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!
I am in awe at the healing work that takes place here. It has truly brought faith and wonder back into my life as well as profound healing.
Beyond words!!!! The level of support and love from the maestras and maestos was tremendously glorious.
Coming to the Temple has been one of the greatest and most opening experiences of my life.
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.
I have attended ceremony at two other locations and neither even began to compare with my experience here. Plant spirit medicine at its best. I highly recommend the Temple for a spiritual experience of a lifetime.
What sets the Temple apart from other ayahuasca retreats is the level of love and support. This place is truly amazing.
The most amazing experience of my life.
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!
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.
The experience at the Temple has been a profoundly life changing experience. Words cannot quantify how compassionate the Maestras, Maestros, staff and volunteers & everyone involved have been to support my spiritual & emotional growth here.
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.
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.
My time and experiences at the Temple have been magical and deeply healing. I feel like I have shed so much and equally gained so much insight into my life. I am forever grateful for this blessing of an experience and I hope that I will make my way back here again and again.
After hearing about other places in South America to experience Ayahuasca, the Temple must be the best and safest for first timers.
Journeying to the Temple has been the most profound healing experience of my life. This is the true definition of unconditional love and support.
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.
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.
The healers are without a doubt guides to wisdom, health and love. They were gentle and loving with boundless compassion.
Waiting across the bridge were three wonderful little ladies dressed in bright coloured shirts and skirts that had patterns that look ancient. Their smiles and warm hugs were the beginning of a time I will never forget.
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!
If you are looking for an adventure to add to your travels, or if you want to experiment with a different and exciting substance, do yourself a favor: DON´T COME HERE. However, if you are ready to go deeper into your own healing process and connect with something infinitely greater than yourself in an atmosphere of integrity, this might be your destination.
Blown away with the love, care and kindness. The Temple is a magical place.
I could not imagine a better place to work with this powerful medicine.
My experience was amazing!! This has been a life changing experience. The whole process has taught me so much about myself.
In one ceremony I received an insight that no amount of therapy or any other modality that I know of, could have given me this. A 40 year old wound, healed in one night. Miracles are possible in this space.
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.
I arrived at the Temple lost and felt like a big cloud was following me. Within days I started changing completely. I am a new man today. This work is equivalent to 10, 15, 20 years of meditation, just downloaded in a few weeks. So powerful.
My stay at the Temple was extraordinary! This is by far the best experience I’ve ever had with ayahuasca. I highly recommend the Temple to everyone. If you are looking for an authentic, loving, powerful experience, this is the place to go.
We cannot praise enough the work and attitude of the entire staff, healers, facilitators and volunteers. We highly recommend the Temple for anyone considering ayahuasca healing for any purpose.
By far this has been the most intense, hardest and most beautiful memorable time I have ever had.
A transformational experience beyond words. I felt safe and supported by a team of caring, skilled and experienced staff who helped me open the door to the depths of my being and let go of the baggage I no longer needed.
This has been the single most powerful experience of my life.