Different shamans and retreat centers may have slightly different rules to the ceremony, but the following rules apply to most ceremonies so that everyonecan get the most from their ayahuasca journeys and have a deep healing experience:
No talking to others
It’s very important not to talk to other people during the ceremony. Not only does is distract from your own process but it will interfere with the process of others. The only exception is if you need help. It is fine to call out to a facilitator if you need help for any reason.
No helping others
Sometimes other participants sound like they need help. They could be moaning, groaning, crying or sound like they are in distress. However, it is not your job to help others even if they are a friend or partner. Again, it can interfere with both yours and their process. If a person really needs help then you need to trust that they will call out and ask for it. Good experienced facilitators will always know when it might be necessary to step in and help somebody. Trust that they know how to do their job.
No smoking commercial cigarettes
Do not smoke commercial cigarettes or tobacco in ceremony. However, in the Amazon, it is virtually always permissible to smoke Mapacho which is natural jungle tobacco. Most shamans and ayahuasca centers will make Mapacho available to ceremony participants.
Do not leave the ceremony space
The most important rule of all is to never leave the ceremony space until the ceremony has been closed. Of course, you can go to the bathroom when you need to which is often located just outside the maloka, but always come back to your place when you’re finished.
Sometimes in ceremony you may feel the need to be outside, closer to nature. Some retreat centers may permit you to go outside for a short while so long as you stay very close to the maloka. Other centers have strict rules about not leaving the maloka. Always honor the rules of the center you are attending.
If you are allowed outside, never ever go wandering into the jungle and do not go back to your accommodation. During the ceremony, the shaman and the facilitators are 100% responsible for your wellbeing and therefore they need to know where you are at all times. If anyone goes ‘missing’ then search parties have to be sent out and then other people in ceremony may not get help when they really need it.