Andrea P's Reviews
+55 (73) 99988-5785
Spirit Vine, Itacare, BA, Brazil
I attended a retreat at Spirit Vine in January 2019 and it remains among the top 10 most significant and impactful experiences of my life. If you have any fears, anxieties, or worries…just read through the rest of these reviews. They say it all. The facilities are fantastic, the location and surroundings are stunningly beautiful, the food is delicious (although it took me a few days to adjust to complete lack of added sugar and salt lol). I felt safe and supported the entire time. Words are truly too limited to encapsulate how good Silvia and Ti0 are at creating and facilitating deep, introspective, and safe experiences for everyone. I’ve had a year to reflect on my experience and I discover new insights and wisdom every week. If you are ready to go deep inside yourself and consciousness – this place is for you. I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I want to share and I’ve put together some things that I would have found helpful before going.
1) Start cleansing your body with as much time in advance. I feel that this is particularly helpful/important if you’re anxious about vomiting (I definitely was). I always think about Silvia telling us that part of the reason she asks us to refrain from meat, alcohol, tobacco, sex, excess sugar, salt, etc in the weeks leading up to the retreat is that it helps to purify your body so that the Ayahuasca doesn’t have to. Essentially, doing this before hand will help you get into “the work” faster and get more out of the experience. I didn’t throw up during any of the ceremonies and, while i’ll never know for sure, I feel that it was largely due to following the suggested diet/regimen prior to going.
2) Manage your logical mind and mitigate your skepticism. It’s hard – I get it. No one escapes the global systemic conditioning that tells us spirituality & mysticism = crazy, “woo-woo”, silly, not real, BS…etc. But if you can surrender and “buy-in” so to speak, you’ll have a better/deeper experience. I’m not telling you to turn off the skeptical part of your brain – I don’t believe that is possible or helpful. But I think it’s worthwhile to look intently at and bring awareness to those parts of ourselves that instinctively doubt and invalidate this process. I wish I had more diligent about practicing meditation, breath work, and abstaining from social media ahead of time.
3) This goes hand-in-hand with the second point: Make the most out of the workshops. They feel challenging because Sylvia asks you meditate, go back in your memories, or call certain experiences to mind, among other exercises/practices. You might feel silly at first or be thinking: am I doing this right? Am I the only one here whose having a hard time turning off my mind/thoughts? Am I just making shit up in my head so I have something to contribute? Pretty much everyone is thinking/feeling this! Lol. Just go with it!! Sylvia will teach you that the psyche is infinitely wise so whatever comes up for you has something to show you. Surrendering to the workshops will help you in the ceremonies.
4) Be mindful and selective about the research that you do about ayahuasca before hand. It’s so easy to go down a rabbit hole of Youtube videos that show people writhing around on the floor, screaming in a jungle somewhere while someone is chanting and hitting them with leaves. Spirit Vine is not like that at all. Sylvia spends a lot of time curating a playlist for the ceremonies but other than the music, it’s very mellow, quiet, and peaceful. Everyone is having their own experience and it’s not this chaotic-demon-purging-loud environment that a lot of videos would have you believe.
5) Think about your intentions for doing this – what do you want to get out of this? Obviously you can’t control what you’ll see, hear, or experience during the ceremonies but I really do feel that there is room to communicate with the Ayahuasca. For example, I’ve really struggled with self-worth and body image as a woman so my intention for one of the ceremonies was “I ask that you show me how to heal and love myself”.
6) Lastly, when you leave Spirit Vine and return to your every day life – find a therapist! It will help sooooo so so much to integrate the experiences and learnings that you’ll undoubtedly come away with. The dominant global system/societal structure/whatever you want to call it isn’t set up to nurture your spiritual journey. I can’t say it enough – invest in therapy after you leave the retreat and make sure you shop around for one who won’t be dismissive to your Ayahuasca experience or non-Western practices of spirituality and healing.
Hopefully this can be helpful to someone who is considering coming to Spirit Vine!
Lots of love to Sylvia, Ti0, Noor, and all the incredible staff. I’m so grateful to you all.