beast to remind your body it is alive! (not during ceremony)  Feel your energy deepen and breathe into your spine. Breathe into your gut. Breathe into your abdomen and your hips.  If you know yoga, doing cat/cow is great for getting your body’s energy moving in a similar way to when the medicine is in your system. 

 

The medicine is like a professional cleaning company. The intelligence of Madrecita is that she can find and pinpoint exactly what your problems are emanating from. Then, like a reverse Tetris she can figure out how to unwind you to get down to the root of the issue, and dislodge it, and replace it with love and light, then firmly seal and protect it while putting it back together to operate even better than before.  The energy works through all of your energy centers/chakras/kundalini channels.  Many people see snakes or feel like wriggling like a snake during the ceremony.  This is helping the body to flow naturally and let each part of the physical body relax so that the mind can go deeper.  If you won’t let yourself surrender now, when certain death is imminent, will you ever? Generally, if participants have physical pains or skeletal issues, these can be resolved quickly as the Madrecita can act like a masseuse, in how she loosens your entire skeletal frame and muscles.  Quite typically, she is like a chiropractor in that she can painlessly, seamlessly perform what otherwise would have been challenging, precarious adjustments for a professional to make.  Controlled, deep breathing greatly aids in this process.   The Madrecita goes through your body with pipe cleaners, and she’ll get you cleaned all the way through – from the inside out, in all realms; emotional, spiritual, energetic, physical. 

 

Generally, you get as much as you can handle right now.  Then you may get a little “homework” of things to meditate on, pray for, work toward, etc.. Each time you return to ceremony, the more you have completed and built from your homework, the more you can start up where you left off.  If you don’t work on your truths, you may have to go back and start over at the top.  Self-mastery is rewarded, however a good effort is equally regarded. Likewise, knowing when to ask for help.  For the only thing we can every truly control is ourselves, and we are very lucky if we can manage that!

 

It is important to remember that Ayahuasca is not a religion, it is a tea.  It is a method for precipitating events which give us the ability to heal ourselves.  It increases the trajectory at which our lives progress into their most evolved states more readily. People of all religions drink this tea, and find deeper meanings in their chosen beliefs.  Through this work, religion is generally reinforced, and the patterned mysteries which predate all religions begin to emerge.

 

PHYSICAL DIETA

Avoid:

-dairy of any kind. Cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, creamer.

-fried fats, unnatural oils (margarine), greasy foods

-alcohol, caffeine, sugar

-salt

-all red meat and pork. 

-fermented foods. Includes kimchi, kraut, tamari, tempeh, tofu, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, miso, braggs, vinegars

-cannabis, LSD, mushrooms, ecstacy - no pyschotropics of any kind within 30 days.

-any prescription drug (obviously we must be notified if you were on any)

-tree nuts (not as serious)

-preservatives, food colorings, corn syrup, flavorings etc.

-hot and spicy foods, hot chiles (very important)

 

--> Of all of these, avoiding alcohol and very spicy chili peppers in any form are the two most important, the only two that could potentially quite dangerous.

 

Eat more of:

-greens, fresh salads (use non-vinegar dressings - olive oil, lemon juice, almond butter, dash of honey is good.)

-lemons in water

-liver cleansing herbs. Turmeric, ginger, burdock, milk thistle, agrimony, Oregon grape

-vegetables. Steamed is good. Fresh good

-juice

-superfoods

-hydrating foods like oats or chia mush.

-broths

-chicken, fish, eggs are OK. Chicken soup is good. hardboiled eggs.

-whole grains. Rice, quinoa, teff, lentils

 

 

MEDICATIONS & DRUG INTERACTIONS

MAOI’s may be dangerous in combination with the following substances, so we recommend abstention from the following substances for seven days prior, and seven days after our Retreats.  

 

Be especially cautious with:

Alcohol in any form - Blue cheeses or any fermented substances containing moulds (beer) - Drugs such as Ecstasy, MDMA, 2CB, Cocaine, Heroine, Amphetamines, Methadone, etc. - antihistamines / allergy meds / cold medicines - Medication such as Antibiotics or Anti-Depressants and Anti-Psychotics, mood elevators, , steroids, anti-hypertensive- anti-depressants such as Prozac (one of the most potentially dangerous contraindications) need a much longer abstention period than three days (while for most other things, such as fermented foods and allergy meds, 24 hours would be enough). It can take 1-3 months or more for some anti-depressants to clear the body. Please talk to us when applying about any prescription you have taken within the last 3 years that may be of concern. More specifically we need to know about the last 6 months before your retreat will take place.

 

Chemically, What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is a drink made from a combination of substances. Ingredients: The materials that we use are derived from natural plant substances, prepared according to traditional Native Amazonian recipes. In the case of Ayahuasca we work with the Amazonian plant Banisteriopsis caapi (MAOIs, the vine) and the leaves of Psychotria viridis (DMT, the leaf). No chemical or synthetic substance is ever added to any substance that we use. Ayahuasca consists of two main ingredients, Dimethyltriptamine (DMT) a psychoactive substance, and Harmines/Harmalines (MAOIs) which have an effect on the way the human body digests DMT. Monoamine oxydase inhibitors (MAOIs) increase the activity of the pyschoactive DMT, by preventing MAO enzymes from breaking down the DMT. Our normal sacrament also usually contains the leaves of Chaliponga - Diplopterys cabrerana, Albhaca – Ocimum micranthum, Bobinsana - Calliandra angustifolia, and Coca - Erythroxylum coca.

 

 

It is not allowed to combine the drinking of Ayahuasca with the following medications: 

  • Actifed

  • Alprazolam(Xanax)

  • Amantadine hydrochloride (Symmetrel)

  • Amitriptyline

  • Amoxapine (Asendin)

  • Amphetamine

  • Aurorix

  • Benadryl

  • Benylin

  • Berotec

  • Bricanyl

  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

  • Buspirone (BuSpar)

  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Epitol)

  • Chlor-Trimeton

  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)

  • Cocaine

  • Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)

  • Cyclizine (Marezine)

  • Desipramine (Pertofrane)

  • Dextromethorphan (DXM)

  • Disopyramide (Norpace)

  • Doxepin (Sinequan)

  • Effexor

  • Elavil

  • Ephedrine

  • Flavoxate Hydrochloride (Urispas)

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)

  • Imipramine (Tofranil)

  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)

  • L-DOPA

  • Levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa)

  • Lithium

  • Loratadine (Claritin)

  • Maprotiline (Ludiomil)

  • Meperidine (Demerol)

  • Metaraminol

  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)

  • Nortriptyline (Aventyl)

  • Oxybutynin chloride (Ditropan)

  • Orphenadrine (Norflex)

  • Parnate

  • Paroxetine (Paxil)

  • Phenergen

  • Phenelzine (Nardil)

  • Procainamide (Pronestyl)

  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)

  • Pseudoephedrine

  • Pulmadil

  • Quinidine (Quinidex)

  • Salbutemol

  • Salmeterol

  • Selegiline (Eldepryl)

  • Serevent

  • Seroxat

  • Sertraline (Zoloft)

  • Tegretol

  • Temaril

  • Terbutaline

  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)

  • Trazolan

  • Trimipramine (Surmontil)

  • Ventolin

  • Yohimbine

  • Be careful if using:

  • antihistaminics, disulfiram, propanolol, hydralazine, carbamazepine.

  • LSD, exstacy, PCP, Heroine, cocaine, etc. 

  • Also avoid the following herbs:

  • St. Johns Wort , Kava, Ephedra,  Ginseng , Yohimbe,  Sinicuich

  • Aspirin and paracetamol in moderate quantities can be used safely.

 

***This list is not complete; please check with your doctor or a pharmacist to see if the medicine you use can be combined with MAO-inhibiters.

*** Interaction with certain drugs and medications (including some over-the-counter drugs and certain herbs) can potentially cause unfavourable interactions. You may need to be off these medications anywhere from 24 hours to 6 months before drinking the ayahuasca tea. Please consult with your medical provider.

 

Health Warnings & Restrictions 

You are expressly forbidden to participate if you are in Advanced pregnancy, Moderate or severe hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, or cardiovascular illness, Communicable diseases, any illness - physical or mental, or if you take any medication. If you do, consult with the organizers of the ceremony. If in doubt we recommend you abstain. Please keep in mind that this tea remains active for a short while after the ceremony has been closed. Never use ANY DRUGS, including marijuana or caffeine, before, during or after the retreat. We explicitly ask you not possess anything restricted of this nature at the retreat center or offer these with others participating in the retreat.

 

SAFETY

For your safety, as well as the others, an absolutely truthful reply to the following questions is necessary. These questions are in our application as well.  If you answer yes to any of the following quesitons, we will need to know, and can help to accomodate your situation. There is space in the Application for explanations as well. 

  1. Are you currently experiencing any physical or psychological illness that either has caused hospitalization or could threaten to do so? If so what in particular?

  2. Are you currently taking any medications?

  3. Do you have any condition which requires special attention, or that we need to know about? What kind of attention is necessary?

  4. Have you ever had a heart attack or heart condition?

  5. Do you suffer from diabetes, and if so which type?

  6. Have you ever been under psychiatric supervision or care of any kind? Or on any psychiatric medications?

 

***Please be ready to supply the name and telephone number of a person who can be contacted in the event of a problem.

 

 

REMINDERS

Remember to thank yourself for the courage to come to this work - For the courage and motivation to do your inner work so that you may be your most true, radiant self!  It will pay off! 

 

As far as expectations and consequences:  Like any mystery, little can truly be said, intuition tells more truth by far. Its best not to over-talk your retreat too much before leaving, or upon returning, as many of the mysteries will only come through when you are silent for long enough to hear them whisper to you.  Remember that afterwards, your friends and co-workers may have a harder time than you accepting the rate at which you have changed, and feel awkward at times… Remember that it is hard for them to truly understand what you went through, and explaining or convincing them is hard and not worth it.  Just let your light shine, and be confident that you are true to yourself.  Hold your integrity and intentions in the highest, and let love lead you on each day.  Eventually those around you will see how these changes are benefiting your life, and become attracted to creating such positives in their own lives.  They then might be inspired by your healing story and interested in how they can start working on themselves. Just remember, surgery is an intimate, life altering process.  Don’t expect for anyone else to be able to truly understand what you have gone through.  Stay open to all possibilities.  For within each of us is the Divine! 

 

The more you can prepare mentally before you come the better. Do what you can and more imporatantly enjoy the blessings that each day is bringing you while you are on your way! If you are needing help during your preparation please know that you can email us for tips and advice.

 

 

Buena fortuna (Good luck) in your preparations!

 

 

 

>>> Ceremony Overview

 

>>> Retreat Application

 

© 2016 Los Cielos Peru