I attended a retreat in February 2020. I travelled across continents and I was so fortunate to be at this retreat with these healers. I am eternally grateful.
The medicines were strong and powerful. We were a small group, and there were intense experiences in the maloca, teepee and sweat lodge. At all times during ceremonies I knew our safety and physical needs were being looked after by the facilitators Jesse and Bobby, and helpers Jacob and Mark. These people are beautiful. They are very calm, strong, loving people, immediately right there for anyone when something big comes up that we need help with, without rescuing, always making space for us to have our relationship with the medicine, to do the hard work, to let the gifts and the blessings come in. I am so grateful for their steadfast service. They believe in the healing of the medicine and they are there to serve.
To the shamans and the medicine I can only give my eternal gratitude. Thank you for giving your self and your spirit to this work. I can’t believe that I, as a Westerner from a different culture and tradition, can experience your gifts.
This retreat centre is a part of the community, so there are some locals and some of the shamans’ family members who attend some of the ceremonies. It is a privilege to witness and be with people who live their lives according to the ancient and wise ways and traditions going back for thousands of years. It is good that we as participants can in our small way contribute and show thanks.
During the retreat there was plentiful healthy and delicious food, and the cooks were another loving, fun and positive part of the team. There is a range of accommodation, and I was very comfortable. The setting is beautiful. The mountains above Medellin are magnificent. Before ceremonies we had outdoor cleansing showers with water and fresh herbs heated in big pots on the fire. To have a private space outside in nature looking at the clouds and mountains and hearing the birdsong was incredible.
There was a lot of quiet time to prepare and meditate and reflect. There were a couple of guided meditations and yoga sessions. Other group participants were respectful and not intrusive of each other’s journey, and over the ten days we formed the bond you would expect from going through this together. What a beautiful group of people from all around the world. They were inspiring.
There were also joyful times. The music played and sung in the communal areas in the evenings and during some of the ceremonies helped me get through the tough times. I experienced a lot of pain, a lot of purging, and a lot of joy- if that’s the way to receive healing and meet those parts of myself and the universe then I’m in! I’ll be back at ECA for sure, if I can integrate these lessons and get to a stage where I’m ready for more learning. Apparently a lot of people come back to this retreat centre for another retreat. I can see why.