Retreat Center Category: San Pedro (Huachuma)
In 2004 we co-funded – along with our native Shipibo friends – Ashi Meraya, a unique Shipibo shamanic retreat centre with a great ethnobotanical garden, in the Peruvian Amazon jungle. Ashi Meraya is first and foremost a Shipibo Ayahuasca Retreat Centre for the Diffusion and Dissemination of Amazonian Traditional Plant Medicine, where you will be directly exposed to ancestral indigenous shamanic practices, and experience intense healing rituals engaging the sacramental use of Ayahuasca, the visionary “Vine of the Soul” and a dreaming journey with the Plant Teacher Toe’ (Brugmansia suaveolens, a tropical variety of Datura). You will have a direct exposure to the traditional cosmovision of the Shipibo shamans of the Amazon. This is not to be intended as a formal lecture of anthropological contents, but rather as combination of a series of regular talks conducted by the shaman, alternated to the performing of the long forgotten ancestral rituals of the Shipibo Bancos or Merayas. The Remo caspi, Chullachaki caspi, Chi and “Smoke Medicine” rituals – never performed before in a shamanic retreat centre of the Peruvian Amazon – are now integral part of the shamanic apprenticeship programme in Ashi Meraya. In the Ashi Meraya School of Amazonian Shamanic Apprenticeship you will also have the opportunity to be one with Amazonian plants and nature, in a beautiful and timeless setting. You will gradually learn how to sing shamanic lyrics (icaros), how to use plant teachers (plantas maestras) for healing and vision, and be exposed to traditional indigenous knowledge in a radically different way than any workshop or formal lecture will ever deliver to you. This part of the training is technically called the shamanic “Plant Diet” (dieta) whilst the candidate apprentice shaman is called dietero (if male), or dietera (if female). Worlds and worlds may be revealed to you, plants may talk, forest spirits may appear in vision/dreaming, all may come alive, in the visible and invisible realms. The plant spirit world may ultimately appear for what it really is to the eyes and ears of the shaman – not a matter of intellectual anthropological/ethnobotanical research, nor a fictitious Amazonian folk-tale – if you develop the right connection and tune-up your senses.
• Amazonian Sweat Lodge rituals - Unique to Ashi Meraya
• Cleansing ritual herbal baths (baños de limpie)
• Purifying rainforest clay baths (baños de barro)
• Luck-changing ritual flower baths (baños de florecimiento), to attract prosperity and good fortune in business, love and friendship
• Aromatic baths: cold water ritual baths especially prepared with herbs, flowers and aromatic essences.
• Healing through Mapacho smoke.
• Tattoos: Transferring Symbols of Power.
• Shipibo ritual body painting session.
• Ancestral Shipibo shamanic rituals
• Clay therapy: use rainforest clay to purify the body from dead cells and toxins accumulated with the ageing process.
• The traditional Shamanic Plant Teachers Diet, for those interested in the initiation into Amazonian shamanism, in the Shipibo tradition, and wish to enter into a more rigorous shamanic apprenticeship.
Medicine information (content and method of preparation)Type of Medicine: AyahuascaMedicine content :
The main plant additives employed in the making of the Ayahuasca concoction – as currently prepared in Ashi Meraya – are: the fresh leaves of the Chacruna (Psychotria viridis) green shrub the fresh leaves of the Ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi) vine the fresh leaves of the Toè (Brugmansia suaveolens) plant Mapacho (Nicotiana tabacum/Nicotiana rustica), i.e. organic black jungle tobacco. At times, the fresh leaves of the Huambisa (Diplopterys sp.) and Chaliponga (Diplopterys cabrerana) plant – also known by the names of Chagropanga and Ojo Yaje’ – are also used in the making of the brew, as alternative (or supplement) to the Chacruna leaves. Depending on the length and nature of your retreat, you may also learn (under supervision) how to prepare the Ayahuasca medicine (this last aspect of the training is, however, more suited to those who will be doing the shamanic plant diet apprenticeship). The Ayahuasca prepared by our Shipibo shamans is very strong and thick and – under normal circumstances – one should only need a small cup to enter and deeply experience non-ordinary states of consciousness. The paradigm within which we operate is and remains shamanistic, not psychedelic. We are firmly committed to the traditional use of entheogenic plant sacraments only and exclusively within the operative ritual framework that has been designed by the Amazonian shamans themselves.Medicine preparation:
Learn, assist and join the preparation of the sacred “Vine of the Soul” (or “Vine of the Spirit”, or else more, “Vine of the Dead”). See how it is made into brew, pounding the woody ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi) vine cuts first and then boiling them for long hours together with Chacruna, Chalipongo (Ojo Yagè) and Toè plant additives, over a traditional wood fire.
Ceremony detailsPlace of ceremony: Ayahuasca rituals take place in the jungle, at night, around 9 pm, in almost total darkness (exception made for candle or lantern-light, right at the beginning of the ritual). The healing treatments (“curaciónes”) of the shaman-s will take place during t
Accomodation detailsType of Accomodation:
More about the accomodation and food:
All guests doing the Ayahuasca retreat may stay either in one of the three double-occupancy, very spacious comfortable bungalows (Amazonian thatched roof buildings, built on stilts) painted with traditional Shipibo geometric patterns (ideal for couples or couples of friends), or in one of the four individual, maroon-painted bungalows recently built in the encampment. There is also the possibility to stay in one of the ten completely independent, private partitions of the large bungalow called “la Casa Grande” (“The Big House”). All bungalows (single and double) and partition rooms are – although rustic (not rough!) – furnished (with bed, linens, pillows, chairs, hand made wooden wardrobe to hang clothes, and a table for writing) and have EACH ONE private hygienic facilities (wash basin, private toilet and cold shower) and are thoroughly screened from insects with netting. Dieteros – i.e. guests accepted for the shamanic plant diet – may stay in one of the four comfortable and spacious private, individual wooden bungalows -pictured above-, in a specially-dedicated section of the centre, alongside the ethnobotanical garden circuit. Places are limited to four at any given time.
Discounts available to returning guests and groups only, depending on programme chosen, number and length of staying.