I went to Peru this May and stayed at a place called Temple of the Way of Light, that facilitates Ayahuasca healing in the Sacred tradition of Shipibo people's Shamanism. This is my testimonial for them:
The Earth is my religion and what I love the most. As I walk, I often feel my feet kiss Her, sending love, in gratitude for her love and having me here. I feel very connected to the Planet and am very sensitive to where I am and to particular energies of specific places. My mind however is highly symbolic and visual and I see myself as something of a spiritual explorer, largely through my art, which is my language. As I go on and grow in understanding, I am always generating a current "working reality" until it is ready to be disposed of, as a new one takes place. The newest, but truly ancient reality is to do with giving precedence to my heart, as the heart is really what manifests all our reality anyway. The sooner we consciously use our hearts wisdom and intelligence, the sooner we'll be able to live the reality that we desire and that is the challenge we all face at this special time.
I first heard about Ayahuasca about 10 years ago and started reading everything I could about the subject. When by a combination of synchronicity and determination, I discovered the website of the Temple of the Way of Light, early this April, I knew that I had finally found the place for me to experience this Medicine. I went there in the second half of May and experienced a twelve day retreat that included seven ceremonies. The location, the energy, the colors, the sounds of the critters in the jungle are all magically beautiful and made me feel at ease and close to the Earth as I've always wanted to live. The overall vision of the Temple, to be self sustainable by 2018 through application of Permaculture design and volunteers input resonates and does justice to Mother Ayahuasca and her guardians and emissaries Maestras and Maestros. These people are from the Shipibo tribe, a very special people who have been guardians of this tradition and it's secrets probably for some thousands of years and need to be cherished and protected by all of us. I felt that these are some of the gentlest yet most powerful people on the Planet that we have the good fortune to interact with. I knew I had to go to the Temple because of the number of the female healers. The overall long term vision for the Temple includes ways of protecting and reviving Shipibo culture and heritage, educating the young people to be proud of their tradition, etc.
I feel that the Temple of the Way of Light is a very special place on Earth where the Goddess is very much present and is re-birthing those that visit and are willing to go through this birthing process. The qualities of forgiveness, inclusiveness, nurturance, kindness, compassion, partnership and community with all Life, and many others are the domain of the Goddess or the feminine nature of God. Since I've been seeking and following the Goddess, this has been the most affirming and deepening experience and I feel that I can gradually let go of so much programming, trust that I am loved and guided, and create the life I really want. I've been told that back home I have work to do with "healing relationships". I've been shown many things, and I experienced myself, a human being, as just one of many forms of life, and was totally humbled. I met or intersected with many other forms of life, as shown by the mother Ayahuasca, such as Plant, Insect and Animal intelligences, Gaian soul, all intermingled, together, merged into one, kaleidoscopically dissolving into many, and then traveled through the Cosmos together with my family, saw how it is all merges and distinctions are hard to make, everything is so fluid and ever-changing.. There is nothing linear at all. Multiple dimensions are ever present when we perceive them and when we don't. It all intersects in the now through the lens of the heart, and the mind's ability to clearly interpret heart's messages. In fact, there are many dimensions, and many worlds, but there is one reality, one truth: LOVE
Ayahuasca makes you suffer as she demands your complete and honest surrender, and in that suffering teaches you to have compassion for yourself. The compassion is imprinted in the nature of the suffering. It is like a meeting of seemingly not so complementary forms of life. Imagine that all of a sudden you and all the cells in your body are fused with some albeit compassionate plantoid-insectoid-yet-cosmic-deity, which is painful to your programmed human responses and your predictable monkey nature and monkey brain. There is naturally some resistance there, that's unavoidable. This is where the mystery comes in. She works on every level, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. In fact, all levels are actually one, while you are in this body. What ties all the levels together is the energy, as we are energetic-spiritual beings and all imbalances are at their core energetic and spiritual. On the physical level, she makes you purge on both ends, or you could say, on all ends, since the skin is actually the largest organ of detoxification through sweating. Emotionally she can often make you face your deepest fears or lift you to unimaginable heights. All kinds of things can surface, seemingly out of nowhere, the pain of so called past lives, or flowing as one with all Life. Mentally she illuminates the contents of the mind so that you yourself can see just how crazy they are or recognize what works or what doesn't and can be disposed of. Spiritual dimension ties it all together.
I felt very safe, protected, loved, and guided at the Temple. I totally trusted the Maestras and Maestros and felt that to be the most important element that allowed everything else to unfold. I felt the power of the group energy and the way Maestras can direct it like a river current. We were all in it and hopefully riding this current, and that allowed the individual healings to be so effective. The current was sometimes quite swift or sometimes more gentle. There were some ceremonies that were incredibly intense for all involved and sometimes we all needed a break and pleasanter journeys. Most of the time I felt like I was being sung back into life and into rememberance of who I am and of the promise I made aeons ago, to wake up. At first the whole experience was too overwhelming to notice the ikaros or the songs as something distinct, but as the journeys progressed I was able to see or hear how the ikaros completely directed my journeys and triggered the experience to be more intense, more cleansing, more peaceful or more uncomfortable when purging was the only option. The beauty and awe of the singing is impossible to describe, these must be the most ancient songs that can ever be vocalized, and totally piercing through the veils and illusions, there was no way to hide from them. They guided me to be re-born, so my shell, my cosmic egg finally cracked. I was a star-seed and now I am a young hatchling. I don't know if the dying-birthing process has to be so difficult every time, but I have to say that it was. And I will do it over and over again. Except that this time learned something by direct experience. That is, the energy you put out is basically what you'll get back. If I am aggressively pushing for some kind of change in my life, the nature and quality of this change is going to be aggressive and harsh and may prevent me from experiencing the softer side of life. If I treat myself with gentleness and respect, it will determine the way I experience life and relate to the world. I feel that I got in touch with more of my true nature that is in fact gentle, kind, peaceful and feminine. I embraced my inner child, the one that still hurts (sitting in some hospital lobby waiting to be punched in the vein and the blood sucked out). I have felt that I did not have a normal childhood, regardless of being in a loving supportive family, due to early and long childhood illness. It's clear now that this "illness" has been more than just physical, and served a purpose when I needed it. I felt my mother's presence like a soft angelic light as supportive as she had always been in life. She crossed over five and a half months before I went to the Temple and going here allowed me to feel more at peace about this. I have much grieving and integration yet to go through but I feel that my family and I are not alone and I am grateful for all the help I received, and am receiving.
This is a powerful catalyst for spiritual transformation, and so all the other spiritual and self-help skills you've ever learned become extremely useful when exposed to it. You have to do the work before, during, and after this experience. I think it is not for everyone and it is not to be done all the time. You know when it's the right time. There are many approaches to personal growth, and I believe in seeking a balance between the ones that resonate with me.
I would say that if for any reason, you are intrigued, curious, or hopeful about what this experience can provide for you, consider the possibility that there are some very large forces at work and that you are being called to this place to work with these amazing healers and sacred medicine. It's also best to drop all or as many expectations as possible and to try to surrender to the mystery before you even embark on the trip. The magic is always here.
As one participant has said,
You can see some images from the Temple and my subsequent visit to Machu Picchu here:[link]