How to Prepare
The quality of your Ayahuasca ceremony is really dependent on the preparation you put into it. There is a lot that goes into properly preparing for your ceremony, and on this page we’ll cover exactly what the proper Ayahuasca preparation looks like, how to find a ceremony, and how to get the most out of any experience you have with Ayahuasca, whether at our retreat center, or anywhere else. Correctly preparing for your Ayahuasca experience is crucial to ensure you get the most from the medicine.
For a lot of people, having your first ceremony is an experience that you have probably been looking forward to or anticipating for months, or maybe even years.
But the first thing in order to have the best ceremony that you can… is to release all expectations.
The attitude that you have when approaching the medicine is your greatest determining factor as to if you’ll really enjoy your experience or not.
Before attending your Ayahuasca ceremony, really check in with yourself. Ask, yourself, are you doing this, or do you want to do this “just because” or “just to try it” or maybe you’re simply looking for an altered state?
If this is why you’re approaching this medicine, I highly recommend you either look somewhere else, or you check in to make sure that before you drink Ayahuasca, that your intentions are really in the highest place.
This medicine is exactly that… a medicine.
It’s not a drug, or a psychedelic hallucinogen that you do because you want an Ayahuasca trip.
It’s a sacred plant that ancient Amazonian tribes have been working with for thousands of years for the deepest energetic and physical healing, and to connect with the depths of Who You Really Are – your Divine Source, the Limitless Infinite Potential Source Energy that you are.
You’re so much more than this physical body, and this mind reading these words. Whatever you want to call it, your Spirit, Soul, Higher Self, there’s a part of you that exists that is so much greater and more powerful than this physical human you can ever be.
And this is what you can connect with when you experience Ayahuasca.
If, and only if, your intentions are pure, in a place where connecting with this part of you isn’t to “trip out” but to grow, to heal, to evolve, to discover parts of you that you have yet to connect with, and have lost touch with…
So, if your intentions and attitude when approaching your Ayahuasca ceremony are about inner work, healing, and in some way or another, your evolution and growth, great, then, and only then, would I recommend that you proceed with seeking out the medicine.
Once you have that in check, the next way to best prepare is to let go of all expectations from what you will experience.
You can either have the most beautiful love-filled, blissful ceremony, and experience depths of love, compassion and Who You Really Are, to a degree that no words can ever fully describe…
Or you can vomit all night, and energetically be wrung out of all the things that do not serve you… which of course, is very healing in it’s own way and will leave you feeling like a brand new being.
Whatever happens, you will get exactly what you need. To learn more about possible Ayahuasca effects, then you can visit this page here.
So, you’ve checked in to make sure your intentions and attitude are in the right place, and you’ve also released all expectations about what your experience will be like…
From there, the best way to proceed with your Ayahuasca preparation is to eliminate certain things from your body.
No matter who leads your Ayahuasca ceremonies, at the end of the day, your free will always prevails, and you will do whatever you want… but if you really want to go deep and get all that you can with the medicine, then I would follow these guidelines below exactly as outlined.
After all, if you’re going through such lengths to experience this medicine for yourself, it is highly recommended that you everything that you can to get the best experience possible, and following these guidelines will ensure that happens.
One thing that can happen if you don’t, is that the medicine won’t be able to work within you, since your body will be “clogged” either energetically or physically. By not following this, you won’t feel the effects anywhere close to as much as if you adhere to these guidelines and create the space for the medicine to work inside of you.
– Avoid recreational drugs including marijuana for at least 2 weeks prior.
– Avoid alcohol for a minimum of 48 hours prior.
– Avoid sexual contact for a minimum of 48 hours prior.
– Ensure you are well hydrated, but please avoid drinking too much water directly before or during Ayahuasca ceremonies.
– It’s suggested that you avoid foods with MAOI inhibitors for at least 24 hours before drinking Ayahuasca. This includes: fermented or non fresh foods, cheese, miso, tofu or other fermented soy products, dried fruits, tamari or soy sauce, sauerkraut, pickled foods, protein extracts, processed or smoked meat products, yeast/brewers yeast, (yeast in baked goods is OK).
– We also suggest that in the weeks before drinking Ayahuasca, you prepare your body to receive the medicine. This means avoiding fried foods, caffeine, spicy foods, dairy, pork and refined sugars. This is especially important in the 48 hours prior to your ceremony.
Basically, fresh clean and natural foods with a high ratio of fresh vegetables and fruit is the best way to prepare.
– Many medications and natural supplements are not complimentary with this work and can be dangerous especially MAO inhibiting medications, SSRIs and or antidepressants. For a full list of supplements and medication not compatible with Ayahuasca, please visit our page on Medical Guidelines.
If you need to stop taking any medication prior to your Ayahuasca experience, please consult with your doctor about stopping such medications at least one month before drinking.
And if you apply to one of our retreats, please advise us of any medications you have taken or are taking so we can discuss your individual situation.
– Meditation, yoga or other mind/body/spirit practices are very complimentary to this work, which teaches you to focus your energy and connect to breath, which is very useful during the process, however this is not mandatory.
– Again, reflect on your intention… and let go. Sometimes that which we think we need to work on isn’t what comes up during ceremonies or your retreat at all, however, spending some time inquiring within, about what you want to heal or let go of, prepares you to open up to whatever is being brought forwards in your ceremony.
– Allow yourself to be curious, set intentions for your attitude and approach during this sometimes-challenging process and ask for assistance from whatever sources of spiritual support you resonate with.
What to Bring
If you’re attending just a one-time Ayahuasca ceremony, then the basics of warm clothes (in layers so you can remove / add some as necessary) a flashlight, water and depending on where you drink, your own pillow and blanket would guarantee your highest comfort. It’s also nice to bring crystals or any sacred items that are meaningful to you during your ceremony.
If you’re attending one of our Ayahuasca retreats, then we would like to request that you bring all of the following, and use this as a checklist:
-A personal object to contribute to the land/temple, in dedication to your healing
-A personal object of power, to give you strength, heart connection, and a way to contact your angels/guides. A crystal/pendant/small totem, etc.
– A little something personally significant sacred that you would like to add to our altar in the Maloka during your stay, such as a crystal or mineral.
– Small flashlight or head torch – required in ceremonies, which are conducted in pitch darkness and for walking around the property at night. Bring spare batteries. We can definitely recommend a headlamp over a flashlight — it’s just so much easier, especially when under the force of the medicine!
– Lightweight long sleeve pants and shirts (wearing something white in ceremony is suggested, but not required)
– Water bottle
– Rubber boots, or other waterproof footwear.
– Comfortable loose, light clothing that keeps you covered.
– Yoga mat if you like.
– Creative materials for your free time – pen, paper, paints, crafts, musical instruments, whatever you would like to channel your healing process into.
– Natural toiletries. non-plant-based toiletries and cosmetics are incompatible with these medicines. This means non-natural toothpaste, moisturizer, makeup, deodorant, bug-repellent, shampoo, sunscreen, etc. Many products marketed as “natural” in fact contain chemicals and salts so please read the ingredient list.
We recommend brushing your teeth and moisturizing with organic coconut oil and just releasing the need for all other toiletries during this time unless you can find totally plant based products.
– Books: while it’s OK to read, we actually recommend that you spend as much time as possible in stillness and in silence with yourself. Books can distract from your own process. However if reading is a must for you, we recommend books on spirituality, philosophy, healing, nature or personal development to keep you focused on your purpose.
– Electronics: it is better to avoid bringing too many electronic distractions. It is appropriate to listen to a little gentle music but be mindful of others’ space, so please use headphones if you are to do so.
Cold Weather: As mentioned, the winter months in Washington State are particularly cold and wet. This can be a really unpleasant, even dangerous combination! Therefore it’s essential that you bring as much gear as possible. Remember that cotton gets very cold and wet. It’s best to pack fabrics that are waterproof or at least resistant to water.
So please be sure to bring the following:
– Several warm sweaters or blanket, as the evenings will likely get below freezing.
-Waterproof outer shell, jacket, or Poncho.
-A cold weather sleeping bag
-Wool socks (more pairs than you think you’ll need)
Warm Weather: Although we’re still several months away, of course the summer packing list will be much lighter.
-Lightweight, light colored natural fabrics are some of the best in which to participate in ceremony
-Wide-brimmed hat, to protect oneself from the elements without relying on chemicals
-Shorts and t-shirts, for comfortable wear during the day
The best Ayahuasca preparation you can do for yourself is to have clear intentions, to release your expectations, and to clean your body, both physically and energetically, by abstaining from certain things (listed above) prior to your ceremony.
If you are interested in really going deep with the medicine, and feel a strong call to Ayahuasca and the profound healing, awareness and transformation it can bring you, then maybe one of our Ayahuasca retreats can help you. Feel free to learn all about how we work with the medicine, our center, our team and what this profound experience can do for you, by visiting this page here.
We look forward to the possibility of meeting you in person, and thank you so much for feeling the call to the medicine, and more so, for the path of healing, and the inner journey that you are on.
To serving you in your deepest Healing & Awakening,
The Ayahuasca Healings Family