Now that we have had several guest through our new camp I feel it is important to describe in greater detail our philosophy here and exactly how we work at La Familia Medicina. We have discovered by talking with our guests that there are some significant differences between La Familia Medicina and other ayhuasca centers in Peru.
First and foremost our philosophy seems to be quite different from other centers. Gumercindo does a great job of summing this up by saying, “When you come to La Familia Medicina you are not a tourist, you are not a client. When you arrive you are accepted as part of the family. We will relate to you and take care of you as part of the family.” We take every possible step to make sure you feel safe, comfortable, and ensure you have space to enjoy your time here. We have found that this philosophy is is both powerful and extremely important. With this philosophy, you can fully relax into the medicine which in turn optimizes healing.
One of the more obvious things you will notice about us is the location and the space. We are located deep in the jungle, the real deal. A majority of the other centers are located in Iquitos or just outside of Iquitos. Those centers are very convenient to travel to, but the energy is very different. We are constantly hearing feedback that the location, the design of the facilities and the energy of the jungle is simply amazing.
Upon your arrival, after settling into your rooms, etc.., we have a detailed orientation talk. We will discuss the following points:
- Camp rules and safety.
- What to expect in ceremony and suggestions about what to focus on to maximize healing and transformation.
- The reasons for doing a dieta if it applies to you.
- The rules of the dieta and post dieta restrictions.
- Discussion as to whether the dieta is right for you and an opportunity to change your mind about the dieta.
- How there tends to be a consistent cycle when someone does a series of four or more ceremonies.
We really believe it is important that you understand everything clearly and fully prepare you for ceremony prior to your first ceremony.
Once ceremony time comes you will find that we provide a lot of individual attention. We can do this as we keep our groups small- between five and ten people. We make sure to take the time to explain to you in very simple, succinct language exactly what the Maestros are doing, teaching and exactly what is going on.
In ceremony we check in with you directly to ask you questions about your personal experience. This is done to see how you are handling the medicine. Once we hear what you are experiencing and what you are focusing on, we are able to explain to you exactly what is happening. We also suggest individualized techniques as to how to accelerate your healing and how you may be able to work through various issues that may come up.
These “check ins” are more frequent during your first few ceremonies, “training wheels” of sorts. As it becomes clear to us that you are becoming more comfortable with the medicine, the check ins become less frequent. We also respect it if you feel the check ins are not necessary for you.
Laughter is healing. We understand and embrace this. We are focused and highly intentional when it is required. We also know that ayahuasca wants us to have fun and enjoy life. There is a lot of joking around. We do not subscribe to the idea that the entire ceremony be serious or somber.
Something that struck me as somewhat of a surprise was that our guests find it extremely comforting that Gumercindo and Don Roldan stay in the ceremony house several hours after ceremony ends. They stay to chat, joke, answer questions, and continually provide energetic protection. Apparently this is not the case at many other centers in and around Iquitos.
During the day we spend a significant time talking with you. We know that you are continually learning and healing during your stay here. This includes non-ceremony time. We proactively discuss with you what you are feeling during the day, what you are learning, your reflections on the previous ceremonies, and the dreams you may have had after ceremony. Again we provide specific suggestions and encouragement based on these talks.
For more private issues we have one on one time away from the rest of the group to go over issues you may not be comfortable talking about in a group. This may include negative thoughts or medical conditions. Sometimes with these cases we are able to provide special treatment or plant remedies made specifically for you. These conversations are kept completely confidential and we ask that you keep your medical issue and remedy confidential during your stay here as well.
Re-entry into modern or western society can be tough if you do not have the tools and preparation to deal with it. Prior to your departure we discuss re-entry. We talk about what you might go through when you relate your experience at La Familia Medicina with family and friends. Sometimes the reactions are not as you might expect. We teach you some techniques to deal with these reactions. We also provide some ideas how to maintain your energies and even continue the work you have done here while you are at home.
I am extremely happy that those who have visited us thus far have been ecstatic about their experiences here and they have been very generous with their offers for help and feedback. More than anything I feel extremely lucky to witness and be a part of such amazing transformations. Thank you all.