Mikko Leinonen

Helsinki – Finland

Love is the answer. That is the main lesson I got during my 3-week retreat, and one, that I feel, I will be digesting little by little for the rest of my life. I also feel that taking part in this retreat was the most powerful experience of my adult life. It has not been all silky smooth sailing after the retreat, which in my experience is quite typical for bigger psychedelic experiences. It is almost impossible to unsee or forget things you have seen so clearly in your visions, no matter how harsh or uncomfortable they are. I do feel though, that the whole experience did plant a seed somewhere inside of me (probable heart), that is gonna take some time to sprout and which in time, will grow into something beautiful.

In talking with other people who took part in the retreat, the facilitators/hosts and the shamans, it is clear that the ayahuasca experiences are so subjective and personal, that there is no sense in expecting you are going to have an experience anything like mine. I don’t think you really can even give advice on life in general for the same reasons, our lives and circumstances are so unique. What does anyone of us really know? So, if you have already decided to take part in an ayahuasca retreat, and you want to do it in the jungle, Kawsay is a magnificent place to have that experience. I have taken part only in this one retreat at Kawsay, so I cannot compare the center to any other, but I can say that I was blown away by so many things there. I felt I was very well taken care of every step of the way, safe, respected and listened to. I felt so privileged to have that experience, such a healing and profound experience to be there, in the middle of the amazon, drinking the medicine and dealing with my own petty little problems. Hyper charged therapy! The setting in itself is a trip already, with all the views and sounds of frogs, birds, crickets, bats, monkeys etc. the wild jungle, even glimpses of pink dolphins!

For me, I cannot imagine anything ever topping the performance, the healing, that ayahuasqueros Don Romulo and Don Winister gave us. Such confidence, humility, respect, warmth and beauty in their work, they are true master healers, toughest guys I know of. The icaros will stay with me for a long time. I feel so grateful for the love of all the people working there. The really lovely community they have built together, helping people in a very concrete way to get over some of the trauma that life tends to imprint on us.

Logically thinking, I would have to thank everything for everything, because truly we are all one thing. All is one, everything is connected. Me going to a jungle retreat would not be possible without everything, trees, my parents, their parents, aeroplanes, cells or even the “big bang”. But for some illogical/unenlightened reason, I still feel the need to separately thank the beautiful human beings working hard at Kawsay. Thank you all! I learned so many things from you on my visit there, I will be forever grateful. 🙂

I also learned to listen to my intuition more, and although I am not able to “love everything” yet, it is telling me that the saying is spot on! Be grateful. Love everything. This thing is a miracle! Here we are. Love. <3

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