Kid Erin Lee's Reviews

Gaia Sagrada Shamanic Retreat Center

Listed in Ayahuasca, San Pedro (Huachuma), Spotlight

593-99-864-3857

Via a Llayzhatan Bajo, Ecuador

Reviewed on August 1, 2017. #1 of 195 Reviews

I’ve been to Gaia twice. On the first visit, I was really just looking for the ayahuasca experience, without varmints. And there weren’t any varmints, except the cute ones, like fireflies and hummingbirds. It’s a nice place, beautiful, if that matters, and civilized. It’s also authentic. Sometimes I wished it was less authentic, but in the end I was grateful. I expected it to be infested with bliss-junkies, eco-Nazis and nutrition-trolls, but it wasn’t. I mean, as you know, enlightened people tend to be insufferable. That’s the thing; they were just lovely people, the crew included. The kind of people that you wish your friends, family and colleagues were like. All of the material attributes that get assigned to us, things like social rank, gender, age, appearance, education, etc., seem trivial and impertinent at Gaia. For me, that’s a big deal. Apart from the medicines, that’s why I went back. I wanted to see if that first group that I was with wasn’t just a fluke. It wasn’t. The second group was just as nice and just as fascinating. Probably not a coincidence.
Maybe it’s because Christine, the director, sets an example; it’s certainly not by edict or dogma. She has a massively impressive spiritual tool-belt. And maybe it’s the medicines; it’s a custom-fit for whatever you bring. Ayahuasca isn’t a joyride and no one understands what that even means without the experience of it. For me, it was an actual medical healing. For most people, it’s an emotional or, if you prefer, a neurological healing. Everybody gets a bump in consciousness. Everybody. The ceremonies and the shamans are devout, cool, reverential and caring. Also beautiful. A lot more than you would expect. You may come in feeling like you are living your life like an extra in somebody else’s movie but you leave as the star of your own movie. Even if you think of life as a mere amusement park, this is the one ride you don’t want to skip. I view Gaia Sagrada as a paradigm of social harmony. That would be a lot to live up to and at no time did I ever hear Christine refer to it as such, but for me at least, it’s a very bright light in a dimming world.

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