The Amazon: Shamanic Dieta At The Aya Retreat.

“Sure, I’ll do it.”

And with those four words, I sealed my intentions as I began my journey of mindfulness at Blue Morpho’s  ayahuasca retreat in the outskirts of the Amazon jungle.

The words were in reference to my decision - last minute - to participate in the Shamanic Dieta during the retreat. This meant that this was my last meal before going on a journey of aggressively cleansing my body...

I had to follow a strict diet while at the retreat, drink a special tea made from seven trees for four nights, as well as abstain from the following from sunset the first day to sunrise the last day:
  • Soap (Shampoo, Conditioner, Handsoap…)
  • Lotions (Including natural oils and even the moisturizing strip on my pink Gillette razor)
  • No toothpaste (Using a toothbrush is fine, but I had to clean all of the toothpaste residue from it)
  • Touching (No one was allowed to touch me, and I was not allowed to touch them)
  • No fantasizing about food (Which could be difficult when you find out what we ate)
  • No masturbation or sex, or sexual energy release (This one was no problem whatsoever for me)

(Me peeling away the moisture strip!)

In addition to these things, by participating in the Dieta, I was agreeing to the following post-retreat:
  • No sugar for three days - including fruits (everyone at the retreat had to follow this)
  • No alcohol for 30 days
  • No sex or masturbation (sexual energy release) for 30 days (Which includes kissing, and hugging where there is sexual interest)
  • No pork for SIX MONTHS 
  • No fantasizing about sex, alcohol, or pork

Reading all of that, you may wonder, “Why the hell would you agree to that? Especially the pork part? I mean, do you know how delicious bacon is? And you do realize you are going to Spain and Rome in June… Lands of delicious jamon and proscuitto?”

When in Rome…

Oh yes. I realized it all. But if doing the Dieta was going to help me cleanse my body as well as allow me to work more efficiently with the Ayahuasca tea we drank for five nights, why would I not?
It was all instinct. A calling, to do the Dieta. It wasn’t going to harm me. And it was teaching me patience with my desires and urges.

“So how painful was it?” you may wonder…

Not at all. 

Seriously. I had no problem with the Dieta at the retreat. We would have two meals each day:

Breakfast at about 9am: Cup of rice, Three Hard Boiled Eggs (I didn’t eat the eggs. You can’t pay me enough to eat them hard boiled.)

Lunch at about 12:30pm: Cup of rice, a smoked plantain (which I didn’t eat), and a protein (either a fish or chicken - whatever was served)

No condiments were allowed. No lime for water. Just plain water or Manzanilla tea were allowed.

The first day, I became very mindful with my eating. Grains of rice took me forever to swallow. The texture, which was buoyant and plump against my teeth, felt new and interesting after having taken the “aya” the night before, as well as the special tea. My appetite shrunk. Thinking about food didn’t occur to me often, unless someone mentioned “how awesome it will be when we’re off the Dieta.” The food other guests not on the Dieta were eating didn’t appeal to me.

Surprisingly, despite all of the energy work from the Shamans, the Dieta, and the aya, I didn’t have any energy issues. I was my usually introverted self: able to smoothly move between engaging conversation and mindful reflection. 

We broke the Dieta on the final morning with the Maestro Shaman singing an “icaros” into a teaspoon of salt. We then put the salt in our mouths and swished it around for 30 seconds, before spitting it out and rinsing.

Afterwards, some people went to the table and poured themselves a bowl of cereal. Some sat and reflected. Some hugged - finally being permitted to touch others. Me? I brushed my teeth! For about five minutes. Every last space on each individual tooth was scrubbed. Then I hopped in the shower and cleansed myself in the cold water with Dr. Bronner’s Rose and Hemp soap. Only once I got out of the shower did I realize sensitive I was to smell.It smelled beautiful, but was very strong.

It was a wonderful experience. I am grateful I listened to my instinct and chose to do it. It made the aya ceremony experiences clean, smooth and relaxing. It made it incredibly easy to relax. I know the effort I put in will continue to work it’s magic on me for months to come, which is why all the post-retreat restrictions. I look forward to seeing how it all unfolds.