**NOTE - WE DO NOT OFFER RETREATS OR CEREMONIES IN OAKLAND. THIS PAGE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY**
In June 2019 the city of Oakland in northern California unanimously passed a new resolution to decriminalize the possession and use of psychedelic substances such as Ayahuasca ,Mushrooms, Iboga, Peyote, San Pedro, and DMT. While this law is being implemented citywide, the city and the state of California have not yet legalized these medicines. Under the resolution, psychedelic medicines are considered the lowest priority of the law. That, combined with the fact that Oakland law specifies that the substances must be for personal use and could not be sold or distributed commercially could mean that it will likely be some time before an authentic and legitimate ayahuasca retreat is available in the United States. The Oakland resolution cautioned that these entheogens are not for everyone and warns that they should only be used in a 'safe and therapeutic environment'. Ayahuasca is an extremely powerful teacher spirit and should always be used in a ceremonial setting.
We are so happy to see the states moving in a positive direction and starting to recognize and ebrace the therapeutic value of psychedelic medicines. We will continue to follow the situation and hope to soon be able to expand our retreat network from Costa Rica to Oakland California and other parts of the world . Until then, we strongly urge anyone looking to participate in ayahuasca ceremonies in the United States to find a qualified and reputable center or facilitator to work with. If your journey guides you to Costa Rica, we will be here for you.
Over the years we have worked hard to develop quality ayahuasca retreats that encompass a range of healing modalities for the highest therapeutic value without feeling overwhelming or rushing too much into a short amount of time. Our belief in QUALITY over QUANTITY can be seen in many different aspects of our retreats. We have had the opportunity to observe what works and what doesn't in our programs and with that knowledge we have developed our retreats with some key factors that make us stand out against the crowd.
From offering always private rooms and intimate group sizes to serving potent brew with a skilled and qualified ayahausquero, we have considered every detail.
Private Rooms -
Our center is designed to feel like home. It is decorated and furnished like home because that's what it is, our home. Jeanae and Matt live on site year round and are constantly making updates to the center to make it more comfortable for every guest. We offer all private rooms with complete en suite bathrooms. Each new queen bed is fitted with quality sheets and comforter plus 4 pillows. Each guest is proved with 2 bath towels, a wash cloth, shampoo and conditioner.
Our common areas offer plenty of places to lounge or socialize but the facility and property are expansive enough that its easy to find spaces to be alone for quiet reflection.
We have put care into every detail. Our center is far from your typical jungle experience but also not a 5-star luxury resort. We offer a comfortable medium of comfort and quality without being too basic or lavish.
We are sure you will feel at home.
What is a shaman?
We often get asked 'do you have a real shaman?' and our response is always 'well, what is a shaman?' Our ayahusquero Matt, would never call himself a shaman (which is actually a Siberian word) but he has been a practicing ayahuasquero for years and has facilitated hundreds of ceremonies. Matt travels to Peru every few months to continue his training under the guidance of his teacher in the heart of the Amazon.
Matt has completed many traditional plant dietas in the jungle of Iquitos, Peru but feels that in this type of work you are never done learning, you never reach a point where you can say 'Ok, now I'm a shaman.' Matt has made a lifelong commitment to working with ayahuasca and his connection to the medicine is clear. In every ceremony Matt sings strong and grounding Icaros, plays the guitar, drum and gong.
The brew is the heart of the ayahausca retreat. You build everything around the medicine, hoping to enhance the therapeutic value for the participants. It is often presumed that at any retreat you will receive high quality and potent brew, unfortunately this is not always the case. Not all medicine is created equal.
Our medicine is made in Iquito Peru. The plants are selected at precise level of maturity to contribute to the potency of the medicine.Our brew is made with only b. caapi and chaliponga or chacruna. No additives or fillers are used in any way. Each plant used contributes to ayahuasca and if any ingredient were missing, the medicine would lack in its effects. We do not use any datura (toe) in our brew to ensure the safety of all participants.
To ensure the safety of all our guests, we require each potential participant complete a medical screening over the phone with Matt. The medical screening will give us an idea of your overall health and will help us determine if you are a safe candidate for ayahuasca therapy. It also gives Matt, our ayahuasquero, a chance to speak with each participant personally, to develop a relationship and answer any questions you may have.
In addition to conducting a thorough medical screening, Matt and Jeanae are both trained in CPR. New Life Ayahuasca is equipped with an AED machine, which our staff is trained to use.