Leah Blackburn, USA

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The brilliant, well-orchestrated design of the retreat program cannot be emphasized enough. Each ceremony flowed into the next, with ample time for sharing. A schedule was followed when it made sense, and changed when it did not.
 
The presence of Bear at the sweat lodge ceremony was an honor and he set the tone for the retreat. His grounded heart presence gave the group the space to soar in our own hearts and he modeled the way to do this through song, ceremony, and spirit.
 
With hearts opened during the sweat lodge ceremony, we flowed into the next morning’s San Pedro experience. The chance to clear out all manner of impediments was enhanced by Marc’s and Francesca’s facilitation. Their resonant voices and gentle guidance was like being massaged from the inside. There are no words for these two facilitators, and I am humbled by their presence.
 
The pre-work with defining intentions, and preparations experienced through the other two ceremonies, segued perfectly into the Ayahuasca ceremony. Again, Marc and Francesca set the tone, provided gentle guidance, and held the space for the night to unfold. And unfold it did. Mama was clearly in the House that night. I especially appreciated the gentle reminders to focus on intentions. With others engaging in their own processes in a demonstrably vocal manner, I had a tendency to become distracted. Those reminders were imperative as was the singing. I found that I could simultaneously hold space for others, experience my own process (really the same thing), engage with Ayahuasca in various forms, and any number of other things. Next time I’d like to experience Ayahuasca in circumstances where I could go deeper into my internal process.
 
The wisdom of the program design was again demonstrated through the heart centering workshops, sharing ceremonies, movement, and meals that followed the Ayahuasca ceremony. I found it challenging to become grounded and I wanted to go back into those spaces after the ceremony closed, These centering activities brought me back bit by bit and now, three days after arriving home, I am becoming functionally grounded. Still, though, I can close my eyes and be back there in a heartbeat.

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Leah Blackburn, USA