Iquitos and Sacred Valley in Peru
I attended the 7 day Arkana retreat in the Amazon, and the trip surpassed all expectations. It probably surpassed them in the first two days alone. Also, I didn’t even have expectations, but since I can’t think of any way for the trip to be enhanced, I’m just stunned that such a place really exists. There were times after a ceremony came to an end where we simply looked at each other and thought aloud, “Is this real?”
It might be worthwhile to note that Ayahuasca wasn’t a singular, life-defining experience for me. I understand its healing power, it opened a tremendous amount to me and will be a special moment of my life; I felt it accelerated my journey to understanding aspects of my life in a manner no other substance could, but in a grounded way it has limits. What does not have limits and what was more significant to me was the work of the staff and shamans at the center.
This is a serious substance and environment is everything. The kindness, preparation, and enhancement provided by the facilitators was so very, very helpful and meant so much to each and every one of us. They’re super-talented, selfless individuals called to do amazing work, and their examples was as inspiring as the medicine I experienced. They were open, knowledgeable, and giving of all they had. It’s much more difficult to describe the shamans… but they contributed about a million times more to the ceremony than I had expected. Can I say that I possess the skills necessary to review the shamans? No. Can I say they were unlike anything I had witnessed and quite clearly had dedicated their lives to plant medicines and healing? Without a doubt.
I apologize, this isn’t comprehensive, but I was trying to make the people standout since they deserve it and it wasn’t even on my radar before the trip. If I was looking for a difference maker – something that couldn’t be replicated elsewhere, they would be it. The facilities are wonderful, food perfect (tasty yet ideal for the situation), medicine is strong, every aspect of the trip was utterly authentic, and for my week – and what I suspect to be the case in the vast majority of weeks, the quality of people that a place like Arakana draws really can’t be assembled elsewhere. Thoughtful, talented individuals seeking the most out of life. Probably funny as well, although be wary of Ukrainians, or whatever nationality the trickster figure chooses to hide behind (just kidding my Kievan companion).