During one of the Tour evenings, you will have the option of participating in a sacred plant medicine (specifically, ayahuasca) ceremony with one of the wonderful shamans that will be visiting with in Peru. This is an optional ceremony; however, you will need to decide well before the trip whether you will participate. This way, you can begin preparations in the weeks leading up to the ceremony.
In order to have the optimum experience, the following are a few dietary guidelines which have been suggested by some of our Peru teachers, especially as to which foods should be eaten and which medications should be discontinued prior to the Workshop.
These are not hard fast rules but are strong suggestions only. It’s up to each person to decide how strongly to adhere to these:
1. At least one week prior to the workshop try to eat as pure a diet as possible cutting out sugar, junk foods and red meat. Fresh vegetables and fruit juices and whatever else you would normally do to detoxify the body will greatly enhance the experience.
2. Stay away from all manner of mind-altering intoxicants ie: drugs (cannabis, etc.) and alcohol for these can conflict with the experience. It is also recommended to abstain from sexual activity at least 3 days prior to the workshop.
3. It is best to consume no solid food within four hours of the workshop. However, it is also not advisable to completely fast on the day of the Workshop. Some light food other than meat eaten more than four hours before we begin is recommended.
4. Foods to avoid 10 days to 2 weeks before the Workshop are the following:
- soybeans, soy products
- fermented food
- aged/mature cheese (exception: cottage cheese, cream cheese)
- pickled herring and salted dried fish
- broad beans ( lima , fava beans )
- yeast extracts/brewer’s yeast
There are many resources on the web dealing with dietary preparations. Here is one rather comprehensive site.
5. Whereas dietary preparations are recommended, the case is different for contraindicated medications such as SSRI’s, antidepressants, etc.. This would also include St. John’s Wort. Persons on such medicines must be off of them the required amount of time prior to the workshop.
And finally, set your intention and be prepared to come with a humble spirit, an inquiring mind and a reverence for the sacred. These guidelines will not only enhance your experience but those of the group also.
6. Recommended reading:
Antipodes of the Mind by Benny Shannon. This book documents the broad spectrum of experiences to be found within this growing phenomena and can be a helpful guide both before and after the workshops.
The Shaman by Geraldine Overton. Excellent first person account of the Amazonian medicine tradition.
Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge by Jeremy Narby. Excellent account of Amazonian shamanism.
DMT: The Spirit Molecule book and DVD by Dr. Rick Strassman. Explains the biological mechanism for the experiences generated in our workshops.
The Road to Eleusis Explores the kykeon, the sacred entheogenic drink used in the mystery rites of ancient Greece.
Let us know if you have any questions.