**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. We are so happy to see the states moving in a positive direction and starting to recognize and embrace the therapeutic value of psychedelic medicines.
While this law is being implemented citywide, the city and the state of California have not yet legalized these medicines. Oakland law specifies that the substances must be for personal use and can not be sold or commercially distributed. Under the resolution, psychedelic medicines are considered the lowest priority of the law but it is still technically illegal for retreats to operate.
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. If you are considering participating in an ayahuasca ceremony in California there are few important things to ask the facilitators to ensure you have a safe and therapeutic experience with the medicine :
Who is facilitating the ceremony?
How much experience do they have?
Where will the ceremony be held?
How many people typically attend?
Are there 'sitters' or 'helpers' beside the ayahauscquero/shaman to assist if someone needs help and if yes, how many are available and if there at least 1 female present (if you are a woman)
Where does the brew come from and what does it contain?
Do you need to provide any medical information before participating (you should, as ayahuasca has medical contraindications with other drugs, see our safety page)
New Life Ayahuasca has been providing ayahuasca retreats in Costa Rica since 2014.
We strongly encourage anyone looking to participate in an ayahuasca ceremony in California to find a qualified and reputable center or facilitator to work with. We understand that not everyone can afford to travel and take off work to attend a retreat, but there is immense therapeutic value in getting away from your environment, being in the jungle and giving yourself the time to commit and reflect on your experiences. If you are interested in a longer retreat, please contact us.
Matthew and I have been partners in this work since 2014.
Everything in our lives has been shaped by Ayahuasca. Not only did she lift us up in our darkest moments after years of battling addiction, but she gave us the purest gift of love in finding each other.
We've had our share of ups and downs. Things haven't always been easy. It's been a long road and we've had to navigate many personal and professional challenges over the years. But at the end of the day, ayahuasca has helped us cultivate a deep love rooted in mutual respect, support, and admiration.
We've turned to her to help us through trials of marriage and personal doubt. It's because of this work that we've been able to grow stronger as individuals and as partners, lovers, and best friends.
We hear all the time from guests that they don't understand how we can do this work, and while we love to help others, the truth is that it's just a happy by-product of helping ourselves. It's our hope that as we continue to heal we are able to better support you in your own healing.
Working with ayahuasca is truly humbling. It's not a responsibility we take lightly. Our program is designed to give you a curated balance of support and space.
Thank you for letting us share the magic.
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 intimate group of 13 or less, to serving potent brew with a skilled and qualified ayahausquero, we have considered every detail.
Our center is designed to feel like home. It is decorated and furnished like home using recycled materials, repurposed wood and fabric and upcycled furnature. We offer all 6 private rooms & 3 shared rooms with complete en suite bathrooms. Each new king bed is fitted with quality sheets and comforter plus 4 lush pillows. We provide pool towels, bath towels, a wash cloth, soap, 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 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?
Matthew has been working with ayahuasca since 2014 and is our resident ayahuasquero. He guides each participant through the experience with Icaros which are medicine songs either passed down from his teacher or gifted by ayahuasca. Matthew, a highly sensitive and intuitive empath, adapts the songs of the ceremony to meet the energy of the room. The songs of the spirit come to him, and his powerful voice carries them through the space. This is why it is so important to us to keep our groups intimate so that the energetic space is maintained with respect to each individual's experience. Matthew is supported by his wife, Jeanae, who plays the flute. Our intimate ceremonies are offered in darkness, promoting an inward journey to heal the soul.
Matthew has facilitated hundreds of ceremonies and leads with compassion, love, and a deep connection to spirit.
Matthew’s training takes him to Iquitos, Peru multiple times a year to complete master plant dietas and learn the Peruvian ceremonial traditions under the guidance of his teacher, Don Ron Wheelock. Matthew’s intentions and passion in his work are unparalleled. There is no question of his integrity or his sincerity in his mission to help others.
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.