Ayahuasca Ceremonies at The Garden Of Peace are more or less conducted in line with Mestizo Ayahuasca Shamanism from the Peruvian Amazon, which in itself is not an exact science, every Curandero has their own style and you can read more about this on our Ayahuasca Shamanism page.
The principal Curandero (Shaman) at The Garden Of Peace is Hegner Paredes Melendez who is originally from Pucallpa and trained for over 15 years to acquire the power and knowledge he shares The Curandero’s role is complex and requires great amounts of mental, physical and spiritual strength and experience to hold the energetic space and to direct the flow of the Ayahuasca ceremony.
In terms of the ceremony structure let’s start with the basics.
What does an Ayahuasca ceremony involve at The Garden Of Peace?
At around 8pm all participants gather in the Maloka (temple) and take their place on individual mattresses. Each person has a blanket, pillow, bucket, toilet tissue and it is suggested you bring a water bottle, warm clothes and small torch, along with any other significant item you may like to hold or meditate with in ceremony, crystals etc. You could also place a significant object on the central alter. Read our how to prepare page for more details.
As darkness falls, the Maloka is cleansed with Palo Santo and Tobacco smoke then the Curandero opens the space energetically. A candle is lit and we speak a few words, also answering any questions guests may have.
One by one guests are called up to the Curandero to drink their ayahuasca. Once everyone has been served, the candle is blown out and we sit in silence waiting for the medicine to start working.
After perhaps 40 minutes, the Curandero will begin to sing, these unique and beautiful songs are called Icaro’s (medicine songs)and are integral to the ceremony, guiding the Ayahuasca, the energies of the other plants and directing the overall feeling of the ceremony.
If after 1.5 hours you don’t feel anything at all you are welcome to request more ayahuasca which is given at the Curandero’s discretion.
As the ceremony progresses, other members of the team may also sing, some songs are in English and more like folk or gospel songs, there may also be periods of silence. Sometimes when it is appropriate guests are invited to sing, however this has usually been discussed with the healers and staff before the ceremony begins.
At some point you may be called up to the Curandero to be sung to directly, this is when the Curandero reads your energy more closely, clearing and purifying you with tobacco and Agua Florida. It is truly a powerful moment.
After 4 or 5 hours the ceremony is complete, usually the candle is lit and we may have time for optional group sharing. Guests are generally invited to speak a few words about their ceremony if they want to. After the ceremony guests are welcome to sleep in the maloka (temple) or return to their cassitas with the assistance of staff.
While guests are asked to refrain from speaking during ceremonies, at any moment you can simply speak the name of a staff member and we will assist you, perhaps to the bathroom or if you are feeling overwhelmed we can help you. Never be too shy to ask for help, that’s what we are here for.
What will you experience in an Ayahuasca Ceremony?
This question is best answered with “everything and anything” every single ceremony is different and it is our view that you always receive exactly what you need in that moment to heal, learn and grow. However, as you undertake more dietas, you become cleaner physically and energetically, which over time does deepen your experience with Ayahuasca as you “get to know” the spirit of this powerful plant, developing your own unique relationship
Here are some of the things you may experience in an Ayahuasca ceremony.
Nausea, vomiting, sweating and other forms of purging
Physical heat, cold, pleasure or pains
Psychedelic visions from soft patterns to intense cosmic voyages
Emotional releases and processing
Thoughts, realizations, epiphanies
A deep sense of spiritual connection and awakening
Creative inspiration and ideas
Seemingly random imagery that may have symbolic meaning
You may sense the spirit of Ayahuasca sometimes as a large Anaconda or Hummingbird, speaking to you or moving through your being.
Sometimes you don’t feel much at all
What benefits can be gained from a ceremony?
Ayahuasca has been used to treat a plethora of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual ails. It aids in deep healing and personal growth, purification and illumination.
People often experience profound spiritual connection and understanding of self, life and existence itself in ceremonies and this medicine in combination with the other master plants is a powerful tool for healing a whole range of diseases that afflict mind, body and spirit.
The reality is every ceremony is different, surrendering to whatever comes, trusting the process and spending time afterwards contemplating your experience will assist you to get the most from your Ayahuasca ceremonies. The medicine shifts deep cellular levels of illness, emotion and energy and this takes time to fully integrate.
Our advice? Be kind to yourself and trust the process.