This was our (my wife and I) second visit to NLA in a little over a month. Our first was in July 2019. Seems a bit unorthodox to repeat an experience in a short period of time given the amount of information one gathers from a retreat such as this. Anyone who has ever gone through something like this knows exactly what I’m referring to.
Needless to say, it’s a testament to two points:
Our experience with plant medicine was so exceptionally profound we felt compelled to come back in search of answers to more questions we had about ourselves.
The care and support offered at NLA is nothing short of excellent. Without Matt, Jeanae and Drew to help facilitate our experience, there’s no way we would have had as profound an experience as we did (in our previous and most current experiences at NLA).
We signed up for the 7 day retreat (3 plant medicine ceremonies, 1 kambo, 1 rape, and 1 San Pedro experience). There were a total of 8 participants, which we felt was ideal. I know there are other centers that cater to larger groups and while I can’t comment on what that experience is like given that I’ve never engaged in plant medicine ceremonies of that caliber, I can say that with 8 people, it allowed for a more intimate experience with the other participants. Not only did we use the retreat as an opportunity to connect with ourselves, but we were able to connect with the other members from the group in a deep and meaningful manner, of which we were grateful. It’s not every day you to meet random strangers, open up about each other’s vulnerabilities, and go on several intense journeys of self discovery.
Matt’s presence as the ayahuascero is commanding and awe inspiring. How he is able to conjure up the strength to channel the medicine’s powers and convey them in such a manner that leaves a powerfully indelible impression is beyond comprehension. His live performance is one that will leave you feeling inspired.
If Matt is the engine of NLA, Jeanae is the soul. She keeps the place running by organizing the daily activities, leads the yoga classes, prepares the meals (which are delicious and nourishing for the soul), and provides emotional support during the ceremony. She has a wonderful caring disposition about her.
Drew is a jack of all trades. He does a little bit of everything to keep the facility running smoothly. There’s a magnetism about him that draws you to him. He has a remarkably positive way of viewing life (after going through some dark periods himself) that’s infectious and uplifting. There were several times during my experience where his presence positively impacted me (and my wife).
If safety is a concern, I can assure you that the only concern you’ll have is the one in your subconscious. Then again, that’s why people are signing up for this, aren’t they? To understand themselves in a deeper way but from a completely different and novel perspective. Other than that, NLA engages all of the plant ceremonies in a safe manner. They don’t coerce anyone to do anything that they’re not comfortable with. They’re available to answer whatever questions or concerns you may have about your experience. As previously mentioned, they purposefully keep the group sizes to 6-8 people at each retreat in order to be able to provide a more personalized experience.
We could not be more grateful for both of our experiences at NLA and we absolutely recommend this place to anyone who is interested in plant medicine ceremonies.
P.S. Chopper is one hell of a cat.