If you’re considering attending an ayahuasca retreat, you’ve probably done your research. You’ve looked up the origin of ayahuasca, what to expect from an ayahuasca ceremony, and how to prepare for your ayahuasca retreat. You’ve learned that ayahuasca can help individuals to overcome mental illness, substance abuse, and even cancer.
In your mind, the promise of an ayahuasca retreat is like a beacon of light and hope.
And then you remember that you have to tell your parents.
Talking To Family About Ayahuasca
While you might be in a situation where you are making this decision entirely independently, most of us have some people to whom we’re accountable — people who love us, care about us, and, of course, worry about us.
If you have close relationships with roommates, family, and friends, it can be impossible to leave for a few days on an ayahuasca retreat and keep the secret. If anything, keeping a secret like this is counterproductive to positive preparation for an ayahuasca retreat. After all, you should try to be as mindful, balanced, and healthy as possible before embarking on the life-changing journey of ayahuasca.
For these reasons, we do recommend telling the truth. Still, that doesn’t make it any easier to try to speak to parents about ayahuasca — they might barely grasp the concept of a “gif” or “meme” and now you’re introducing an ancient amazonian plant into the fold.
Check out these tips from our spiritual retreat center in Orlando for assistance with this conversation.
1. Speak Openly About Whatever You’ve Experienced
There’s a reason you’re being called to ayahuasca. Whether it’s mental illness, anger issues, or substance abuse, there’s something you’re battling and there’s clarity and freedom you seek.
The most important thing you can do when you first broach the subject of ayahuasca is be open and vulnerable about your experiences. Even if your parents have been right by your side during your lowest moments, there’s still power in speaking aloud about your struggles. It can remind your family of what you’ve been through and how much you’ve already experienced on your journey.
You might not seek ayahuasca as a natural treatment for any condition — you might just want to catalyze a spiritual awakening. That’s fine, too. You should still talk to your support network to provide context for this desire.
Your loved ones are much more likely to grasp the power and purpose of ayahuasca if they know what has led you to seek treatment in the first place.
2. Come Armed With Research
The more intelligently you can speak about ayahuasca, the more likely your loved ones are to support your decision.
Ayahuasca, quite literally, is a foreign concept. It’s up to you to break down this Amazonian term into fact-based concepts your family can understand.
Start by providing an overview of what ayahuasca is: a traditional plant-based medicine. You can frame it in the context of other plant-based and homeopathic medicines which are becoming increasingly trendy and mainstream.
Recommended Ayahuasca Research
Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth also has a host of helpful ayahuasca guides, so be sure to peruse our resources. We recommend our ayahuasca retreat page and our “Learn all about Ayahuasca by Kahpi” resource.
For additional reading, consider Sacred Knowledge by William A. Richards. Published by Columbia University Press, this well-established source might provide the legitimacy your more skeptical family and friends need. Richards, a clinical psychologist at Johns Hopkins, documents the effect of ayahuasca on human consciousness and revelatory religious experiences.
Sacred Knowledge finds that psychedelics, such as ayahuasca, when used responsibly and legally, can indeed mitigate suffering and bolster a better quality of life.
You know your family and friends best. Think diligently about the types of information to which they’ll respond. Your mom might not want to hear about purging and the physical experience of ayahuasca, or she might need that information to fully comprehend the experience.
3. Talk About Your Plan
Once you’ve provided an informative overview of ayahuasca, its proven positive effects, and its scientific underpinnings, it’s time to switch back to the personal.
Tell your family and friends how you have been or expect to prepare for your ayahuasca retreat. This will show them how seriously you’re taking it. For an outline of where to start, check out our how to prepare for your ayahuasca retreat article.
You can begin a meditation and mindfulness practice, commit to eating health, keep a dream journal, and dedicate yourself to fitness. In general, being prepared for ayahuasca means living a positive life. This is something that everyone, even your harshest critics, can understand to be beneficial.
You should also provide your family information about the ayahuasca retreat center you have chosen, including pictures, pricing information, facilities, dates, etc. When they can picture a place and nail down facts about it, they’re more likely to have their worries alleviated.
4. Anticipate Counterpoints and Misconceptions
After you’ve been honest about your struggles, provided intellectual information about ayahuasca, and given an outline of your plan, it’s time to get ready for the push-back.
Chances are that your family and friends, who love you and are concerned about your well-being, will immediately retort with all sorts of misconceptions, perceptions, and counterpoints about ayahuasca. Maybe they read one article about one person’s experience and deduced that ayahuasca is harmful.
Perhaps they think ayahuasca is a controlled substance and therefore illegal in the United States.
Maybe they think ayahuasca will have long-term health risks associated with it.
The good news is that these are misconceptions, at the end of the day. Anticipate these responses and have the counterpoints and research to break down their fallacies. This will show, even more strongly, how informed and committed you are.
Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church Of Mother Earth In Orlando
Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church Of Mother Earth in Orlando offers multi-day ayahuasca retreats, just minutes from the Orlando International Airport. When you’ve done your research, had the tough conversations, and have committed yourself to the life-changing power of ayahuasca, it’s time to visit us.
Book your spiritual ayahuasca retreat in Orlando or attend an information session to learn more about ayahuasca today from Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth.