Shipibo Ayahuasca Retreats in the Amazon
Shipibo Ayahuasca Retreat in the Amazon – Iquitos, Peru
The Temple of the Way of Light – BENA CAYA AINBOBO (A New Feminine Spirit) is a traditional plant medicine healing centre located in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest offering intensive ayahuasca retreats with female and male Shipibo healers. We are dedicated to providing our guests the opportunity to benefit from the ancient healing wisdom of the Shipibo people, and to helping this unique culture to preserve its knowledge and identity in the 21st Century.
The Temple is one of the longest operating, safest and most well regarded ayahuasca centers in Peru. Since our inception in 2007, we have worked with over 4,000 guests between our two separate ayahuasca retreat centers (12 day retreats and 1 month retreats) and have established an exemplary reputation for safe, respectful and responsible ayahuasca healing. With a ratio of 2 staff members to every guest, we offer an unparalleled level of service, care, and professionalism. Our guests safety and well-being is our number one priority.
We work with some of the most respected and powerful healers (Onanya) from the Shipibo tribe. All our Onanya are highly experienced, gentle, caring, deeply dedicated to healing and embody the wisdom and sincerity of their people. The age old 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. We firmly believe in respecting and honoring traditional medicinal practices of the Onanya who are experts in administering ayahuasca and traditional plant medicines of the Amazon. They bring time honored rituals, intricate techniques, an encyclopedic knowledge of medicinal plants of the Amazon and a far reaching lineage to the healing process.
We are not a new age movement, nor based in any religion; healing from the plants is for everyone on the planet irrelevant of race, creed, color and social or financial status. The core of our work is focused on deep healing on all levels; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
The Temple offers two distinctly different ayahuasca retreat programs which have been designed to meet the varied needs of guests who want to experience ayahuasca and traditional plant medicine healing in the Amazon: a 12 day ayahuasca retreat and a 1 month ‘deep immersion’ ayahuasca retreat.
The Main Pillars of Our Work are:
Working with Predominantly Women Healers: A unique focus on working with Onanya Ainbobo – indigenous women healers working within the rich and complex medical tradition of the Shipibo people. The women healers are complemented by Shipibo male healers who provide a necessary balance to the healing work. Our healers each have from 20 to 60 years’ experience working with ayahuasca.
A Compassionate and Safe Environment: From the inception of the Temple in 2007, our core philosophy was to provide an atmosphere of genuine care and compassion. Over the subsequent years we have become known for the sensitive and attentive style of our retreat facilitation and the wholehearted level of support offered by our entire team. We firmly believe that a compassionate environment is an essential component of the overall healing process. This allows guests to be vulnerable, tender, open, honest and authentic, without fear of judgment or criticism while undergoing deep healing.
A High Ratio of Healers to Guests: Our 9- and 12-day ayahuasca retreats are run by three female healers and two male healers – with the group size limited to 22 people. These numbers ensure that each guest is given close, personalized attention in every ceremony and throughout their healing process. Our 1-month ‘Deep Immersion’ ayahuasca retreats offer a smaller ceremony group size (limited to 12 guests in ceremony and 24 guests on site) and are held by one female and one male healer.
A High Number of Ceremonies: We hold 5 ceremonies on our 9-day ayahuasca retreats, 7 ceremonies on our 12-day ayahuasca retreats and 8 ceremonies on our 1-month ‘Deep Immersion’ ayahuasca retreats. We offer such a high number of ceremonies to ensure that our healers have sufficient time to reach into the roots of the issues presented by our guests. This is one of the main reasons we have been able to achieve such positive results over the years. We are passionate about our work and deeply committed to facilitating lasting healing and integration. Our retreats are intense and challenging experiences that initiate a much longer-term healing journey that unfolds for months and even years after visiting the Temple.
Stringent Health and Safety Standards: Your well-being is our priority and the Temple is deeply committed to guiding guests safely through deep personal healing and growth, both in and out of ceremony. We apply rigorous health and safety protocols that include pre-retreat medical screening, and personality and psychopathology screening. In the Amazon itself, our safety provisions encompass: an on-site nurse, staff trained in first aid, fully equipped first-aid kits, emergency protocols, permanent communications on- and off-site (cell and radio), 24-hour transport to Iquitos, a contracted medical clinic in Iquitos, and 4 staff supervising each ceremony (2 facilitators, a door person and a toilet assistant). These standards are complemented by an extensive support staff of over 100 people throughout the Temple grounds.
Respecting Indigenous Traditions: Underpinning the Temple’s work is our vision for the incredible mastery of indigenous healers to be respected, legitimized and honored in the modern world. We aim to cultivate a richer understanding in the West of the Shipibo system of shamanic healthcare and substantiate the efficacy of their ethno-medical traditions. Indigenous wisdom celebrates a spiritual dimension and interconnection between all life on Earth. We recognize this dimension as vital to restoring harmony and balance across the planet, individually and collectively.
Focusing on Social Benefit: The Temple is a purpose-driven, socially responsible, conscious business that puts people and the planet before profit. The cornerstone of our work is operating with authenticity, integrity and impeccability. As a flagship ayahuasca center, we operate with total social responsibility: providing the highest wages to healers and local staff; comprehensive social benefits; substantial financial support to local communities; an inspirational environment for our staff’s personal healing and development; and outreach programs supporting indigenous people locally and throughout the Amazon.
Reciprocity to the Amazon: According to indigenous Amazonian wisdom, sharing is the key to maintaining a healthy, balanced life for all. Indigenous people consider protection and preservation of the rainforest sacred duties. Yet with the great increase in popularity of ayahuasca shamanism, we are concerned that the spirit of sharing and protection is being lost. We promote and foster ways to honor and protect the world’s most biodiverse ecosystem, its people and their traditions through our sister non-profit organization – The Chaikuni Institute.
Community, Permaculture and Sustainable Living: Since 2009 we have been implementing a comprehensive program on the 175 hectares of Temple grounds and in our local village as a means of incorporating the principles of self-sufficiency, regeneration and social responsibility.Our program includes a wide range of projects: sustainable ayahuasca production, food forests, perennial vegetable production, staple crops, medicinal plants, renewable energy systems, rainwater harvesting, natural spring-water systems, aquaculture systems, sustainable buildings, and reforestation.
Ethics and Professionalism: The Temple follows a rigorous set of ethics and professional standards to manage our growth sustainably and give back to the people and land around us in the Amazon. The Temple employs over 100 people, mostly from the surrounding area, and contributes to the economic welfare and infrastructure maintenance of the local village. We are deeply dedicated to fostering a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship with our staff that improves the quality of their lives and creates an exemplary working culture. Our professional protocols set a high minimum standard for safety and experience to ensure our guests are well cared for physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Comprehensive Aftercare and Integration Support: Aside from the provision of quality ayahuasca, experienced healers, stringent safety protocols and a compassionate environment, integration is the single most important predictor for a successful outcome when working with ayahuasca. The Temple is committed not only to effecting profound healing in the Amazon, but also to supporting you after your return to ‘day to day’ life through the provision of our free 3-month Continuing Care Program (currently in development – available later in 2016). This support system will offer community, guidance, reassurance, advice, exercises, techniques, meditations and an overall pathway that will significantly aid your integration, and help you reclaim present awareness and to live a healthy, whole and balanced life.
Research Study at the Temple
We are excited to have accepted a proposal from ICEERS (The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service),who in collaboration with the Beckley Foundation, will be carrying out an independent observational research study on ayahuasca treatment received by guests attending retreats at the Temple.
This is an exceptional opportunity to significantly advance scientific and academic understanding of ayahuasca. If the majority of the participants who visit the Temple over the next year take part in this study, the final outcome will be the single largest research project ever carried out on ayahuasca.
Although science will never be able to ‘measure’ the vast magic and mystery of ayahuasca, it is very clear from our experiences at the Temple since 2007 that significantly positive healing outcomes are frequently achieved. However, the efficacy of ayahuasca and traditional Amazonian medicine is unfortunately still not acknowledged in the West. Science is a powerful tool to break through moralistic propaganda and stigmatization of practices that are labeled as ‘irresponsible drug use’ while having been an integral part of the well-being and survival of many indigenous communities of the Amazon basin for centuries.
If guests decide to take part in this important study, names or personal details will not appear in the published results. There are either five assessments over the course of a year, or six assessments over 14 months. Each assessment takes between 20 and 40 minutes to complete.
If you are considering booking a place on either our 12-day ayahuasca retreat or our 1-month Deep Immersion ayahuasca retreat, we would very much appreciate your support with this ground-breaking study.
My stay at the Temple was beyond my expectations! I will never forget these days in all my life. I got what I came for and a lot more!
Temple of the way of Light has far outdone any expectations I could have imagine. The shamans here are truly amazing healers. Surgeons of the spirit world. They have helped restore my true essence and I am truly grateful. This place is the real deal!
This ayahuasca experience at the Temple has surpassed all my expectations. This is truly a healing center. I’m leaving here with hope, gratitude and a clear plan to how to make changes in my life when I return home. I am profoundly grateful.
Beyond words!!!! The level of support and love from the maestras and maestos was tremendously glorious.
I highly recommend the Temple to anyone seeking a life changing, transformative and ultimately healing spiritual experience. It has left me with a refreshed attitude, greater levels of compassion, deep personal insights, human relation insights and a level of wholeness that I don’t think I’ve ever felt.
Visiting the Temple was such a humbling experience, filled with beauty and nourishing care. I felt that the healers were of genuine integrity and really eager to help the visitors of the Temple expand.
The people here are truly magical! Every ceremony was completely transformational. I experienced the best and worst times of my life all showing me my reﬂection and the messages of my life. Like an old star, I exploded, went into super nova, and from that nebula a new star was born. I walked in a weak old man and left a young vibrant boy!
The experience was transformational, enlightening and grounding. The healers were professional, sacred, gracious, playful and highly attentive. Being at the Temple was a transformational experience on so many levels.
This has been the single most powerful experience of my life.
Journeying to the Temple has been the most profound healing experience of my life. This is the true definition of unconditional love and support.
I love the work you are doing here and I am truly grateful for the way in which the Temple, the jungle, the staff and the plants are transforming the world of consciousness and awakening of mankind, one workshop at a time.
The most amazing experience of my life.
It’s hard to put into words what the Temple has done for me. I decided to come here while battling depression and anxiety. A complete cleansing and transformation has occurred under the watch of powerful healers and a wonderfully supportive and loving staff. I can honestly say that this was one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life.
The name Temple of the Way of Light is highly appropriate. I think all in this group have definitely experienced “the Light”.
The Temple is an incredibly powerful place. I have so much gratitude for everything I have been taught and for all the love I have been given.
After hearing about other places in South America to experience Ayahuasca, the Temple must be the best and safest for first timers.
I came to the Temple with no idea of what to do with my life, a heavy heart and confusion in my soul. What occurred was nothing less than sublime. My heart has opened—I have remembered who I am—who we are. Peace has settled over my mind and soul.
It was a perfect choice for my first ayahuasca experience. Gentle, loving, supportive energy pervades the grounds at the Temple and all those involved in the place.
Every aspect of the Temple has been considered as a support to the healing process. The Temple has succeeded in proving to be a very safe and supportive environment.
I feel so much gratitude I don’t know where to begin. To think places like this exist! I have had a life changing experience. I was so lost and depressed when I first came. I see things in a totally different light now! So many people would really benefit from coming here.
I don’ think I could have made a better choice. If one’s intention is true healing and feels called to the ayahuasca path, then I highly recommend the Temple
There is no price I can put on my experience at the Temple. It’s as if I have found a great treasure I have been looking for my entire life.
It’s difficult to say in a few words what these people and this place has done for me and what I realised I am able to do. You can’t be so loved and well cared and remain the same.
From the very first moment I entered the retreat, I knew it was a special place. I can´t fault anything I have witnessed here—a magical and professionally run retreat.
Life changing! That’s all I can say.
The healers are without a doubt guides to wisdom, health and love. They were gentle and loving with boundless compassion.
The Temple of the Way of Light is a glimpse into our collective future. As a centre of holistic healing and harmonious community, it is both ancient and highly advanced.
The healers are absolutely amazing. I believe that this work is exactly what is needed for planetary healing and I am so grateful to the Shipibo people and their dedication to this work as well as the staff.
The healers are the biggest inspiration I have ever seen, experienced or heard of in healing. Such dedication and pureness of power. I feel speechless about their work in a most profound way.
I can’t say enough good about the Temple and the work of the Maestras/Maestros. 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.
The most positive caring, love filled place I have ever been.
This experience was life changing for me. I realize that this decision is really one of the most important I have made towards my own personal growth and development.
The Temple of the Way of Light is an opportunity to completely change your life. The maestras/os are incredible with vast healing experience and knowledge, so loving, nurturing and truly invested in the wellbeing of all participants.