What do we mean by Real Healing?

What do we mean by Real Healing?

by Becky Griffin, February 2024

Real healing takes time. It’s a process that begins with recognizing that we are ready for a personal change. This might be a wish for greater physical health, emotional or psychological transformation, or it may be as simple as having curiosity about developing our spirituality. 

From that point, we then need to assess where we’re at today; to consider key questions such as – “Who am I? How do I think and behave? What patterns do I exhibit? How do I need to change or grow?” 

Ayahuasca, when administered appropriately, can be a powerful aid in this first stage of deep personal enquiry. Ayahuasca has the power to awaken buried memories and sacred understandings, and to temporarily restore a felt sense of being connected to life, to self, to others. This noble medicine has a remarkable capacity to reveal insights that seem designed especially just for you.

Ayahuasca is also a strong cleansing medicine for the digestive system and the blood, effectively purifying much congestion, toxins and even negative energies from the body. This cleansing is also a very important preparatory step before getting into the deep healing work that will bring about lasting change.

But, what then, after Ayahuasca? How does real Healing actually happen?

Ayahuasca Integration specialists will recommend a period of reflection, ideally guided by professional therapists, to help you make sense of the insights that came up during your Ayahuasca sessions; and then to follow this up with supportive practices in your life such as meditation, yoga, or other activities to encourage a spiritual life, etc.

But the challenging truth is that simply introducing new meditative practices into your life, or staying in touch with like-minded peers from your Ayahuasca Retreat, is not going to help you undergo an actual process of transformation, or really deliver sustained change and renewal to your life. 

So how can we truly integrate the understandings acquired during an Ayahuasca Retreat or other plant medicine experience so that real change happens, and so we can become truly free of debilitating patterns and disharmony? 

Plant Dieta practice is the key. 

In fact, for the master shamans of the Amazon this is well understood. Ayahuasca is known to be a wonderful diagnostic and cleansing tool, and can also help us remember our spiritual nature. But it is known that the actual treatment, to deal with a problem in a patient’s life, or perhaps help them achieve a goal of greater harmony and wellness, is not achieved with Ayahuasca alone – it is through the disciplined practice of plant Dieta.

So, what is Dieta? 

Just as Ayahuasca is recognized as a “Teacher” plant, there are a number of other special plants and trees in the Amazon rainforest which have been identified by indigenous healers as master Teachers.  These plants are typically non-psychoactive (unlike Ayahuasca), however, with correct dietary discipline (hence the name Dieta) it is possible to engage in a kind of energetic and spiritual “conversation” with these master plants, often in a gentler and more subtle manner than Ayahuasca, but over a longer period of time. This intimate process of Dieting over weeks or even months with a master plant is where it becomes possible to truly connect and “hear the voice” of the teacher plant’s spirit, especially in dreams and strongly felt intuitions. At the same time, the Dieters body and mind and emotional state are being infused with the physical and energetic medicine of the Dieta plant.  Most master Dieta plants carry unique medicinal or remedial qualities, just as in herbal medicine, but it is the powerful energetic and spiritual presence within these specially identified ‘Teacher’ plants of the Amazon, which is so compelling because it can be connected with and learned from directly, and can effect change and renewal at every level of our being.

In fact, the practice of Dieta is how the Shipibo shamans learn their skills, receive guidance and personal development – they cleanse, strengthen, learn and receive shamanic tools and skills from the master Dieta plants themselves – and this happens over much longer periods than is involved in simply attending a few Ayahuasca ceremonies. Years and decades.

And well, of course that makes sense! Real transformation takes time, it involves much delving, clearing, learning and growing, to birth a new you and to redesign how you relate with yourself and with your entire life. As far as we know, there aren’t any “miracle cures” that can deliver a comprehensive, deeply embodied and sustained transformation of the whole person overnight. That happens with extended dedication and personal work.

Dieta is a wonderfully supportive practice that facilitates real change in a way that goes beyond simply pushing the mind to meditate or the body to stretch (although of course these practices can be very beneficial).  This is because Dieta introduces the presence of remedial guidance from a natural source – the master teacher plants themselves – and this energy is actually felt in the body, it materially provokes a transformation of how the Dieter is ‘formed’ inside, right down to the very cells, through the emotional body, and even to the structure and function of the mind. Little by little, Dieta undoes old forms and provokes new healthier forms to emerge, new ways of being that bring more harmony, happiness and fulfillment to our lives. 

This is totally different from what is happening with Ayahuasca – which we know can serve as a great introduction to seeing ourselves more fully and opens doorways into experiencing the world of energies, or of the spiritual life; but with Dieta, you actually make a sustained, longer-term journey into yourself – walking hand-in-hand with an ancient teacher, a being who not only reveals more intricate depths of self understanding, but who also encourages and supports you in undergoing a true reformation of who you are, to create a new you. 

The Dieta Plants won’t actually make the changes for you – that is still up to you. But they will show you the direction, and they’ll nudge and encourage and sometimes strongly insist that you walk that way, meanwhile bringing you the confidence, self-love and understanding, as well as the clarity and strength to actually make the needed  changes – both small and big. 

This process takes time.  It is an ever unfolding path of developing and learning to walk with the ancient masters on this journey of sacred self discovery, of healing the past, and of rewriting your life story, no matter how far off track you may have come. 

Dieta is for real Healing, and effecting lasting change. Ayahuasca is to clean and see what needs to be healed.

We at Caya Shobo really understand Dieta. We’ve been deeply immersed in the study of this practice for decades, which also beautifully informs our understanding of Ayahuasca.  She is one medicine plant amongst many, one member of a rich pharmacopeia of healing medicines that naturally reside together in harmony in the jungle. 

We are deeply dedicated to the full shamanic study of Ayahuasca with master plant Dieta, as it is practiced by the Shipibo master shaman healers, the most highly regarded plant medicine medicos (“doctors”) of the Amazon. And we are so happy to share our understanding of this ancient and sacred shamanic knowledge with you – to help you embark on your own unique path of self discovery and transformation, as you learn directly from nature’s wisdom teachers themselves – the master Dieta Plants.