Iquitos and Urubamba in Peru
My time at Arkana Spiritual Center in the Amazon was one of if not THE most profound experiences I have had in my life. I began researching Ayahuasca for a year before I made the decision to make my reservation and go. After looking at other retreat options and speaking with staff at a few others, I decided on Arkana after my initial conversation with Arkana’s Chief Dharma Officer. I didn’t know at the time that I first talked to Jose that he is the man who, with the help of a dedicated, loving team, led Arkana to become the amazing Spiritual Healing Center that it is today. Jose offered all the information I needed and patiently answered each of my many questions. He helped me feel confident that Arkana and the particular retreat I was researching was right for me. Arkana even helped me chosoe the airline and flight that worked best with my timeframe. I have to admit that I was a bit of a difficult customer, but without exception, each Arkana facilitator and other members of staff made me feel important, cared for, and addressed all of my concerns in a way that my worry about making a trip of this magnitude. Traveling from the United States to a place as foreign and as far from home as I’d ever been was scary to me. Each person I interacted with at Arkana during my entire trip, from planning to departing, helped me feel comfortable and I genuinely felt that my experience was important to them. Due to the way I scheduled my travel plans, I had to leave the Jungle earlier in the day than the rest of the group was scheduled to depart on our last day. Cecilia, the general manager in the Jungle retreat arranged this and made sure I was able to get transportation to the Iquitos airport with no hangups or problems.
Preparation for the ceremonies was excellent. Although I would encourage everyone to do their own research and know how to best prepare for this experience, Arkana’s staff makes sure that you’re equipped with the information you need to prepare for each state of your experience. From correspondence about your preparation diet, what to pack and bring with you and detailed itineraries to one on one counseling with the facilitators and shamans, Arkana guides you through the Ayahuasca healing process.
I would love to write about everything that happened during my time at Arkana; it’s an experience that I wish I could share with everyone. However I learned like it’s important for each person to have an experience that’s not adulterated with stories from someone else. The ceremony facilitators will remind you that it’s important to not have firm expectations, but to be open to the experience. You’ll do your research and during that time, you’ll read people who’ve written exactly what they’ve experienced. Your experience is your own – Ayahuasca does not give you what you want, but it will give you what you need. If you’re researching Ayahuasca, it’s likely that you have some part of your life that you want help with. You will have to do the work yourself, but at Arkana, you’re provided with a safe and loving environment in which you can go through your processes and ask for help when you need it.