Guest Q&A: What Should I Do to Get Ready for Retreat?

Another great question came through from guest about to enter our next retreat:


I’m in Peru now and am wondering if you have any advice on what I can do to prepare better for the retreat.  I’ve been reading the info on the site and blog andother sources and I’m more concerned with what I should be eating and what I should be doing to prepare myself physically, mentally and spiritually.  I’m taking into account whats listed – no alcohol, drugs, sex 3 days before and will be following that.   I’ve been eating lots of ceviche (i love it). Also I noticed in the dieta that it says to avoid some veggies and fruits should I be incorporating this now into my daily routine?  I don’t even know where to begin in my questions on mental and spiritual readiness – now I’m just trying to focus more precisely on my intentions for the retreat, if you have any advice on this as well I’d like to here.


You are already doing great by what you are doing.  You don’t need to be on “dieta” already though.  Just maintaining a diet that avoids beef, pork, sweets (fruits are ok right now), heavy oil (greasy foods), and spices. Stick with simple dishes with rice, chicken/fish, vegetables is a simple dietary rule for now.

As for mental/spiritual preparations:

Great work on starting contemplations on your intentions for the retreat.  Really dig deep into the heart of your intentions to get to the core of what it is you are seeking for the moment the cup of Aya is handed to you.  But with all of that, realize that sometimes Mother Aya will know better than you what it is you really need, rather than what you think you need.  But do ask for Love, clarity of truth, and healing.  And be prepared you will be Cleaned!  All that muck of darkness that we build up needs to be lifted and purged.  Sometimes the cleaning is a difficult process, like having a dirty, festering scab pulled off for our own good.  Don’t be afraid of difficult ceremonies.  Many have found that the more difficult, the more incredible they feel afterwards when our dis-ease is removed from us.  As i said my recent blog, learn to love the vomit bucket!  Or toilet, depending on which end she choses to purge you from!  ;D

Another daily practice (morning and night) i highly recommend is meditation and yoga stretching. Devote at least 30 minutes a session to solitude for this.  Meditation: practice just focusing on your breath, moving in and out of your nostrils or lungs.  See how long you can go with solitary focus on just that breath.  If you minds gets talking, just gently remind yourself to return to the breath. Once you take Aya in, it is the one singular connection between this world and the spirit world.  If things get difficult in ceremony, return to the focus on breath. As Zach will say, “breath in love, breath out love.”

As for yoga, any combinations of yoga will do.  A good simple 5 step practice is called the “5 Rites” that Zach taught me in retreat.  The images of the 5 Rites movements are attached below.

Finally, spend your days or week before retreat staying as isolated from routine social activity as much as possible.  You want to avoid energetic transfers of energy between you and people around you, so you avoid the possibility of picking up other people’s negative energies that you will need to purge in ceremony.  We walk in an ocean of each other’s spiritual energies, remember that.

The above also includes using the internet.  Stick to uplifting spiritual topics and readings.  Avoid the routines of mundane news of the world and dramas.  Also a powerful source of negative energies being beamed right at you.

Contemplate the meaning of “Surrender”.  So important!  For you to maximize your cleaning, healing, and learning from Mother Aya, you must surrender completely to her.  Do not fight or resist what comes up.  Physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.  Whether it hurts or feels blissful, get that pesky mind out of the way and surrender.  Be a witness with a quiet and curious mind.  Nothing more, nothing less.

The earlier you can start a spiritual, meditation practice before retreat, the more you’ll be inline and prepared for Ayahuasca.  And it may help reduce any difficulties with cleaning/purging and the time it takes for you to “break through”– another important and interesting topic for an upcoming blog post.

Light & Love,

La Familia Medicina

Perform each Rite with focus on full inhalations and exhalations:


Rotate Clockwise 10 times
Flex legs up 10 times with full breath exhalation
Back bend 10 times, holding for 30 secs each time
10 Hip thrusts and hold for 30 seconds each time
Suspended cobra to downward dog pose 10 times

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