St. Placid Priory is a women’s Benedictine monastic community. We come from diverse backgrounds and have pursued many different careers. We are down-to-earth. We follow the Rule of St. Benedict, pray together and extend our Benedictine presence to the local community in the Olympia, Washington area.
We are healthy risk-takers, willing to follow the call of the Holy Spirit–even when the invitation seems unsure. We are a community with some structure and much freedom. We strive to allow the Rule of Benedict and the prophetic call to influence our lives. We are optimistic about our future and are taking concrete steps to prepare for our monastic future in the next century. We seek to cultivate a gentle spirit, bringing a non-violent stance to our conversation, interactions and ministry.
Most people have never heard of St. Placid. He is one of the Church’s early, although little known saints. We read in the Dialogues of Gregory the Great:
Once while blessed Benedict was in his room, one of his monks, the boy Placid, went down to get some water. In letting the bucket fill too rapidly, he lost his balance and was pulled into the lake, where the current quickly seized him and carried him about a stone’s throw from the shore.
Though inside the monastery at the time, the man of God was instantly aware of what had happened and called out to Maurus: “Hurry, Brother Maurus! The boy who just went down for water has fallen into the lake, and the current is carrying him away.”
Maurus asked for the blessing and on receiving it hurried out to fulfill his abbot’s command. He kept on running even over the water till he reached the place where Placid was drifting along helplessly. Pulling him up by the hair, Maurus rushed back to shore, still under the impression that he was on dry land. It was only when he set foot on the ground that he came to himself and looking back, realized that he had been running on the surface of the water. Overcome with fear and amazement at a deed he would never have thought possible, he returned to his abbot and told him what had taken place.
The holy man would not take any personal credit for the deed but attributed it to the obedience of his disciple. Maurus, on the contrary, claimed that it was due entirely to his abbot’s command. He could not have been responsible for the miracle himself, he said, since he had not even known he was performing it. While they were carrying on this friendly contest of humility, the question was settled by the boy who had been rescued. “When I was being drawn out of the water,” he told them, “I saw the abbot’s cloak over my head; he is the one I thought was bringing me to shore.”
Our community identifies well with our patron saint. Our lives have been with the anawim, those who know they are entirely dependent upon God. We know ourselves to be the anawim. There have been many times that we have felt overwhelmed with difficulties yet God pulled us through, providing for us in wonderfully miraculous ways. Yet through times of challenge and of the miraculous, we began anew to live the ordinary faithfully. We remain unswerving in our monastic observance and to God’s call in our lives.
My stay at the Spirituality Center was grounding, peaceful, and rejuvenating. The agreement to unplug from technology and dive into a monastic lifestyle led me to be present. The nature trails are divine from the lush trees to the quiet calls of the birds. Sharing a meal with the community was welcoming and nurturing. I greatly enjoyed my time.
Welcome to Rainforest Healing Center! We are an Ayahuasca and Master Plant diet retreat center, specializing in the individualized care and small group retreats, located in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon.
What Makes Our Center Different — Personalized Healing Programs
At Rainforest Healing Center, we offer the opportunity to transform your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual lives through healing. A crucial part of healing lies in the facilitation process.
While our shamans guide the energies of the ceremonies, purify your physical and energetic bodies, expand your consciousness and guide your spiritual growth, our facilitators work to guide and support you throughout this transformative process. During your stay with us, our experienced and qualified facilitators function as bridges between you, the shamans and the plants to guide and support you in your journey of transformative healing. Our services are tailored to your individual needs and personalized to the types of healing you are seeking. Our facilitators and shamans will work with you through one-on-one sessions to best meet your personal needs.
On your first day, our facilitators will have a one-on-one session with you about what you came to heal. You will then sit down with our shamans who will prescribe additional remedies such as floral baths, plant baths, and remedial massages to prepare you for a ceremony, correct physical misalignments as well as align your energies.
On ceremony days, you will have one-on-one intention setting sessions with our facilitators to help you focus your intention. Our Facilitators are trained to guide and challenge you to seek the innermost truths of your being and to uncover the layers of familial, cultural and societal conditioning to access the deepest core of your being.
On the days after ceremonies, the facilitators will have one-on-one processing sessions with you to help you make sense of the powerful physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and visual experiences you have had during your ayahuasca experience, to make connections and to relate what the medicine has shown you to the healing you are undertaking.
We pride ourselves on the amount of time, energy and care we devote to each guest to that we can successfully fill our mission of healing our planet, one cosmic brother and sister at a time.
This rainforest backdrop breathes life and healing energy into every soul who enters this sacred space. One can receive healing benefits just from being in this part of the rainforest as it is home to over 110+ documented species of healing medicinal plants. Along our varied paths, guests are immersed in a tropical Eden where they can witness several colonies of sparkling butterflies, chattering monkeys, curious sloths, and other jungle animals. The hum and vibration of the forest are felt throughout the space, welcoming you to slow down and relax into nature’s incredible beauty and grace.
The property has a stream or ‘quebrada’ as known in Spanish, that has potent healing powers as well. Rain trickles down from the upper canopy of the forest, passing through many more layers of dense jungle growth, collecting its healing properties from all the medicinal plants as it reaches the vegetation and roots below. Forest soils filter this almost daily rainfall into the crisp and clean ‘quebrada’ that meanders through the center. Our guests bathe in this healing flow and receive love from each plant that the rain has touched when they enjoy their bucket showers.
Since we are a small private boutique medicinal plant healing retreat center, we’ve designed the property to create an optimal environment for self-reflection, introspection, growth, healing, and awakening on a very deep level. Each of our Tambos (jungle bungalows) were handcrafted, built, and located with love to provide a quiet yet cozy place for guests to relax and ‘tap back into’ their true essence (nature). The jungle radiates through these beautiful Tambos, and creates a unique and unforgettable experience.
We deeply honor our connection with the land that we call home and therefore utilize renewable resources whenever possible. We run completely on solar, compost, and love, far away from the distractions of Western culture and technology. We do our best to farm as much vegetation and protein as we possibly can directly from the land and include them in our ‘dietas’ (ceremonial diets for purification and healing). Each Tambo includes solar power, very comfortable bedding, a showering area, and a compostable restroom to cycle nutrients back into the farm.
Through our retreats, we guide guests in aiding their own healing process with one-on-one individualized care. By cleansing and detoxifying the physical body, releasing emotional blockages and toxins, the Ayahuasca and Master Plants of the rainforest help the individual achieve deep realizations and higher states of consciousness. This process can sometimes be challenging, so our experienced shaman and facilitators have the deepest compassion, patience, and love to support our guests while healing. We understand that in healing oneself we are also healing, raising the vibration of, and reuniting humankind. So, we are eternally grateful to you for doing your part of the work!
“There is no EPIDURAL for SPIRITUAL BIRTH.” – Linda V. (Australia)
Our vision for Rainforest Healing Center is guided by our intention to help others access the healing and tremendous gifts that each of us here at Rainforest Healing Center have received through our work with Ayahuasca and the Master Plants of the jungle. Our goal is a simple one: we want to honor those gifts by making these medicines available, in a safe and intimate way, to others. What sets us apart from other centers is the private and boutique approach we have taken. We screen applicants carefully and only allow up to 10 guests per retreat. We provide private (single or shared) occupancy Tambos to allow guests to receive an intimate yet comfortable stay whether they are on an Ayahuasca retreat or Master Plant Isolation Diet.
The Rainforest Healing Center is based on a parcel of land (160 acres / 65 hectares) of pristine, virgin Amazonian rainforest on Kilometer 45.5 of the Iquitos/Nauta Carretera (highway).
This rainforest backdrop breathes life and healing energy into every soul who enters this sacred space. One can receive healing benefits just from being in this part of the rainforest as it is saturated with over 110 documented species of healing medicinal plants including the Mother Vine herself.
Along our varied paths, guests are immersed in a tropical Eden where they can witness numerous varieties of sparkling butterflies including our resident colony of Blue Morphos, chattering monkeys, curious sloths, and various other jungle life. The hum and vibration of the forest is felt throughout the space, welcoming you back to nature’s incredible beauty and grace.
Throughout the property runs a stream (called a ‘quebrada’ in Spanish) that also boasts potent healing powers. Rain trickles down from the upper canopy of the forest, passing through many more layers of dense jungle growth, collecting its healing properties from all the medicinal plants on its way to the vegetation and roots below. Forest soils filter this frequent rainfall into the crisp and clean ‘quebrada’ that meanders through the center. Our guests bathe in this healing flow and receive love from each plant that the rain has touched on its journey to the stream.
As a small and intimate healing center, we’ve designed the property to create the optimal environment for self-reflection, introspection, growth, healing, and deep awakening. We deeply honor our connection with Mother Earth and therefore utilize renewable resources whenever possible. We are powered almost entirely by solar energy, compost, and Love, far away from the distractions of Western culture and technology.
Ayahuasca ceremonies will be held in the Maloca (ceremonial hut), which was constructed by a master carpenter and architect from Pucallpa and is a powerful and beautiful space.
Guests will enjoy three healthy and balanced meals a day. On ceremony days, guests participating in the ceremony will have breakfast and lunch, but no dinner. This restriction helps ensure that your stomach is empty by the time ceremony participants drink the Medicine. This allows your body to absorb the Medicine fully and efficiently, and also reduce the amount of materials thrown up if your purging includes vomiting.
Master Plant Isolation Diets will be on a stricter, blander meal schedule that is prepared and brought to your Tambo to reduce interactions with other people.
We DO NOT serve pork, salt, coffee, or sugar. We strive to feed everyone according to their needs and we don’t want anyone hungry or frustrated. We do request that you adhere to this diet; it greatly improves Ayahuasca’s ability to work effectively and efficiently during ceremony.
Your retreat investment covers room and board. We’ve built seven Tambos (mosquito-screened, palm frond or corrugated metal roof huts) on the property. Five of the Tambos sleep two people, with the other two sleeping three. Tambos are furnished with writing desks for reflection and hammocks for relaxing when space allows.
Each of our Tambos is hand-crafted with love in carefully selected locations to provide a quiet and cozy place for guests to relax and reconnect with themselves and nature. The jungle radiates through these beautiful Tambos, and creates a unique and unforgettable experience. Each Tambo offers solar power for lighting, its own bathing area, and compostable toilets to cycle nutrients back into the land.
While they are rustic, we’ve designed them to be very comfortable and enjoyable. It’s important to understand that you will be sleeping in the jungle and life’s wild hums and vibrations will be ever-present. In time, you’ll find the jungle sounds to be a living white noise machine that will help you fall asleep.
Shamanic Vida is a small retreat center focused on individual healing process in groups of no more than 6 participants at a time. We are located in the famous Sacred Valley of the Incas in a remote Andean village. We offer 4, 6 and 11 Day Retreats, all with the option to extend your stay for more time resting or deeper cleansing. The retreat healings include Ayahuasca, Yopo, San Pedro, Kambo and Temazcal.
Our purpose is to create a ripple effect in the consciousness of humanity through work with sacred plant medicines of Peru and healing techniques we have chosen, through our own positive experiences, and believe compliment the process of plant medicines. We are here to help bring about a new earth, but first we must help heal the traumas of the past.
We first must begin healing the individual, but in a gentle process. Each participants process is considered on an individual basis and what the shaman and healers feel would be best suited to the healing they would like to accomplish. There is space to explore deeper and daily consultations with the shaman after ceremony to begin to understand the messages of the plant medicine and have a focus for the next ceremony.
The longer the retreat, the deeper the healing. All of our programs are intensive, however there is space to take your time in the healing process through extending your retreat or opting to take less or no medicine. We guide participants only to where they feel comfortable or ready for. The ceremonies are practiced in a sacred context with Icaros (medicine songs) and sacred instruments. Each ceremony has assistants to help care for each person and anything they need.
Our respect and love for the Pachamama or Mother Earth knows no bounds. At the center we are reducing, reusing and recycling all that we can. We ask you to be conscious of your footprint and when you come to Peru, to leave no trace. Plastics and packaging are problem here and we do not have the infrastructure to consolidate and recycle these types of products. For this reason we have bought and use the best water filters available here in Peru and ask you bring a reusable water bottle.
While we are working on building our center in the jungle, to grow ayahuasca, bananas, cacao and other sacred medicinal plants, for the moment we are continuing to practice in the Andes, as we always have and will. Many people are drawn to the jungle for her source of ayahuasca vine, however others want to experience the kind and friendly faces of the Andes and the sacred surroundings. It is called the Sacred Valley because it is sacred, the plants and crops here grow freely to give us all that we need in abundance. Where else is there are fruit trees, Incan corn and cactus all growing in the same area?
During your time at the retreat you will have everything you need for a comfortable stay with all modern necessities. We provide everything, you need only to bring yourself and a few pairs of warmer clothes. In the Andes, we can experience all four seasons in one day, but tend to have cold nights and warm days. There are Incan ruins above the center and plenty of hiking trails around, so comfortable clothes and good shoes are a must.
With our hearts we are bringing every person into the healing power of the sacred medicinal plants of Peru through ceremony.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – Buddha
Who we are and what we do
We are a team of kind and knowledgeable Peruvian shamans and holistic therapists practicing with the aid of plant medicines and energy healing. Ayahuasca healing involves a complete liberation of our hearts and minds. Once this happens it gives participants the ability to connect within themselves, helping them to be honest, respectful, humble and determined in their paths.
Our practice is traditional shamanic medicine, incorporated with meditation techniques. The retreats are focused in guiding participants to understand how to heal themselves by implementing positive practices and understanding themselves and their place in the universe. These methods we practice are lifelong aids in improving attitude, creating positive feelings, leaving behind bad habits, bettering eating habits, greatly improving physical, spiritual and emotional health.
Everyone who works with us at Shamanic Vida is dedicated, passionate and gracious for their life path in shamanism and guiding others. We believe everyone can have a fulfilling life and learn the power of healing through ayahuasca ceremonies. The work we do is personal and for this reason we keep our groups small. We look forward to your joining us and taking the first step into your new life journey.
P’aqo Soto : Shaman, Healer, Ayahuascero, Maestro
Begining his journey into plant medicines early on in life, ten years ago he began treating people with ayahuasca, as part of his family tradition. To compliment his studies he became a certified holistic therapist, with certifications in traditional Chinese medicine, meditation, herbal medicine, chiropractic and continues to study. His iniciation in Yoga and Eastern Vedic Philosophy was at Vaishnava Ashram outside of Lima, Peru. The training he recieved here complemented knowledge of different master Ayahuasqueros, Onayas, Herbal shamans of the Amazon jungle of Peru Shipibos and Ashaninka. With training alongside various maestros he has come to share the beauty of the sacred medicines and techniques he learned. He is also the master for all San Pedro or Huachuma ceremonies and has deep routed experience working with Q’eros from Andes.
He is a kind spirited and thoughtful shaman. In ceremonies his icaros are accompanied with guitar, flutes, tibetan bowls and other traditional instruments as well. He hopes to bring higher conciousness to the world and show others how to practice the teachings of ayahuasca in their everyday lives.
Finding herself in South America, not just physically, but spiritually she has come to help others along the same path. She is a lifetime learner, who is now sharing her Usui Reiki knowledge at the retreats by attuning participants to Level 1. An essential person in the communication between the Shamans, assistants and participants she deeply understands the process of healing through Ayahuasca, San pedro, Reiki, Kambo and Yopo. After her own healing journeys and role as an assistant in ceremonies for many years, she felt called to learn more about plant conciousness and energy healing. Her knowledge continues to grow and she hopes to bring more people on this sacred journey to understanding the life force of the universe and our places within it.
Anything you may need to know about traveling through South America, she is highly knowledgeable. She knows Peruvian traditions and healing well. If you need anyone to explain, what is what and why they are using this or that, she knows. When she is not at the centre she spends time with her Peruvian dog Mini, practicing Reiki, painting and continuing to expand her knowledge in energy healing.
Efrein Zegarra : Shaman, Vegetalista, Farmer, Father
A half ashaninka and half shipibo, he is a suprising mix of amazonian tribes. He became a shaman early on in life at 13 years old, learning from his shipibo onaya shaman uncle. In his late teens he took a sabatical from shamanism to try and live a more modern life, but soon found his place was in the jungle. Once he moved back, he settled in with his wife and they have 5 lovely children. He believes it is important to know yourself and that this is one thing many people who live in cities tend to loose overtime. This has made it easier for him to understand and help heal participants by connecting them with themselves.
Efrein is a simple yet powerful man in his healing abilities. The plants he works with are plants he grew from seed. He continues to plant ayahuasca as well as many other medicinal plants on his chacra. These plants are then used in ceremony, for dieting or made into tinctures, none are ever wasted.
Everyone assisting during the ceremony has had long term experience with the medicine or another medical field. We look for people who are energetic, open minded, humble and hospitable. The people we work with are here to help bring forth positive change in the world and every situation they may encounter.