Here’s what our guests say about our retreats…
“… more profound than anything I’ve ever known possible.”
The work I’ve engaged in these past eight days has reached depths more profound than anything I’ve ever known possible. The purification achieved through the dieta made space for the medicine to more easily cleanse and release energetic blocks that have played a part in preventing me from living my full expression of love and creativity. In addition to the deep cleansing, the opportunity to work with the trees surpassed any expectation. During ceremony (and beyond), Cedar cloaked me with strength, grounding, and compassion as I moved into and transmuted the fears and suffering that were difficult to face alone. This experience has truly taught me grace– that genuine power is unhinged through the quiet inner strength of acceptance and surrender to every moment, no matter the challenge. After several ceremonies of intense healing and struggle, the medicine showed that by letting go of all resistance and trusting the great Creative force, we become it, and life becomes a divine experience of ecstatic bliss.
In two months I begin my “formal” education as an herbalist. The dieta this week feels like an initiation from the divine to step fully into this healing path and feels like an important foundation to work with plants through spirit. The path of every healer (which I perceive as innate in all of us) must begin with one’s own healing, and I feel with the help of Aya, Cedar, and CDA, I’ve cleared the channels of some pretty substantial blockages. This vessel is ready for the energies to flow!
“I cannot imagine a more nurturing environment…”
“My experiences on two retreats with the CDA team have been some of the most trans-formative experiences of my life. I can safely say that I cannot imagine a more nurturing environment for personal healing and growth. The team clearly has deep understanding of tradition and it was easy to put my trust with them from day one. The staff is approachable, non-judgmental, and clearly passionate about the work they are doing. From the beginning to the end of a retreat, it is amazing how available the team members are for attendees. The food is great too. I would absolutely attend future retreats!”
— Will P.
“I’ve found so much peace…”
“I have the utmost love and gratitude for my journey with Camino do Amor. I know the level of clarity and peace I have now may have remained out of reach and my current experience with cancer may have maintained its control over my happiness. Through the retreat and ceremonies true acts of alchemy took place transforming the cancer and tumor into grand teaching elements and I know how pivotal the retreat has been in solidifying my foundation for all that’s to come.
I arrived at the Camino do Amor two weeks before a major surgery to remove a football size teratoma tumor. My intention throughout the retreat and ceremonies had been to fill myself with light to expel the darkness of my ailment. Repeatedly I was reminded the importance of having no expectations and as the week progressed my concrete goal of shrinking the tumor transformed into simple acceptance and understanding of it. The hesitation I had of the surgery has completely left me. The emotions that I feel acted as a catalyst for this experience have been expressed and experienced and are no longer buried to fester. I’ve found so much peace from the lessons and visions of my time at Camino do Amor. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I’ve felt so prepared for the unknown path and I thank you all again for creating the opportunity for such confidence to sprout.”
— Jonathan T.
“You are in good hands with this crew…”
“You are in good hands with this crew, I know I was. Without delineating all the events that occurred (within and without), I shall share being guided by the singing voices of these accomplished Travelers into the awareness of the presence of pure Love. If you’ve ever seen a plant swaying from side to side on the bottom of the ocean in a current– that was the feeling I took away: a swaying in the mind and in the heart, the undulating current of Love. It is an experience you all are going to have eventually. If that was the only experience I took away, I’d still be grateful, but it is merely one in a series of breakthroughs. I am so grateful to Zach, Amy, & Scott for doing with the Love vine ceremony what Bruce Lee did for Martial Arts.”
— Steven B.
“Thank you for opening the door…“
“I recognize that my experience here with the medicine is at once monumental and minuscule. Monumental because every moment spent in earnest to surrender my will and allow the actualization of unconditional love to Be is a triumph for all beings, past and present. And minuscule because the experience is transient and as the patient teachers say, the real work begins when the ceremony is closed. The work for me, in this moment, is releasing my sense of urgency and allowing my being to breathe in patience. All of the most spectacular aspects of the ceremonies- gratitude, forgiveness, acceptance, patience, understanding, grace, compassion, and music– are the tools of Love that we hold in every moment on this journey. And for this I am so grateful. Thank you for your generosity, thank you for your work on this path, thank you for opening the door to love a little wider so that others may also enter. Thank you Camino Do Amor! Thank you Zach, Amy, Scott, and Sean!”
“Exceeded all expectations.”
“What an amazing weekend. Exceeded all expectations. You guys are great. Still processing and integrating lots of the weekend and suspect it will be like that for a while. Each ceremony exponentially surpassed the previous one in term of depth, experience, and intensity. After the second one more or less blowing my mind, the third took it even farther. I’m already looking forward to the next time.”
— John C.
“We are reflections of each other and microcosms of the whole.”
“My introduction to Camino Do Amor, in just three days time has revealed new depths and dimensions to pathways of my healing, and roused tools to draw upon as I step into my purpose. The three-day retreat I attended brought forth themes of personal power, acceptance and the collective consciousness. I entered cathedral visions of my imagination, remembered that the fierce and graceful beauty I was beholding was really inside of me. I faced the shadows of my being, the shadows of my ancestry, and those of the greater collective experience. I experienced the process of seeing these shadows beyond judgement and with acceptance. The greatest experience of all, was the feeling of being just a small fiber in the thread which connects all life: the understanding that my healing is intimately wrapped up in yours, and yours in mine. We are reflections of each other and microcosms of the whole. The community of Camino Do Amor is an essential part of the healing for me: bearing witness to the healing of others made this lesson of collective healing truly tangible. Though I haven’t likely met you [yet], I feel deeply we’re in this together. My greatest hope and intention is to contribute to this great cycle of abundance.”
“… the single most transformative week in memory.”
“I’ve heard the CDA facilitators say that one dieta is as powerful as one hundred drinks of ayahuasca. Now that I have experienced one dieta, I can say that the week was without a doubt the single most transformative week in memory.
I was empowered by the aid of Cedar to dig deeply into my being and cleanse thoroughly my psyche, heart, body and spirit. I do not think I can overstate the power of this work. Powerful teachings for me focused on compassion, gratitude, grace, ancestral healing, silence and a huge revelation into the nature of my own faith. The roots of all these teachings return to unconditional love and compassion.
Mindful of the advice given to not to rely on ceremony as a crutch (the lasting transformation and growth occurs in tiny moments, available every day), I am beginning to understand the significance of this community in my life. I am ever more renewed, inspired, awed, humbled, surprised and taught by the people sitting in the circle. I was profoundly impacted by witnessing other’s struggles and triumphs. We are each unique, yet there are moments sitting in the ceremony space sharing our experiences when the sheer prowess of unity hits while I’m simply listening- BAM! Separation truly is the illusion.”
“Enormous love and respect for the shamans of Camino Do Amor, these dedicated practitioners know their craft…”
“In May of 2016 I attended my first retreat in the care of the Camino Do Amor shamans. Though it is truly impossible to convey this very profound experience into words, perhaps a little description will help someone interested and who is weighing their own concerns to make this decision regarding this option, this medicine, this group, this path. I have a limited experience with psychedelics, but a fair amount of experience with inner work.
I connected to the sacrament in a very real and direct way. The careful shepherding of the shamans helped me connect to a very precious aspect of my being that I had denied and repressed, and this in turn helped to create an experience of love and respect that exploded the theoretical into an absolute and undeniable phenomenon. I reconnected to the love of my parents, and to my partner, and to my friends. I felt a renewed sense of gratitude and respect for my community, and for myself. My heart has never opened more. There’s more that was positive, and more that was difficult as ceremony proceeded. Soon after came the purging, which was an experience I couldn’t handle on my own. Luckily I didn’t need to face it alone. I asked for help, and the shamans were there to help me. Having passed the bulk of my crisis, I managed the rest of the evening moment by moment. Their were times when I wanted the experience to end, and it just wouldn’t, but all things eventually do pass. This was one of the hardest nights of my life, and I’ve had a few, but this one was completely worth it to me.
I came away with enormous love and respect for the shamans of Camino Do Amor. These dedicated practitioners know their craft and have the skills to practice it as safely as possible. I felt respect and dignity the entire time, even when I was purging. I saw these same people tend, manage, guide my friends and co-participants through the emotional, psychic/energetic, and physical crises that inevitably arise. The dedication of the CDA group extends beyond ceremony. Available throughout the retreat, I saw them tend to those in need of assistance with integration and processing. They also nurtured us with good food they themselves prepared.
I will agree that walking this path, even as briefly as I have, requires trust and surrender and letting go. It requires great vulnerability and produces great intimacy. I trust the CDA group implicitly. Never did I see abuse of power, lording over ego, or denigration of anyone. I only saw compassion, humor, and responsibility. I felt protected and cared for. I would not do this again with just anyone, but I would do this again with Camino do Amor.
Finally it is said that the true work begins when the retreat ends, and I find this to be true for me. The medicine gifted me with the experience of uninhibited love and respect and gratitude, she cleaned me out, she healed me. She showed me many things that I need to consider and integrate and make real. Now it’s up to me to stay clean, to remain connected to respect, love, and gratitude, to open/polish/strengthen my heart, to maintain meaning in my life, and to maintain meaningful contact with those whom I love in this life. I have my work cut out for me, but I also have received fortification through this process, and I know that I’m not alone in doing the work.
I hope this brief and inadequate account helps anyone considering this work. It is work. It isn’t easy. For me it was absolutely worth it. It connected me to my birthright, and to my humanity.”
– Matt W.
“A lesson in how to fall in uncondtional love with life, forever thankful this group is making it possible”
“Words can’t express the gratitude I have for this experience and the loving guidance provided by Zach, Amy, & Scott. I was unsure about participating in a ceremony, but the universe told me the time was right and thankfully led me to Camino Do Amor.
I have felt rootless and neurotic for years, but after one of the three-day retreats, I feel so plugged in, so loved, so loving, and so at peace with all manifestations of life. For me this was a lesson in how to fall into unconditional love with life. And the proof is in how my life is now flowing and flowering.
If you decide to attend a ceremony, know that you are in good hands. All the shamans are extremely wise, supportive, and kind. But also be be prepared to work. A great deal of my experience was tough, but the bliss and expansion was worth it. I thought I had prepared my body and mind pretty well, but I think I would have had an easier experience if I had really improved my meditation practice beforehand. Mindfulness was crucial–and I had to learn the hard way!
Attending one of these retreats is life-changing. I wish this medicine and this practice were available to people on a larger scale. It’s hard to imagine that anyone wouldn’t profoundly benefit from it. I’ll forever be thankful that this group is making it possible.”