You’ve got questions…
At The Buena Vida, we admire those willing to go through the process of self-healing with psychedelics. We’re sure that you’ve already had quite a serious journey that leads you to this decision. We want to make you feel safe, secure, and well supported during your retreat.
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions and concerns that we hear. However, there are always more! Contact us with any concern and we will be sure to respond personally and in private.
Psilocybin in Mexico
We understand there is a lot of good and bad information about traveling in Mexico. Please remember, this is a very large country and, like almost any other, has some safe and some not-so-safe areas. As of April, 2006 all street drugs are legal to be carried in small quantities by individuals in Mexico. Specifically, sacramental or traditional use and cultivation of fresh mushrooms is legal. This is in line with the interpretation of the UNODC Bulletin allowing the sacramental use of psychotropic preparations. We work with a local, indigenous shaman who is familiar with the local laws, law enforcement and medicine community ensuring that we are always acting in accordance with the highest standard of the law.
Privacy and Security
Our retreat is on private, gated and secure land. We will not be interacting with the public or carrying the mushrooms on our person while outside the center. We are working with open-minded, loving individuals and volunteers that are dedicated to healing and health. You can feel 100% confident that our medicine is the freshest and energetically peaceful fungi that our shaman can find. We only source from Mexico.
Healing with Psilocybin
I’ve been hearing a lot about psilocybin, but I’m honestly not sure what it does?
The active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” is psilocybin. This is a non-toxic element. Though you may have heard that your reaction to mushrooms is a form of poisoning, much like alcohol, this is simply not true. This chemical interacts with your serotonin system to produce the psychedelic effect. In fact, psilocybin is one of the least toxic substances you can ingest that will change your consciousness. It has been shown over and over that psilocybin promotes neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells and can repair physiological damage to the brain.
Good & Bad Trips
Because magic mushrooms are somewhat easy to grow and find, many of us have tried them either at a young age or at a party or festival. These fungi open up our energetic field so that all circumstances around us are amplified. Most truly "bad trips" stem from a ill-planned physical setting or a non- purposeful mindset going into the journey. At The Buena Vida we know how to properly prepare you and make sure your physical and energetic space is properly held, ensuring you the best possible container for a meaningful and safe trip. While there may still be difficult parts of the journey, when you know you're safe, you can navigate through these areas and take the lessons from the experience. Even guests who may report that part of their journey was “bad” or “difficult” always can see the purpose or reason for this situation within the first few days after the trip.
I’m dealing with depression and anxiety. This scares me, but I’ve also heard it can help?
We are lucky to be living in a time where the healing effects of psychedelics are finally allowed to be properly studied. Scientists from Imperial College London concluded that giving managed doses of psilocybin to subjects who were previously resistant to treatment by common anti-depressants led to “enduring reductions in symptom severity”.
As is commonly known, much of depression stems from living in the past and much of anxiety stems from living in the future. Psilocybin mushrooms help us to become fully present. We're able to observe the world and ourselves exactly as they are at this moment. The result is usually a more care-free and open attitude toward our lives. We can stop for a moment to learn gratitude for our many blessings.
What if I suffer from severe mental issues?
There are a few serious mental issues that need to be disclosed before taking psilocybin. Those with a history of schizophrenia, suicidal behavior and some other mental states are advised against psychedelics use without a specific recommendation from their medical doctor. However, physical risk with psilocybin is extremely low. Please be honest in your application so that we can have full knowledge to let you know if our retreats are the right medicine for your healing. We can answer these specific questions in a private email.
What is the dose we will be taking?
This is an interesting question because age/height/weight seem to have almost no effect on proper dosing of psilocybin. Since potency of psilocybin mushrooms can vary widely from each batch, it is best to dry, mix and encapsulate them in order to make equal doses.
Our leaders are always testing and dosing our mushrooms to be sure of their strength. Psilocybe mexicana is very strong. For the first ceremony, we will be dosing about 1.5-3 grams per person. We will counsel with guests to see where they'd like to be after that. Most likely, people tend to go up to 3-7 grams the following nights. Luckily with psilocybin, there is not much nausea other than possibly 10-20 minutes towards the beginning and even high doses are very safe with the right facilitators.
On-site Security and Physical Safety
How do you screen guests and make sure they are right for the retreat?
Our screening process is one that Amanda has used with over 500 clients at 4 different psychedelic medicine retreat centers throughout the world. Our first step is the application process which gives us information about physical/mental and emotional health and history. After this, we do a Skype session with each potential guest to further clarify their intentions, goals and also screen medically for any potential issues. Once approved, guests are required to sign a medical waiver that consents to the medicine our shaman serves and also that they are off of certain medications during the retreat. For unexpected medical emergencies, of which there are very few, our locations for retreats are always within 20 minutes of a local emergency room. We always have 1-2 completely sober facilitators during the ceremonies that can drive and assist guests if need be. Luckily psilocybin is incredibly physically safe for many people, especially in comparison to some other plant medicines.
How do you keep my privacy and identity safe?
For our confidentiality, we take privacy and security extremely seriously. Our venues are quiet, private and usually away from all other potential interactions with non-members of the retreat. All hosts and properties have worked with plant medicine and are 100% clear on our intent and ceremony. Guests sign a waiver that they will not post of images of other guests on any public forum. We have private WhatsApp groups set up for guests to remain in contact. None of our information is shared with any other organization, group, team or person.
Is this a therapy or psychotherapy retreat?
At The Buena Vida, we have several specialized advisors including behavioral therapists, neurological specialists, ethnobotanists, and shamans/elders in plant medicine study. However, it’s very important to stress that this is NOT A THERAPY OR TRAUMA retreat. We will not be employing traditional, western modalities of psychotherapy. The goal of the retreat is to safely (emotionally, physically and spiritually) “stay out of the way” of the healing each guest receives from the mushroom journey. All of our leaders have been trained on all modern modalities of harm reduction, emotional wellness safety as well as having sat with many guests during the process. It’s our opinion that, in this world of psychedelic healing, training and experience is of utmost importance.
Questions about Psychedelics?
Where can I read more about scientific studies being done?
There are too many studies and scientific findings to list here. Please visit our Psychedelic Research page. All of the studies basically have the same conclusion: Psilocybin is safe and highly effective when taken correctly and with proper safety.
I can’t make it to the current posted retreats, will there be more?
We are happy to say that many people are ready for mushroom healing! We have various magical locations throughout Mexico. Sign up below to stay on the list!
The Buena Vida does not supply, manufacture, distribute or condone the use of any illegal substances. We do not give out, supply or sell any specific substance. The goal of Sol Medicine Retreats is to plan, organize and produce healing retreats. We facilitate access to trained, indigenous shamans who work with sacred plant medicines within an accepted, sacramental and ceremonial context. The shamans personally evaluate each guests’ needs and work strictly within the laws of their training and all local and national laws where the retreats will take place. We do not guarantee any results or outcomes, specific medicine usage, etc. Each participant is responsible for informing themselves about possible pharmaceutical drug contraindications, including but not limited to SSRI and other stabilizing medication. They assume all responsibility for due diligence required for their participation. For more information and additional resources, email firstname.lastname@example.org