Calca, Cusco, Perú
I’ve worked with Erik and Nilda twice–in July 2009 and again in June 1014. The first ceremonies (two nights) were with my brother and step-father; the second (again, two nights) were with a close friend. For all of us, the ceremonies were deeply insightful and transformative. Erik and Nilda’s work as ayahuasqueros is truly a vocation; they are profoundly committed to this work and they organize their lives around it. Their house outside Calca is a beautiful retreat. They provide healthy, tasty vegetarian meals. They do an excellent job of explaining the ceremonies. They are also highly aware that they are working to _translate_–as they put it, interculturally–practices that developed in nonmodern Amazonian cultures for modern Western seekers, who bring varied experiences with magical plants and varied ideas about divinity, nature, and the psyche. I’ve gotten a lot from the ceremonies: above all, an awareness of my psyche, my patterns of self, and a working-through of the traumatic kernels that accrue in any self, but also a heightened sensitivity to nature and the fact of livingness, and a profound experience of collapsed space/time perception. All of us returned from the ceremonies with new intentions, direction, and self-awareness (or, perhaps, awareness of the fundamental non-identity of the self). Erik and Nilda are true teachers.