We have mentioned it before: ayahuasca is a process. Attending an ayahuasca retreat is in fact the start of a much longer healing process that can last ahead for months, even years. For most of our lives we’ve been spoon-fed certain truths and have been conditioned into certain behavioral patterns and limiting beliefs that have eventually made us suffer and feel stuck. Releasing these and liberating ourselves into overall freedom is a long-term journey that can be accelerated by working with ayahuasca, but in order to do so we need to continue the work after the retreat and integrate our experiences.
Ayahuasca as spiritual surgery
We can view the ayahuasca ceremonies as “spiritual surgical procedures”, in which deep cleansing on different levels is being executed. After this cleaning “surgery”, it is up to you: do you continue to act and make decisions as you did before and rely on old patterns, or do you consciously start to embody the newly upgraded you?
The real work starts when you return home
The healing process that comes with ayahuasca does not end when the ceremony ends. Integration of the lessons you received is just as important as the ceremonies themselves. After the ayahuasca ceremony, you can experience yourself and the world around you very differently. Therefore, the real work starts when you return home! That is where you can achieve true growth by implementing the ayahuasca lessons.
Fundamentally, ayahuasca integration means cleaning up your act in support of your upgraded self. Ayahuasca helps you to let go of what doesn’t serve you anymore, but this can be a tough process. All areas of your life – job, relationships, mindset, habits and/or addictions, diet – may be up for transformation in the period following the retreat.
At a very basic level, integration is a process of growth and evolutionary change. It is a process that is very much in the nature of people, and so each of us possesses the wisdom and the ability to follow this natural process. However, if you don’t really have a spiritual background or if you have limited experience with self-inquiry and introspection for healing and personal growth, the integration process after the retreat might feel like a lot to take in. For some, it can be overwhelming and leave them more puzzled than before.
You can continue to rely on our guidance
During the retreat there will be both individual talks and group discussions to guide your process and to give you a kickstart for the integration of the healing experience. However, our guidance will not end when the retreat ends. Whenever you would like to discuss some things, you can contact us for aftercare. We are happy to get you in touch with one of the team members who helped you at the retreat, or with the right caregiver from our network of affiliated therapists, so feel free to email us.
In addition, we have used our experience to put together a tool kit with all sorts of tools from modern and Eastern integrative practices, which can help you find your way after your return. These tools focus on working with your emotions and supporting you in letting go of what no longer serves you. It is completely up to you whether you want to use these tools, or find your own way or tools for your integration process.
Our experience has taught us that it can be very useful for people that have attended a retreat with us to stay part of our community on Facebook. This network of like-minded people has shown to be valuable for the exchange thoughts or experiences, for example when you feel alone or misunderstood while integrating back into your everyday life.