Traditional Plant Dietas at Shipibo Rao
The Shipibo healing system moves significantly outside of the box of the western, biomedical understanding of healthcare, working on the blockages, imbalances, and misalignments in the energetic matrix, reaching into the roots of personal and ancestral traumas, offering lasting and ongoing deep healing. Within this system, there are two general types of dietas; healing and learning dietas.
A master plant dieta is a traditional process of meeting and connecting with the spirits of the plants, enabling the specific plant spirit to directly share its teachings and wisdom, and imbue and embed its healing medicine within you. By creating a respectful bond with a plant spirit you ensure their guidance and assistance during your healing journey.
Each master plant has a living spirit within, with its own unique gifts. They are healers and teachers who become alive inside of you through the dieta process, called sama in Shipibo. By dieting a master plant or tree, you build a relationship with the spirit (ibo in Shipibo) that analyses the biography of your life then helps you to recognize the errors of your ways, blindspots, judgements, projections, the roots of your pain, where your life is out of balance, and the source of your psycho-emotional struggles. Deep awareness of who and what you really are flowers from within during and after the process of a plant dieta.
Through showing commitment, devotion, and respect to the plant, coupled with trusting and surrendering to the process, a profound shift in your relationship with yourself arises. When you have established a connection with the plant, it then becomes an inner guide and ally that supports you for the rest of your life.
Shipibo Rao Plant Dieta Center
Shipibo Rao is a traditional Shipibo plant-spirit healing & apprenticeship center located one hour from the city of Pucallpa in the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon. It is the vision of Maestro José Lòpez Sànchez to run his own center, which we have supported since it was established in 2018.
He offers profound healing work combining ayahuasca ceremonies with master plant dietas in the Peruvian Amazon. Jose’s work focuses both on shorter-term dietas of two weeks and also longer dietas from one to twelve months, offering the opportunity for serious seekers to take your journey of self-discovery and transformation to the very deepest levels possible.
For those who have carried out a sufficient amount of healing dietas, Maestro José also offers apprenticeships that last for many years, providing guidance and support to his students both on plant dieta at Shipibo Rao and afterwards via telephone as the process unfolds.
Many of the Temple staff are honored and blessed to be guided by Maestro José, carrying out long term apprenticeships with him in order to deepen our relationship with the plant spirits of the Amazon, further our own healing processes, and constantly improve our ability to provide the deepest levels of care and knowledge for our guests. This is how we ‘walk our talk’ at the Temple!
Located far from the hustle and bustle of the city of Pucallpa, Shipibo Rao is located on forty hectares of land surrounded by some old-growth rainforest. This land was originally home to a group of Shipibo healers who planted many medicinal plants and trees generations ago. Their spirits are still present on the land, supporting the sacred healing processes that take place in this very special location.
Maestro José Lopéz Sanchez
Sanymeny – The Messenger
José Lopez Sanchez (Shipibo name – Sanymeny meaning “The Messenger”), is an Onanya (Shipibo word for a master plant-spirit shamanic healer) from the Shipibo-Conibo native community of Royaboya in the Peruvian Amazon. He is the son of the legendary Maestra Ynes Sanchez and Maestro David Lopez.
José was named after his paternal grandfather, also called Sanymeny (and José Lopéz Sanchez in Spanish), a highly respected Mereya (the highest level Shipibo healer), who trained him extensively since his childhood, transmitting the wisdom of his ancestors, the Shipibo-Conibo cosmovision and the sophisticated practices of Shipibo plant-spirit healing.
At the tender age of seven, José began the preparation of his body, mind, and spirit by beginning his first traditional dieta (sama) with master tree-spirit and continued training throughout his childhood. At age sixteen, he began to heal people from his village and his work then expanded from the city of Pucallpa out into many other regions of Peru.
He respectfully bridges the modern world to traditional Amazonian medicine and has provided healing for many hundreds of people locally in many rainforest communities and westerners in ayahuasca centers throughout South America.
Maestro José is a high level master of shamanic healing. He assumes his role of service with much humility, kindness, yet with unparalleled strength. His work is offered with love and deep gratitude for the plant spirits that guide him.
Sophisticated Healing Technology
Each master plant has a living spirit within, with its own unique gifts. They are earth-based spirit healers and teachers who become alive inside of you through the dieta process.
Initially, when you are new to traditional Shipibo curanderismo, all dietas are for healing until your body, mind, and soul are sufficiently prepared and purified. The dieta process is very personal and different for everyone, taking you through many challenges yet ultimately resulting in an experience of wholeness and alignment.
Master plants enable us to access an inner dimension where we are able to learn about ourselves in ways that are not available in day to day life, improving mental acuity, building inner strength and self-confidence, realigning our body, mind, heart and soul, and, over the longer term after passing through the many challenges of deep integration, supports the reclamation and remembrance our true nature.
Most of the benefits of plant dietas begin to emerge many months after the dieta process, as the roots of the plants grow within. As the dieta grows, so do the tests! This path is not for the feint of heart and requires tremendous amounts of patience, deep trust, and ultimately an ability to surrender to a process of deconstructing one’s identity (ego).
By dieting a master plant or tree, you build a relationship with the spirit (ibo in Shipibo) that analyses the biography of your life then helps you to recognize the errors of your ways, blindspots, judgements, projections, the roots of your pain, where your life is out of balance, and the source of your psycho-emotional struggles. Deep awareness of who and what you really are flowers from within during and after the process of a dieta.
Respecting Shipibo Tradition
When the plant dieta is properly guided by a master healer, these plants offer spiritual knowledge through dreams, visions, perceptions and intuitions. They give us a deep introspective view of ourselves and of life in general.
Each plant has a different energy, that the Maestro has learned and mastered, before being able to offer dietas to others. When carried out effectively, which sadly is often not the case with some dietas that are offered to westerners in the Amazon, plant spirit dietas provide deep cleansing, purification, alignment, and many teachings.
It is not possible to start dieting plants on one’s own, despite best intentions. It would be akin to attempting to fly an aeroplane with no training. A master healer, who has trained extensively, is required to manage the incredibly complex process that works through subtle energies, inner dimensions, and spiritual realms.
We trust Jose implicitly to provide authentic dietas to westerners coming to the Amazon. Yet we also hazard caution to anyone interested in authentic plant spirit dietas – its ‘red pill / blue pill’ territory and requires a great deal of courage and commitment over many years to really shine light on and embrace one’s own unconsciousness. This is not for beginners to plant spirit medicine!
The Plant Dieta Process
Dietas at Shipibo Rao run for two or four weeks in full or partial isolation drinking a master plant that José selects for you based on your specific healing needs. After your first ayahuasca ceremony, the plant will be administered to you throughout the dieta period along with ayahuasca ceremonies.
It is a delicate and complex process that requires a strict system of discipline, including abstinence from certain energies before, during, and afterwards, including; sexual activity, alcohol, drugs, red meat, and pork. Food eaten during the dieta is minimal and bland, without salt and sugar. For certain periods, you will also be required to honor a dry fast (time with no food or drink).
During the plant dieta, the dietero will be encouraged to be in silence and isolation as much as possible, which supports you in the opportunity to be fully present with your plant. The more you remain by yourself, the more your plant will be available to you. Its energy will blossom within you, deepening and accelerating your process in surprising ways.
Social isolation and the highly restricted diet stimulate the oneiric state and enhance your dreams. It is through dreaming and visionary ayahuasca states that the healers have learned how to heal others, and are given certain songs (ikaros) by the spirit of the plant. These ikaros are fundamental tools in their healing work.
The work with the plants can be challenging – they mainly teach through tests, challenges, and dreams. Your desire for healing and the depth of your commitment is the drive that will help you overcome the challenges that arise. The more that you practice trust, the more space you will open for the plant to work on you.
As you encounter and pass through challenges that arise in the journey of the dieta, you open the door to precious teachings, gifts, and experiences. We often experience a profound freedom from what has been blocking us in our lives, and an opening to new dimensions and new possibilities for ourselves.
What's Included & Cost
Cost of a Master Plant Dieta at Shipibo Rao Dieta Center
USD $2,000 – 12 Days
USD $3,500 – 28 Days
- 5 ayahuasca ceremonies over the 14 days
- The entire process will be guided by Maestro José, often accompanied and supported by additional Shipibo healers (male and female)
- Group size limited to 14 people
- A skilled and experienced western facilitator, to bridge and translate where necessary.
- Steam baths – the number is subject to guidance from the plant spirits
- Plant / flower baths – the number is subject to guidance from the plant spirits
- Very basic, bland meals – required for plant spirit dietas
- A jungle walk to see medicinal plants in their natural environment
- Individual accommodation in basic, rustic bungalows
- Translation from Spanish to English
- All workshops facilitated in Spanish and English
- Porters to carry your luggage to and from the pickup location and the Temple
- All transportation to and from Shipibo Rao from the pickup location in Pucallpa
For more information & bookings, please contact Shipibo Rao directly through their website.