Integrative Therapist – thank you for your review. We are always open to feedback and welcome constructive criticism. We appreciate the opportunity to improve any aspect of our work that is not in alignment with our mission and anything that is not of complete integrity. The Temple has evolved into one of the most respected ayahuasca healing centers in the Amazon due to being accountable for our actions and taking responsibility for any mistakes we make, then learning from them.
In response to your post, we want to share some of the actions we have taken.
Information about guests from previous retreats should never be shared outside of our team, and we are sorry that this happened. We are currently planning a staff training in confidentiality and developing standards for our integration team. Integration is a new field, and we are developing policies and protocols that are both respectful of the needs of our guests and functional in terms of how we work here at the Temple. We recognize that it’s important for guests on retreats and those working with our integration team be able to give informed consent as to how and when their information might be shared, and thank you for giving us this opportunity to re-evaluate how our integration team work outside Peru with our facilitation team in Peru.
Our retreat facilitators are not trained psychotherapists: they are experienced plant medicine people. We are proud to work with some of the very best facilitators in the Amazon / in the field of ayahuasca healing. We have comprehensive recruitment standards to ensure our staff, first and foremost, have many years of experience of personal work not just with ayahuasca, but with plant dietas too. We are continuing to improve our skills with regular staff trainings that include tools like non-violent communication, deep processing, self-inquiry, ontological modalities, and trauma release exercises, to add to the untrainable, unteachable element which all of our facilitators have in common: personal experience, kindness and compassion.
Regarding the “dark side of shamanism”, there is a culture of rivalry amongst many Amazonian healers. This is well known, and at the same time, the belief in dark shamanism, while it has its merits and some truth, is also often misleading. It is the result of several factors including gossiping, jealousy, competition, and mixing energies (of different traditions and systems) although most often it is simply fear based projections. While there are certainly people out there utilizing the power of medicinal plants for self-gain, we have worked closely with our team of Shipibo healers to establish and maintain the highest standards of care at the Temple over many years, and we trust the people we work with. We have a zero tolerance policy on what is called ‘brujeria’ (witchcraft) in the Amazon and are proud to work with a team of well-intentioned, highly skilled, kind and deeply caring healers from several core families.
Regarding the 13-day program: this retreat option was added about a year and a half ago. We no longer have the 13-day retreat guests arrive in the middle of the Deep Immersion retreat, but only at the beginning because we realized after a few trials that this format was not ideal for group cohesion. We make it very clear on the website that this offering is held within the Deep Immersion retreat (see the 13-day website description: “participants of this 13-day retreat join the 3-week Deep Immersion guests together at the beginning of the retreat and leave mid-way through the program.”). Our 13-day retreat continues to be very popular due to demand from people to have this style of retreat, with integrative practices, and more space between ceremonies but who do not have the ability to stay for 3 weeks.
And finally, yes, our founder Matthew is a businessman and is proud of the organization that he and his team have developed over the last decade. The Temple is / has always been run as a conscious (holistic) healthcare business passionately focused on individual and social transformation.