– Why Ayahuasca & the Shipibo Medicine Path? –

– Integrated Healing for Depression, PTSD, and other Ailments & Traumas –

Despite great achievements in technology and the treatment of disease, modern Western medicine has been unable to develop an integrated approach to healing that covers all aspects of the life in a human being. The treatment of these essential aspects – that we call body, soul or spirit, and mind – has become separated. Thus the doctor watches over the body, the therapist is responsible for the mind, the priest is in charge of the spirit, and at best there is a minimal relationship or collaboration among them.

But when we speak of a human being… What do we see…? Every human being is a universe in itself, a unique private world with a single non-repeatable history. When this human being is exposed to disease, trauma, physical or emotional violence… etc, the whole being is affected and the three essential aspects are harmed by the experience. It is not possible to cure a person by treating only the physical symptoms – even in the absence of symptoms of mental stress it does not mean that the mind is unaffected.

When we drink Ayahuasca we experience a deep relationship with our essential states – spirit, mind and body – and of their relationship as an inseparable totality. And we come to an understanding of the connections between these aspects and how they are affected by positive and negative experiences.

For this reason Ayahuasca is capturing the attention of the whole world. And for the ancestral knowledge of Amazonian medicinal plants, and the millennia-old spiritual traditions that have afforded the Shamans a deep understanding of the human psyche, of compassion and empathy, and for the amazing transformational healings of body, mind and spirit achieved for thousands of people today.

Ayahuasca and Shipibo plant medicine represents a profoundly effective healing discipline. A medical tradition that harmoniously encompasses the three essential aspects of a human being is a great achievement that has taken thousands of years of evolutionary learning. And it is a learning that has no end.

– Ayahuasca Therapeutic Healing –

– The Treatment of Ailments and Traumas –

Ayahuasca, when administered correctly, has proven to be extremely effective and successful in treating a wide range of health concerns including:

  • Depression, Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Addictions, including of Alcohol and Drugs
  • Eating Disorders such as Bulimia
  • Parasitic Infections
  • Certain types of Cancer
  • Problems with Pregnancy and Fertility
  • Other medical situations of high complexity

When the Shaman is connected with the energy or the spirit of the medicine of Ayahuasca, he acquires what we call “A Medicine Vision”. In this state of mind, he is able to “see" the energies in the body, spirit and mind of the patient.

With his Medicine Vision, and with additional information provided by the patient (often supplemented with medical reports), the Curandero will initiate an appropriate treatment including, if necessary, the prescription of plant medicine treatments as required.

Prescribed treatments may include dietas with medicinal plants, dietary restrictions, purgatives, sinus flush, flower and steam baths with different plants and other various forms of therapy. Read more about the Therapeutic Treatments at Caya Shobo.

At this point we must offer a cautionary comment – not all Shamans possess the same level of Medicine Vision. Even amongst the Shipibo Shamans, renowned for their advanced healing knowledge, there exist wide differences in level of knowledge and spiritual attainment.

At Caya Shobo we work with Shipibo Onánya Maestros and Maestras who have progressed to a high level of Medicine Vision and knowledge, and who hold an exemplary ethic for healing and teaching in the way of the light.

Read more about the Shipibo People and their ancient Healing Traditions. Caya Shobo a key emphasis of our offering is to help you make a direct connection with the teacher plant spirits for yourself. We want to help you understand the secrets of the Shipibo plant medicine tradition and enable you to work with the plants in a positive and beneficial way. With correct dieta knowledge and practice our wish is for you to truly know yourself and gradually develop mastery over your own healing and learning.

During Ayahuasca Ceremonies the Maestro or Curandero will also administer important healing treatments, through the singing or chanting of 'Icaros'.

Icaros are songs or chants that embody the spiritual energy and healing knowledge of the shaman, as passed down by his ancestors and enhanced through his own dream vision learning while in Dieta with the Master Plants.

The Shipibo Tradition is also unique amongst shamanic traditions in that the Icaros are spontaneously crafted according to the Curandero's Medicine Vision showing him the unique healing needs of the patient in that moment. In comparison with other traditions based more around learned melodies, the more expert (and demanding) approach of the Shipibo Tradition allows the Curanderos to work more deeply and precisely in the healing needs of each patient.

The Icaro is used as a tool to transmit the Curandero’s energy and knowledge to the patient for various healing purposes such as:

  • clearing of impure energies;
  • calling in of medicine plant and animal spirits;
  • initiating, repairing and closing plant dietas for healing and learning;
  • re-ordering, clarifying and opening the systems of the body and mind; and
  • bringing love into the heart and strengthening and liberating the Spirit.

The efficacy of an Icaro depends largely on the level of dietary experience, discipline and ancestral learning of the Curandero.

At Caya Shobo, we hold a high standard for these qualities in the Shipibo Maestros and Maestras, and Curanderos and Curanderas invited to be a part of our team.

Psychological support is also an integral part of the healing process. The guidance to help you interpret and integrate such powerful healing experiences as Ayahuasca can deliver, holds similar importance as the actual process of healing. How we see, feel and think about such profoundly transformative experiences is critical to our ability to integrate their benefits into our day-to-day lives.

Our experienced facilitators are available to provide expert knowledge and counsel to support your healing journey while at the center and to provide guidance for your gradual adaptation to normal life upon returning home.

Read here for more information on Preparing for and Integrating Ayahuasca Healing at Caya Shobo.

A Note on the Pursuit of Shamanic Knowledge

At this point we offer an observation. Many people nowadays feel attracted to follow this path, and that is good. The world needs Healers. But most of the time those who desire to follow the call of the plants carry some confusion. For that is the culture of the West – an essential confusion with respect to the path of healing.

The fundamental notion of learning or advancement as introduced by the modern consumer market in the Western world is far from the reality of the discipline of Ayahuasca Shamanism. Part of this confusion is the idea that any benefit or accomplishment must be gained in a quick and easy way. Like, for example intensive Yoga or Meditation Courses, Lessons to Develop your Intellect in a Single Day, or How to Become a Spiritual Guide online with our 90-day course… etc.

This is not the case with Shamanism. On the path of learning the medicine of Ayahuasca, the initial step, as is always recommended by a good Maestro, is to “Heal Yourself First”. 

This is not just a suggestion. Rather it is an essential condition in the initiation of an apprenticeship, as confirmed by thousands of years of practice, transmitted from Maestro to Maestro along ancient lineages, and carefully maintained and refined so that we today can enjoy the benefits of this knowledge for all of humanity today.

In practice this means rigorous discipline and purification of the body and the mind with years of Dietas, first with medicinal plants and then with Master plants that will guide the way of the apprentice.

For every student one of the more difficult challenges is the fight against the Ego. To recognize the presence of the Ego at each moment implies a permanent state of alertness and self awareness. Ambition can lead the Apprentice along a very bad path. This being a problem more generally widespread in Western students of Shamanism, but not so in the native students who have a culture more naturally attached to the community rather than to individuality.

There is a fundamental difference between what we want and what we really need.

At Caya Shobo we encourage you to remain open and, with humility, allow the medicine, the plants and the true Maestros to help us see what it is that we truly need.

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