What a profound experience! This was my first experience with Ayahuasca and plant medicines in general. I was in a difficult transition phase in my life where my career, relationships, and mindset all felt like they were flying off the rails. I needed a catalyst to break out of this negative feedback loop and to start enjoying life again. I had done enough research on Ayahuasca to know that it was worth a try, but I did much more research on finding a practitioner that I could trust, and an environment where I would feel safe. I came across New Life by doing a google search and read all of their reviews, and was immediately convinced that this was the place.
SET - Jeanae and Matt have designed a program around having the most meaningful experience with the medicine. While this experience may not always be comfortable, they ensure that whatever experience you have, you will be safe and will be adequately assisted by experienced staff if needed. Their program also helps you develop an optimal mindset going into each ceremony. This is achieved by the healthy and delicious daily meals prepared by Jeanae. The meals were Aya-friendly, Tico-oriented, veggie friendly, and absolutely delicious! Their program also prepares you by offering a comprehensive yoga session each ceremony day, which consists of light flow, some balancing, some ab-work for the puke muscles, followed by savasana and a light shoulder massage. Finally, they provide you ample downtime each day, for meditation, intention setting, and reflection, which is very important ahead of ceremony.
SETTING - The property is absolutely astounding! It is several acres and includes hiking trails, quiet lookouts with amazing views, a lap pool, a hot-tub, and plenty of nature to explore. On my hike I saw some white face monkeys, toucans, and what I am still convinced are flying turkeys (no one believed me). There were also several common areas for guests to congregate, sip tea, and have post-ceremony crazy-talk. The most important factor with this property is the fact that each guest had their own private room and private bathroom. Each room was surprisingly large and the bed was very comfortable. I found that private rooms are not always offered with other retreats, which is unbelievable to me. While puking together in ceremony is quite the bonding experience, it is very important to have your own space to relax in peace and quiet, and to celebrate your own private toilet-time. I cannot stress this enough.
SINCERITY - Matt, Jeanae, and Drew are extremely experienced with the medicine and have the upmost respect and integrity when working with it. Matt does not call himself a shaman, which is a loosely used term these days. I will say that I was blown away by his knowledge, authenticity, sincerity, and respect for the medicine. Matt has an unbelievable gift with music and conducting the ceremony. I have watched several ceremonies on YouTube after this retreat, and nothing comes close. It is hard to describe, but to use a gringo word, it is LEGIT. Jeanae is also extremely talented and plays the flute towards the end of the ceremony. This is a very peaceful transition in the ceremony, and I am grateful for that peace (you will be too!). Drew was also very experienced and helpful in ceremony. I cannot thank you both enough for caring for us in ceremony!
Overall, I can't say enough positive things about this experience and the amazing people behind it. I hope to make this trip again sometime. It was truly an unforgettable experience.
Gracias para todo! Pura Vida!
Number of Participants in ceremony: 7
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