+55 (73) 99988-5785
Spirit Vine, Itacare, BA, Brazil
It is now a bit over 1 year since I have done the retreat at Spirit Vine. So let me start with the hard facts of what has changed since then:
I stopped taking weed (just the thought would make me feel ill sometimes)
I stopped smoking completely
I stopped drinking with some small social excemptions
I stopped eating meat most of the time
Now all this as not even what I came for. Why did I go? The feeling in me is best described that once I was there and had my first ceremony it was like I just left a smoky dusty warzone crouching into a beautiful garden and was given some fresh spring water to wash my eyes. Even though I was not sure what was wrong with me (of course there where tons of things that went wrong but it was unclear why) I knew I needed help.
Before the retreat I had been doing therapy for a few years, I have been doing Yoga as well and I would not say that all of that was for nothing but at the retreat the Yoga clicked into a place of myself where now it is an absolute fixture in my life. I understand its power now and its principles and techniques where even helpful in the middle of the ceremony. My traditional therapy has came to and end soon after the retreat as I felt I completely outgrew its teachings but clearly it had been helpful to lead me to the retreat as it was Sylvias background in classic psychotherapy that had led me to the retreat above all.
Why am I writing a new review (replacing my first one) after one year? Because I feel I have a better understanding where the retreat has led me since then. Now all of our lifes are completely different but I feel we do all have some issues in common in this world as it is: A lack of trust in a higher power. A lack of trust in the path we take. So all this year has shown me is simply put: I am now working on being at peace with what is while opening up to what can be if I stop being afraid AND judging so much.
This retreat has taken me from my perspective of being a completely nonspiritual rational person to a place where i AM CURIOUS about the magic of life again and about the connection between all life and the existence of a bigger plan that is also a pattern that is also… ok I am loosing you now? That is fine – I would have lost myself back before then. All of this beautiful philosophical ideas, all of this talks I am now having sometimes with people that are brought to me by new winds, all of this is now part of my life TOO. I am still entrepreneur, leading my company with a new compassion and a new patience and trust that was not there before. With a new understanding of what I have but also what I want and what is worth to follow up on.
Less nervous and less angry than before with a lust for new challenges that bring be to my own borders – I am welcoming these now as experiences, as learning. And I am becoming more fearless but at the same time more responsible in my actions and reactions.
Mind you this comes from a person that at times has been on the brink of burnout and even harbored thoughts of suicide. So no, I am not your average young dreamy hippy with too much spare time that decided to go on a trip only to reinforce his weird believes. Only one of the many prejudgments we do have of others by the way. Even those begin to splinter off of my mindset since the last months. More and more I find myself emptier of judgments, gentler with others and so ultimately gentle with myself meaning in fact less desctructive and more caring.
Some of these developments came right away in the first ceremony. Bam, there it was, it opened my third eye. Light came in where it wasn’t for a long time. “Third eye? What is he talking about?” This is what I would have asked myself back then. But it came to me sure as a papercut, just more pleasurable. A experience like any other and the word was right there. Little did I know what that would mean for my life. Until a few months later I had a fight with my girlfriend and while we where both walking next to each other on the street and had superficially closed our argument I suddenly felt myself sitting on step higher in my mind watching the traffic from above: “…and then also you has said that, which is even wore because…. and on this day, really a great day to pick for this occasion! …. I mean if you would have at least….” and so on it went.
We all know this angry collecting of arguments.
But all the sudden I had a new aware me sitting on top of that and saying: “oh my, what a drama, will you just look at that!” And it made me smile and the whole thing in my mind stopped and clearly I knew: “this is your partner, she loves you, you love her, so why would you go on with this completely unimportant fight? Is it in the best interest of what you want from your relationship, from life? Will it help you reach anything?” and sure the answer was no. And it stopped. And since then I am taking a look from this new perspective at myself, a long hard (sometimes painful) look and it starts helping me to actually change my behavior. Sure it is not instantly but talking with the plant wisdom directly from a ceremony: “life on this plane is like a plant. You can make it change its growth but it needs time to adjust”.
Clearly since then I still need a lot of reminders, a lot of guidance but luckily everything is already there (eckehart tolle has tons of beautiful youtube bits that are a tremendous help and if you care about more guru looking types than there is sadguru and mooji) and in contrast to what was before I do now understand it and listening to it gives me joy.
Now you will say: but I wanted to read more about the facilitation of the retreat, etc. etc. You have tons of questions about food, security, all of which I tried to answer in the very first review I wrote and I will insert it here in a slightly amended version to show you, although in hindsight it is not of great importance but of course you will have to put your mind at ease so the thing inside you that knows you NEED this can get you where you need to go 🙂
This was my first Ayahuasca Experience. And what a beautiful one. The crickets play their music and Silvia plays hers. Needless to say everything here is in perfect sync. The group work was extremely professional. Thanks to the absolutely humorous and still expertly lead by Silvia and her staff I had an absolute save feel and could take a lot with me from the experience. Actually I think I am not even yet clear on just how much I took with me. I mean, just look at my T-Shirts. I am wearing Thai-die for the first time since 15 years and feel good about it too. (Get it in nearby itacaré – totally worth going there AFTER the retreat – even if you don’t meet Vincent Cassel and Monica Belluci). Also: I am flipping pancakes like never before. And those are just the most important mentions. I am truly changed. If you feel like most of your pancakes drop just on the rim of the pan then you need to get here and things will get centered, I promise you!
Jokes aside, it has been a profound experience for me and I feel renewed. Nowadays if a one of my “pancakes fall on the rim” I can forgive myself and be happy that I am still here and breathing and learning. And that happiness is not by default. It is work and mindfulness. But I also learned that that work is the most fun and fulfilling. It is hard to say whom I learned the most of: My fellow participants, the leaders of the retreat or myself. But that is the beauty of Silvias way of leading. It is not her at the center, she and her staff are merely helpers on your way. She wants to give you all the tools to empower you for your own way. And for me this method was highly successful so far.
If you are unsure if you want to afford the retreat or a possibly long trip here I can assure you: If you CAN afford it, you should. It is worth every cent and double that. There is only one thing I can recommend: Try to follow the diet as hard as you can and give yourself a few days afterwards with nothing major planned, eat in the wonderful vegan/vegetarian restaurants and cafés of itacare (I recommend café bizarro and naturalmente) and enjoy this time with the new you!