Temple of the Way of Light

The Temple of the Way of Light – BENA CAYA AINBOBO (A New Feminine Spirit) is a traditional plant medicine healing center located in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest offering intensive ayahuasca retreats with female and male Shipibo healers. We are dedicated to providing our guests the opportunity to benefit from the ancient healing wisdom of the Shipibo people, and to helping this unique culture to preserve its knowledge and identity in the 21st Century.

The Temple is one of the longest operating, safest and most well regarded ayahuasca centers in Peru. Since our inception in 2007, we have worked with over 4,000 guests between our two separate retreat centers (9 & 12 day retreats and 1 month retreats) and have established an exemplary reputation for safe, respectful and responsible ayahuasca healing. With a ratio of 2 staff members to every guest, we offer an unparalleled level of service, care, and professionalism. Our guest's safety and well-being is our number one priority.

We work with some of the most respected and powerful healers (Onanya) from the Shipibo tribe. All of our Onanya are highly experienced, gentle, caring, deeply dedicated to healing and embody the wisdom and sincerity of their people. The age-old healing traditions of the Shipibo people offer an ancient yet pioneering path to health, re-discovering our true nature and re-awakening to our true purpose. We firmly believe in respecting and honoring traditional medicinal practices of the Onanya who are experts in administering ayahuasca and traditional plant medicines of the Amazon. They bring time-honored rituals, intricate techniques, an encyclopedic knowledge of medicinal plants of the Amazon and a far-reaching lineage to the healing process.

The Temple offers three distinctly different ayahuasca retreat programs which have been designed to meet the varied needs of guests who want to experience ayahuasca and traditional plant medicine healing in the Amazon:

9 day ayahuasca retreats (with 5 ceremonies, 5 healers and 2 facilitators)

12 day ayahuasca retreats (with 7 ceremonies, 5 healers and 2 facilitators)

1 month ‘deep immersion’ ayahuasca retreats (with 7-8 ceremonies, 2 healers and 2 facilitators)

All retreats also include Shipibo energetic massages, floral baths (jain póiti), prescription of medicinal plants (rao) for specific conditions, a jungle walk to see the medicinal plants in their natural environment, group / individual processing meetings and consultations throughout the retreat, accommodation, food diet tailored to working with ayahuasca, demonstrations of the Shipibo arts and crafts and transport from and back to Iquitos.

The Main Pillars of Our Work

Working with Predominantly Women Healers: A unique focus on working with Onanya Ainbobo – indigenous women healers working within the rich and complex medical tradition of the Shipibo people. The women healers are complemented by Shipibo male healers who provide a necessary balance to the healing work. Our healers each have from 20 to 60 years’ experience working with ayahuasca.

A Compassionate and Safe Environment: From the inception of the Temple in 2007, our core philosophy was to provide an atmosphere of genuine care and compassion. Over the subsequent years we have become known for the sensitive and attentive style of our retreat facilitation and the wholehearted level of support offered by our entire team. We firmly believe that a compassionate environment is an essential component of the overall healing process. This allows guests to be vulnerable, tender, open, honest and authentic, without fear of judgment or criticism while undergoing deep healing.

A High Ratio of Healers to Guests: Our 9 and 12 Day ayahuasca retreats are run by three female healers and two male healers – with the group size limited to 23 people. These numbers ensure that each guest is given close, personalized attention in every ceremony and throughout their healing process. Our 1-Month Deep Immersion ayahuasca retreats offer a smaller ceremony group size (limited to 12 guests in ceremony and 24 guests on site) and are held by one female and one male healer.

A High Number of Ceremonies: We hold 5 ceremonies in our 9 Day ayahuasca retreats, 7 ceremonies on our 12 Day ayahuasca retreats, and 8 ceremonies on our 1 Month Deep Immersion ayahuasca retreats. We offer such a high number of ceremonies to ensure that our healers have sufficient time to reach into the roots of the issues presented by our guests. This is one of the main reasons we have been able to achieve such positive results over the years. We are passionate about our work and deeply committed to facilitating lasting healing and integration. Our retreats are intense and challenging experiences that initiate a much longer-term healing journey that unfolds for months and even years after visiting the Temple.

Stringent Health and Safety Standards: Your well-being is our priority and the Temple is deeply committed to guiding guests safely through deep personal healing and growth, both in and out of ceremony. We apply rigorous health and safety protocols that include pre-retreat medical screening, and personality and psychopathology screening. In the Amazon itself, our safety provisions encompass: an on-site nurse, staff trained in first aid, fully equipped first-aid kits, emergency protocols, permanent communications on and off-site (cell and radio), 24-hour transport to Iquitos, a contracted medical clinic in Iquitos, and multiple staff supervising each ceremony. These standards are complemented by an extensive support staff of over 100 people throughout the Temple grounds.

Respecting Indigenous Traditions: Underpinning the Temple’s work is our vision for the incredible mastery of indigenous healers to be respected, legitimized and honored in the modern world. We aim to cultivate a richer understanding in the West of the Shipibo system of shamanic healthcare and substantiate the efficacy of their ethno-medical traditions. Indigenous wisdom celebrates a spiritual dimension and interconnection between all life on Earth. We recognize this dimension as vital to restoring harmony and balance across the planet, individually and collectively.

Focusing on Social Benefit: The Temple is a purpose-driven, socially responsible, conscious business that puts people and the planet before profit. The cornerstone of our work is operating with authenticity, integrity and impeccability. As a flagship ayahuasca center, we operate with total social responsibility: providing the highest wages to healers and local staff; comprehensive social benefits; substantial financial support to local communities; an inspirational environment for our staff’s personal healing and development; and outreach programs supporting indigenous people locally and throughout the Amazon.

Reciprocity to the Amazon: According to indigenous Amazonian wisdom, sharing is the key to maintaining a healthy, balanced life for all. Indigenous people consider protection and preservation of the rainforest sacred duties. Yet with the great increase in popularity of ayahuasca shamanism, we are concerned that the spirit of sharing and protection is being lost. We promote and foster ways to honor and protect the world’s most biodiverse ecosystem, its people and their traditions through our sister non-profit organization, The Chaikuni Institute.

Community, Permaculture and Sustainable Living: Since 2009 we have been implementing a comprehensive program on the 175 hectares of Temple grounds and in our local village as a means of incorporating the principles of self-sufficiency, regeneration and social responsibility. Our program includes a wide range of projects: sustainable ayahuasca production, food forests, perennial vegetable production, staple crops, medicinal plants, renewable energy systems, rainwater harvesting, natural spring-water systems, aquaculture systems, sustainable buildings, and reforestation.

Ethics and Professionalism: The Temple follows a rigorous set of ethics and professional standards to manage our growth sustainably and give back to the people and land around us in the Amazon. The Temple employs over 100 people, mostly from the surrounding area, and contributes to the economic welfare and infrastructure maintenance of the local village. We are deeply dedicated to fostering a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship with our staff that improves the quality of their lives and creates an exemplary working culture. Our professional protocols set a high minimum standard for safety and experience to ensure our guests are well cared for physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Comprehensive Aftercare and Integration Support: Aside from the provision of quality ayahuasca, experienced healers, stringent safety protocols and a compassionate environment, integration is the single most important predictor for a successful outcome when working with ayahuasca. The Temple is committed not only to effecting profound healing in the Amazon, but also to supporting you after your return to day-to-day life through the provision of our free, 3-month Continuing Care Program (currently in development – available later in 2016). This support system will offer community, guidance, reassurance, advice, exercises, techniques, meditations and an overall pathway that will significantly aid your integration, and help you reclaim present awareness and to live a healthy, whole and balanced life.

For more information and bookings, please visit: http://templeofthewayoflight.org/

Tags: ayahuasca ayahuasca peru ayahuasca retreat ayahuasca retreats ayahuasca workshop ayawaska shipibo shipibo ayahuasca shipibo healing women healer

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  •   Well run center, amazing staff and shamans - by Jan Geens

    I did “the temple of the way of light” in Iquitos Peru. I found it a well run center where everything is being taken care of for you (even your laundry). The staff and shamans were amazing. It was a 12 day-7ceremony-retreat and that was enough for me (and for most of my peers). (cost retreat 1500euro) Looking back on it after a year, I can’t believe how much ayahuasca changed my life for the better. It’s expensive but definitely been a life reset button. I would recommend doing the diet they prescribed as it detoxes the body and takes up the medicine better.

  •   Place with great integrity, curanderos are lovely, you are well taken care of - by Susan

    I have been to the Temple of the Way of Light twice now and can say that it is a place with great integrity, the food rocks and the curanderos just lovely. This is more of a Plant Spirit Medicine retreat however… it is not just about Aya. You will consult with the curanderos who will also give you other plant doctors based on need. The Maestras bathe you in a floral bath every day at noon to clear your spirit… simply wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone and I am 56, not young… you will be well taken care of there

Safe Ayahuasca Retreat 2015 Award - Temple of the Way of Light

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