Ayahuasca Retreat Costa Rica

Thinking about working with plant medicine? Here are things to consider

The call to plant medicine is a very individualized journey. Only you will know when the time is right. Many individuals report receiving a “calling” from the medicine, with some individuals even unfamiliar with the medicines that call to them. 

This call might be synchronicities that show up in your awareness, like a friend referencing working with a plant, or coming across an article about plant medicine that sparks your curiosity.  The call may even show up as a vivid dream involving a plant or an experience related to the plant, which can be a powerful indicator that the medicine is nudging you.

If you find yourself being called or curious about working with plant medicines, here are some things to consider:

  1. Explore Your Intentions
    • Why: Why is plant medicine being called to you at this time? 
    • What: What shifts or changes am I looking to experience that I believe plant medicine can support?
    • How: How will I feel most supported in my plant medicine journey (before, during, and after)?
    • What If: What is possible I embark on this journey and find deep healing? What is at stake if I don’t listen to this calling?
  1. Take Time to Learn
    • If you’re considering working with plant medicine, it’s essential to be well-informed and prepared. There are many different plant medicines to work with, each with their own spirit consciousness.  And while plant medicines have tremendous potential to bring healing and wholeness to those that work with them, they should always be approached with reverence and respect for contraindications. 
  • Ayahuasca: Referred to as the “Vine of the Spirit” or “Vine of the Soul,” derives its name from the Quechuan languages of the Andean region. The term combines “aya,” signifying the spirit or the otherworldly, and “huasca,” which translates to vine or rope. A potent psychoactive brew, is prepared by combining two plants: the Banisteriopsis caapi vine (Ayahuasca Vine) and the Psychotria Viridis (Chacruna) leaves containing DMT. Ayahuasca delivers a wide array of profound benefits. It encompasses spiritual and psychological insights, offers potential therapeutic applications for mental health conditions, fosters personal development, facilitates emotional healing, and establishes a deep connection to age-old traditions.
  • Huachuma: San Pedro, also known as Huachuma, is a cactus revered as a sacred plant medicine for over 3,000 years in the Andes of Peru. San Pedro contains a number of psychoactive alkaloids, but the major one is the classic psychedelic mescaline. Despite being sometimes overlooked, it possesses profound healing properties. A San Pedro ceremony can be intense and powerful, and everyone will undergo a unique experience tailored to their needs. San Pedro facilitates a deep exploration of our self-imposed barriers and limitations, allowing us to open our hearts and connect with our true selves. Each ceremony is a profound reunion with ourselves, Mother Nature, and the Divine.
  • Psilocybin: Psilocybin mushrooms encompass over 200 species of fungi containing the psychoactive compound psilocybin. They can be consumed raw, brewed into tea, or dried and powdered with a moderate dose weighing around 1.5-3g of dried medicine. Sacred medicinal mushrooms have been used for thousands of years, treating both spiritual and physical ailments. The earliest evidence of human magic mushroom use traces back to approximately 10,000 BCE. Psilocybin is physiologically safe, with no confirmed deaths from psilocybin toxicity. Psilocybin carries lower potential for drug interaction and tends to be physically safe even at very high doses, allowing persons taking SSRIs or SNRIs greater chances at success. Ingesting psilocybin mushrooms induces a profound entheogenic state, often used for healing and spiritual growth that typically lasts several hours. When used responsibly, it has the potential to aid in trauma recovery, facilitate spiritual insights, and provide clarity on personal matters.
  1. Investigate the Retreat Center and Facilitators
    • Choosing the right retreat center and experienced facilitators to safe-guard your journey is paramount, not just for your physical well-being. A plant spirit journey involves the whole self – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And as such, you will want to ensure that whomever you are working with has plans and protocols in place to help you prepare, navigate effectively, respond to unforeseen situations, and support your integration process for deep healing. 

Here are some questions that you should ask when evaluating a retreat center or facilitator:

  • What is the background of the retreat center? Do you know them or know others that have worked with them?
  • What is the background of their facilitators? How long have they been working with the medicine and how many retreats have they facilitated?
  • What is the group size of the retreat? 
  • What safety and medical protocols does the center have in place to ensure your well-being?
  • What happens in the case of an emergency?
  • What does their screening and intake process entail?
  • Do they offer education on harm reduction, risks and contraindications?
  • How many facilitators and support staff will be onsite (think 2:1 or 3:1 ratio is optimal). 
  • Will a doctor/first responder/nurse be on site or on call?
  • Who is serving the medicine and where does it come from?
  • What is in the medicine?
  • How do you determine the right medicine dosage?
  • How will the facilitators work with individuals that may experience difficulties during ceremony?
  • What does the center offer for preparation and post-ceremony integration?

Working with plant medicine can be a profound healing experience that has the power to transform your reality. However, it should be approached with careful consideration, preparation, and reverence. If you are feeling the call of plant medicine, we encourage you to take the necessary time to research, to ask questions, to prepare for a deep and safe journey, and to seek guidance from experienced practitioners. 

Ananda Lodge welcomes you to explore all these questions with us and we would be honored to guide you on your journey.