Parign Hak was a transformational experience and I consider it one of the best decisions I have made as an adult.
A bit of info about myself coming into this ayahuasca world. I work as a software engineer and definitely am more logic-based. I would not describe myself as spiritual or the “hippie-dippie” type but I am extremely curious. I had deep-seated problems with existential dread concerning death and a number of traumas from my childhood that have grown into insecurities that plagued my thoughts. I wanted to give ayahuasca a shot and I was very curious about what the experience could be. If nothing else it would be an interesting time.
I found this retreat with extensive online research. I found many other retreat centers that looked amazing but had weird things that popped up in my research that made me wary.
Plus the name “Parign Hak- Grandmother Home” resounded with me deeply as a down to earth serious retreat that was not about being super “Ultra Spiritual”.
Once I reached out to Parign Hak about my interest in attending one of the retreats, they were very prompt in contacting me and kept up clear and consistent communication. I was given plenty of material to prepare myself and when I ask for supplemental resources they had even more than I had time to get into! Kat was my main contact in the weeks leading up to the retreat and she was incredibly helpful.
The retreat itself was much more integrated into the local culture and environment then I realized. Parign Hak took special care in making sure that we had time to learn about the surrounding rain forest and the local Harakbut people who were hosting us. It was a very holistic experience beyond just taking ayahuasca.
The retreat was very small and intimate. It truly felt like I became part of a family. Everyone had plenty of time to have a one-on-one with our ayahuascera, Jessica, to help work through whatever the previous ceremony brought to our attention. Jessica is incredibly open and was hard-working during the whole experience. She presents herself as a normal human being and not some special more “enlighted” shaman being. I am truly impressed with the years and passion she has dedicated to ayahuasca, the Manu rainforest, and the local Harakbut people. She’s been doing this almost longer than I have been alive and it shows in the quality of her work as a shaman.
The rest of the team on site are Harakbut people who are very friendly and open. They shared their stories which gave incredible perspective about how ayahuasca has helped them in their journeys. I regret not knowing more Spanish to be able to better communicate but Jessica was always around to help translate.
The facilities are very basic with no running water or electricity but are well kept. I personally really enjoyed this opportunity to have so little separating me from the surrounding nature and not having any distractions like my phone. Plus I got to really learn that I don’t need ANYTHING in order to be so happy and fulfilled. The most important things in life are the relationships you have with others and not material things. I’ve always “known” this but actually living it is what made me realize this life lesson in a deep way.
The food was always fresh and amazing. Lots of fruits and veggies with freshly caught fish from the river. The whole team eats together family-style.
The actual ayahuasca ceremonies are well-conducted and I always felt completely safe. My three ceremonies were incredible, healing, and I learned concrete things that will help me in my day to day life.
The integration process starts the next morning when we share what we are comfortable with sharing and continues to long after the retreat is completed. The support I continue to receive has been wonderful for me to really get the most out of my ayahuasca experience.
Overall I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Parign Hak. I came to Parign Hak as an open-minded skeptic and left incredibly thankful for the hard work that I have done with the team. I will definitely return and I am excited to see my Parign Hak family again.