Iquitos and Urubamba in Peru
I went to a retreat recently at Arkana and I have to stay — beware. Although many note positive experiences, please be sure ON YOUR OWN that you are mentally stable and ready to partake in this experience.
The medical intake/interview process with Rafael Lopez is beyond absurd. After describing my state to him — how mentally unstable I was, on verge of breakdown, feeling on the verge of snapping etc., he reassured me I would be safe. While I take full responsibility for my decision to try and help myself out of a very poor state, the intake process is dangerously misguided — trust YOUR own judgment if you are ready to take part in this.
Secondly, I was encouraged to take part in the Sapo ceremony — the guide instructed me that this experience would be straightforward and safe, more straightforward than ayahuasca and get to the root of the issue. She explained that I would simply lean back, fall asleep, and have a quick vision. Yet again, I was misinformed as the complete opposite happened — my body lost control and contorted, I screamed, thrashed around violently and had to be held down. At one moment, it felt like I lost complete sanity. While this may happen, I am upset I wasn’t informed this would be a possibility, especially after describing over and over my mental state at that time.
Following my experience, I was hospitalized and am still not ok. Suicidal ideation is an every day occurrence and I only hope to get better.
I don’t mean to make this a post of victim blaming, as again I take responsibility for wanting to try something and get better. However, the medical intake process and guides at Arkana completely misinform you and don’t prepare you for the experiences whatsoever. Do your OWN research (as I have, with the exception of Sapo — I later learned this is 10x more intense than ayahuasca).