A mixed bag really! Part one
Reviewed by Alabaster Jones 3 years ago
I've wondered over the last year how I actually ended up going to Inner Mastery's retreat in Waterford Ireland as it's not the type of thing that I have ever done before, but I was at a stage in my life were I was a bit lost and unfulfilled and was coping with the death of my mother and all the usual trimmings of modern life that make us feel less than we feel we should do. But as fate would have it I landed down to the retreat with high hopes and and open mind. When I arrived myself and a handful of other willing participants pretty much let ourselves in and were ushered into a small dining room and left to our own devices until somebody can and showed us to our room ( a small room with around 8-10 bunk beds in it). There was an air of mystery about it all and the participants were all open, honest people who wanted a quick fix to the woes of their lives and were (like myself) prepared to pay the 650 or so euros (the cost for 3 days) alongside around 120 or so euros per additional treatment that we each respectively bought. I opted for 3 sessions of Kambo and a session of Bufo along with the 3 nights of Ayahuasca. So all in, it cost me over £1000. That is a lot of money for anyone who has a simple job, but the promise of a happier life afterwards was understandably appealing so I thought that it would be money well spent. After we each returned to the dining room after packing our bags away, putting our shoes at the door and having a cup of tea, we were individually summoned to a small room were two of the "facilitators" took some details, an advance payment, and were sold (in true retail fashion) whatever extra medicines we wanted. I recall a few vaguely medical questions being asked but nothing that you wouldn't get asked for in other lesser situations such as applying for certain jobs etc. After that we were ushered into the room that was to be our ceremony room and apprehensively positioned ourselves on the mattresses that were laid out for us alongside the obligatory vomit buckets etc. the Facilitators one of whom has already been mentioned in a previous review in this section (The head hauncho) and one or two other facilitators (all women) began to carry out the usual group ice breakers that you'd expect and gave us the usual speel about mother aya and consciousness and all that you'd expect in that type of situation. Then the lights were put out and each of us in turn went up to receive our Ayahuasca. I didn't really like that we were almost walking up to a kind of shamanic alter and given the Ayahuasca in the same manner that us Catholics would receive Holy Communion from a priest. I felt that there was something egotistical about the way it was delivered and that in itself made me somewhat cautious. After everyone took the Aya, we all sat on our beds and waited for it to kick in, which for me simply didn't happen. Everyone else in the group were clearly feeling the effects and were laughing and crying and all the usual stuff that you'd imagine. I had a 2nd helping after around an hour but it didn’t affect me very much if at all. There was music playing through some speakers from a laptop and every so often the facilitators blew white sage and santo palo smoke at us and occasionally gave us Rapeh (which I love). It was not an unpleasant evening but after a short while I fell asleep and woke up when it was all over. I slept on the mattress for another couple of hours and then was given Kambo around 8am (which didn't make me sick or feel anything in particular). It was a strange experience and I was intrigued by it all and approached it with an open mind. At around 11am, myself and anyone who had paid to take Bufo or any of the other participants who wanted to silently watch those who did returned to the ceremony room. I decided to go first with the Bufo and it completely took me right out of my body, passed some strange cosmic blur (which I defined as being my life’s mistakes), which I then absorbed t and was violently ill and vomited out what I felt was all of my life’s shit after which point I turned to vapour which eventually collected in some cosmic ethereal realm and then collected back into myself after which point I rolled around the floor laughing and feeling the happiest that I ever have. It was amazing! While this was happening there were facilitators playing music, tapping a drum and blowing sage at me which felt quite nice really. After that I went upstairs, lay down for an hour, had some in the dining room and joined out group facilitation session during which time only the previous night’s Aya experience was discussed, which I found disappointing as I had just traversed the cosmos and was trying to make sense of it all.
Visited Thursday, December 27th 2018
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Disturbing reports associated with Ayahuasca International
Ayahuasca International (originally Ayahuasca Internacional) is also known as Inner Mastery International S.L.U.
Important: Always look for motivations and many recommendations prior to choosing who to drink with!
For reports and resources concerning activities from disrespectful to unethical to downright horrible, see the following links:
- Official ICEERS statement: Cofán speaking out against Varela’s activities and they say he has had absolutely NO training through them, nor any of his facilitators with Ayahuasca International; that he forged documents and has lied about many associations, such as having any sort of blessing from this indigenous group of true Colombian shamans or their peoples.
- Sexual abuse testimony, and reported unorthodox practices with his small daughter around often; Cofán speaking out about his illegitmacy, as he claims to have been blessed and trained by these people; Varela’s own psychologist, who sounded a bit unorthodox himself, reportedly pushing for sexual exploration as well, is said to no longer be by Varela’s side due to Varela’s lack of ethics.
- Very interesting article detailing many astounding and unsafe practices of Varela, such as oﬀering the tea to everyone without any sort of screening or preparation, has highly advertised an illegal practice for monetary gain, including discounts for children; it is questioned where he sources his brew and whether it is in fact ayahuasca; certainly Varela’s commercial efforts are terrible for sustainability of these sacred medicines.