Firstly I would like to thank everyone at Pisatahua for making this the best, most important and most beatiful experience of my life; Erik and Sasha, Waira and Juan Carlos, and also the family that live just next door who fed us and made our stay so pleasurable and lastly my co-particpants for making this the most beatiful experience of my life, I love you all!
So, I heard about Ayahuasca the first time I was in South America in 2005. I met a German guy who had just tried it and said that he had memories from childhood that he had forgotten and that it was a truly fantastic and awe inspiring experience. I also spoke with a local indigenous man in Cusco and he told me about how they have been using ayahuasca for ages for guidance and clarity.
From that day I have wanted to try this mysterious medicine but with the years my memory faded and I forgot about it. The last years have shown a great increase in interest in Ayahuasca and so Ive reconnected with it and have read and listen to many people who talk about it and the many benefits it offers.
I have been depressed on and off for most of my adult life; struggling with insecurities, anger , self medicating and low self esteem and not being able to find my place in this world. Adding to that I have been diagnosed with both ADHD and Tourettes syndrome, both making it harder for me in my interaction with other people, filtering all the impressions that I am faced with and to find inner peace. I have been in therapy, been to India where I learned how to meditate and breathe and to be mindful; all of those things taught me a lot and through them I acquired many tools to manage my life, my different issues and taught me what I like and what makes me feel good. But still it seemed as the core of my issues still remained.
So, I finally made the decision to try Ayahuasca. I love Bolivia and when I visited it in 2006 it connected me with nature like Ive never connected before and I know it has a very long and historical and cultural connection to Ayahuasca, i I just googled “Ayahuasca Bolivia” and the first on the list was Pisatahua. Browsing the site I instantly was hit with a strong feeling that this is the place where I want to go. And I have truly not regretted that decision…
From first day of contact with Erik, he who together with his wonderful wife Sasha runs the place, until I left Riberalta (the nearest city, whose airport you land on when going here), helped me and everyone else with whatever we needed and with that we didnt even know that we needed. He and Sasha were so persistent on the day most of us had to fly out and most the planes were cancelled, that they in some incredible way managed to get us all on a plane which departed even earlier than our original plane was supposed to leave! They are truly wonderful people who care for their place and the people coming there. They really respect the tradition and the medicine and also have a deep love and respect for the forest and the reserve in which the retreat is situated and all the animals and plants that reside there. They continously invite researchers and students in order to make an inventory of all the plants and animals so that they eventually can have the reserve protected by the government, a truly extensive and ardous task. They also work tightly with the communities in the area and have a relationship with them based on mutual respect and helping each other.
The place is situated right in the jungle, on a beatiful lake which offers spectacular sunsets and sunrises and you are at all times surrounded by the endless sounds of the jungle, this really connects you to nature and all the animals around you. The cabins are really beatiful and provide you with the breeze from the lake which is very welcome in the hot humid jungle. Sleeping there or lying in the hammock with all the sounds of the jungle was truly bliss, Ive never slept that well.
The shaman Waira and his assistant Juan Carlos (Tío) are the most amazing people, words cant describe the love, wisdom and connection to their land and culture that they possess. The love, passion and effort that they put into their work and into us was truly beatiful to see. I cant thank them enough for what they gave me and the other participants. Waira who is a well renowned shaman with roots both in the forest and the mountains taught us so much about the culture and how they see this world and other worlds and how they look at life. It is a shame that we in the west dont turn our attention the native peoples of Latin America and the vast knowledge and wisdom they possess, we wold really benefit from learning a thing or two from them.
We were 8 participants in total and I found it perfect, not too many for it to be too hectic, but also not too few for it to feel empty. All of us really connected deeply and we all told eachother things that we hadnt told anyone, something that for me was so important and cathartic. We really created a bond that will last forever, the experiences and love that we shared is not something that happens many times in life, I am truly grateful for that.
And beware, this is not camp or vacation, this is thorough personal and spiritual work. Also the setting in the jungle with the humidity, the heat and the many bugs really adds to the work. The food is a very strict Ayahuasca diet which intentionally is very simple with no flavour or added ingredients. This, together with the absence of reading, touching each other and most of the time spent alone are all things which I in the beginning was very sceptical towards, my ego and rational mind was questioning this and that. However, as the days passed everything was put into place, every day I understood why at least one thing about why and how we were doing the things we were doing, every little rule or restriction has its purpose.
The preparation one has to do before going there is also very hard but I really advise you to read the advise carefully and follow it, it pays off in the end. And also all and all I lost 10 kilos, something I needed since I was eating quite unhealthy in periods and drinking too much alcohol. Now a week after the retreat I try to live almost as during the three week preparation, of course with some exceptions (a beer here and there, spicy food, some dairy, a little bit of sugar) and I really feel great.
After the retreat I really feel like a new person in every way for me this was truly a transformative experience. I feel really relaxed both mentally and physically. Before I was almost always worrying about something and it made me really tense in my body and making me stressed. My confidence is much better, I am not fearful of situations which scared me, and the list goes on.
I see Ayahuasca as “pure truth”, and when it in the cremonies comes at you for 8 hours every other day for 8 days it is really tough. But oh so rewarding, So many insights about myself, my firiends and family, about the planet, the universe and the meaning of life came to me
I can easily say that this was the best thing I have done in all of my life. A truly humbling, beatiful and healing experience which I absolutely recommend for everyone. And, without having been anywhere else, I am quite sure there couldnt exist a better place than Pisatahua to do it, it really requires trust when going through an experience like this and I can vouch for all the wonderful people that make Pisatahua what it is, they will give you their everything and I love them for it.
May peace be with you all!