Personal report: Significance of Community in an Ayahuasca Jungle Dieta
Originally Published In
Anthropology of Consciousness
What is the potential significance of community in a prolonged dieta (10-day restricted diet with regular ritual consumption of ayahuasca and other medicinal plants) in a remote jungle location in the Amazon basin of Peru? Pre-dieta experiences including how participants join the community, cleansing routines prior to departure to Peru, sharing with the shaman one's personal intentions and health history, and prior experience with medicinal and entheogenic plants are introduced. Dieta rituals such as tambo housing, meals, hygiene and maintenance, music, ceremony preparations, ceremonial and everyday dieta etiquette, and post-ceremony ritual and day of rest are considered. Bonding with the local support community and those who harvested and crafted the medicinal plant mixtures are evaluated in the context of both dieta and traditional indigenous goals of creating a spiritual practice community of love and trust that embraces people, plants, and all of earth and beyond.