Ayahuasca Retreats in Costa Rica 215.310.1250



New Life Ayahuasca Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 96 reviews
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Shamanic Value

5 5 1
Just before I traveled to New Life, I was given a book. It was a coincidence that the book was Stone Age Wisdom and that it was about shamanism. More important, it was something that I needed to read at just that moment – such are the synchronicities that pop up in your life if you’re ready to notice them. I knew a lot about Ayahuasca from reading and listening to Terrence McKenna. But I had given almost no thought to the other important factor in Ayahuasca ceremonies – the shaman. Author Tom Crockett wrote his book to demystify the function played by those who facilitate, host and present the ceremonies. His central premise is that shamanic work is about helping people to learn about and to heal themselves. You don’t have to be from a traditional culture and you don’t need a PhD in Shamanistic Studies. You just need to understand – intellectually and viscerally – the value of the rituals and pre-modern practices that can be so effective with or without the plant medicines. I feel very lucky that I ended up at a retreat with Matthew Mormello. The whole experience certainly engaged me in profound ways. Matt has obviously been trained well by traditional mentors but his background as an American helped make him and the ceremonies that much more amenable. He never refers to himself as a shaman but Matt’s efforts impressed me for their balance of wild energy and ceremonial dignity. I haven’t experienced so-called real shaman so I don’t know what I missed. But from what I know from reading is that Matt set the perfect tone and ambiance in which Mother Ayahuasca could do her magic. The experience can be a little intimidating so the other value provided by Matt and his partner Janae is safety. They really care about taking care of people. The feeling you get is love. They love what they’re doing. They love to help and serve. And they love enough to be really professional about the whole operation. The food is great. The rooms are great. The amenities are great. All in all: this is real value. The Ayahuasca experience is much more than merely drinking a plant medicine. It starts from the moment you are welcomed to the beautiful house high in the hills of San Ramon. This is something important to any shamanistic experience: the location. With a forever view of the surrounding hills, ocean and skies, this location is indeed liminal. The house is one with the sky and abounds with character and warmth. And all of that is buttressed by the warmth and care of Matt and Janae themselves. I’m still glowing and reverberating with little lessons from Aya weeks after the experience. If I didn’t get the genuine performance from a card-carrying native shaman in Peru, then I don’t care. I got what I needed. Thanks Matt and Janae, it was perfect.

Serene setting, beautiful experience

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This was my first aya experience and I went into it with great expectations. Matt and Jeanae, who are both wonderful people, have created the perfect environment and did not disappoint. All attendees felt safe and comfortable which allows for a more profound experience with the medicine. The food, property, guests, and Shaman (and Jeanae!!!) were all A+. I couldn't recommend this place more and I will most certainly be going back.

Profound Experience

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It's very difficult to describe what an amazing experience this was. Matt and Jeanae make you feel right at home upon arrival to their beautiful property. The rooms are amazing and very comfortable, and the view from the back porch every morning is breathtaking. Overall just a very positive energy surrounds this place and I instantly fell in love with it.. The ceremonies are unbelievably astonishing. Matt guides you through this intense experience with absolutely amazing Icaros, Gong, Drum, and Guitar. He becomes one with this medicine during ceremony, and it left me speechless. You can tell he puts 100% of his energy and passion into this, and I hold the upmost respect for him. Jeanae also plays the most beautiful sounding flute I've ever heard, and her presence during the ceremony is very soothing. Matt and Jeanae are very genuine and sincere people and I'm very grateful for what they have done for me. I cannot wait to go back!...Oh and Chopper is the coolest cat you will ever meet!
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DMT – Dimethyltryptamine


What is Dimethyltryptamin?

DMT or Dimethyltryptamine, is a psychedelic compound of the tryptamine family along with Psilocin (the active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms’). Its hallucinogenic properties often produce extreme spiritual and euphoric experiences. Smoking is the most common route of DMT administration and typically lasts 5-20 minutes with users typically feeling the effects within the first 45 seconds and peaking after about 2 minutes.  DMT, whether smoked or ingested through ayahuasca, is reported by many to have life-changing effects. Many credit this amazing compound for relieving anxiety, depression, addiction and other physical diseases. It is also interesting to note how similar the Dimethyltryptamin molecule is to Seretonin – a neurotransmitter which contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. It has even earned the nickname ‘the spirit molecule’ thanks to the book and documentary of the same name. The evidence of the healing capabilities of DMT are irrefutable thanks to much modern scientific research on the compound.


Ayahuasca and DMT

What do ayahuasca and DMT have in common? DMT is the active ingredient in ayahuasca brew, and what allows for the intense visionary experience of the sacred medicine. DMT is naturally occurring in chacruna  – an essential ingredient to ayahuasca. But these plants need to be combined with b. cappi to complete the brew. B cappi, better known as the ayahausca vine or vine of the souls, contains MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) that allow the compound to be orally active. ‘Without an MAOI, the body quickly metabolizes orally administered DMT, and it therefore has no hallucinogenic effect unless the dose exceeds monoamine oxidase’s metabolic capacity.’ (Wikipedia) This means the visionary state can last for 4-6 hours compared to the 5-15 minutes when smoking Dimethyltryptamin (smoking, injecting or vaporizing can produce a short visionary experience as the compound is able to reach the brain before it can be metabolized by the body’s natural MAOs . Both plants are required in the brew to create a visionary experience, leading many scientist and researchers to wonder how the indigenous people of the Amazonian area were able to obtain the complex knowledge of how to prepare ayahuasca.

For a first time user of DMT, the experience can be overwhelming, as everything seems to happen so quickly as it has a very rapid onset, and before you even have time to realize it you are transported to an entirely different mindset. Many report the sensation of ‘flying through space’. Ayahuasca use allows you to gradually enter a space where you have time to get familiar with the medicine, navigate the space and acquire knowledge by either direct communication or divination for the spirit of ayahuasca.

Spirit Molecule


DMT visions

Many are familiar with DMT from the book or documentary, The Spirit Molcule. ‘In 1990, Dr. Rick Strassman administered 400 doses of the highly psychedelic compound Dimethyltryptamin to 60 volunteers at the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine in Albuqerque. During their brief 10-to-30-minute journeys, participants reported fantastical tales of having their consciousness rocketed out of their bodies across the universe, experiencing near-death encounters, contacting otherworldly beings, and accessing mystical dimensions that were both enlightening and heavenly, as well as hellish and haunting.’ (Huffingpost) It is called the ‘Spirit Molecule’ because of the intensely spiritual visionary experiences reported by participants of studies and the countless personal testimonies of both DMT and ayahuasca users.