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Ready for a psychedelic retreat? Here’s what I wish I knew 5 years ago

September 22, 2021
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Alright, so you’re ready for a psychedelic retreat.

If you’re a discerning individual, you’ve probably been building to this moment for a while.

Great! It’s exciting, and we’re excited for you. If you take the time and energy to educate yourself to find the right guidance and expertise, this will be a defining decision in your life.

As you dive in, here’s a few things that I wish I knew 5 years ago:

·      Know your why

·      Profound experiences are the norm, transformation is another story

·      Explosion in the number of retreats, but a shortage of experts

·      Mental and emotional work is a must

·      No “right” medicine. Best to research and decide for yourself

·     Take the time to find the right energetic fit for guidance and retreat

 

Know your why:

Many people hear great stories from others and are immediately interested in attending a psychedelic retreat. This is a bit sudden and limited – and we would highly recommend that you take considerable time and energy to “define your why”. Are you looking for healing, creativity, to expand your consciousness? Deepen spirituality? Accelerate personal growth? There’s no right or wrong, but it’s important to have a deeply felt motivation for ourselves. If anything were possible for you (and it is), what would you give and get from life? How would this experience help you? Be specific. Journal.

 

Profound experiences are the norm, transformation is another story

Psychedelic medicine is powerful. As thousands worldwide for a legal psychedelic retreat, it’s easy to see profound experiences and 5-star reviews are the norm. That tells you a couple things:

1.    People are having overwhelmingly positive experiences

2.    People are not able to discern quality (between good and exceptional)

Imagine if you went on AirBnB and found nothing but5-star reviews? The platform wouldn’t quite be serving its purpose, now would it? The variance in the quality of work being done between 5-star rated psychedelic retreats can be enormous.

This is why we encourage people to look past the retreat, and to understand the personal transformations that took place. There’s a huge difference between the two.

A psychedelic experience or retreat is a profound experience, after which life returns to normal.

A successful transformation is sustained, leading to meaningful improvements to thought patterns, mindfulness, and mental health, emotional wellness, behavior, lifestyle, hobbies, friends, etc.

If you’re not looking to introduce significant changes to your life at the moment, reconsider whether a psychedelic retreat is right for you.

 

Explosion in the number of retreats, but a shortage of experts

The number of psychedelic retreats has exploded in recent times. From ~15 approximately 5 years ago, to more than 250 in 2021.Today, you’ll find a large number of psychedelic wellness retreat for ayahuasca, bufo, ketamine, iboga, psilocybin / magic mushroom, and more.

Unfortunately, with the explosion in demand for psychedelic retreats, the ecosystem is struggling to keep up, and there is a shortage of expert facilitators and healers. This is why it’s of crucial importance to spend the time and energy to find a high quality experience.

 

Mental and emotional work is a must

One thing that psychedelic research and psychedelic therapy has taught us is that mental and emotional work is a must alongside working with plant medicine. Without mental and emotional work, it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to sustain many of the benefits from a retreat.

We really need to identify, process, and release our mental and emotional blind spots to get the most out of this work. This common oversight is a large part of why people have 5-star experiences on retreat, but then are not able to integrate the experience, and therefore struggle to make improvements to quality of everyday consciousness and life.

You’ll want a guide for preparation and psychedelic integration to support you along the journey.

To understand more about this commonly over looked dynamic, check out our Webinar.

 

Note: If you are exploring psychedelic medicine to treat a diagnosed mental illness, it is critical that you do so in.  collaboration with a qualified psychedelic therapist as well as your psychiatrist, doctor, and other mental health support you have.

 

No “right” medicine. Best to research and decide for yourself

Clients often ask us “which plant medicine is best for me?”. The best answer is of course, whichever your intuition tells you is right for you. That being said, here are a few of the medicines and why people commonly choose them. Again, there’s no right and wrong here.  

  • Psilocybin retreat(also known as magic truffles or magic mushroom): A great place to start, especially if there is a heightened degree of anxiety or consternation in relation to attending a retreat. Psychedelic mushrooms are softer on the physical body, and so are an easier place to start your psychedelic healing journey. Common retreat destinations are in Costa Rica, Mexico, Netherlands, and Portugal.
  • San Pedro retreat: The San Pedro cactus or Hwachuma grows in Central and South America, and is best known for its heart-opening qualities. The underlying psychedelic compound is mescaline – read more in our San Pedro guide.
  • Ayahuasca retreat: If the psilocybin mushroom sounds too soft for you, mother ayahuasca is definitely a more intensive and immersive experience. During an ayahuasca ceremony, one hopes for vivid visuals, detoxification and purging, and a deeply spiritual experience. The underlying psychedelic compound in ayahuasca is DMT, also known as “the spirit molecule”. Read more in our Ayahuasca guide.
  • Bufo or 5-MeO DMT: This is a powerful medicine, typically recognized as 4-6 times more powerful than Ayahuasca. Working with5-MeO, there is a high likelihood of full mystical experiences, non-duality, and oneness with the universe. Read more in our guide.
  • Iboga / Ibogaine retreat: Iboga is a powerful plant medicine with its origins in Gabon, Africa, and is most recognized for its ability to treat addictions. Journeys with Iboga typically last 24+ hours, and are known to extend even to 3+ days. This is not a typo 😊
  • Ketamine: While there are a number of commercial forces eager to rebrand substances like ketamine as a psychedelic drug and provide ketamine assisted therapy, it is not in fact the case. It’s a dissociative. While many have reported profound experiences with ketamine, benefits tend not to last, typically leading the hopeful to explore other medicines such as psilocybin or ayahuasca.

The best thing to do is to research the variety of medicines, and decide the one that is right for you.

 

Take the time to find the right energetic fit for guidance and retreat

Regardless of your motivations, the medicine you’re interested in, and where you’d like to go for a retreat, we really encourage you to take the time and energy to find the right energetic fit.

So whether it’s a psilocybin mushroom retreat, joining a Portuguese psychedelic society, or doing something more clinical with psychedelic assisted psychotherapy – take your time.

Done right, this could be one of the most meaningful decisions of your life. You’re worth it.

 

Ready to begin your elevation in consciousness and want to participate in an upcoming wellness retreat? Request a complimentary Discovery Call.

 

Best of luck on your psychedelic journey!


A few links you might like:

Psilocybin truffles retreat in the Netherlands

Psilocybin Therapy: What you need to know

Psychedelic Assisted Therapy: The complete guide

Cannabis vs.Psilocybin Mushroom: How they interact

Other blogs

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