Changemakers Alignment Intensive Ayahuasca Retreat
This retreat is a truly groundbreaking program of deep healing, individual transformation, personal mastery, and leadership development – a powerful synthesis of ancient Amazon healing traditions with pioneering ontological inquiry and alignment work.
In this retreat, Matthew Watherston, the founder of the Temple of the Way of Light with 14 years of experience working in Amazonian healing, will be collaborating with Richard Condon, a “maestro” of ontological inquiry with 33 years of experience working with over 150,000 people, and a team of six highly experienced Shipibo healers with over 150 years of combined experience working with traditional plant-spirit medicine of the Amazon.
The Changemakers Alignment Intensive Ayahuasca Retreat is by application only
Why does the Temple Exist?
The foundation of our work, and all retreats at the Temple, are the highly advanced and complex ethnomedical traditions of the Shipibo-Conibo people, an indigenous group from the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon. We work with Shipibo Onanyabo, meaning those who have wisdom, shamanic healers who are known around the region and the world for their mastery in working with ayahuasca and plant medicines. The Onanyabo at the Temple have trained extensively for decades within a wisdom tradition that has been developed and passed down over countless generations. We hold a vision for the mastery of all indigenous healers to be honored, legitimized, and valued across the planet.
Traditional Amazonian plant-spirit healing offers an ancient perspective on the modern epidemic of depression, anxiety, and stress; encouraging a revolution in our healthcare systems, and in the way society addresses mental health and the source of disease. We recognize unresolved personal and trans-generational trauma, in all its different manifestations, to be the energetic taproot of all disorder and turmoil, individually and collectively, across the planet. The resolution of trauma leads to completion, wholeness, and connection, and is the most significant mechanism for individual, social, and global transformation.
We stand for a new paradigm in health-care, soul-care, and planet-care
Who is This Retreat For?
This unique program has been designed for people who already have or show clear potential to have a widespread positive impact in the world. This by-application only retreat is designed for visionaries, entrepreneurs, leaders, and innovators working specifically in the fields of individual & social transformation. We see the profound potential that a transformed and awakened individual has to impact their clients, colleagues, communities, and beyond, and are committed to supporting you to become that in ways you haven’t yet realized.
This retreat is specifically designed to help you transcend unconscious compensatory mechanisms of the past, shifting into operating at a new octave, and to give you tools to live that life for yourself and for the world. The intention of this retreat is to provide the conditions for you to significantly elevate your life, and through self-transformation, for you to become a powerful embodiment of your higher potential in serving the greater good.
What are we healing for? At the end of your life, what do you want to say you lived for?
The Mastery of the Shipibo Healing System
Shipibo plant-spirit healing is a sophisticated, regenerative, and restorative spiritual healthcare system that reaches into the psychological, psychic, emotional, and energetic roots of trauma, clearing blockages and highlighting limiting views and self-defeating patterns, all of which disconnect us from our true selves. The healing work essentially catalyzes a long-term process that enables the restoration of your natural state of being, subject to your level of commitment.
There will be six night-time ayahuasca ceremonies led by our healers, working as a plant-spirit guided medical team, each bringing their particular skills and specialities and providing individualized attention throughout the retreat, specific to your needs. At the deepest levels, Shipibo healers understand that there is a symbiosis and synergy in nature that lies at the core of true healing.
For the Onanya, ayahuasca is not simply a hallucinogenic experience. It is a nexus to a vast number of other plant (spirit) medicines that work together to provide a harmony of healing.
This level of healing creates deep and lasting results that are not attainable by working with psychedelics alone. It takes a full orchestra to create the symphony of healing and to restore our innate connection with the web of all life on the planet. The Shipibo approach to healing is bio/eco-centric, fundamentally carrying the intention to reconnect us with the natural world. As much as our soils, forests, and oceans need diversity to thrive, healing systems that work with and honor the diversity of nature provide full-spectrum healing. Working with a vast array of forces, elements, and spirits of nature, the Shipibo Onanyabo create the conditions for nature to heal itself – us!
“Look deep into Nature then you will understand everything better” – Albert Einstein
This revolutionary retreat combines ayahuasca ceremonies and the healing work of our Shipibo maestras and maestros with an ontological inquiry (inquiry into the nature of your being), that helps you to identify your Calling for your life.
In sync with the healers, the daytime workshops build on and complement the deep healing experiences in ceremony, creating deeper context to the shamanic healing work. We support you to identify and clear sources of disconnection buried beneath high functioning compensatory behaviors. The ontological process helps you to identify your blind spots, which are the opportunity and access for alignment. These are the sources of misalignment in life that stem from heavy energies, implicit (unconscious) memories, and trapped emotions that unknowingly pervade our bodies and subconscious minds and surface as negative psycho-emotional patterns and physical disease.
This is high-level and rigorous work delivered by true experts in deep healing. The process encourages you to embrace uncomfortable experiences – this is where the alchemy of transformation begins – and should only be considered by those who are 100% committed to participating in high-level processes, conversations, and ceremonies that will challenge you. We make no guarantees about what that will look like – instead, we invite you to be willing to explore yourself with us.
The Process of Becoming Whole and Complete
After 14 years of working with nearly 10,000 people who have come to the Temple seeking ayahuasca for healing, direction, personal growth, and spiritual development, we’ve seen an incredible number of positive results. And yet, we recognize that for there to be a long-term and tangible impact in our everyday life we need to fully understand how to integrate our experiences with ayahuasca. Life ultimately becomes the ceremony.
No matter how much energetic healing work we do, if we don’t commit to transforming our views of ourselves and the world around us (or in other words, if we continue to live with views and behaviors that are not aligned with our soul’s Calling) misalignment and turmoil will return in our lives. This program prepares the groundwork for profound transformation.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – Max Planck
For the most part, our lives are unconsciously driven by views we hold about ourselves, trapped emotions, and blocked energies that are a consequence of difficult and traumatic experiences, predominantly from our childhoods. Our current environment, including our relationships, jobs, living situations – everything – consistently reflect those views.
As these traumas are addressed, integration of the experience is then necessary to return to wholeness. We will share the most powerful tools we know to help you with the integration process, which will continue for many months, even years after the experience in the Amazon. These tools include both past-based and future-oriented inquiry to prepare you to safely re-experience trapped emotions as they surface, bring awareness to unconscious patterns, and freely create a fully expressed, profoundly meaningful, and deeply fulfilling life that is unlimited and unrestricted by the past.
Pre and Post Retreat Support
We also provide preparation and integration support as part of this program:
- Individual video calls with each participant will be held during the month before the retreat to establish a connection, set intentions, and prepare the groundwork
- For three months following the retreat, there will be monthly individual and group video calls to support you with whatever is surfacing following the work in the Amazon, deepen the ontological distinctions, and provide therapeutic support where needed
- Optional individual therapeutic support is available where needed, for an additional cost
Review from Dr. Gabor Maté
Gabor came to the Temple in 2019 to experience the healing work of the Shipibo Onanyabo and to facilitate daytime workshops with Matthew and Richard. In this video, Gabor candidly shares his personal healing experience and how ontological inquiry also significantly supported his own process.
Here is his review of his experience:
Where Does this Retreat Come From?
Matthew Watherston, the Temple’s founder met Richard in 2017. Matthew attended one of Richard’s Alignment workshops in the USA and was highly impressed by the work. He invited Richard to the Temple in November 2017. Richard then experienced Shipibo shamanic healing for the first time, and throughout his stay with us, we were all deeply struck at how complementary his ontological methodology is in supporting ayahuasca healing and how it can significantly improve the overall process of integration.
The Shipibo approach to healing and Richard’s ontological and processing methodologies both focus on four core aspects:
- See and connect
- Clearing & cleaning the past
- Aligning body, mind, and soul
- Opening our path of service & our Calling in the world
This retreat has emerged as a result of this collaboration and is a powerful syncretic approach to healing and transformation. This approach to working with and integrating ayahuasca will enable you to learn about the importance of intention, integrity and self-responsibility, to develop new life architecture enabling you to stay connected to the insights, visions, and breakthroughs that are often experienced during ayahuasca healing, and to guide you to create a new environment after you leave the Temple that supports you to live an aligned life.
“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” – Lao Tzu
Having met Buckminster Fuller in his youth, he spent a life driven by Bucky’s quote, “How can a single individual make a difference in the world.” His evolution traversed careers in music, restaurants, and nightclubs, leading up to the middle of his life when he asked himself the question, “at the end of my life, what is it that I want to have fulfilled?” The answer was making a difference in people’s lives in a profound way.
This led him through the next 25 years of his life where he led programs for a well-known self-development and transformation company that took him to most major cities in the United States as well as Europe, China, Japan, Thailand, Peru, and India delivering programs for over 150,000 people. He designed and delivered innovative perspectives on leadership, corporate culture, communication, productivity, teamwork, and elevating performance. This allowed him to work with international and domestic corporations representing various sectors; including industrial, retail, banking, service, and environmental.
As he entered the last act of his life, he became more deeply engaged in Bucky’s question. This has given rise to a deeper exploration of a new access to living, “Living an Aligned Life.” Over the last 7 years, he developed an inquiry into the Fundamental Intention for life and explored what it takes to live and work truthfully and powerfully from this declared North Star. The fundamental principles that he works from are that we can reinvent and fulfill our own authentic and heart-based lives, then align in thought, speech, and action, consistently and coherently with what our lives are truly about. Simply said, “living true.”
Following his first visit to the Amazon and a life-changing shift in his perspectives after experiencing ayahuasca for the first time, Matthew founded the Temple in January, 2007. Since then, he has worked passionately to manifest his vision to build a pioneering Amazonian healing center focused on responsibly facilitating indigenous healing and working in reciprocity with the people of the Amazon and their environment. Over the last 14 years, he has developed the Temple to become a flagship model of a plant-medicine based, conscious healthcare business with a strong commitment to social and environmental responsibility in the Amazon and beyond.
Matthew is deeply passionate about Traditional Amazonian Medicine and recognizes its significant potential as a spiritual healthcare system, moving beyond an anthropocentric perspective of medicine to a bio/eco-centric approach that successfully addresses the energetic taproots of the issues we all face during this evolutional turning point, both individually and collectively. He has undergone a profound personal healing journey since arriving in the Amazon, is a long-term apprentice in Shipibo medicine, and is dedicated to ensuring that the ancient medical traditions of the Amazon are honored and respected.
Recognizing the critical importance of reciprocity, he has founded two Peruvian non-profit organizations; Alianza Arkana (2011) and Chaikuni Institute (2013), implementing programs in permaculture, regenerative agroforestry, sustainable ayahuasca production, and intercultural education. His lifetime goal is for the Temple to become a university hospital, taking part in the creation of a new paradigm in health-care, soul-care, and planet-care.
Shipibo Plant-Spirit Curanderismo
The incredible mastery of Shipibo healers brings practices that form a sophisticated system of spiritual healing – a regenerative, energetically focused, soul-based, and spirit-assisted healthcare system.
We deeply honor and respect the indigenous healing traditions of the Amazon that have evolved over hundreds, maybe even thousands of years and offer the most effective ayahuasca healing experiences possible. We work with some of the most respected, kind-hearted and powerful healers from the Shipibo tribe, who are highly skilled in ayahuasca healing and plant-spirit curanderismo (shamanism) of the Amazon.
Our team of Onanyabo (healers, in Shipibo) have been carefully selected over many years to work at the Temple. They bring a rich healing legacy, time-honored rituals, intricate practices, an expansive cosmology, and a far-reaching ancestral lineage to the healing process. Coming to an ayahuasca retreat in the Amazon, the birthplace and source of the medicine, being supported by the energies, elements, forces, and spirits of the jungle, and guided by the indigenous wisdom keepers of powerful ethnomedical traditions, is the most effective and deepest way to work with ayahuasca.
The Onanyabo’s encyclopedic knowledge of medicinal plants (rao, in Shipibo) of the Amazon Rainforest allows them to heal a huge range of psycho-spiritual, emotional, and physical conditions. Their healing process is focused on cleansing and purifying the energetic field that surrounds us. They identify the source of turmoil, disorder, and disease as stemming from heavy energies (mahua niwe) that are trapped due to personal and ancestral traumas (rate) or toxic energies picked up in our environments.
They see these energies as the principal blockages to good health and well-being and are identified as dark, muddy colors within the energetic matrix of the patient. Ayahuasca enables them to expand their consciousness and open up into non-physical dimensions where they carry out their work. They have definitions for these inner realms of existence that they refer to as nete (worlds).
- Panshin Nete – the world of darkness (negative thoughts and emotions, violent energies, death, conflict, etc)
- Yora Nete – the energetic (etheric) counterpart to the physical body, blood, bones, flesh, mucus, organs, etc)
- Shinan Nete – the world of mind: beliefs, mental concepts, thoughts, lower and higher
- Winti Nete – the world of heart: desires, emotions, and relationships
- Rao Nete – the world of the medicinal plants
- Jakon Nete – the world of joy, peace and harmony
- Ani Nete – the world of the great mind / Rios Nete – the world of the gods
In order to become an Onanya, the apprentice must carry out a long and arduous training, a process called sama (master plant dieta). The sama is fundamentally the process of establishing a connection with the spirit of the plant that is being dieted. Over many years the plant spirits teach the apprentice how to navigate the inner worlds, how to heal, and how to become a conduit for the energetic medicines of the plants to be channelled to the patient. The most powerful energetic healing transmission is in the form of sound – the ikaro – the healing songs of the plants. To become a high-level healer typically takes at least ten years, although the learning process never stops.
The dietas enable the Onanyabo to open up portals whilst in the expanded states of ayahuasca, calling in plant-spirit doctors to carry out energetic operations on the patients. It is the plant-spirit allies/doctors who disconnect, extract, clear, cleanse, and purify the heavy energies from the systems of the patients. And then work to realign the energetic architecture (body, mind, and soul), reconnecting you to your essence and the natural order/world, and finally, specific ikaros to protect the healing work and illuminate your pathway forwards.
Although this process is far beyond our understanding of modern healthcare and sits firmly outside the widespread materialistic understanding of reality, the Shipibo’s perspectives on optimal health are radically different. The key to the success of the shamanic healing they provide lies in their experience of working in the inner, non-physical, non-local realms of being. This causal approach challenges the underlying assumptions of the modern biomedical paradigm. As well as focusing on physical and psychological symptoms, they address the non-physical, energetic sources of disorder and disease, moving beyond the assertions of contemporary science and reaching into the realms of the quantum.
“Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel…humble” – Albert Einstein
Ayunando (Fasting) with Ayahuasca
Since ancient times, fasting has been a discipline that supports physical rejuvenation and spiritual growth. Fasting is the oldest therapeutic method known to man. Traditionally in the Amazon, any healer training to become a curandero (plant spirit healer) learns through an apprenticeship process of plant dietas (sama, in Shipibo) – initially for cleansing themselves, and then to learn from the plant spirit teachers. When carrying out any dieta, the ayuno is one of the most important keys to the success of the process.
Traditionally in the Amazon, ayunos are considered a sacred offering to the plant spirits. When someone has deeply committed to their healing process by giving offerings to the plant during and after the healing process, the Shipibo believe the plant will appreciate and reciprocate these offerings by healing on a deeper level. It is possible to ayuno both ayahuasca (drunk physically in ceremony) and the ikaros (the energetic transmission from the plants, sung through the healers in ceremony).
Ayunos are almost always carried out in silence. The silence and lack of stimulation allow a space for internal reflection and personal process, and for the communication of the plants to trickle through into inspiring thoughts, revelations, and insights. Ayunos can be short yet incredibly intense during plant dietas and ayahuasca healing. The more one fasts in silence, then typically, the more effective their healing or learning becomes.
Many healers will say that by carrying out an ayuno for one day during a dieta is equivalent to one month in the astral realm, in terms of the depth that the ayuno brings to the healing and learning. The Temple healers have recommended that guests begin to carry out ayunos on retreats, if they are able. Ayuno will begin at 6pm before each ceremony until 1pm the following day – an 18 hour fast. Silence will be observed from the end of the ceremony until the fast is broken at 1pm the next day. Fasts will only be carried out on ceremony nights and the following mornings and are not compulsory.
By completing six fasts during the retreat, the healing process is taken to a much deeper level. This is not easy work and requires commitment, courage, and endurance, however, the healing outcomes are well and truly worth the challenge.
Note: If you feel called to do a fast before your retreat, we strongly recommend not doing this close to the start. In the weeks leading up to your retreat, we recommend taking extra good care of yourself and cultivating a strong, stable, and relaxed body, and sharp and focused mind.
Ontological Inquiry and Psycho-spiritual Processing
This work gives you a context for your life, and specifically, a context for working with ayahuasca. This work will be done with the whole group, and together we will inquire into what you are living for, and what’s in the way of you living that.
Seeing & Connecting: This is the intention piece. What is your intention in coming on this retreat, including what outcomes are you committed to producing. Where in your life are you not aligned, where do you experience friction or being stuck, and where do you not experience flow?
Cleaning & Clearing the Past: This is the processing piece. Our pasts, until they are properly cleared, are with us in the present. A lot of the work with ayahuasca, particularly in the Shipibo system, involves cleaning and clearing the residual impacts of things that happened to us in childhood. Where necessary, we will inquire into these memories and experiences so that you can reconnect with yourself. The definition of trauma that we work from is that trauma is not what happened, but the disconnect from yourself that happened as a result of whatever incidents happened. Clearing out whatever is in the way will allow you to stay connected to yourself in day to day life, and the inquiry process will give you tools so that you can continue this work when you go home.
Aligning our Energies: This is the living piece. The healers work very hard to align our heart and mind and energetic system in the ceremonies, but if you don’t make changes in your life, this alignment will not last. Our conversations on living an aligned life will give you tools to design your life so that you can maintain this alignment both at the mental, energetic, and practical levels.
Opening our Path: This is the calling piece. While the healers work in the nighttime ceremonies to restore alignment at a very deep level, the daytime inquiry will give you the tools to connect to your path in life and who you truly are at a deeper/higher level. Being able to put this into language and learning the importance of your word gives you more power to navigate through life.
All of the daytime work we will be doing in this retreat will give you integration tools to re-design the architecture of your life and provide a pathway to create a life filled with inspiration, connection, and purpose after leaving the Temple. Staying connected to the breakthroughs, insights, and revelations received while working with ayahuasca in the Amazon once we go home is often challenging. Integration, or the process of bringing our experiences with the medicine into our lives, is critical after working with ayahuasca. If we consider ayahuasca ceremonies as the classroom, then integration is the homework – the work to get home.
Alignment work is the single most effective approach that we have found to support the integration of your experience in the Amazon, providing practices that help you to bring what you have learned through working with ayahuasca back into your lives, transcending the pain and narratives of the past, and awakening to inspired new perspectives and possibilities.
While ceremonies themselves are profoundly healing, for most people, awakening is not a lasting experience and something we need to work at to stay connected to. Bringing profound integrity, self-responsibility, and self-compassion into our lives is essential throughout the process of integration, becoming whole and complete.
“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us “universe,” a part of limited time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and his feelings as something separated from the rest…a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of Nature in its beauty” – Albert Einstein
- Individual preparation call with each participant includes intention setting, coaching, and laying the groundwork
- 1 month of dietary restrictions
- A high ratio of healers to guests – 6 healers per retreat
- Group size limited to 22 people
- 6 ayahuasca ceremonies over the 12-day retreat
- Intensive focus on alignment, processing, and integration by an experienced team of facilitators
- A cleansing steam bath on the first day of the retreat
- Jain Póiti (flower baths) for cleansing, purifying, and strengthening
- Vomitivos (stomach cleansing) to rid the stomach of some toxins
- All food and drink – a deliciously simple diet suitable for working with medicinal plants & ayahuasca
- Explore the jungle and see medicinal plants in their natural environment
- Group meetings to share and process your experiences
- Accommodation in comfortable tambos spread out throughout the Temple grounds (fully protected with mosquito netting, eco-friendly flush toilets and waste systems, running water, and hammocks)
- Laundry service
- Translation from Shipibo and Spanish into English
- All workshops facilitated in English
- Porters to carry your luggage in and out of the Temple from the pickup location
- All transportation to and from the Temple
- 3 monthly group integration calls (ontological distinctions and therapeutic support)
- 3 individual therapeutic / integration support calls with an integration facilitator
- Weekly / fortnightly individual integration support calls available as an additional paid option
What’s not Included:
- Airfares (International and National)
- Airport transportation
- Travel insurance
- Accommodation in Iquitos
- Peruvian Visa costs for non EEC or USA nationals
- Personal expenses (meals and drinks in Iquitos, etc.)
A portion of the income from our ayahuasca retreats funds projects on environmental justice, sustainable development, and intercultural education run by our Peruvian NGO, The Chaikuni Institute, partnering with indigenous people in the Amazon.
|Final Installment||US$ 2,500 Due within 48 hours of approval to confirm a space|
Important Terms and Advice
- Once registration is approved, retreat payments are non-refundable.
- If we are forced to cancel any retreats as a result of the pandemic situation or international travel restrictions, all payments will be either transferred to personal credit to be used for a future program at a later date (with no expiration date), or you may move to a different program at that time.
- We will send you an invoice with a link to pay via credit card after your registration has been approved. Your balance must be paid in full upon approval to guarantee your space.
- For cancellations more than 8 weeks prior to the start of a retreat, you may transfer to a different program or transfer your payment to personal credit to be used for a future program in the next 2 years.
- For cancellations within 8 weeks of the start of a retreat, you may only transfer to a different program or transfer your payment to personal credit to be used for a future program in the next 2 years if we can fill your place in the retreat. We will try our best to do so.
- We strongly recommend all guests purchase flight and travel insurance to cover all contingencies and nonrefundable deposits and expenses.
The Changemakers Alignment Intensive is different from other retreats at the Temple and is very unique in its approach. The daytime work and group processing in this retreat can be intense and is designed to disrupt ways of being and thinking that hinder living an aligned life. Those who come to this retreat must be open to new possibilities and new dimensions of thinking, and be fully committed to participating in the daytime group sessions.
This retreat is by-application only. We will require you to have already made significant progress on your overall journey of self-development and self-responsibility. You should consider this retreat only if you are 100% committed to participating in conversations and ceremonies that will push you to uncomfortable places and if you are fully committed to being open to having unconscious views about yourself highlighted in the process. We may request a video call as part of the application process.
- Please click “Register Now” below and fill in the necessary information on the following pages in order to submit your application. NOTE: All applications must be completed from a computer as we do not have mobile phone capability for our medical forms at this time.
- Once you have completed your application and your medical information has been reviewed by our team, we will email regarding your acceptance into the retreat. We will be approving applications on a case by case basis. Please check your email regularly as we may be in touch with you if we have any questions.
If you have any questions for us, please contact us at [email protected].
NOTE: Please do not book flights or make any travel arrangements until your application and medical information has been reviewed and you have been approved to attend. In consideration of the changing global situation and international travel restrictions, we strongly recommend not making any travel arrangements until close to the start of the retreat and purchasing travel insurance.
If we are forced to cancel any programs as a result of the changing global situation or international travel restrictions, all registration payments will be either transferred to personal credit to be used for a future program at a later date (with no expiration date), or you may move to a different program at that time.