Our center provides a safe, supportive environment for people to get the healing and spiritual expansion they seek. We foster an atmosphere of open communication that encourages dialog about the challenges of their past, and the insights and teachings received during ceremony. Putting everyone’s well being first, we begin the retreat with a very thorough introductory talk about the effects of ayahuasca and how to productively navigate your experience during ceremony. Our retreats are limited to no more than 12 people and there are multiple caretakers in each ayahuasca ceremony who are not partaking of the medicine.
The focus of our work is on healing and personal transformation - physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. We spend time with each individual to understand why they came and the outcomes they desire from their work with ayahuasca. This information is shared with our shaman, who works in ceremony to help each person realize their goals. Our circle meetings on the day after ceremony reinforce that work, interpreting and expanding on their experience within the context of their intentions for that ceremony, and their goals for their time at the Hummingbird Center.
The Hummingbird Center's approach uses a combination of traditional Amazonian shamanism, lifestyle coaching and compassionate and loving support throughout the healing and transformative process. The center is an environment of openness, authenticity and emotional safety where one can relax and be themselves. Jim the owner is the primary facilitator and this has been his daily work for the past 8 years, guiding over 1100 people through their ayahuasca retreat. Having gone through his own 30 year stuggle with depression and alcoholism, he deeply understands people's struggles and listens with compassion and empathy.
Jim has an extensive background with a variety of spiritual practices including Advaita Vedanta (teachings of Sri Ramana Mahashi), the Center for Spiritual Living and the teachings of Ernest Holmes, 12 Step Programs, Landmark Forum and a variety of other transformative workshops and processes. This experience informs and guides his coaching and enables him to provide simple and practicle guidance to help people understand themselves and move beyond the challenges in their lives. The information shared complements the lessons learned during ayahuasca ceremony deepening understanding and your ability to integrate and apply these lessons when you return to daily life.
The Hummingbird Center also works with huachuma, the visionary and heart opening cactus of the Andes also known as san pedro. We have found ayahuasca and huachuma to be very complementary. Some individuals have a special affinity for one or the other of the medicines. Occasionally huachuma will clear blocks in an individual that ayahuasca does not seem to touch. We have seen a number of people have significant breakthroughs with san pedro, then move on to have wonderful and productive ceremonies with ayahuasca.
During the San Pedro ceremony many find their ayahausca experiences come into focus understanding the lessons in much deeper and meaningful way. A wonderful, gentle healer, grandfather San Pedro tends to bring very clear lessons and most enjoy the experience. After the first group San Pedro ceremony, if you prefer to work with it instead of ayahuasca you may do so. It is easy to arrange and we will work that out on a case by case basis. While the experience is very different than ayahuasca, it is a peer in its ability to heal and some get much more from working with this medicine that with ayahuasca.
We also have programs that include master plant dietas with other healing plants such as ajo sacha, chiric sanango, bobinsana, chuchu wasi and others. The specific plant is chosen by the shaman after a getting to know what changes you are looking to get in your time with the medicine plants. Dietas are challenging, but they can make significant difference in the healing you receive during ayahuasca ceremony.
The energy and work of the other plants used for dietas can be soft and subtle, and some fairly strict rules need to be followed during this process to receive their healing benefit. Our dietas last for 8 days, and it is necessary to commit to this process and agree to follow all the rules, which will be explained in detail during the screening process. Due to the restrictive nature of this process and the challenges it brings only those willing to make a deep commitment should consider this process.
Our shaman uses this information to do specific healing work in ceremony to achieve those goals. For over seven years the Hummingbird Center has consistently gotten excellent results for people, with the majority saying that received much more than expected. We foster an atmosphere of open communication that encourages dialog about the problems of their past, insights received during ceremony, and any struggles releasing and leaving their stuff behind. Our circle meetings on the day after ayahuasca ceremonies reinforce this work, interpreting and expanding on their experience within the context of their intentions and goals for their time with the medicine. To ensure everyone gets the attention and support they desire we limit our group sizes to no more than 12 people.
All guests get a private room, and our beds have high quality, very comfortable mattresses. Our common area has a number of couches and a porch with rocking chairs and hammocks. Most guests will stay in our guest house that has a nice long porch with hammocks, overlooking our swimming pond. Those on personalized retreats will stay in tambos back in the jungle. If space is available, 9 and 12 day retreat guest may choose to stay in one of the tambos. There is also one room with a king size bed that is a nice option for couples. Regular laundry service is also included. See our All Inclusive Retreats web page for more details and pictures of our beautiful center.
Another feature that has been of major benefit to many people is our work with a master huesero, or bone doctor. Don Jorge is a truly gifted healer and has relieved hundreds of people of pain caused by the skeletal system not being aligned correctly. He has straightened out many peoples spines that had severe scoliosis, fixed a wide variety of joint issues, and fixed the breathing of many people who had broken noses, even those who had been told they would need surgery. Jorge says migrain headaches are caused by the C1 and C2 vertebrae not being aligned, and we have had a number of people write back months later saying they had not had a migrain since he adjusted their neck. Sessions with Jorge are only 50 soles, all of which is paid to him.
In each retreat we teach the basics of shamanic journeying with a drum to connect with your spirit helpers and get their help and advice. Everyone has the ability to learn shamanic journeying and benefit from a direct connection with their spirit guides. Shamanic healer and teacher Stacy Keast says "It is simple, and Spirit doesn't want us to complicate it, they just want us to connect, heal and look after our world." These are skills you can take with you and apply in your daily life. You will guided in the following journeys:
Ayahuasca ceremonies at the Hummingbird are led by Manain Amacifen, a fourth generation ayahuasquero with over 43 years of experience with the medicine. Our priority is to provide a safe and sacred space for healing where you can relax into the experience knowing you will be well cared for. Many people drinking ayahuasca the first time are unsure of how they will handle the experience. They may feel anxiety, fear or apprehension. This is understandable, but in truth there is nothing to be afraid of. When drinking ayahuasca with a skilled healer and facilitators no harm will come to you, physically, emotionally, spiritually or energetically. Jim the owner has guided over 1100 people through this process.
Ayahuasca is a powerful medicine and teacher plant that brings deep multi-level level healing physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. While a very large number of issues may be addressed with ayahuasca and other medicine plants, it is not a cure all or magic bullet. The most important factor we have seen for getting positive results with this medicine is the individual's level of commitment to their own healing. Those that show up willing to do what ever it takes to heal get the best results. This means a willingness to take an honest look at their beliefs and behavior, their negative and unproductive thought patterns, and a sincere desire to change to more productive patterns where that is indicated.
In our early formative years we learn many ways of facing and coping with the world, that for a child is often a frightening, confusing and unfair place. Our minds learn a variety of mechanisms to defend and protect itself so the child can feel safe. Various ways of controlling, escaping, hiding, suppressing, projecting, blaming, how to mask and suppresses painful events are learned. We carry the energy and emotion of painful and confusing events which can manifest as emotional blockages, anxiety, depression, emotional numbness and a multitude of other dis-eases. Many people develop beliefs that they are somehow less than others, not as important, flawed or damaged.
Jim talks about ayahuasca
Photo video of a clients stay
I just returned from the 21-day personal healing retreat and this has been, without a doubt, the most life changing experience, ever. The depression I had for 40 years, has vanished. Anxiety and obsessive thinking are gone. I believe that the combination of the medicine, the food, the time for relaxation, Jim, Gina, the shaman, staff and accommodations all contributed to my healing. Every aspect of the retreat was perfect and well-thought out. Even when the ceremonies were incredibly hard, all my needs and comforts were met. The place was also very clean even though we were in the jungle. The food was amazing! We were all looked after very well and I felt safe the entire time. Can't recommend this place enough! Amy, USA