The trip we are about to embark is probably THE experience you have been waiting for: it is a life-changing event. We ask all registered participants, as well as the ones considering participation, to reflect on the information below and start preparing for the journey.
The Amazon is more than an exotic pristine land. It is the Green Heart of the Earth: an incredible space, where thoughts materialize at a tremendous speed, where the human being enters both a kind of involuntary regression, helping all residues to surface in order to be eliminated, and a nature connection that is beyond words. This draws every single Amazon participant back into their own center, restoring the better, perfected, enhanced state of being.
This is why the Amazon experience is not just an adventure vacation – or maybe it is. The adventure of a lifetime, the search for the Self- an amazing self discovery journey.
We will be accommodated by a small community of Shipibos. Their village, situated on the bank of one of the Amazon’s tributaries, about eight hours by boat from Iquitos, is an example of an enhanced social model. Love, care and peace are the key features of this extended family that does not hesitate to embrace the Western newcomers and treat them like family. The overwhelming sense of harmony dominates this simple settlement, consisting of wooden huts, built on pillars so that the waters and the ground critters do not reach the floors.
The huts allow for contact with the jungle and its exquisite music.
The Shamanic Diet replaces breakfast with a set of plant extracts and fresh fruit. Lunch consists in fish or eggs, rice and vegetables, dinners are light – mostly bread and bananas. A fat free, sugar free, salt free regimen that regulates blood pressure, brings down the level of cholesterol in spite of the egg consumption and makes the traveler feel lighter and brighter as days pass by. Should you require some supplements, please take care and only bring the following:
1. vacuum packed single serving size. You will open and eat the entire thing. Any “supplies” attract rats, cockroaches and ants (ants are the worst).
2. no sugar, no salt, no caffeine, no wheat, no grease.
Vegetarian diet will be the most served. Vegetarians and vegans will be accommodated according to their dietary needs. However, the availability of produce cannot guarantee the covering of special needs, such as gluten free or nut free.
The Shipibos took good care of insulating the sleeping areas against insects. Each bed is endowed with its own net to keep mosquitoes away. As sun rises around 6 am and sets around 6 pm, the sleeping hours commence early. It is a good time to sit in silence, listening to the music of the jungle (at night time the sounds are complex and intense) or, for the very sensitive passengers, a pair of ear plugs might be a good idea: the selva gets quite noisy during the night hours.
You might also want to bring a bed sheet and a pillow case that you want to leave behind. The villagers appreciate a lot such gifts.
The Manati river is a few hundred yards away. With no alligators and no piranhas, its clear waters are ideal for cooling from excess inner heat, balancing, grounding and having lots of fun. Take two swim suits.
You might want to do some quick washing in your room: the Shipibos will provide a small bucket for that. Also, bring two packs of wet towels, you will love them. Two towels might be a good idea- you might use one while the other is slowly drying, and thong plastic flip-flops while you are still wet 😀 .
The Shipibos are doing a wonderful job washing clothes every day. Small accidents happen sometimes if one leaves the clothes out during the night: the village cows developed a taste for cotton… All dirty laundry should stay away from the floors to avoid cockroach incidents, since these beautifully brown and orange colored insects adore to munch on T-shirts and underwear, especially the ones we have just worn.
The humidity is very high, sometimes it takes two days for a shirt to dry. Make sure you take spare ones. If you want to do your own laundry, take appropriate soap, preferably organic.
One thing that strikes anyone arriving to the Nuevo San Jose community is the extreme harmony. No one raises their voice. People are warm and friendly, they will often embrace the guests and ask how they feel. The Western noise level (especially chatting or speaking with a high tone) is unusual for them. Some of them are really bad with math, so whoever decides to buy some of the local handicraft should make sure the arithmetic is right 😀.
This is a community that has not yet been spoiled by the bad touch of “civilization” and the expeditions are aiming to preserve that. We are respecting, protecting and adapting to their lifestyle. Their mild advice should be taken seriously. Their loving attention should be rewarded with loving attention.
The tribe is really poor, so any coloring books, story books, little gadgets like battery operated lamps, chocolates, balloons might be a great gift for the children. We will present all gifts as a group. Children appreciate a lot the clothes, and if anyone has a spare bra or two, these are the most valued possessions for a Shipibo woman.
The Jungle of the Amazon is, probably, the biggest green pharmacy of the world. Clean and pure remedies are lovingly harvested and prepared to facilitate a complete de-tox and reprogramming of the body. Shamans have passed and enriched this knowledge for millenia. Their advice is capital. Plants should only be administered under their supervision and according to their recommendations.
The shamanic way of harvesting plants is an entire process that starts with the right intention, the walk to the place where the plant is harvested, personally choosing the plants, and harvesting with the right attitude of gratefulness to the plant that will pass on to the respective person its healing gifts.
Having the fresh plants is a huge advantage in preserving their properties. Each of the plant goes through a specific process, from cold water extraction to boiling for 12 hours.
Saracura is a specific plant that Funi, the plant shaman, discovered, studied and currently prepares. It facilitates a re-programming of the nervous system. Some of the participants reported improved sight (especially with reading) and also and increase in the internal heat level. The bitter Saracura extract is the morning starter.
Renaquilla is a blood cleanser. The red sap looks like blood, the tea has a herbal, slightly sour taste, it is a little bit astringent but pleasant.
Una de Gato, already famous in the Western holistic and plant therapies, is reported to produce the breakdown of all forms of crystallized negativity in the body, from warts to tumors. There are independent reports regarding cancer healing after stages of 3-month therapy with Una de Gato in the jungle.
Ayahausca, or Madrecita, as the Shipibos call it, Little Mother, is administered in a boiled down concoct with chakruna. Its perfect cleansing properties take out of the body toxic elements, from organic ones to emotional or deeply encrusted ancient patterns, transmitted from one generation to another. The studies performed in the eighties show that Ayahuasca and Chakruna work in combination, facilitating the transition of the body into a cleaner, higher vibration state and opening the extra-sensory perceptions. Ayahuasca is the most sacred plant, therefore it is only administered in ceremonies held every 3 days, under shamanic supervision and with shamanic induction. This is not a drug, and even less a recreational drug. It is a deep cleanser of all bodies and a facilitator of higher consciousness processes. The taste of the small ayahuasca dose is rather foul, but it is worth the effect.
Benefits for participants
The immediate benefit of the expedition is a cleaner, leaner, smoother body in all aspects.
The combined meditation, diet, nature contact and shamanic work results in superior states of consciousness, proportional to the intention of the participant and the level of involvement in the energy work carried around the clock.
Last, but not least, the memorable space of the jungle, teaming with life, is a great memory and source of inspiration. People came back with fresh ideas, projects, or just an incredible state of peace of awareness, never experienced before.
Every few days, the group will proceed to a walk in the jungle. Plants and animals co-habitate this incredible network that connects everything into one big green heart that beats in these lands. Nature becomes a great school, for, the shamans say, everything is a sign here. Also, the walks are great training for being present and connected to the NOW moment.
We will reach the jungle by boat. Please make sure your luggage can be carried easily – a backpack is ideal. We will need to hop onto boats from pontoons, sometimes floating ones, so regular cases on wheels are not the greatest choice.
Shamanic Dieta preparation
Rather harsh at first sight, the Shamanic Dieta is an integral component of the plant regimen, together with physical exercise, bathing in the river and mind work.
One should commence the Shamanic Dieta at least 2 weeks prior to arriving in the jungle.
The food should mild, with almost zero fat, no meat other than fish, no salt, no fermented ingredients such as cheese or vinegar. Honey successfully substitutes sugar. The meals should be light, plenty of water and tea is advised in order to enable the removal of toxins from the body. Coffee, chocolate and other such substances are forbidden. Alcohol is totally out of the question. Please refrain from sex, since we need to preserve our vital energy for the plant work and ceremonies. Some groups experienced issues during the process, because of not observing the sexual abstinence standards.
Drugs and Food Supplements
The diet and plant work are greatly facilitated if no chemicals enter the body. In other words, no drugs, no poisons (mosquito repellent, dimethyl terephtalate, is one of them). The food supplements are better in the kitchen drawer or bathroom cabinet than in your backpack.
Make sure you get the right medical advice before attending the expedition, and getting your MD’s approval for this endeavor. It is your responsibility to take care of your own health in the jungle. Should you choose to have vaccines, ask for your family doctor’s advice.
Please consider buying organic soap and shampoo, and use a kit of essential oils for repelling mosquitoes and other insects. The best ones are Melissa, Lavender, Cedar and Teatree.
Hygiene and cosmetics
Make sure you have all you need , from toothbrush and fluoride free toothpaste, to shaving utensils and cosmetics, deodorant and such other items.
For ladies, make sure you have a complete set of feminine hygiene products with you. Even if you are not supposed to have your period during the trip, the deep cleansing might trigger it.
The wet towels proved to be an excellent item in the Jungle. Please make sure you have two packs.
Creams are almost unnecessary, the humidity keeps skin elastic and hydrated. As we will bathe frequently, hair care products – organic shampoo and conditioner, organic soap – should be available in generous quantities. We might leave to the Shipibos what’s left of those 😀. Please try to stick with the deodorant only, avoiding perfumes, or if you want to smell nice, use some Geranium, Patchouli, Lavender or Orange oils. Keep in mind that the scents will attract insects, especially butterflies, who might want to land on your hand or leg for a tasting session.
We will also perform some body work, so a little of your favorite massage oil (natural oils such as avocado or almond ar the best) and essential fragrances might be a good idea.
Organizing your space
You might want to decorate or organize a bit your basic lodging space. Therefore, it would be a good idea to bring pins, hooks, maybe a little bit of string to hang clothes that are not completely dry, or hanging textile pocket organizers.
Activites range from mind work to body work, creative sessions, energy work, taking part in shamanic ceremonies, jungle walks, swimming and group work. The whole complex of activities is meant to create synergy and facilitate a faster track to expanded states of consciousness, a re-design of your human blueprint and development of abilities that can bring you a different, better approach of the world when returning to your daily work and personal environment.
– Long sleeve light cotton shirts (at least 2). Make sure all your clothing is loose, to provide for comfort while moving and keep the insects away from the skin surface.
– T-shirts for the day
– long pants / lots of pockets if possible
– or a multi pocket vest
– thick cotton socks. The mosquitoes get through any kind of thin socks, pantyhose, tights.
– shawls or light cover-ups for the night ceremonies. The Shipibo blankets are rather thick for the temperature outside.
– bathing suits
– for the ladies – bras are not used in the ceremony. Please think of lighter support solutions, such as a halter, or none. Also, keep in mind that we will not use in ceremony jewelry that might get tangled.
– at least one set of white clothes for the Ayahuasca ceremonies
– Hat and sunglasses
– raincoat, totally waterproof
– candles, mosquito coils, citronella candles
– small backpack for the jungle walks
– battery operated, or solar, or hand rechargeable flashlights.
– All batteries you need for the appliances you bring with you.
– Cameras powered by accumulators will run out of power quickly. Solar chargers are an idea. Regular waterproof battery operated cameras are the best, the rest of them might have zoom issues because of the moisture.
– Make sure you have ziplock bags to keep your notebook or journal away from the moisture. The same goes for electronics.
– essential oil kit: lavender for skin issues, cedar and teatree for bites, sores, melissa as a repellent, geranium for boosting your immunity, orange oil to help you sleep.
– Bring paper and colored pencils or water colors to paint and draw your visions, ideas, intuitions. There will be a generous roll of paper brought by the organizers so you can work on your posters 🙂.
– A notebook for scribbling impression and a ball point pen (paper gets moist and ink or pencil either spread or do not work anymore on the expanded paper) could help you capture your Ayahuasca ceremony and personal journey insights.
– First aid kit: bring with you all the items as per your doctor or pharmacist’s advice. Make sure you have wound dressing (Band Aid, cotton, dressing, disinfectant), alcohol, remedies for pain, fever, respiratory infections, digestive infections, allergies.
– Pen knife
We will purchase the rubber boots in Iquitos. If you want to carry them all the way from home to the jungle, you might as well pack them now. The Shipibos will be grateful for any boots we leave there. This is the main thing they are wearing, so additional pairs are a great gift.
For the ones continuing to Cusco, pack clothes for cold weather and wear layers once you get there.
Try to spend time with yourself, in silence, still and centered. The sooner you start your diet, the better you will feel. Set your objectives for the trip. Be serene and open to whatever happens around you. Learn to listen more and speak less. Avoid useless chatter. Open your heart. Be yourself, be comfortable, be at ease.