Spiritual retreats in Latin America are a new fashion for Westerners. From Brazil to Ecuador, passing through Bolivia and Peru, whether in the jungle or in villages, these trips are now an eldorado for all those lacking self-knowledge or research new experiences that go beyond the effects of alcohol and “classic” drugs.
I have always known that there are still people using “natural medicine” in Latin America, but I knew more of the subject in Chile thanks to other travelers who told me about their experiences. He strongly advised Pacco, a shaman in Lamay near Cuzco, and the house where he receives his guests and volunteers.
I did a lot of research on the subject and had a long talk with Pacco for weeks before going there. I was very clear in telling him that I was not coming to do a touristy Ayahuasca ceremony, but that I was aiming to make a real retirement, spend a lot of time with myself, and that I was open to all the advice and techniques that allow me to connect more with my body, my mind, and with nature, a real source of spirituality in my opinion.
What’s great about Pacco is that he adapts to all needs, he’s super cool, and emits a serenity and positivity that already cure half of your pain!
Before going, I respected the use involving a vegetarian diet, and decreasing or removing anything that can excite the body and mind or involve a difficult digestion (coffee, sugar, salt, milk and derivatives, fries, sex, alcohol, etc.). This diet, poles apart from our consumer society, allows for a healthy body and a light spirit, easy to connect, and improves the absorption of medicinal plants and therefore their effect.
My “victories” were multiple but I will retain mainly the following ones:
- Spending 5 days without any digital device in front of the eyes (my phone, laptop and e-reader were hidden in a drawer)
- A real connection to my body and mind away from any source of distraction or dopamine pump (the phone for example). This allowed me to think about certain problems and situations and make some decisions, something I could not do for a long time before. I was also able to think about what can be priorities, which is definitely not an easy task!
- I now feel my body and my mind healthier and lighter, and I have a real desire to maintain a diet and lifestyle that allow me to maintain this state or at least to get close to it.
These results were obtained through exercises performed alone (mindfulness meditation) or in groups (holotropic meditation, yoga, etc.). Indeed, Pacco and his partner Crissy go beyond the ceremonies of natural medicine and offer books to read on site, organize with volunteers a wide range of activities that allow reconnection to the body and mind.
I also must say that I was lucky, 2 of the 5 volunteers are yoga teachers, it facilitated the activities and made the discussions very interesting ☺
I personally keep a great memory of this experience and draw a positive result; here are the different coordinates of Pacco for those interested.
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