"Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” - Jim Rohn
Working with Plant Medicines and Ayahuasca is serious business and certainly not for everyone. When you eventually decide to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony, it is therefore important that you are physically and mentally well prepared.
La Dieta, the traditional, shamanic diet followed by the ayahuasceros in the Amazon, we do not mandate, but it shows, your respect for the process and commitment to your own healing. It prepares your body, the temple of the soul, to receive and welcome Ayahuasca, the Mother of plant medicines. It can also reduce the amount of cleansing required during the ceremony, allowing the healing work to unfold more easily and deeply.
In general, we encourage all participants to eat whole foods, and to limit processed foods, spicy foods and foods high in spices, salt, sugar, oil and animal fats. The aim is not deprivation you do not need to fast; in fact, you will need sufficient energy during the ceremonies and your journey.
It is in your best interest, at least 48 hours before the ceremony, to avoid tyramine-rich foods as much as possible. Tyramine is not broken down sufficiently due to the MAO-inhibiting effect of the Pant medicine. And can therefore cause side effects during your Ayahuasca Plant Medication journey. For example, headaches, excessive sweating, dilated pupils, stiff neck, palpitations and high blood pressure.
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"The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind"
- Caroline Myss -
Getting in touch with our deeper selves by drinking Plant Medicines like Ayahuasca can be an overwhelming and exhilarating experience. Reading about Ayahuasca or about the experiences of others can create a certain expectation about what the tea has in store for us.
However, we recommend that you try as much as possible to approach this journey without expectations. Be prepared to surrender to whatever presents itself during the journey. Trust the healing power of the sacred Plant Medicine, and above all, your own self-healing ability. Trust that you will get what you need and what you can handle. Be open to what the plants have to tell you. Observe and try not to judge everything you see or feel, and above all, open your heart and show compassion for everything that arises.
This way, you will be able to travel in the best possible way.
Here are some tips to prepare your mindset for your inner journey with Ayahuasca and other Plant medicines:
- Try to have no or at least as few expectations as possible.
- Take time for yourself; make space to connect with yourself.
- Do not absorb too much outside information that distracts from preparing (social media, television, radio, newspapers, etc.).
- Rather, meditate, connect with nature, or read a book.
- Think about and unfold the intention(s) for your personal journey.
- Avoid recreational, and especially psychoactive drugs 14 days in advance and do not drink alcohol 4 days before the ceremony (note: these substances also give possible contraindications!).
- We also recommend that all participants refrain from having sexual activity and orgasms three days before and a few days after the ceremony to preserve this energy for the deep, inner work during the ceremony and during the integration of the journey after the ceremony.
Formulating one or several intentions to drink Ayahuasca helps to give the experiences of the journey a place. It is wise to take some time before the retreat to get clear on what you want to achieve by drinking Ayahuasca. Consider your intention as a positive affirmation:
- For example, ask yourself what you need in life right now, in terms of needs or desires.
- Your motivation may have to do with a specific issue or problem you want to overcome. Do remember that a problem or a particular pain is always related to a higher purpose, in the sense that it serves as an obstacle in achieving a particular desire or need.
- You can also ask for insights into overcoming certain issues or what you are struggling with in life.
Basic rules for working effectively with Plant Medicines
Good preparation is a must. Reading up on the subject and preparing well on both physical and mental levels will, affect the course of your journey.
It is important that the journey is made in a setting that feels safe, in the presence of competent and experienced facilitators, who will provide support and help navigate if needed.
However intense the experience, the real work starts after the journey. Grounding well afterwards and integrating your experiences and the insights gained, is perhaps the most important part of working with the plants.