The value of private space at an ayahuasca retreat
When we speak about ‘space’ we mean many things: personal space, energetic space, emotional space etc. It is well known that having the right environment and the proper support/guidance is extremely important in regard to how you experience ayahuasca but an often underappreciated and less discussed aspect of the overall journey is what happens after you leave the ceremony. Reflection, processing, purging and release all can and usually do continue even after you’ve left the ceremony room.
This is why New Life Ayahuasca finds it so important to honor the value of ‘space’. We, as facilitators and as participants, have been involved in many different ayahuasca ceremonies/environments over the years. We have put a lot of care into how we structure our retreats by considering the things that we appreciated the most in own experiences as participants and also what we wished was offered to create something that really works. One thing that we agreed upon immediately without discussion was to offer every one of our guests a private room.
Offering only private rooms and no shared accommodations is one of the biggest factors that sets us apart from many other retreats. Sure, we could throw a few extra beds in each room and make a whole lot more money, but we feel a significant portion of the VALUE of the experience would be lost in a setting like that. It’s true that drinking ayahuasca is a communal experience, you will most certainly form a strong bond with the other participants in your group, but it first and foremost a personal experience and having a private space that you can feel comfortable and secure in is paramount to being able to release, surrender and process in a therapeutic way.
Offering private rooms is about a lot more than avoiding the general awkwardness that comes from sharing a bedroom and bathroom with complete strangers (snoring, getting up in the night, disturbances, purging, farting, pooping, throwing up etc.) We need to consider the intention behind each individual for drinking ayahuasca and what the process of reflection may be like. Ayahuasca can bring up a lot from our past, traumas and emotions that can feel overwhelming and sometimes we just need to be alone to reflect in a way that feels safe without having to worry about being disturbed or being a disturbance to anyone else also going through their own process.
Having a private room is invaluable part of the integration process and is not something that we consider to be a ‘luxury’ for an ayahuasca retreat but rather a fundamental requirement for a truly healing experience.