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
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.
Tree of Light Retreats create an environment where you are able to dig deep into the inner realm of who you are in safety. There is a bond that you forge with the other women that helps you all grow as well as effect the change we need for women around the world. I could not be be happier or more humbled that my spirit was guided to Carolina and Gigi. They do everything with care love and integrity. I was only interested in working with Aya in the most scared and respectful way. That is what they provide. They not only support your growth, they also allow you to feel the power and tradition of the beautiful Shipibo healers they work with. I was able to access deep parts of myself that needed healing. I am forever changed and can feel my continued process here at home. I felt brave and strong standing in my power as I unlocked hidden pain and trauma that needed resolving. I look forward to working with these wonderful women again in the future. My experience was deeply moving, hard and real. With Carolina and Gigi you feel the support to step into your greatest fear knowing you are safe and held in divine light.
I was fortunate enough to attend the 11 day women’s retreat in August 2017. The medicine had been calling to me a few years beforehand. I spent a lot of time researching the medicine experience and all of the retreats there is to offer in Peru and ultimately, I chose Tree of Light Retreats. What lead me to make such a challenging life changing decision was that I have lived with chronic pain my entire life. I experienced muscle spasms, temporary paralysis, migraines and nerve and muscle pain in my neck since I was about 9 years old. I’ve taken narcotics to treat my condition for as long as I can remember. I’ve spent thousands on chiropractors, massages, naturopathic and general practitioner and have had 2 major surgeries without any long lasting relief. Not only was I searching for physical healing but I had experienced some major traumas as a child emotionally. I witnessed my alcoholic father violently attack my mother on a daily basis starting when I was 5 years old. I was the oldest of 3 siblings so I felt I had to grow up very fast in order to protect my younger sister and brother from witnessing the violence. As a teenager I was very promiscuous and rebellious. I had major problems with authority since in my mind I as an adult already and was being treated as such at home. This emotional pain would surface a lot in my adult life which hindered me from having healthy relationships with men.
With that said, my time spent at the Tree of Light Retreat was the most rewarding gift I could give myself. As much as it was a gift it was the most challenging work I’ll ever do on a soul level. I was shown that Mother Auyuascha is the reason anyone is called to it. It’s not really your choice, it’s hers. She knows what you need, what you can endure and when you need it. My experience was purely physical as after each drink she coursed through my being removing my traumas, shadows and blockages. I actually felt them being ripped out of my body and could cognitively recognize what was being removed that took my breath away at times. However, the facilitators, Carolina and Gigi, were always there to guide and nurture me. I will hold these women in my heart for the rest of my life.
Out of the 5 ceremonies the first two were the hardest on that physical level but I also received the strongest epiphanies as well. The medicine immersed my soul with the feeling of love I can only describe as what people report feeling when they have a near death experience and meet God. The feeling of love in the depth of your soul is indescribable. She allowed me to experience that depth of love I have for each of my family members. She also showed me that I would feel that love for a man in my future. After the 3rd ceremony, I felt no pain in my neck and as I write this testimonial one month later, 80% of my pain has left my body. It’s truly been a miracle to me.
I strongly recommend Tree of Light Retreats and also I almost forgot to mention the massages from Maestra Juana! Her massages are more than physical healing, she sees the root of your ailments on a spiritual level. I always felt very light in my body after she was finished. In addition, the bonds I formed there with the other women will stay with me forever even if I don’t ever see them again. I will connected to them in spirit. Carolina, Gigi, Pedro and Maestra Juana are the most genuinely caring souls. I am sincerely grateful to having met them and have them be a part of my healing journey with Ayahuasca.
I first met Carolina when I attended a month-long ayahuasca retreat in August 2013 and I will be forever grateful for our having crossed paths because 2.5 years later she still lights up my life! Although I was confident in my decision to begin my work with ayahuasca, I was filled with insecurities and doubts about my own strength and abilities to face what was coming up, which Carolina quickly eased with her genuine, caring, and nurturing nature. I ended up staying at the retreat center where she worked for 6 months, and her presence during that time was key to me receiving the deep levels of healing that I did. Her ability to see deep beyond people's stories and egos along with her knowledge of how plant medicines work plus her endless compassion creates a safe space for us to explore ourselves with this sacred plant medicine in a way that is desperately needed by many of us coming from the western world. In October 2015 I visited Carolina again at her new center, Tree of Light Retreats, and was delighted to find that her stepping out on her own has allowed her gifts to flourish in a beautiful, heart opening way. When I come across people who are looking for a skilled guide to help them navigate their way through the sometimes confusing waters of medicine work, I always recommend them to the lovely Carolina. Thank you, sister, for all you do and for all you have given me. Thank you for seeing the best in all of us and helping us learn to do the same. I love you!