Ayahuasca Retreats in Costa Rica 215.310.1250

Facility

Reviews

New Life Ayahuasca Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 65 reviews
5 1

Exactly what I needed

★★★★★
5 5 1
I was very impressed with what Matt and Jeanae have put together at New Life. Bring your camera! The property is incredible with hiking trails and lots to explore, the food is superb and left my belly happy the entire trip, and the ceremonies were very well organized and intimate. Matt's icaros are out of this world, and some of the songs from ceremony are still ringing in my head a week later :) The small group sizes were one of the things that drew me into New Life, and I wasn't disappointed. I had a great time getting to know the other people in my group and sharing our experiences. Everyone helped me interpret and understand my visions, including Matt, Jeanae, Andy (our amazing chef), and the wonderful souls I drank with in ceremony. The medicine is very potent, and being my first experience with Ayahuasca I'm glad I chose a place that was able to provide this with a feeling of safety and comfortability. The massage was wonderful and the day-trip to the waterfall was a perfect way to spend our day off between ceremonies. Matt and Jeanae are very genuine individuals that do their best to provide a safe and transformative journey for each of their guests. The retreat left me with a greater love and appreciation for myself. Now at home, I have a newfound motivation/inspiration to live a more productive life. If you feel a calling from the medicine, the 5-day retreat is a great affordable option for your first journey!

An Amazing Place

★★★★★
5 5 1
New Life Ayahausca is located a comfortable drive from San Jose Airport in a secluded farming area. The vistas and the property is absolutely stunning. I appreciated the comfortable surroundings of the facility, it exceeded any expectation I had. It was more like a 5 star resort. The facilitators, Matt and Jeanae, are wonderful souls;they exude a delightful kindness and compassion to all their guests. There is no doubt that they've been called by the spirit to provide healing to those that seek out Mother Aya. Matt sings icaros throughout ceremony and they are very powerful and healing. The food is incredibly good, freshly prepared with finest ingredients and always plentiful. I'll be back again when Madre calls and it would never cross my mind to go elsewhere. I highly recommend New Life Ayahuasca.

Eternally Grateful

★★★★★
5 5 1
I write this review with the utmost amazement, gratitude, and love in my heart for Jennae, Matt, and their two helpers Jake and Andy. What you do for others, and for yourselves, has moved me to tears many times since meeting you at New Life Ayahuasca. I am eternally grateful to each of you for making my experience unforgettable. Like most first-timers, I was nervous yet excited to drink Ayahuasca. I had been battling severe anxiety and hypochondria for months, and I was no longer OK with having my day run by such viruses of the mind. I had done enough psychedelics in the past, as well as research, and felt as though I experienced a gravitational pull to Ayahuasca during the several months leading up to my arrival at New Life. By my side for this adventure, like many other adventures, was my (now fiance who I proposed to at the retreat) Kat. I felt ready. We all later joked about how fairly easy it was to spot the others in the group at the airport based on clothing, mannerisms, and reading material. Once we met, the conversation flowed. I think we were all surprised with how open and transparent everyone was about why they had chosen to travel to Costa Rica to drink the mother’s milk. I couldn’t have been happier with the character, humor, sincerity, intelligence, and introspectiveness that prevailed throughout the group. When we all arrived at the actual property, we were all completely awestruck. Jennae and Matt gave us a tour around the house that sits atop a hill overlooking the mountains and ocean. It was absolutely stunning. Everything about the house was comfortable. The actual ceremony was beautiful, and the amount of care, attention to detail, passion, and love that went into it was incredible. We couldn’t say enough about Matt, the leader (or chaman) of the ceremony. He puts his heart and soul into each session, and how exhausted and spent he appeared each night was a testament to that effort. His singing was other-worldly, his guitar-playing inspirational, and his presence was very comforting. Throughout the week, we ate like royalty. The food, compliments of Andy, was gangbusters! Absolutely top-notch! Kat and I stuck strictly to the diet (la dieta) for 10 days prior to our trip, and didn’t cook nearly as well as Andy did for us. It made the experience even more enjoyable. We had access to the humungous pool, a yoga gym, a wealth of reading material, the most entertaining cats, WIFI, and plenty of land to traverse and explore. They even took us to a gorgeous beach the day after our first ceremony. Kambo (the poison from a tree frog) was another experience that was offered to us. It is a very intense yet rewarding ceremony during which Jennae administers a small amount of the neurotoxin to your left arm. A few seconds later and the effects begin. It is a challenging experience but highly worth it, as it is common to feel a higher level of mental clarity, less inflammation, and happier overall. During the kambo ceremony, Jennae is very informative, caring, and as calming as she is during the Ayahuasca ceremony. Overall, my experience was 10 / 10. Jennae and Matt run a very professional and comfortable retreat that I would recommend to anyone. Drinking Ayahuasca can be hard work, and for me, having Jennae, Jake, and Andy as caretakers (for when you can’t find your bucket in the dark haha), and Matt, who was like a real-life Gandalf guiding us through the spirit world, made this experience unforgettable. This life we live is an adventure, and drinking Ayahuasca at New Life just amplified it for me. If I was to drink Ayahuasca again, I wouldn’t think twice about returning to New Life.
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Is Ayahuasca a Drug?

IS AYAHUASCA A DRUG?

Drugs. They’re bad, right?

Well, let me begin by stating that when I ask the question ‘is ayahuasca a drug?’ I don’t mean the literal definition of the word which Oxford Dictionaries defines as “a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.”

When I pose the question ‘is ayahuasca a drug?’ I’m referring to what the word brings to mind. For most of us, when we think of the word ‘drug’ we usually associate it with harmful substances like cocaine and heroin. To call someone a ‘drug user’ is usually a dismissive term, implying that they are an addict or experience negative consequences in their lives due to drug use. From childhood we are taught ‘Drugs are bad! Don’t do drugs!’ Yet today, substances like ayahuasca, iboga, marijuana, mushrooms, peyote, LSD and the like are still lumped into the ‘drug’ category and we are still fed the same old propaganda warning us all of the dangers of psychedelic substances.

 

 

The whole concept of ‘is ayahuasca a drug’ came to me after a heated discussion with a close family friend regarding the topic (to keep their anonymity I will refer to them only as ‘he’). I myself am a former drug user, a heroin addict, dope fiend, whatever you want to call it. He would call himself a ‘recovering drug addict’, has 12 years sobriety and is actively involved in NA. He and I have never been particularly close, but we touch base on occasion and I was wondering if he had any interest in the work that I do and was also curious on his opinion of ayahuasca coming from a believer of the ’abstinence only’ approach to recovery.

When I asked him what he thought of ayahuasca, the response was ‘I look at it the way I view any other drug like alcohol, cocaine or heroin.’ Honestly, it threw me off. For a minute I didn’t quite know how to respond. Sometimes I forget that not everyone has a basic understanding of the scientifically proven benefits of ayahuasca and other psychedelics. I thought surely I can explain this. I can make him understand. I also hated the idea that someone I have been close to my whole life thinks of what I do (and what I credit for my continued sobriety) as nothing more than ‘giving drugs to people’.

So here is the argument I use to defend ayahuasca and other psychedelics to anyone who tries to categorize them as nothing more than ‘drugs’ – Take any substance such as alcohol, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, etc.. and apply the use of any of those substances to an individuals life and no matter what you will always see some kind of decline in the quality of their life. Whether it is as small as suffering a hangover to as debilitating as ending up on the streets or in jail – without fail there will always be some kind of decrease in the over-all quality of life with the use of non-psychedelic substances.

Now, take psychedelics. Of course psychedelics can be used in a way to get ‘high’ but I am referring here to the people that use psychedelics with a specific intention. When you take any person or group of people and apply the responsible use of psychedelics you will almost always see some kind of increase in the overall quality of life. Worst-case scenario there will be no change what-so-ever from before to after use.  What you will almost NEVER see is any kind of decrease in the users overall quality of life.

is ayahuasca a drug

Yet we still associate two vastly different categories of substances (psychedelics and non-psychedelics)  with such opposing effects (one increases quality of life, one decreases quality of life) under the same word – ‘DRUGS’. The lack of distinction between the two is holding back the acceptance and recognition in the public opinion of the true healing properties of ayahuasca and other psychedelics despite the multiple scientific reports proving their benefits. It is time to shift the current paradigm.

Too often we have guests here that have to attend our retreats in secret. They are ashamed and/or scared to tell their families or friends for fear of being judged because of the stigma attached to using a ‘drug’. They say “My mother/husband/wife/brother/employer would never understand me doing this.” Its time we start making the distinction and embrace these medicines privately and publicly for the amazing healing properties they possess.

Ayahuasca and other psychedelic have scientifically proven benefits across the spectrum of health care. We see evidence that psychedelics can drastically ease the fear of death for terminally ill patients. We see people finding relief from depression, anxiety and PTSD. We find that marijuana can significantly help people suffering from seizures and Parkinson’s. The list goes on and on.

So, to finally answer the questions, NO – ayahuasca is NOT a drug. It is a powerful, healing substance for those who take it with the intent of improving their lives.