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Best 5 Ayahuasca Retreats in North Carolina 2023

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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.

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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:

  1. Safety First: Unfortunately, many small retreat centers are not in a position to make meaningful investments into screening and safety. Even if you're fine, someone else on retreat might not be, which can affect the overall experience. Our recommendation is to choose a retreat provider that does in-depth conversational, medical, and psychological screening to protect your safety and well-being.
  2. Legality: Experienced practitioners who have dedicated their lives to plant medicine typically live in locations where the work is legal, so they don't have to live in a state of uncertainty about their work Our recommendation is to travel to legal locations where you can benefit from legitimate healers who operate above the radar, so you can truly relax on retreat.
  3. Size of the group: It's common for retreats to have 20, 50, even 100 people in ceremony, which can be chaotic to say the least. In such large groups you are less likely to receive a sufficient level of attention from the facilitators. Our recommendation is to choose a retreat with an intimate group, in the range of 8-15 people.
  4. Length of the retreat: Shorter retreats feel rushed, do not support the cultivation of meaningful relationships, and can limit what can be achieved in time available. We recommend you spend at least a week for an ayahuasca retreat to give your mind, body, heart, and soul the attention it deserves.
  5. ‍‍Comfort: We recommend you choose a retreat where you are confident that you will be physically comfortable and have your own private bedroom to decompress and integrate, especially if this is your first time. Go for the full jungle mosquito immersion another time, your future self will thank you later.
  6. Alignment: Select a retreat that feels aligned with your values and allows your own subjective experience to unfold naturally. There are many different worldviews out there and having a different worldview pushed on you through the retreat may not be in your highest healing interests. This is also particularly relevant for first-timers.
  7. Holistic approach: Work with an organization that takes a holistic approach to working with plant medicine, and has options to support and guide your mental and emotional evolution alongside a retreat. If a provider implies that "medicine will solve all your problems", proceed with caution.
  8. Service: Select a retreat that you believe can meet your individual needs. Are you being treated as a human, or as participant #22 in their fourth retreat this month? Consider whether or not they've taken the time to get to know you and understand you, or it's more of a take it or leave it retreat center.
  9. Booking process: Take the time to speak with the provider before finalizing your booking. If the provider does not have a screening process in place during the booking process anyone could be sitting next to you in ceremony. Some people are not in the right place to work with this powerful plant medicine, and it is the responsibility of the organizers to ensure that only people who can handle ayahuasca are accepted onto the retreat.
  10. Expertise: Find an organization that emphasizes healing, and you believe has the breadth and depth of expertise to guide your transformation. Look for facilitators and healers who have a lightness of being and a sparkle in their eyes. Healing work is all about the transmutation of energy, so you are looking for people who have the energy you aspire to. If they aren't able to keep their energy right, that tells you quite a bit about either where they are at and their capabilities.
  11. Reputation: At a minimum, Google the provider, you may be surprised by what you find. If there's not much information, that is also information. A reputable retreat center will have a professional online presence with testimonials from previous retreat attendees. This is essential for you to see that they are a legitimate organization who you can trust to contain this powerful experience.
  12. Volunteers: Please support ethical plant medicine work by selecting an organization that pay their team. Unfortunately, it is common practice for retreat centers to cycle through young, eager, and worn out volunteers and/or not pay healers fairly. If the people supporting your retreat aren't living their best lives , they're not going to be able to lead you to yours. Don't be shy to ask this question directly when you speak to prospective centers.

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Want to know what a well-run retreat is like? We asked some of our past guests to do the impossible and summarize their retreat experience with us in 1 word.

Watch the video to get a sense of the magic that's possible:

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Ayahuasca is an increasingly popular plant medicine used for healing the body, mind, and spirit. This master plant is a psychotropic preparation obtained by two different sacred plants that originated in the Amazon basin in South America. The begging of the use of this powerful date back to pre-history and its use has always been connected to ceremony and healers.

Because of its amazonian origins, the societies of South America are more aware of the healing aspect of the preparation and its connection to ceremony, healing, and deep transformational nature. But this is not the case in many countries in the world. 

Most countries view this sacred plant medicine as harmful because of its psychotropic qualities. This becomes even more evident in cultures that are far away from South America as Asian countries. 

The distance from its birthplace and the lack of understanding of the plant makes it almost impossible to be part of a legal Ayahuasca ceremony in Asia. Therefore, if your goal is to connect to the plant and its profound healing properties the best you can do is to go to Central/South America and experience the ceremony in one of the many retreats available as the following. 

1. Behold Retreats, Bufo (5-MeO-DMT) retreat, Portugal

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 Asia, but does offer options in Costa Rica and Mexico. Other popular retreat options include Psilocybin in the Netherlands and with the powerful God Molecule 5-MeO-DMT in Mexico or Portugal.

Ready for deep healing and transformation?

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2. Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth – Orlando, Florida

Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth is a spiritual healing and learning center conducting holistic ayahuasca retreats for personal growth in Orlando, Florida. Participants go through ayahuasca ceremonies, healing practices, spiritual fellowship, education, and guidance. They then book an ayahuasca retreat to undergo physical cleansing and purification. After the initial cleansing work, participants get into deep spiritual work using sacred plant medicine. The ayahuasca retreat center is led by a medicine man who is also a Purveyor of Tribal Medicine. He is assisted by an integration coach, a doctor in oriental medicine, a veteran paramedic, and facilitators.

[Retreat #3 removed due to claims from a past Behold guest]

4. Mountain Light Sanctuary, Asheville - North Carolina

Mountain Light Sanctuary is a secluded retreat center and a mini Shangri-La within Pisgah National Forest. It features a spiritual healer who hosts participants from all around the world. The shaman guides participants on the use of sacred medicine and stargate hypnosis. Participants enjoy personal retreats to read, write, meditate, and get creative with the arts. As a mini Shangri-La, Mountain Light Sanctuary facilitates an ayahuasca experience in a heart-centered environment where residents observe original spiritual teachings. Book a group ayahuasca retreat for 2 to 5 days, or opt for a short-term stay at the Banana Patch Village.

5. Indigo Nature Retreat - Old Fort, North Carolina

Indigo Nature Retreat is an ayahuasca retreat characterized by individualized care and attention. Here, small groups of up to 8 participants go on a guided self-discovery and ayahuasca journey with the help of sacred medicine. They undergo ayahuasca rituals, breathwork, yoga classes, and writing exercises. More so, there is an optional guided coffee tasting experience by experts from the Black Lodge Coffee Roasters. That way, participants spend at least three days in the forest grounding their bodies and mind.

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