Meriana Dinkova is a San Francisco-based psychotherapist, workshop facilitator and retreat organizer. She has developed a unique system of psychological and neo-shamanistic inner-space navigation tools, designed to teach people to navigate and integrate strong psychedelic experiences, especially Ayahuasca. It is designed to optimize the healing, insight and spiritual growth they can provide and is especially valuable for anyone experiencing the medicine for the first time.
She organizes Ayahuasca retreats to Peru, in which she combines her work with the Medicine work of experienced shamans.
She gives lectures and teaches workshops in the US and around the world, speaking about her system, ‘Navigating Altered States,’ at conferences and festivals including the International Amazonian Shamanism Conference in Peru, The Women’s Visionary Congress in California, the Breaking Convention in London, the Tantra Festival in Hawaii and the Envision Festival in Costa Rica.
For people, who want to learn her system, but can not make it to one of her retreats, Meriana also offers Skype sessions on preparation and integration for working with Ayahuasca and other plant teachers.
She is the author of the upcoming book ‘Navigating Altered States’
For more info about her upcoming Peru retreats go to:
ReviewsWrite a review - tell others about your experience.
Sebastian Earl September 22, 2016
This is a testimonial for anyone who is interested in doing one of Meriana’s Dinkova’s trips to do deep medicine work in Peru: I am a licensed MFT psychotherapist in California, and someone who has long held a deep interest in personal growth, consciousness and spirituality. As such, I have taken part in countless trainings, workshops, retreats, and psychological and spiritual practices of all kinds and have a great deal of experience. And speaking from this place, I can unconditionally recommend Meriana and her trips. Firstly Meriana has found truly excellent Curandero’s, or Shamans/healers or whatever name you wish to give for those who lead the medicine ceremonies. This is incredibly powerful medicine, and truly not something you want to do without guidance. And Meriana has found those healers who are truly excellent at their work, who really know their stuff, are truly loving and good hearted people, who were amazing and incredibly powerful, and able to guide us deeply into the work. You really do need people who are masters at their craft, and Meriana has found those for her courses. There are a lot of charlatans out there, and being with a group that is led and facilitated by people who know what they are doing and you can trust to have your best interests at heart is hugely important! And she also had an excellent team of other helpers, so that during any ceremony the Curanderos/Shamans were able to focus purely on the healing, while the other helpers were there to help us participants with other more basic needs. And outside of ceremony time facilitators were always available for check ins or to help one of us move through something. Meriana also ran workshops on how to work with the medicine, how to call on spirit guides, move energy through, and many other techniques for navigating altered states of reality, that were very useful and grounding. One that I found particularly useful was asking the medicine (Mother Ayahuasca) to show you how to deal with moving through a particularly gnarly or intense energy. Whether it’s the plant talking to you or simply you tuning into your own inner wisdom, the approach works. And the group of people that Meriana had gathered was truly amazing. I have participated in countless groups, and some are better than others, but this one was truly amazing. A wonderful group full of courage, dedicated to healing, growth, consciousness, with a great deal of love and care and very little ego. A truly wonderful group of people, and when doing such powerful work to have a great group that works together and helps each other is a fabulous gift. Throughout the ceremonies and all through the ten day retreat the group was so there for each other, willing to support each other, work with each other, help each other move difficult energy through, and be there for each other. Really remarkable. The whole process was very deep and transforming. This is incredibly powerful medicine, but if you are going to do it, I would say there is no place you are going to find better ceremony leaders, facilitation during and around ceremonies, find better guidance and support and do it within a really well structured and organized trip, then with Meriana!
Kasey M Peel August 08, 2016
Off the plane and was welcomed with warmth and joy. The group Meriana set up was breathing enriching. From the start to end, cleaning and celebrating with family. We got to the first hotel and it was also very relaxing. Had awesome workshop to get you even more relaxed and ready for the next moments to come. Went for group dinning later the first night. What an experience, to get a tasted of Iquitos food(Veggie burgers was on point) and also some joyful activities of the people. Music and capoeira next to the place we ate, which was don on the amazon. The next day when we arrived at the boat. The fire of silence sweep over me, the wind blowing out all that was no longer needed. The speed boat was going fast and it felt as if the water was already rising my vibrations. Everyone and everything was getting us prepares for our next few journeys. We arrived at the retreat with open arms. The family that was taking care of us was very sweet. Another workshop about navigation for the healing ceremonies was hosted by Meriana. She was not going to let us drive in to these experiences blindly or unequipped. Also after the ceremonies there was sharing circles that help bring all the gift and lessons deeper into your body and into this realm. Everyone got open with each other and respected each other in all ways. The times we were connecting and recovering. Was also very helpful and important. Meriana made this a group trip and I feel we all understood that. It made the team work dynamics efficient. We were there for each other when we needed to be or called to be. With still having moments to self reflect with some needed alone time at some moments. The balance between what the shamans, meriana had set up for us. Was so beautiful and in harmony. First the relaxation, relaxing into these journeys. Understanding what healing was, to the Grace and the flow of how to journey and to understand worlds and self. Than the strength of clarity and the movement or Dance between self and Life. Now there was sharing circles in-between each ceremony, and also some workshops to combat mental malware if you will. So we got truly and deeply the best of both worlds. Not only did she set this trip up with the balance of shamans and science. She also made sure there was helpers with shamans to aid anyone who needed. The Shamans also brought helpers as well. This trip is where science met spirituality and embraced like two long lost friends that were seeing each other again for the first time. I have to thank Meriana deeply and with the whole of being for making it possible for me to know possibility, to meet such amazing being, and to have experience the journeys with shamans and this in whole. Life is a miracle :)
Iryna Aronov August 01, 2016
I participated in June 2016 retreat in Peru organized by Meriana and it was a life-changing experience. I was already working to the medicine when I went to Peru, however, participating in the ceremonies in the jungle took my relationship with the medicine on the next level. It wasn't always easy and at times, I was definitely pushed out of my comfort zones which helped me grow even more. I appreciated that Meriana used her knowledge of Peru and the jungle to find us comfortable accommodations and also hand-picked the shamans for the ceremonies. I am also grateful to Meriana for her workshops which helped to prepare for ceremonies and learn the tools that we can use if things got rough. I especially appreciated an ''Emotional malware'' workshop where I learned a helpful method to work with maladaptive patterns (which I still use!). Overall, Meriana put her heart and soul into this retreat and it showed. I experience powerful healing during ceremonies for which I will be forever grateful to Meriana for providing this opportunity and shamans for making it happen. I would love to visit the jungle again in the near future.
JC July 31, 2016
I learned about Meriana while listening to an interview on the Entheogenic Evolution podcast. I was quickly drawn to her enthusiastic and energetic spirit. (check out the interview... it's worth your time) I was attracted to the way she weaves her psychotherapy into the experience with the medicine and spoke of personal attention... with workshops on shaping our minds for maximum benefit of the multiple ceremonies. Mostly on intuition... I signed up and met the group in Peru... within a short time I was glad that I did. Meriana met us with her support staff that included loving caring people experienced in Ayahuasca ceremony. I felt safe and well cared for throughout the 10 days. Meriana and the entire group of people that supported her in the retreat gave us all personal and loving support. I will remember this fondly for the rest of my life! I appreciate how Meriana taught us how to navigate thru the pitfalls using techniques she's perfected from her psychotherapy practice. I also benefited by how she taught us to set a good intention before ceremony. I had known this and practiced it for years... but found that after Meriana's workshop my intention was WAY more targeted and has shown a lasting benefit. I am deep into the integration phase of the work now and I still experience deep insights... This retreat is well worth the time and expense it takes to go. I encourage anyone considering it to just do it!! I will likely go again.
Heidi Bass July 29, 2016
Our family attended Meriana's Peru Retreat in June, 2016, and it was life changing. We attended without having too many expectations, and were first time Ayahuasca participants. The accommodations at the Amazonia Retreat Center were nice, private bungalows were provided and there was a pool to swim in during the day, a refreshing escape from the heat of the jungle. We were on a special dieta for the experience, so the food was pretty bland, but surprisingly refreshing to the body and spirit. The workshops were very helpful to mentally prepare for the journeys. Meriana covered many aspects of healing the psyche from traditional therapy methods to more integrated ayahuasca-specific techniques for navigating and maximizing the altered consciousness state. She is fun and personable, and and very experienced in her field. Yoga happened every evening. We didn't go for the social experience, but after the ten day experience, we felt like we'd formed family with the rest of the group. It is amazing to go through such intense and healing experiences with people whom you've just met. I would personally prefer approaching the experience with a smaller group in the future, but am very grateful to have experienced it with this group as well. The ceremonies were lead by very experienced shamans. I have since learned that people in the states drink without a shaman, and I cannot imagine this as being a good idea. The shamans held the container, worked their magic to heal us both on a group level and on individual levels. Their presence was so powerful. There were also several helpers who assisted people and made sure that everyone was safe and cared for. It was really nice that even though we had three different shaman teams, we had the same helpers throughout providing comfort and consistency that helped us feel safe. I would have preferred to stop after our fourth ceremony. We moved to a different retreat center which was dormitory style, much less comfortable and also next to a chicken farm which left a very strong oder in the air. It was much less comfortable, not the peak of the experience. I also did not like the last shaman's approach as much as the others. Other people within the group seemed to enjoy this part of the journey, though, so to each his own. We all very much enjoyed the experience and have received so much wisdom, healing and guidance from it. It was powerful, intense, difficult at times, but amazing. Between us, it is difficult to put words to this experience. We continue to learn and grow from the things we experienced in Peru, and have formed friendships that hopefully will last a lifetime. Many thanks to Meriana, the shamans, the people who cared and cooked and cleaned for us. We are so very grateful for everything.
Cori Lee July 29, 2016
I attended one of the plant medicine retreats organized by Meriana, and it was an incredible and transformative experience. The retreat consisted of 5 ayahuasca ceremonies with 4 different shamans, which I found to be a great introduction into the ways different healers work. There were also workshops on how to set intentions, manage altered states, and process the experiences. These provided useful tools for getting the most out of each Ayahuasca trip. One of the exercises we did (which felt a little silly at the time)was a role playing inner child interview done with a partner, that little game ended up creating a huge shift in how I can best structure boundaries in my work-life and relationships. We had a very diverse group of about 30 people and everyone was able to come together with compassion, healing, and respect; I think that this has to do with the type of energy Meriana puts into the world and her work. I feel like I now how a group of unlikely friends and allies scattered around the world.
Angeline Marsland July 26, 2016
This retreat was absolutely life changing to say the least. I found so much love and gratitude and understanding of myself. It was truly transformative and I felt so safe with the expert care of so many facilitators and incredible shamans/curanderas. I was extremely impressed with the way the ceremonies were led and the dedication of the healers. Not only that, but the food, sharing circles, and workshops were a beautiful addition in a gorgeous part of the amazon. I am so grateful, especially for the workshops Meriana facilitated. As someone who had never taken ayahuasca before, it was very helpful to have these workshops to give some idea of what to expect and how to navigate the medicine. This includes mental tools, emotional tools, and even some physical movements that can almost instantaneously shift yourself so that you can get as much as you can from this experience. Gracias, much as gracias for this!!
Joe Silva June 21, 2016
My experience on Meriana's Peru Retreat was life transforming. I was able to address anxiety and depression issues that had been pulling me down in recent years. The Ayahuasca ceremonies were instrumental in helping me to re-connect with my greater purpose and to find peace in my life. Meriana's tools and the sharing circles were an important added benefit to the whole experience and were very helpful. The people that I met and got to know over those ten days were wonderful. And it was quite inspiring to see them grow and blossom, leaving behind their life traumas and facing the future with renewed optimism. I have a deep respect for the all the Shamans and the hard work that they did for all of us. And Meriana's helpers were amazing, lovely people. I am very happy that I chose to do this for myself. The influence goes beyond just me, but also to my circle of friends and loved ones.
Morgan D November 16, 2015
If you’re planning a medicine journey and you want to get the most out of your experience, you MUST spend time with Meriana. If you’re not taking one of her facilitated workshops, do a private session with her. You’ll be grateful that you did — and you’ll certainly feel that it was absolutely the best preparation for your work. Meriana will provide you with what you don’t yet realize you need — what will prove to be an ESSENTIAL framework for navigating with the medicine. Specifically, she gives you concrete tools (that you’ll use over and over again on your journeys.) She’ll also give you clear direction on how to get the healing and guidance that you’re looking for from your journey. Let’s be clear about something — this is MUCH MORE than the general direction that you’ll get from your shaman about your experience. This is specific and intentional and it’s JEDI-LEVEL ADVICE. I’ve worked with a number of healers and been guided through a number of experiences over the years and I’d never gotten access to anything close to this before working with Meriana. (I’m so glad that I found her when I did, but wish that I’d worked with her years ago!) Working with her is more than simply setting clear intentions — although she will help you with this, too. She’ll help you understand who and what you can call on to guide you through your journeys, whether you need protection, healing or wisdom and she’ll share the specifics of how you can work with your medicine — including ways that you likely have no idea that you can. After a recent retreat I shared with a friend how much I’d gotten out of the experience and how I'd navigated the experience — and he was surprised at all that I was able to do. He shared, “I’ve done this work many, many times and have never had access to any of that!” I told him the truth: that I only had the experience because of the tools I got from Meriana. Bottom line? Her coaching will help you navigate and get the most out of your journey. Work with her.
Martin Stebbing June 07, 2015
Meriana's retreat was a really great experience for me. The three different Shamans all complimented each other perfectly. I will recommend it to anyone in search of spiritual illumination.
JC March 19, 2015
Whether its your first time working with the medicine or you are an experienced psychonaut seeking the cosmic download, Meriana's unique insights and navigational tools will serve to take you through the heights of the journey or back from the abyss. Her tools are structured to be relevant during ceremony and the workshop covers a breadth of interesting topics such as relationship to self in the past, present, and future and how they all tie together. In addition to workshop, there were activities offered in between ceremonies giving ample opportunity to explore any new found awareness and consciousness. Joining Meriana on one of her retreats offers a chance for growth with lasting lessons and valuable insights to take back into everyday life. It is an experience not to miss!
Raoul Preller January 03, 2015
I participated in Meriana's first two retreats that she hosted in Peru, one in Iquitos, and one in Tarapoto. Meriana's strong intention really shines through - she brings together great Shamans, great content and support, great people, and great locations - a perfect cocktail for growth and healing, in whatever areas of your life that you need it most. And I'm sure that her retreats are only getting better and better as she fine-tunes them.
Deborah December 30, 2014
Meriana led a beautiful Ayahuasca retreat in 2013 which was life-changing. She brings a special touch to this ceremony because of her professional psychology background but also because she just has a heart of gold and is genuinely interested in your well-being. While I would have preferred to have a retreat in one place the whole week, I also enjoyed the diversity and richness of the variation. Anyone wishing to join Meriana will not be disappointed, only amazed every day!
Jonathan Mordant December 29, 2014
Meriana was The Archetypal retreat leader and teacher! first, she organized everything with efficiency and clarity and went on to direct us with such deep insight that i cannot imagine having done the group without her. Before we started she prepared us with confidence and gave us indispensable tools for the journey, during the retreat she gave us support and further approaches to facilitate the way and at closure she helped with methods to integrate the experience. throughout it all she worked with humour and enthusiasm. thanks so much, Meriana!