About The Teacher
Tree of Light Retreats was birthed with the guidance received from the medicine to create a safe, loving, intimate, and supportive space for people to experience the powerful and transformative plant medicine Ayahuasca, in the ancient Shipibo tradition.
Our passionate and well-trained facilitators have devoted many years to the path of Ayahuasca and traditional plant dietas. They are in a path of service to hold space, offer guidance, and loving support to all who are ready and willing to embark on this journey.We hold these retreats, with the deep understanding that as we heal ourselves, we heal the world, and little by little the world changes.
With each women's retreat we have a deeper understanding of the importance of holding women’s circles. The ceremonies become like a giant womb with a safe and loving energy, allowing for vulnerablity and depth of healing. An opportunity to heal our own wounds and the wounds that exist between women and how we relate to one another.
Taking the time to honor ourselves and create time without the distraction of family, work, expectations etc. A time to sit in the sacred sisterhood and let go of what no longer serves us. To heal, to grow, to forgive, to empower ourselves, to connect with our deepest light and come back to what is truly important in this life.
Though Tree of Light’s focus and original vision is to host women’s retreats, we have opened the space up a few times throughout the year to both men and women. My husband and I met in the jungle while working very closely with the medicine. It has been an integral part of our relationship from day one, and with this we honor the journey of the Masculine and Feminine. Seeing the real need for balance, love, and respect in this walk together as human beings.
We feel so much gratitude for this amazing path. Our continual prayer is that all those who come truly receive the blessings of this work. With courage, humility, and great love guiding us all.
The team at Tree of Light Retreats
ReviewsWrite a review - tell others about your experience.
Ashley Welling October 10, 2019
Wow! I really don’t have the right words to express how this place changed my life. Most of my friends now call me Ayahuasca Ashley because I left a different person. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for having The Tree of Light helping me see what is really important in life. As a single Mom of two boys I had to make sure I was safe in this journey. After hours of research I decided this was the place for me. They took care of me and helped me work through a lot of past trauma and sexual abuse. I saw the light! I’ll forever be thankful for this life changing journey I was able to have. Thank you Tree of Light for this beautiful work you do! ❤️
Sean Adams September 25, 2019
Pedro and Carolina are skilled and caring healers, but also, the plants they are working with, and their way of doing things are different than what you will find at most places. I have visited a few centers in the Amazon, so I would like to share some perspective as to how this compares to other places you might consider. I have been to two retreats with Tree of Light, and have been involved in shamanism for five years prior to that. It has been a long journey for me until finding something that I'm happy to refer people to. I can enthusiastically recommend this place both for first-timers, and experienced "dieteros". Even having attended many retreats with many different shamans, there is a level of "shadow work" that was necessary for me to heal, which had evaded me until working with Noyarao. Specifically, there were problems with my breathing that were linked to old traumas, which only began to resolve after my retreat with Tree of Light. It is a special way of doing things that goes deeper than other kinds of medicine. Moreover, although there are many so-called "powerful" shamans in the jungle, I have seen that westerners might glamorize the idea of going far out into the jungle to work with shamans who are as geographically/culturally/ethnically remote as possible. Yes it is quite an experience. I am grateful that there are people who have gone into the jungle to build centers and make that medicine available to us. It is where I started, and they helped me a lot in the beginning. However, it is also a mixed bag out there - the jungle can be a little crazy. I am grateful for the lessons, but it is time for me to graduate from that world. Let's say that in the jungle, it is not easy to find people who are working with both competence and integrity. On the other hand, Pedro and Carolina are well trained in the Shipibo tradition, but are also working with a strong understanding of western culture, and even western medicine. This lends a greater level of a precision to the work, to be able to see better what is going on with a guest, and understand specifically what the person needs to heal. While it is important to be able to see and work on the energetic/spiritual plane, the power of these tools is amplified when the healers are able to relate to the guest's life experience. They are able to explain how the healing process works, and guide people through their specific journey. As of this writing, the team is in the process of relocating from Peru to Costa Rica. I attended their final retreat in Peru, and will also be on their first retreat in Costa Rica. While Peru is a beautiful country and I have enjoyed many visits there, I can tell you that on the last retreat up in the Andes, it was the winter time and we were all pretty chilly up there. We were all bundled up in our coats and blankets, hearing Pedro and Carolina talk about Costa Rica, we were all thinking that this move sounds like a pretty amazing plan. I am looking forward to seeing them again in Costa Rica. Maybe I will see you there too!
Lauren Milam September 11, 2019
First, I would very much like to thank the facilitators for their hard work and dedication, in honor of me, for me during each ceremony. I want to thank you all for holding space and listening to my story, and bringing about change with the medicine. I don’t even know where to begin. This journey has changed so so many aspects of my life. Through the toughest, darkest times in medicine, to the most beautiful sunrises in Peru soon to be Costa Rica. I’m forever changed. Humbled. To Carolina, you are such a warm person, full of compassion and love. You connected me with the most maternal feminine part of myself that I didn’t know existed. I never knew how disconnected I was to my true essence. You have taught me what being a woman is, and what I have to look forward to. You embody change, healing, nurture, compassion and true femininity. You are a gift to this world, and through this medicine. Pedro, you healed the masculine part of my life. I no longer look at the world with the same eyes. You showed me love from a fathers eyes. Which I didn’t know was even possible. The night you sang to me, where I saw you carrying this little baby. I felt so connected. I truly believe that was me at the first moment of trauma, my forgotten, hidden, last piece. You connected me with my real father. Instead of abandonment and hurt, I saw him holding me, smiling. I saw warmth and love. All I can say is thank you. You are passionate and kind. You have such a warm smile and welcoming voice. You are such a big role model for what a man can be. You played such an instrumental part of my healing. Both of you, have made this journey incredible. Hard, yet. Easy. I felt safe, secure, even in the hardest moments. I never felt alone. You empower us to work on our own, be our own saviors. It was so beautiful to see. I’ve come home to a whole new life. A different person looks back at me in the mirror. I don’t recognize the hurt traumatized girl I used to be anymore. I’ve thanked her, but I no longer need her. My journey is nowhere near complete. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I need more medicine to continue this growth and healing. I can’t imagine what more digging will do, will uncover. I already feel like a whole new person as is. If anyone is on the fence about this facility, here is this: this medicine works like nothing I could explain. You grow and heal YEARS. This facility in particular allows this growth. It nurtures and encourages. Both Carolina and Pedro carry ancient wisdom, which I saw in medicine. You feel safe, loved, even when you are scared and hurt. They truly care about you, and your journey. They take a vested interest in your past, if you are willing to share. They are here to make this world a more beautiful place. They have a gift, working together, brings both balance and harmony. I just wanted to reach out and say thank you. Thank you for what you are doing. Thank you for opening your hearts to those who seek guidance. I was meant to experience this journey with you. I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’ll see you soon in Costa Rica 💕 Thank you Many thanks and blessings -L
Kerri Ann September 07, 2019
I have partaken in two retreats with Tree of Light within one year’s time. From the first experience, to the next, I have incurred deep and profound healing in my life, inside and outside of ceremony, in so many ways. Carolina and Pedro are a gift to humanity, who work on themselves deeply, while holding the medicine of ayahuasca in the highest integrity. For my first retreat, while excited to experience my true calling to this work, I was naturally nervous and apprehensive. When observing how Carolina and Pedro conduct their retreat: the thorough information they provide, insights into expectations, support whenever you need them, and enlightenment towards trusting the process, I immediately became at ease and knew I was in the right hands. After becoming familiar with the process of the plant medicine work , participating in two retreats now, I can affirm that the gentle and cohesive balance of both their natures delivers just the right recipe for what I needed for ultimate healing, inside and outside of the retreat center. Both of them are beautiful people who were supportive in my process and tended to give me exactly what I needed, even when I wasn’t aware of it myself. Their ability to have an innate knowing and sense shows how much of their own inner work they do. Carolina and Pedro have supported my own work in illuminating my shadows and bringing in the light, but teaching me in a way that has helped me find my power within to help heal and love myself. A beautiful gift it has been indeed! I am grateful to have found Tree of Light and am thrilled as they embark on their new journey in moving their retreat to Costa Rica. I can only see myself drinking medicine with them, as I trust in and honor them completely. They are family (which is how they make you feel) and I can’t wait to sit with them again in the future. Kerri
kirstin mclean June 12, 2019
Based on my experience of Tree of Light, I could not possibly recommend this retreat. I have hesitated for may months to post this, unsure of how to put my concerns into words, but when I heard the alarming news that the facilitators are moving away from working with Sihipibo maestras, I felt it was important to share my experience. Where to begin? With the most powerfully damaging aspect, I suppose. Under the influence of ayahuasca, we are open, vulnerable, delicate. A good facilitator should hold their clients with respect, grace and neutrality. I had a distressing moment in ceremony (as happens, this is ok) but the after-care was sloppy at best, and utterly dangerous at worst. Carolina encouraged me to make the very worst interpretation of this moment, encouraging me to believe that I had suppressed memories of abuse. There was no sense of neutrality, no support for me to find the meaning for myself. As a result, I returned home utterly confused, half-believing that this abuse was true. (It wasn't.) What followed was the worst mental health episode of my life - suicidal, OCD, episodes of self-harm, anxiety, depression - none of which I have ever experienced before. And all due to an irresponsible facilitator encouraging me for 10 days to believe something that wasn't true. I have done deep work with some excellent practitioners in the UK to recover from the trauma of working with Tree of Light. I have seen how shamanic work can be conducted with humility and love, and by a shaman who keeps their own energy clean in ceremony. The ceremonies at Tree of Light were confused, with two facilitators and the maestra singing at once. In addition, the icaros from one facilitator were extremely painful, as if they were coming from a place of trauma. Many of the others in my group agreed on this. It is my feeling that some of Tree of Light's work is ego-driven, that there is a fascination with 'shadow' at the expense of light and that this makes for a potentially very dangerous situation. If it weren't for the shamanic connections I have in the UK, and incredible family and friends, I'm not sure I could have recovered from this. I believe in plant medicines and their power, and I was able to take some powerful messages froths retreat - profound and beautiful, life-changing experiences. These came about despite, not because of, how the space was held. I know many people feel differently, and I respect that. I am sure the facilitator has a different take on the experience too. All I can do is share how it felt for me. All of that aside, Las Chullpas is an amazing place. With tremendous food, warm and caring staff, beautiful grounds, cosy rooms, some gentle dogs, a cat, and a llama or two. It's a very special place. I had to give a couple of stars for the venue alone!
Maureen Donohue June 07, 2019
I am a Reiki Master/Teacher in private practice and have been holding space for individuals and groups for almost 2 decades. When I was researching Ayahuasca retreats I was looking for a small group encounter and facilitators who had a lot of experience, that is why I chose to come to work with Carolina & Pedro. Am I grateful I did! My experience with them both in and out of ceremony was so powerful that not only am I coming back to retreat with them less than a year later, but I am also bringing a group with me! The level of experience they bring is evident. As a teacher I understand that we are only able to hold space, to channel, when we've done enough of our own work to be able to step out of the way and allow the Energy to move through us. There is a feeling of safety when the whole experience is elevated to such a pure level. Carolina and Pedro clearly have years of training and have done so much personal clearing that the Medicine Work flowed freely. They exhibit compassion, understanding, good humor and safe boundaries. For my personal journey I have to seek out Teachers, classes and experiences that allow me to grow and stretch past what I think are my limits. Carolina and Pedro offer that freedom. They are Teachers of Teachers and I will continue to sit with them as often as possible as long as they are serving. I left Tree of Light last November and I'm just now writing a review. Describing my experience of the Medicine Ceremonies and the aftereffects is challenging. It's like trying to explain energy work; it's an experience, it's literally multidimensional and it's so very personal. My experience is unique to me just as yours will be for you! I can tell you that many of the physical circumstances in my life changed when I got home. This is a Master plant, it's not one and done. People, places and situations in my life that weren't vibrating at my newly elevated frequency fell away. I'm not going to lie it's been a lot of ups and downs over the last 6 months, but I knew that the Medicine was clearing old things out of my life to make way for new and wonderful experiences! The results have been exciting, scary and magical! Carolina and Pedro, I bow at your feet, thank you for being such incredible holders of Light, Truth, Love and Commitment to this Path. I can't wait to see you soon!
Jake Wing July 26, 2018
This March (2018) I attended my first 10-day retreat with Tree of Light Retreats, and my experience was beyond anything I could have imagined or expected! This was my first experience in working with the Medicine and I walked into the experience with expectations of challenge, growth, and doing a lot of internal work. What I did not expect was the degree to which being supported through this work would affect my process and ability to integrate. My experience at our retreat was one of breaking me open be authentic with myself in my own healing process. This has involved learning to allow and accept emotions which I have previously lacked the awareness that I have even suppressed. Throughout the first few days of my time with TOLR I kept the self-doubt and emotions that were bubbling up mostly to myself, though it was only after communicating my process with both Carolina and Pedro that I had truly opened the floodgates to my progress. Midway through our retreat I began to fully open up regarding my experience and about my insecurities around my own process, and it was through this unfolding that I first glimpsed the depth of knowledge, experience, and understanding that this two blessed beings possess. In meeting me with a gentleness and compassion that I could not have fathomed, I was assisted in moving through my doubts, worries, shame, and fears. Their method and facilitation, both in and out of Ceremony, not only assisted me in my process but as well empowered me to continue in this path as the retreat progressed. I stand in my power in taking responsibility for my personal journey whilst walking my path in absolute gratitude for the support in which I was held in my process. Mama Aya is a powerful teacher, and working with this group openly and in trust gifted me with the opportunity to fully utilize this opportunity for growth. The best single statement that I could make to describe and summarize my experience with Juana, Carolina, Pedro is: "To be held in a container of compassion". The love expressed by this beautiful Maesta (Juana) and the facilitators (Carolina & Pedro) is so evident in through their support of the group that it is almost tangible in the air that fills my lungs, even three months later back in California. Beyond the container that was both effectively created and held by Carolina and Pedro, every other aspect of this retreat supported me in ways that I could not have even realized until receiving the gifts of the environment they have fostered as a part of their offering. The lodging accomodations were beautiful and comfortable (the bed was comfier than mine at home!) and the shower was one the highlights of my mornings following Ceremony. And the food was INCREDIBLE! Nancy and her kitchen crew were fantastic, encouraging, and their creations were nourishing and delicious! Las Chullpas was as well absolutely gorgeous. I look forward to returning for my next retreat as soon as I am able! I would HIGHLY recommend (and already have numerous times) this retreat center to anyone interested in an authentic and fully supported experience working with this Medicine; regardless of previous experience (or lack thereof). Sending my love to Any and All who may be reading this and blessing YOU in your work, regardless of where your path takes you <3
Amrita Marjo June 13, 2018
I was guided by my intuition and dreams to participate a women's retreat in Tree of Light retreats and work with Noya Rao. I was afraid because some parts of me knew there would be dark places I would be visiting and that it was time to face some deeper and darked layers. But because I trust my guidance I knew I would have to go through the fear. As that is the way to freedom. Noya Rao is full on shadow work as his light is so bright nothing can hide from it and in Tree of Light retreats this is also their focus to dive to the darkest depths so that light can enter there and replace the darkness. I went deep, I don't even have words for most of it. The suffering and struggle that I went through.. but trusting the medicine and the process that it would pass and the light would find it's way in. And it did. And I found love in me and I fell love with myself first time in my life. This is a priceless gift. This dieta gave me a new direction on my journey and courage and confidence to start taking action in sharing my work and stepping up. I hold so much gratitude for Carolina, Pedro and Gigi for holding space for this strong and challenging work and for being in service creating a safe and supported container. From the bottom of my heart I recommend working with them when you want to go deep and heal painful wounds and find your light.
Basha Dunin June 12, 2018
I spent a month with Caroline & Pedro, Juanita & Manuela, Ayahuasca, Bobinsana & Noya Rao at Tree of Light Retreat and after almost a year from that time in Peru, I can honestly to myself admit that it was absolutely „the changing point” of my life. It was very difficult and heavy experience, but this make us grow. There are no such words, and certainly not in my English dictionary;) to express the gratitude I feel for each person, thanks to whom I could have this hard but sooo valuable journey. Thanks to the extraordinary devotion and support of wonderful Shamans, and Carolina and Pedro, this difficult experience was the most beautiful in my life. I am very grateful to them that I can be at the point of life in which I am, and I did not suppose I could be in. During the retreat I fell to the very bottom of myself, but their hand was always nearby to help me find a good path. If not their extraordinary knowledge, experience, patience (!!!), always support and willingness to help, listen and care, I would probably get lost in my shadows and i would not find myself, that I was looking for. Everyone of them and they all together, built such a beautiful, safe space that I knew that I could be carried away to the darkest sides of myself and im still safe. Caroline and Pedro are beautiful people who will stay in my heart forever. They have enabled me to change my life. They were a wonderful support in this difficult but valuable journey. I can not express the gratitude I have for them. And I know they are always close to me. Always, despite the fact that they are thousands of miles away, they provide advice and support, which gives an extraordinary sense of security in my further journey. And the journey is infinite, but I know that they are close to me and it makes it easier, happier and safer. And this is beautiful! Thank you for where I am now and for always being close! Love !!! If you are wondering where to go to Peru to begin or continue your jurney with Ayahuasca - You're in the right place. In Tree of Light Retreats. LOVE FOREVER!
Thörin Hy June 09, 2018
I've done 4 retreats with Tree of Light over the years, including the month long, and keep coming back because Carolina, Pedro, and Juana hold the safest most powerful, and supportive spaces and retreats I have ever been to. Yes, Noya Rao is an extremely powerful tree and if you choose to diet it, instead of Bobinsana or not dieting at all, it Will pull up your biggest traumas and pain, and it is never pleasant or fun to feel pain. But Noya Rao pulls up your pain for healing so it can be seen, understood, made peace with and released. Our pain from whatever unpleasant experiences we have lived, is already inside us, and already affecting us negatively, even if it's shoved deep into our subconscious. And it needs to come to the surface to heal, and Tree of Light Retreats is the most amazing place to be held and supported and Helped as this healing happens. It doesn't matter how hard life has been or what you have been through, Noya Rao, Pedro, Carolina, Juana, and your own hard work and willingness to face your life, Will be powerful enough to heal you and bring more love and light and happiness into your life. Truly facing what we've been through in life isn't always fun, but I know Tree of Light Retreats is one of the best places on the planet to do so, and I have received extremely life changing healing and overcome some really severe pain to regain my happiness and Joy by working with them. Seriously the best medicine retreats ever. In truth and Love. -Soren P.s. Pedro and Carolina's icaros are ridiculously healing and beautiful songs from the spirit of Noya Rao sung with such pure and good intentions for our healing. I love them and find myself humming them to myself all the time :) <3
Rachael Gumnut Grace June 08, 2018
I was so blessed to be able to take part in Tree of Light's March 2018 retreat. I'd been working with plant medicine for around three years, exclusively in the Sacred Valley area and at one point got the opportunity to sit in on a single ceremony with Carolina and Peter. After working with many different healers, I was extremely impressed by the tight container that they both held for the participants that night. Full of integrity and tangible experience. The retreat I subsequently attended was just as impressively held. The depth of combined experience Juanita (the ayahuascera), Carolina and Pedro held made for an incredibly deep, intense experience. They guided each and every one of us through our journeys to the best of their abilities and always were there for every single person. Pedro and Carolina are committed to this path, it is literally their lives. Everything they do is aligned and pointed in the direction of guiding others through their own healing. It wasn't an easy retreat for one single person during those 10 days. Carolina, Pedro and Juanita were definitely faced with many challenges that called them to step up into their full potential as guides, healers, facilitators, managers and friends. I believe they rose to this challenge every time. This is a truly SUPPORTIVE retreat, one of the few in Sacred Valley from my experience. Ayahuasca isn't for the faint-hearted and I will always send anyone who wishes to drink Tree of Light's way. Thank you Carolina and Pedro for your wonderful role in my journey. It was vital and perfect. See you both again soon xoxooxo
Jane Mayer June 07, 2018
Carolina, Pedro and Juana hold a beautiful, loving and honest space for their retreats, working with a very powerful tree that illuminates the darkest of our shadows. Together, the sounds of their icaros have supported me in addressing and starting the healing of some of the deepest wounds in my body, and their continual follow-up support is like no other center where I've dieted. Working with Noya Rao (or any tree) is much deeper and stronger than working with Ayahuasca alone, and the combination of indigenous tradition coupled with powerful Western integration provides a tightly held container for deep work. I recommend them to everyone I know, and trust them with my heart.
Yohanas June 07, 2018
I cannot rave enough about my powerful experiences with the Tree of Light Retreats. I have completed two life-changing retreats with them to date and was happy to travel all the way to Peru from my home in the U.S. Carolina and Pedro, who are the retreat facilitators, are the most loving, compassionate, effective healers I have ever come across -- and I have done a ton of this work. The space they create in the ceremonies through their experience with the medicine and facilitating ceremonies creates a super safe, protected environment where you feel comfortable delving deeply within yourself to do the transformative work that Ayahuasca allows for. The maestra/shaman I have worked with both retreats is Juana. Her intuition and understanding of what requires healing within participants was absolutely mind-blowing. I had some very intense traumas come up in a ceremony and went to her for a "massage" the next day. In the massages, she basically moves energy around in our bodies -- and she literally had me bawling my eyes out by moving the energy where I told her I felt the trauma during ceremony. More than just how effective Carolina and Pedro are, I have to express my most heartfelt gratitude for the sincere love and care that they exude in how they show up in the world and how kindly they treat every person on retreat. I'm not kidding when I say that my whole conception of what it means to be "loving" transformed from the example they set. They address all participants and everyone around them as "brother" and "sister" and show such patience and compassion in the way that they support you as deep issues inevitably arise during the retreat. They even have made themselves available multiple times for Skype conversations to provide guidance and support after retreats. I simply cannot speak highly enough about this center. If you find yourself ready for transformation and are willing to be courageous in truly looking deeply at yourself to heal and transform your life, I strongly encourage you to attend!
Pedro Tree of Light Retreats June 07, 2018
Hello all, This is Pedro and Carolina from Tree of Light Retreats. We feel it's important for us to write an official response to the review from Esther Rouah. It is extremely rare for us to come across such a difficult situation with any of our participants and it is very disheartening for us to read this review. We could go through point by point and defend ourselves, but we prefer to just say that we feel as though we have been unjustly accused of many false things and that she has strongly misquoted us and generally twisted our words in order to discredit us and paint our highly regarded work in the most negative and biased light possible. We would also like to state that her leaving the retreat early was a mutual decision and that we did in fact part ways on agreeable and amicable terms, at the time. This was clearly the best option when she had decided to no longer participate in our ceremonies, was entirely reluctant to receive any kind of care or guidance from us or our maestra, and was also having a very strong negative impact on other participants. The ONE person who was referred to as “going through hell, crying, banging on the floor” etc was going through a very big process which lead to a life changing transformation. The situation was handled with great care and attention from us and our maestra and the energy of the space was quickly contained. This person is forever grateful for the support he received and cannot speak highly enough of his experience with us. We are well and traditionally trained to handle situations like these if and when they arise, and all of this is done with the greatest honor and care for everyone's unique healing journey. This is real medicine work. Despite many lengthy email exchanges and an ongoing effort to open Esther's perception of her experiences and what we were witnessing, from the lens of our years of experience in facilitating this medicine work for hundreds of people, she still insisted on making this public. We stand 100% behind our work and our Maestra, and our integrity is of the utmost importance to us. It's a reality of working with Ayahuasca that if you are unable to recognize and take responsibility for your own shadows and healing it can be very easy to make projections onto those holding the space. This is an unfortunate and at times challenging aspect of our work, however we stand tall to these rare challenges because outside of them, our hearts remain completely full from the hundreds of people who have received deep and lasting healing through our work. We are currently asking more of our past participants to share their experiences with us, and we're sure this will give a much clearer picture of the work which we truly do. In the meantime we already have many inspiring healing stories which we encourage you to watch on our YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6E6pHokz8X4qs3c8hp4D-Q Sincerely in service to the healing of others, The team at Tree of Light Retreats
Marni Samuels June 07, 2018
I was blessed to diet NoyaRao with the Tree of Light Retreats family last year in Peru. I have been working with Ayahuasca and dieting regularly for the last 8 years, and this was by far the most transformative, loving, profound space that I have experienced. Some people say that the NoyaRao plant brings pure light into our Being, and this is true. But as it does so, that pure light can illuminate the shadows in very intense ways, and I definitely had some moments where I really needed help and energetic support to move through the places that I felt stuck in seemingly bottomless pits of my own darkness. Because of this, I was indescribably grateful to feel so deeply held and supported by Carolina and Pedro. Both Carolina and Pedro came and sang to me multiple times throughout the dieta, and every time I could feel not only their loving hearts, but also the depth of their ability as healers. They helped me in so many ways, and treated me as family. Juanita, the Shipibo curandera who led the dieta, is one of the most incredibly loving and powerful healers I have ever met. I had dieted with 4 different shamans over the years before meeting her, but none of them felt completely legitimate or in integrity to me. Juanita carries a power and a spiritual connection that is like nothing I have ever witnessed before, and I will most likely only diet with her in the future. I ended up going to the jungle to continue my dieta with Juanita for an additional 4 weeks, and I will never stop being grateful for the incredible healing that I received. Because I have spent so much time immersed in the world of Ayahuasca, I have people constantly ask me for retreat referrals in Peru. The truth is, because of the rampant lack of integrity I am very apprehensive about where I send people. But over and over again I send people to Carolina & Pedro and the Tree of Light Retreats, because I know that they create a container that is deeply in alignment, highly supportive, and full of love.
Esther Rouah April 01, 2018
There are many ways of working with Ayahuasca. Unfortunately, the way they work at the Tree of Light retreats wasn’t for me. Although I hesitated in writing this review, I feel it is important to share my opinion so people can make a more informed choice about where to do this profound and sacred work, and who they choose to work with. I chose this retreat because it is one of the rare places where you can diet Noya Rao, a beautiful tree which helps make visions clearer. On the second day of my retreat, I went for a massage with the Maestra Juana. I wanted to get to know her better as she played an important part in this retreat. So I paid 100 soles for a massage with her, and in the 15 min that followed I got to see something that really hurt me and completely put me off working with her. She examined me very quickly, she gave me no diagnosis, and the only thing she noticed about me was the gold pendant necklace I was wearing. She asked me to give it to her. I laughed and pretended not to understand. As I was getting dressed again, she went on to sell me a bottle of flower water for 300 soles (almost 100 American Dollars for 500ml) to “clean my body”. I left the room confused and feeling like I had been ripped off. She seemed to be more interested in my wallet than my health, which is not what I wanted from the great Bone Settler and Healer she was meant to be. When I reported what happened to Carolina and Pedro, they told me that this was the way Shipibos treat people and money and it was a "cultural thing". They put the blame on me saying this was mainly showing my own trust issues and and that I was only spreading negativity. Pedro later on even called me ignorant. It is true that I found it hard to trust her after that, and refused her help during ceremonies as she did not seem to have good intentions towards me. The ceremonies themselves were very dark as they only do "Shadow Work". I found the way that Juana, Carolina and Pedro, all singing over each other, created an unbearable cacophony. Their icaros, sang in a purposely hurtful way, do seem to bring out the worst traumas in people. As a result, the whole room turns into complete chaos, with participants going through hell, crying, banging on the floor, puking their guts out, all in the loudest way and for hours… In this theatre of horrors, I was not able to get into my process, constantly distracted by all the noise and dark energies flying around. The only time I managed to get into my process is when another participant, a more mature lady, was singing beautiful medicine songs, bringing calmness and light back into the ceremony. I have only participated in 17 ceremonies in my life, including other retreats of 14 days and 5 days. I know Ayahuasca can be very challenging, even in an environment where the space is held in a gentle and loving way. And a lot of work can still be achieved! I believe only love can heal pain, not more hurt or abuse. I found all the added pain and drama at the Tree of Light retreat unnecessary and very dangerous. When I voiced my concerns to Carolina and Pedro and said that I wish to work with Ayahuasca in a way of Love and Light, they told me I was unwilling to look at my shadows and do the work. Carolina decided to close my diet there and then, and the next morning I was asked to leave the retreat as my presence was seen as too “challenging”. They still haven’t refunded me properly for the days I was not allowed to attend as the retreat fee is non refundable. So all in all, I found the Tree of Light retreat a massive disappointment and a great waste of my time, money and energy. If like me you wish to work with Ayahuasca with more love and respect towards yourself and others, there are many places you can go to like the Ayahuasca Foundation, The Garden of Peace or the Spirit Quest Sanctuary. This interview with Maestro Don Howard explains very well the way I would prefer to work with this Great Spirit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzYJnDrA35c&t=7s&list=LL3xZRoMIoC7vsSRAlzSsDWg&index=38
Steve Joyce August 03, 2017
I have never written about my experience of a ceremony before. However I felt forced by an intelligence, other than my own (you probably know what I mean). In the 'Tree of Light' ceremony I sat in a few days ago I encountered a very unusual energy. As Junita sang her Icaros I felt as if we're being gently educated in a new 'grammar' for love and healing. I could not understand a single word of what Junita was singing. Yet it was as if I was being gracefully, lovingly invited into the shade of an ancient tree where light and dark danced in ancient wisdom together. All the most profound human experiences are unwordable. For me this experience reminded me of the butterfly-collectors dilemma. Immediately upon pinning the butterfly to the cork board the most important aspect was lost. Wittgenstein said "when you name me, you negate me" - so I shall resist the urge to use clumsy pins, and scruffy cork to collect this experience for you. Only to say that - I saw a magnificent 'creature', created from light and dark, in the jungle of my own experience. If destiny is kind I may yet glimpse it again before this physical form evaporates. Love and gratitude for the exceptional support and professional care guys :)
Adam Stone January 19, 2016
It has been such a beautiful journey watching the amazing transformations that take place in these retreats. I have been blessed to sit through a few, and have seen powerful things unfold. Working in this shipibo lineage allows a different kind of remembering to take place. A memory from our not too distant past, when our ancestors would walk in balance with the earth and sky. A reharmonizing happening inside these ceremonies. The Maloka the womb of the Great mother, birthing something new and sacred every other night. Coming back to the beating heart. The ancient song that lives inside of us. The light that is hiding deep inside of us waiting for its chance to shine so bright ...