Listed in Ayahuasca
The Temple of the Way of Light is a pioneering healing center in the Peruvian Amazon that has facilitated safe ayahuasca healing retreats for over 4000 guests from more than 30 countries since our foundation in March 2007. Offering a synthesis of ancient Shipibo healing traditions and modern and Eastern integrative practices, the Temple is proud to be known as the safest and one of the most respected and long-established plant-spirit shamanism centers in the Amazon Rainforest.
All our ayahuasca healing retreats feature a balance of highly experienced female and male healers (Onanya) from the indigenous Shipibo tribe. This incredible team of 12 healers represents over 250 years’ experience practicing the ancient art of ayahuasca shamanism. They are supported by our highly trained and knowledgeable Western facilitators, who act as a critical cultural bridge between the healers and our guests.
The Temple’s ayahuasca healing retreats are united by an unwavering focus on compassion and safety. We are constantly striving to offer the safest container for our guests while they move through their ayahuasca journey. This level of care extends to before, during and after the retreat.
Before: We apply some of the most stringent health and safety protocols in the Amazon, including in-depth medical screening. Guests also receive detailed guidance on how to prepare for healing with ayahuasca and the initiation of a long-term journey of self-discovery, spiritual awakening and transformation.
During: The Temple nourishes a spiritual practice based on the exercise of love and compassion. Put simply, we care deeply about our guests. We have embedded this approach by establishing a high ratio of staff to guests, which ensures an exceptional level of service and individual attention.
After: We view the ayahuasca experience as a continuum. Our comprehensive 3-month aftercare and integration support ensures guests have the assistance and practices to safely navigate their ongoing healing experiences instigated by ayahuasca once they return home.
Thank you! This retreat, 3 weeks deep immersion with the Temple of the way of light, is the greatest gift I ever received. The best investment I have ever done. The place has empowered me in my process of healing which is filled with more love than I ever experienced. The temple showed me love how it is meant to be, showing me and providing me with the tools needed to heal and always reminding me of my potential. I wish every child could receive parents who have love in that much abundance. Our world is a place of fear, every society runs on fear, in this retreat I met an organisation which showed me through its stuff that love is the key to my healing. I had a wonderful childhood with caring parents but here I received a loving cocoon to reset my being and start again. For me it was the perfect place at the perfect time, I am deeply grateful for a place that gives, healing, hope and radiates strength, life does not have to be suffering, it is my choice. Every little aspect of the program, from food, accomodation, group setting, location, schedule, and etc is catered to one aspect, empowering the participant to fuel his own healing. Thank you, for this place, Temple of the way of light.
I participated in a 23 day deep immersion program from March 23rd to April 14th and it was incredible. The staff, facilitators, yoga/meditation teacher, and healers at the Temple truly care about the “whole person.” From the moment I signed up until now (and I know the coming months) I received such care and attention. I knew from their website alone that I was going to the right place for me. Not only did I have the privilege of working with the medicine in a beautiful ceremonious way but the workshops that were offered in between greatly helped me to both process and integrate my experience. I have taken responsibility for all parts of me, am currently integrating them into my life, and experienced a self love and lightness that is indescribable. I know that I am finished working with Ayahuasca and I can’t wait to go back to the Temple and hopefully volunteer to help others have the same level of healing I experienced.
I can’t say enough good things about my experience at the Temple. Don’t get me wrong, it was a difficult journey, but also transcendent, communal, and deeply healing. I felt very safe throughout and had deep trust in the facilitators, who each brought their whole selves to the table — Tanya a commanding presence, Scott a deep calm, and Jessica a sincere compassion — and held space masterfully. All of them made you feel seen, heard and loved. The maestra/os brought their decades of experience to bear and worked tirelessly to direct and support the profound energetic healing of the group and all its members. It was a powerful experience I’ll never forget. Highly recommend to anyone who is committed to growth, discovery and healing.
This was my first time taking the medicine and I only came to TOTWOL for the 9-day Integration Workshop because someone I highly trust recommended it highly. I was not disappointed, and you can stop reading at this point as everything else I’m going to say simply elaborates on this.
Nobody comes to the jungle to drink ayahuasca unless they’ve got some stuff to deal with. There’s a thousand ways it can go wrong, so I was balancing being open to the process with keeping my eyes peeled for red flags. There were none. Don’t get me wrong, there were some dicey events where some members of our 20+ group dealt with any number of issues that arose in person, in group, in the ceremonies, etc. but the healers and facilitators dealt with it in the most gentle and professional manner.
And then there’s Tanya.
There’s a 1000-watt head and heart in that woman and I was inspired by the way she gave her all to each member of the group, including myself. You know when somebody looks at you and you can tell that they really see you? She does.
The facilities, the amenities, the program, the healers, the medicine itself, all fitting to the task. I feel like I got what I came for, and believe most of my cohorts did as well. Some of the toughest nuts were cracked, and while I know my journey has an individual trajectory I was amazed by the diversity, thoughtfulness and intelligence of the others in my group and the loving dynamic within.
I may come back. Not sure. Too early. But I did recommend wholeheartedly to those with whom I can discuss.
I recommend to you too.
I am just back from the Temple and it’s 10 day integration intensive. Over all it was a very worthwhile experience. The facilitators Tanya, Scott and Jessica and Yin Yoga instructor Anya were all extremely good at their art form. The innate talent and love for their work and the plant medicine more than the professional training (though top notch no doubt) is what impresses. Many came because they had heard that The Temple uses Gabor Mates integration methods and trauma theories. I have more of a spiritual paradigm than a psychological one and I found that they mesh the 2 seamlessly and to great effect.
Mind you, I am not here to judge the efficacy of Ayahuasca as a medicine but merely to give others an idea of what to expect of the Temple. So here I go:
The rooms are dare I say luxurious tho simple and quite bare which I loved. The jungle sounds and the slight breeze and the cozy room was heavenly. A plus for the rooms.
The grounds are quite lovely and slightly manicured but not too much. A plus for the grounds.
The food is great and plentiful: A plus food.
The Curanderas and shamans (will call them the healers) The healers are master energy movers and passionate and committed to the tasks at hand. They command the ceremonies with their Icaros in what resonates as a masterful opera of chaos and power. This is perhaps the most difficult area to discuss and to convey. I really do not have words for what it is that they do.
I have experienced Ayahuasca many times and in different places but never in an indigenous context. The shamans are the ones who speak to the plants and without them the medicine has little direction. As I write this last sentence
I can see how incomplete and meaningless it sounds. I can not describe the effect of the healers suffice to say that until one experiences Ayahuasca within this context one does not understand the full import of the plant medicine. One small and again one meaningless example though more quantifiable is that the effect of the medicine lasts about 4 hours and maybe 2 of them as a plateau. At the temple the full effect can be 8 hours.
I would like to add that the commitment to healing and heartfelt caring that the members of our group brought to the experience was a big part of the healing. A plus for fellow pasajeros (journey men and women).
I would like to add a special thanks to Scott facilitator who helped me through hard moments, Jessica for her soft and sweet and powerful presence in the ceremonies and always and Tanya for her deep heart and wisdom and humor.
I first visited the Temple of the way of Light in October 2017 for a 13 day retreat at a time in my life when I was feeling a little lost. Life on the surface was very good, but I felt like I was lacking direction and purpose.
On arriving at the temple I felt at home immediately and very comfortable to share the challenges I was experiencing in my life. The facilitators work very hard to explain in detail the process used to work with the medicine and there is plenty of time to settle in to the environment and meet the healers before the first ceremony.
I made some pretty big changes following the 13 day retreat, I actually proposed to my girlfriend during the last group share and we have since married. The insights and wisdom received during the ceremonies were integrated through discussions with the facilitators and the integrative activities than run throughout the retreat. I made some strong bonds with the fellow participants and on leaving felt certain I would be returning.
Sure enough, I returned with my wife to complete a tobacco dieta followed by a three week deep immersion in March through April 2018. You can view my video testimonial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTtZFTbJGyA
The tobacco dieta was a very different experience: 7 days and nights in solitude, only fruit juice for breakfast and lunch, drinking the tobacco brew every night. This process induced a deep physical, mental and spiritual cleanse. At the time it was difficult to explain exactly what was happening, just a knowing that many shifts were happening and that the significance of these shifts would present themselves in due course. I left feeling grounded, clear minded and total at peace with myself.
Jason and Valko provided support and guidance before, during and after the dieta, seemly able to say exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. Their knowledge and wisdom has been cultivated over many years of working with the plant(s), taking themselves to the depths of their own consciousness. Being able to work with people demonstrating their level of commitment to the frankly terrifying, extraordinary and wonderful path towards finding who you really are was an real honor.
The deeper workings of the tobacco dieta became abundantly clear during the first and subsequent ayahuasca ceremonies of the deep immersion retreat that commenced 9 days following. The insights that came were direct, specific and systematically worked through each area of my life. The sheer volume of insights and wisdom I received in each of the ceremonies was overwhelming. The tobacco opened me up, opened my heart and my mind and allowed the ayahuasca to penetrate deeper.
Overall, I have experienced profound mental, emotional, physical and spiritual growth during the last 6 months. I feel more excited to be alive than I have for many years, with a greater sense of purpose than ever before. My experiences at the temple have peeled back the layers of conditioning that we all accumulate as we go through life. As each layer falls away I become more of who I alway have been, more connected to my inner truth. As Jason always says this work is a process of taking things away.
The main lesson I would like to offer to anyone looking to work with plants is find someone you can trust. The more I trust in the space, healers, facilitators and medicine provided by the temple the more profound the healing I received becomes.
Ultimately, finding a place you can trust will only take you 50% towards whatever it is you want to heal, the other 50% comes from your commitment and resolve to work through whatever it is inside of you that’s standing in your way.
I had extreme trepidation going into my experiences with Ayahuasca. I had heard so many stories, both positive and negative. As such, I took it upon myself to approach the medicine with one word in mind…SAFETY! I did my research and finally opted for the 3 Week Deep Immersion Program at the Temple of the Way of Light. The reviews for this place were incredible across the board. It almost felt overhyped…So I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t cynical of the incredible feedback the facility had received throughout the years in these reviews, but this cynicism was completely washed away upon my arrival. Throughout my time at The Temple, I felt safe, held and forever attended to. All of my questions/concerns/fears were immediately addressed by the facilitators, who were incredibly insightful (almost to a spooky level in that they seemed to know more about me than I knew of myself). THE FOOD WAS INSANE TOO!!! The cooks at the Temple made healthy, nutritious meals that had me drooling at the mouth for each meal. The Maestros that we worked with during ceremony were so full of compassion and unconditional love for us that it was difficult to leave them. The Temple exceeded in their service on all fronts…And then some! Thank you Temple for providing me with an experience that I will be sure to remember for the rest of my life, and for an introduction to lifelong friends that were made along the way. x
Just Completed my third 12 day retreat at the Temple of the way of light. The food is great and the facilitators and Maestros are loving and attentive. The Temple exemplifies the saying that the medicine is not just in the cup. I will be returning as soon as possible hopefully to do a 3 week retreat. For me anyway, if trust and safety is a concern, this is the place to go.
I was really impressed with the approach of Temple of the Way of Light. I went on a retreat there with my wife, who really started as the one interested in this medicine. I came away very impressed. The facilities were clean and well taken care of, and the food was excellent (especially considering the limitations of the ayahuasca diet). There were, however, two areas where the Temple was really above and beyond.
The first area was the staff. The Maestros really radiated caring, and you could feel the way that they were weaving a tapestry during each ceremony. The westerners who were supporting them were also outstanding. Through the ceremonies and between ceremonies, they were there to emotionally support us with whatever came up. They were kind and skilled as well. There were also some very kind helpers who helped us physically move around during the ceremonies. I could not speak to them because of the language barrier, but they were always right there when you needed them, and they radiated strength and kindness (which is often key at a time like that).
The second area is the way Temple integrates the Shipibo people who run the ceremony. The Maestros/Maestras really run the ceremonies and are included on every level of the planning. What probably impressed me most was that Temple understands that for this relationship not to be exploitative, there needs to be political engagement. The Temple is strongly engaged in advocating politically for the native people of the Peruvian rainforest.
Thank you for an amazing experience.
I had the great pleasure of attending the 9-day Integration Intensive retreat at the Temple in April 2017. I can safely say it was the most profoundly transformative experience of my life.
The Temple facilities and expansive grounds, though relatively rustic, are absolutely beautiful and imbued with the kind of jungle magic one might expect from a healing oasis in the middle of the wild Amazon rainforest. The skillful facilitators and highly-respected and vetted maestras/maestros work with such immense amounts of love and deep respect for the medicine, as well as their role as healers….I felt very protected while in their care. I learned as much from the ceremonies as I did from the informal+insightful discussion amongst my fellow travellers and group processing sessions during the day. The medicine is beautiful and obviously prepared with a lot of love (as is the food!).
I believe that although the Temple isn’t perfect (no retreat centre is) it definitely sets the gold standard and is the bar against which all other centres should be measured. I highly recommend this magical place for all those prepared to examine their shadow with loving curiosity and begin the deep dive into the self. I am forever grateful for the healing and path-opening I experienced here and it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Irake, Templo de la Luz!
I recently completed a 12 day retreat at theTemple of the Way of Light and had a great experience. The ayahuasca was not entirely what/how I had expected, but this was more because of my expectations than any fault of the Temple or staff. On the contrary, they repeatedly told us that the medicine can have very different effects on different people and at different times and that this is ok. I found the location and amenities beautiful, the facilitators excellent and the Maestras and Maestros incredible. While I am still processing the totality and impact of my experience, i cannot but commend the Temple on a well run programme with attention to every detail, both physical (good food, regular plant baths and plant medicine to make us more amenable to the Ayhuasca medicine) and mental (strong facilitation and regular check ups on how participants were doing). I had selected the Temple because I was intrigued by the idea of working with female healers and, as a novice in this area, I wanted a safe space. I was impressed on both accounts. Our group was lucky enough to have six healers working together to create and amazing energy in the room by their joint Icaros – I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of trying.
I recently attended the 9 day retreat at ToWL. It was an amazing experience with such a warm, caring, and skilled group of facilitators. Accommodations are basic, but comfortable and you want for nothing. The setting is beautiful and the Temple genuinely works to support the local village. Our maestros and maestras were highly skilled and exuded warmth and love. Observing the authentically caring relationship between the facilitators and maestros was one of the most moving parts of my experience. Everyone is working in a truly equal partnership. The experience was more than just the aya ceremony, as we experienced a host of plant remedies throughout our stay and were given the opportunity to really learn about the Shipibo culture, the local environment, and plant medicine.
I recently attended a 12 day workshop at the Temple. I have nothing but good things to say about it. The facilitators were awesome. They were kind, professional, and always available to offer their wisdom or guidance whenever it was needed. The maestros and maestras were amazing. They were full of compassion, yet were still immensely powerful in ceremony. The facilities were great. The maloka was large and beautiful, the sleeping huts were spacious, and the entirety of the grounds were gorgeous and well kept. And the food was amazing!
I went to the Temple to address some serious and chronic issues with depression and anxiety. After three ceremonies, the depression was gone. After three more, the anxiety was gone. And I don’t mean something cliche or trivial like “it showed me that I had the power to overcome them all along.” Nope. Ayahuasca straight up eradicated those issues and gave me the power to move forward in my life. I’ve also suffered from debilitating tension headaches for years. Since the retreat, I haven’t had a single headache, and the constant throbbing in the areas where I would get them is gone. Overall I feel so much better mentally, physically, and emotionally. I was in a very bad place before I went to the Temple and going there was something of a last resort. Luckily, I got everything I asked for and so much more.
I want to be clear that ayahuasca can be very difficult and it is not a panacea. It has the power to offer immense healing, but you must be willing to meet with it halfway, and when the workshop is over, the rest of the work begins. Fortunately, the Temple offers plenty of resources for how to move forward with your life and your work, and the friends I met while on the retreat have been absolutely amazing. I know I can turn to them whenever I need them.
I did a LOT of research before choosing which center I would go to. Overall, the Temple seemed like one of the safest, most professional, and most reputable centers out there. After going there firsthand, those suspicions were confirmed. Going on this retreat was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I attended a nine day retreat at the Temple of the Way of Light (TOTWOL) at the end of January 2018 and it proved to be a life changing experience. When I was doing my due diligence and drilling down before I committed to one center over the other what most convinced me to choose TOTWOL were the extraordinary testimonial videos on their website which really say it all. I carried out my research with a questioning, occasionally cynical eye but I found these videos documenting the experiences of guests so overwhelmingly powerful and authentic that I knew deep down the Temple is the real deal. I’m happy to say I was proved to be absolutely right!!
The Temple’s wealth of experience and deep reverence for the Shipibo healing tradition shines through as every detail is thought through to ensure each guest receives the absolute optimal healing experience. This includes everything from the food, to the balance of each day between group work and time for solitude and reflection to time for one on one discussions with the exceptional facilitators. We’re all on our own journeys but the power of the group dynamic cannot be overstated and it is a truly amazing experience to be in that moonlit maloca with over twenty other passengers, listening to the cacophony of every variety of bird, plant, frog, mammal and insect emanating from the jungle and the astonishingly beautiful icaros sung by the healers.
I could go on and on but I’ll stop here and just say if you’re looking for an ayahuasca center of the utmost integrity, guided by love and a mission to heal then the Temple of the Way of Light is absolutely the place you’re looking for!
LONG TEDIOUS RAMBLING POST ALERT
It’s so hard to know if something has helped you when you’ve put so much expectation into it. I don’t think I’ve stuffed any more expectation into those 12 days than anything in my life. I didn’t know what to expect and so I expected. I told myself not to expect and told myself I wasn’t expecting. I said to myself I was moderate and balanced.
I’ve been in talking therapy for years (I’m 42 now) and I’d felt I’d never made any progress, resigned to a hopelessness that I’d befriended, a sprinkling of friends, a cynicism, doing a job I disliked, feeling everything was always wrong all of the time. For a few years I’d got the idea that Ayahuasca was the only thing that was going to make a difference and that I had to do it. But I was too scared. Another year went by. I kept watching the video testimonials. I couldn’t pull the trigger. And then one day, I watched one of a guy from London which I don’t think I’d watched before and something convinced me. I booked. It was a relief. I might still not book the flight and/or not turn up, so I was still not fully committed.
The time was approaching. I was shitting myself, start of the dieta, my flight to Lima, I was overcome with anxiety. Then I looked at the introductory materials just after new year which I’d somehow overlooked. There were obvious things about preparation, things about what to expect with Ayahuasca, practical matters, medical contraindications etc, and book recommendations.
Here was the important thing for me. The Temple recommends a book called ‘The Presence Process’ by Michael Brown, in which Michael sets out a ten week sort of meditation/healing process which tries to yet you to be more present with your emotions in each moment, and then feel them and then move beyond them. I bought it and read it and followed it diligently, despite my misgivings. I meditated every day for 15 minutes twice. I did what I was told. I think I was doing it so that if the Ayahuasca went sour or I didn’t turn up, I had something to fall back on. I think I was doing it so I could cope with each anxious moment before the trip, so that I could realise that everything is always just as it is, it’s ok, NOTHING is in the future. Just be. I was kidding myself of course. I was listening to a hell of a lot of Eckhart Tolle. We always need hope.
When I got to the Temple, I was on about week 3 of this Presence Process. I had my safety net, I was there, I was ok. In truth, I didn’t know where I was emotionally, I never had done, but I was starting to open up to all my repressed anger, but I only really know this as I write now.
I don’t want to say all that much about the banalities of the Temple. The room was fine, the food was good, but none of that would have made any difference. Not a jot.
What made a difference was my facilitators. There was a non-intrusiveness about their overarching caring which was a blessing. There was no high-handedness, or knowing-better. There was no condescension. They saw who we were and they were there to help in all aspects whether in ceremony or at any other time. I had 20 minutes with one facilitator which was more than I ever got from hours of therapy. I don’t know whether this had anything to do with the medicine, I cannot know. Perhaps it did, perhaps it was to do with the Presence Process, perhaps a combination of the two.
What also made it was the 21 other people. Just to be in a place without my phone and usual crutches, just sitting in my hammock, processing, finally getting close to the root of all that had troubled me for the past 38 years. Being able to chat when needed. Not being able to escape your interiority, your inner feeling. If I felt shit at the dinner table, I felt shit.
I didn’t drink in 5 ceremonies, and it didn’t really matter. I got scared. I’d read a review on here in Lima about 5 days before getting to the Temple in which the reviewer stressed how torrid every single one of his 7 ceremonies was. I was almost not going to go, In truth, I drank but I always left something back in the cup, as if to say I was rebelling and I wasn’t going to trust. Perhaps I missed out.
And then in the seventh ceremony, the maestra again poured out more than I’d asked for, and Scott said ‘Just trust the maestra’. I drank it all. Nothing happened for three ikaros, and then something did. I don’t know how, but all the insights I’d come up with in the fifth were cemented. I felt part of it, part of everyone in the group. I felt I had licence to move on.
But here’s the grand conclusion. As I sit here and type, and I’ve just been back from another session of therapy, I have never felt more in control of myself. I have never felt more that I am the master and that I can choose to be how I want to be in each moment. I am not overwhelmed by my crap, I am not so distracted. I am not happy, far from it –I don’t feel myself to be in any way a different person to the one that went –what I feel is that I’m closer to myself, I am closer to the joy and the carefreeness that I perhaps experienced in brief respites when I was very young or when I was at university. I don’t feel dutibound to be morose or depressed like I always felt I had to.
I cannot make up your mind which centre to choose. Really, I don’t think it matters. Go with your gut. Know though, that if you come to this place, and if the facilitators are anything like the ones I had, you shall be totally taken care of in every way. That’s to say that if you know you have shit to deal with, this is a brilliant place to deal with that shit. This is a place where you can help yourself. Don’t expect to come out bright and shiny — you might well do — realise that you’re not lost, you never have been, realise that you might just see this more clearly some time after you come out of your retreat.
I really wish everyone well.
I attended the Temple of The Way of Light for the first time in January of 2017 for the first all Women’s retreat. For me, it was an exceptional experience. I had been wanting to do this type of deep work for many years, but was not quite ready. I knew that I wanted to work with these plant medicines down in Peru, and knew that the right place would eventually present itself when the time was right. After many years of other types of healing modalities and inner work, I knew that I needed and wanted to go deeper. Essentially, the Temple found me in a way and everything aligned for me to attend the first ever all women’s retreat. The retreat was lead by two amazing facilitators – Dr. Tanya and Deanna. We had 5 amazing female maestra’s and the rest of the support staff was also incredibly kind and helpful the whole time. The Temple grounds were absolutely amazing to roam and integrate in between ceremonies and everything flowed in a synchronous way that I still find hard to put into words. The level of detail and care that went into that retreat was what allowed me to feel so safe to go as deep as I did with the medicine. From the moment we got picked up in Iquitos, to the moment we got dropped off, I felt very cared for. That women’s retreat will always hold a special place in my heart, as will the Temple. I then returned to the Temple again 8 months later in August of 2017, and had a very positive experience again. I plan to head back to the Temple again this year and am looking forward to returning to the magical jungle. I would definitely recommend people who are wanting to do this deep work, especially women, to go to this retreat center.
I’m about to register for my 3rd Temple retreat in 4 years and I figure it’s time I show some public love for this place which has been the grounds for some very deep healing for me.
I’ve attended a 12-day retreat and a Deep Immersion Retreat (3 weeks). While I could write a book (and intend to) about the positive impact the ceremonies have had on me, I’ll just keep this simple in case you are someone, like me 4 years ago, who is just seeking a safe and reputable place to approach ayahuasca.
I just recently found out there are ceremonies happening every other weekend 5 blocks away from where I live in New York. But here I am, preparing to book another retreat in the jungle, thousands of miles from where I am. If it is prepared well, ayahuasca is ayahuasca. I’ve learned through my time at the Temple of the Way of Light and other places I’ve drank ayahuasca, that setting and support are vital elements to an ayahuasca experience, more important than the medicine itself. I’ve had the experience of not feeling safe and not being able to surrender to the healing power of this medicine, and I don’t ever want that experience again. I understand why so many people say negative things about ayahuasca, I can imagine they did it in the wrong space and weren’t able to surrender fully. I’ll keep coming back to the Temple because it is a safe, compassionate, and well held space. The shamans are brilliant and beautiful human beings with skills I can’t even pretend to comprehend except that I feel safe in their presence.
What has continuously worked for me at the Temple is their approach to facilitation. The 4 different facilitators I’ve had have all embodied, in their unique and brilliant way, an approach that has allowed me to take responsibility for my own experience and come to my own understanding. Not once in my countless interactions with the facilitators throughout my retreats, did any of them attempt to interpret my experience or solve my problems for me. I can’t express how grateful I am for this, as I’ve been empowered like never before to look in the mirror of my own soul and find my way through there.
The Temple is not for you if you are looking for a therapist, a guru or someone else to solve your problems. The Temple is not for you if you aren’t ready to take responsibility for yourself. The Temple IS for you if you would like a space in which to safely explore yourself, to learn and grow through your own experience, to be able to come to your own conclusions. The facilitators and helpers will walk by your side along the way if you need their support, but they will allow you to determine where you go. This is what I love and appreciate. There’s is no dogma at the Temple (ironic considering the name :)).
I say, find your courage and take the plunge to the Temple to meet your Self 🙂 Maybe I’ll see you there 🙂
I offer my review to add a bit of balance and perhaps a bit deeper look into the Temple of the Way of Light. I offer my perspective as someone who has experience with many of the Temple’s offerings (the 12 day retreat, monthlong, three week, and integration coaching) and as someone who is trained as a psychotherapist utilizing modalities such as somatic psychotherapy (often used in the treatment of trauma), depth psychology (Jung), mindfulness, the Work of Byron Katie, and numerous other east / west practices. I also offer my perspective as someone who has experienced other retreat centers, who has sat in more than 50 ayahuasca ceremonies, and who has worked and dieted plants (aka isolation plant dietas) with respected Ayahuasqueros in the Shipibo tradition and a Tobaquero.
What I can share about the Temple:
From a medicine and healing perspective, the Temple does a good job of maintaining a safe healing environment and highly skillful healers for deep healing experiences. This said, although I have not personally experienced this, I have heard from two other guests who now work at other centers in Peru and an apprenticing medicine healer that they experienced the dark side of the shamanic world while at the Temple. There is an underculture to shamanic work that is not apparent to the layman but that people who spend time in the medicine world come to know of — a world where shamans psychically attack other shamans out of jealousy or other dark motives. I have heard that there were incidences of this at the Temple yet I haven’t personally experienced this there. On a whole, I believe the Temple does a good job of maintaining a safe environment and the balance of masculine and feminine healers is somewhat unique to the Temple.
As for the accommodations and food, I will leave that for others to comment on. My primary concern is the safety and well-being of guests and to me the safety of the healing environment and the healers, and the knowledge, training, and experience of the facilitators and staff is most important.
I will say that in my several years of attending the Temple and communicating with the integration team and founder, Matthew, I did have some experiences that brought concern and warrant noting.
Ayahuasca and integration coaching are yet unregulated fields. I.e. in the field of psychotherapy and coaching there are ethics that form the basis of the work. For example, all therapists and many coaches undergo training on the ethics of confidentiality. They understand that confidentiality is the foundation of building relationships founded on trust and they understand that a breech in client confidentiality is not only serious grounds for disciplinary action but also potentially harmful to the wellbeing of a client and certainly harmful to the client / therapist or coach relationship. That said, during my relationship with the Temple, they breeched confidentiality. None of the facilitators in the duration that I had a relationship with the temple had therapy backgrounds, and indeed the head of Integration Dr, Tanya Mate (daughter in law to Dr. Gabor Mate) is not a therapist and has no formal therapeutic background nor do the founders. Nevertheless, it seemed that within the organization they speak of confidentiality but were not actually aware of what that means. Indeed, on two separate visits to the temple one facilitator spoke ill of a prior high profile guest thereby breaking the prior guest’s confidentiality. I too had a personal experience in which the Temple breeched my confidentiality and I brought this and other concerns to their attention. This is an important point as with healthcare there are HIPAA guidelines around how information must be held and stored and in the therapy realm there are ethical guidelines around how information is held and shared. Yet, at the Temple there seems to be a lack of understanding of what confidentiality entails and the practice of confidentiality. This is likely true of most retreat centers which have been established and staffed by unlicensed individuals who have had no formal training in the practice of holding confidentiality and the ramifications of what that means. Yet, I share this information because the Temple speaks of confidentiality and has guests agree to uphold confidentiality yet has in my experience failed to do so themselves and failed in my opinion to fully grasp the gravity of such an error.
I too would say that in my communications with the Temple, I have found what others have noted that the founder, Matthew, is a businessman and that he and the communication of the Temple hasn’t always been transparent and forthright. At an extreme, I might say it has bordered on false advertising and dishonesty. For example, the temple promoted a “new” two week program and marketed it on their website as such. In reality, guests including myself arrived to discover that they were merely joining a monthlong program half way through that the Temple was not able to fully sell out. There was no actual difference in program between the month and the two week only in duration. There were many complaints from the participants as the joining half way through created a disjointed experience for both the monthlong and two week participants.
Lastly, I will add that while it is easy while influenced by medicine to put the Temple staff on a pedestal (or conversely to project negatively onto them), they are indeed human beings capable of the same fallibility of all human beings — no better. No worse. Just human. To expect otherwise or to expect that the Temple will be above any unintentional hurt or pain in your journey may be a set up for disappointment. As, I believe that the Temple does their best yet at times that means they have and do too unintentionally harm as all humans do until they no longer do.
P.s. this post has been reposted as it seems that the Temple responded to my initial post with lies claiming that the website information about the program states that the 13 day program joins the Monthlong program. Now it states that. However, originally the website did not state that. The Temple claims that they are dedicated to learning from their mistakes and they are. Unfortunately, they aren’t actually accountable (as they state) to the people who they hurt in the process and who led to them learning those mistakes AND if they consider being dismissive, totally nonempathic, showing no regard for or understanding of the impact to the people harmed through their negligence, and refusing to even respond to communication around breaches of trust and confidentiality then yes, they have been accountable. Otherwise, no, I’d deem their actions professionally irresponsible, lacking in integrity, hurtful, and the acts of unconsciousness despite what they claim publicly to repair their reputation.
The healers, & facilitators held beautiful loving space for spirit revolution and deep healing. They were available individually whenever needed, listened well enpathically, and gave the perfect feedback blending respect for my choices with loving push of encouragement to walk through discomfort in order to really get the most out of what I came there for. I felt I was in a healthy nurtiring family for the 9 days. The jungle location was magical. The supporting workers were kind and dedicated. I think this is the closest I could ever get to encountering the novel native collective healing experience. It was the real deal. I am excited to integrate my inspiration, insights, and re-evaluated values, behaviors and and life goals into my daily practice. Thank you TOTWOTL!
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.
I attended the 3-week Immersion Retreat at the Temple in November, 2017. It is hard to put in words what a transformative experience it was for me. The two Shipibo Shaman, Inez and Jose, were absolute powerhouses of healers. Their chants for us during ceremonies have forever changed the DNA of my being. Drinking ayahuasca 7 times during my stay has brought about many transformations in my being and it helped me a great deal to heal my PTSD and anxiety disorder. It was hard work in ceremony, as I was shown so much childhood trauma and fear and anxiety that I had to relive here in order to ultimately connect with my own inner light, love, strength and courage. This is not easy work and my background in meditation and yoga seemed to be very helpful to be able engage in the work with the medicine. Drinking Ayahuasca is not for the faint of heart. However, it will be hugely rewarding if you can stay with the process and keep working with your shadow and not give up when it gets difficult in ceremony. The support at the Temple we received as a group was phenomenal. We had daily support groups, trauma release exercises, yoga and meditation classes and Self Inquiry exercises. The staff and facilitators were incredibly gifted in their work and very warm and friendly and always available for support. I was part of a group of 26 participants and the bonding between us was so deep that I felt I had known everyone for ages after 3 weeks. It was hard to say good-bye to my newfound family.
I recommend the Temple to anyone who is prepared to do hard emotional work and who is looking for a nourishing and supportive experience in doing this life work of transforming suffering and blossoming into a more awake and happy being.
Profoundly transformative, surrounded by knowledgeable, sensitive, caring facilitators and Shipibo healers for whom safety was paramount. Every detail of set and setting was attended to. The food was fantastic as was the facility. Their devotion to sustainable agriculture and habitation makes me proud to have chosen this place to do my work. Wonderfully enlightening permaculture walk through the jungle. The facilitators model what personal growth looks like. One of the most important aspects of what The Temple provides is continuing after care to support the integration process. Having left the The Temple only a few days ago, i have a deep appreciation for their belief that 50% of the work is done in ceremony with Ayahuasca and the healers and 50% is the integration work that one must commit to afterward to hold onto and put into practice the insights acquired from the medicine. From my research into other centers, i have not found the same level of support and resources that The Temple is providing to its attendees. From day one after my departure i have been using this support to stay in touch with what i have learned. It has helped me to stay open and in a place of non judgementally observing my reactions and responses to the world beyond the jungle so that i can continue to grow. I miss the jungle, the maestros and maestras, the facilitators and my fellow attendees. Usually within a group one finds at least one or two peple who are having a hard time and can make it difficult for others. I credit The Temple’s screening process for bringing together people from all over the world who generously shared their genius and their wisdom with me. I will be forever grateful. I will return.
I attended the Temple’s 30-day Deep Immersion Program in October 2015. At the time it offered 8 ceremonies over 4 weeks, with plenty of down time between ceremonies for integration, yoga, meditation, art therapy, and group sessions. It’s been sharpened to 7 ceremonies over 3 weeks, which I’d consider an improvement.
In my opinion, the Temple is aspiring to be one of the biggest and most renowned centres in Peru to meet growing demand from cultures afflicted with spiritual maladies. It thankfully understands the importance of doing so sustainably, which is evidenced in the Chaikuni Permacutlure Center work that’s being done on site.
The most important point I want to make is that the Temple is great for a lot of people, especially newcomers to the medicine, but can fall short on delivering what’s possible due to needing to give a lot of people a good experience.
Plant medicine is often intense. In rare cases, people die. Compared with all my other experiences, my opinion is that medicine at the Temple was mild for the sake of not scaring too many people off. If this is your first retreat, it will sufficiently knock your socks off, and give you a wonderful first experience. They have a knack for attracting world-class facilitators. If you’ve already journeyed before, or if there’s any urgency to your healing process, I’d advise finding a smaller specialized centre that follows the Shipibo healing lineage more closely.
My last thing to mention is that if you have any trouble with mobility or moving around, you should absolutely consider a different retreat centre. The hike in is gruelling, even with their porters carrying your bags.
+ safe place, great introduction to the medicine, workshops on Shamanism, healthy diets, plants, yoga classes (Ian has been the best yoga teacher in my life so far:) etc.
+ I joined a 12 day retreat including 7 Aya ceremonies in December 2016; beautiful and intense experience, I am very grateful
+ food is better at the temple compared to most other retreat centers (considering that you are on Aya dieta) particularly if you eat fish; fish from the Amazon river is yummy… vegetarian alternative offered
+ during ceremonies a lot of 1on1 attention of Shamans so you get your share of healing
+ Wonderful facilitators/team Todd, Al, Scott and five great Shipibo Shamans
+ group size around 22
+ the bungalows (your accommodation) are located in the middle of the jungle, the bungalows are simple and provided with Moskitos nets
+ the Temple of the Way of Light is not inexpensive but offers a lot of great features e.g. the 3 months phone integration offer for free subsequently to the retreats. Besides the Temple is investing a lot in sustainability and neighboring locals
+ Highly recommended particularly for first-timers who are looking for a nice resort in the jungle and professional personal care
I want to add some balance to the reviews that are posted here. What follows is my opinion, which is based on my experience of the 12 day retreat at the temple in August 2015. I chose to attend the temple after much time spent researching and considering the many options that are available. I decided on the temple based on the glowing endorsements from previous clients and the reviews available online. To me, the temple seemed to offer the safest and most reassuring environment to explore the possibilities of working with Ayahuasca. This was really important to me, as I wanted to be in the good hands when trying something that I had absolutely no experience with, in a foreign country I had no real knowledge of and in the middle of the jungle. So what can I say? I have two points of focus that inform my review. 1. The temple, staff and shamans 2. My personal experience of working with Ayahuasca. On the first, I found in which the way the temple was run to be very efficient, smooth and organised. The program ran on time, we were Informed when events would happen, what they involved and of any changes that were being made. The food was great, vegetarian and wholesome. The staff were helpful and a pleasure to talk to. The accommodation was basic but comfortable. It is the middle of the jungle after all, it isn’t the four seasons and I think people have to allow for that. The shamans that we worked with were very kind, warm and respectful. There were five in total, 3 woman and 2 men. They didn’t speak much English, but they were always smiling, laughing and welcoming. 2 My personal experience with ayahuasca has to rate as one of the most awful and terrifying experiences I have endured. Apart from the first ceremony, we attended 7 in total, each ceremony was like going through hell for me. I felt more fragile and vulnerable after every ceremony. With each ceremony, I just wanted the whole experience to end, I was cast into a place where I had to do everything in my power to remain present and to a embrace what was unfolding. Terror, Panic, Fear, Exhaustion, Isolation this is how I felt. With every trip I felt worse and worse. Yet I was reassured and encouraged that this is what it can be like and that it was in the service of my healing. In such a state a person is vulnerable, easily influenced and uncertain of their own better judgement. I had travelled a long way, spent a lot of money to get myself to this place and was desperate for healing. I was determined to give the process a fair chance. Yet during every ceremony I found myself saying to myself if I survive this experience, that this will be enough and never again will I subject myself to such turmoil. And yet, after the ceremony, waking the next day and listening to the incredibly positive experiences of my fellow voyagers and the encouragement of the Temple staff I found myself drifting into the next ceremony with the desperate hope that this one would somehow be different. It wasn’t and they weren’t. In hindsight, I would have done no more than two ceremonies. This stuff is incredibly powerful and not to be taken lightly. My advice to anyone considering Ayahuasca is to really consider very carefully the implications of what you are agreeing to, hope can sometimes outweigh better judgement as in my case. Please also keep in mind that for every positive review that you read about ayahuasca there are as many if not more reviews that don’t get written that may have the very opposite opinion. It can seem that when a person begins to research the possibility of attending an ayahuasca ceremony one can be forgiven that it is the hidden solution for all of humankind’s problems. In my experience it is not, I believe it can be potentially helpful for some people and potentially damaging for other people. Consider with caution the use of Ayahuasca. On a final note regarding the temple of the way of light. I felt like the place was like a business, which is strange because the shamans and the staff were very friendly. I can’t quite put my finger on it other than the place lacked a sense of it being a home, something was missing. It felt like people were working there rather than living there.
I was there for the 12 day retreat. The location and the tambos are beautiful, serene and basic. They focus on healing and not day jungle adventures like some of the others, in case you might be looking for that.
I found the curanderos to be very gentle and had a good vibe about them. The facilitators helped the group and led us through the experience very gently and nicely without forcing us one way or the other. They were there to help if needed. They also treated the shamans and the ceremony with a lot of respect and humility.
I guess it also helps that the group you end up with is a good one.
The first dose was a small one, and this was understandable (other places are probably like this as well) as they need to understand how each one reacts to the medicine. After this the dosage is left to you and what you are comfortable with.
It is also amazing that we had 5 shamans conducting the ceremonies and it was wonderful to hear the different icaros from each of them when they sing to you personally or when they all sing in unison. It blew my mind! This is really one of the positives.
The food was excellent and i had a life changing time when i was there. I would gladly recommend the temple to anyone.
I went reading all the previous comments and I can not share the same opinion. I had the feeling to be in a factory or a business instead of a legit spiritual center.
Don’t get me wrong the place is great and the location too but to me it feels like a money making machine and spiritually it is not what I was looking for.
Words cannot even express our 12 days at the Temple of the Way of Light. It was the deepest and most holistic healing experience that my husband and I have ever embarked on. From the moment we met Debbie and Claude, we knew we were in good hands!
We are so grateful for the wonderful experience at the Temple and the powerful medicine that Ayahuasca is.
The Temple exceeded any expectations that we had and we always felt nurtured, cradled and so supported through the entire process.
I would and am recommending this retreat to everyone who wishes intense and deep healing that will be insightful, transformative and definitely life changing.
Here is to all you wonderful beautiful people at the Temple, in and behind the scenes, who give it their all to preserve the rich Shipibo culture and tradition of healing humanity with the mother plant medicine Ayahuasca.
My experience of the Temple of the Way of Light was spectacular. I work as a therapist in private practice, and when I heard about the healing potential of ayahuasca I simply had to go experience it myself. It was more than I had anticipated and hope for.
I’m very thankful I choose the Temple as my destination. Their website says their intent is to provide healing to all of their guests, and I found it to be more than true. All the individuals involved in the operation were compassionate, kind, and tried to make it a healing experience for everyone.
The facilitators and healers gave generously from their heart with compassion everyday. We met with the healers individually and were given specific plant medicine based on our physical, emotional, and spiritual concerns. Then we were all blown away by the power and intensity of the ayahuasca medicine.
Personally I received healing of some physical concerns, including getting my sense of smell back. The main goal I wanted to get out of the experience was to experience my True Self to a greater degree. This occurred to a level I wasn’t expecting, and I’ll never forget it. I also was faced with a lot of negative, dark energy in my body and mind. I was able to purge that negativity and feel so much freedom after.
It’s been almost 2 weeks since I returned home and i feel like I got my mojo back. As a therapist I was feeling drained, empty, wore out, and had little reserve to take on people’s burdens. I feel refreshed and charged up again. I’ve had an extremely busy schedule catching up with clients but it’s been one of the most easy weeks. Ease….that’s been the experience. I’m not straining for wisdom…it’s been coming to me naturally with ease. I have a greater clarity, wisdom, perspective, compassion and love. It’s been a wonderful experience. I’m sure I’ll be back when i need to recharge myself again.
Having had a few weeks to adjust to returning “normal” life after my two week stay at TOTWOL, I can look back and without a shadow of a doubt say that the entire experience was one of the most remarkable experiences/inner journeys of my life.
I am now still in process, and suspect I will be for quite some time as I digest and attempt to make sense of my experience and inner shifts. Subtle yet profound.
Right from the beginning, when making contact with the Staff to signup for the two weeks, I found the co ordination and running of the operation to be impressive and consistent. They did everything and more of what they said they would do. The facilities and co ordination that makes the whole place run is exemplary.
The indigenous healers in my humble opinion where excellent. They gave their very best, and on several occasions when their skillwas obviously needed and called for, they really shone. Each of the evenings ceremonies had them always delivering 100% when in session, or singing their hauntingly beautiful Icaros. Weeks later I can still feel the vibration of their song working through me at odd and unexpected intervals.
I found the three facilitators along with the support staff (Alan, and to be top notch individuals. I enjoyed every moment of the delightful conversations with each of them. An enormous amount of experience amounts them. An enormous word of thanks Guys!
Accommodation is adequate. I so hoped for a secluded abode, and got exactly that. Others wanted to be closer to the main facility, and they had that option. The tropical downpours experienced at night without windows was something wow. Only the insect screen and the mosquito between me the night must have been one of the highlights of my rather colourful life.
I so enjoyed the entire operation harmonising with nature at every level from sewage disposal using natural methods to growing their own food, collecting rain water for showers etc etc.
Food was simple but exceptional. Always enough, with seconds available. Just two weeks on this diet was enough to clean up the system and provide a healing of its own. Plenty of FRESH fruit available. Awesome home cooking.
Sessions where intense. I spent much of my time nauseas and or vomitting. The relief afterwards is in describable. Something clearly shifted on many levels somewhere within these sessions.
Have to say that Ayavausca is NOT a recreational experience. To sit through 7 sessions requires determination and a willingness to face one’s own sh1te. The reward was worth every ounce of hardship. Great to see so many healers for the group. We had 7 for about 22 pax. Seven healers 3 where women, created a great energetic blend or mix that a single healer alone could never attempt. The method and diversity of healers created a no escape strategy to oust unhelpful energies tightly help within the body. I am still in awe at how a Women could sit down infront of me, and within minutes Id be experiencing the urge to purge or the act it self to purge. Something rather significant at work.
I would have no hesitation to return to the TOTWOL for a second experience when the dust has settled.
And lastly a final word of thanks to the many hidden fairies (helpers) behind the scenes that make things happen when I wasnt looking, whether that be the lighting of lamps, the removals of the sewer buckets, cleaning of the showers and toilets, changing of bedding, the chefs and so many more. Thank you all!
I will be back.
In Oct 2014 I watched a Lisa Ling documentary on CNN where she followed a group of war vets with PTSD to an ayahuasca retreat in Peru and immediately decided that I would travel to Peru to try ayahuasca. After watching the show I jumped on the web and within maybe 15 minutes landed on TOTWOL and it just felt right so I booked the trip (note I am not a war vet but I do have PTSD type issues resulting from non-war traumas).
Fast forward a couple of months and I’m in the Amazon jungle at the temple … I’ve never done anything like this so I am wide-eyed, excited, anxious and a little scared at what is to come. For perspective, I’m 56 years old, have traveled internationally fairly extensively for all manner of adventure type travel and am not easily impressed. But I would have to say that I was completely impressed by pretty much every aspect of this operation. The facilitators were genuine, attentive and super on top of my experience (which was very challenging). The shamans were friendly and very legitimate. The facilities were authentic structures for a jungle setting and quite adequately met all my needs. The food was plentiful and much better than I anticipated. The ceremonies (there are seven over a twelve day period) were awesomely authentic and so powerful it defies explanation … you just have to experience it.
I was also impressed by the number of people in our group (Dec 2014) who were there for their 2nd and 3rd time and really felt that this was a great testimony to the legitimacy and efficacy of this retreat. In fact, I am returning for another 12 day retreat this coming July 2015.
One area that cries out for improvement (actually it cries out for development because it currently does not exist) is some type of aftercare / outreach / counseling for individuals who experience a rough landing when they arrive back home, as I did. I was met with a totally unexpected major life change upon landing at my home city airport that I really think had some connection to my healing experience with the plant medicine and could have used some type of follow-up support … yet there was none. I emailed the facilitator and received no response. I do realize that aftercare was never guaranteed nor promised but I think it’s a missing link that would be very powerful if offered.
Bottom line, I highly recommend Temple of the Way of Light for an authentic and powerful healing experience.
Wow wow wow..
15 years of therapy in a 12 days retreat… its all i have to say about my retreat at the temple… Blowing mind experience and tones of deep healing that actually last and last and last…
I would recommend no other place to go for ceremony.. In the jungle, at the temple of the way of light, with maestro and maestra, doctors of jungle..
I really healed what i came for to heal.. I still can’t really believe it but man, it is just amazing how my every day life has just changed.. I have been totally rewired, it is like all the connections in my brain are now back to normal.. My thoughts are clear and i am centered and solid and strong… I see life for what it really is and all the illusion we are all trapped in.. I can just smile all the time when i see people living the comedy de la vie, being enslaved by belief system that i don’t relay to anymore.. Life is a joke and a blessing.. Thank you Ayahuasca, thank you Mathieu, debt and all the people out there for an amazing internal healing journey to heal and transform the outside world.
For accommodations, I am a bit picky, i wish i knew it was so wet and humid i would have brought my own pillow and a little cover ( sensitive to smell)… Nothing last long under the tropics in the rain forest, so be prepared for it.. Cabines are rustic, lots of life and crawling life.. Mosquito loved me. But never mind, my experience there, at the temple, a BLAST…
Thank you all over there.. I Love you.. You are my best move ever for taking care of myself in this life time of mine..
I just returned from a 12 day retreat at The Temple. Wow, what an amazing experience. First, the facilitators: Debbie and Matthew are incredibly knowledgable about not only working with plant medicines, but also help you think about and give you tools to integrate the entire experience and what you’ve learned into your life back home. Their guidance allowed me to completely trust in the process and gave me confidence that I was in the right place to do this work. Second, the maestros/as: these beautiful people are the most gentle and generous souls I have ever come in contact with! They are so selfless and so committed to your healing. I can’t even put into words my gratitude toward them.
Next, the process: from daily floral baths, plant medicines, and learning sessions – these guys really immerse you in the full experience and are truly focused on your healing.
The setting: the center is very comfortable and clean. Certainly rustic and bare bones, but that’s what makes it truly authentic. The grounds were beautiful, so be sure to take advantage of the jungle walk to see all that they’ve done and are planning to do.
Overall, The Temple is run like a business – very organized and all details thought through – however, it is incredibly authentic to the ancient Shipibo tradition of healing. I would most certainly go back to The Temple if Aya ever calls me again!
I came to the Temple of the way of Light in February – March 2015 to complete the 12 day workshop.
I had previously attended the 12 day workshop in March 2011, also at the Temple of the Way of Light, which was my first experience.
I have struggled for years with depression, anxiety, panic attacks and alcohol. After months of research, I found myself guided to The Temple of the Way of Light, due to it’s professional and caring approach to healing. My first experience was personally challenging, however I felt I couldn’t have been in a more well structured, safe, and caring environment whilst I was going through these difficult personal emotions.
I felt a strong connection with the Mother Ayahuasca, and knew her powerful process was healing within me, I could feel it. The facilitators and plant doctors were all very caring and professional, and even though I was going through a difficult experience, I felt very at ease with the situation.
Matthew, the founder, was extremely knowledgable and gave us all a group talk about the Temple, and EVERYTHING we needed to know about the healing process, and its benefits. He was so passionate to provide the best care with very experienced and nurturing healers, along with genuinely lovely support staff. I left the Temple after my first experience knowing I would return again when I was ready to continue my journey to heal.The plant medicine continued the healing process over the next 4 years, and I then knew I was ready to return.
So… I returned in February this year. I was so pleased that I felt the same warmth when I walked into the Temple as I did last time. I felt so excited to be there again, knowing I was meant to be there for a reason, and at that particular time, to continue my healing.
The set up for the Temple was the same, thankfully. However, it has expanded to provide 1 month workshops and an excellent permaculture centre, for sustainability. Matthew the founder has certainly been very thoughtful to respect the plant medicines, healers and clients and separates the 12 day workshop from the 1 month workshop. Also, even though its an excellent centre for healing with the Mother Ayahuasca, I am also very impressed that, that, is exactly what it is. It is NOT a profit making centre. Its a caring, safe healing centre at its best.
The facilities and surroundings make it a perfect location to heal with truly expert healers. I had an amazing experience again, and made some profound healing progress which will be life changing for me and my family. I have come away feeling so blessed that I made the right decision to go to the Temple again. I feel ALIVE, emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally, for the first time in my life.
A huge thank you to the Temple, I am genuinely over whelmed by your commitment to healing each client individually with care, compassion and professionalism.
I went to the Temple of the Way of Light for a twelve day workshop in February 2015. I was the oldest person in the group and have physical issues which I had considered might have excluded me from the ceremonies. Fortunately they didn’t!
I was apprehensive about my visit to the Amazon but it turned out that I needn’t have been. Right from the beginning I was put at ease by Matthew and Debbie, the facilitators, and made to feel welcome by everyone else who was involved with the temple.
There were no language barriers because the facilitators were always happy to translate whenever necessary. At the beginning of the workshop I went for a meeting with Matthew, Debbie and the Maestras and Maestros, as did everyone in the group individually, during which time I talked about my spiritual, emotional and physical issues. They listened, asked some questions, and I soon came to realise that they were genuinely interested in helping me to sort out my problems. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble. The Maestras and Maestros were very powerful yet humble people who really seemed to enjoy helping us which made a very nice atmosphere.
It was obvious to me right from the start that Matthew and Debbie wanted each of us to have the best possible experience at the workshop. They were always there to listen and offer advice to anyone that needed it. It was clear that they were both very knowledgeable about everything involved in the workshop.
We did seven ceremonies during our stay and they were always carried out in a professional and yet at the same time personal kind of way. At the beginning of each ceremony we were each asked how much Ayahuasca we wanted and because of my issues I started with about half of a small glass and then over the next couple of ceremonies I increased it to a full small glass. There were different sized glasses available and people could drink more if they wanted to. I settled for a full small glass throughout the rest of the ceremonies and at no time was I ever put under pressure to drink more than I wanted. A while after the ayahuasca had been served to the group the Maestras and Maestros came round to each of us in turn and sang ikaros in their unique ways. The group was a nice size and the Maloka was in a perfect setting for the ceremonies. The chorus from a multitude of nocturnal creatures living in the rainforest finished it off! Perfect!
During the ceremonies there was always someone present to assist people to find the exit if they needed to go out, plus a guy outside to make sure you got safely down the steps from the Maloka.
The food was excellent. After weeks of eating what was my very bland interpretation of an ayahuasca diet I was amazed to discover that it needn?t be like that at all. The food served was wholesome, nourishing and very tasty. The cooks will cater for vegetarian and vegan diets too.
My Tambo was exactly what I had expected to find in the Amazon. In my opinion, like the Maloka, it was perfect for the setting.
I came into the workshop with an open mind and with hopes but without expecting too much and I left it a different person. I was able to clear up a few issues that had been with me for years and life for me now is definitely much better.
I would recommend the Temple of the Way of Light to anyone thinking of going to the Amazon to drink ayahuasca and I for one will definitely be retuning there as soon as I possibly can. I send my thanks to Matthew, Debbie, Tyler and everyone else working behind the scenes at the temple for making it happen for me.
Finally I would just like to say that the ?real estate guy from England? I have seen mentioned in another review turned out to be one of the kindest, most caring and friendliest people I have ever met. It was a privilege to meet him! You know who you are!
The healing journey is a long and difficult one; however the two weeks spent at the TOTWOL are the greatest catalyst i could hope for. They gave me insight as to what i had to see, support in understanding and processing, faith and belief that tomorrow can – and will, with a little bit of discipline – be better than today.
At the TOTWOL you won’t be hearing what makes you feel good about yourself, but rather what is good for you. I cannot stress enough the professionalism, dedication, genuine belief in doing good and in a greater good that the curanderos and staff at the TOTWOL demonstrate at every step of the process. While you have to do the walking, you are taken by hand and will always feel in a secure environment, both physically and emotionally.
The Temple quickly becomes your family, one that it is hard to leave behind without a few tears, and one that you will go back to -whether in person or with your thoughts- over and over after you have left to find guidance, sense of direction and of purpose.
I will be forever grateful for what the Temple has done for me and would recommend it without any reserve to anyone in need of healing who is ready to take this step and wants to do this in the most supportive environment and set-up.
I attended the Temple’s ’12 Day Retreat’ in February of 2015. I have been involved previously with another Ayahuasca retreat center in the past and had been part of almost twenty ceremonies prior to coming to the Temple. My experience at the Temple was simply amazing!
From the moment I arrived and through the 7 ceremonies of the program, I felt that all had been organized and orchestrated to facilitate an optimal environment for healing and introspection. A group dynamic is emphasized and the process of healing seemed to vibrate through the collective experiences of all of the participants. The maestros and maestras were powerful and loving in their attention and their wonderful icaros. The divine feminine emphasis of the Temple was very appealing to me and created a very nurturing atmosphere. Consultations with the shamans, translated by the facilitators, were very thorough and additional plant medicines were prescribed that were dispensed twice daily.
I went to the Temple to deal with issues surrounding alcoholism and drug abuse and left empowered to deal with these issues. The medicine and lessons learned continue to resonate as I have re-entered my life back home. I am very pleased with my progress and feel greatly indebted to the Temple, the shamans, the facilitators and Mother Ayahuasca.
The environment is very safe and relaxing. The tambos are nice little dwellings in the jungle. Excellent food is served in accordance with the principles of the Ayahuasca diet. The facilitators were very professional and extremely friendly and accessible. The complaints in a couple of reviews about music from the nearby village are exaggerated. I did not find the one night of underlying rhythms that I experienced, to be distracting at all from my process.
I would highly recommend the Temple to anyone looking for a safe and professional environment to experience the wonders of Ayahuasca. I will certainly be back.
I visited the Temple of the Way of Light in Dec 2014 for a 12 days ayahuasca retreat. The Temple is a place like no place on earth, a bridge between modern and ancient, able to provide access to authentic shipibo traditions, in a safe and supporting environment, while delivering holistic healing experiences. Travelling to the amazon jungle and trust the Temple was one of the most profound experience I ever had, gaining understanding of life, nature and reality that were un-immaginable only few weeks back. I would say living at the Temple of the Way of Light is the ultimate experience of inner exploration. If only every person in this planet could experience ayahuasca, it would be the end of human misery, the end of human suffering.
I arrived 20141203 and stayed for the twelve day retreat, it was the one of the hardest things I done in my life. But thanks to the lovely staff at the Temple of way of life I survived :). The love and presence they gave my was nothing I ever felt before. It has been a life changing experience and I will definitely return!
Love Fredrik from Sweden
Was as the temple November 18th,2014 for the 12 day Ceremony. If you are looking for a 100% safe and extremely well organized retreat look no further. The longer wait to book should give it away that this is the best Aya retreat on the planet. The experience from the second you are picked up to the final drop-off is fantastic. This is the Hilton of Aya. The Shaman’s have many years experience and are the real deal. The staff, food, location, and support is second to none. You are cared for during the ceremonies and when ever you need someone to talk to the support is there.
My wife is going in May, I wish it could be sooner. I will give you my 100% guarantee you will not be disappointed with the Temple of the Way of Light. My only advise to someone trying Aya for the first time, surrender yourself to the medicine with an open mind and spirit and you will come back home an improved you. Bohdan – Toronto Ontario Canada (Yes Bohdan is a Ukrainian name)
I visited the Temple November 2014; my experience went beyond what I could have imagined. What was so amazing was the love and care by everyone who works at the Temple, especially the facilitators, Debbie and Deanna. During tough times and intense emotional episodes I had, they both helped me clear my mind and open my heart to realize and learn, through their open heart, love and wisdom.
The facility is fantastic, the practice of true premaculture, the genuine care about the Amazon forest and the people who inhabit it.
The food was excellent. Beside the fact that it was very fresh, it was absolutely delicious!
I don’t believe the ceremonies could have been better. There were 5 shamans during the ceremonies. I felt their spiritual strength and presence at all times. They connected with everyone on a deep level. I don’t speak Spanish, but I have experienced their awareness of what was going on with me emotionally and physically, and they helped and guided me through the ceremonies. Even outside the ceremonies, the connection was quite strong, and I have felt genuine love and contentedness.
The facilitators and helpers where always there and present at any moment for those of us who needed them during the ceremony which meant the world!
Form me, this experience was very profound, and I felt that the temple of the way of light and its people had a big role in that. I am very grateful to everyone who contributed during my stay.
I did the 12 day retreat and everything was above my expectations – everything. Beautiful setting, great accommodations, FANTASTIC food, AMAZING ceremonies, great format/program. The greatest appreciation for the staff.
Deb – The best leader one could ask for
Deanna – An angel in the flesh
Josh – awesome job in the dinning hall
Tyler – the coolest cat in the jungle!
Bachoom – nice work
Nicole – Angel on email
The Shamans were very special and to have 5 of them sing to you in each ceremony was truly a gift. The 6 month waiting list to get into the temple is certainly worth it! You will know what I mean when you get there.
I stayed at the Temple in October 2014 for a twelve day retreat.
The experience for me was one that has changed my life forever in many ways. The entire time was structured and overseeing, but not in a way that interfered with self and personal enjoyment, but rather to help shape a greater experience.
The temple grounds are beautiful with flowers, foliage and wildlife everywhere. It?s not the kind of facility that carved out a patch in the jungle, but rather found its place in the jungle. The grounds are expansive and going for a walk by your self is easy and more than safe. The facilities are exactly what I wanted; rustic, clean and with great food. I had my own Tambo (cabin) that was clean and neat with mosquito screen all around for a great view. There were small monkeys, the size of squirrels that I saw once or twice, but seemed very shy. It takes a little getting used to the Ayahuasca diet, but when the food is cooked as well as it is there, it?s no problem.
I did a lot of research on the different places that offer Ayahuasca, the one thing that convinced me about The Temple of The Way of Light was the number of real Shipibo Native Shamans. There were five Shamans, two men and three women. There were also two facilitators and a helper (did minor things during ceremony) to help with the ceremonies. From time to time, a daughter of one of the female Shamans would sit in during ceremony she was becoming a Shaman herself. So there was eight or nine people total to watch over everyone and make sure everything and everyone was safe. During the ceremony the Shamans will sing different Icoros (plant songs) to each person to help with the healing. This is one of the most amazing things I have ever heard and experienced! Especially when you have five Shamans singing, it?s like an Ayahuasca choir in the jungle. The number of Shamans was the deciding factor for me and I?m glad I chose the Temple. At the end of the ceremony one of the truly beautiful things about the jungle are the sounds of the night. Being deep inside the jungle you only hear the frogs, birds and other night time creatures which really made the end of the ceremony relaxing.
Some of the negative comments on AyaAdvisor.org about the Temple just don?t make any sense. There were three temple dogs and most everyone seemed to love them, not hate them this included the few dogs in the village. I?m an animal/dog lover and having them at the Temple was actually soothing to me and almost everyone else. There is a very small village nearby, and they do play music sometimes but it was always shut off before ceremony. The Shamans preside over the ceremony and the facilitators are there to help and oversee safety.
It was a beautiful experience and I will definitely go back.
Love is what you find inside of yourself first and then share with others.
Love Beauty Peace, to everyone!
I came to the Temple for the 12 day program, after recommendations through 3 separate friends who had come over various times doing various programs. I have drunk myself in various location in Europe but was after a deeper journey to my work.
From when I got picked up to when I left, I felt at all time’s, completely looked after and cared for by ALL of the staff, from the facilitators, the shamens, kitchen staff, cleaners, helpers and everyone on the grounds.
I had a read through some of the negative reviews and almost had to laugh at how absurd they are, and wonder what prompted them towards such negativity.
The temple fit together like a close family and I felt so welcome the whole time I was there.
The facilitators were top notch and the work the shamens put in is still blowing my mind. Such hard work, effort and dedication all put in to assist in our journey’s and healing really is something I will always be grateful for. The strength and dedication and many many years that are put in to get to that level of skill, openess and love really is a level of selflessness we don’t see so often in the western world.
I am already thinking of my return visit to the temple to continue my work and go deeper. The changes the medicine is bringing about, the awareness, the consciousness and the healing is something I have found nowhere else.
I connected with myself and the people around me in a way I would never forget, and it was only through the safety that I felt from the temple and the total confidence in the staff from their incredible work that I was able to get to this level.
I can only recommend this place so highly to anyone that has any questions, problems or issues that have arisen for them. I would happily take any of my family down here and would be confident in their care here.
I miss the temple and the staff. They will always have a place in my heart. The friendships I made down there will be forever.
I can?t say enough good about the Temple and the work of the Maestras/Maestros. I plan to return with my wife and both sons. I am hoping that my brother comes as well as my sister and her entire family. I plan to present to a group of medical people who study psychedelics, natural medicines, etc., about the Temple and its work. We met with Rak Razam last year, saw his movie Aya Awakenings and signed up for the Temple. We thought that we knew what we?d be getting into. His movie, although very good, doesn?t begin to address the amazing healing that goes on at the Temple.
My son went to the Temple to help cure him from MS and PML ? a disease brought on by the poisonous drugs used to treat MS. PML almost killed him (25% of people die, the remainder have all been left with debilitations ? My son is the first one to survive and recover). He lost movement in his left side, including the ability to speak, write, eat, and move his left side. He also came to help heal emotionally ? 4 years of MS and PML have left tremendous emotional scars on him. I came to support my son and, as a side benefit, perhaps heal my left thumb ? doctors told me that it was arthritis and gave me cortisone, for no benefit (a rather expensive, useless band aid). I knew that it was due to a blockage in my left side from a broken neck that occurred 21 years ago and was fused 12 years ago, the same time as a wound on my left thumb ? although no western doctor would listen to me. I also needed to heal from not only the 4 years watching my son struggle, but 6 years earlier, I had failed in a business (my first time to fail) and had lost all my money (thankfully nothing else). We had high expectations. When we arrived, we consulted with the Maestras/Maestros and told them everything. They prescribed the plant medicines and massages. What we received far exceeded our expectations. We are both healed ? not just symptoms masked, but healed. My thumb is better than it has been in years and continues to improve. Suy massaged my back and ?cracked? it better than any chiropractor has ? without any violent twisting. I could feel the energy moving through my left side for the first time in 21 years. My son’s MS and PML are a thing of the past (he has more testimonial of his own). Our emotional healing went way beyond what we expected. Our relationships with my wife and my other son have improved tremendously. We feel peace like we haven?t felt in years ? many years. We feel well, positive, and look forward to the future. I am bringing my wife, and hopefully my oldest son, back to the Temple next year. I have already recommended it to my brother and my sister and her family (my sister is already planning on attending with her husband and children). Coming to the Temple has been a lifesaver. The immense physical, emotional, and spiritual healing is astounding and no material, no movie, or no testimonial prepared us for what we received. I thank you all for being and for what you have done for and given us. You are the best.
In 2012 I visited the temple for the 12 day workshop. That experience was single handedly the most important experience in my life. Over the last 2 years since I visited the temple, my life has changed in every way that I could have ever dreamed. To give you a few examples – my hopelessness and anxiety has disappeared and synchronicity has become so prevent in my everyday life, my eating disorder is no longer a part of my life, I’m living where I always dreamed I would, doing the things I’ve always wanted to, with no doubts I’m exactly on my path. Synchronicity and intuition is what I rely on to make my dreams a reality and I’m able to easily realize anything I want. Yes, ayahuasca, the brew herself, was the catalyst in my recovery and self discovery. but I know nothing to be more true in my heart, The Temple of The Way of Light – is the most incredible project happening on this planet – to heal this planet. The incredible selfless vision of this place is overwhelming. There is not a droplet of doubt that if you feel a calling to mother aya, the temple will take care of you and give you the absolute support and love you need through this amazing transformative journey we are all on together. I will be returning to the temple this year in a few short months and I know my soul in this life is eternally grateful for the temple where it can remember who we really are. ?
I spent the month of November in the Temple in 2013. I had two 12 day workshops back to back over this time.
Firstly, the Shipibo. They are a world treasure. The Maestras and Maestros over my stay were some of the most incredible people I have ever met. Dedicated to Ayahuasca and their role as healers. Taking Aya gave me insight into the bond that they share with the Amazon and the plantlife within it. Each healer has their own unique properties, each doing their part to heal the pasahero or voyager on their journey. They taught me so much in such a short time about who I am and who I can be. Gentleness, compassion, acceptance, purity, love. They all nurture these within themselves and others, and yet they are just humans like us, with human natures like us. Truly beautiful.
The Temple is gorgeous, the malokas are a wonderful setting for ayahuasca and the tambos are simple but just right. Food is plentiful and fantastic. I felt so cleansed once I left and I am sure that it is in no small part to the wholesome food. I did occasionally hear music from the local village but just accepted it as being part of the experience, the same with some construction near my tambo. There are always quiet places to be found if one wishes.
My personal journey was an experience both hard and wonderful. Sometimes I was afraid to drink and others I was eager, a true journey of the ego letting go. Sometimes I felt frustrated with people and situations and others I felt perfectly at peace. The people were a fascinating cross section of humanity and while everyone has the differences, we all were able to coexist harmoniously through such a challenging time.
The facilitators were always willing to help us process what was happening and the locals, aiding us during the ceremonies and in daily life were kind and respectful of our experience.
I am going back in October this year as I know I have more to process. As a result of my experiences so far my anxiety would be reduced by about 70% in frequency and I am making many positive changes in my life that I know to be a part of this change(to put a figure on it). My meditation has also become very fulfilling. I am looking forward to strengthening my connection with the medicine.
Temple of the Way of Light Review.
I first heard about the Temple from a friend who had visited soon after the Temple opened its doors, a good few years ago now. She spoke and wrote so movingly about the healing she had encountered there, and the principal of the ?divine feminine? that the Temple was based upon, that I made a mental note to visit myself if the time ever felt right.
My chance came in March of this year. I was at a very low point in my life, and knew that I needed some healing.
I had a real mixture of emotions as I journeyed to the Temple ? fear that the medicine wouldn?t be strong enough, fear that I wouldn?t receive the healing that I so desperately felt I needed. Mostly fear. But excitement too. I was long overdue for an encounter with myself and the limiting patterns that I had carried for years.
My experiences there were by no means easy, but from start to finish; being greeted by a line of tiny, grinning, Shipibo and Shipiba healers at the door, to leaving, feeling as light as I ever have, I felt supremely held.
The accommodation is basic, but great. The food is phenomenal. The facilitators have integrity. The attention to detail is wonderful. Above all though, it is those extraordinary healers that make the difference. I know there are many retreat centres out there, and having visited only one, I cannot speak for them all, but it seems to me that this is what sets the Temple apart; those loving, mischievous, funny, tireless healers, most of them female, that you will encounter there.
The ceremonies were challenging. There are no short cuts with this work. So much of what I was working with was fear. The phrase that kept coming up for me was ?the only way out is through.? The only way through my fear was to experience it fully, to go back to its source and release it.
So I spent many nights lying on a mat in a dark, thatched hut, writhing around, wondering what on earth had made me want to travel thousands of miles to have this experience. But my goodness was it worth it.
One month on and I still feel the medicine working in me. I hope it continues to make its presence felt for a long time yet. Such strong, wise and generous medicine. Thank you!
I have recently returned from two weeks at the Temple. It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. I do not normally write reviews, however as the experience was so incredible I feel compelled to make an exception.
On arrival you are made to feel extremely welcome and it is immediately apparent that it is a very safe space. The jungle is of course beautiful and peaceful and every day I marvelled at just how lucky I was to be there. The facilitators you work with are incredibly helpful, supportive and always available if you need them. Everything is meticulously planned and organised which makes the healing part infinitely easier. Very rarely in life are you able to solely concentrate on yourself!
The maestras and maestros are very much the heart of the place; they work tirelessly and give so much, it is impossible to put into words just how thankful I am. I was aware from our first meeting how powerful and strong their love and desire to help is.
As everyone?s experience with ayahuasca is different, there is no need to go into my own person journey. I will say however that it was without doubt my favourite part (which says a lot considering how much I enjoyed the flower baths). You drink as much as you need to and there are always people on hand to help if necessary. You couldn?t be in a safer environment. It is still very early days but it seems to be life changing in the most positive way.
Everything that you learn during the ceremonies is reflected in the ethos of the temple. I couldn?t recommend it more highly. Their focus on permaculture is truly inspiring and their work with Alianza Arkana hugely important. It is a place full of love. I hope to go back again and again!
May 2013 i did a 12 day aya retreat. It is now one year ago and I am still very happy that I went all the way to the jungle in Peru from Sweden.
My first seven ceremonies was very rough and it took a lot of will to keep going, but the support from the staff, the facilitators and my group helped me through and the fifth ceremony changed it all for me and the last tree ceremonies were wonderfool.
The tools I got is still helping me in my every day life back home here.
Accomendation was good and the food great – and very powerful medicine.
The permaculture project they do there is impressive AND the work with Alianza Arkana is so important. A place full of love.
I?m planning to go back again later this year.
I first attended ceremony at the Temple in February 2012. It was my first ever ayahuasca experience, and I chose the Temple after a recommendation from a friend who worked for their sister NGO, Alianza Arkana. A little research confirmed it was a reasonable place to try.
What I found was more incredible than anything I could have imagined. Not only was the Temple an oasis in a physical sense, with a huge emphasis on beauty and harmony in living in the rainforest, but it was the most transformative experience of my life.
The medicine served is strong and lovingly prepared, the maestros and maestras are dedicated and loving and the approach is one of all around plant-spirit medicine, including not just 7 ceremonies, but also plant remedies and floral baths daily, along with energetic massage by the maestros.
The maestros are available 24 hours a day for any issues that come up, as are the staff. The Temple is populated by loving and open hearted people, including local workers, foreign staff and healers, that love what they do and want to share it in a supportive and attentive way.
The food is excellent and plentiful. The accommodations are perfect and all that one needs. In very short order one feels deeply a part of the land and the community there.
I returned 7 times in the next 18 months (that is not a typo), as I was drawn deeply to the medicine and incredibly comfortable with the accommodations and community there. I have returned many times with my wife, and have met several close friends there, and recommended it to several others who have all had similarly incredible and positive experiences. Many have returned more than once.
To be completely open, after my 7th workshop in 18 months, and my deepening connection to the medicine and the Temple community, I was asked to return as a facilitator. I agreed to do so and have been leading workshops every 3 or 4 months as a “guest facilitator” ever since.
I know it is a bit questionable to offer a review as a facilitator but the reason I do so is this:
I am not paid to work there. I pay for my flights there and all of my expenses. My wife often joins me as a guest and we gladly pay for her spot. I can think of no greater testimony than to say that I eagerly volunteer my time there to contribute to the beautiful mission of the Temple and the amazing work they do there. I believe in it that strongly.
If I was not facilitating I would still be coming 4 or 5 times a year as a guest, as I was doing when I was offered the opportunity to facilitate.
I am sure that there are many wonderful, supportive and incredible places to have an aya experience, and each is unique. I can promise you that if you feel called to the Temple of the Way of Light you can feel safe and certain that you have chosen well, and will get the experience your soul is hoping to have. You will have it in a safe, open-hearted, loving and comfortable environment.
Looking at some of the negative reviews, it is beyond my why anyone who genuinely has worked with Mother Ayahuasca, the powerful Shamans of the Temple and most importantly–who’ve taken the time to work on themselves and invest in themselves would come on here and write such dishonest and vile lies. It’s more of a question of who these people are and their own self-centered motives than anything else having to do with the Temple. With that said, I give my honest review of this magical place called The Temple of the Way of Light. The Temple is in the heart of the Amazon surrounded by a vortex of healing energy and its orchestra of exotic gorgeous wildlife that only a chosen and sacred land can offer. Just arriving at the Temples grounds alone, you will automatically feel as if you’ve entered a different dimension all together. It’s quiet, scenic, healing and most of all the people who work there are genuinely concerned with helping you through your own individual experience in healing (I believe their purpose in working their is a deep calling in helping humanity evolve and a respect for nature –they’re not just there for a paycheck!!!!) Once you arrive at the Temple everything is organized– you get your own personal Tambo (hut) fully furnished and comfortable– if you need to have laundry done or need an extra towel, or a basin of water– someone is always around to provide that for you. Shortly after that, you get your own individual consultation as discussed between you, the amazing facilitators and Maestros/Maestras, where a plan of treatment is tailor made for you in addition to Ayhuasca, and you WILL see the difference in a week in terms of your overall body condition, your mental state and your emotions.The food is always fresh, yummy, satisfying and very cleansing I noticed. I actually adopted their menu once I returned home and lost a bunch of weight too–and I look better ; ) With all that said–I understand every person who works with Ayahuasca will always have a their own personal experience. I can’t speak for others, but all I’ll say about working with the wonderful, light hearted yet very powerful Shamans and Mama Ayahuasca is it saved my life. It’s not an easy journey working through the shadows of your mind, but if you just relax your mind, breath in a bit–allow for Aya to do the job she’s always done, I guarantee you that you will not be the same person you were before. You’re a brand new person, with an open heart, with an unlimited capacity to love others–and you just may find your second calling in life–as I did. I will always be grateful and indebted for my incredible facilitator who not only showed me love, kindness and compassion but took care of all of us–while the Shamans and Aya did the massive healing and cleansing through out the successful workshop. Thank you thank you thank you! You truly saved my life!!!!!!!!!!
TOTWOL was the most inspiring and life changing experience Ive ever had. I have nothing but positive reviews of the center. It is well organized, great food, beautiful grounds. The tambos are comfortable with a lock box for valuables, and mosquito netting around the bed. The facilitators are smart, caring, and always available. We had 5 shamans, 3 women and 2 men which was plenty during the ceremonies. 7 ceremonies over 12 days which was perfect. There were massages, floral baths, yoga and meditation exercises, etc. The staff is incredibly kind and helpful. There is always enough to eat at meal time. The bonds you will make here with the participants will last a lifetime. Its really a special place. I can’t wait to go again. Happy journeying.
I attended the Temple over Xmas last year. This was after a huge amount of research. From the moment we were picked up in Iquitos i knew that i had chosen correctly. Everything was meticulously planned and organised in a safe but yet relaxed way. In fact one of the things i pondered during ceremony was how perfect the place and schedule was in conjunction with the Ayahuasca. I believe that the programme fitted perfectly and mentioned this in group meetings.
The facilitators, food, accommodation, maestros/a’s, surroundings were all amazing. Ive read some of the other comments on here and i can understand constructive criticism, but some of the stuff said seems beyond that. All i know is my experience and that of the 21 other people who were with me on the workshop, all were unanimous in saying that it was a) extremely well run and b) a hugely profound life changing experience.
The Temple offer 7 ceremonies which i think is more than other places. I really needed the full 7 and although tough at times this was perfect for me and one of many reasons i will return.
If anyone wants to either meet up in London to discuss anything about the Temple or Aya in general give me a shout or you can DM me here.
Cheers y’all !
I have been to the Temple for three 12-day workshops in the last 13 months. Initially, my first and overriding concern after a lot of research was finding a facility that was safe. Obviously the fact I returned twice speaks volumes for how I subjectively experienced safety. I always felt well taken care of, all my queries and doubts were answered by the facilitators promptly and in a manner that spoke directly to my view of the world; that is to say, they were astute enough to understand my unique concerns (neuroses would be more accurate!) and pitch the information/feedback in the literal and metaphoric terms that I “got”.
This included in ceremony itself. In the sometimes murky and confusing world of aya-space, the mere fact of knowing they possessed the necessary experience and skills – and of course the smarts to know when to call upon the maestra(o)s – meant I was free to go through a range of emotions and physiological releases, some acutely distressing, without ever feeling unsafe. On the rare occasion I needed their help directly, the advice I received from the facilitators was practical and very useful. In any case, with seven maestra(o)s circling the maloka, further help was always at hand. (It was awe-inspiring to both witness and experience what can be sung into the energy field by an experienced Shipibo healer; they could accelerate or slow down, intensify or modulate; calm or electrify).
The Temple has a magical quality, balancing the need for community and solitude in an otherworldly environment (for a city boy). The seven ceremonies and 12 days allowed enough for time and space for issues to be visited at a very deep level, accompanied by purging and insight; the medicine seemed to calibrate what I needed to learn, understand and let go of within the space of those seven ceremonies. As such, there was an arc and logic (perhaps best seen in retrospect) to the seven experiences that felt just about perfect.
The heart and soul of the place are the maestra(o)s. They are, it seemed to me, part channel, part doctor and part artist, though such distinctions are unnecessarily liner and Western! They were hugely loving, sensitive and kind. There was a 50/50 spilt between male and female healers; though I was personally more focussed on the uniqueness of their individual gifts than gender. I felt truly blessed to receive their medicine, generosity and kindness.
Finally, I experienced the Temple as a place where integrity was the guiding principle, the food was better than an ayahuasca diet has a right to be, and the tambos more than adequate in terms of privacy and space.
I can not speak highly enough of the Temple of the Way of Light. The staff, facilities, and Shaman are exceptional. The support of the facilitator and other journeyers is amazing. A peaceful setting and a truly authentic experience. I have been twice to the Temple and will return again one day. If you are serious about working with Aya in a safe, supportive environment, I can not recommend the Temple enough. A truly special place.
I remember Celestina?s laugh. The first day I came around a corner and we saw each other and she just laughed such an innocent and beautifully friendly laugh. You can begin to hear it at the end of her youtube video.
I learned with great power comes great responsibility. It?s been a year and that truth has continued to evolve more and more. It forced me to see that integrity sheds the old skin of fear and doubt. Great clarity and knowledge moved me from uncertainty to certainty. Even though in some cases I could remain certain that I was uncertain and that was the best approach in some contexts. I learned a deep personal safety and love that hadn?t been felt before. It was like I doubled what it meant to be alive and slow down time to really appreciate sensing the world around me and my ability to sense it more fully and completely. Discovering the conviction of a certain direction seems like it wants to pull you there.
. I couldn?t believe I had ever been rude or mean to anybody. It made no sense. You realize such compassion for people, it?s so true. Being back in the world, this is forgotten much less and only to a degree. And it never reaches the intensity it used to because the causes seem absurd and irrelevant to anything really. It seems others comment on me being way more easy going than I had before more often than I notice.
I lost about 20 pounds at the Temple of the Way of Light. You?re eating such healthy foods and the ceremonies really clean out the body pretty quickly.
Many people rest the whole time but I felt a massive release the first ceremony and just feel like going and going. Although there were some days I needed some deep rest now that I think about it. Even though I was eating massive portions of food at breakfast and lunch.
Sometimes I would go into the library and shift through all these books I had never seen or heard of before. I think I read a whole book in one day while sitting in the hammocks in the Maloka.
The way the Maloka is, the breeze sweeps right through it and it would just put me right to sleep sometimes as I swung back and forth.
I remember sometimes there would be a couple doing Yoga in my peripheral. The shade of the Maloka and the bright backdrop of the green jungle behind, makes for a beautiful silhouette of steady and graceful movement and was nice to have around. Sort of like being at the beach where people?s voices are so soft and off in the distance and you have such a sense of peace.
There was one morning, I don?t know how much has been added since I?ve been but, there is a circular path garden with all kinds of vegetables and flowers and in the middle, the smoke from last night?s fire is going, this other guy and I, we plucked out a new song on his guitar. The night before we had a campfire and we sort of sang songs we all knew from home. Songs that seem to carry new meaning in them now. I remember the stars at night are so bright out there it?s like your own eyes are a natural telescope.
One night we turned the Maloka into a jungle drum party. Some various Dj?s from around the world happened to be there. We found a generator and they hooked up and we had a dance party that night. I don?t know if we were supposed to do that but we did and it was fun, after the rough week of ceremony.
I did face some great difficulty through my personal journey. I saw how much I had been neglecting myself in ways I hadn?t known before. I saw a part of me that was so furious with myself for not giving myself more credit for things I?ve gotten done in the past. The hurt and pain I saw was shocking at the time. My ?weak? and ?fearful? areas had great hidden power over me. And my weakness was transformed into great strength and self appreciation.
When the Shamans get in front of you in the dark, knee to knee, face to face, it is amazingly overwhelming. These Shamans Give You There Last Breath throughout each of your songs. They give you everything they have in there body to your song. It?s such LOVE that it?s too much and it changes you for good.
One night I got up to purge outside and was lucky enough to step on a spider. One of the Shamans whipped out this goo and wiped it on the area and a few minutes later I felt fine. Later that night the song seemed celebratory in nature. I got up and went outside with the most amazing sense of comfort. The jungle became so Alive. The moon was bright that night and the jungle and I began to breath all together. The immense sound the jungle makes is like a concert of melody and rhythm. The jungle sounded celebratory in nature. It sounded like being at a concert when the artist stops singing for a moment and the whole crowd continues to sing the song. I had no fear of the future and will never again. I learned that night that if you move towards your fears they will give their life for you. All of the precious gifts you might ask for are there. Life is calling you to realize what?s true for you and what needs to be done in the world through you.
It?s been a year since I?ve been to the Temple. What this experience has done is open up an awareness of so many coincidences. I feel and see I have brought the Temple of the Way of Light with me and it makes distance irrelevant.
It?s like, not only do you have healing to do but the world is calling you to go there. If you feel that calling you must trust your instincts and your guts.
I can’t speak highly enough of the Temple. As a first time drinker of ayahuasca I was nervous (OK, close to terrified) about plunging into my first ceremony. But I felt totally safe, reassured and cared for right from the start. The atmosphere at the Temple is really lovely and peaceful and the maestras and maestros were tremendously powerful yet gentle.
If you’re nervous about trying ayahuasca, want a retreat centre that will care for you, has good food but doesn’t mess around when it comes to the ceremonies (you get seven, which is more than many others) then I can’t recommend the Temple of the Way of Light highly enough.
Also, my luggage was lost on my journey to Peru, but the guys at the Temple helped me find it and even picked it up at Iquitos airport and brought it back for me. Nothing was too much.
It truly is a place where you’re safe to be vulnerable and let the medicine work its magic. For me it was a flawless experience. In fact, me and number of guests who were there at the same time are already planning our return trip.
In five ceremonies out of seven, there was loud music from the village almost all night long?.and this happens all the time. Additionally during the day there was construction work going on. Not relaxing at all…And not helpful for my healing journey. A place where I have been served medicine by a gringa facilitator whilst the shaman lady was sitting next to her doing nothing. Unacceptable! A place where you have shamans on a payroll, without any power to make decisions, because it has been taken away from them. I have been told, that I was not allowed to talk to the maestros, because everything needs to go through the facilitator. The owner came into the dining room one day and did not even acknowledge the people who help to make his “vision” come true. No “thanks for being here” or even a hello. A sign of bad manners. Ive also seen him screaming at his staff in a meeting.
During my time there, I did not see the caring and loving environment that has been advertised on the website. They say they work with the divine feminine. I had the feeling that it was all about control and male dominance. You can’t even post in social network sites, without approval. So they clearly want to control everything.
There were dogs on the ground and we have been encouraged to “beat the shit out of them” by some of the staff, because these dogs don’t belong to the temple of the way of light.
I could go on and on, but bottom-line is, if you are looking for a loving environment and personal attention, in a place where you can relax without being disturbed by loud music until 3am and shamans who kept their dignity then the temple of the way of light is not for you.
Its just a well done website with some good marketing behind by a real estate guy from england.
I cannot recommend this place at all. It was very disappointing, a waste of my precious time and my hard earned money.
My experience was a mixed bag. Inez is wonderful…absolutely amazing. There were one or two other shamans that were excellent as well. Half of the female shamans there took every opportunity to insult and mock me. One was yelling at me for not going to the arts and crafts fair they had. Selfish, absurd and wildly inappropriate. Yes, I can take it but if I want to hear that childish nonsense I can hang out with my puerile beer drinking buddies. They were selling people magic potions for supposedly increasing the ability to attract a mate. In the end it was expected that we tip the shamans and pressured to do so. This was not discussed (as far as I know) on the website. Felt like a trap. The facilitators we had were into silly group exercises and had an arrogance about them. That arrogance that so many in the “helping” professions have where if they don’t feel that they are above you and they get snarky. They need you to need them.
I know someone who did not have any visions there and then went to [REDACTED] where they were able to clear his blocks and then he had wonderful experiences. The facilities are much nicer at [REDACTED] as well. The Temple has no way to secure important items like passports etc and the maloka’s are cramped.
There are much better places.
I have attended the Temple of the Way of Light’s 12 day retreat. I am very satisfied with my experience and when I am ready for Aya again I will likely return to the Temple.
I have heard several negative things about Blue Morpho from people I met in Peru who attended both Blue Morpho and the Temple. The main things I remember was that they used less shaman (I think I heard they used 3) and they used more male shaman than female (possibly all male).
One of the women in my Temple retreat (a teacher from the US) told me when we was at Blue Morpho at one point they physically restrained her, wrapped her in a sheet, dragged her into the shower and turned on the cold water. If I remember correctly she was crying a lot and felt she had been abused. I don’t think she did anything to deserve this kind of treatment. She was much happier with the Temple.
The Temple does focus on using mostly women shaman but there are men too. There were 7 shaman for about 20 patient/passengers when I went. It was about a 50/50 mix of men/women for patients and I think for shaman they used 2 men and 5 women. I liked that ratio a lot. The workshop coordinators were both men. Also the food was really good/healthy/tasty/awesome.
I wrote a detailed blog about my trip with photos which you can view… Here are some photos from the Temple. PM me if you’re interested and I can link you to more of the writings and videos on my blog from that trip, which was about 2 years ago.
People were really friendly at the Temple and though I went with a group of 8 friends I did meet many new friends at the Temple, most of which I have stayed loosely in touch with via fbook etc.