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SHIPIBO MEDITATION RITUALS

The ancient Shipibo Merayas used different types of meditation rituals to connect to the world of spirits and dive deep in the magical universe of sacred plant medicines. Depending on the condition of each patient, they would practice a specific type of meditation, such as the Meraya meditation, the meditation for the liberation of the mind, the regression meditation, etc. At Yosi Ocha we preserve these authentic practices and teach our visitors different techniques, depending on their needs and aspirations.

During an Ayahuasca retreat, it is common for the participants to experience mood swings that can range from happiness and bliss to sadness and even anger. Keep in mind that during each ceremony the Maestro performs spiritual surgeries, assisted by the spirits of the Medicine. During this process, he powerfully stirs up different layers of the physical, energetic, emotional and spiritual body. In order to navigate smoothly through this healing and transformational process, it is recommended to spend some time meditating each day. It is not necessary to be familiar with any specific meditation technique, just sit comfortably and relax; focus on your sensory perceptions, feel your inner body, smell the aroma of the air, feel the outside temperature on your skin, listen to the sounds of the rainforest; observe the thoughts that come to your mind, but don’t allow them to carry you away, just watch them come and go; enjoy the stillness and be present, as the present moment is all there ever is.

After an Ayahuasca retreat, it is very important to keep meditating at home. The meditation practice will help you greatly in integrating the process that has been initiated during the retreat. It will allow you to consolidate and reinforce the energies that you have received from the Medicine. You can follow the same guidelines we mentioned earlier, but there is also a specific meditation for those who wish to strengthen the connection with their Arcana – please see below.

THE ARCANA MEDITATION

In shamanic terms, the word arcana’ means spiritual protection or defense and is considered to be an actual spirit being. Generally, in the course of an Ayahuasca ceremony (it may also be done during a San Pedro ceremony), the shaman will confer a spiritual protector, or arcana, to each participant. The arcana may appear in the form of an animal, a plant, or an object from different dimensions. The criteria by which the medicine chooses one or another arcana is not known, the choice of the arcana is dictated by the spirits and channeled by the shaman. During this ceremony, the shaman will create an energy field around the patient and many arcanas will gather and walk around him in a circle; but only one will cross this line and approach the patient, thus becoming his arcana. Once the spirit of the arcana has been united with the spirit of the patient, it allows his spiritual transformation and reinforces his protection.

Therefore, it is recommended to practice this meditation after the retreat to strengthen the energy of your arcana and develop your connection with it.

Before the meditation, drink 2 glasses of water. To prepare the space, light four candles and put one in front of you, one behind, and one on each side. Rub the palms of your hands with Agua de Florida or any other cologne.

Begin by “pulling out” the energy from the left palm with your right hand (as shown during the retreat), a minimum of three times. Then repeat the same procedure with the right hand.

Slowly start joining (without touching) and separating both hands, as shown in the picture. Then, place your palms on the abdomen, keep your back straight, close your eyes, and take 99 deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling through the nose – one breath per second. When you finish, put your hands together and blow through them 3 times making the familiar sound you learned from Maestro Heberto during your retreat.

Maestro Heberto performing the ritual of the Arcana meditation at the Yosi Ocha Ayahuasca retreat center in Iquitos, Peru.

With your eyes closed, once again start joining (without touching) and separating your hands slowly, trying to feel the energy building up between the palms of your hands. Then hold them separately and focus on visualizing points of light between both palms. After a while, put your hands on your knees with your palms up. Then, focus on visualizing your Arcana in a point of light – at first, you may not see it, but it is important to know that it is there. When you start “seeing” the Arcana, keep in mind that it can appear in the form of different animals.

Once you master this visualization, the next step is to try moving the image of the Arcana up and down, left and right, without moving your eyes or head. Finally, the last step is to establish communication with your Arcana.