Post-retreat integration and support
The process of shifting our deepest patterns, beliefs, wounds and programming is one that takes time. Though even a single ayahuasca ceremony can feel like lifetimes of change in just a few hours, the journey to integrate this with our daily existence is something that almost always takes some time, patience and courage.
If you have worked with us at The Garden of Peace, you will have clear instructions about post-dieta requirements so please follow them closely. You can read about them here. However, this page goes above and beyond that to address the subject of integration more broadly.
Time and time again we hear from people who have returned from a ceremony or retreat and found themselves feeling lost or ungrounded, struggling to adjust to new levels of sensitivity on all levels, physical, emotional and spiritual. I relate.
First of all, the tradition of Ayahuasca and the shamanic use of this plant was born out of a society that that lives very differently than many of us, the pace of life, range of responsibilities and physical/energetic environment is completely different and without question more conducive to integrating these deep energies of nature in a smooth way.
Secondly, when we undergo the sort of etheric “surgery” of treatment from these plants, be it Ayahuasca alone or in conjunction with master plant diet, we need time to recover, just like a physical surgery. Rushing straight back to a busy city, our jobs and lives can be too much for our nervous system, body or spirit. However, I know as well as anyone, that time out to focus on ourselves is not always abundantly available. Perhaps the time taken for your retreat or healing was all the time you can afford, literally.
So how then can we seek integration when feeling the aftermath of the deep healing process that has occurred and is still unfolding?
First of all, speaking from personal experience it is essential for well-being regardless of whether or not we are working with medicinal plants to have a meditation practice of some form in our lives. A way in which we cultivate the stillness of the mind, an ability to slow down the activity of the nervous system and enter a state of “flow”. A feeling and being state, rather than a thinking and doing state. The many practices from the yogic traditions such as physical yoga asana, meditation and breathing techniques offer a vast wealth of guidance towards this and can be of immense benefit.
However, playing a musical instrument, some kind of physical activity or creative space you enter with a calm and focused sense of letting go can also activate this state. I know when we are feeling agitated or distressed it can be hard to do this however so I want to make some other suggestions for you to consider.
Write. Journaling without thinking too much, recording your feelings and concerns in a flowing way, just let it all pour out on to the page. This private and safe space for you to continue processing everything is a wonderful and simple method for the continued unfolding of you’re healing.
Seek counsel. There are more and more healers and therapists that have personal direct experience with plant medicine and ayahuasca. The website www.theaftercareproject.org has a great directory of them which you can refer to for in person or distance care and we have connections with people who can do one on one shamanic coaching also. While online forums and community can be a great place to connect and share information, be discerning in taking advice from people who you meet online or who do not have extensive experience, seek counsel from those who are qualified to give it. If you can still connect and speak with the healer or shaman that served your medicine, by all means speak with them first and foremost.
Connect with plants. Ayahuasca is a master consciousness of the plant kingdom, the whole plant world are her relatives and connecting with plant allies as part of your continued healing is such an important thing to understand. Visiting an herbalist or someone who appreciates plants as more than just physical healing entities but as actual spirits may help you to find herbs or other plants that can assist your integration. Also, just spending time in nature, barefoot and close to the heart can help to ground and clear the energies which you continue to work with.
Eat clean and simple. Your body and digestive system may have become more sensitive and your nutritional needs could also be different in adjusting to this process. Plant medicine especially Ayahuasca likes vibrational space…Food that is smooth, not too much oil, acid, sugar or spice. Think soft cooked food, simple grains and lots of green veg. Stripping your diet back like this can help with the integration process. Also red meat and pork are not super compatible, better to stick with free range eggs, chicken and fish.
Be gentle with yourself. You are a precious being, be gentle with yourself. If you need to sleep, sleep. Take time to rest and have space from others. Treat yourself as you would a little child. With care, kindness and patience. This too shall pass.
If you are struggling with post ceremony or diet integration, please feel free to reach out to us at and we will do our best to assist you.
Many blessings on your path of discovery.