“You can drink ayahuasca 100 times alone (without a dieta) and would not even be close to the deep work done during one 6-8 day Shamanic Ayahuasca Dieta.” – Maestro Gumercindo Galindo
“Until you have done a Shamanic Ayahuasca Dieta, you have not drunk ayahuasca” -Maestro Gumercindo Galindo
Here at Ayahuasca Satsangha we are big fans of the Ayahuasca/Tree Bark Dieta. Based on our (and guests’) experiences we view it as a critical opportunity to go exceptionally deep with the medicine and clean ones body/ energies in a way that is not possible by just drinking ayahuasca alone. The dieta creates the environment (both externally and internally) to form a closer relationship with ayahuasca and the other plant/tree spirits you are dieting. The dieta also provides one with a form of energetic protection that is particularly helpful when going back home to the west where energies that do not serve are in abundance. In fact we feel so strongly about the Shamanic Ayahuasca Dieta that we only offer the dieta during our retreats.
The dieta removes the influence of toxins and energies that can cause blockages in the physical and energetic body. This opens up your entire body to receive the plant and tree spirits to live, teach, and protect one even when one returns home.
While you are doing your part to make your body a nice place for plants and trees to live (through the various restrictions such as food restrictions, toiletry restrictions, not touching others, etc..) the plant and tree spirits are also cleaning out there new house in preparation to settle in. Again, means the Dieta is much more cleansing on all levels (physical, mental, spiritual/energetic) than just drinking ayahuasca alone.
The Shamanic Ayahuasca Dieta is NOT easy. The dieta is serious spiritual, mental and physical work.
The dieta is HARD. We have found that the first ayahuasca ceremony during a dieta goes one of four ways:
- Ayahuasca provides a lovely and easy experience, “a gentle introduction” if you will. This is ayahuasca showing “what can be” once the body, mind and energetic/spiritual body has been cleaned. Then the subsequent two or three ceremonies she gets serious about cleaning- through purging and facing one’s issues/fears. After the cleaning is done, she brings one back to the ecstatic state.
- Ayahuasca gets right into cleaning- again through purging and bringing one’s issues/fears to the surface so that they can be released. Once the cleaning/healing is completed (1-3 ceremonies) she takes one to ecstatic states.
- Ayahuasca provides no “visual” or stereotypical ayahuasca experience for 1-3 ceremonies. This happens sometimes and it is nothing to worry about. In these cases ayahuasca is working on crossed energies and/or physical blockages. The medicine is still working, it is just that she has determined that before visions are provided, there is cleaning to be done. It is important to note that ayahuasca does not care about your “experience”- visual or otherwise. Ayahuasca wants to heal, clean and teach and she knows how to prioritize PERFECTLY.
- Someone enters the dieta having done significant personal/spiritual work and surrenders to the medicine allowing ecstatic states from the beginning and this continues throughout the dieta/retreat. These people find themselves ascending, experiencing amazing realizations and forming a close relationship with ayahuasca from the “get go”. In these cases the person in question has entered the process relatively “clean” from an energetic sense and thus ayahuasca has little cleaning/healing work to do.
Everyone is different and as such their experience with the dieta and ayahuasca will also vary significantly. The variables include lifestyle (alcohol, drugs, etc..), past traumas, the ability to let go/surrender to the medicine (maybe the most important) and whether or not one has done personal work/spiritual work in the past. Ayahuasca knows exactly what you need from a healing and cleaning standpoint. She also knows what you can handle. Ayahuasca will take you to your “edge”, never over the edge. That said what you think is your “edge” is different from what your real “edge” is. Trust ayahuasca, she wants to heal, clean and teach you.
Difficultes during the dieta can also arise outside of ceremony.
It is important to point out that both the ayahuasca and the tree medicines we use continue to work outside of ceremony during the 6-8 day dieta. This means that emotional, spiritual and sometimes physical issues can rise to the surface during the day while not in ceremony. This can lead to “crankyness”, sadness, physical discomfort, lethargy, or spaciness may be experienced by one on the dieta. It is important to realize that this is the medicine working and it is part of the process- bringing these issues up so that they can be released. It is also important to point out that when the process of the dieta is over, one feels lighter, stronger, brighter, and happier than when they entered the dieta. Luckily these discomforts can often be remedied by simply taking a shower or bath. Water is an excellent energetic cleanser and can wash away these energies that have risen to the surface. If a shower/bath does not work there are other techniques such as a ventiada, sopla, or other plant medicines that can be used to help.
As these energies/issues come to the surface they can often cause a person to want to stop taking the medicine and leave the retreat/break the dieta early. What is happening in these cases is that the energies that are not helpful/do not serve, have taken up residence in one’s body have found a nice home. They do not want to leave. The medicine is evicting these “negative” energies. These energies know they are getting evicted and start entering one’s mind….they start messing with the mind. They cause the mind to start thinking “ayahuasca is not for me”, “I need to go back home immediately to see my family”, “ayahuasca told me I am done working with her and it is time to leave”. We hear these excuses all the time. Again, it is simply unhelpful energies in the body realizing that if the host body (guest) continues with the dieta, they (the energies) will be evicted from the body. These energies are doing everything to survive and maintain their nice home. It is important when one embarks on an ayahuasca dieta that this can happen. It is also important to continue the process of the dieta. If one leaves early during this process, they are giving power to those energies that do not serve, they are giving up. Conversely if one stays through the entire dieta process they will have cleaned those energies out, leaving the retreat cleaner, lighter, shinier, stronger and much happier.
On a purely physical level everyone’s energy levels drop significantly during a dieta. This is largely due to the lack of salt in the dieta food. We are addicted to salt as it provides electrolytes and helps the body hold water. Without salt we get tired. This usually happens by about day three of the dieta and it is normal. During this time it is good to rest, contemplate, and just take it easy.
At some point during the dieta one will “break through”.
Thus far we have been putting a lot of focus on the difficulties of the dieta. There is an upside to the dieta, a significant upside. The first few ceremonies may be difficult as ayahuasca does her work on cleaning, healing, and uncrossing energies. Once this cleaning/healing is done, ayahuasca begins to introduce ecstatic states and great realizations- spiritual and otherwise. We like to call this a “break through”. This is the point when one has been having some difficulty, be it a lot of purging/discomfort or not receiving visions during the first few ceremonies. This is the point that they break through! They go from dreading the next ceremony to looking forward to it. Ironically the “break through” ceremony is the ceremony that one really really does not want to participate in. The “break through” ceremony often comes when one feels exhausted and fed up with purging and discomfort. In these cases we encourage to buckle down and drink ayahuasca that evening as they are on the cusp of “breaking through”.
As we mentioned above during the dieta energies will drop and one may have to face some other difficulties. The dieta is ended by taking salt in a ritualistic manner. Once the salt is taken, energy levels come back very quickly. In fact once one takes salt at the end of the diet they often find that their physical energy/strength is higher than when they entered the dieta 6-8 days prior. They also find that they feel lighter, happier, and brighter as the dieta process has cleared out physical and energetic blockages that were holding them back in life. The dieta is serious work, and it is totally worth it. Once one completes a dieta one can expect to feel an amazing sense of freedom, calm, and connectedness that words do a poor job of describing. Blissful amazement is as close as we can get with words.
It is important to point out that every mesa/lineage has their own traditions as to what are the correct foods and restrictions are for the Dieta. If you do a Dieta with one shaman, then another Dieta with a different shaman the rules will probably change. Both shamans will insist that their Dieta is the correct one. If you are drinking and dieting with multiple shamans it really does not serve anyone to argue or compare Dietas between shamans. This will just piss both parties off. If you have a problem with the rules changing between shamans, just stick with one shaman and save yourself the frustration.
The Ayahuasca Satsangha Ayahuasca Dieta consists of the following:
- 6-8 days in length if combined with ayahuasca ceremonies.
- The first 4 evenings we drink medicinal tree bark tea in the evenings. These tree spirits will literally be introduced to you in ceremony visions or in your dreams during the Dieta. The tree spirits will be your new friends and they known to bring you strength and energetic .
- 5-6 ayahuasca ceremonies within the 8-10 days.
- No salt, sugar, spices, pork or oil are allowed in cooking. Pork is heavy energetically and pigs have a diet that makes them unclean from an energetic standpoint. It is also worth noting that other spiritual practices have a similar restriction.
• Only the following foods are allowed: chicken, fish, rice, yucca, plantains, cucumber, and coconut. Notice that all of the foods listed are natural to the jungle and are white or almost white in color.
• No use of toiletries like soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.. Bathing often is strongly encouraged as it washes away energies that are being purged during the Dieta and will smooth out the energy swings that often occur on the Dieta. Simply put, bathing will often make you feel much better during the Dieta. You can brush your teeth with a clean (no toothpaste residue) toothbrush and you can floss with a non-flavored floss. We have also discovered that you can use Agua Florida, a local cologne used for energetic cleaning, to freshen up. Washing hands with soap is allowed.
- No touching of other people during the Dieta. Touching other people can cause an energy transfer and you do not want to risk picking up negative/dark energies while you are energetically vulnerable on the Dieta. Touching can also transfer salt found in sweat etc..
- No mingling with the general public during the Dieta. During the Dieta your energetic body is particularly open and therefore vulnerable. You do not want to come in contact with people who have negative/dark energies, have been drinking alcohol/using drugs, and/or have had sex recently. If you pick some of this energy up because you are out mingling in public, you will just have that much more to clean out i.e. more work in ceremony.
- On the last morning of your stay, upon waking, the maestro gives you a small teaspoon of salt to re-introduce salt back into the body. This is the breaking of the Dieta. Almost immediately you will feel a surge of energy come back as your body has been without salt for such a long period of time.
The restrictions after the Dieta is finished are as follows:
- No refined sugar or artificial sweetners for 3 or more days. Eating or drinking sugars too quickly after the Dieta can cause mariacion or confusion. Ease into eating sugars slowly.
• No acid fruits like lime, lemon, oranges, pineapple, etc… for 3 days.
- No alcohol or street drugs for 30 days.
- No sex or masturbation for 30 days. No exchange of bodily fluids (this includes french kissing) for 30 days. This is always the restriction that gets the most attention, and the question is always a dumfounded and a little stressed, “But, why??” When you do a Dieta with ayahuasca it you are forming a very close relationship with ayahuasca and the other plants medicines. So not having sex for this period is an act of respect for those plant spirits that are new to your body. Another reason for the restriction is that sex is the closest you can come to another person, and it is an act that allows for a significant energy exchange. After a Dieta your energetic body is still somewhat vulnerable and you want to be careful about exchanging energies during this time. In my experience this is a wonderful restriction. First, we live in a society that is highly if not overly sexualized. Taking a break from this influence can teach us a lot and be quite helpful. Personally I have noticed that if I am single this restriction forces me to get to know potential partners much better than I normally would before sex. If I am in a relationship this restriction pushes us to learn and relate to each other on new and deeper levels. I am not going to lie to you, it is not easy as ayahuasca will ramp up your sex drive, but the benefits are great.
• No pork (wild boar is ok), alligator, or venison (jungle venison) for 6 months. Your body simply will not react well to these items being eaten after the Dieta.
• It is also good to avoid duck for 3-6 months.
The Shamanic Ayahuasca Dieta is not easy, but as we said before if you are drinking ayahuasca in order to serious work, it is highly recommended. That said, If you enter the Dieta you are taking a serious step with ayahuasca. If you disagree with any of the rules or restrictions, simply do not enter the Dieta.
The Dieta provides significantly more cleaning of the body and energies than just drinking ayahuasca. It also allows the medicine to go deeper and work longer than it would without the Dieta.