Amazonian Plant Dietas at Mexa Nete (Beautiful World) Dieta Center
WHAT IS A PLANT DIETA AND HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM AYAHUASCA CEREMONIES?
Ayahuasca is often referred to as the door that opens one to the world of plants. Ayahuasca in its power, can open this door for someone in one ceremony. Yet opening this door, is simply the beginning of what can be a much larger process of establishing relation with powerful plant spirit teachers. Dietas refer to the process of undergoing a strict behavioral and dietary regime to safely connect to the realm of master plant teachers, and can vary in length from several weeks to several years depending on the specific motivations of the dieter. Reasons for dieting can vary from coming to heal from various maladies such as asthma, PTSD or cancer to dieting to learn how to find direction in life, or to follow the path of traditional healing.
HOW DID THIS TRADITION COME ABOUT?
The practice of dieting has been a strong part of the Shipibo medicine for generations and is a lengthy and lifelong requirement for the Shipibo onanya. Traditionally, dieting was undertaken to learn how to build, create hunting tools, speak with ancestors, perform divination and to heal. Diets were even prescribed to animals to become better hunters. Over generations, people discovered that by going into isolation and concentrating on one specific plant teacher they were taught directly by the spirits via dreams, daytime visions or during ayahuasca ceremony.
In modern times this tradition is becoming less prevalent in the Shipibo communities due to the flourishing of Christianity, which views these practices as taboo. More and more, it is difficult to keep this ancestral wisdom alive. For us it is an honor and a privilege to be welcomed into such a deep and powerful tradition and the bring others to share in it.
WHAT SHOULD I BE AWARE OF WHEN DECIDING TO PARTAKE IN DIETA?
There are many centers being created in the Amazon, catering to western tourism and it is important to be informed as to how to safely choose a teacher to work with. The word “dieta'“ is a small word, but the reality is vast and with it comes great responsibility the more one continues to diet.
These plant teachers vary from small, more gentle plants to trees of great power. Therefore it is important that the maestro or maestra be qualified to assess the readiness of the dieter to receive different types of lessons. The master plants have the capacity to open a person’s mind in powerful ways, and sometimes the annihilation of old paradigms in a short period can cause much distress for the dieter that must return to regular life.
For a more positive, effective and safe experience, a good teacher will demand patience and humility from the dieter. In that, requiring them to start with smaller cleaning plants (which still cause massive shifts) before embarking upon dietas with large trees. This approach will provide the dieter with a solid foundation to build upon, cleaning out propensities toward lower egoic behaviors. Thus if they choose to continue with more powerful master teachers, they are less likely to harm themselves or others by not being able to control their mind or emotions adequately.
THE DIETA EXPERIENCE
The Amazon is truly the greatest pharmacy on the planet and is able to address many maladies of the ancient and modern man. Upon arriving, each person will undergo a consultation with the healing team and decide which plant(s) will best address their needs based on a thorough physical and psychological assessment. ,
Once the dieta plant has been chosen a series of vapor baths with strong cleansing plants will commence, as well as a vomitivo, which involves drinking a large volume of plant infused water to release heavy emotions from the stomach via vomiting.
The patient will drink their plants and then undergo a period of fasting which is typically 3-7 days. Once eating commences, the diet is very strict to create a yin environment in the body that encourages connection with subtle plant spirit energies. Diet food will consist of rice, plantain, lentils, fish, chicken and oatmeal. Salt, sugar, fruit are all avoided, especially for the first two weeks. Guests will notice that sensitivity increases with each passing day. It is difficult to adjust for special dietary conditions as we are in the very deep jungle and eat what is available locally.
Most days are spent in contemplation, with minimal interaction to encourage a deeper listening to the dieta plants. Ayahuasca ceremonies are provided four times during the month, two in the middle and two at the end to close. Guests will have a chance to participate in brewing ayahuasca during the dieta.
MEXA NETE (BEAUTIFUL WORLD)
The Mexa Nete center is owned and operated by the family of our Maestro Soi. His brother Wilson, is also the president of their community, Nueva Betania. This community is located a 1.5 hour ride by fast boat, upriver from Pucallpa. Mexa Nete is another one hour walk from Betania. So all guests must be fit enough to walk the hour if the water canal is not full enough to arrive by boat.
The center has been newly established as a way to bring employment and opportunity back to the community, which has seen a lot of its members have to travel beyond Pucallpa to find work. The family is also in the process of establishing a large medicinal garden and propagating both ayahuasca and chacruna plantations for sustainable use on the property.
Each tambo (sleeping hut) has a beautiful panoramic view of lake, full of many incredible birds. Each hut has a place for a sleeping mat with mosquito net, and a hammock. Two people share a tambo and a divider wall is in the middle for privacy when resting.
START TO FINISH DIETA FACILITATION
We understand that the dieta process can be a daunting undertaking, and both Felix and Safah will be there to support you the whole way. We arrange a meeting in Pucallpa the day prior to entering and will make sure all necessary supplies have been purchased for the dieta. These could include rubber boots, mapachos, mosquito nets, etc., which can be purchased in town for minimal cost.
We meet the following morning to load and board the boat to Betania which costs around 20 soles or $6 each way. Upon arrival to the community we will eat lunch and then walk or boat to the center depending on the weather. Felix and Safah will be available to translate concerns to the staff and healers at all times, as we will be living on site with the group. We will be present in all ceremonies as well.
On the final day we will accompany the group back to Pucallpa and make sure you get to your hotel safely.
DATES FOR 2019
We will be bringing two groups for the following dates:
June 1-28th - Enrollment is full (wait list only)
November 1-28th - Space available
All guests will be expected to arrive in Pucallpa by the 31st of the previous month to review supplies and finalize payment.
GETTING TO MEXA NETE
From Lima, book a flight to Pucallpa.
it is best to book a hotel in the proximity of the Plaza de Armas (the green square) which has a lot of restaurants and services. The departure point to Nueva Betania is marked with a blue flag in the bottom right. We will usually meet near the plaza the day before and head to the shopping mall located on the map to finalize supplies.
From Pucallpa we travel down the Ucalyali river to the community. The label for the community is slightly misleading as it is located directly on the water.
As of now the community has very infrequent cellular service. We will provide guests with an emergency number for family before arriving to Pucallpa.
INVESTMENT FOR DIETA
The investment for a one month dieta with full facilitation support is $1,500 USD. As spaces are limited we require all guests to reserve their space with a $300 non-refundable deposit. Deposits will be requested via paypal. We ask guests to bring the remaining payment in US dollars upon arrival in Pucallpa. Payment will be collected on the 31st, prior to entering. It is best to bring the money with you from home as many Peruvian bank machines are still not compatible with western debit cards and only distribute smaller amounts at one time.
For more information or to register please visit the contact us section and send a request.