Joe Dixon • • 24 min read
Rythmia Review: My Week At a Legal Luxury Plant Medicine Retreat Center in Costa Rica
Consciousness & Meditation Psychedelics & Drugs consciousness
Rythmia is on the cutting edge of a global renaissance. It’s one of the first legal, medically licensed Plant Medicine retreat centers in the world.
The HighExistence team visited Rythmia for one week at the end of June, 2018, to explore what this place has to offer. Participating in a full week at Rythmia costs $299/night, but for full transparency I must tell you that the HighExistence team went for free as part of a media exchange deal. In return for our stay, we agreed to write a Rythmia review about our experiences and record a podcast. With that in mind, I have tried my best to make this review as honest and free from bias as possible. This review represents no single person’s review, but a collection of all experiences.
This was the third night I drank the medicine, I lay on my mattress in the dark with jungle sounds playing through the speakers. I recollected how the first night was a night of healing, the second was a night of terror, and tonight… tonight was the night I met the eternal spirits of the underworld.
When the icaro started, an enchanting haunting verse sung by a deep-voiced shaman, I was able to access a completely different realm of existence. Nothing looked distorted, but the presence of spirits, eternal spirits of nature, life, death, and rebirth that were always there and always would be there hovered in the room. I was afraid, but at this point I knew resistance was futile. I guess tonight I was going to enter the spirit world.
Let’s go back to the beginning, four days earlier…
First Impressions Upon Entering
I had already been in Costa Rica for four intense weeks before I entered Rythmia Life Advancement Center. During my first week in Central America, we hosted the first-ever HighExistence retreat, Apotheosis. It was epic, and we also included two Plant Medicine ceremonies in our itinerary.
After our event, Jordan, Martijn and I visited a bunch of other Plant Medicine retreat centers before concluding our stay in Costa Rica at Rythmia.
Rythmia was different from the other retreat centers we’d visited.
When we entered the gates the Jurassic Park theme song started playing in my head. Every other retreat location was positioned in the midst of the jungle and this forced us to look out for snakes and other undesirables as we went about our day. Rythmia, however, was surrounded by tall, barbed fences.
Gerry Powell, the founder of Rythmia, joked in his introductory talk, “The fences are not to stop things from getting in, but to stop people from trying to get out.” Why would anyone want to escape from a luxury wellness resort? I wondered.
After exiting our shuttle, we were greeted by immaculately dressed staff. They wore white polo t-shirts and beige cargo shorts. They were all tanned, radiant, smiling, groomed and seemed to express a genuine interest in you.
The staff were also very skilled at remembering each person’s name, a small but important detail.
From here we sat down with two lovely female facilitators to fill out some legal forms. They exuded warmth and grace, as did all of the facilitators that I met at the Costa Rican life transformation center over the course of the week. As we signed the forms, we were given a goody bag with a workbook, CD, DVD, itinerary, snack bag, and bracelet. From here we were taken to the medical unit where our heart rate and blood pressure were measured. We also had a short interview with a medical doctor who asked us about our general health and prior experience with Plant Medicine. I had experimented with Plant Medicine and other psychedelic compounds before Rythmia, but Rythmia offered a type I had not yet encountered.
After passing the medical test, I was handed four wooden circular tokens with the words “Herbal Support Therapy” inscribed. I would have to hand one of these tokens in at the entrance of the ceremony room before drinking the medicine. In our bag, we also received one token for a massage, and three for a “deep sea cleanse,” which is the name Gerry gave to Rythmia’s colonic irrigation procedure. You were able to purchase more tokens for other spa treatments if you chose. I didn’t know what to think about the token system, it was a bit strange. But then again, it worked well enough.
Breath of Life
I headed to my apartment and on my key, I noticed a small flashlight built in. I really liked this detail, as it allowed me to walk around at night with ease. When I got to my room, I was impressed. I had just spent 4 weeks in the jungle, staying in a variety of lodges, from jungle huts to well-known branded hostels, but I found Rythmia to be the most luxurious of them all.
The room was spacious and full of light. The WiFi was decent, as it was everywhere I went in the center. The bed was large and made each day, the bathroom was clean, and the air conditioning kept the room cool (too cool at times).
One of my favorite private rituals while at Rythmia was having a nice warm shower each morning and night. Water temperature seemed to be an issue everywhere in Costa Rica, but less so at Rythmia. To be clear though, I cannot discuss other room types at Rythmia. I had my private room, but there were also shared lodging options available.
After a few hours of settling into our rooms, we were encouraged to go to a 5.00PM class called “Breath of Life.” The class was held in the same hall where the plant ceremonies would be held later that week—a spacious, windowed temple.
There were only about 25 people who showed up to the first Breath of Life class — many were still arriving. As I scanned the people entering the building I noticed that the people looked clean, well-dressed, groomed, and wore nice watches and jewelry. But I don’t know if these people were actually wealthy, or if I observed these things because my colleagues and I had just spent the last month in all kinds of jungle environments and were primed for the disheveled look.
The person running Breath of Life was Christian Minson. He instantly reminded me of a spiritual version of Doug Stamper from the Netflix show House of Cards. Christian had been a monk for 10 years in his twenties and was now one of the leaders of the organization Transformational Breath, a set of breathing techniques which according to the website include benefits such as “improved physical health, cleared emotional wounds and enhanced mental capabilities.”
I had done this kind of Breathwork practice a few times before at our HighExistence retreat with Philippa Wilkin, and was honestly blown away by it. When I initially heard about Breathwork, I kinda scoffed. It’s just a superficial self-development practice that will soon be replaced by another fad, I thought. But experiencing the practice firsthand, and witnessing our retreat participants going through it too, was nothing short of miraculous.
At Rythmia, I began doing the breathing like an experienced pro, only because I knew I had done it before and most other people in the room had not. Breathwork does indeed put you in an altered state of consciousness because your body becomes more oxygenated.
Psychologically, there is great benefit from just lying on the floor for an hour and experiencing your emotions—where else in life do we get to do that? There was energetic, empowering music playing as we breathed, sighed-sang-shouted (this is called toning), and banged our hands and feet on the floor. My hands became tingly because of the excess oxygen in my system. In a moment toward the end of the ceremony, Christian asked us to hold our breath for as long as we could. I felt like I held my breath for about 4 minutes; it seemed to go on forever, and I was able to see the ceiling above me in crystal clarity even though I had my eyes closed. That was very psychedelic. As it was later revealed, some people find the breathwork more profound than the Plant Medicine. After the experience, I felt incredibly light. We left the retreat center and headed for food. I was starving.
Dining at Rythmia
The restaurant at Rythmia was called Roots. It was located near the swimming pool and served nutritious whole foods in a buffet. There were about six large tables, two of those dedicated to silent, mindful eating. I most often sat at the silent tables but didn’t adhere to the silent rule, as most people were talking. The food overall was unbelievably good. Considering it was dieta-approved—meaning it was designed for plant-medicine preparation and lacking in salt—I still loved everything I ate there.
At the buffet, they had a selection of soups, many salad options, fresh fruits and vegetables, and the main dinner section which contained some kind of rice dish, chicken, and fish. The first time I was in the buffet line, a British woman next to me told me that the goats cheese was picked from just up the road. I was surprised by her knowledge on the food, and she told me that she worked at Rythmia. A few days later, she helped me through a very difficult Plant Medicine ceremony.
After over-filling my plate with goodness, I sat down to eat. The people attending the retreat were all friendly and welcoming, as you’d expect in such a place. One of the guys sitting next to me in one of the ceremonies described the vibe at Rythmia as “There are no assholes here,” which I think is an apt description. At Rythmia, 95% of the people have never tried Plant Medicine before, and they come from backgrounds where they might be judged if they talk about it. One very cool guy I met, basically had to lie about where he was going to his work colleagues out of fear. That’s when I started to see the genius of a place like Rythmia. It was a luxury resort but very lowkey about their use of Plant Medicine. This secrecy allows attendees to have a nice, smooth introduction to the medicine while providing a disguise to those who would typically view such places with judgment.
A couple of days into our stay we attended our first mandatory lecture run by Gerard Powell, the founder of Rythmia. Gerry is an Italian-American serial entrepreneur. He sold his last business, a plastic surgery company, for $94 million. I found Gerry to be quite an incredible figure. Gerry looked like everyone else at the retreat. He was tanned, had a sparkle in his eye, white perfect teeth, and a head full of thick hair. I assumed he was some slick, rich businessman who saw an opportunity to create a luxury Plant Medicine resort and pounced on it. When Gerry first started talking, he changed my mind. He was a slick businessman, but he was clearly passionate about the medicine.
Even though he was the owner of Rythmia, a place people paid a lot of money to attend, he was very down to earth, hilarious, and threw in a swear word every other sentence to drive his point home. Despite being very wealthy, Gerry had been in psychological hell for many years prior to the creation of Rythmia. He admitted that in his younger days, he was not a good person at all. Gerry said he would not talk to a woman if there was little chance he could sleep with her, and he would not talk to a man if there was little chance he could make money from him. Beyond this, Gerry was a sex addict, drug addict, wife beater, and narcissist. He said he could easily fire one hundred people without a fraction of guilt, or purchase cars and planes without a fraction of joy. Not surprisingly, he had been so depressed he tried committing suicide twice.
Gerry’s journey changed when he booked himself into rehab and through an interesting chain of events experienced a Plant Medicine ceremony that changed his life. With the subsequent use of the Plant Medicine, it was revealed to Gerry in visions that he should create what is now Rythmia. As anyone who has taken the Plant Medicine knows, it is hard to stay greedy and sociopathic when you have to frequently face your inner demons. I saw Gerry as the real deal, and you can read all about his story in his book Sh*t The Moon Said.
Gerry had some golden maxims in his talk about Plant Medicine such as “When in doubt, drink more.” And “Whatever is coming is going,” which means that when you face something on the medicine that is the sign of it leaving you or being healed. On the wall in the lecture room and the ceremony room, there were three plaques each with a group intention written upon it. They read:
“Show me what I’ve become.”
“Merge me back with my soul at all costs.”
“Heal my heart.”
These three intentions cover a wide spectrum of self-transformation and healing intentions. You cannot change if you do not see who you are, and seeing who you are is the first step in nearly every recovery program that exists. Then there is the reconnection with that innate good part of yourself, before finally the healing of your heart.
It is very, very powerful.
I appreciated these group intentions and found them useful during the ceremonies themselves. Gerry interacted with the members of the group and had a lot of enthusiasm for people’s answers. He seemed authentic and charismatic.
The Plant Medicine Ceremonies
The Plant Medicine ceremonies were held over four consecutive nights: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The first three nights would run from 5.30PM until midnight, and the Thursday ceremony was a bit different and started at 7.30PM and ran all the way through the night until past sunrise. Each night featured a different ceremony leader, an overlapping cast of facilitators, and a different particular variety of medicine.
The ceremony space was filled with single mattresses upon which lay pillows and a blanket. Next to each mattress was a blue bucket and roll of toilet paper. During the Plant Medicine ceremonies, people often release their feelings and trauma through “purging,” which means that it’s not uncommon for people to vomit, have diarrhea, cry, laugh, sweat, shake, and yawn as a form of emotional processing.
I chose my mattress in the outside area, where I had easy access to the breeze, jungle sounds, and trees. The first ceremony was held by two female shamanic guides from Europe. They both had an elegance to them that I had not witnessed in many people before. They seemed connected to something higher, and also had a quiet yet profound strength to them. As experienced medicine guides, they have of course experienced many things that ordinary people have not, and this showed.
I was not afraid of drinking the medicine, even though I had heard enough stories to have reason to be. But also because I had drank medicine two times before and felt little to nothing. The ceremonies started with rapé, which is a type of tobacco that is blown up your nose through a long pipe. This is said to open up your third eye chakra and bring a grounding presence to your body. The sensation reminded me of wasabi hitting the back of my throat. Your eyes water, then when the mild burning subsides a grounding energy takes over. About thirty minutes later we went up for our first cup. I drank it and asked the medicine to “show me who I had become.” I went back to my mattress and waited, not expecting much to happen. I cuddled into my blanket and closed my eyes. Time passed with little effect. But after about an hour, I felt a strong sadness creep up on me accompanied by the urge to cry. I had broken up with a girl a couple of weeks before, and now I felt this intense sadness about the situation. Not a frustration, or anger, or motivation to change things… just a pure unfiltered sadness. I was heartbroken, and I never let myself feel it! The tears flowed and it felt amazing and cathartic. Then the ceremony leaders called us to ask if we feel it in our hearts to drink more. I did, so I went up for my second cup.
I drank and went back down to my mattress. This is when the show really began. I went through an entire journey of having my shadow side revealed to me, seeing what was going on, seeing the mistakes that I had made, seeing what I needed to do differently. I promised the feminine medicine energy that I would not make the same mistakes again, and she agreed to heal my heart. It was truly magical and mystical. After that, I opened my tear-filled eyes and found myself a little bit disorientated. I had just cried for the last two hours with my eyes closed lying on a mattress surrounded by strangers after drinking the medicine. I got up and walked to one of the facilitators, a woman, and told her I was not very comfortable because my hands were tingling. She was absolutely amazing. Rather than saying anything or making too many sounds, she just soothed me by running floral water on my arms and touching my shoulders and back in a way that made me feel safe. She was a mother of three and most certainly channelled this energy into me.
While it was helpful being soothed and calmed, I still had panic in my body. I just felt the classic “resistance” to the unusual experience. I wanted to escape but because I couldn’t, I was fighting it and that fighting made me feel even worse. My friend and fellow HighExistence colleague Martijn offered me a lot of support here. Rather than trying to make me feel better, he urged me to step into my discomfort. He told me the only way out was through and that I could do it, and I didn’t need anything external.
At this moment, one of the lady shamans swooped down very close to my face. She whispered to me, but the whisper was extremely penetrating. She reminded me a lot of a snake and her face was shifting as she spoke. She told me that everything was good, the tingling was also fine, and it was the medicine doing its work and that I should try and find the source of the tingling to see where it was coming from. Of course, this wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear. What I wanted to hear was, “Oh, you poor thing. Yes, you are responding badly to this medicine, let us take care of you.” But in these ceremonies, discomfort is a sign of growth, and self-pity and care-taking can hold people back. As Gerry said, whatever is coming is going. I went back to my mattress and she performed a tobacco healing ceremony on me.
I lay on my mattress for a while longer, then the lights started to come up and people began walking over to the main ceremony room. “Is this the end?” I wondered. On the way to the ceremony hall, I bumped into Christian, the breathwork instructor, and told him that I was still tripping and asked if this was normal. He chuckled and said that it was. In the main hall, I sat there feeling the residual effects of the medicine surge through my body. Everything was intense. Every breath I took felt 10x deeper than how I breathed before. Faces, voices, and the emotional tone of the room were all more vibrant. I sat next to Martijn who seemed to be having a great time. He touched the fleshy part of my nose and laughed, “How weird is this?” I laughed too. It was weird. As I sat there, people spoke up to share their experience and express gratitude. I was very proud of myself for making it through this night. I felt stronger and was assured that I had done very good work on myself. I had cried. I had been healed. I had gone through difficult times of panic.
As the medicine wore off, I was filled with an unbelievably positive, golden light. I was very peaceful, happy, energized, and also hungry. I went back to my room, nibbled on some nuts, took a shower, and left some loved ones some extremely happy voice messages. I love this medicine.
The second night was run by two men, and they brought with them a more serious, darker tone. One of the guys was an ex-opiate addict who had used Plant Medicine to overcome his addiction. Both men were very zen and grounded. Only one of them spoke at the beginning of the ceremony. He had a calm melodic voice. I immediately felt comfortable around him. He was one of these people that you felt safe around. He told us that every cup we drink is just another cup of healing. We are here to work. We are here to do good work on ourselves. We should not be afraid of the medicine.
I drank the first cup and was soon filled with immense love. I felt so full of compassion and joy toward people, so full of love toward everyone. I just wanted to tell all of my friends and family that I loved them. I wanted to tell them that I cared about them very deeply. I was having these long, grand visions about my future. I was deeply in love with life.
When I went up for the second cup, however, the mood completely shifted. In line, there was a 60-ish-year-old woman screaming and shaking at one of her inner demons. “I fucking hate you!” she screamed. “Scott, I fucking hate you!” She sounded like she was shouting at a potential abuser. Anyone who has been emotionally bullied and repressed for a long time would immediately recognize that sound. My guess was she was channelling years of hatred toward someone. She curled up onto the floor and the facilitators stepped in to support her (this doesn’t mean stop her feeling bad, but to just to be a presence for her in this difficult time). For the woman, this was no doubt very healing, but for many of us, it was a disturbing sight. It felt like a confrontation with the dark demonic side of human nature. My friend even vomited just from hearing this woman scream.
I was right behind her, and minutes later I drank my second cup. As I lay on my mattress, the intensity kicked in extremely hard. Suddenly keeping my eyes focused and open was too difficult. The amount of energy swirling through my body was all-consuming. I felt the medicine searching in all areas of my Being for weakness and trauma.
I should have just remained there and let the medicine do its magic, but I decided that I didn’t like the feeling and I wanted to get out. I wanted to escape. I started by trying to remind myself that I was okay and the experience would be over very soon. That worked for a few seconds before the entire room shifted on its axis and I found my consciousness fragmented again. What made matters worse was that the tingling from the night before came back into my hands and I wasn’t able to detect my breathing so well. I started to get this feeling of wanting to vomit, but it was not the type of vomit you get from your stomach, it was the type of vomit you want to do when you feel panicked. A heavy tension fills your chest and a pressure expands in your head. I rolled up on to my hands and knees. I tried lying on my side. I tried lying face down. I kept changing positions hoping that things would settle, but things actually only got more intense.
I called over a facilitator to help me and I told her I was panicking. Once again, rather than diving in to validate my panic, her exact words were “It’s a beautiful thing isn’t it? The medicine is doing its work.” The look on my face showed her that I didn’t appreciate that message. She came closer and whispered to me that nothing would happen to me and they had medical experts onsite. Then she performed a healing ceremony on me where she blew a sweet smelling liquid onto my exposed body. It was cold and energizing. I was searching frantically for something to change how I feel and make the intensity go away. This didn’t work other than making me shiver and feel more uncomfortable, so she took me by the hand and led me to go and see the main Shaman.
This shaman was the guy who talked at the beginning. Now on the medicine, he had a bird-like quality to him, and he spoke in this way where he wasn’t facing you head on, but more to the side of you, and he seemed quite pleased about the experience that I was going through. No doubt he had experienced much worse many times before. I laid down next to him and just breathed. The intensity didn’t really stop and for a good hour, I rolled around on the floor like a contortionist fighting the feeling, digging my heels in, and wanting the experience to end. The way I measured my sobriety was simply by looking at the ceiling and seeing how long I could stare at something before my eyes would defocus. As I could keep my eyes focused longer, I knew the intensity was wearing off, so I gained hope.
When the intensity did finally diminish, I got back onto a mattress and was faced with mind-blowing insights about authenticity, self-ownership, and being the best version of myself. Toward the end of the ceremony, I sat in the middle of everyone and just cried out of gratitude. I was so happy for this night. It was one of the most difficult and amazing nights of my life. I just knew for some strange reason that whatever happened, had to happen. And that I was more of a man.
After the intensity of the previous night, I was afraid to drink again. But I knew that if I did not drink, I would regret it. Tonight’s energy was much more serene as there were women-only running the ceremony. Typically the ceremonies start with music, but this one began with about two hours of jungle sounds.
Lying in the dark as the magic medicine works its way through your body, sensations of drunkenness take over and the intensity of the jungle sounds consume your awareness. The sounds are not “out there” but “in here,” intimate with you. My breathing became deeper and I felt much more a part of nature. The simple realization that I was a living thing blew my mind—the appropriate response to such a dizzying notion.
Then the icaros started, a deep chant in a different language. It seemed almost purposefully scary. When you’re under the influence of the Plant Medicine, there is a primal fear. You are not in the same psychological world. Even the unfamiliar becomes familiar. And when you close your eyes and enter into your own psyche, the bottomless depth of your own mind as at once both beautiful and terrifying. From this strange vantage point, the act of being human is a completely different enterprise.
Overall, this was a gentle night. I choose not to drink two full cups, instead opting for 1.5. What stands out the most for this night, was my connection to the spirit world. As I sat on my mattress, I could not help but feel the presence of actual spirits all around me. The spirits felt to me like a cast of characters on nature’s stage. It was as if they had always been there, before human life — a personification of the elements of nature.
On the fourth night, we drank a Columbian type of Plant Medicine. This night was special because the ceremony started at 7.30PM and went all the way through to sunrise the next day. The shaman running this ceremony was a teacher to some of the other shamans. He was very experienced and had an amazing grounded energy to him. He also looked the part, with large feathers attached to his waist coast, a bow hat, and boots with hundreds of bells attached.
The medicine itself did not affect me too much other than making me feel a little drunk. But the ceremony was my favourite of all the nights at Rythmia. The shaman in this ceremony called up all of the men and performed a healing ritual on us, and then did the same with the women. It was unbelievably beautiful to be sat in a circular brotherhood with my top off and eyes closed while healers chanted, played music, and shook a wet, sweet-smelling Chakapa over my exposed body and head. A Chakapa is a bundle of leaves used as a shaking instrument and healing tool.
Lasting through the night and entering into the new day with my brothers and sisters was the ultimate way to end the week at Rythmia. It was beyond words, and I was not the same person at this sunrise as I was a week earlier. Plant Medicine is really something.
I’d like to give some thoughts to the smaller details of the experience now in a few summaries:
The staff during the Plant Medicine ceremonies were absolutely world class.
They were all warm, wise, and had copious amounts of empathy and emotional intelligence. I personally saw only great elegance and experience from the shamans and the facilitators. On the third night, I was bitten by a few insects and went to a facilitator to ask her if the bites looked okay. She told me that they were mosquito bites, and that I was fine. I went back to my mattress, and fifteen minutes later she came and found me to check to make sure I was okay and my arm hadn’t gotten any worse. This extra level of care was unbelievable. I would feel totally fine about letting the staff at Rythmia take care of my relatives during a ceremony.
I had drank a Columbian brew of Plant Medicine two times before I attended Rythmia and had received very little effect, while others had received huge effects. At Rythmia, however, the Plant Medicine had a powerful effect, and everyone I spoke to also said they had potent experiences. I’m not an expert on Plant Medicine, but what I can say is that the dose and quality of the medicine felt perfect to me.
The space where the ceremony was held was very nicely arranged. The mattresses were clean and well ordered. The lighting was optimal: dark, but visible enough to see where you were going. The choice in music was wonderful, and many people requested the playlists for the ceremony music afterwards. The people attending were also all well-behaved and followed the rules. Nobody was that disturbing or impolite enough to mess with someone else’s journey. The additional resources like the dead sea cleanse or colon cleanses were valuable. They offer additional life coaching if you want it. There were also hammocks and a fire outside, which you could visit during the ceremony if you desired. A nice touch that I enjoyed.
What I Liked
As I’ve already made clear. My stay at Rythmia was one of the most profound transformational events of my life. I liked a hell of a lot. The food, the attendees, the ceremonies, the staff, the rooms, the food, the environment, and the facilities were all fantastic. My two favorite things about Rythmia, however, were the Plant Medicine ceremonies and the food. I will miss these things the most.
What I Didn’t Like
While my overall stay at Rythmia was superb, there were a few things I would have changed. First of all, I would have not had anyone offer us to purchase the Plant Medicine ceremonies as soon as I got out of the shuttle. I also would not have tried to upsell future retreats after people had taken Plant Medicine. When one interacts with these substances, one becomes more suggestible and easily influenced. There was a talk the day after the first ceremony where participants were asked to purchase something extra from Rythmia. One participant walked out when he saw this, and I felt similar to him.
Besides that, I think the gym could have contained better equipment. The gym itself was a decent size, but the weightlifting apparatus was outdated. Considering Rythmia is a luxury resort and many people these days love to work out, I would have had modern exercise equipment in the gym.
The itinerary overall was excellent. However, the yoga was too early each morning, and I missed every class. Because the Plant Medicine ceremonies went on till 1-2AM, it meant the only way we would get to do yoga at 7AM would be in a sleep deprived state. The breakfast could also have been extended an hour or so longer. I missed breakfast twice because I valued getting a full eight hours of sleep after the ceremonies.
Lastly, I have mixed feelings about the price. Even though I do think my experience was worth the price tag and I would recommend my friends to save up to go to Rythmia, I know many of my closest friends and family members would not go to Rythmia simply because it is too expensive. This is a shame. I would love it if Rythmia offered a much cheaper version of their retreat, which allowed people to have shorter versions of the experience or to have the Plant Medicine experience but with other more costly luxuries removed. However, Rythmia seems to be doing very well and has no real need to do this, so I doubt they will.
Would I Go Again?
I would love to visit Rythmia again. I found it to be one of the best experiences of my life. If I felt like I needed to experience deep insights and spiritual growth, I would save up and go to Rythmia. That said, if other cheaper options that looked just as professional were available, I would most certainly research these places too.
In summary, if you have the money and want to take a safe bet for experiencing a world-class Plant Medicine retreat, go to Rythmia. You won’t regret it.
Bonus: Life After Rythmia – 10 Weeks Later
I wish I could say that after my experience at Rythmia my life has been peaceful and enlightened and blissful. It most certainly has been those things at times, but it has also been rife with struggle. The medicine pointed me the way, but following it was a whole other game. The immediate effects post-Rythmia were noticeable. I felt incredibly awake and open to other people. I went out in my local town a week or so after coming home and many told me how great I looked. However, it was my energy that they were complimenting. I felt so positive and alive. It was fantastic, a life-changing experience.
One of my big goals at Rythmia was to heal myself so that when I came home I could reconnect with my ex-girlfriend and make everything “right” again. What I found was, even though I achieved this goal and I got back with her, I couldn’t see her the same way anymore. My sensual desires fell away and tolerance for drama had fallen away, and I craved just peace and security. This was a huge shift in my perspective that I couldn’t imagine having before Rythmia, I highly recommend it.
One of the most noticeable changes since Rythmia is my level of anxiety and fear has significantly reduced. I do not fear things the same way I used to. I think this may be down to facing my anxieties head-on during the second night. As Gerry said, “Whatever is coming is going.”
Overall, I’m still trying to integrate the experience. I have done a lot of good work since the retreat, but I have also made some catastrophic mistakes—mistakes I vowed not to make on the medicine. Walking the path and knowing the path are two different things. However, what a beautiful thing it is to know when you make a mistake so you can recommit and double down. Mistakes and failings are inevitable, but after Rythmia, I have the strength and faith to know that regardless of what curveballs life throws my way, everything will work out just fine.