How Many Ceremonies Do I Need?

You emphasize the healing power of ayahuasca and that it may heal almost anything. You are correct in the sense that when we tap into the power of life and love anything can be achieved. But in many many cases tapping into that power, requires time, perseverance and effort. And besides the intention to heal, sometime we need the help of other plants. Because our mental and physical system is so blocked and damaged that other plants known by adequate Maestros (shamans) must be used.”

Suipino Shamans preparing for a ceremony

“Again, this is not magic, healing the body and the mind needs time. So such a process may require months. Or a period of years working with ayahuasca and plants. Everything is a process. Sometimes, we are in a moment in our lives that ayahuasca opens up something in us and we make a breakthrough. And a new work opens up and it is a blessing. But the work is not finished, we continue to heal and grow in awareness. This is more than ayahuasca or plants, it is about, as you know, to live in sacredness and bow to the preciousness of life within us and within and around us.” – Andres Selame, Ani Nii Shobo Shaman.


There are some Ayahuasca centers in Peru that will only book you for a minimum of two weeks or a certain number of ceremonies. Other shamans will tell you that a single ceremony, if that’s all you have the opportunity for,  is better than not having any ceremonies at all. But what you really need to understand is that Ayahuasca is a process.

Ayahuasca teachings tend to work in “sets” or a series of ceremonies. For example you may have an insight in the first ceremony that you have questions about. Ayahuasca may answer those questions in the fourth ceremony for example. Personal or financial circumstances may also play a role in how many ceremonies you may be able to complete.

And regardless of how many ceremonies you ultimately have, the other thing about Ayahuasca is that it can’t heal you. You heal yourself. Ayahuasca is a teacher and works on you energetically but ultimately you decide whether you want to heal.

Waiting to drink Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca is first and foremost a teacher and a healer. But in order to work with you, she needs your participation and active co-operation. Our Canadian shaman advises participants to talk directly to Ayahuasca in ceremony and give her permission to work on you and heal you. When you combine your participation and permission with the power of Ayahuasca you can achieve some great gains in a relatively short time. But it doesn’t happen all by itself. It’s a co-operative effort.

Someone who has been suffering in their lifetime for decades or who has come from a deeply traumatized background may require more ceremonies to feel they’re finally getting the teachings that they need to heal themselves. It is all a question of working your way back to the love and peace in your life that will heal you.

Ayahuasca doesn’t take her duties lightly. If you listen to her and work with her and keep pursuing the healing and teaching, she can transform you in ways you never thought possible. And much more quickly than you may have imagined. It is like having a whole new world that you never dreamed of open up to you. How much time will you need to explore it? How much healing work do you need to do?

Ayahuasca will work with you to achieve what you need to achieve if you work with her.  But you’re not alone in your journey. Shamans are powerful healers in their own right and you can take advantage of their powerful healing powers in a ceremony. They confer with and work directly with  plant spirits during a ceremony.

The Meloka at Suipino on ceremony night

The centers that will only book you for a minimum stay or a minimum number of ceremonies understand that most people need work that only an initial series of ceremonies can help. And there are very good reasons to do a number of ceremonies over a number of days initially. Conversely if you can only participate in a few ceremonies, this may be enough to get you started on “the work.”

Regardless of how many ceremonies you participate in “integration” after the ceremonies is essential.The idea is to go somewhere relatively stress-free and hopefully in nature to review and integrate and plan how the teachings from the ceremonies will be incorporated into your life. This is invaluable if you can undertake it as Ayahuasca continues to work with you. A journal can be a big help as well. Integration helps to keep the connection open and the teachings flowing.

Once you undertake an Ayahuasca journey, she is always available to you. Taking Ayahuasca is like getting introduced to a great healing doctor. Integration then continues the healing process by being mindful, through meditation or other contemplative works.

For someone looking to do ceremonies in North America or other places where Ayahuasca is illegal, you may only be able to participate in a couple of ceremonies on a weekend for example. If you’re booking yourself into a center in Peru or some other country where Ayahuasca is legal a minimum stay should be considered two weeks which would probably include at least six ceremonies.