Shamanic Vida is a small retreat center focused on individual healing process in groups of no more than 10 participants at a time. We are located in the famous Sacred Valley of the Incas in a remote Andean village. We offer 4, 6 and 11 Day Retreats, all with the option to extend your stay for more time resting or deeper cleansing. The retreat healings include Ayahuasca, Yopo, San Pedro, Kambo and Temazcal.
Our purpose is to create a ripple effect in the consciousness of humanity through work with sacred plant medicines of Peru and healing techniques we have chosen, through our own positive experiences, and believe compliment the process of plant medicines. We are here to help bring about a new earth, but first we must help heal the traumas of the past.
We first must begin healing the individual, but in a gentle process. Each participants process is considered on an individual basis and what the shaman and healers feel would be best suited to the healing they would like to accomplish. There is space to explore deeper and daily consultations with the shaman after ceremony to begin to understand the messages of the plant medicine and have a focus for the next ceremony.
The longer the retreat, the deeper the healing. All of our programs are intensive, however there is space to take your time in the healing process through extending your retreat or opting to take less or no medicine. We guide participants only to where they feel comfortable or ready for. The ceremonies are practiced in a sacred context with Icaros (medicine songs) and sacred instruments. Each ceremony has assistants to help care for each person and anything they need.
Our respect and love for the Pachamama or Mother Earth knows no bounds. At the center we are reducing, reusing and recycling all that we can. We ask you to be conscious of your footprint and when you come to Peru, to leave no trace. Plastics and packaging are problem here and we do not have the infrastructure to consolidate and recycle these types of products. For this reason we have bought and use the best water filters available here in Peru and ask you bring a reusable water bottle.
While we are working on building our center in the jungle, to grow ayahuasca, bananas, cacao and other sacred medicinal plants, for the moment we are continuing to practice in the Andes, as we always have and will. Many people are drawn to the jungle for her source of ayahuasca vine, however others want to experience the kind and friendly faces of the Andes and the sacred surroundings. It is called the Sacred Valley because it is sacred, the plants and crops here grow freely to give us all that we need in abundance. Where else is there are fruit trees, Incan corn and cactus all growing in the same area?
During your time at the retreat you will have everything you need for a comfortable stay with all modern necessities. We provide everything, you need only to bring yourself and a few pairs of warmer clothes. In the Andes, we can experience all four seasons in one day, but tend to have cold nights and warm days. There are Incan ruins above the center and plenty of hiking trails around, so comfortable clothes and good shoes are a must.
With our hearts we are bringing every person into the healing power of the sacred medicinal plants of Peru through ceremony.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – Buddha
They fed ayahuasca to a five month old child. As soon as I arrived at my hotel, I contacted the Children’s Right’s – Humanium group and filed a report on the conditions that this child was living under. Even got a case number.
“Your problem”, Chrissy told me, “is that you are IN LOVE with my husband and you want him all to yourself!” THAT had to be the saddest, most un-WOKE comment that I have ever heard in years, and suddenly I felt deep pity for Chrissy for even “needing to going there”; every alleged Reiki Master I have met has long ago transcended such small, jealous petty thinking. I tried my best not to laugh at the desperation oozing from Chrissy’s. Then I remembered that if one takes a neurotic out of civilized Connecticut and transport her to Peru, then one ends up as a neurotic in Peru. Simple math. And Pacco? Nice enough man, I would even go as far as say that he is an excellent shaman, but why on earth would I want her man when I’ve been deliriously, happily married for 30 wonderful years? Did I travel well over 6,000 miles and pay to suffer from some random person’s homophobia?
Because of this weird vibe of hers, once I returned to the states and put myself in the hands of an actual, REAL Reiki Master, did I learn that, for some reason, Chrissy had chosen to send me home with all sorts of little “traps, tricks, curses and hooks” around my heart and all over my body that had to be removed. REVENGE REIKI? “A REAL Reiki Master would have known better than to use her craft to exact revenge on a client”, Dr. Basu told me, as she undid all the toxic work that Chrissy implanted in me, from a distance. “Your problem”, Dr. Basu told me, “was assuming that ALL “shamans and healers” are naturally born with compassion. Those two clearly were not.” Example? They fed ayahuasca to a five month old child. THAT ALONE should have sent anyone running from their care.
Me? A 65 year old man with arthritis and osteoporosis with basic needs. A daily hot shower would have kept me content. I could withstand cold Peruvian weather if I can have just that. While searching for an ayahuasca retreat, the words HOT SHOWERS leapt up to me from the Shamanic Vida website, and that was the ONLY deciding factor for me to schedule an 11 day stay at their retreat. Other than that, I knew NOTHING about the “skills” of the “shamans” that ran the place. I was asked to stop taking my pain medications well before the retreat and to TRUST that the hot showers they lured me in with were already in place and operative. So it quite pissed me off to travel well over 6,000 miles only to learn that NO such hot showers existed. Only when I arrived in Peru was I informed that the location had been changed. I felt lied to and taken advantage of for the 10 days that I suffered through this “healing experience”, WITHOUT my medications. Without EVEN bathing myself for over 10 days. I did not sign up to have a “camping experience with raw nature”; I signed up for HOT SHOWERS. I signed up for regularly scheduled meals.
The first thing that I was asked to do when I arrived was to crawl over a huge pile of wet boulders ,then travel along a treacherous walkway comprised of mud, grass and an awkwardly constructed cement drainage system that led past their ayahuasca camp, it was very clear to me that, because of the difficulty getting UP there, that I would not be able to go anywhere else soon without an awful lot of effort. One slip, one poorly placed footstep off that path, and the blood from your crushed skull will drain into the cold Peruvian river on your left.There are no people around that could help you; no nearby hospitals; helicopter airlift operators most likely do not know the existence of this area. And you want me to believe that Chrissy has the medical talents to handle a potential catastrophe, when providing simple conveniences is already HARD WORK? I arrived to find out that “We use solar power to heat the water“, which means that it heats the freezing cold Peruvian river water all the way UP to what we “city people” recognize as COLD. Chrissy was an American citizen before she ran away from her actual life, so she remembers what HOT WATER means to Americans; instead, she acted dumb and treated me like “I was not a team player” for allowing them to get away with LYING to her paying visitors. Excuses about when the shower would arrive were useless to me. After my seventh day there, a device was hooked up that heated the water somewhat, but the water had all the force of an overturned garden sprinkler can. Might as well just stay dirty.
The community dining room, when we arrived, had no glass in the windows to protect one from the harsh elements. The apartments were all built from what seemed to be a mixture of mud, cement, bamboo reeds, and I suspect, feces, which would have explained all the flies that permeated your sleeping areas. NO INSULATION from the cold. The beds were old and most likely never washed; much less ever disinfected. A plain mattress suspended over bowed boards from the weight of people over the decades. No box springs. I guess I should be thankful that at least the sheets provided seemed to have been washed. Now, almost a couple of months later, I have spent well over a thousand dollars on chiropractors just to get back to normal. Windows that were improperly installed. Five inch GAPS under every door just to ensure that one could never, ever be warm and comfortable. A huge brown 4 inch poisonous spider crawling up the dining room wall. Chrissy called it “good luck”; I called it shitty housekeeping for the money involved.
If you were hungry for the meals that you PAID for, you would be advised to “chew coca leaves (of which there were plenty in abundance) because they help quell your hunger “. Since not many activities were ever planned, save for impromptu yoga sessions, or shiatsu massages from perfect strangers, we mostly sat around waiting for the next meal. One day a volunteer came in to tell us that “we haven’t made any food today; would anyone like a banana?” That was NOT on a day that we have scheduled fasting. Chrissy spent all her time playing with her baby, a pen of guinea pigs, and that everpresent bag of coca leaves that never left her side.
The washing machines that were advertised turned in to “Just give your sh$t stained (quinoa and vegetables boiled down to some kind of vegan sludge was fed to us) underwear to Juanita”, a small Peruvian woman who would wash your clothes while squatting in the muddy river. As each heavy blanket weighs about 8 pounds, I can guarantee you that those snotted up, drooled upon, puked over stained blankets we were given to sleep and journey on have NEVER been properly washed. I paid $1250 for the opportunity to be treated like a trapped animal and GUESS WHAT!?
Now the price has been raised another $400. I guess I was “lucky“ to have found this “bargain” before the prices were increased.
I did my part; I stopped my medications, I adhered strictly to the required diet, I paid $1250 to attend, I showed up. If it is a question that you prefer ONLY young customers, you need to let us old people KNOW THAT. While the elderly are usually treated with respect by the people of most South America, I can’t expect you to feel the same, so just say it: Shamanic Vida only wants young people there. The truth might set you free.
All they had to do to keep me happy was provide the hot showers that they falsely advertised they had. I would have been content with WARM water! Because I was kept in a painful, chronically uncomfortable state, I did not enjoy any of the ayahuasca ceremonies I attended. What I did do was try to make the best out of a bad situation until I could get away from this ridiculously run “retreat”.
Go ahead. Call me a crank. Go see for yourselves and judge whether I am making any of this up. All these glowing reviews do not stand up to the harsh realities one really encounters under their “care”.