30 days studying the traditional Amazonian medicine of the Shipibo people

We’re headed off to Iquitos, Peru where we will be spending 30 days in the jungle at Luz Cosmica. It’s a spiritual center that practices the traditional medicine in the Shipibo tradition.  It’ll be a time of physical and psychological purification, healing and learning about plants, plant medicines and Amazonian shamanism.

In searching for a center we found that there were a great many centers and shamen throughout the jungle area of Peru. The three main areas that came up in our searches were Iquitos, Pucallpa, San Francisco and Cusco. We focused mainly on the Iquitos area because it was one of the main tourist areas and the centers would have someone who could speak a little English to help us translate what the Shaman says. If we spoke Spanish we would have gone to the smaller towns of Pucallpa or San Francisco. But some of those places don’t even speak Spanish and only speak the native South American Quechua language. So we’re sticking to the more touristy area for this part of our adventure in Peru.

We read about many centers and many Shipibo shamen.  We had originally decided on staying at Anaconda Cosmica healing center ran by Maestro Guillermo Arevalo. We liked the fact that Guillermo has almost 40 years of experience and follows in the tradition of his father, uncles, grandfather and grandmother. Unfortunately Anaconda Cosmica is booked during the time we wanted to stay. They recommended Luz Cosmica  which is run by Guillermo’s son, James. James has 20+ years experience and his center is actually smaller than Anaconda Cosmica.  That actually is more what we were looking for as we didn’t want to be at a huge center. We like the idea of a much smaller, traditional, quieter and personalized experience.

Another center that we looked at is Nihue Rao ran by one of Gullermo’s apprentices, Ricardo Amaringo. This center was started in 2011 so it’s relatively new and has lots of modern conveniences like showers, toilets and even wi-fi.  We had such a great time disconnecting at our Vipassana retreat in Georgia without cell phones or even our car keys, it’s hard to imagine having a nice healing experience with cellphone and laptops around. Ricardo is said to be a very good shaman and we like the energy of this place but there was no discount for longer stays. We ruled out Nihue Rao for a long stay.

We also looked at El Purgero which is run by american Ron Wheelock. He has 18 years of experience and we read many reports that he makes a very good and very strong brew. We wanted more than just a strong brew and his energy and center just didn’t seem to have the right energy for us.

Another center that we looked at was Spiritual Healing Center DAS ran by Percy Garcia Lozano. We read some good things about Percy and that he has 20 years experience. We also liked the remoteness of his center. It seems like a good center and had some good reviews but it seemed like there was a little more downtime involved where you were not working with the plants as much as with other places. For the price charged it didn’t seem like a good value.

Another center that kept coming up in searches was Blue Morpho. It is really expensive and was way outside of our budget.  We didn’t need that much luxury. We wanted a more basic and traditional experience.

Another expensive one that sounded really nice was Temple of the Way of Light. It sounded really nice but was way out of our budget. They also had a 3 month work exchange program and even the price seemed pretty high to us for that.

Refugio Altiplano looked like a really nice center but again it was too expensive.  It is remote and reachable only by boat. So it seems like it would be a nice quiet place to visit.

There was also another center that we found on Workaway where we were going to volunteer and do service but the available spaces were filled by the time that we sent them an email.

There are  many healing centers and the only ones that we can search for and read about were those that have a presence on the Internet. I’m sure there are some really great centers that do not have, want or need the Internet but those centers were not meant for us at this time. So it seems as though we are guided to Luz Cosmica.

We’ll let you know how it goes. We will be able to put our newly learned Vipassana meditation skills to use to help us dive deep within.

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