Take this short quiz to assess your mental and spiritual readiness for a psychedelic retreat.
For deeper insights into what makes up a safe and quality plant medicine retreat, check out the results from our recent plant medicine retreats survey.
1. If you’d like a holistic understanding of your opportunities to improve your quality of life, take this self-diagnostic.
2. If this is your first time with Ayahuasca, this short quiz will help you assess your level of mental, emotional, and spiritual readiness for this powerful and sensitive work.
3. If you’d like to understand more about the nature of psychedelic healing work, human potential, and who and what you really are, watch the video below.
Like most things in life, there are a broad variety of Ayahuasca retreat options, and a number of factors that effect the safety, quality, and cost of an ayahuasca retreat:
After nearly 6 decades of prohibition, psychedelics are coming back in a big way, with institutions such as the Imperial College in London, Johns Hopkins University, and Harvard studying, for example, the anti-depressant effects of psychedelics and entheogenic plants such as psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and Ayahuasca. The results of these studies for treating mental health concerns such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, addiction, depression, trauma, and recurrent negative behaviors has been overwhelmingly positive - when administered in the right set and setting.
Ayahuasca is an ancestral medicine from the Amazon, and has been used for thousands of years for it's incredible healing benefits. The healing that Ayahuasca offers can be positively life-changing, and as the psychedelic movement grows in popularity, the options for choosing a retreat can get a bit overwhelming. The abundance of options can lead us to what we call "analysis paralysis", causing us to either give up, or choose a retreat impulsively. Choosing a place to have your experience may be one the most important decisions you'll ever make, and it's important to choose your retreat with diligence and care. Published research based upon 2,267 ceremonies has shown that Ayahuasca:
Truly, the potential for healing and growth that ayahuasca offers humanity is as infinite as the human potential itself, but for those of us in the western world, finding a safe, ethical, therapeutic, and legal access point to this medicine can be challenging. There are literally thousands of A retreats and overnight shamans who are working underground and happy to profit of this sacred medicine, so how do you know you're choosing the right one? This is a question we take very seriously here at Behold, and we are here to guide you!
Choosing an Ayahuasca Retreat (or any psychedelic experience for that matter) is isn't like planning mindful meditation or yoga retreat. You are putting your consciousness in someone else's hands. You are entering a space with equal potentials for ecstatic empowerment and tender vulnerability. The competency and integrity of your ayahuasca retreat facilitators - all the way down to the person who cooks your meals - are not to be underestimated.
Furthermore, working with Ayahuasca (and it's naturally occurring DMT) means opening the door to a world of infinite possibilities. One must be weary of seductive claims or facilitators who look the part, but lack the heart. The world of plant medicine is not without corruption. By taking the time to choose the right experience, we honor the sacredness and intensity of this work, and thus take accountability for our own well-being. Take your time. Find a place with a solid reputation and listen to guest testimonials. Some other considerations you should make are:
As you can see, there are many factors to consider. What remains true across the board, getting those deeper breakthroughs and sustained benefits requires a lot more than just going on a retreat. Gaining the maximum benefits from the Ayahuasca experience requires proper preparation and integration.
As Canadians learn to adapt to the ever-changing climate in which we find ourselves, more people are turning to alternative medicines to heal their ailing.
One area that is historically controversial, is the application of psychedelic therapies. But, with more information than ever available, and high-profile medical trials recording the benefits of such methods, people are beginning to come around to the ancient healing practices of the ancestors.
The list of hallucinogens offering medicinal capabilities is long, with psilocybin mushrooms, Peyote, San Pedro, ketamine, cannabis, Bufo Alvarius, and the ancient ayahuasca brew gaining well earned recognition.. Each of which has their own proponents, and you could even say, personalities.
One of these plant medicines, ayahuasca may be one of the better known. Ayahuasca (or "the spirit vine", as it's known in it's native language) is a thick brown tea made up of the banisteriopsis caapi vine and the psychotria viridis bush and is said to induce an enlightening trance that allows the subject to elevate to a higher plane of consciousness. The drink itself traces its long history to the ancient jungles of the Peruvian Amazon, where it has been practiced for over 2500 years.
With this in mind, the ayahuasca ceremony has developed over the centuries by indigenous tribes in places like the ancient city of Iquitos, deep within Peru’s Amazon. These days, people involved in ayahuasca tourism regularly make the long journey to shamanic retreats like Phoenix Ayahuasca, or Soltara in Costa Rica to partake in the ayahuasca assisted therapy.
Unfortunately, however, there is some difficulty in gauging the safety when attending an ayahuasca vine session with the indigenous community in Peru, as discovered by a Canadian man and a British man in a tragic jungle retreat in 2015. Thankfully, these days there are solutions closer to home.
The tea is a controversial drink, as it contains DMT, which is banned in most countries. Now, however, a number of churches have been granted an exemption to the laws and are allowable within licensed establishments on religious grounds.
The two churches, which represent 6 venues across Canada that can legally administer ayahuasca therapy are the Santo Daime church, and União do Vegetal. Anywhere else should be treated with caution, and it is advised to do your research prior to consuming any hallucinogenic product.
We have put together a list of the most reputable and professional ayahuasca retreats in Canada and the surrounding area. In every instance, it is advised to make contact with the retreat to discuss the ayahuasca experience beforehand. Showing up unannounced will, in most cases, see you turned away at the gates.
In addition, we have prepared a useful guide that should aid with choosing the perfect retreat. Furthermore, we have an extensive guide to preparing for your spiritual journey. Make sure you familiarize yourself with both of these documents before you commence your ayahuasca sessions.
Behold Retreats sets the standard for safe, legal, and transformative plant medicine retreats in idyllic destinations. Retreats are kept to a small group size, and attendance is by invitation only.
Behold does not facilitate Ayahuasca in Canada due to the legal grey areas, but does offer options in Costa Rica and Mexico. Other popular retreat options include Psilocybin in Portugal and with the powerful God Molecule 5-MeO-DMT (Bufo experience) in Mexico or Portugal.
Ready for deep healing and transformation?
One of four Santo Daime churches in Canada that are legally permitted to practice the sacrosanct ayahuasca ceremony, Cue De Toronto is a deeply religious affair. Steeped in history, the Daime (ayahuasca) sacrament is a combination of ancient spiritual practices stemming from South America, Africa, and Europe.
As is the way of the Daime, only members of the church are permitted to partake in the Daime ceremony. The organization is welcoming to new members, even though they must first undergo a strict vetting process prior to joining.
Ceu de Toronto has been operating on this spiritual level for over 18 years, and conducts their ceremonies with the kind of professionalism that only experience can bring.
To help you get the most from your Ayahuasca retreat, Behold's team of diversely qualified therapists and coaches can guide you through a 1-on-1, 7-week Psychedelic Integration program to help you alchemize your Ayahuasca experience into life-long change. We also offer Integrative Health Coaching for those guests who want to reach their top physical shape before embarking on this journey of spiritual growth.
We host our retreats with a few different partner retreat centers in the area depending on the season and availability. All of our venues are thoroughly vetted for safety, comfort, and conductivity for sacred medicine work. Please request a discovery call to see where your preferred retreat dates will be facilitated.
Another church with a license to legally practice the psychedelic ceremony is União do Vegetal, which fought side by side with Santo Daime for their right to conduct ayahuasca ceremonies on religious grounds. Here, the sacrament is better known as “Vegetal Tea,” but is essentially the same brew as ayahuasca.
With the law exerting greater control than their US counterparts, any prospective retreat participants must first join the ranks of the organization prior to partaking in a spiritual ceremony. The church conducts itself in a low-key fashion, with no real online presence to speak of. Therefore, anyone interested in joining must make the journey to Montreal and inquire in person.
Join us for a retreat at our exquisite healing facilities in the picturesque landscape of southern Portugal. Immerse yourself in nature while enjoying the comforts of our facility, where our dedicated staff ensures a serene and supportive environment.
Experience the expertise of our experienced retreat facilitators and medicine guides in intimate group settings. We prioritize your well-being in all aspects – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Each day of the retreat, you will have the opportunity to start your day with yoga and meditation, fostering presence and connection. Additionally, our on-site somatic therapists offer optional healing modalities such as massage and bodywork to enhance your journey.
Based in Val-David, Quebec, Céu do Vale da Vida practices the sacred arts of the Santo Daime religion. As such, the ceremony centers around what is referred to as “collective shamanism,” where no single individual is the focal point of the spiritual experience. In effect, everyone present contributes to the overall spiritual awakening with a deep feeling of community between active participants.
As Céu do Vale da Vida is a registered church of the Santo Daime religion, only members can participate in the ayahuasca ceremony. They are open to new applications to join, however, they must first follow a strict vetting process.
Depending on your location within Canada, it could be worth a hop over the border to the USA for your ayahuasca experience. Those in the east should consider Pachamama Sanctuary in New Hampshire. A relatively recent addition to Amazonian vine circles, their 2 years in existence belies over 20 years of experience from their practitioners and healers.
Conducting themselves with the utmost professionalism, the folks at Pachamama are ready to guide any willing psychedelic travelers through the complete journey. From the preparation, through the ayahuasca experience and calmly guide them back to reality afterward.
On hand to conduct the ceremonies are indigenous Shamans from the Colombian Cofan Amazonian tribe, and a genuine Ecuadorian mystic. The spiritual retreat lasts three days and includes food and lodging. Further experiences on hand are yoga retreats, meditation, and breathwork workshops.
Alternatively, anyone living out west can take a look at the Cosmic Valley Native American Church in Washington state. Operating out of Seattle, Cosmic Valley offers a high-quality, professional retreat center for embarking on a hallucinatory voyage.
Cosmic Valley holds regular retreats involving small, intimate groups. The ceremony generally lasts for three days and is conducted in a safe environment. Accommodation and food are all provided, with all meals adhering to the ayahuasca dietary requirements of the sacrament.
Despite engaging in an experience direct from Peru’s Amazon, Cosmic Valley is a decidedly modern affair, using the latest methods to provide the perfect spiritual experience.
In order to attend, you must be a member of the Native American Church and be in possession of a CNAC approved application. In order to apply, applicants can find the relative documentation on their website.
Be warned, demand is high, so make all arrangements beforehand to avoid disappointment. Additionally, Cosmic Valley offers further ayahuasca retreats in California and Oregon.
Based in Ontario, Canada, Crystal Roots is something of a mystery. Despite no indication of an ayahuasca ceremony on any of their official documentation, it is rumored that they are available to those involved with the retreat. With that in mind, it’s worth heading down there and getting to know the team.
Crystal roots are well versed in a number of shamanic plant medicine techniques, and transformative modalities. Furthermore, they have a wizened group of spiritual healers to put it all into action. In addition to any sacred tea ceremonies, the shamanic retreat offers tobacco, curanga, aromatherapy, Bach Flower, yoga, and Iboga healing therapies.
The retreat itself is located in serene surroundings, nestled amongst cedar forests and crystal-clear ponds. Accompanied by this tranquil beauty any healing experience is amplified by providing the perfect atmosphere for a spiritual awakening.
Crystal Roots endeavors to provide an authentic healing experience to anyone looking for help. Contact them via their website for further information.
We would be honored to guide you in choosing the best retreat for your needs. Behold Retreats coordinates expertly guided retreats with Ayahuasca, Psilocybin, and 5-MeO-DMT (Bufo Alvarius) with highly experienced facilitators. Reach out to us to set up a complimentary discovery call and we can point you in the right direction.
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