As the owner and principle facilitator at Dreamglade Shamanic Healing Center, I feel obliged to respond to this review as Celia has made some pretty unpleasant accusations against both myself and also my staff, so of course I am taking this matter very seriously.
I would like to state first of all that we are all extremely sad about this situation and I am not at all surprised to receive these two very negative reviews from Celia, the one here on AyaAdvisors and another on another well-known review site.
We have one simple objective regarding our healing work at the center and that is that each guest leaves us feeling much, much better than when they arrived.
Obviously this was not the case with Celia but so far, after having approx 1500 people visit us over the last five and a half years we have had a very high success rate with the vast majority of our guests leaving, feeling very satisfied and in great shape after undergoing some profound personal healing whilst under our care.
Of course we have to be realistic and accept that we are not able to fulfil our desired objective 100% of the time, especially as we are dealing with a constant flow of people, all with their own particular issues, many in dire need of some very deep processing and/or healing.
It is not uncommon, that when someone is confronted with their own issues/negative thought patterns, their ‘shadow side’ if you like, that they can move into deep denial about what is coming up and, instead of accepting and owning those said issues, will instead sometimes ‘project’ them onto myself and/or my staff or even other guests. When a situation such as this arises, we strive to stay very calm, to not react and to not get ‘sucked in’ to that person’s crisis (as it is not usually anything personal) whilst gently and patiently attempting to help them work through those uncomfortable aspects of themselves.
We have a very thorough, online screening process for all prospective guests before we will confirm any reservation with the aim of only accepting participants that we feel can work effectively with these very powerful plant medicines in complete safety. Fortunately, we have a very good reputation; therefore we are in an enviable position where we have a large number of people desiring to come to the center. We do not need to take on any potential ‘risky’ guests, as we know that we will easily fill each retreat space. We turn people away literally every week because we may have genuine concerns about their suitability for this type of work but the truth is, we truly are a healing center, so of course we can’t possibly turn away every single person who has personal issues and on occasion there are guests that come to us that are just not ready to face their shadow and take ownership of their own fears and insecurities.
We did everything in our power to help Celia, with constant support and counselling whilst she was with us and we even convinced her to stay at the center for an additional three days (completely free of charge) in order to try and help her work through some ‘trust issues’ that were obviously coming up very strongly with her but unfortunately we were unable to change her state of mind before she left us.
The safety and wellbeing of every single guest that comes to Dreamglade for healing work is our number one priority, which is why I have been personally present at every single ceremony since the day we first opened to the public in June of 2015.
It is also why we always have a minimum of at least two experienced facilitators and two extremely competent Shipibo curanderos, taking care of a maximum of 9-10 guests during every ceremony, so that each person receives adequate support and attention on every level. Myself and my co-facilitators attentively taking care of all of their physical, emotional and psychological needs whilst the two curanderos do an exceptional job of traditional shamanic healing whilst also protecting each guest on a spiritual and energetic level.
It is also why I chose to build the center in that particular area, so to be not too far away from Iquitos (but far enough to be free of noise or light pollution) and why our 4×4 vehicle is always present, right outside the maloka (ceremonial hut), during every single ceremony so that I could get someone to the nearest hospital very quickly (approx 30 min) in case of an emergency. This has not happened once since we opened the center.
My staff and I have talked extensively about the unfortunate situation with Celia, in order to try to really learn from the experience and to do everything in our power to prevent such an incident from ever happening again. It was, without a doubt, the most distressing encounter that we have ever had with a guest at Dreamglade to date. We feel no ill will towards her, just a deep sense of disappointment and regret that we were not able to help her as we have helped so many others.
However, considering the fact that she has made some pretty scandalous allegations against both myself and my staff, I feel fully justified in clarifying some of the completely false statements that she has given in her very negative reviews of us.
They are so numerous that I will not attempt to address every single one of them but here are a few that I can confidently dispel without any doubt what-so-ever.
– She was NEVER told to “stop using the plant bath”. We have never, EVER told any guest to do this and the truth is, its main function is more to clean one’s energy, not as an effective form of energetic protection (the main protection for the guests is created by the curanderos during the ceremony by the singing of icaros).
– She was NEVER told to “inhale” tobacco smoke and it is not something we would ever pressure any guest to do (sometimes we are asked by our guests if we inhale and we honestly reply that yes, we all do, but the guests are not obliged to in any way). Curiously, mapacho (the local jungle tobacco) is actually considered to be one of the best forms of defence against negative energies and is used (and usually inhaled) by every single curandero I have ever worked with in the Peruvian Amazon region area since I moved here 12 years ago.
– Her food was NO DIFFERENT from the food that she ate the first week that she spent with us and was the SAME food that all the other guests were eating.
– The ayahuasca that we use is completely free of any dangerous plant additions to it (such as Toe) and it is the same recipe that we have been using for every ceremony for the last 5 and a half years with consistent and often wonderful results. Any guest, at any time, is welcome to take a sample of it and get it tested if they so desire. Until they do that, any accusations of it being “not pure” or adulterated are purely speculative and not backed up by any evidence whatsoever.
– Our resident yoga teacher Jess, most definitely DID NOT confirm to Celia that we had “stolen her energy” during that last ceremony. The TRUTH is that Celia had asked Jess, just a couple of days before, if it was possible for a shaman to “steal someone’s energy” as she had read an account online of somebody claiming to have had this experience whilst doing her research about Ayahuasca. This means the idea was already in her mind BEFORE she even arrived at the center (this is very significant information***).
– There was NEVER any kind of ‘sinister plot’ to weaken her energy so that we could steal her ‘light’. All of us at Dreamglade have just one desire and that is to help as many people truly heal as possible. We have no need or desire to “attack” anyone or “steal his or her energy”.
– Her claim that we “block bad reviews” is also completely unfounded as there is no way we could possibly do that (Celia’s two very negative reviews are definitive proof of this!!).
– She has also stated that there are “4 other ex-guests suffering from the same issues” after visiting my center yet provides no evidence of this whatsoever. If there really are 4 other ex-guests that feel that have been “attacked” whilst staying with us I would like very much to hear from them, either through here or via email. If this is true then it is something that I would take VERY seriously. Until they do though, I will treat this information as just more hollow accusations devoid of any merit.
The truth is, we have literally HUNDREDS of very, very positive reviews spread all over the Internet and we are one of the most respected centers in the plant medicine community. This is the FIRST TIME that we have ever received such a negative and scurrilous review from one of our guests.
She has also stated that “her own healer” has confirmed that she had been spiritually “de scalped” ??
Curiously, what she has failed to mention in either of her reviews, is the VERY PERTINENT detail that just 3 days after leaving our center, she chose to go off with two, well-known, local con-men that she had met on the street, who had ‘confirmed’ to her that she had been attacked by us (neither of them has any training with plant medicines) but, luckily for her, they knew an ‘expert shaman’ that could fix her problem but of course it would require a considerable amount of money!!
Despite my dire warnings to her, she chose to put all of her trust in them, paid in cash upfront and ended up in a VERY vulnerable situation, deep in the jungle, several hours away from Iquitos, completely at the mercy of two very unsavoury characters. She drank ayahuasca with a completely unknown shaman in a little wooden hut in the middle of nowhere. No website, no reviews, no facilitators present. Afterwards she described this encounter as extremely traumatic, as she felt the said shaman heavily attacked her with ‘witchcraft’.
I take no pleasure whatsoever in making public these details about Celia. We promise all of our guests’ complete confidentiality and up until this moment, we have faithfully kept that promise. However, considering the serious allegations that Celia is making against us, I feel that she has not really left me any other option. Like any normal person, I have certain ‘boundaries’. I have no problem at all with receiving constructive criticism concerning the way we run the center but when someone is making completely false allegations against me and my crew and backing up those allegations with completely false statements, I feel that I have duty to put forward our side of the story.
Dreamglade is my baby. I have spent the last 6 and a half years working very hard to make it into the incredible healing center that it is today. I have invested all of my energy, time and every cent to my name into creating a beautiful space where people from all over the world can come and experience true healing, in a safe and supportive environment. Myself and all of my staff are very PROUD of the work we do at Dreamglade as we know that it is of a very high standard and we will continue to shine our light way into the future***