Healing Wounds

This article is a submission for the Ayahuasca Awareness Program, an initiative by the Spirit Vine Center in Brazil. The program aims to help increase awareness of the potential of ayahuasca by sponsoring free ayahuasca retreats every month for people who feel the call for spiritual development with ayahuasca and other methods.

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Healing Wounds

I just became a medical doctor.
The purpose of my life, as I decided to become a physician, suddenly became to cure people. And to take care of them.
There is a difference, even though quite subtle: the cure necessarily implies to solve the problem, while the care taking is more of a way of dealing with it. And it’s not one bit less important. In some ways it’s more difficult, because there is no medical book you can learn it from. It’s a perpetual training of one’s sensitivity.
There are some diseases that cannot be cured, and for those the care taking is the only way, but also for those who can be cured, taking care of the whole human being and not only of the disease, means according to me, realizing that we all are part of an enlarged community, even though we didn’t know each other until now, and we (physician and patient) are allied.

That is called therapeutic alliance. So the doctor isn’t anymore a distant decision maker, but he is part of a team together with the patient (and often his or hers family) to accomplish the objective of overcoming the disease and improving the quality of life.

This is the way it should be, but of course it’s not always this way. It’s not easy to deal with sufferance, nor for a patient neither for the doctor, and this premise is actually the reason why I’m working on myself: sensitivity and empathy is not something that just happens, you have to understand yourself and how to approach with situations.

To make crisis an opportunity, you have to look deeper into yourself.

In these years is happening the so called psychedelic renaissance, in other words a change of paradigm on the perception of psychedelic substances, which in some ways is – to be honest – a return to the original paradigm when they first were discovered and used.
As a matter of fact at the beginning the experimentation of these substances was actually intended in a therapeutic way.
The prohibitionist policy took place as the recreational use and abuse of some substances spread out, but it eventually failed in any possible way: it didn’t solve the diffusion of drugs and drug abuse, it relegated these substances to the black market favoring criminality, and it impeded the research for therapeutic purposes.

Since the scientific community took more and more interest in this subject, the potential of many substances so far considered by a vast majority as recreational, is becoming clear: that is one peerless way of looking into oneself.
It opens a window to your inner self, and allows you to become aware of it, and deal – for example – with trauma.
It is not something auto-conclusive, quite on the contrary it’s the realization that personal growth isn’t conclusive itself, but a lifetime pathway to never stop exploring.

The guidance for this kind of experience is necessary, as it gives a direction to the feelings and sensations experienced through the substance.
And eventually it helps letting go the superfluous, or the pain, and focusing on your purpose.

I began with purpose, and I’m finishing the same way.
The “cure” of the human being in a broad meaning, is to have purpose in life.

Metaphorically we could consider it as a sculpture: we begin with a big block of marble, and throughout life we need to progressively chisel the superfluous orienting ourselves in a confusing and full of options world, and while we go on and learn to select our interests and define ourselves, the figure in the marble gets clearer and clearer.
That is the lifetime pathway I was talking about.
And as a physician I feel like healing wound is only part of the cure, the other part is helping to find purpose.

The more we learn to focus on purpose, the more the figure gets clear.

Author: Mario Davide Roffi

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Spirit Vine COVID-19 Update

Last Updated: 5th May 2021

In light of the global situation, we are establishing new guidelines to ensure that we provide the maximum amount of safety to all participants who attend the retreats.

We will be following the guidelines provided by the Brazilian government which you can find below, and adding any necessary precautions suitable for the retreats.

In the Itacare area, where we are located, there are very low number of COVID cases.

We will update this section when new information is available.
Content listed here is subject to change.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Brazilian Government Recommendations for COVID-19

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water;
  • if water and soap are not available or when hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used;
  • Maintain at least a 1-metre distance between yourself and others;
  • Wear a mask, that covers your nose, mouth and chin;
  • Practice respiratory hygiene;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Be aware of the situation of your destination and follow the guidelines of local public health authorities;
  • Avoid spaces that are closed, crowded or involve close contact;
  • Monitor your health for COVID-19 symptoms and, if you feel unwell:
    – seek medical attention;
    – stay self-isolated as recommended by local health authorities.

Anyone who wants to enter in Brazil must present a negative Covid RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to boarding the flight or a negative Antigen test taken within 24 hours of boarding the flight. 

Travelers must also fill out an affidavit 24 hours before departure acknowledging the health measures that must be complied with during the period that they will remain in the country. You can find the affidavit here.

Prior to leaving Brazil, depending on the requirements of your destination country, you may be required to present an RT-PCR or Antigen test. If you need a PCR test we recommend you to budget the required time of 6 hours to take the test and get the results at Sao Paulo Guarulhos airport. Antigen test can be taken in the town of Itacare near our center before you go to the airport.

Please note that Itacare and Ilheus do not have RT-PCR testing centers.

Spirit Vine Guidelines for COVID-19

We are requiring all participants and staff to provide a valid Covid-19 test prior to entering the center. The Antigen test is only valid for 24 hours and PCR test is only valid for 72 hours. A valid negative test result must be sent by email prior to entering the center.