Listed in Ayahuasca
The Temple of the Way of Light is a traditional plant-medicine shamanic healing center located in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest that offers intensive ayahuasca retreats with female and male Shipibo healers. We are dedicated to providing our guests with the opportunity to benefit from the ancient healing wisdom of the Shipibo people, and to helping this unique culture preserve its knowledge and identity in the 21st Century.
We work with some of the most respected and powerful healers (Onanya) from the Shipibo tribe. They are highly experienced, gentle, caring, and deeply dedicated to healing and embodying the wisdom and sincerity of their people. The healing traditions of the Shipibo people offer an ancient yet pioneering path to health, re-discovering our true nature and re-awakening to our true purpose.
The Temple firmly believes in respecting and honoring the ancient practices of the Onanya, experts in ayahuasca healing and plant-spirit shamanism of the Amazon. They bring a rich cultural and medicinal legacy to the healing process: time-honored rituals, intricate practices, an expansive cosmology, an encyclopedic knowledge of medicinal plants of the Amazon, and a far-reaching ancestral lineage.
The Temple has safely facilitated healing for thousands of people since 2007 and has forged an exemplary reputation for stringent safety protocols, compassionate care, and a balance of female and male healers and facilitators. We have used our experience to fine-tune a synthesis of ancient Shipibo medicine traditions and modern and Eastern integrative practices that now extends to comprehensive aftercare and integration support long after guests have returned home. All this takes place with an institutional focus on sustainability, permaculture, ethics, and social responsibility.
We offer ayahuasca retreat programs of varying duration, focus, and intensity, with a balance of female and male Shipibo healers, experienced western facilitators, floral baths, a steam bath, a high ratio of healers to guests, a high number of ayahuasca ceremonies, individual consultations, a nutritional and balanced ayahuasca food diet, and a strong focus on how to process and integrate healing, both during and after each ayahuasca retreat.
The safety of our guests is paramount. We are constantly working to offer the safest container and most effective ayahuasca healing experience in the Amazon. We have developed the most stringent health and safety protocols available on any ayahuasca retreat in Peru. The Temple’s commitment to guests begins with in-depth medical and psychological screening during our booking procedure and continues after the retreat through our integration support. Guiding you safely through deep personal healing and growth is our priority, both in and out of ceremony.
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 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 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.